SOMETIMES IT’S BEST TO PUNT
As mentioned in the previous chapter, one can only connect the dots looking backwards. With hindsight, you finally understand why it was a “good” thing for a particular relationship to end.
However, if we’re able to objectively perceive the many situations in our life, we can “speed up” the process of releasing relationships or habits that don’t serve our best interest. It’s true; sometimes adversity is good for us; it helps us grow. But in those instances where we can kind of “see the forest through the trees,” it serves us to exit cancerous relationships or habits. Example: Do you really need to develop lung-cancer and have one of your lungs removed in order to realize that smoking is bad for you?
I posted the following anonymous quotation on my Twitter account: “In football—and life—sometimes it’s best to punt.” One of my Twitter followers asked me “what it meant.” I responded with the following:
When a football team chooses to punt, they’re not usually crazy about the idea. When a team is forced to punt, they’re essentially giving up their final down, because they don’t want to risk not getting enough yards to gain another set of downs. They’re also not in field goal range, so they only have two options: take a risky gamble or punt the ball away. Punting will ensure better field position the next time they have the ball (providing their defense can stop the other team’s offense).
In a nutshell, you’re looking at your present moment set of circumstances, making a decision to not take a risky gamble, and punting the ball away in hopes of a better future.
I know the above information will be confusing for non-football fans. So let’s look at the “punting” metaphor as it applies to our everyday lives.
We’re all essentially trying to maximize our abilities on the “field of life.” We want to “win the game.” And we all have different ideas about what “winning” means. For some humans, winning means: having a family, two cars, a house and a dog. For other humans “winning” means having freedom from family obligations—and creating the financial abundance required to travel spontaneously around the world.
However, no matter what “winning” means to you, you have to consistently maximize your plays. You can only execute one play at a time. If you gain eight yards on your first down, you can then determine which play will most likely gain the required two yards on the following down. In this scenario, we would hope to minimize risk, so we’d likely select a running play for the fullback (the powerful running back who’s tough to tackle).
Life operates in the same manner. We simply have to choose the best play before every snap.
Most college and professional football coaches always punt the ball on fourth down (providing they’re not in field goal range). They’ve been around the football-block long enough to understand that it’s always best to minimize present-moment risk, in exchange for improving your field position by punting the ball away, thereby, increasing your chances for future success.
Now let’s apply this wisdom to your own life: In which areas do you need to punt?*END OF SAMPLE*