The Last Game

One of my private clients had me to follow his last season of high school football (American football) last Fall. After the last touchdown of the last game between rivals was over I was left with a bittersweet feeling. This was my home team and I played the same game in front of the same fans thirty years ago. As the crowd left the stands I gathered my camera equipment and prepared to catch the emotions outside of the locker room. I looked up and there was something iconic about the bag of popcorn left behind by a fan. I began to think about how important the game was when I played. Memories of “glory days ” gone by began to fill my mind. I had based my entire sense of self worth on the approval of the crowd. When it was over I was left with an emptiness and doubt. That’s the problem with depending on the crowd for validation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sports team or a job or anything else. When the crowd leaves they take their approval with them and when there’s no more games or someone else is more skilled comes along all your left with is an empty stadium. But, if you base your self worth on what you have accomplished and your ability to take on the next challenge the approval of the crowd makes no difference. Your self worth comes from inside you and while there will still be disappointment and things that you wish had been different the crowd can’t take that from you. I think something that Bruce Lee was once credited with was the thought, Paraphrasing,”A trophy is just a hunk of metal. It’s what’s inside you that counts and if you know what it is then it doesn’t matter if the judges approve”. (As best as I can remember). And, it’s not success that determines what’s inside you. Sometimes the other person is just better. But, if you give your best efforts and try to improve then you’ve got good stuff inside.

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