Do you ever wonder why some days you get up pumped and excited about the day ahead and on other days, not so much? In order to exploit your everyday potential, you need to develop what Orlando Bowen calls “The game day” mentality.
In the first Care Degree, I spoke about the importance of curating potential. As you discover and realize that you can unleash your potential, the next degree is to treat every day as game day. It has become a critical part of my toolbox and worked beautifully during my corporate services trip to South Africa this past October where we helped non-profits put plans in place to transform their organizations. My name became synonymous with Game Day.
Grant: First, start each day knowing that it’s not just about you but also about everyone else around you. Orlando and I discussed how you show up every day, consciously or unconsciously, for you and those around you. The truth is, the way you show up, without saying a word to anybody, can in and of itself, redefine possibilities for you and those you touch, and get this, even for those who see or hear you from a distance. When you acknowledge that every day is game day, you realize you have an opportunity to shift possibilities regardless of the day. Do not discount who you think you are and the role you can play dealing with the uncertainties of this world.
Absorb: Second, never underestimate the power of a conversation, be it verbal or nonverbal. While what you say is often telling, body language is even more defining. Engaging in conversations with ourselves and with others has immeasurable therapeutic and purpose values. Humanistic psychology emphasizes empathy and stresses the good in human behaviour. It focuses on improving one’s self image – the things that make us feel worthwhile. You need a way to control the conversation that is happening in your own mind, to reframe things, see barriers as stepping stones and unleash your potential.
Reflecting on “The inner game”, the coaching practice advocated by Sir John Whitmore and his sports coach Timothy Gallwey, we draw parallel between how you might engage on game day and that of transpersonal psychology, which emphasizes the principles of will, intention, or responsibility. So, ask yourself, when you get up in the morning and look at the first face you see, or listen to the first voice you hear, how will you engage, to fill their buckets and to ultimately fills yours.
Inspire: Third, most of us get up and ask ourselves the question, why am I here? What’s my purpose? Psychologist Roberto Assagoli asserts that much of the psychological dysfunction in the world stems from frustration, or even desperation, about the lack of meaning and purpose in our lives. Living out your life’s purpose starts with understanding your potential, then comes the fun part, acting out on it.
To act. To shift possibilities. Be inspired and inspire those around you by your thoughts, words and actions. Let it become a good-natured circle. If someone at home, at work or in your social circle is really good at something they do, and they don’t realize they are good at it, tell them. Don’t just make a mental observation aided with silent conversations with yourself or don’t just mention to Jack, that Sally your Developer, is a kick-ass Writer. Your obligation is to tell Sally and to highlight that skill for her. People don’t often realize how much of an impact this gentle gifting can have on a person’s essence of being.
Sometimes people are wondering if they are making a difference, or even a contribution, so it’s important for us to choose to honour what we see and let persons know. If you appreciate the fact that John tells a joke or two when the team is under pressure to make a deadline and it provides some comedic relief, tell him. If your daughter Victoria is exceptional at defusing a tense situation at home, tell her. Feedback, whether directly or indirectly related to what we deem as someone’s role, can be incredibly powerful and transformative. Make it your obligation to recognize powerful contributions along the way and not wait for the formal time for review. By telling someone they are good at something, you may help them ease frustration and perhaps even help them start to see purpose and meaning in their lives.
Equip: Fourth, Liam Blackwell in his book “Improve your pre-game mental preparation” provides some guidance on how ones goes about improving their mental capacity to be game day ready.
Blackwell tells us to;
- Be calm under pressure
- Control of our emotions
- Be Confident
- Stay mentally alert
- Be Positive
When we check into the game, not only do we want to embody that mindset, but we must know the role we play. A former professional football player, Orlando shares how he equipped himself to tackle a punt returner, let’s call him Sanders. In general, human beings are creatures of habit, so you can extract insights from certain tendencies to understand what might happen next. Orlando spent hours studying the Sander’s run patterns, his footwork and watched film to validate. He had devised a perfect plan to stop Sanders dead in his tracks. At a critical moment in the game, Orlando got the opportunity to execute his plan against Sanders, but with a quick stutter step, Sanders eluded him and slipped away. Evidently frustrated, Orlando slugged to the sideline, thinking failure. But a teammate pulled him aside and said, “the most important play of this game is the next play”. Orlando learned that in equipping himself, don’t get caught up in the missed moment as doing so causes you to miss the next opportunity to shine.
So, I would add a sixth to Blackwell steps; 6) Be Agile and adaptable. Plans may not work but equip your mind with the mentality to be agile and seize the opportunity on the next play.
Ready to get into game day shape? We share 3 practical steps in developing the mentality that every day is game day. First, create habits that condition your mind to seize opportunities. This could include such things such as making up your bed; expressing gratitude for two or three things to someone every day; or getting the required amount sleep that you know your body deserves and requires to function. Second, challenge yourself to seek opportunities to grow by taking on uncomfortable tasks. By exposing yourself to different ideas that may be outside of your comfort zone but knowing that by doing so, you can benefit someone else. Third, know what your ‘well’ is and build that into your regiment. These are the things that fuel you. Afterall, you cannot give energy that you don’t have. Whether it is meditation or praying, feeding those in need, or exercising, step into it with that game day mentality.
Every day you find yourself awake and with breath, you have a fighting chance to survive and continue to live your dream. But it takes putting your mind in this game we call life, getting ready, staying ready, drawing on preparation and experience and believing you can win this game. When you acknowledge that this game is much bigger than you, that your presence engages a fountain of conversation heard and felt, that through inspiration, your actions can either fill or empty yours and someone else’s bucket then; ultimately the possibilities will be realized to be game day ready.
So what day is it? It Game Day! Join us in the efforts to coach and promote Caring Leadership. Sharing! Learning! Acting! We do this because WE CARE!