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11 Things You Learn from Football to Make Life Better

11 Things You Learn from Football to Make Life Better

Football is an unpredictable sport. If you don’t believe me just ask Joe Theismann. Football provides edge-of-your-seat action but if you pay attention it can also teach you some valuable life lessons.

1. You need talent and heart to win anything

Sometimes being good just isn’t good enough. You can be talented at something and have that natural ability but if you don’t care and you have no motivation or heart, you’ll never amount to anything. Just ask any of these teams.

2. It can all end in an instant

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learn from football

    Nothing personifies this more than the aforementioned Joe Theismann. A two-time Pro Bowler with what was amounting to a Hall of Fame career. Then one unlucky day, Lawrence Taylor shattered his leg and ended his career. Thanks to a small stroke of bad luck, Theismann lost his ability to play professional football and it’s a reminder to appreciate what you have because it can be gone in an instant.

    3. If at first you don’t succeed, try again

    Only one team can win the Super Bowl every year and that means everybody else has to deal with defeat. Do they quit? No, they figure out what went wrong, try to fix it, and try again the next year. This is a great lesson to learn because failure is just a temporary problem.

    4. If you try hard enough, you can achieve anything

    There are countless players who have stories that personify this but as a Cleveland Browns fan, nothing hit this lesson home for me more than when Cleveland lost the Browns. After the move to Baltimore, the city of Cleveland wanted their team back so bad that eventually the NFL gave it back to them. That includes the original name and colors. It was a touching reunion that showed us that if you want it bad enough and you try hard enough, then it’ll eventually happen.

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    5. Winning requires teamwork

    From day one in peewee football to the NFL, football players learn one lesson above all else. You win as a team and you lose as a team. In real life, it’s the same way. If you can’t work well with others or you try to do everything alone, you’ll eventually fail. You need to trust your team and everyone needs to do their jobs in order for everyone to be successful.

    6. You can’t win all the time

    There is no football team that has never lost. The New England Patriots won 18 consecutive games in 2011 but lost the Super Bowl. No matter how good you are, you will eventually lose at something and you should be prepared for that. No one wins all the time so it’s best to adjust your expectations accordingly.

    7. You need to have discipline

    Football players must have discipline. When you play football you have to work out every day to maintain your athleticism. That also means you have to watch what you eat and drink and you’re accountable for your mistakes because if you screw up, it’ll be all over the news. In real life it’s much the same. You have to stay disciplined with your exercise and diet or you’ll become unhealthy. When you mess up at home or at work, you’re accountable for it. If you don’t stay disciplined, bad things happen. Just ask Ohio State.

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    8. Learning how to set goals

    Football players have pretty lofty goals. Making millions of dollars a year, winning one of the most coveted events in all of sports in the Super Bowl, and having a good career are among the many goals that professional football players set every year. Thousands of college players have the goal of making it to the NFL. Tens of thousands of high school football players have the goal of making it to play college ball. Pretty much from day one when a kid decides he wants to play football, the goal setting starts and it never really ends. We can learn from that kind of ambition.

    9. Nothing lasts forever

    Brett Favre recently tried to deny this very lesson for years but ultimately even he had to throw in the towel eventually. Great players rise, they fall, they retire and it makes room for the next wave of superstars. Winning streams come to an end and successful dynasties will eventually drop to the bottom of the standings. This teaches us to enjoy the highs while we can because the roller coaster of life will eventually even things out. Watching a player’s career is like an abbreviated version of the circle of life. It’s always sad to see an icon retire or a long-time successful team hit rock bottom but it’s important to remember the good times and realize that this happens to everyone eventually.

    10. Your job depends on the performance of others and the other’s jobs depend on your performance

    This may be an extension of the teamwork lesson but it this lesson applies to everyone. If the players don’t play well, the coaches are to blame. If the coaches can’t motivate their players, the GM has to hire another one. If the GM makes decisions that don’t pan out, the owners replace him. It doesn’t matter who you are on a football team, someone’s job depends on you. In real life it’s the same way. Your boss needs you to work to stay hired. His boss needs him to work hard to stay hired. If a regional manager has a lot of locations and none of them are performing well, the regional manager gets fired. Thus, even the most seemingly insignificant piece may have a measurable impact on someone else’s job. After all, you can have the best QB in the game but if he doesn’t have wide receivers, he’s useless.

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    11. It absolutely matters who wins and who loses

    learn from football

      Winners succeed and losers do not. In football, winners get paid more money. They appear in places like the Hall of Fame. They have Super Bowl rings. Losers do not have those things. At it’s very core, football is a competition and life is no different. Even if it’s not quantifiable, there is a score being kept all the time in the game of life. Telling kids that score doesn’t matter is like telling kids that money doesn’t matter. They can’t pay bills with good intentions and they can’t succeed if they don’t know what losing feels like.

       

      A lot of people don’t like football. They consider it barbaric and they believe that the fan base around it insane. However, there is no denying that when you analyze the emotions and decisions behind the game itself, you can learn some of the most important life lessons from football.

      Featured photo credit: Knowledge Hi via knowledgehi.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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      Last Updated on April 6, 2020

      10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

      10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

      Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

      Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

      Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

      So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

      1. Be Authentic

      To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

      Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

      Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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      2. Listen

      Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

      To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

      Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

      Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

      3. Become an Expert

      Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

      You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

      4. Lead with Story

      From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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      If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

      5. Lead by Example

      It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

      ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

      We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

      6. Catch People Doing Good

      A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

      Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

      7. Be Effusive with Praise

      It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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      Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

      8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

      I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

      The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

      If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

      9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

      The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

      The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

      If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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      10. Understand Your Lane

      If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

      Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

      You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

      Final Thoughts

      Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

      It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

      More Tips About Making Influence

      Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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