At one point during Monday night’s game against the Colts, it looked like the Giants were getting something going. Excitement built in the stadium as they moved the chains down the field. Then came the crucial third down and they weren’t able to convert. “Ugh,” a defeated fan grumbled. “After all that, they have to settle for a field goal.”
Her intoxicated yet somehow endearing companion responded to her statement with this philosophical question: “Haven’t we all settled for field goals in life?”
The collective nod that followed served as a silent affirmation. You are correct, drunk guy. We have all settled for field goals in life. We have all settled for ‘good enough’. We have all settled for ‘not ideal but it’s something.’ We’ve all been there, done that.
But you know what? I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing. Sometimes good enough is just fine. Sometimes ideal is impossible and something is more than enough. Look at how many games, including Super Bowls, have been won or lost by a field goal. Sometimes three points is all a team needs to win. So, if field goals obviously have their place in our world, why do they get such a bad rap?
I think it’s the verb in the over-served observer’s inquiry that shanks our perception. The feelings that accompany ‘settling’ never cause anyone to celebrate.
That begs the next question: What determines if you are settling? What makes three points = not enough? Maybe it’s our expectation. If we truly believe we are going to reach a certain goal and we don’t, it may feel like settling. Maybe it’s a question of effort. If, for whatever reason, we didn’t give it our all, it may feel like settling.
Ok, so you settled for a field goal. What next? Take a moment to acknowledge the disappointment. Sometimes we do our best and things don’t go our way. Sometimes life leaves us too drained to bring our A game. It happens. Take a breath; move on.
Then apply the only thing that always splits the uprights: Gratitude. Choose to be happy. After all, you do have something to show for your efforts. If those thoughts go wide right, then be thankful the game isn’t over and you get a chance to try again. And, if the game is over, be grateful for the opportunity you had to be out on the field. It may not seem like it but, guaranteed, you learned something that will benefit you on your next quest for the end zone.
On Tuesday morning, I received several texts asking, “How was the game?”
I spilled my $5.00 (cold) hot chocolate all over my jacket. Just as I was about to get my picture taken with LT, a member of his entourage told everyone to leave him alone. Despite parking right next to the exit, it took me 40 minutes to get out of the parking lot.
My reply: “It was awesome. So glad I had the chance to be there.”