(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)
It’s finally fall… okay, fine we’re 16 days away from the official starting line. But, if you’re a cool-weather leaf-changing fanatic like me, the day the calendar shifts from August 31st to September 1st, you’ve stepped into autumn. And in my world, autumn is a time to ground your energy, settle in and reflect on the natural cycle of change. Amen, amen!
If you follow me, you’ve picked up that I reference sports a lot in my writing because I find that so many athletes have beautiful hero’s journeys from which I draw inspiration. That said, last week, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the fall and the fourth quarter of a football game. Okay, hang in there… I promise I’m going to bring this point home.
So, last Thursday, I flew down to West Palm Beach to watch my son’s first football game of the season. The Keiser University Seahawks fought hard against an outsized opponent and through an incessant downpour of rain. After halftime, the game was up for grabs and the players were in need of re-energizing. That much-needed spark appeared when the clock hit 00:00 on the third quarter. Without prompting, arms began to pop up across the sea of football jerseys, each hand displaying four fingers to symbolize the final push for the 4th quarter.
Gosh… just writing about it, I get goosebumps. I’ve seen this moment many times and it never gets old. Athletes digging deep and tapping into their mental and physical reserves so they can show up for their teammates and leave it all on the field. As a fan watching this, you catch your breath and cheer a little louder to match the energy.
Such is the fall. See, I told you I’d bring the analogy around. My point is that while most of us aren’t suiting up on Saturday mornings or tackling an opponent, we are still entering our own personal 4th quarter. Maybe you’re winning and the challenge will be to keep the fire stoked. Maybe you feel off course and need to take some time to slow down and recalculate. Either way the annual clock is ticking down and we’re all about to play our last 15 minutes of the year.
Over the next few weeks, you might want to carve out some quiet time to check in with yourself and prep for the fourth quarter. Dig deep, reflect and ask yourself:
Checking in on how you’re doing and what you need should be a practice you build in regularly. Think of it as looking at your playbook and rearranging your X’s and O’s in order to set yourself up for a win.
So let’s rally! Throw that 4 in the air and finish strong. You got it in you and I’m cheering you on!