The word “Line” is used so often in football.. Touch the “Line”, Toes on the “Line”, Run past the “Line”, Win the “Line”, Defend our Goal-“Line”, and the call every day to get in your “Stretch Lines”…. The question is why is it important to recognize the word “Line”? This post was written during our bye week. A time where teams heal, development, and prepare for the rest of the season. Some teams reach this point having experienced success or perhaps great disappointment. Success can lead to a complacent mindset or possibly compromising the process due to heightened ego. Achievement does not mean arrival and can lessen one’s urgency for personal development. While disappointment can result in great urgency to change or giving up on your standards all together. No matter what our profession, we have reached “bye weeks” in our life. We have all needed to heal, develop ourselves, and prepare for the next life challenge. So why is the “Line” important, the “Line” gives us a Daily Mindset, Boundaries, and a Standard of Excellence in the greater pursuit.
The Daily Mindset.. Stretch Lines! Everyone in your Stretch Lines! Perfect lines.. Everyone move together, up together, down together, Team, Team, Team!!! These commands echo the practice field to start a new day. Stretch lines begins practice with togetherness, forcing one to move on command, forcing one to not be an individual, forcing one to commit to a team standard. No matter if the individual has experienced a good day or bad day, we are going to start together with a team mindset. That same goes for each of us, regardless if we are in a good or bad phase of life. We need an intentional mindset that matches a positive direction. We each need our own “Stretch Lines” to set the day, whether it is a devotion, accountability partner, morning routine, exercise, or quiet time. Choose to be in control of your daily mindset, do not let external issues be the deciding factor of your daily impact.
Boundaries…. in football the field is 53 1/3 yards wide x 120 yards long (including the end zones) and you get 4 attempts to move the football past the “Line” to gain before losing possession of the ball. The size of the field or the rules do not change based on one’s ability to play at the high school, college, or pro level. Your personal level of success or failure does not change the rules and boundaries of life’s competition field. Success can allow the ego to believe that personal boundaries are extended, rules may not apply anymore, and a little complacency is acceptable . Failure can make one believe that boundaries are not fair and circumstances are holding them back from success. Either mindset can lead to compromising process, values, and integrity for short term gains or lifestyles. People will remember your integrity and consistency a lot longer than any win on the gridiron or sale at the dealership. Many may also value the idea of accountability and structure until it is applied in their own life. Boundary lines are consistent and give structure, safety, and peace of mind in your daily operation. If you are succeeding then stay hungry and humble. If experiencing failure then evaluate, readjust your game plan, and get back to work.
A Standard of Excellence… the line is a mark, a destination, a goal… Touch the “Line”, Toes on the “Line”, Run past the “Line”, Win the “Line”, Defend our Goal-“Line”! Football is an exposure game, either you meet the standard or you do not. Do you get the first down? Do you reach the end zone? Do you make the tackle? Do you win the game? Maybes and grey area do not exist and are called “Mediocrity” in the “Game of Life”. Football is a game of practicing many simple team disciplines in order to perform with a high Standard of Excellence. Daily detailed expectations and consistent accountability are key to training for a team’s specific game execution. If we can count on players to meet the daily “Lines”, then we can trust them for greater responsibility. We each do not only need a daily mindset and boundaries, but we must set our own Standard of Excellence. What we consistently demand of ourselves is what we will eventually become. Create goals (Lines) and priorities (Lines) that allow you to have a high expectation on a daily basis. Standards of Excellence prioritize purpose in your life while eliminating things that waste your mental and physical well being. Whatever standard you set, “Run past the Line“, “Win the “Line”, and Defend your “Line”. Life is precious and time passes whether we act or not. You are born to be special, demand excellence out of yourself.
Whether in a “Bye Week of Life” or in a “Grind of Life” pause for the question: Do I have a consistent process that produces a Daily Mindset, Life Boundaries, and a Standard of Excellence? It does not guarantee success or failure but it sure puts you in the right direction. Be intentional about your life because there is a perfectly designed and unique plan just waiting for you.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” -Luke 16:10