Back in 2017 Super Bowl LI featured the Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots led by Tom Brady. In the first half, the Falcons were in total control...handling both ends of the field. In both defense and offense, the game looked very lopsided. It was almost as the Patriots had forgotten they were playing for a Super Bowl.
By halftime it was 28-3 for the Falcons. Total domination. Total control. That second half proved to be one of the best comeback in football history.
Tom Brady took it to the next level. The Patriots had finally woken up and were playing like champions. They built an amazing momentum that carried them to score in the final minute and take the game into overtime. They continued that momentum to eventually win the game.
After the game, much credit was given to the Patriots amazing offense, including their leader Brady. What was not mentioned too often was how the Patriots defense was able to prevent the Falcons from scoring any points the second half. That Super Bowl win was indeed a total team effort.
They say offense wins games, but defense wins championship. I think both are equally important, although in different doses depending on the situation.
Knowing how to balance those two in the game of life is key to living your best life.
Much of what we do, we do either in offense or defense mode. Examples:
We are either in offense or defense when we’re driving.
We are either in offense or defense in the middle of an argument.
We are in offense (proactive) or defense (reactive) when challenges arise in our lives.
We are in offense or defense when doing business; marketing for new clients or maintaining current clients happy, respectively.
We are in offense when making money or defense when saving money.
We are in offense when eating clean or defense when exercising (for those that exercise to prevent weight gain) or defense when we go on a cleanse or quick diet.
Now, everybody has their strong suit. In sports if you’re a great defender, you may not be the best forward, but that doesn’t mean you can’t score goals.
What happens if for some reason you find yourself as the last player standing between the opposing team who has the ball and your goal? Do you just say in your head...oh I’m out of position, if they score, it’s not my fault.
No! You step up and get the job done. In order to do this you need to fine tune your weakness so you can become a more well rounded player.
Sometimes you need a little bit of both such as when dealing with money. Saving money falls in defense mode while making money falls in offense mode. You need both in order to be financially savvy.
Which mode of living drives your life? Can the opposite be improved in order to improved certain areas of your life?
If you’re an aggressive driver and react to everyone that cuts you off, can your life be improved if you’re able to build a buffer and said to yourself “You know what, there’s probably going to be X amount of fools on the road today, let’s just prepare for that”
If you’re constantly trying to prove yourself, regardless if you’re really right or not, does that ultimately enhance your life?
When something happens in your life, do you victimize yourself and let that event define you? If that’s the case, you’ll find yourself playing deep defense your whole life. Perhaps it would be healthier to separate who you are as an individual from an event that happened. Ie: Getting fired from a job is an event. It doesn’t define who you are. A divorce is an event. Getting a promotion is an event. You being a loving parent is a quality of who you are. You being generous is another quality.
Defend when you need to, but recognize when to counterattack. Games can turn around on a solid counterattack (just watch the replay of Belgium vs Japan this past World Cup on the last goal of the game). Life is very much the same way. Have the courage to carry onward.
You see, events in our lives can be quite stressful, yet working on developing the best team within you can elevate your life to new levels.
Ways to improve your life with the defense/offense mentality:
1. Instead of waiting for a special occasions (birthday, anniversary) to do something special for your significant other (defense mode) try to surprise him or her out of the blue (offense mode).
2. Instead of completing the bare minimum (defense mode) of what your boss asks of you, go one step further and do a little extra. Always give your best. It will be noticeable and it’s definitely playing offensively. It may just score you some extra $$ in the future.
3. Instead of reacting to social media, daily news, gossip first thing in the morning (defense mode), try to establish a power hour in the morning where you get up a little bit earlier and do some meditation, reading, journaling, exercising (offense mode). I guarantee that practice alone can help you live a much more emotionally balanced life.
4. Instead of leaving on time (defense mode), give yourself a buffer and leave 5 minutes earlier (offense mode).
5. When you walk into a room, even if you don’t know a single soul, bring that smile that you’d like to see reflected back at you. Don’t wait for the hello (reactive), instead put forth that proactive kindness. It’s underrated, yet a very powerful trick to improving your life...and also making someone’s day.
6. Limit ruminating on the thoughts inside your head. They are often set off by sheer fear repeated over and over. Whatever you focus on expands. Instead, step outside yourself and do something for someone else. Whether you give your time to the local shelter or money to a meaningful charity, those are actions that can help you feel good. It feeds the soul and helps put a true perspective in your life.
Remember, awareness is the first step. If you’re not happy with something in your life, take a look at what mode you’re idling on. Are you in constantly in defense mode or on the offense? Do you need to balance things out? What happens if you flip the switch like Tom Brady and the Patriots did in that memorable 2nd half of the Super Bowl?
Do not give the past the power to define you. As Maria Robinson said: “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
Go Get It!