I grew up on a basketball court. Naturally, several of our children have played as well. As our family concludes another basketball season, it never ceases to amaze me how many life lessons can be gleaned from the game.
Saturday my parents and I were sitting in the bleachers watching Elijah (our 7-year-old) play. When the little kids get a rebound or steal the ball, they’re taught to wrap their arms around it and hunker down. That signals to the refs and the other team that the child has the ball, and everyone backs off and heads down the other end of the court.
My dad watched the children doing this and pointed out what a bad habit this instills in young players. He knows a state championship coach who laments that most players never completely outgrow their training as little children to grab the ball and hunker down with it. As older players they often slip back into this protective stance when they should be looking for openings or putting the ball back into play. While they’re hunkering down, they miss important windows of opportunity.
What should a player do instead? Pivot. Pivoting in basketball is where you plant one foot securely in place and move your other foot around like one of those compasses we used in 6th grade math class. A player who knows how to pivot can keep the ball moving, see openings that are available, and keep other players from taking the ball away. Pivoting is a powerful skill. It doesn’t waste a dribble, and the ball doesn’t get stolen. It buys a player time to examine his options and then take proactive action at just the right moment.
What does this have to do with life or business? It has everything to do with it! When things get stressful, do you hunker down and withdraw into a protective stance? If you do, then you’re missing things! Your head is down, you’re constricting. But if you keep your head high, pivot, and keep the ball moving as you examine options, you are alert and can seize the moment.
For those of us who have been learning universal laws – like attraction, sowing and reaping, polarity, etc – it’s a natural tendency in an economic crunch to feel that somehow the laws don’t work anymore. We revert to our old conditioning and start to draw down into a fetal position, and go into protective mode.
Resist the urge! The laws of the universe have not suspended themselves just because the world says we’re in a recession. Stay true to who you are and what you stand for. Stay true to your gifts. Remain open, and plant your pivot foot securely to grounded truths. Resist the temptation to grasp at money-making schemes that are outside your purpose. Explore the possibilities and calmly choose your next steps wisely. As you do this, you’ll be able to see things that other people cannot see because they’re too busy staring at the ground, curling up in a wad, and grasping to protect what they have.
I’d love to hear your comments and what you’re doing to pivot.
© Copyright 2009 Marnie L Pehrson