LifeThought: When you get tackled, get up and run another play!

So you got tackled, Dude… Every play is not a touchdown. Get up, brush yourself off and run another play! — Dave Ramsey

What is the primary goal of every play in a Football game? (American Football, for my international readers) The primary goal of every play in Football is to score a touchdown. Does every team reach its goal on every play? Of course not!

Dave Ramsey hosts of a very popular talk-radio program for discussing financial matters. One day, I heard Dave give the above response to a caller who had just told Dave about an investment that had not turned out the way it was planned. After getting all of the details from the caller, Dave gave this great analogy to remind the caller we all have goals and sometimes bad things happen that knock us off our feet and prevent us from reaching those goals as planned. He encouraged the caller to not give up because of this setback; to get back in the game and keep trying. It was great advice!

Our world is full of people who had big goals and exciting dreams for their lives. Something came along and tackled them, preventing them from reaching their goals according to plan. It may have been a significant, painful setback. It may have been a event that caused them to lose everything they thought they had. The setback is not the tragedy of the story. The tragedy is that they couldn’t figure out a way to brush themselves off, mentally, and get back in the game to try again.

As I’ve written before, I’m no stranger to adversity. I have just recently been tackled harder than I have ever been tackled before in my life. I have to admit that I have been sitting on the sidelines weeping tears of true grief, sorrow and repentance because I know what tackled me was a product of my own making. The injuries sustained are extremely painful, and not just to me, but to people I love who had nothing to do with my decisions. I don’t know exactly how to mend the injuries or to get back on track, but I do know this is part of living. I will not be so flippant as to say life is a game, but the metaphor still holds. I also know that I cannot win if I do not play, and I cannot play if I do not get back up to try again. I will get back up and get back in the game. I may be battered and bruised, but I will get back up, get back in, and give it all I have.

The secret to life is living. Setbacks happen in life, but don’t let that stop you from living. If the setbacks are your own fault, take responsibility for your mistakes and ask for forgiveness. You will get tackled as you pursue your goals. Get up, brush yourself off and run another play!


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7 Responses to LifeThought: When you get tackled, get up and run another play!

  1. James March 13, 2014 at 8:16 AM #

    Very true Bruce. Thank you for sharing. I find also that going through life we learn not just to pick ourselves up from setbacks but that we can take bigger hits and not be knocked down as easily.

    With each experience of disappointment and setbacks I also look at life like a running back views his path to success (even as Brit!) It requires side stepping obstacles, pivots, changing direction, increasing or decreasing speed, and vision etc. We become more adept at avoiding obstacles and keep making progress, all in the knowledge that this is part of getting to the end zone!

    Have a great day!

    • Bruce March 13, 2014 at 3:57 PM #

      James, great way to carry on the metaphor! Yes, we do get better at avoiding the obstacles and tend to get up faster the next time as long as we can maintain this perspective.

      Thanks for your input!
      Bruce

  2. Melinda Viergever Inman March 13, 2014 at 2:26 PM #

    Man, did I need this today, Bruce! I’m also reeling from a self-induced powerful and flattening hit. My tears are also tears of repentance and sorrow as I beg God to heal those I have damaged due to my bad choices and responses. What a mess is this game called life! But, by God’s grace, we dust ourselves off and get back up again, moving forward and growing. What a gift that God is merciful. Thank you for sharing this today!

    • Bruce March 13, 2014 at 3:59 PM #

      Melinda, I’m glad this was helpful for you and I’m sorry about your struggles. It hurts even more when we know it was caused by our own mistakes or bad choices. Nevertheless, God is gracious! I do hope and pray you move through this quickly and healing is complete for all involved.

      Thank you for sharing with us!
      Bruce

  3. Elaine Stock April 26, 2014 at 10:45 AM #

    Bruce, I have to confess that I don’t watch football but I was very uplifted by this post. Thank you so much for your motivating words.

  4. ren November 20, 2014 at 4:07 AM #

    I like the philosophy you have laid out in this article. Real food for thought! Thank you!

  5. Peter Ouma Ojunga November 20, 2014 at 5:07 AM #

    Bruce, this is a very motivating post. Since I was born I have gone through a lot of struggles; I lost all my six elderly siblings from the first who was born in 1953 and the one I was immediately following.I am the last born of the seven children my parents gave birth to. I am the last born. I buried my dad in 2006.Then I remained with my elderly ailing mother who I also buried this year on 8th October, 2014 after graduating with a Masters Degree in Peace Studies and International Relations. My mother longed to come but she never made it.I put her in the morgue and prepared for my graduation. I was alone in the graduation square when others had their relatives bringing gifts dancing around them. But I am keeping afloat. Thanks to my inner strength and a focused determination to live and achieve my dreams. However, It has been very very tough coupled with the fact that I am also living positively with HIV now for eleven years. I am writing a book; putting together all these experiences out their to encourage people never to give up no matter what happens to them, I have four of the sixteen short motivational chapters left. I hope it will be a good read especially for those who are tempted to commit suicide they way I did sometimes back. Thank you so much for your great posts. They have been a source of great inspiration.

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