POUNDING THE BOARDS

No one plays this game or any game perfectly. It’s the guy who recovers from his mistakes who wins.
—PHIL JACKSON

All my life, I have been struck by the countless similarities between sports and life. Both sports and life require know-how, both demand talent and skill, and both can lead to glorious and fulfilling victories. However, sports and life are marked with obstacles and setbacks too, with mistakes and with crushing defeats. They are each marked with opposition, competition, and failure. And they offer us challenges, as well as opportunities to correct our mistakes and to rise above our failures. In athletic competition, there is always the next game or the next season. In a basketball game, there is always the chance to rebound a missed shot. And in life, we must create the same opportunities to turn failures into successes. We must keep “pounding the boards.”

The Passing Of Lonesome George

Some time ago, I read a story in the newspaper, announcing the sudden death of Lonesome George. In case you haven’t heard of Lonesome George, he was actually quite famous. He was a giant tortoise from the Galapagos Islands, the last known representative of his species. But Lonesome George unexpectedly died at the young age of 100, marking the extinction of yet another species of exotic wildlife.

Leon C. Megginson, a noted writer of business management books, once noted, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change.” And scientists are now admitting that the likely cause for the extinction of the giant Galapagos tortoise was its inability to adapt to a changing environment.

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