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Win the Game of Life – Lessons from Rugby

Sports not only evoke adrenaline rushes but also offer important learnings that help us to tackle situations of daily life. Let us sharpen our life skills as we learn some interesting lessons from different sports

“I can’t take this anymore. I will quit. I will move back to India and take up some meagre job”, an exasperated and dejected Rohit thought to himself, as he walked out of his office and sat on a bench along the curb side. It was three months ago that he had enthusiastically moved to New Zealand for his dream job. However, the three months had been full of struggle, chaos and strenuous work. He had just received a dressing down from his manager. Tears welled up in his eyes as he sat there alone and depressed.

“Hang in there! Hang in there! Keep pushing! Keep pushing!”

Out of nowhere these words of encouragement hit his ears. He glanced back over his shoulder, to find a game of Rugby going on. A man in team jersey with ‘Mark’ written on his back was cheering his teammates from the sidelines.

Rohit walked towards the arena to have a look at the game, though he didn’t know much about the sport.

“Hey there,” Rohit struck a conversation with Mark.

“Hey man. How are you doing?” Mark replied.

As he watched the game, trying to understand its dynamics, Rohit made a comment. “This game is quite chaotic. Players seem to be running helter-skelter and throwing the ball to each other.”

“Yes, chaos it may seem,” Mark replied, “The purpose of the game is to take the ball towards the opponent’s try line and ground the ball behind it. While the player with the ball marches towards the try line, the opponents try to tackle him; and his teammates try to counter the tackle. It may look unorganised or chaotic. But the players are focussed. They have a plan in mind for getting the ball through the opponent’s defence and reach the try line. The team that is able to maintain focus amidst chaos usually wins.”

Something resonated within Rohit. “It is similar to life. Too many things keep happening around us all the time. Some distract us from our goals while some assist us. The most important part is to remain focussed on our purpose, our plan and work towards it.”

Rohit absorbed a lesson – Find calm amidst chaos and march towards your goal.

Just then, a player was vigorously tackled and pinned to the ground. “Aah! That was nasty,” uttered Rohit.

“Well, some people say rugby is not a contact sport but a collision sport,” Mark jested, “You will almost certainly be engulfed, knocked down, get hit and will experience your head spinning during the course of the game. But that does not mean you stop playing. Rugby players wear injury like badges and fight through pain to win with pride.”

These words struck the core of Rohit as he related them to his situation. He spoke to himself mentally, “One does encounter circumstances engulfing him, troubling him thereby preventing him from reaching his goals. But instead of whining about it, winners fight back with a punch.”

Rohit made a resolve to himself – You have to play through obstacles and pain to emerge victorious.

“Who are those players on the extreme right and left? They don’t seem to be getting involved in dodges and tackles,” Rohit asked.

“Those are wingers. They are usually the fastest players in the team and are either elusive runners or strong and sturdy players who are able to break tackles. Their primary role is to finish off moves and score tries. It may take time for the ball to come to them. But they need to be patient and vigilant. And when the opportunity comes, score the point.”

Rohit gained another gem of wisdom, “You may have to wait for your break. It is similar to grinding it out in life by continuously doing what you are supposed to do, working hard and being patient. Grab the opportunity when it knocks on your door.”

Rohit decided for himself – Persevere patiently and seize the opportunities when offered.

A notification popped on Rohit’s phone “Daily Team Meeting – beginning in 10 minutes.” “I need to go,” Rohit said to Mark, “A chaos awaits me up there. It’s my time to toil through it patiently and wait for my moment to shine. Thanks for your insights of the game and life.”

“Cheers man!”

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