Don’t Get Stuck in the Past

The NFL season is about to begin, and the season opener is the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the New England Patriots. Flash back to September 7, 2008. These same two teams were pitted against each other for the first game of the season. Tom Brady, MVP quarterback for New England, took a tremendous hit on his left leg as he released the ball. He walked off the field, but later tests revealed a torn ACL and MCL, effectively ending his playing season. The Patriots were heavy favorites to make it back to the Super Bowl in the wake of their perfect regular season and the outlook was bleak.

Brady didn’t get stuck in self pity. He didn’t get mired in an I-can’t-do-this or woe-is-me attitude. He knew the team depended on him as a leader both on and off the field. He got surgery and worked hard in rehabilitation to return to his outstanding playing level. And back to the team.

What’s curious to me: when asked by a reporter if he was worried that the same thing would happen this year, that he would be injured again in 2017 in the same way against this team, Tom stopped and considered. “You know, I never really even think about it anymore.” Lesson learned: live in the present. Don’t get stuck in the past. Get unstuck and move ahead.

Find yourself stuck in the past? Here’s a tip for you: When you are stuck in those yucky past memories, “what if’s” and “I should have’s,” pull yourself out of that stuck state and focus on the positives. Get a spiral bound book (some prefer a fancier version, but the good old one works well for me) and list 5 positive things in your life each day. This action will move your thoughts to a higher level and more optimistic perspective for your future. Try it. You’ll like it. I guarantee.

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