The Score That Matter
As a high school basketball coach for the last twenty-five years, I’ve had the opportunity to watch a lot of pickup basketball games. Sometimes the basketball being played in those games is incredible - intense, skilled, and unselfish. And, of course, other times it’s not. Pick-up basketball can quickly turn into an ego-driven one on one display of talent.
Regardless of the basketball being played, the question being asked the most on every court around the world is: “What’s the score?” In pick-up games the only way to keep playing is to win. With that in mind, it seems like an important question to know the answer to, right?
No one is keeping track of minutes played, shot attempts, rebounds, or assists. No, they're keeping track of the only thing that matters: the score of the game.
Imagine walking into a friend's house midway through your favorite team’s game and asking what the score is. Rather than sharing with you the score to the game, one friend tells you the number of pitches thrown by each team and another friend recites the best player from each team's batting average for the day.
It would make no sense, right?
The score that matters is the score to the game, not some trivial statistic that may, or may not, give you insight into how the game is going.
Such is life.
Why Should We Care?
We love to keep and measure our worth with trivial statistics. I mean, looking at our life as a whole, what can we consider the number of Instagram followers other than trivial? Yet, in our society, it elevates our status and draws admiration. Even something as seemingly important as our job title or salary becomes virtually insignificant when we begin looking at the totality of our lives.
Here’s the thing about life though, unlike sports we don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else. Your scoreboard and my scoreboard do not have to be the same. I get to choose the score that matters to me.
That’s right, we choose.
I know it may not seem that way based on what is presented to us by society, but it’s true.
Have you ever experienced an Amazon delivery driver that is beaming of positivity and brightening your day with a single interaction? She wasn’t disgruntled because her salary isn’t that of her boss. She was simply choosing her own scoreboard.
Ever had dinner at a restaurant with an amazing server that makes your experience ten times better than you expected? He wasn’t deflated by what others might deem as a low level food service position. He was choosing to define his lot by his own scoreboard.
Society is quick to point to luck or good fortune, when it’s actually a choice. An intentional choice rather than random happenstance. If we do not choose to be intentional, we will end up indifferent. And, those who become captives to indifference quickly become convinced that society’s score is the only option available.
It’s simply not true.
We can choose to define success based on how well we live our values or on our salary.
We can choose to define success based on our relationships with those we love or on the size of our house.
We can choose to define success based on our commitment to our faith or on acquiring more likes on social media.
The choice is ours.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Rather than talk about how to arrive at the score that matters for you, I’ll share a few benefits of approaching life in this way. It’s not free of struggle, grief, or problems but does offer fulfillment and impact society’s scoreboard ultimately fails to offer. Here’s a few of the highlights:
The score does matter. It always has and always will. However, the scoreboard you choose to define success by matters the most. Take the time to look inward, rather than outward, to decide the score that matters for you.
Foxhole friend and Learning Leader podcast host, Ryan Hawk, and I are excited for the launch of our new book, The Score That Matters. The official release is set for March, but pre-orders are available now at https://amzn.to/3NkTItq. We hope you will check it out!
For more information on building excellence in your teams, visit us at www.bluecollargrit.com.
We would love to know how we could help!
I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.