Discover the rainbow, after the storm

By Tony Price
Updated: March 3, 2009

BOSTON — Like many of you I receive my fair share of those chain e-mails that flood my inbox. You know the ones — if you pray this and that you will experience days of blessing, however if you don’t forward the email to all of the special people in your life, you will be cursed.

Or the e-mails with the unabridged versions of how people have overcome personal tragedies or the time consuming power point presentations with so many pictures your eyes start to cross by the eighth picture.

Often times, I just delete these annoyances, unless I come across one that is straight to the point and inspirational. Such was the case this past week, I received an e-mail and the message line simply read “Beautiful” so I decided to click and open.

Wouldn’t you know it, it was one of those everlasting power point presentations, I’m not in the mood for this was my initial reaction but for some reason I decided to half heartedly watch the entire slide show.

Maybe it was because I was feeling down.

The night before my team lost in the playoffs which meant our remarkable season suddenly came to an end. As the images scrolled through there were a few images and quotes that caught my eye.

One image along with the accompanying text hit me with the sensation you experience when getting splashed with cold water. It read like this ” Don’t take yourself so seriously, No one else does”

I paused the image and just stared at the screen.

I am one of those ultra competitive people you hear about that hates to lose at anything. I was this way as an athlete and now as a coach when my team wins. The joy is usually temporary and short lived, yet when the team loses the pain, anguish and lack of confidence as a teacher and motivator is long lasting.

So you can imagine how I felt the next day after suffering defeat in the first round of the playoffs. Reading the words on that image, produced an “aha!” moment. I came to the following hypothesis that yes it hurts to fall short of reaching a specified goal — in this case a Championship.

However, the sting of failure should not eclipse the wonderful journey the team experienced along the way. I soon realized that beating myself up over the loss, mentally replaying scenarios from the game in which I could do nothing about at this point.

Resenting certain players I felt didn’t play up to expectations and spending lots of valuable time and energy worrying about what others thought of me as a coach was unproductive.

Like so many people when things don’t go their way, I was dwelling on a bad past experience, to the point it was ruining my present day. I had to make a choice to either let the negative experience spoil the next few days — something I have been prone to do — or I could take a step back to reflect on what the team accomplished during the season that put us in the position to challenge for a championship.

There are a lot of teams who would’ve given anything to be in our position, and yet I couldn’t appreciate this perspective because of wallowing in the mud of disappointment.

The one thing I have come to realize over the years is that no matter how tough things look today the sun will still rise the next day and no one really cares how you feel. There is a biblical passage that speaks to this fact Psalm 30:5 reads weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning.

In life we all face disappointment, some of which we have no control, however you do have the power to control your response to the situation and how long you will let that darkened cloud impair your sunny day.

In other words get over it, life is still waiting on you to get back in the game.