“The game is ours, we’ll never foul out. Y’all just better hope we gracefully bow out.” – Jay-Z “Do It Again (Put Ya Hands Up)”
In the NBA, when someone fouls out, they have committed their allotment of 6 fouls (or 2 technical fouls) and is removed from the game prematurely. This premature exit from the game can have several effects, including but not limited to 1) Giving the opposing team an advantage because of the premature exit or 2) Giving other players on your team a moment to step up and shine because of the premature exit. Either way, fouling out is no bueno for the individual that has been forcefully sent to the bench to the point of no return. Know why? Because that player is being held against their will and can no longer have any physical impact on the game being played.
Apply this same scenario to your life. Are there any areas in your family life, career, social life, etc., where you have fouled out? I’m sure there are. Everyone fouls out every once and a while. However, the key question is how do you deal with these situations and learn from them so that they do not occur again. I hear scenarios where people foul out all the time, and the first inclination people have, most of the time, is to blame someone else. Just like you see in the NBA when someone fouls out, especially that sixth and deciding foul, they blame the refs. Even if its a clear foul on their behalf, the refs got the call wrong.
Sometimes the refs get it wrong, sometimes they do not. They do not have the advantage of seeing things from an outside observers stand point, and by the time they are able to look at the review of the play, most of the time its too late. They are right in the mix of the action making calls in real time, not super slow motion from 7 different camera angles.
The best players are the ones that go back and look at film on their own time, not just in team meetings. They study their every move obsessively until they come to a conclusion on what to do moving forward that will make them even better. Therefore, its up to you to slow things down in your life and see yourself in slow motion from every angle possible. Ask yourself how can you get better. As a person, as an employee, as a boss, as a significant other, as a parent, etc. You ask and you shall receive. You practice and you shall get better. You play smarter and you shall foul out less. Own your life, that’s your game. Play it well and gracefully bow out.