Kick-Start Your Goal

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Article By Lakshmi Vijaykumar, Senior Research Consultant -AVTAR  Group

The FIFA fever is on. It’s all about goals, free kicks and not to forget one up-man-ship. Football may not be played as a national sport in our country, nor be worshipped as a religion like cricket, but the heat of the game is spreading fast enough.

Any game of sports can transcend to various aspects of life and teach us lessons that we can apply on a day to day basis. Sports is known for competition, lest known for developing personal characteristics such as respect for opponent, self discipline, responsibility, persistence and above all improving our minds and lifting up our spirits.

If you are a mother of two then the phrase “respect for opponent” may resonate with you for more than one reason. You are a mother until you have one child, when motherhood enters your lives the second time, then you are nothing more than a referee. Perhaps that gives you more than one reason to take life lessons cues from football.

The Holy Grail is teamwork. Make your family a team. This will make it easier for you to drive home the team spirit among other family members. Also, being on the same side and one team, you also know when to hand off the ball to your teammate in this case your partner. Don’t try to be “Miss Do all.”

Trust the team that works for you. When you are passing off the baton to your teammate, you are laying your trust on that person that the baton will be positioned and taken in the right direction. Unless you build trust, your team will never work.

Be a partner: More often it is biblical for a mother/wife to run the mundane household chores like paying bills, replenishing those cookies, ensuring medicine racks are stacked with essentials. This results in you being a “keeper” of the house. Just as there are no “keepers” in a football team, make yourself a partner.

Build healthy competition among your kids. Being competitive does not really mean building hatred within the family. A healthy competitive spirit among siblings leads to positive outcomes.

Stay Disciplined: One of the most important lessons that one can derive from a game of football is to stay disciplined. While we all want our kids to be obedient, we as working mother will have to display the same amount of discipline in our daily routine for the kids to emulate.

Hard work pays. Why not, the Mexican team won over the Germans last week after a year of hard work – something that seemed unachievable for many in the world. Most athletes know that hard work, discipline, focus yield positive results. Similarly, drive home the point of working hard to your kids. What may seem tough today might become an easy task for you tomorrow. So keep working hard on things that seem difficult today.

Leading comes naturally for most of us working women. No crash courses, workshops required to teach working mothers on leading the family. For we are born leaders (pun, intended).But at the same time, it is important to understand how to lead. Sometimes, one have to be a tough task master so much so that your kids might start calling you as a slave driver, and some days you will have to sweet talk your way. Just choose the right approach tweaking your leading skills appropriate to the circumstances.

Learn to follow. Yes. It is ok to not wear the seat belt at the driver’s seat always. Let your spouse take the lead, or even allow your kids (if old enough) to be the leaders while you simply sit back and enjoy the jolly ride.

How and when to sacrifice: You may have often noticed in a game of football, a striker fails to achieve a goal simply because he didn’t pass the ball to his partner at the right time. Similarly, as a working mum you may find yourself in a situation where you feel you rather hang with an issue than passing it on. By doing so, you might miss the goal. Take only what you can carry on your shoulders. Do not overload yourself.

Remain focused. Life warrants us to set priorities and achieve goals. Being a working mother you may feel there is little time to improvise. In the midst of modern day rush we often miss the larger picture and tend to deviate from our ultimate goal in life. Don’t miss articulating your family values to your kids that will help you and your family to remain focused on what you want to achieve at the end of the day. Teach your kids to not lose sight of your family goals.

Control only when and what you should and not worry too much about the endless things that you can’t control. In both life and sports, what you can control is your attitude and effort. Rest all fall into the list of uncontrollable. So don’t waste your time thinking about how you could have beaten the morning traffic. Instead, look at what you can do while waiting for the vehicles ahead of you to move. Or perhaps put in that extra effort the next morning to stay ahead of traffic.

Team bonding: All work and no play makes both Jack and Jill dull. In this case, you are the Jill. Bonding takes place when you are idling with your team (read: family) outside the boundaries (both physical and virtual) of workspace, school, homes, etc. Look for recreational activities to explore, discover new people, environment, games sans cellphones, laptops or any other mental loads.

Clock is ticking away. Sounds a bit scary but that’s true. Just as a football game is restricted to an hour and a half, life’s clock has its own way of pacing ahead. As a working mother we put our interests and hobbies in the backburner and sometimes don’t revisit them at all. Do not procrastinate anything that you have a passion or an interest for. If you always wanted to learn to apply the strings on a guitar do it today, or doing multiple laps in the pool gives you a kick, dive in today.

In most families, mothers tend to be the ones holding the family together and their glories not always spoken about. The key here is to respect the game called life and have all your family members play it with utmost passion, love and respect to one another to achieve the penultimate goal.