Friday, September 18, 2015


Last year very early in the season, the Green Bay Packers struggled to win.  They looked ugly and lost some games they shouldn’t have lost.  Every fan was worried and every fan was wringing hands and fretting not sure what was happening to the Packers. 

Interestingly enough, even if he was privately unhappy or worried with his team’s 1-2 start, Aaron Rodgers did his best to be calm.  On his weekly radio show, he said, “Five letters here, just for everybody out there in Packer land.  R-E-L-A-X.  Relax. We’re going to be okay.”

Once upon a time, I was a young head coach of a very talented high school basketball team in Wyoming.  Very talented.  Heck, they were so good, even I couldn’t screw them up.  Seriously good!  That particular year, state tournament good.  That particular year, state title runner-up good.  Yeah, that good!

But one night, we had one of those games.  We couldn’t shoot.  We couldn’t play defense.  We couldn’t rebound.  We couldn’t pass the ball.  We fouled everyone, probably even the manager, at inopportune times.  It didn’t matter what combination of players I put out on the court, the combination didn’t work.  Absolutely nothing went right in the first half against a far less talented team.  And we ended up going into the locker room at the half 33 points down.

Can you imagine the half-time talk?  I can’t remember it, but given my personality and coaching style, I kinda think I didn’t respond as Aaron Rodgers did.  No way I could . . . or did . . . just sit by and R-E-L-A-X.  No way!

In the second half, we did some very unusual things.  Instead of pressing all over the court, we played a half-court zone.  Nothing fancy, just a zone.  We invited the other team to shoot over the top of us, which was opposite of what I should have done, because in the first half, everything they put up went in.  But in the second half, it was a different story.  They missed just about everything they put up, but kept on shooting.  I mean, they couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn and remember, this was Wyoming, so there were plenty of barns around. 

As improbable as it seemed, we ended up winning that game by more than twenty points.

Weird how doing the opposite of what you think you should do works.  How when you feel like you have to run around and scream and feel nervous seems like it is the natural thing to do, but weird how slowing yourself down, taking stock and breathing in the face of the frantic rush and worry of the world actually seems to work.  Sort of like us going into a zone rather than pressing all over the court.  It was the opposite of conventional wisdom and flew in the face of everything any coach knows about the game.  Weird.


You know those days when we struggle, when nothing seems to go right, when things fall apart, and one thing after another goes wrong?

It happens, doesn’t it?  We have those kinds of days every now and then.  All of us from time to time.

And it doesn’t help if we react in a frenzy.  It doesn’t help if we throw our hands in the air and rush about not knowing what to do or where to do it.


Perhaps instead of reacting the way we might normally react, instead of running around in a frenzy, we slow down.  We calm down.  We breathe.  We take Aaron’s advice and R-E-L-A-X.  I mean after all, he did pretty well on Jeopardy.  He ended up being the league MVP.  In the chaotic world of pro football, and the ensuing chaos of being a quarterback with 6 foot 5 inch, 300 pound linemen running at you with the intent to do you bodily harm .  .  . I mean, if he says we should R-E-L-A-X, maybe we should give it a try.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

From a Very Enthusiastic Reader/Reviewer:
READERS, this one is for you! I cannot fully put in words why you should read this book. I lack the ability to fully capture my excitement & enthusiasm for this series. This book as well as the other books that make up the trilogy are truly movies in print. Every character relatable…seeable. The pain, palpable. I cried, I laughed, and I found myself holding my breath in anticipation of the next page wondering where the story would take me. You don't want to miss out on this trilogy. I am personally waiting for the final installment "Splintered Lives" due out this month.

Here is the series with current kindle pricing, and all are free on Kindle Unlimited.

Book #1: Stolen Lives $3.99

Book #2: Shattered Lives $5.99

Prequel to the Lives Trilogy: Taking Lives $.99

Book #3: Splintered Lives - Coming soon!

**And for those asking, no I do not work for Joseph Lewis, Author.  I am simply a book enthusiast. When I find a read I love, I feel it's my duty to share!
Here is my share.....Enjoy!

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe