On The Defensive

What are we waiting for?

I’ve always prided myself in athletics on my defensive positioning. I spent a lot of time acquiring a skill in knowing where and when certain things were likely to occur.

This enabled me to anticipate a steal, a turn-over, a loose-ball, and allowed me to capitalize on mistakes.

I played centre defence in soccer for the better part of 15 years, because I would rather take the ball away from someone trying to score than be the person to score.

Playing defence is about timing.

In fact, my offensive skills in all the sports I played were secondary to my defence as far as I was concerned.

I firmly believed the affirmation that ‘defence wins games.’

And to that point, ‘offence gets the girls,’ but that’s another story altogether.

I’m re-evaluating my first affirmation. As you will sometimes hear people say that the ‘best defence is a good offence.’

Now I think there is truth to both, but a recent observation is that most people in life are on the defensive.

We appear to live a life where we get what we can, then defend it as valiantly as we can to keep it, no matter what.

By that, I mean we spend a large majority of our lives defending our values, our points of view, the people we love, and what we think is rightfully ours, even if it isn’t.

Most wars seem to be started on the premise that both sides strongly believe something is theirs and they wish to defend it.

In doing so, we forget about the middle ground and others points of view, though.

We also forget to go out and do stuff, project our ideas onto others, try new things, step out of our comfort zone, push the limits a little bit.

Instead, we get and stay comfortable.

Comfort is the Enemy of Success

In the book, ‘Good to Great,’ Jim Collins' states that, “good is the enemy of great.” The statement above is pretty similar right?

The best things to come out of my life thus far, have been the direct result of taking calculated risks and getting outside of my comfort zone.

2003 – Dropped out of an engineering program, stumbled into business and kinesiology (been doing it ever since…)

2007 – Quit a good job, dropped everything I knew, and moved 3000 miles across the country to a place where I basically knew only one person (still there and loving every minute)

2009 – Started my first company, had no revenue for first 2 years, just an idea (business has evolved into a completely different identity)

2010 – Started blogging (despite the nagging suspicion my employer at the time would not approve). My writing has improved dramatically, as has my ability to find topics of interest, find a niche and give practical advice (up to 1000 uniques a month now).

2011 – Quit my stable job to go out on my own. Have learned more about business, accounting, web design, web programming, tech-start-ups and more, than I did in the previous 28 years.

2012? - We’ll see…

When I left my last job, two sentences were uttered by two very influential individuals on me, and they have both really stuck since.

One client asked upon my departure, “I was wondering how long you were going to coast for.”

The second said, “I always thought you were too smart to be just a personal trainer for the rest of your life.”

Two very intrinsically motivating sentences to hear. They reinforced the notion that I was at that point in my life, ‘settled and comfortable.’

In essence not really reaching for my potential, and more or less coasting through life. It was obvious to others, but not me at the time.

If you look back on your life, I’m sure you can find a similar trend of powerful, or impactful moments that were all the result of you stepping into an uncomfortable situation and learning to adapt to it.

So what is making you uncomfortable now, and how can you leverage that feeling towards growth?

How can you play more offence?

Darren Beattie

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