In a hole so deep you can’t imagine ever getting out of debt? It’s never hopeless
There were only two minutes left in the half. Pretired Mama and I sat on the couch stunned as the previously unstoppable Seattle Seahawks found themselves down 21-0. We began eating leftover Halloween candy just so we could feel something. Anything.
Already worn out from a very busy week of normal life plus a sick Pretired Baby and forced to spend most of my free time wiping up snot and scraping off the resulting “crustache,” I was exhausted. This game was too much. I couldn’t take it. I briefly considered turning the game off to get something else done.
But then I noticed something. The Seahawks weren’t shaken up. They seemed confident. Determined even. It might not be exaggerating too much to say they looked confident they were going to win despite their current situation. Quarterback Russell Wilson, in fact, almost appeared to be grateful for the challenge. He clearly decided he was going to need to show his team how to win and so he did.
With the ball safely in his hands, Wilson stayed just out of reach of Tampa Bay defenders and ended scrambling for a nice 16 yard gain. A penalty gave them an extra 15 yards and suddenly the stadium knew the momentum had shifted.
“A lot of really cool things that happened,” Coach Pete Carroll said later. “To see that Russell finds a way to get us into position to win again, he’s just a terrific football player and a great leader. He never thought for a second that we weren’t going to win this football game. He made the plays he needed to make to put us in position to do it.”
The Seahawks crawled back little by little to dramatically take the win in overtime. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is, if there’s any time left on the clock there’s still a chance,” Wilson said.
If you’re in serious debt trouble today you probably got there the same way one of the best teams in the NFL found themselves down 21 against the worst team in the league. (Those of you with health care debt get a pass.) They didn’t take Tampa Bay seriously. The Seahawks shouldn’t have needed to even break a sweat beating the Buccaneers. It’s the same way debt creeps up on people. Lack of focus, not believing it could happen to you, and a combination of many small mistakes.
Most people when faced with seemingly hopeless adversity simply give up. Sure, they may keep going through the motions. They may keep “trying.” But deep in their hearts, they haven’t adopted a winning mentality. A championship mentality.
No matter where you are right now, you can get where you want to be. It may not be easy, but it’s always possible. You’ll need to create a strategy and stay focused. In sports, champions aren’t the teams who buy the best talent (although that helps).
You can identify the champions by watching teams struggle through difficult times. Are they lazy and entitled or do they take the responsibility upon themselves to make things happen?
It’s no different for any of us. Sure, there is hard work ahead and there’s no shortcut to paying down debt. But the shift begins when the mentality changes. The first step to getting out of debt, not matter how much you have, is to shift your mindset. Know it’s possible, make a plan and you’ll get there.
Just like the Seahawks. See you next Sunday.
You’re next, Falcons!