Just like a lot of sports, if we view our life through the paradigm of life taking four quarters to play then we find there are many common themes. A blokes life expectancy is 80 to 82 years and I have had fruitful discussions with several blokes who have died around this age. Subsequently I feel it is apt to be able to breakdown our life’s journey into four quarters.
First Quarter (0 to 20 years). This is where we are learning the rules and getting into the game (establishing who we are in our life). Sometimes it takes time to get warmed up, (educated and starting work). The conditions we play in also affects our influence on the game (just as the different situations in our life). First quarters are often tough, and the opposition is unknown, (life throws up many curve balls like it does in adolescence).
The second quarter (21 to 40 years) is when we are getting used to our game plan and our teammates, there are many challenges such as injuries, opposition strengths and playing conditions (getting a head of steam up, forging our identity, sorting out our life plan and putting things into place to set us up for the future). We then look to see if we are in front or behind on the scoreboard (are we heading in the right direction?)
Half time. We get to have a rest, (a time for self-reflection) make some changes, reset the game plan and off we go again.
The third quarter (41 to 60 years) is often referred to as the premiership quarter. This is when we put in the tough yards, work hard, and put ourselves and the team in a winning position, giving up is not an option (this is part of mid-life, sometimes we must earn respect, and make tough decisions which will ultimately set us up for the last quarter and transition us easier into retirement).
The four quarter (61 to 80 years) is the time we get to enjoy the spoils of the game. We hope we have some distance between us and the opposition and are kicking with the wind, consolidating our position and winning the game (we can smell the roses and reflect on the hard yards we have put into life and hopefully enjoyed the journey).
Unlike sport, in life there are often no rules:
- We can get injured and/or taken out at any point throughout any quarter of the game.
- We need to participate in all quarters of the game and it is often said “you get out what you put in”. Like with everything in life, we must make an effort.
- A couple of my friends passed away in the third quarter of life and when reflecting they have said to me, “they wished they had enjoyed their life a bit more”.
- Recently I had a special mate who died after his 80th Before he passed away, he told me how he had a great game, and was in time-on and still enjoying himself.
I am a firm believer that “the world is run by people that turn up” and this is true both for sport and the game of life. Turn up; put in an effort, train and work hard, take calculated risks, have repeated efforts, stick to the game plan, hold out for the whole four quarters and ultimately celebrate success. Ultimately, we must enjoy ourselves along the way, it is not about the final siren but the way we played the game.
Owen and the Team
The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401
Phone: 08 9690 2277