My favorite football team has something of a tradition when the game moves into the 4th quarter. Players and fans alike will raise four fingers to acknowledge the game’s final frame. It’s a small tradition and not particularly unique but the symbolism is profound.
While I’ve not studied the pattern, I do know, as a long time football fan, that most games are decided in the 4th quarter of play. If a team can dominate and win the final 15 minutes, they will often claim the victory for the entire 60 minute contest.
To acknowledge the 4th quarter with four fingers aloft is to acknowledge the need to finish strong even in the face of fatigue and struggle and perhaps even significant odds. And a proper reaction to this realization can contribute to securing a great victory.
I personally missed the start of this most recent 4th quarter and was fortunate enough to be reminded just last weekend. October 1 marked the start of 2009’s final quarter and an honest assessment of my stance relative to my goals for the year suggests that I’m trailing and in need of a rally.
Had I continued without realizing that while the end is not here, it is surely near, I likely would have played out the rest of the year with no sense of urgency. The lethargy of my mid-year efforts would have continued through the remaining calendar and another year – and opportunity – may have swept away with it.
But now that I’ve been reminded, I plan to be more intentional and more proactive in my approach to the year’s end. I may not accomplish all of the goals I’ve allowed to grow dormant, but I’ll achieve a measure of success by reviving a couple sleepers and better position myself for a strong start for 2010.
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