An examined life

Have a go!

*former President David Smorgon (left) with current President Peter Gordon

I was very excited to attend the Docklands Stadium last Friday to watch the Bulldogs unfurl their 2016 premiership flag. The last time this happened was on 23 April 1955, at the Western Oval before the round two game against Richmond.

While in the stands I read the Record which included an interview of club President Peter Gordon. He said

In a way it’s like a local version of the fall of the Berlin Wall, in that it was such an important event in people’s lives that many had despaired they’d never see.”

(The German people waited 28 years for the wall to come down. Bulldog fans waited 62 years.)

Gordon continues to be stopped in the street by people who tell him about the impact of the win on their lives.

There’s no underestimating the effect the premiership has had on people.”

The win was truly uplifting. Having waited most of my life, and been disappointed so many times, I still have to pinch myself when I think about what happened. It does give you hope that anything is possible.

It does raise your spirits to see yourself and others achieve their goals. It expands the possible. It gives confidence.

Sport is at its best when it reflects life. When we examine our lives there are many “premierships” that should inspire us.

Take the student who works hard to achieve a good matriculation score and on the day the results are announced, they learn that they have made it.

Or the anxious job-seeker waiting for that phone call to tell them that they have secured the position they have waited so long to become available.

Or the lover who has placed his or her heart in the hands of another and then one day is told

“I love you too.”

Consider the immigrant who on arriving at their new home has their worries lifted by the kindness and smiles of locals who make them welcome.

Or the expectant parents who attend their first scan and are told that all is in order. What a relief!

I suspect that many of us cannot remember or do not appreciate the risks we have taken and effort we have expended to pursue goals in our lives. But we have all done it. We like to downplay our achievements. We tend to talk ourselves down. But a quiet moment’s reflection should remind us.

Sometimes we become stronger. Sometimes we become wiser. But everyone is changed.

On occasions we have to deal with failure and disappointment. But not all pain is bad. And pain beats regret. Always.

Even though you are placing yourself on a knife-edge when you pursue a goal, a life without successes and failures cannot provide fulfilment.

Pain beats regret. Always.

Get out there a do something different. Or just do something. See what happens.