If you’ve ever played a team sport, you probably came to realize at a certain point that most playmaking occurs off, not on the ball. In any given sport you might be on the ball 10-25% of the time and off the ball the rest of the time, but it is important to remember that off the ball does not necessarily mean out of the play.
So it is with anything you might undertake in life. The bulk of your living, no matter who you are or what your station in life, will occur “off the ball.” How you carry yourself, position yourself, during the 75% will determine if you are a playmaker or a spectator in the game of life.
In soccer we talk about “playing to space,” which means moving into open space while on the offensive to open the field. To do so you must be aware of the ball and the action around it, but you can move into a vacuum and draw the play into it.
So how do you do this in life? In a myriad of ways! Rather than scrambling to get in the limelight when another person is, look to support, surround and complement to the best of your abilities so that his or her life is made easier or so that he or she can shine more brilliantly. Rather than getting drawn into the point around which everyone might be focusing – particularly when it is something broken or an obstacle of come kind – scan for a moment to see where the action might usefully be drawn…and move into that space!
Many blockages are more easily removed in the shadows of the 75% than in the intense light and heat of the 25%. They may not be as obvious, especially if you’re in the habit of ogling the ball, but when you develop the capacity to remain aware of the ball without fixating on it you’ll have much more time to look around and more importantly, to make yourself useful.