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It is almost incredible how professional athletes can play even when they are in tremendous pain from an injury. I have noticed that the National Hockey League operates differently from the other major sporting leagues in that they are not required to release information on an injured player. They keep this type of information undisclosed in order not to give the other team any competitive advantage. On the other hand, in the NFL and NBA it is generally public knowledge when a player is injured and what type of injury they have.  The bottom line is that in most situations, only extreme pain or injuries can stop a professional athlete from their true purpose, which is to win a championship.
 
The spiritual point to this is, there are some of us who have public pains in their lives and there are some who have secret pain in their lives. There is the pain of a life threating disease such as cancer. There is the pain of a marriage that is not going well. Or there is the pain of a business that is failing. There are the more secret pains such as depression, an unreported rape, a child that is rebellious or the poor grade in a class.
 
Our challenge is, will we allow the pain, no matter what type it is, to distract us from our God given purpose. Will we give in to the injury of failure or poor self-esteem or will we move forward in faith. If we don’t give into the pain, we may have an iconic moment such as Willis Reed had in game 7 of the 1970 NBA finals. Reed played in the NBA championship game for the New York Knicks despite a very severe leg injury.
 
So the question is how was Reed able to move past his pain and stay focused on his purpose? What are the leadership lessons that we can learn from Willis Reed about not allowing our pain to distract you from your purpose.
 

Leadership Principle 1. He thought more of the team did he did of himself. 

 When pain hits us it does not impact us only, but it also impacts those around us. We may have been the direct target of the pain that has been inflected on us, but our family and co-workers, church members are targeted as “collateral damage”.

Reed had an agonizing leg injury that kept him from playing in the previous game and threaten to keep him from the final game of the series. His team had just lost the previous game without him and the prospects of winning the next game without him where not good.
 
But how could he play basketball when he could barely walk? He could run the risk of damaging his leg and prematurely ending his career by playing. Reed had to make the choice between following his pain or focusing on his purpose. His decision was to focus on his purpose, which was to help his team win.
 
We have a choice, let the pain tell us to run and hide or we can face the situation and help not only ourselves but our team (family, co-workers, business partner).
 
Fathers, Mothers, Pastors and Teachers, there are people whose lives are impacted by how we deal with our personal pain. Which in the end since we are all on a team is not so personal at all.
 
 Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
I am a Certified Relationship Coach who is passionate about helping Couples (Married or Dating) see their relationship flourish. I coach couples on how to "Reconnect Recommit and Rekindle" their relationship so that they can enjoy the love they have dreamed of. - Contact Dave at  
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