Not too long ago driving to my office, I was stopped in a school zone for a moment or two and I noticed some kids playing the old game of tag. You know the rules…someone is designated as “It” and it is their objective to chase the other players until they can tag someone else to be “it” and then they can be chased as well. Now I know this is all in fun but there is a principle application here for us to learn from. For the brief moment I was able to watch the game play out, it was obvious that those being chased DID NOT want to be caught They did all they could to escape the clutches of the chaser.
I remember playing this game as a child and as I recall, the strategy was when you were “it” to discover the weakest player and go after them thinking they would be the easiest to catch and therefore limit your time as the person everyone was trying to avoid. This really seemed to be the only strategy initiated by most players doing the chasing; no game plan, no approach to gain an advantage…just go wherever your potential captive took you and hope they gave up before you did…until one day someone changed the game.
On occasion, the person who was “IT” changed the game and became a pursuer rather than a chaser. They developed a plan to gain success. Simply put, they would influence what they were pursing in the direction of a controlled area, utilizing their resources to gain an edge thereby increasing their odds of a favorable capture! This makes perfect sense if you think about it. Consider a basketball game where a team is pressing their opponent. The objective is to pursue a player with the ball to the sideline and create an additional defender (the sideline) to gain a competitive edge. It starts with a purpose and a plan. Are you seeing any similarities here?
How many times do we just simply chase our business or work goals with no direction or purpose. How many times to we merely go after the “weakest” objectives so we can get back to staus-quo? We need to change our approach to what we want out of work and life and become pursuers instead of chasers…to create a plan with purpose to use all we have available to us to gain a competitive advantage.
As the game of tag goes, most kids who were “IT” wanted to be relieved of this position as soon as possible…they did not want to have to put out the effort more than absolutely necessary. Most players would rather be chased versus chasing others. If however we become a pursuer and gain a victory, we will gladly accept that role and seek to keep it as long as possible. Strive to be “IT” every day. Be the one always in pursuit, always in control!
While the definition of chase and pursue are very similar, they are extremely different in approaches. One hopes to catch what appears to not want to be caught, and the other is driven to achieve all that can be accomplished.
So stop chasing and start pursing all that you want out of life. Tag…Your IT!