I do love a good sports analogy, and one that has stuck with me is based around rugby and something the coach of the Melbourne Storm said a few years ago.
In rugby most of the really big, strong and heavy people are in the front and middle of the field, with the faster and more nibble either behind them or on the edges. When attacking, it is often tempting for the team with the ball to go wide and try and break through where it would seem there is less resistance.
Melbourne Storm's approach was different. They would attack the pack in the middle of the field, where the opposition were apparently strongest and most difficult to break through. Their rationale was that if they could break down the opposition where they were strongest they would tear them to shreds and score prolifically. This proved to be a very successful tactic for the Storm over a number of seasons.
The reason why this has stuck with me is because I often think about it in terms of the work I am doing, or problems I am having with people, or other issues in my life.
When confronted with these kind of scenarios I often want to try to solve them by doing what seems to be the easiest thing, whether it be the most simple task, avoiding a conversation, or working on the periphery instead of the core.
I am all for finding the easiest and simplest ways to do things. But that is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about the situation where I know there is something difficult to be done, and I fool myself into thinking that I can get around it, or put it off until later.
What this analogy reminds me to do is to go and do the hard thing first: have the hard conversation; make the difficult phone call; do the intense thinking. Because in doing that thing I can break the whole game open, and actually make life easier for myself sooner.