Embrace Life’s Challenges

Final Mike Sherman column: Embrace life’s challenges

This season was a rough one. It was revealing in many ways. It was not an experience a player, coach or fan will want to revisit anytime soon.

Although the disappointment and frustration of losing weighed heavily on me, when I look back on this season 10 or 15 years from now, it will hold a special place in my memory.

It is through the more difficult times in our lives that we are revealed to those around us. Either we like what we see and embrace it, or we don’t like what we see and change it. Sometimes, we look away and do nothing, and that’s the worst response of all.

How we respond to adversity and the difficulties we face are a healthy part of our lives. We should view them and respond to them as challenges, rather than obstacles or failures.

Sometimes good things happen. Sometimes bad things happen, and ironically, in the end, you realize the good wasn’t so good and the bad wasn’t so bad. You often don’t have control over what happens. You do, however, have control over how you respond and your attitude as each challenge presents itself.

You have control over how you handle your success, as well as your failures, and what you take from each. You have control over your willingness to adapt to life as it unfolds itself to you.

This season was riddled with challenges for the Packers.

This team – this group of men – had a choice as to how they were going to respond to those challenges. They chose accountability over blame. They chose honesty over failure to recognize the truth. They chose unity over division. They chose to continue to give their best, even when their best was not good enough. They chose to be a team through the good and the bad of it and were better for that.

All season, I told them something good would come out of this season, and the good was how they responded. I am proud of them for that.

As the Green Bay Packers and I begin separate chapters, I want to thank the fans for sharing their team with me over the past six years. Your passion has been an inspiration to me from my first day on the job to my last.

I have some fond memories of my time in Green Bay and the state of Wisconsin, and feel honored and blessed to have represented this organization and its fans for the past six years.

This column has been a part of me during that time as well. It was a great outlet for me.
Written on planes, in airports, in restaurants on napkins, late at night when I couldn’t sleep, whenever… it helped me stay in touch with myself.

Seldom discussing football, it was mostly about family, faith and life.
The theme always has been no matter what our circumstances in life, we are much alike. We laugh, we cry, we get mad; we get sad, we get bitter, we get better, we forgive, and we are forgiven. We love.

That’s our life. It’s important we don’t turn the pages so fast that we don’t read every word, digest every sentence and experience every chapter to the fullest.

We must make sure our life doesn’t just happen to us but rather we make our life happen for us. It’s our choice – we must choose wisely.

Mike Sherman wrote a weekly column for http://www.packersnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage while he was coach of the Green Bay Packers.