Tunnel Vision
MESSI: Obsession didn’t help Argentina or Portugal

I think I may have had too much of a good thing.

I’m talking football again. Football on tv.

As I mentioned last week, toe surgery confined me to the couch just as the World Cup was kicking off in Russia.

That meant I had the chance to watch most of the games that were televised, and I jumped… in a lying down with the remote in my hand sort of way, at the chance.

I suspect I would have watched all the games if the group stage matches had been televised at different times, but for ten days I had to choose between two games two or three times a day.

It wasn’t always easy, but I managed.

I didn’t get many chores done, but I was following doctor’s orders and I didn’t have to think about how I would spend my days.

Then the first round of knockout games ended and I had four days to wait for the first quarter-final.

That wasn’t easy either, and I didn’t manage nearly so well.

I was hooked… addicted, even.

Following the football had become so important to me that I had trouble focusing on anything else.

I didn’t even realise Wimbledon had started.Okay… that’s an exaggeration, but the tennis didn’t hold its normal appeal.

The reason I’m telling you about my televised football obsession is that I think it may be an example of a common problem… tunnel vision.

That’s when we believe whatever we are doing, or whatever we are interested in at the moment, is the most important thing in the world and fail to realise others might not agree.

It can be quite funny, especially when two people exchange roles, as often happens in the work place, and instantly begin to see their new tasks as more important than their former ones.

It can also be laughable when the important thing is as insignificant as watching sports on tv.

Of course, we have to see it happening before we can appreciate the humour and it seems to me that is a lot easier to do with someone else’s behaviour than with our own.

I think football and the World Cup could be helpful here, especially for anyone who was strongly supporting Nigeria, Spain, Senegal or any of the other teams that had a good chance of progressing but missed out on the later stages of the tournament.

When the team we support gets knocked out, the competition… the whole sport, even… loses importance for us.

Looking at it a different way, imagine how important the World Cup would have become for most of us if The Zebras had played their way into the finals.

But if everything changes once our team is out and something else takes its place as the most important thing in our lives, then maybe our interests were never as important as we thought they were.

If that’s the case, then perhaps we should widen our vision, respect the things others like to do and appreciate that all of our interests are likely to change.

Yeah, I think that would be a good thing to do.

Maybe even as good as watching the World Cup.

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