Vail Daily column: Monday morning quarterbacks |

Vail Daily column: Monday morning quarterbacks

Michael Norton
Vail, CO Colorado

Among the many lessons I have learned in the training and coaching business is this: The people who actually meet and exceed their goals and realize their dreams are the people who are willing to play the game.

One of the other lessons that I have learned is that there are people who want to make changes, want to pursue dreams and goals, want to get better at something but instead of getting into the game and playing, they find it easier to sit back and watch the game from the sidelines. Here we are in middle of the playoffs and you know it’s kind of like an armchair quarterback or Monday morning quarterback who likes to make idle observations, criticisms, or judgments about how others are playing the game.

I find it funny whenever I observe people watching the game on television, screaming and yelling as if the players or coach can actually hear them and maybe even will talk back to them. Now it’s one thing to get excited and root, hoot, and holler for our favorite teams, it really is. But when we start yelling or screaming from our armchair all of the “woulda” “shoulda” “coulda” stuff, although it may be cathartic for some, it is really just as silly as all of the “woulda” “shoulda” “coulda” stuff we say to ourselves about our life plans.

For a minute let’s just imagine close friends, family members, and maybe even perfect strangers watching our lives unfold on television. How many of them would be screaming at the top of their lungs, “You should have done this” or “Why didn’t you do that?” Of course, sitting in their armchair watching a high definition television with instant replay and 20/20 hindsight it becomes easy to point out where our biggest opportunities and plays can come from and how we can possibly win.

Now what if we had that same seat? What if we could step outside of what is going on and take a look at our own game plan, look at how we are executing and performing in life? What would we be saying or even screaming at our self to do or change? As a Monday morning quarterback we should be able to easily reflect on what is working and what is not and make the necessary changes to our game plan.

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Here is the challenge and the opportunity. The challenge is that although many of us know what needs to be done to effect change; just like the armchair quarterback we never put ourselves in the game to make the changes. We simply sit on the sidelines waiting for someone else to come up with a game-winning play. The opportunity is that the game of life is still on, there is time to put on the uniform and get into the action.

We no longer have to rush to judgment or criticism when it comes to what we want to be, do, or have; instead we can rush into the game and make a difference.

I would love to hear from you, are you on the field or are you watching your game from the sidelines? If you email me at I will share some best practices for moving from the armchair and into the game and then it will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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