Let me tell you about a football game between the Big Animals and the Little Bugs. As you might expect, at half time the score was 35 to 0, in favor of the Big Animals. After the second half kickoff, the Big Animals had the ball, and they tried a pass to the giraffe in the flat. The quarterback took the ball from under center, passed it to the giraffe, and wham! He was tackled dead in his tracks. No gain.

As the Little Bugs went back into their defensive huddle, someone asked, “Who made that tackle?”

The centipede responded, “I did.”

He was met with many replies of, “Great job!” Good work!” and, “Keep it up!”

At second and ten, the Big Animals called a play to send the hippopotamus through the center of the line. The quarterback took the ball and handed it off to the hippo, who rushed into the line—wham! Again, the defense held and he was stopped at the line of scrimmage with no gain.

Upon returning to their huddle, the Little Bugs asked, “Who made that tackle?”

Again, the centipede piped up, “I did.”

He was met with praises for a second time: “Wow!” “Good job!” “Great work!” and, “By the way, where were you in the first half?”

“Putting on my shoes,” the centipede replied.

Though it’s a funny story, it does offer a few important lessons. The first is that the game is not played in the locker room. The locker room is there as a place to put on all your equipment and prepare your mind, but you have to actually go out on the field to get in the game.

Second, the centipede—or anyone else—can’t do it alone. It takes a team to win a game like football. And it takes a team to win in life. Some of us are loners by nature, but we can accomplish more, and achieve mutually beneficial goals when we work together.

Whether it’s family, school, work, or any other worthy endeavor, you must get in the game and play with the team to achieve the goals you set in all aspects of your life.

Jesse Deloe