Nate Says: Why So Serious?



There’s a natural celebration that takes place when we witness our favorite sports team score a goal. We are unintentionally emotionally bound to our favorite team’s success. In contrast, we are equally as hinged on their opponent’s failure. We get pumped up before the game, scream for hours, and go off into the night all kinds of jacked up if our team wins. And what happens when they make their goals but still lose the game? We end feeling just as deflated as the team. Right there in that moment, we feel disappointment. But there will be another game, another surge of emotion when the goals are made, and another win will come. I believe there’s something deeper that draws us to sporting events than being a fan.

The goals are predefined. They never change. Sometimes they may alter the rules on how to score, but the goals remain. When our team wins, we feel that air of success that surrounds them. They practiced, they worked together, usually for countless hours, and they deserve to bask in their success. Ever feel like you had something to do with it?

Brace yourself….. You didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. Sports teams need support. They feed off your energy. And we feed off their success.

Ever think about why they call them goals?

Someone throws you a ball and says, “Let’s play.” You say…. “What’s the goal?” In other words, “How do I succeed?”

I find it interesting we can be so passionate about a team of people reaching their goals, as if it’s a break from our daily routine. It’s actually very much the same except the goals are always the same, we know all the rules, and all it takes to succeed is screaming our guts out.

I challenge you to examine your professional life, contrast it with your personal life and ask yourself two questions:

“Is my professional life in opposition to my personal life?”
“Are they even playing the same game?”

Now think about what your goals are. How will you define success and know when you’ve won? The rules are not predefined, nor are any of the rules entirely apparent at first. Maybe you either have no one routing for you, or you don’t think anyone would understand your position. You instantly have more opposition to face than any sports team.

So what makes it worth the fight?

The success is all yours.

When you watch an actor receive an award, they give an acceptance speech and thank all the people who helped them along the way. They share that piece of success and exposure with the people who have helped them get there. Sometimes these are people who have been placed under them by contract, and others have been placed there strategically to help them achieve that award. That was their goal – ultimately their definition of success. But then they go on to the next.

Our biggest opposition toward personal and professional success is that we don’t take time to identify the commonalities shared between the two nor the opposition they face.

I would like to challenge you to do 4 things and commit to them:

  1. Align your goals so your personal/professional teams can play the same game.
  2. Define your opponents.
  3. Draft fans and strategic players to your team.
  4. Play ball.

Why is this important?

I don’t mean to beat the horse that’s been dead for 4 months, but with the American economy circling the bowl, the stress of potentially losing your job might be costing you more than grey hair. Recent observations indicate that the stress involved with losing your job is worse for those who still have them than those who have already lost them. Even if you’re not worried about cut-backs or lay-offs you should still consider the possibility of it happening to you.

Taking the time to align your goals with your efforts may even propel you to quit your job once you realize no matter how far you go in your current position, you may never actually succeed. If you do lose your job, you’ve already got your head in the game.

Play ball.

To your success.

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