photo by Matt Slocum/Associated Press
Several years ago Robert Fulghum wrote a poem that became a book called,“All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.”
Having watched my share of baseball lately I feel like I could write, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Watching the World Series.”
I don’t usually pay a whole lot of attention to sports teams or their players, their stories, salaries, stats, or celebrity status. But this year, I was looking for a team, a mascot, or a metaphor for my How to Get Your Groove Back coaching group that would mirror back the challenges we face in our ongoing efforts to own our throne and name and claim our power.
I picked the Chicago Cubs because I’ve spent a lifetime of summers listening, watching, and waiting for them to grow into their greatness. When my dad shared a copy of Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview with four of the Cubs on the cover early in the season, I suspected this could be the year the world would get a glimpse of what Cubs’ fans have believed for 108 years.
Little did I know how well this team would play their part or how much I would learn from watching them.
Here are just a few lessons learned from watching the boys of summer play their way into November.
- Start with the end in mind. Name it and claim it. Know what you want and why. What are you willing to do or give up in order to be, do, or have what you want?
- Be all in. Show up and suit up no matter what. When you are attempting the impossible, every day is up for negotiation. Do you have it in you? Is it worth it? Only you can decide. And then you decide over and over and over again.
- Your body is your friend. Be in it. Embody. Get so comfortable in the skin you are in that when your body needs to bypass your brain, it knows exactly what to do.
- It takes a village. You cannot get there alone. It takes a coach, a team, an infinite number of visible and invisible allies, adversaries, and loyal fans to bring out your best.
- Be a good sport. Be generous. Be gracious. Be kind to all of those who are fighting the good fight right alongside you.
- You win some. You lose some. Setbacks happen. Comebacks, too. Do not give up until you’re certain the game is over.
- Stay flexible. Shake it off. Be willing to play whatever position is necessary and take one for the team. You never know when the sacrifices you make will pay off.
- The better you get, the bigger the challenges. Never fear. You are equal to the task. Remember who you are, what got you here, and what you are capable of.
- Expand your vision of what’s possible. Each experience opens up the door to another that may not have been possible until now. Why not you? Why not now?
- Pray Rain. I had heard about this concept before but as I was meditating in my basement in an attempt to calm my nerves during the 8th inning of Game 7, the concept came up again. The story goes that if you are in a drought, you don’t pray for rain. That only acknowledges the lack of rain. You simply feel the rain on your skin, smell the rain in the air, and see the rain soak into the earth. In other words, you allow the rain (or whatever you desire) to come forth, emerge, or manifest. You pray rain. Well, I went back upstairs to finish watching the game and guess what happened? Rain delay! And what happened during that rain delay? Jason Heyward reminded his team of who they were and what they were capable of doing and the rest is history.
Sometimes life is so surreal it’s mind-blowing. And sometimes mystics disguise themselves as bubble-gum chewing ballplayers.
What about you? What lessons have your favorite teams, family members, or adversaries taught you about life? I’d love for you to share in the comments below.