Sports, Integrity, Life

Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose —it teaches you about life. -Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King has it right regarding sports teaching about character and life. The player has the opportunity to face the anxiety (aka fear) and respond with integrity (aka love). Doesn’t mean they will but it also doesn’t mean they won’t learn to respond with integrity eventually even if a hard fall is required first. People are always learning even if they don’t intend to. Life is one big experiment that way.

Sports aren’t the only places to learn to face the fear and respond with integrity, of course. Lessons come for everyone through one life arena or another: family, school, health, relationships. We can choose to be authentic in our daily interactions and activities. There are opportunities regularly for each of us to choose integrity and good reasons for doing so even if it means “losing” in the interim. The biggest reasons for doing so are to know your true self, to stretch your own personal limits, and to live the whole-hearted* beauty of an authentic life.

On Vulnerability: A TED Talk by Brené Brown

Brené Brown, a researcher of authenticity, shame, and courage, talks about vulnerability and living wholeheartedly. You can follow her on Twitter and at her website BreneBrown.com.

Notes from TED Talk:

  • Embracing vulnerability is more easily done by those who believe their vulnerability is what makes them beautiful and who understand vulnerability is fundamental to life.
  • Believing in your own worthiness of love and belonging feeds a sense of courage that enables you to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
  • Authenticity – people who live wholeheartedly are willing to let go of who they think they should be to be who they are.
  • Have the courage to be imperfect…embrace vulnerability.
  • Have the compassion to be kind to yourself first.
  • Connection is not possible without authenticity.

Desired Things

I love this poem. May it inspire you too.

***Video Transcript***

DESIDERATA by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,

even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are a vexation to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be,

and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

—End Transcript—