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.

Emotions as Pointers

What if emotions aren’t given so much emphasis? What if they simply indicate the way we’ve been focusing our thoughts?

Maybe emotions are just data to consider and if that’s true, maybe we can intentionally lead our emotions where we want them to be.

Have you ever noticed that you are able to muster up certain emotions you want? How did you do it?

Have you ever seen an athlete prepare mentally for their event? Or thought of how an actor might have prepared for an emotional scene? How do you think they do it?

Do you think it might be possible to get ahead of emotions as a regular way of being? If so, what an advantage it would be to be able to plan in advance how we would prefer to feel and know exactly how to hang out there more often.

Personal Power Tips

There are many ways to define personal power. Here are some to consider.

  • Personal power is being in control of your life.
  • Personal power is the ability to achieve what you want.
  • Personal power equals the control of resources.
  • Powerful people are focused on their goals.
  • Powerful people take impactful action.
  • Personal power is the ability to influence others.
  • Personal power is freedom.

ON A SCALE FROM WEAKEST TO STRONGEST

Now, of course, power can be used positively or negatively. It has been said that being forceful is the weakest power of all. Brute strength often only yields negativity and resentment; and only short term gain. A much stronger use of power is to use charm and positive influence to help others build their power. This is a much longer-lasting strategy with easily seen benefits including increasing the power of the initial charmer.

TUNE IN

Be an observer of yourself throughout your days. Take periodic attitude checks. Begin to recognize when you feel apathy, negativity, or just generally stuck. Use those feelings as a signal to alert you that you have lost touch with your personal power. Once you are able to recognize what it feels like when your power is depleted, then you can start to experiment and find what works to make you feel powerful again. At that point, you will be cued into a key cycle that you can use to manage yourself to success.

FOR A POWER BOOST

  • ­Think about a time when you had power and let your body and your mind feel it.­
  • ­Practice non-reaction. Don’t let others goad you. Instead pause. Respond calmly when thoughtful and ready.
  • ­Use positive self-talk.
  • ­Assume goodwill.
  • Take action.