January 13, 2012
Sunday night, the Denver Broncos achieved an improbable win over the favored Pittsburgh Steelers. At the center of the discussion of the dramatic victory was Bronco quarterback, Tim Tebow. What I’ve been struck most by during the week has been the polarized opinions of him, opinions that started brewing during the regular NFL season. People seem to love him or hate him; there’s not a lot of in-between.
As I further considered his detractors and their comments, the dislike for Tim Tebow seemed not particularly surprising. Human nature often leads us to be resentful of someone else’s success, for reasons real or imagined. We suffer jealousy, envy, anger and other figurative diseases of the heart. Left untreated, these disorders, like their physical counterparts, limit our achievement or worse. There is, however, a way out…hidden where we least expect to find it. Paradoxically, the cure to our resentment of others can be found through our own celebration of their success.
That’s the point for the week.
When we seek to build ourselves up by tearing another down, we lose. The winners go on winning, undeterred by our antics. Meanwhile, we stand in place – expending precious energy and other resources on our dreams of reversing another’s ascension instead of focusing on our own forward progress, never learning the truth that our candle won’t ever burn brighter because we extinguish someone else’s.
The better way is to celebrate, then emulate the achievements of others. When we do, we’ll get something in the bargain too. By extending well wishes to others we’ll get some on ourselves; we’ll feel better and happier in the process. Best of all, we open our heart to the possibility that something better is available to us too. As we do, we’ll begin to copy and follow the example of those who are better than us, whether consciously or not.
As a result, we’ll learn, grow and become better too. We will enrich our minds, and our hearts. We’ll gravitate to more and more people who bring out the best in us. We’ll diminish, then erase that which impedes our advancement – at work, at home and in our communities.
As with any improvement, it won’t just happen. It requires work. It’s hard. But then, nothing good comes easy. Like the behavior changes needed to improve the health of our beating heart, these things require commitment, repetition, and the fortitude to get back up when we fail. But the end result is more than worth it.
Because we, and the teams we lead, will achieve more – if for no other reason than we’ll more often focus on what’s possible then endeavor with all our hearts to attain it.
Celebrate the success of others…then emulate it.
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