Do you realize that the value you get out of any activity you participate in is directly a function of what you have at stake in participating in that activity?
Let me explain: Many years ago, I participated in an event where the organizers put some of the greatest sports coaches in a TV studio and interviewed them to determine why they so consistently produced championship teams. In attendance were Red Auerbach, the basketball coach, John Wooden, the legendary coach from UCLA, George Allen, the football coach, and Tim Galway who has written several books on sports psychology. The event was broadcast worldwide and I hosted a viewing of the interview in Southern California.
At the conclusion of the 3-hour interview, we had a discussion to see what people had learned from these great coaches. One man leaped to his feet with excitement. He had been in corporate America for 30 years with Fortune 500 companies and thought this was the most valuable event he had ever participated in. He couldn’t wait to go back to work and implement the many insights he gained.
Another man, a former professional football player, found the participants “interesting” and that was that. A third man, an accountant, thought it was a big waste of time and demanded a refund as he stormed out of the room. Three people at the same event all got something completely different because they all had something different at stake.
So my question to you is: how are you playing the games of life and business? Are you playing like your life is at stake or are you just getting by? Are you really committed to your work or are you there for a paycheck? What about your family? Are you an active participant in the lives of your spouse and children or do you just stop by at home once in a while?
I have intentionally presented pretty extreme views but I did it to make my point. Take a day of your life, from the moment you get up to the moment you go to sleep, and pay close attention to how you participate in every activity. Notice how you greet and approach the day, the attention you give to your meals, how you relate to your family, your work, your co-workers, random people you meet, and your drive to and from work. Notice it all. Get really clear about how you’re playing the games of life and business. Does your level of play represent you or do you need to take some or all of it up to another level?