“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view; climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” – David McCullough, Jr.
I watch a lot of sports, not just baseball though I do watch more of that than anything else. I watch and follow all sports–baseball, basketball (college and NBA), football (same), major tennis, major golf, among other things. Pretty much, if they play it, I will watch it.
While watching these games, I notice that players make individual plays and then celebrate in ways so as to draw attention to themselves and away from the team. Make a tackle for loss, take a fake jump shot. Hit a buzzer beater, pump your jersey out for all to see. Score a touchdown, turn your back and start pointing to your name on the back. Strike out the side, draw an arrow and shoot it into the sky.
People love to call this passion for the game. They call it a part of the game. They label it as being eccentric. It is an athlete’s way to express himself.
It is also his way to plant his flag.
There is a way to celebrate, to enjoy the air and behold the view. Coaches like to use the phrase “act like you’ve been there before.” Excitement can be captured in a fist pump, a high five, or another small passionate but brief expression of emotion. This is accomplished typically by including your teammates and perhaps your fans, but not directed toward or showing up your opponent. The only big moment is the next moment. Get back on defense, line up for the next play, get back to the dugout.
Players, if you want to find the joy in a big moment, find ways to praise your team for making those big moments possible. It is not all about you. Try not to learn from the example of the flashy and arrogant that seem to permeate television. Seek out the character guys. Follow their lead. They do not need to be seen. They do not need to be heard. They simply play.
My challenge to you is this: Stop making it about you. Be seen less, be heard even less that that. Let your work speak for itself. Let others talk on your behalf. If you are doing a good enough of a job, they will. Stand in the shadows. Speak greatness into others. Deflect praise and share credit.
Climb the mountain. Refuse to plant your flag. Then sit back and enjoy the view.
Bring your best today!