Author: Byron Pulsifer ©2016
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi
When I read the above Lombardi quote I am reminded of so many aspects of life that are team based. I know everyone is familiar with baseball teams, football teams and hockey teams. But, there are so many other teams in life that we often ignore the integral parts of many commonplace teams that are so vital of our society.
First of all, let me define that a team does not have to consist of seven or twelve players, for example; a team consists of two or more people. One team that immediately comes to mind, where individual commitment to a group effort is key, is that of marriage. Thus, a marriage is a team.
So, how is marriage a team?
First of all, marriage is a team because it is recognized as such by the spouses. This is not a moot point; in fact, it is vital. Why is this so important to its’ success?
Let me explain its’ importance.
A marriage team means that each person:
– recognizes the equality of the other
– recognizes that each brings their own unique set of skills and talents
– recognizes that individual differences are a positive not a negative
– recognizes that each must work towards the same goals
– recognizes that each individual skill can be perfected with encouragement from the other.
A team contributor understand that each person holds no more value than the other, and that together, goals can be set; goals can be put into motion with each contributing in equal amounts; and that each has strength and weaknesses. Identifying weaknesses does not mean that one is better than the other because each person, whether they openly admit it or not, has weaknesses. The beauty of this special team is that each weakness can be either eliminated or reduced, and that each weakness is counterbalanced by the other’s strengths.
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.” Maya Angelou
I couldn’t help but think how Angelou’s above quote applies so aptly to many modern methods of communication, and why some of these have led to a loss of deeper meaning.
Take for example the pervasive use of “texting’. Just to be clear, however, I am not suggesting that texting in and of itself is wrong or bad, but more to the point, there are limits to its’ usefulness. Why do I say this? Let me explain.
How many times have you observed various people, especially young people, sitting amongst each other with their eyes glued to the smart phones only to realize that they are texting back and forth to the very person who is within earshot?
Or, how many times have you texted a person about an important subject rather than picking up the phone and calling them? Or, better still, using the text message to invite them to meet you face to face.
So, why is this important? I believe that we are fast eroding the power of the human voice to clearly convey the meaning of our words. Those of us whose first language is English know very well that there is numerous meanings for words and phrases that is easily lost or misunderstood when received in a text message, or an email.
What is lost is the inflection, the emotion, and the facial and body language of words.
Recently, I refused to follow along with this modern day cultural shift when I was asked to provide feedback by telephone to a person in regards to their business proposal. Instead, a personal meeting was scheduled. Why did I think this was advantageous?
First of all, as I alluded to earlier, it is important to not only hear what a person is saying, but it is imperative to see what they are not saying through their eyes, facial expressions, and body language.
We do not effectively communicate in one sphere just as we can’t enjoy the tremendous beauty of a scene by simply looking at a photograph. We miss the warmth of the sun, or the deepness of the reflection of the moon, and the aromas of the grass, or flowers or trees that surround the scene.
Put down your electronic devices; meet a person face to face; put meaning back into words and appreciate all over again the depth of what is being communicated to you.
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” Maya Angelou
How true Angelou’s comment is. I can’t tell you how many times throughout the years that I have heard people from all walks of life, that is from janitor to executive, emphatically state that what they do is not what they love to do. How sad is this?
As well, if you are only working in a job or a career for the money, I can tell you one thing that I have realized, and seen over and over again. The quest for money never brings peace, or happiness. You’ve heard it, read it over and over again, and you probably have come to the conclusion yourself that money cannot buy happiness. So, the question is this: why do people still make money their goal?
I believe that this quest for money is identified by far too many people as the one earthly possession that will satisfy the deep seated yearning for comfort and for satisfaction. But, its’ accumulation never provides for inner peace. Similarly, money that provides a person the opportunity to purchase their perfect home soon finds that their satisfaction with their new home is short lived. Soon, the newness and splendor wear off. And, following this is another quest for an even bigger, better and more extravagant home.
The point is this: acquisitions never appease; never bring peace; never bring true happiness; never is enough money enough, and the cycle continues.
However, doing what you love provides a whole new level of satisfaction. Doing what you love motivates you to jump out of bed more than ready to start your day. Doing what you love may not bring you wealth, the big house, or the flashy car. But, what it can bring you is a zest for life; a zest that shares your joy with others. It can give you a well of giving to others because your well is full of enthusiasm, love and compassion.
I’m sure you may be familiar with stories of senior executives, or successful business people who gave up their jobs and businesses to move to the country, or a remote mountain top, or to a farm. Each of these people came to the realization that they were a slave to their careers, and to money. Each one decided that it was far better to do what you love to do than to work at what only makes you money. These people discovered that happiness and satisfaction was far more valuable than that which they left behind.
Are you doing what you love to do? Or, are you working only for money? Think about it.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“You become your wisest, happiest and most loving self when you commit to your own happiness and find ways to be of value to others.” Sophie Winters
“Feeling uncomfortable in whatever you do does not have to stop you from doing anything, instead it should motivate you to do it anyway and let go of that feeling.” Susie Harper
“We are our own coach and team Yet we often sideline our best efforts. We all have unique gifts and talents, yet many pass undiscovered. The world is full of opportunities, yet our view of life can blind us to them. We are all capable of so much, yet limited by so little.” Donald S. Neviaser
“You can measure success with goals and success is motivating. A well thought out goal can be your ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ so to speak.” Bill Price
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