Be in the Business of Being Yourself

 A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to see a successful college football coach speak to a local booster gathering in Atlanta.

During his presentation he shared a philosophy he often preaches to his team regarding the need and process for making good decisions.

“Be in the business of being yourself”

A clever line, no doubt, but he backed it up with a compelling story.

He once coached a highly talented athlete who was struggling to crack the playing rotation as a wide receiver.  The coach shared with us, as he had with the player that the young man could contribute to the team’s success if he was willing to consider playing in the defensive backfield rather than as a receiver.

No speaker will ever make a point using a poor illustration and this example was no exception.

The previous season as a receiver the player caught 11 passes.  The following season he caught 12 passes – interceptions – as a defensive back.  He caught more passes when the team was trying to NOT throw him the ball.

A year later he was a 1st round selection in the NFL draft… and the rest is history as they say.

Had the player demanded to stay at receiver he would be a corporate citizen today.  But because he was willing to make a hard decision (in the short term) to learn a new position, he is a millionaire and a starter in the NFL today.

This fantastic illustration parallels a tactic Dave Ramsey often deploys with callers to his program – if I hired you and made it your job to clean up your finances you’d be able to do it.

In both instances the precept is the replacing of short term emotion with a long term vision in the decision making process.  It is a willingness to migrate from the comfort of the moment in order to build towards a better self in the long term.

Sure, this is often not an easy decision but it is a necessary one if we want to experience our best selves.

An easy way to self-assess against this objective is to consider the advice or habits you’d share with yourself if you could travel back in time just 12 months.

Are there books you wish you read?  An early morning routine you could have implemented?  A savings or budget strategy you should have followed?

Will your list be the same 12 months from now?  If so, might that be considered as wasted time?

Hmm, the surest way to avoid that risk is to get started today… being in the business of being yourself. 

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