What is the great equalizer?
What is the thing that each one of us has the same amount of at our disposal?
What is the most highly sought after asset in every classroom, office, team, or expedition?
What is most needed, most available, yet most seldom utilized?
In 1986 Lou Holtz had just been hired to take control of the fledgling Notre Dame football team. After an abysmal first year of five wins and seven losses, he came back for another sub-par season, resulting in eight wins and four losses.
Upon losing to Texas A&M in the 1987 Cotton Bowl, Coach Holtz entered the locker room only to find a relatively apathetic group of Fighting Irish. There was one, however, who was different than the rest. There was one player, among an entire locker room full of players, who stood out more than the others. Coach Holtz noticed that this young man was the only player on the team who was crying tears after the Irish lost the bowl game. What is even more significant is that this player did not even play a single down in the game. Hell, this player did not play a single snap all season.
Coach Holtz knew right away that this young man had a place on the field with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. This fellas name was Chris Zorich. Chris Zorich was one off-season away from helping to lead Notre Dame to a 12-0 record and the 1998 National Championship.
Certainly, Chris Zorich was a phenomenal athlete, more-so than arguably anybody reading this will ever be, even with all the training in the world. However, there is something that I posses, and you posess, and Chris Zorich possesses that is in equal supply, regardless of how you try to break it down, or what units you attempt to measure it….
What is that thing which we all possess yet so rarely use?
It’s called enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the starting point of passion.
If you take one part enthusiasm and combine it with equal parts desire, the result is passion. Things performed with passion rarely result in failure, because passion doesn’t stop at failure. Passion is the willingness to continue failing at a rate that is just fast enough to catch success, and once you find success, passion can only grow.
Enthusiasm is my favorite word. It was the bonus word on a second grade spelling test, and it has always stuck with me. Enthusiasm is terribly under-utilized, and often suffocated. Enthusiasm can draw some strange glances, and unhappy people will attempt to suppress it. Never apologize for enthusiasm.
I have never met a person who failed because they were overly enthusiastic. You will not meet a coach, teacher, boss, or mentor who does not appreciate enthusiasm. You will not find a person with a goal, a dream, or a wish who does not enjoy enthusiasm.
My high school football coach use to say, “I will take eleven average folks who desperately want to win, over twenty two elite athletes, who are only concerned with themselves, any given Friday night.” And he meant it.
It’s new year coming up. Be enthusiastic about it. It’s never a bad time for enthusiasm. With enough enthusiasm, you are liable to find passion. Passion might meet perseverance, and that combination can get you anywhere you wanna go. Once you start on this road, you might accidentally bump into happiness, and after that…
you’re on your own.
Happy New Year!
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,