Blogpost, SoccerLifeBalance

Soccer Karma

IMG_3939Our beliefs tend to color or almost define our worlds.  The thoughts that we hold most dear are the filters through which we cyphon our experiences and produce meaning.  Recognizing this would make one think that people would be deliberate in the creation of their beliefs.  Unfortunately this is rarely true.  People’s beliefs are often a mismatch of heritage and circumstances.  This haphazard approach is bound to lead to disaster more often than not.  I’m not here to offer a complete belief system but rather one small sample: Soccer Karma!

I’m a huge believer in soccer karma.  It is a term that I may have coined (or stolen, not sure!).  The concept is simple.  On the soccer field, if you give a good ball, you’re going to get a good ball.  Meaning that if you give a quality pass to a teammate, they’re going to give you a quality one back.  This is, of course, not completely accurate.  It’s completely possible that you give a good ball and get a crap one back!  This is true.  However the belief matters more than the reality.  If I believe that my intent is going to have positive returns, I’m more likely to put effort in that direction.  That effort will eventually influence those around me, especially if we all believe the same thing.  This belief acts a ratchet that brings positive returns.

For years now, I’ve been professing the positives of this belief system.  While I know that it has paid dividends for my players and teams on the field, my hope has always been that the metaphors of our sport are not lost on those who play it.  The moment that we step off of the field, we are being released out into a larger venue with bigger stakes and uncertain scoring.  Regardless of that, the belief system can be applied with equal effectiveness.  If enough of us believe in it, then we truly can make life “a beautiful game”.

The next pass is yours to make!



The Measure of a Man

birthdaycakeToday I turn 40 years old.  This is a seemingly important milestone for many people.  I’m not really feeling it though.  The number is almost a non-factor for me.  My childhood friend, Lia Fritz, was the first person who made me think deeply about how age worked.  She was born on February 29th and would state that she was 3 years old when she was 12 and so on.  Although she was only joking, it started me thinking.  What if we changed the measurement of age?  It makes little sense to only measure life by years.  On that scale of measurement, my life is on even terms with anyone else born December 7th, 1975.  Maybe life isn’t best measured in years.

Some systems of measurement lend themselves to easy conversion.  A 100 meter race can simply be changed to a 109.361 yard race.  It seems strange to make it a 1/16 of a mile race but it’s better than 1/420 of a marathon.  By comparison the 100 meter run seems minuscule when measured by marathons.  These conversions give a perspective that the perception of the magnitude of something can be influenced by how it is measured.  There are many people who have lived for a many years but those years were seemingly empty.  What is the right metric for measuring the life of a man?

There are so many metrics that could be used to measure a life.  If my life were measured in economic terms from an American perspective, I’ve lived a very average life.  In economic terms of an Ecuadorian, I’m doing very well.  If measured by miles, I’ve traveled to six foreign countries and visited over half of our United States.  My life could be viewed as very full.  If measured by the number of Grateful Dead concerts that I’ve attended, then I’ve not lived at all.  With so many metrics to choose, it is important to choose wisely with something that represents our purpose on this planet.

For me personally, I measure my life by the people that I’ve been able to help.  It may seem like a random way to measure a life and in many ways it is almost immeasurable.  Those limitations to my system do not bother me in the slightest.  It makes me more comfortable than the idea of my existence being reduced to the number of years that I’ve been alive.  One may be more exact than the other but my metric is in line with my life’s purpose and actually propels me forward toward better experiences.   Having more time is not particularly a desirable commodity unless it is being used for something worthwhile.

Today may not be your calendar birthday but it may be a new opportunity to measure your life in a way that means something to you.  So go into the world today with the purpose of identifying how you measure your life and pursue it.  Happy Birthday to you!