I LOVE CHRISTMAS! (Just so you know, this tip isn’t really about Christmas, so stick with me not matter your Christmas thoughts or feelings 😊!)
I love the seeing Christmas through the eyes of our young son!
I love the way our house looks at Christmastime. I especially love how my late mother-in-law’s tree brightens our entry way decorated beautifully with Swarovski Crystal ornaments – they shine so beautifully in the lights.
I love the promise of Christmas!
As a coach I looked forward to Christmastime because it was truly the only break of the year! Christmas meant no recruiting, no travel, no practice and no (or fewer) unexpected player issues for a few short weeks. It provided a much-needed break to spend with family and friends. (Sorry, winter sport coaches 😉).
I can’t think of the name of the Christmas carol, but there is one that wishes for Christmas all year long. There is part of me that would love that!
Seems like fun, especially for an 8-year-old who is counting down the days!
But the truth is, if we had Christmas all year the magic would fade, the cheer would dissipate, the decorations would become one more thing to clean or clean around.
Ultimately, it would not be special anymore. (They are already testing this theory by putting up Christmas displays before Halloween in stores!)
Such is true with all things.
I often wonder if I would tire of the sun if I lived in Florida! Even though the theory you are about to read says I would, I’d sure like to try right about now 😊!
Even so, we strive for something – we get there – and then we realize there is no there, there.
Or we become so accustom to there, its flare flickers out. This happens with marriages, earning more money, winning…most things, actually! We start to take thing for granted!
It also happens with athletes.
They work so hard for a scholarship. They get it. They are pumped to announce, for their parents to brag and then they realize there is more work to do.
But, they get pumped again when it is time to get to campus. They are so happy to be a college athlete. Then that wears off, too!
The bottom line is, we get used to stuff. Psychologists call this HEDONIC ADAPTATION.
The truth is that there is no ONE THING that will keep us feeling happy, excited or engaged indefinitely. We eventually get used to stuff, people, opportunities, etc.
What a bummer!
BUT, there are ways to stay happy and recreate those feelings of joy! THIS IS ALWAYS A CHOICE!
One way described by
Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, is to remember the uniqueness, what drove us, OUR WHY!
He tells a story about people who work in the White House, working 12-hour days, wishing for time with family, etc. The working conditions take a toll on their well-being.
One thing that increased their happiness levels was touring people around the White House!
The awe and wonder of visitors and sharing the history and uniqueness of their everyday experience reminded them of HOW SPECIAL having access to the most prestigious building in the world really is!
I think back to my days at CSU and giving Official Visits tours to recruits. Sharing what was special about the place kept those special things front and center in my mind.
I did this, not because I knew it increased my satisfaction with my job, but because I was practically a one-man show and I was selling myself as much as I was selling the underrated campus.
As my staff grew and we had shinier and better things, I stopped giving tours.
Little did I know that I was negatively affecting my happiness by not sharing in the awe of those recruits as they traveled around to see our awesome facilities and meet our amazing staff.
I am not suggesting that you go back to giving campus tours.
But I am suggesting that you find a way to keep the uniqueness of what you and your athletes do at the forefront of your minds.
This can be done by reminding your athletes that they are one of 6% of all high school athletes now playing in college…get them to remember WHY they wanted this and how truly special it is.
Do COMMUNITY SERVICE and let them see first-hand how many others would give anything to be in their shoes. This was one of the hallmarks of the programs I led and we reaped the benefits year after year!
Have them relive their love of the game through visualizing their highlight reel – stringing together a bunch of their best experiences as athletes.
Get them to VISUALIZE the joy of winning – of seeing those they love being so proud of them – of the feeling we all know of the true satisfaction of a job well done or a goal accomplished!
Start a GRATITUDE practice – we have talked about these well-documented benefits before!
Seasons and careers are long and sometimes hard.
Getting our athletes off the HEDONIC TREADMILL and appreciating their opportunities, relationships and experiences will help increase their POSITIVE EMOTIONS.
And we all know that POSTIVE EMOTION IS ESSENTIAL to PEAK PERFORMANCE!
More importantly, using these techniques MAKES LIFE MORE FUN!
Here is to the JOY OF CHRISTMAS and finding joy in everyday stuff, too!
To those of you who have just celebrated the Season of Hanukkah, I hope your celebrations were filled with joy and blessings.
For those of you looking forward to celebrating Christmas this week, I wish you all the blessings this special season holds.
However you celebrate, I wish you a week of good health and good times with your family!
Until next week and our final tip of 2020!
Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9