Friday, February 5, 2010

What Outshines the Super Bowl Athletes

Hello Optimists,

Well, it's Super Bowl weekend! Whether your rooting for the Colts or for the Saints, I bet you're gearing up for some partying. Have you done your grocery shopping and picked up the chips and dip, veggies, sandwich platters, and cake?  If not, then get to it! You know the stores are going to be packed with everyone stocking up for the big night, so start early. I'm ready for all of the food and the great new commercials that will debut Sunday as nearly every American's eyes will be glued to the TV. It must be pretty awesome to get some face time on TV during the Super Bowl...can you imagine how many people will be watching?

Professional athletes must be used to that- it's what has made their names so well known across the country. People identify them by their athletic abilities...we all know that McNabb (sometimes) throws great passes that win games, Reggie Bush can outrun the defense and head towards the goal line, and Michael Oher can stop just about anyone from getting to his quarterback. So this got me thinking: is the only reason we know about great people because of their abilities? I guess to some extent, this is true- we do associate people with their skills, whether they be a professional athlete, a famous actor, or a great artist. But my mom introduced me to a quote that allowed me to see that people can be identified by more than just through what we always see from them under the spotlight...

It's our choices that show who we are, far more than our abilities. -J.K. Rowling

After reading this quote and with football still on my mind, I immediately thought of the whole Michael Vick scandal. He was known as a great quarterback until he made the very foolish and terribly wrong choice to get involved with dog fighting. This incident, for obvious reasons, exploded in the media and his image of being a great quarterback quickly faded away. His poor choice is what showed the world who he truly was - out shadowing even his greatest football accomplishments.

Of course, this quote can be true of making positive choices as well. But whether we make good choices or bad, these are the things that will show the world who we really are. What we do for a living or the image that others are exposed to does have an influence on the factors that define us, but remember that we have the power to show the world our true self through a conscious decision of our choices. Think about it: we make thousands of decisions and choices every day, but how often do we consider how others will view them? Sometimes we need to take a step back and try to view what we're about to do from another perspective...and only then can you know if the world will be seeing the real you. So though some may know me for being a pretty decent athlete back in the day or for being able to paint a picture to hang on the wall in the family room, I know that all of those things take a back seat to the factors that define me. I am who I am because of the choices I have made to get me to this point, and that is what shows who I really am. So keep this quote in mind the next time you think being able to make a basket from half court will be the only thing the makes you well known, and be mindful and confident in the choices that face you.

Keep Smiling,
Optimal Optimist

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