I’m still kind of over-the-top happy about the NY Giants winning Sunday afternoon – their first win of the new National Football League (NFL) season, following a couple of rough near-miss games and a couple of rough seasons. What made me even happier was reading The New York Times the next day, which led off with a quote from their star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., explaining why they won:
“We came out and played like we loved the game of football and we were kids just having fun. It wasn’t like, ‘We’re down 0-2, and we’ve got to win.’ It was like, ‘Let’s go out and have fun today.’ That’s what we did, and we got the win.”
Man, that summarizes everything I believe in life. Be in the moment. Have fun. Do what you love and success will follow. ‘Winners forget they’re in the race, they just love to run.’ Themes I’ve talked about in previous blogs. And one of the main themes of my favorite movie, Jerry Maguire, coincidentally also about football, and life.
Sports agent Jerry tells his football-playing client at one of the turning points of the movie: “Just shut up and play the game. Play it from your heart, and you know what? I will show you [success] … be the best version of you, get back to the guy who first started playing this game. Way back when you were a kid …” (Sound familiar?)
I think about ‘kid stuff’ a lot. The way a lot of people say I look and act ‘young.’ The fact that some of my favorite things in life are to ‘go outside and play,’ just like my parents always encouraged my brother and I to do when we were growing up.
No matter what other chores we might be doing, if a friend came over and we wanted to go out and play, my parents always made that the priority. And I’ll forever be thankful for that. Dishes and laundry could wait. Getting out and having fun with your friends was a critical part of childhood happiness.
And to this day, some four decades later, three of my favorite activities involve pure, childlike fun. They are: riding my bicycle, throwing a frisbee around and playing bocce. (O.k., bocce may not sound as ‘young’ as it feels, but it is pure fun to me).
The first two are just a couple of the freest feelings in the world. You’re moving and active and outside – a great combination for me and a natural high, every time.
And, at work, more than 100 of us employees go out during lunch to play some friendly, competitive bocce. What I love about the workplace – and especially occasions like that – is that an incredibly diverse group of people (age-, race-, ethnicity-, gender-wise, you name it) gather together and even become friends. And you get to know and hang out with people you may never have met or had the chance to hang out with.
The bocce league is another great example of pure fun. I’m literally running around like a kid, wearing a baseball cap, shouting out, cheering on my teammates, high fives all around. You might even find me with one of my striped t-shirts daughter Jamie’s labeled my ‘Peter Brady’ look (from the 1960s sit com, The Brady Bunch).
So here’s to childlike fun. And here’s to never outgrowing it!