So let me start by saying: the following is not a football story. It’s a love story.
On New Year’s Day 2014, I went with my dad to the Rose Bowl. His college, Michigan State, was playing in the big game for the first time since 1988.
I remember going to that game when I was 14, and seeing my dad scream at the top of his lungs, sing his school’s Fight Song, and basically revert to being the complete spaz that most men become when their team is in the big game.
26 years later, nothing changed. On New Year’s Day along with 95,000 others, my dad still sang the Fight Song, screamed at the opponent “we’re smarter than you!” (which isn’t true because they were playing Stanford), and rooted his team on to a last minute win!
What a thrill to be by his side and start that year with the energy of victory and celebration!
The next day, I found my dad in his office, still gloating in the big win.
He was watching a YouTube video of the locker room celebration after the game.
Usually, these locker room celebrations are chaotic, involve lots of champagne, and are fun to watch for 10 seconds.
But this particular lockeroom celebration was special!
The entire Michigan St. team, the coach, the university president, some random kid, all danced to a hard-core rap song “Type of Way” by a rapper named Rich Homie Quan. (See video)
You could feel the unity, the passion, the joyful energy that linked these humans together.
That energy makes teams, companies, families, individuals…. invincible, unstoppable, incredible!
As I have shared many times before… I have battled anxiety for years.
More often than not, I wake up, my head spinning, drowning in the little things that make it difficult to accomplish the big ones.
I know I’m not alone. 40 million americans have anxiety disorders.
But one thing I’ve learned is this: Nobody wants to help, support, do the deal, meet, or hang out with an anxious, worried, fearful person.
Anxiety is merely a thin layer of fog barely cloaking a brilliant sun.
EVERYONE wants to help, support, do the deal, meet, and hang out with the one who brings the energy of joyful celebration, who let the sun shine through the fog.
Joyful celebration is the energy of unity, of passion, of love.
Bring it to your marriage, your children, your colleagues, your yoga students, your clients. It is not about outsmarting or overpowering. This about out-LOVING.
You see it in those players dancing in the locker room, you see it in happy families, you see it in truly and deeply successful partnerships at home or in the office.
The book Tribal Leadership lays out various levels of “tribal development.”
Stage 1: despair, hostility, the collective belief that life sucks
Stage 2: apathetic victims who believe “my life sucks”
Stage 3: individual achievement driven by the motto “I’m great! (and you’re not!)”
Stage 4: tribal pride driven by the motto “We’re great (and they’re not!)”
Stage 5: a rare stage characterized by innocent wonder and the strong belief that “life is great”
The Michigan State players embody that super rare Stage 5.
That team tapped into the “wonder” of life and in the process unleashed their greatest potential.
Live (not for the $$, the things, the compliments) but for the wonder, the music, the victory dance! YOUR VICTORY DANCE. That is the only and true way to win the championship of your life.