Tim Tebow, the newly traded-for quarterback of the New York Jets, gave me unexpected inspiration about how to approach my own job and daily living in a recent ESPN interview. By the end of the interview segment I was saying, “I want to be like Tim”.
If you haven’t heard of Tim Tebow, you are either not a sports fan, or have been under a rock the past year.
A polarizing figure, it seems people either love him or hate him. He has created so much sports buzz because of his unorthodox and physical approach to playing quarterback, the now famous Tebow kneeling sideline prayer, and his overtly public Christian faith.
In a sports world filled with plenty of overpaid athletes, huge egos, and anti-hero behavior, Tim has been refreshing in his positive attitude, clean language, encouragement, and passion to win. In short, everyone loves an underdog and Tim has been that underdog done good.
In the ESPN interview I mentioned earlier, and in many interviews I’ve heard over the past year, it seems everyone is looking for this guy to be a poser; I say that based on how they ask him questions. They appear to be looking for chinks in the armor and where he might not be what he appears.
He can’t be that positive or nice, right?
Anyway, the ESPN interviewer tried every angle to get him to be frustrated about the media, angry about the criticism from sports fans, to comment about drama surfacing from teammates twitter messages, even absurdly asking whether he would be able to handle the Jets coach who is known to have quite a potty mouth.
Through it all, Tim was an amazing professional; so much so that it caught me saying where did this guy learn how to be like that? Who taught him those things? Am I that positive about my job and my life?
Gleening from the interview and taking some editorial license, here are three ways Tim approaches his life that can be applied to my life (and yours):
- Tim focuses on looking forward and not back. He didn’t want to talk about what happened last year with the Denver Broncos, his prior team, other than it was a great experience and he was thankful for the blessing. He instead wanted to talk about this new life chapter with the Jets. So often I can get sucked into to worrying and talking about yesterday when I need to keep my focus on today and what is in front of me, not behind me.
- Tebow views his life, and the current circumstances, as an exciting opportunity. It is clear there are lots of things to worry about including a new team, new coach, new fans, and new system to learn. It was clear in the interview that he wasn’t looking for something more or different; he was just excited about the opportunity right in front of him. In my job it can be easy to be wishing the market would be higher, or the business would grow faster, or we had more resources instead of just being grateful for the problems we get to solve, and satisfied with the business I get the privilege of running
- Tim is working daily to improve himself; the only things he can control such as improving his ability to read defenses, improve his strength and quickness, and throwing accuracy. My own daily habits and routines whether they be in business, health, or spiritual, can all lead me to being a better and more joyful person. I want to grow, too, and these daily steps are really the only things I can directly control.
I hope that if ESPN interviewed me about my life and my business I would handle it with such professionalism and excitement as Tim did that day. How about you?
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