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2006: Issue 20

For Game or Glory

For the past several years, one of my best teachers has been my son Shawn.  He was blessed with some natural athletic talent that he has honed and demonstrated in many venues, particularly on the football field and basketball court, receiving many honors and accolades from coaches, fellow teammates and fans.  To a greater degree than I had realized, Shawn had become accustomed to “seeing his name in lights”…until this year; his senior year, the one that supposedly “really counts” when it comes to realizing his goal of playing football in college. 

Had you asked me this time last year if Shawn played for the game or the glory, I would have told you without hesitation, the game.  For reasons beyond my total understanding, he loves playing the game of football.  Yes, we all like seeing his picture in the paper or watching him on Friday night highlights, but if all that went away, I believed he would still be out there, playing with heart.  The reality was that he had not faced that test for game or glory, until this football season, when it appears his satisfaction will be totally dependent on his gut desire to play the game, to be a member of the team, no matter the glory. 

As a parent, I’d love to re-write this script and have his senior season be the one he/we had envisioned, the pinnacle of his high school sports career, for at times Shawn’s emotional pain has been palpable.  As a professional coach, I can foresee the long term, life benefit to him of this experience much more so than if the script was playing out as we had envisioned. Shawn is learning what it means to go inside himself and find the motivation to give it his all, to do his very best each and every play, no matter the outside reward.  He will know that if the opportunity does arise to play at his university of choice, he will be doing it because of his heartfelt desire to play the game with his fellow teammates, and because of his own self derived and tested confidence that he can.  And that will be all the glory he needs. 

Much has been written about motivation — what you can do as a manager to motivate your staff to improve their performance; or as a teacher to motivate students to learn or as a coach, to motivate your athletes to play their best, etc.   I like to distinguish between motivation and inspiration, seeing motivation as an internal job, and thus customized to the individual, and inspiration as an external role, one that we all provide in a variety of ways.  When the two are totally synchronized, it is an awesome experience for everyone — it’s magic.  I believe we have significant control over our motivations. They are ours to identify and honor, yet sometimes they are hidden or over shadowed by our inspirations, and it is only in their absence that we truly get to identify and test our motivations. 

We all like to receive accolades and see our “name in lights”, because it does feel good.  If you disagree, just think back to a time when your teacher put that superstar sticker on your paper, or the time you were picked for a job over several other applicants or better yet, were hand-picked, or the time you got that great evaluation.  And most of us can also remember the times it didn’t happen.  When the glory just wasn’t there for whatever reason; it just wasn’t there. 

From my personal life experience and my work as a coach, I see that it is actually the experiences of game in spite of glory that have the greatest potential to positively impact our life.  It is during these times that it is our decision to make, and ours only.  Period.

People living extra ordinary lives are in touch with their personal motivators, perhaps and doing so helps them navigate through adversity to reach their destination. 

What are your personal motivators? 
Are you doing what you love or doing what gets you glory? Or both?

Founded in 2003 and based in Roanoke, Virginia, Extra Ordinary Living works with individuals, organizations and teams to identify possibilities, create opportunities, remove obstacles and through deliberate action, optimize results.

Usually the first question we are asked, is why Tiberius? Our trivia friends can often identify the references……yes, Tiberius was the 2nd Roman emperor, and yes, Tiberius is the middle name of James T. Kirk from Star Trek. One of our life mottos and business principles is “to learn from the past, look to the future while living in the present.” Thus, Extra Ordinary Living.

As Professional Coaches, we are trained to listen, to observe and to customize our approach to our clients needs.  We provide tools, support, structure and accountability to help our clients unleash their full potential and optimize results.  The best thing about coaching is it is all about you – the client, and what you want.  We may share our opinions and give you advice, but it is up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept.  We suspend judgment and will support you in your decisions. 

As Professional Speakers, our messages are inspirational while imparting useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to help our audiences live  extra ordinary lives.  

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
– Joseph Campbell

Janet Crawford, MHA, MBA
Professional Certified Coach

A publication of Extra Ordinary Living,  Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals striving to make a difference, and wanting to explore, experience and excel in all aspects of their life.

"The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it."
– Epicurus

"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant."
– Horace


On October 27th, Janet will be working with the staff of the Virginia Healthcare Foundation, Understanding Ourselves and Others, to optimize our performance.