Let us get this out of the way early. This piece isn’t going to be speaking about love in the traditional sense. It’s centered around a passion versus your gain.
Have we been misled our entire lives? Are some of the principles instilled in us only beneficial to others, and really don’t help our own causes? This is what happens to be on my mind this morning. Throughout life, we have been coaxed towards the “greater good”, always being pushed towards a bigger picture that may or may not have much impact on ourselves. When we think on this, it’s applicable to many different scales. It can apply to an intrapersonal level, business, sports, pretty much anything you can think of this works. The part that makes it tough is so many of us are programmed to be the “worker-bees” that we never actually think outside of this ideology that is placed upon us. For the ones that do, we end up being shunned and looked at with a negative connotation, because we seem to be straying from the practices that are being pushed as the norm.
I want you to think about your jobs. Think about whatever job it may have been, doesn’t have to be the worst or the best place, just any job. Is it safe to say that you gave up something for this job? Whether it be some sort of sanity, peace, or maybe even missing on moments with loved ones that you were not able to replace. Was some sort of “greater good” expectation set? Needs of the business? A greater career payoff in the future? Part of the sacrifice that comes with adulthood? Does that all sound familiar, or am I reaching with this one? These are the things we are sold consistently, and often do not see the return as individuals. I can speak from personal experience of giving years to past jobs and when it was all said and done being looked at like just a number. The question I want to know is, why? It wasn’t as if many of us were sold the dream, and that’s what gained the buy in into a bigger picture that had nothing to do with us. This is where I say it plays into the “Team” mentality that has been pushed onto us in our young lives. Now, listen I am not telling people to be completely selfish in their actions, but I speak as a person that has been view as extremely selfless for a long time. I know many businesses that focus on getting their people to buy into a purpose based upon the view “Younger generations just want to feel like they are a part of something”. That’s the exact thing I’m speaking on, brands and companies will pray on the “team” concept mainly because we have been made to feel it’s wrong to go against that view.
For those that have been a part of any group or team, or involved yourself in any club or sport this where I speak to you directly. Ideologies like it’s not about the name on the back it’s about the name on the front, are the things that have pushed us in the wrong direction as people. I want to be clear, this isn’t me saying it’s all about you, and you are bigger than a team. However, I do feel it needs to be understood that you moving in direction of self can directly benefit the team. It should be understood that you going out to “get yours” can align with the progression of the team. I say it this way, as an athlete contracts and scholarships aren’t handed to entire teams, at the end of the day they are given based upon an individual’s merit. The same thing actually goes for things like promotions, at the end of the day it is based upon the sole that work you do. In cases where you are responsible for a team, it’s still what you do for that team. We often lose sight of that, because we just want to focus on some bigger picture that’s been pressed upon us. You have to focus on you and your benefit, your gain and your gain only. Hopefully, that gain helps other things in the grand scheme, but in the case that it’s only you maybe that’s not the worst either.
Let us round the corner with this piece and get to the actual inspiration. We are currently seeing many athletes fighting for bigger contracts due to the same things I just spoke on. There has been vast backlash from fan bases stemming from what’s narrated as a lack of loyalty, a lack of “team”. This is something that has me puzzled. These athletes should sacrifice the stability of their family and future families so the organization can attempt to make other moves? So the organization can look to be more competitive and bring home a championship? This is the expectation that many people have, knowing that most of these organizations will rid themselves of an individual as soon as they feel they are no longer serviceable. The mentality is always what have you done for me lately, and loyalty is nonexistent if we are being frank. With that said, why is a person to sacrifice? This year I have seen more holdouts, opt-outs, declined extensions, and players leaving organizations than I ever have in my life; and I could not be happier. LeBron’s current contract has him slated to make more money than he did in his entire tenure with Cleveland. I understand we are under a different CBA and cap, and that he is also going to a far larger market, but let’s not forget he has been the greatest player on the planet for a long time. He and others “owe” no one anything, especially when we see how other players are being treated across other leagues when they aren’t felt to have the same value they once had.
This has all been said to say, keep yourself in mind. While I do believe in a collective good, remember the collective is only as good as it’s people. Continue to look to get what you deserve and what you value. Your value is the “money”, what you are doing is the “love”. Do not be sold much else other than that, and if you are not feeling that “value” by what you are involved in, move on.