Intangibles part 2: Tebow does what really matters

Posted by Karen M. Wyatt on December 13, 2011 at 2:00 AM

Over a month ago an article was posted called “Intangibles: 5 Leadership Lessons from Tim Tebow,” describing the qualities demonstrated by Tebow in his approach to football that should be imitated by everyone. That post was written in response to the sports analysts who had already pronounced Tebow a failure as an NFL quarterback after just two games.

Since that time Tebow and the Denver Broncos have continued to pull off miraculous, last-minute victories that have left even the most stubborn Tebow-detractors at a loss for words. Now the analysts and pundits are talking about Tebow with some renewed respect as they struggle to explain his odds-defying success and make sense of what appear to be impossible occurrences.

Some of these analysts have proposed that Tebow’s string of improbable victories are due to his superior conditioning, as he wears his opponents down. Others have speculated that Tebow’s success comes from his ability to galvanize and inspire the team, his unshakeable belief in their capacity to win or his humble tendency to give credit to everyone but himself. At least one of the commentators wondered if there has been some Divine intervention at play.

But the reality is that the Divine or God or the Universe - or whatever name you apply to the creative source of life – doesn’t care at all who wins football games. From the perspective of the highest laws of the Universe the outcome of any individual game here on this planet is trivial and doesn’t really matter.

Seriously … God is most likely NOT glued to the television every Sunday afternoon with a 6-pack of PBR and a tray of hot wings. However there is a spiritual component to Tebow’s football success that should be noted: Tebow does what really matters in every aspect of his life, including how he relates to people, dedicates himself to his work and takes care of his body, mind and soul.

The book “What Really Matters” contains 7 essential lessons for living a life of inspiration and maximizing one’s potential. And Tebow manages to epitomize all 7 of those lessons in the way he lives his life every day. Here are 4 examples of those things Tebow does that really matter:

1. Embrace your difficulties. One of Tebow’s common responses to criticism and scorn is “I appreciate that,” as he continues to smile and carry on with his hard work. Tebow uses adversity to fuel his effort and, rather than become discouraged when things don’t go well, he rises up even more empowered and more determined to accomplish what seems impossible. This ability is like positive thinking on steroids – he doesn’t just think positive thoughts, he embodies positive energy in every imaginable way.

2. Hold no resentments. Whenever mistakes are made and the game is not going according to plan, Tebow takes responsibility for his own actions and does not blame other people. He never points a finger at anyone else with bitterness or accusation and refuses to hold negative feelings toward others as he treats everyone with graciousness and respect.

3. Dwell in the present moment. Tebow is the master of fourth-quarter do-or-die scenarios because he can maintain perfect focus on the present moment even when the stress level is off the charts. He does not allow regret over past actions or fear about future outcomes to interfere with the task at hand, so all his faculties and the full extent of his power and ability are available to him in those situations.

4. Let go of expectations. This is a tricky lesson to understand because outwardly Tebow demonstrates that he expects to win and believes his team will win, no matter what. However, when you fully dissect what motivates Tebow it becomes clear that he plays football for a higher purpose, not just for the sake of winning games. While his competitive drive pushes him to strive for victory in every situation, he recognizes that losing a game with grace and equanimity might also serve that higher purpose, which is to provide inspiration and teach others how to live a meaningful life.

So the Tebow victory train continues to steam along the tracks for another week against all odds. The nay-sayers are gathering up their ammunition and preparing for the next challenge, hoping that they will finally witness the derailing of that mighty engine. But I can guarantee that when another loss does occur for the Broncos, Tebow’s performance will be even more amazing in defeat than it has been in his victories, because Tebow does what really matters.

Categories: Current Events, Sports, Spirituality

Copyright ©2010 Karen Wyatt, MD

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