As a college football coach you will definitely sacrifice a great deal in this profession. Oftentimes, there may be a game to prepare for or a major recruit on the radar that we are diligently seeking to secure to our team. Currently, it is recruiting season. At any given time I may be responsible for the recruitment of over 50 players. I have to constantly be in contact with them all in hopes that we will be able to sign them to a scholarship in February and become part of our team. With the recruitment of 50 players very rarely do I have time for myself or to enjoy time off uninterrupted. So there are many sacrifices that one must be ready to deal with when deciding to take on the job of coaching. No matter the level, the demands are great in this profession.
Like all things in life, you have consequences and rewards. I have found that the rewards of coaching are superb! I get to coach a sport that I absolutely love and am passionate about while simultaneously working with young people, in which I witness their growth and maturity firsthand.
Then there are the consequences of being a coach, especially on the college and professional level. I rarely get to see my family and friends. I am generally tasked with taking trips to various areas across the country. Quite frankly, for a while now I have been many miles away from those near and dear to me. I often miss out on moments in life that just can’t get be relived.
Just like coaching, there are many other careers that require great amounts of time and energy in which major sacrifices have to be made on a continual basis. On the path to success we can easily get caught up and become distracted from the things that we tend to value most in life. I can’t help it or deny it. I’m a dream chaser! But there are times when chasing dreams, I have experienced a plethora of feelings of loneliness, isolation, and sometimes shear unhappiness. In this case one must make the decision to what I call “get back to the basics”. Success is great and it certainly has its wonderful rewards. But if we neglect to live a life that excludes our loved ones in the pursuit of success, then it may be time for a moment of self-evaluation. Hopefully this week’s blog will begin the process of that evaluation. So without further ado, I would like explore how to get back to enjoying those meaningful moments with the ones that we love and cherish the most.
I was once involved in a relationship with a young lady that was very accomplished at a very young age. For the sake of anonymity, I will call her Lauren. Lauren was a store manager for one of the largest bridal retail stores in the country at the age of 31. She was definitely doing well for herself. She lived in a nice apartment in an upscale neighborhood, drove a nice car, always dressed to impress, and was compensated very well for doing her duties as a store manager. Outside looking in, she had the appearance of being at the top of her profession in the retail industry. At first glance, this would be an opportunity to die for, but I had an up close and personal view of the dissatisfaction and emptiness that she encountered while working in this position. Lauren’s job dictated so much of her life during this time. She could never enjoy her days off. Someone was always calling from the store giving her updates about what was going on throughout the day and bad news was almost always inevitable and the focal point of the update. We all know that Black Friday connotes the kickoff of the holiday shopping season and is the busiest time of the year. Well in contrast, in the wedding industry, Lauren’s kickoff was known as “Bridal Christmas,” which was our busiest time of the year and this happened immediately after New Year’s Day. I say “our” because I feel as if I lived through just as much, if not all of the bridal drama as Lauren during this time. You couldn’t imagine the endless number of stories that I could share with you that I heard over the years of Bridal Christmas. I am sure I could create another blog for all the bridal nightmare stories that were relayed to me over the three year span of our relationship.
Lauren’s professional life was so overwhelming that trying to maintain some type of social life for herself was almost impossible. She always enjoyed going to church on Sunday morning but even that took a backseat. She either worked on Sunday’s or was too tired from work the previous night to get up and enjoy something that used to be so fulfilling. Miraculously, one day Lauren decided to no longer allow her job to dictate her life. She put together a plan of action which included enrolling into graduate school to get her Master’s degree in Business Administration. Lauren consciously made a decision to get back to the basics of life. Two years later she graduated with her MBA and she now enjoys a life of uninterrupted weekends and a wonderful position in the banking industry that provides a great deal of work –life balance. Although she isn’t where she would ultimately like to be in her career, having her life back and within her control again to enjoy the time with family and friends is more than enough for her.
Do you find Sunday fellowship with your parents, weekend cookouts with co-workers, or even birthday celebrations with loved ones are now taking a backseat and are no longer life’s greatest pleasures for you? Is time spent with friends like a distant memory since starting your new job? Has your new position caused you to spend less time with your children? If you are going to be successful, then sacrifices must be made, but to what extent will you continue to make these sacrifices? Only you can answer these questions and make the needed changes of getting back to the basics. Like the majority of the decisions that you will make in your life, you have the power to change the outcome if you truly desire to change them. Like Lauren, you have the power to decide, create an action plan, implement, and most of all enjoy the fruits of your decisions! Success is great and we should all be in hot pursuit of our ultimate and best life, but with all things, we should set limitations on how much we are willing to give up to obtain the level of success we seek desperately.
It is the basics of life that serve as the foundation of our souls. Life is nothing without the basics such as; love, peace, family, great health, balance, and unprecedented memories with family and friends. The universe doesn’t want you to correlate success with giving up the basics of our hearts. Real success will always offer you the chance and opportunities to enjoy the things that are held dear in our lives. Always keep in mind that there is a thin line between financial gain and success. In the realm of financial gain, life will continue to always dictate every move and monopolize your time; hence a diminishing value in the “basics of life.”
I encourage you to stop and smell the roses while they are still blooming. Time goes by fast and if you never stop to enjoy the products of our success then much of the work that you have done is truly in vain. I’m not only speaking to you, but also to myself. As I vow to get back to the basics in my own life, hopefully you will join me in doing the same. Let’s get back to the fellowship on our days of worship, spending more time with the friends and family, and most of all investing in our own interest. We should never be too busy to take care of ourselves or enjoy the precious time with our loved ones. You will be happy that you did and you will be a different person because of it. Let’s get back to the basics!
Written By Coach Aaron DeBerry