Let’s talk about role play. Whoa, get your head out of the gutter. I’m not talking about my favorite category on porniq. Shame on you, this is a family website. I’m talking about the roles we all play in our daily lives.
My favorite sport is basketball, one of the reasons I Love This Game is it requires a complete team effort, players taking care of their individual roles, to win a championship. A basketball team cannot be built around the five best guards in the game, no matter how talented they are. It requires players who complement one another, guys who handle and distribute the ball, combined with shooters, slashers, and post players. Defenders who can shut down ball handlers combined with rim protectors and players who can anticipate passing lanes.
As great as Michael Jordan was, and he is the G.O.A.T., he doesn’t win six championships if John Paxson, Steve Kerr, and even Jud Buechler weren’t around to knock down big threes. As many miracles as he performed, he would not be able to protect the rim and rebound at the same rate as guys like Cartwright, Grant, Rodman, and the big ginger Aussie Luc Longley. And if he didn’t have a wingman like Scottie Pippen who could guard the best player on the other team and put pressure on the defense with his ability to create his own shot, then he would not have had the energy to bring home six championships.
Life requires the same formula for success as basketball. We all can’t be Michael Jordan, but that doesn’t mean we’re devoid of value. As a hyper-competitive person I’ve been incredibly envious of people who are better than me at something, especially when it is my friends. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by many talented people throughout my life with abilities I could only dream of having. I have a friend who can breeze through a 15 mile trail run without breaking a sweat, while I’m begging for an oxygen tank after I walk up the stairs.
My roommates possess a long list of skills they are better at than me. They’re better organized, cleaner, stronger, and better athletes than I can ever be. In the past I would get bitter and even angry over the fact that my friends were better than me at anything. As I’ve grown older, and supposedly more mature, I realize how self-destructive this attitude is.
My friends’ skills aren’t something to be envious of, but rather something to appreciate. Instead of being bitter, I’ve come to admire their skills and try to incorporate it into my life. In the past, when I knew I was inferior at something I would avoid it all cost and pretend that I didn’t care. Now, I try things and am not afraid of completely sucking. I’m never going to be able to run as well or far as my friend can, but I realize the positive effect it has on his life and health. As we move away from the college culture of drinking being the only source of fun, I appreciate the emphasis he puts on physical activities and want to incorporate it into my life.
I may always be the slob in my house, but my roommates’ ability to be neat and organized inspires me to improve that aspect of my life. I may not ever be as organized as them, but it is not a competition, but rather positive attribute that improves your life.
My change in attitude starts with realizing and appreciating my own skills. It is easy to reflect on all the things we can’t do and forget about all the things that make us special. Even though I may not be the fastest, most athletic, organized, or smartest of my friends doesn’t mean I lack skills that other people can admire. I know I have a good sense of humor; I’m great at providing advice to my friends, and am the Michaelangelo of double entendre. Unless there is a woman around, then I tend to stiffen up. Boom!
This is not bragging, or being a cocky douche, but rather just appreciating my talents, which is perfectly acceptable if you also recognize your weaknesses. For too long I was embarrassed to talk about myself and what I’m good at because I believed it was important to show humility. Now I realize that there is a difference between being humble and lacking confidence. Pride in what we are good at, no matter how untraditional it may be, is what allows us to avoid being bitter towards people who are better than us at other things.
Life is a competition, just not against each other, but rather ourself. We must strive each day to beat our yesterday self. A battle we cannot win every day, but the only true failure is that of not trying. The people closest to us are our greatest weapon in this competition, but only if we show them appreciation, not bitterness and envy. If we are willing to incorporate the skills and activities we admire in the one’s we love, then we can all come out victorious.