MNLA President's Message: Do You Like Who You Are Becoming?

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The team was undefeated and was preparing for a favorable matchup against a winless team on Friday night. To say they were confident was an understatement. They believed that all they had to do was show up and they would win.

The coach looked on with disgust. Confidence was good but overconfidence is dangerous. The team was sloppy and unfocused. This lackluster practice was not the expectation.

Finally, the coach had had enough. He blew the whistle and called the team together. As they trotted toward the center of the field, they continued their silliness. They could sense that their coach was irritated and expected to be yelled at. But they were undefeated; they could beat the team they were playing this week easily. He was overreacting. 

As they surrounded the coach, he said nothing. Nothing. Soon the silence became uncomfortable. The team started to look at each other and then back to the coach. Silence. 

The coach simply looked at the team. He locked eyes with several players one by one. They felt his cold stare and shifted uneasily and looked away. Silence.

Finally, he spoke.

“I want to ask you a question. It is a question you need to answer today and be honest with your answer.  Completely honest!  I want to ask you this today and I hope it is a question you ask yourself many times in your life.  Do you like who you are becoming?”

He paused. Then he asked again.

“Do you like who you are becoming?”

“Each day, you have the choice to get better or not. Each day you are becoming something.  Do you like who you’re becoming?”

“Be honest.  Do you like who you’re becoming…today?  Do you like your attitude…your effort…your enthusiasm…today?  Do you like what you’re doing right now and what it will become on Friday night?”

“You should win Friday.  They are not as good as you.  You still need to play the game and things can happen.  You should win and a few garbage practices won’t really affect that.  But what about when you play a team that you shouldn’t beat?  Does a garbage practice now impact who you will have become then?  Yes, it will.”

“I want you to ask yourself that now.  And I want you to learn to ask yourself that question often.  You are always becoming something.  And the more you ask yourself that question, the more likely you will be to stay on the right path or correct yourself when you’re off course.”

“Most people and Teams just let themselves “become”.  They think that the world and their circumstances define who they become.  There is a bit of truth in that…things happen…but all of the little choices shape that “becoming” as much or more than outside things.  There are things that you can control, that aid in that “becoming”.  Do the little things well.  They matter. Be wise in your choices.”

“There will be times in your life where you will forget to ask that question.  You will let life shape you.  You will become a certain type of student.  A certain type of worker. You will become a certain type of husband.  A certain type of father.  You will become a certain type of man.  And if you never question if that “becoming” is good or bad, if it is who you want to be or not, you will simply become who you have become.  But if you ask yourself that question, you can either keep doing what is working or make changes that need to be made.  If you ask yourself that question and are willing to act based on your honest answer, you will be able to have more control on who you are becoming.”

“Do you like who you are becoming?  If the answer is yes, keep doing it and double down on it.  Don’t be complacent.  Work harder. Work smarter.  Take advantage of the tailwind and put some distance between you and average.”

“If the answer is no, then pause… look around… regroup and go.  Change or be the change.  Know that you have a choice.  You can do something.  You can almost always do something. Do it.”

“Create the habit of asking yourself if you like who you’re becoming; you’re more apt to become who you want to be.  Start today.  Do you like who you’re becoming?  Choose wisely.”

He stopped.  He stood in silence and then slowly walked away.  He wanted to see who they would become.