Are You A Gamer Or A Goldilocks?
In life and in sport there are those who always seem to excel, and more often than not come through in the clutch. We watch them intently, mesmerized by their success, sometimes against seemingly insurmountable odds. Even when they fail, they fail with a grace and elegance absent from their lesser competitors. Gamers, we call them. Able to rise up to meet the challenges of life, gamers capture our collective attention in a way in which few other forces in nature can compare. The shouts of FIRE! might pull you away from that foray into the shallow depths of the latest Snaps...might. But watching Tom Brady, LeBron James, Yo-Yo Ma, or Daniel Day-Lewis in action has a way of captivating even the dullest of minds among us. Though a challenge to define in words, we know Gamers when we see them, and many of us strive to model their success.
And then there are Goldilocks. The opposite of a Gamer, they seldom show up for the big “stuff of life,” if they show up at all. Content with just right and never wanting to push too far, they wallow in the doldrums of mediocrity, either not knowing the satisfaction of mastery or simply not caring. For the life of me, I cannot decide which is worse. Do Goldilocks not desire greatness, or do they simply not know for what great works they were created?
Are you a Goldilocks, or a Gamer?
A Goldilocks works hard when he feels good, and only then. A Gamer always works hard, even on his worst days.
A Goldilocks races when the water temperature is just right. A Gamer pays water temperature no mind.
A Goldilocks is there for her friends when it is convenient for her. A Gamer shows up when the moment calls.
A Goldilocks does the bare minimum. A Gamer goes the extra mile.
A Goldilocks trembles in the presence of discomfort. A Gamer embraces the struggle.
A Goldilocks eats for taste. A Gamer eats to fuel the machine.
A Goldilocks lives for pleasure. A Gamer lives for Excellence.
A Goldilocks does what is easiest in the moment. A Gamer does what is right.
A Goldilocks says “But I don’t feel good.” A Gamer replies “Feel is irrelevant.”
A Goldilocks waits for the perfect moment. A Gamer creates the moment.
A Goldilocks says “But I’m tired.” A Gamer replies “Let us race.”
A Goldilocks walks at the bell. A Gamer yearns for the long hunts.
A Goldilocks says “I can’t.” A Gamer replies “I can if...”
A Goldilocks needs the pre-game pep talk. A Gamer gives the pre-game pep talk.
A Goldilocks demands a coach motivate him. A Gamer says “Next.”
A Goldilocks talks about it. A Gamer does it.
A Goldilocks is motivated by praise. A Gamer chases Mastery.
A Goldilocks asks “Why me? Why now?” A Gamer asks “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
A Goldilocks says “Ah yes, just right.” A Gamer says “I’ll make it work.”
A Goldilocks says “But I am not happy.” A Gamer lives for Purpose.
A Goldilocks asks “What’s in it for me?” A Gamer asks “How can I create more value?”
A Goldilocks doesn’t feel like making the call. A Gamer asks “Who’s next?”
A Goldilocks says “I don’t have time.” A Gamer says “I could make time, but choose not to.”
A Goldilocks is distracted by the shallow. A Gamer is a challenge to contact.
A Goldilocks says “It is raining.” A Gamer does not let the weather affect her productivity.
A Goldilocks: “But you should have...” A Gamer: ”How might I...?”
A Goldilocks requires the wind. A Gamer has turbo-charged engines on-board.
A Goldilocks says “It hurts.” A Gamer replies “What’s next, coach?”
A Goldilocks needs her hand held. A Gamer works with minimal supervision.
A Goldilocks says “But I’m too stressed.” A Gamer meditates.
A Goldilocks stands hunched. A Gamer was told long ago he could work with men.
A Goldilocks loves comfort. A Gamer asks “Will this make me better?”
And so it is...we need more Gamers in life. We need more Gamers in sport. We need more people showing up for the day to day in a way that models attention to detail, Excellence, and ultimately, mastery. How much? More. How many? More. We need more Gamers and fewer Goldilocks, if for no other reason than both creation and evolution demand as much from us. Whether a Christian, Atheist, another religion, or indifferent, we can all agree that we were meant to live for so much more, as cliche as it sounds. Go forth then, and make yourself into a Gamer. Live the strenuous life. Create opportunity where none exists. Live in Excellence when others falter. Call up those around you. Have them join you in worthy pursuits, educate them about your ways. Make haste, for time is precious; the Gamer lives with peak performance, mastery, and immortality in mind.