Ending on a "Make"...




By Ruth Brennan Morrey (ruthbrennanmorrey.com)


On a typical day, my small-framed, tenaciously competitive 8-year-old son, Finn, spends his time playing hard, getting dirty, and competing as though he is in a professional combine at the Joyner household with his two best friends, Kai and Ryk. With no organized structure, it marvelously resembles old school play. Starting to play is easy. For up to 8 hours in one day, whether it’s football, basketball, hockey, or soccer, they love battling, they love keeping score, and they LOVE each other. It is a beautiful little friendship.


Finishing play is another issue.


“Finn! It’s time to go!”


“Just wait! I have to end on a make! C’mon Mom-pleeeasssse let me end on a make!”


“Ending On a Make”—a basket, a touchdown, a goal—has become a compulsion for these little boys. To appease this healthy ritual, I smile, observe, wait, and wait longer, until gradually I become impatient when Finn is having an off day, or the opposing 7-year-old goalie is producing a Saturday afternoon highlight film.  I allow him his “make” and finally, we head home....



Imagine if all athletes could only feel satisfied ending their careers on a Result Focused Make. In triathlon, rarely would anyone end their journey. They would keep seeking that last ‘W’, and sadly, never feel satisfied. We observe triathletes all the time who DO win big and STILL never feel satisfied. Then we observe others who fade away out of triathlon without any public announcement or proper closure. They just stop. How come? Nobody would argue that our sport success is ALL about day in and day out grind, continual learning, and unwavering commitment, yet it is STILL easy to judge careers by the ‘makes’, and not by our own unique personal journey. Results are archived and hidden away, but the process shapes us and we take that with us indefinitely—that’s the true value.


Unlike my son, upon reflection, my definition of ‘Ending on a MAKE’ has shifted over the past several months. Ending on a MAKE in our life is when an important value was realized, when we stood up for what’s right, when we took risks with the unknown, when we admitted to our mistakes, when we gave our ALL, and when our journey was replete with integrity and hard work. Perhaps most importantly, a MAKE is speaking truth about our purpose filled process, sharing our growth story, sharing ALL of our disappointments and failures, and minimizing our successes in an attempt to help others achieve their greatness too. Great performers realize that ultimate satisfaction isn’t about the final prize, it’s about our honorable walk.   READ MORE


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