One way I make suggestions or ask favors of Russ—especially when I anticipate the favor might not be well-received—is by opening like this:
"If you wanted to be a champion...
...you would take out that massive pile of recycling right now."
...you would go for a run even though you're wiped out from work."
...you would play with the kids because they are driving me insane."
...you would bring me a glass of ice water so I can sit here with my feet up."
I re-read this and realize I sound like kind of a brat. Yikes! The full story is like many of you wives and moms, I love to give and try to do it all myself. When I do ask for help, Russ almost always obliges, because he is a champion. (I love you, Russ! And maybe I’m still a brat!)
So what is a champion?
cham·pi·on [noun] one that has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition
A champion hoists a trophy and beams with pride, cheered on by a rowdy crowd, with Freddie Mercury belting a power ballad in the background.
And yet, the day the finish line is crossed, the record is beaten, or the title is won, that's just one day. The outcome is only possible because of many days' worth of hard work, focus, and discipline.
The real definition of a champion lies in the process of becoming one.
A champion is someone with great determination, who goes above and beyond, and who will make sacrifices because it is meaningful to them or their cause. Russ inspires me in all of these ways, so I know I'm pushing the right buttons by asking him for favors in the way I described!
What if instead of using this phrase to ask for trivial favors, we used it to challenge our vision for the future?
I think being a champion in life sounds kind of awesome.
This is not to say that life is a competition, unless you consider it a competition with yourself. My point is that becoming a champion is a choice you will make each day. You get to decide whether you push yourself, or whether you settle for what is comfortable or self-serving.
If we wanted to be champions...
...we would save money
...we would fuel our bodies with quality food
...we would invest time in being active every day
...we would get enough sleep
...we would eagerly learn new things
...we would show kindness to all
...we would be present with our kids and let them lead more
...we would live for the moment and have fun every day
...we would show our love for each other in every way possible
...we would keep dreaming big
The vision is the easy part. The real work is in building the daily habits that make the vision possible.
Do you want to be a champion, too?