It's Not All About Me... How To Keep Perspective
When I was at the University of Florida, we were blessed to win a national championship in my freshman year. In my sophomore year, I was blessed to win the Heisman, and during Junior year we were blessed to again win another national championship. During my senior year, our goal was to win another national championship and maybe another Heisman. That would be three out of four national championships, and we may have gone down as one of the best teams in college football history...
That year we had a great year. We went undefeated, 12-0, we were defending national champs and all year long were ranked the number one team in the country. When we got to the SEC Championship game, we played Alabama...and we lost. Everything that we'd been working for fell apart in three hours. It didn't take away all of our past success, but it did kind of make that year feel wasted...and, to be honest, a piece of it felt worthless and utterly disappointing.
That entire next week was a miserable week for me. Most people who know me know that I'm very competitive, and personally, I think that time, I let it go too far. It affected who I was and it affected my perspective. The weekend after that game, we had the College Football Awards banquet in Orlando, Florida.
I was so angry and disappointed, and I didn’t want to be there. Unfortunately, I had let a game define me.
In the middle of the banquet, a waitress comes up behind me and taps me on the shoulder and she says, "Hey Tim, there's a young girl that’s come from Virginia to see you with her family. Is there any way you could come to the back to see her?" I said, "Yeah, of course." I got up and she starts telling me about this young girl who has underwent some serious health battles. As I'm walking to the back of the room, in comes a young girl named, Kelly Faughnan. Little did I know how much Kelly would impact my life for years to come...
As I walked towards Kelly, I see how hard it is for her to take every single step. Kelly had multiple brain tumors that affected how her entire body works. She was fighting so hard to just take a few steps forward towards me as I walk up to her. When we reached each other, she gave me this great big hug and squeezed with such a strong embrace and then started crying which made me cry, and then her family starts crying and then my family starts crying and no one has even said a word yet.
As Kelly and I started to talk, she began to tell me her story, what she’s been fighting, and how she’s persevering. Immediately, I felt like it was put on my heart to ask her to be my date the next night for the red carpet and the award show, and she said yes, thankfully! The next morning, my uncle took her out to get a nice dress, and then she and I went to dinner, and then after dinner, we went down the red carpet. It was truly an amazing evening we all got to spend with Kelly.
Then the awards show started and I was up for six awards, the most I was up for in any year of my time at Florida, and I was in such a great mood. I was feeling great because when I met Kelly everything changed for me. Because it was the first time in a very long time that I wasn't focused on me, but I was actually thinking about someone else. My entire perspective changed. The awards show starts, and they announce the first award and I lose. I'm like, "It's okay. It's not that big of a deal. Tonight's about Kelly, no problem." They announce the next award and I lose. That stings a little bit, it's all right though. It's about Kelly. They announce the third award and I lose. Yeah, it stings a little bit. Fourth award and I lose. Fifth award and I lose. At that point, I was getting frustrated. I was starting to go right back to that place where it's all about me. Everything is about me. It's all about me. It's about my legacy. It's about how people are going to look at me. It's all about me...
My mom was sitting behind me, and at this point she could tell I was struggling. She leaned up and taps me on the shoulder and she whispers in my ear...
"You've already won tonight. You just don't get your reward until heaven."
I remember thinking to myself, what is she talking about?
Today, I can’t even remember what that award was for. During that time I thought it was crucial for me to win everything, but how incredible it is to have real perspective! It is truly liberating to sit back and think, it's not all about me. It’s amazing to remember that on that evening in Orlando, Florida, God placed me inside that banquet hall to meet Kelly, to spend such memorable time with her and her family, and to get to know a person who’s fought bigger and harder battles than I ever will and to be motivated by someone like that.
When we change our perspective from focusing on ourselves and shift focus to what really matters like fulfilling the needs of others, everything changes for us. For me, personally, so much has changed since I learned to shift focus. In life, it's hard to keep perspective because we've got a society that tells us it's all about us. It's all about fame, fortune, and power. I'm here to tell you that life is not about any of those things at all. Those things are great and you can use them to create change and influence others, but they are not the epitome of success or achievement.
Success is not about money, fame, and power. It's about the difference you can make in someone else's life.
Do you have a story of perspective? I would love to hear it, shoot me a text at 904 441 5450
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