What does March madness mean to you?

After reading LIFE/TEAM leader, Steve Leurquin‘s leadership blog, I got to thinking about the various ‘seasons’ in a given calendar year.    If you are a sports fanatic, then you’re well aware that basketball season (particularly the college scene), is reaching critical mass as the NCAA tournament is underway. The NIT invitational tournament not withstanding….

There will be those watching the games for all the drama… there will also be those in the ‘pool’ at work, betting on who’s gonna go the farthest… there will even be a few who travel to watch some of the games in person. There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing those things. However; it begs the question: What are you personally getting out of it? Maybe rooting for the school of which you are an alumni. Maybe to make some money in the pool. Maybe purely entertainment value, or maybe just something to do….

I’m reminded of an old classic Orrin Woodward CD entitled “You’re the Project”, where he is speaking where the University of Michigan Spartans play basketball. He references how there are only 10 men on the playing surface – actually in the game. Yet thousands watching. If you include all media outlets, it’s millions watching!

My analogy is simple. Please don’t live vicariously through someone else to make you feel alive. Live your own life on your terms. Play the game you have been given. Come out of the stands and live your life on your terms in order to make a positive difference in your life and the lives of others.

I am on a team within ‘the TEAM’, playing a game of personal development called LIFE! The game isn’t easy (if it was, everybody would be doing it), it’s just worth it.  I’m so proud of all my teammates who came out of the stands to play their game. Because they are, I know they will have no regrets regarding how they invested their time into themselves and their fellow-man.  These teammates are doers, not watchers, and one day someone will look at the fruit in their life and possibly come to the conclusion: They just got lucky and became an overnight success.

To those teammates, I encourage you to continue to “March 4th.” towards a better life in order to make sense of the madness. To others who are living their God-given purpose, but enjoy the ‘dream, struggle, victory’ of the tournament – enjoy, but please keep it in perspective. Lastly, for those who feel they are living on the sidelines watching life go by: please, for your sake, get in the game and stop the madness!

God bless, John Graff

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4 comments on “What does March madness mean to you?

  1. rjfisher1 says:

    Love it John, you’re so smart and funny all at the same time – Glad to be in the game of LIFE with you guys and so many other fantastic folks, but also proud to be lover of sports – especially of the basketball variety. It was that venue where I was first inspired by someone who cared about me to dig deep, go all out and feel the rush of knowing that no matter the outcome I could be proud that I left all I had on the court. I was saddened when I came to a point where I realized that the potential existed that basketball may not be my current calling or long term purpose in life.

    Now, I am overjoyed that I am on a journey to find and fulfill the purpose created for me, not to mention being able to a be a part of a team that does so in such a way that I am again encouraged and try to encourage others to dig deep, go all out and feel the rush of leaving it all on the court in the direction that we were individually created to go. It is a high like no other; I dare anyone to try it!

  2. Ditto to Jammie’s comment! John, your writing is incredible! Your style is like no other writing I have seen before and it’s so much fun to read! Thanks for being the example and getting in the game!

  3. Great article John! Nice paralel to the tournament that starts today!
    Steve Leurquin

  4. Kevin Hamm says:

    Great writing John!

    It is a team running the race together that is so captivating here. I dare say it will keep my attention for a long time. Thanks for the encouragement. I am sure you have a book in there that will show up here a piece at a time. Keep up the great work.

    Kevin Hamm

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