Super Bowl or Super LIFE?
Six months ago, I would never have guessed that I'd spend my birthday and Super Bowl Sunday half-naked in front of men and women I'd never met before with "One Decision" painted across my chest in greasepaint, wearing a giant foam "#1" sign on my hand.
But I did. And I think that I had a better time on that Super Bowl afternoon than the men sitting in front of their TVs, eating junk food—because having a "super life" is more satisfying to me now than watching a "super game" of football.
No More Shy Guy
A few years ago, that wouldn't have been the case. I was coming out of a relationship and about to be single again for the first time in years. My problem was that I tended to keep to myself and had a hard time letting others get to know me. I wanted more positive, inspiring people in my life, but I wasn't good at making that initial first step.
All that started to change when I realized how scared I was to share the things that are meaningful to me with others. I have been a Boy Scout troop leader for years. Being a troop leader means a lot to me because I am sharing a common interest with my son and I help other kids develop leadership skills. In this role, I also often called people to ask if they'd volunteer. Yet I sounded more often as if I was pleading than sharing something I think is important. I was worried about intruding in other people's lives.
Since then, I've realized that I want to know that I belong wherever I am and to invite others into my life. I've been working on being more assertive and letting my sense of humor come out. That's helped but then I realized something was still missing—my One Decision. I wasn't sure yet what that was for me but I was about to find out. Judith asked if I'd drive the Winnebago for the book tour, and I said "yes," knowing it would be a transformational experience. And this is how I found my own One Decision.
Everywhere we went on the tour, our goal was to talk about the book and invite people to the One Decision training in Chicago. At first, I felt shy doing this. Then I remembered how I wanted to belong and also invite people into what matters to me. As we stopped at each new place, I started seeing each stop as an opportunity. I started talking to all sorts of people, but I especially noticed the people standing on the edges of groups. I saw myself in them—how they wanted to be included but felt shy. So I always reached out for those folks, trying to create an opening for them like I wanted for myself. As I began meeting new people, I realized my One Decision: to open my heart to other people.
Super Sunday, Super Life
Now I really felt my One Decision and everything was starting to make sense to me. The next highlight of the book tour for me was Super Bowl Sunday—which also happened to be my birthday. To attract crowds to Judith's speaking event that night, I took off my shirt and painted my chest like fans sometimes do at football games. Then—shy me—I made lots of noise to get passersby and TV reporters to notice. I don't usually take my shirt off around lots of people, but I ended up having a good time. And I did attract lots of attention! This put a whole new spin on opening my heart to other people—I was literally "baring" my self!
That was definitely an unusual birthday. But I wouldn't have been anywhere else on Super Bowl Sunday. And now that I'm back, making those phone calls for volunteers is not something I agonize over anymore. I no longer feel like I am pleading for help or intruding on others. I am calling with the realization that I am inviting others to opportunities. I have made the choice to live a Super Life and my One Decision is helping to make it happen.
- Mike N (Chicago, IL)