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Choose Your Team Wisely

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”-Rupyard Kipling

In my book, "Teach4Endurance: Surviving the Swim, Bike and Run in Today's Classroom," The Murky Depths chapter is one of my favorites. In it I note . . .

Life is full of critters in the murky depths just waiting for the opportune time to strike. The challenge with these nuisances is that they remain hidden until they choose to present themselves. You’re never quite sure if or when one may make an appearance. But the possibility always lingers.

Life (jobs, relationships, etc.) has its own murky depths. Anything that takes more than it deserves from you, or that does not fulfill your needs basically equate to stress-inducing energy zappers and life suckers.

The key is to identify your personal murky depths. As we are all unique, these will vary greatly. When you are able to identify what lurks below, which is not adding value to your life (or career), you have a choice to make. 1) You can let it linger in your life, although it provides little to no value. 2) You can metaphorically cut the cord, thereby releasing what lurks. 3) For those critters that must be endured (i.e. a less than tolerable coworker), you have to push through the challenge, making it as positive an experience as possible. In essence, you remain the stronger of the two (keeping your head above the water and let the critter enjoy its murky existence in the depths.)

For me, when possible, I let go of the darkness (depths) and disease in my life. This life of mine is finite, and I will not waste it worrying over a relationship whose existence brings me no joy or benefit in return. For me, it’s that simple. I do not overanalyze the situation; I simply Move On away from it leaving it in the depths.

Now back to finding this winning team. The obvious notion is that anything (or anyone lying in the murky depths) should not be part of this team. There's no benefit to be had. Look at it this way.A flock of birds carve a graceful V across the sky, flying as one unit. One bird leads, another follows, another takes the lead, and so on in this cycle. Ornithologists say that flying this way is 70% more efficient than flying solo. If a bird falls out of formation, it feels the wind resistance and rejoins the flock.

When choosing your “team”, professional performance coach, Owen Eastwood notes to select your teammates on “character.”

From a personal standpoint, I always told my daughters when a boy was interested in them to watch what he does when he thinks nobody is looking. This is his true character!

Choose wisely. It’s good to remember some ancient advice when deciding who to allow in your pack.

“It’s better to have 1000 enemies outside the tent than 1 in the tent.”


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