Life & Work Lessons To Learn From A Retiring Professional Athlete

In a little midwest town…

… a small crowd gathered…

To listen, to support, to cheer, to acknowledge… to say “thanks”.

Retirement is the welcome end for many, but for a professional athlete it is the reality that an end has come… (for many, only in their mid to late 30’s).

Donald Driver, wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers (& Dancing With The Stars winner), gave a retirement speech this week, after turning 38.

I’m sure you didn’t spend every Sunday with Donald as I did. So you might not know how incredible of player he was and also what an amazing human being he is.

There is something that Donald Driver can teach you about your work… your life… and your legacy.

Every first down that Donald made, he would get up from the ground, do a little shimmy and shake and point down the field, “First Down”.

And he always had this infectious smile on his face.

He had FUN doing his job. He brought Joy to what he did. 

During his retirement speech, looking at his wife he said,

“Life is what it is. Life is whatever it may be. But life without you in my life is nothing. I love you.”

Later when asked why if he felt like he could still play, was he retiring…

“Someone’s always going to tell my kids that their dad was a great football player, but no one will be able to tell my kids that their dad was a great dad and a great husband. I have to show them that.”

He is putting family first.

Today, with so much online/social media training being thrown at you… you hear the words like… “engage” and “relationships” so often.

When running your business and trying to increase sales, it might feel like (if you are listening to the noise) you have to spend all this time on twitter, facebook and pinterest, engaging and building relationships.

That’s great… if your clients give you great reviews on Yelp and Zillow…

It’s great… if you get listed on some Top 99 list for being so social.

It’s great… if you have a high Klout score.

It’s great… if you engage and build relationships.

BUT…

In the end… aren’t the reviews from your significant other, children, family and friends what really counts?

How much “engaging” are you doing around the dining room table at night?

How well are you “building relationships” with your friends and family on the weekends?

How high would your Klout score be if you are ranked as a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, a friend, a brother, sister, a husband, a wife?

Lessons I’ll take from Donald Driver…

1.  Have fun doing what you do… Bring Joy to it.

2.  Put family first.

Wanna watch Donald give his retirement speech?

It’s inspirational and well worth the time.

Click here to watch

— Darin

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