Today we’re going to continue our brief tour through Trevor Moawad’s brilliant mind and book It Takes What It Takes.
As we’ve discussed, Trevor works with some of THE most elite athletes and performers in the world. One of his closest friends and clients is Russell Wilson. Trevor uses Russell as a case study throughout the book.
In one of his stories, Trevor gives us a backstage pass to what was going on in Russell’s mind before and after one of the biggest plays in Super Bowl history.
It’s so big it has its own name: “The Play.”
For those who may not know, Russell won a Super Bowl in his second year. Then he led his Seahawks BACK to the Super Bowl the next year. (Which, for the record, is a) really hard to do and b) why he became the then-highest paid NFL player in history.)
That second Super Bowl of his had THE (!!) largest television audience in American history watching it. The viewership peaked at 120.8 million people—which is one out of every three Americans in the country.
You know what they saw?
Well, 120 million people watched Russell lead an epic comeback against the Patriots and then… throw an interception at the goal line with time expiring.
You know what Russell did?
He pulled himself together, conducted himself with poise in the post-game interview then (goosebumps) GOT TO WORK TO GET BETTER—hitting his offseason with a ferocity to alchemize that experience into something positive.
How’d he do that?
Well, the neutral thinking certainly helped.
So did the fact (!) that he KNOWS that you can’t have a shot at greatness without risking failure.
Trevor tells us: “Three years later, Russell and I would go over this play and its aftermath with former Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph for our ESPN show QB2QB. ‘Right here, in this moment, you realize that if you’re going to go for something, you’re going to have some heartbreak,’ Russell told Rudolph as the interception played out on a nearby wall. ‘But if you’re not willing to go there, you’re never going to get there.’ In other words, you have to be willing to be the goat—the old, negative meaning of the word my generation grew up with—if you ever want a chance to be the G.O.A.T (what younger generations call the greatest of all time).”
Recap: Want to be the G.O.A.T.? Gotta be willing to be a goat. 🐐
A few pages later, Trevor puts it this way: “That was the mental part. Owning it. He’d held the trophy the year before. He’d shoulder the other side of it now. Derek Jeter—Russell’s favorite athlete—said what Russell was now living: to be able to hit the game-winning home run, you have to be willing to strike out in the same batter’s box. That translates to football pretty easily. To have a chance to throw the touchdown pass that wins the Super Bowl, you have to be willing to throw the interception that loses the Super Bowl. Those two things live in the same moment.”
Recap: Want to hit the game-winning home run? Well, you better be willing to strike out in that same batter’s box.
Pause. Reflect on that.
Then fill yourself up with the Courageous power that comes from that Wisdom.
As I read those passages in the book, I thought of Mr. Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell.
In Pathways to Bliss, he tells us: “The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which that radiance shows brightly. What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There’s always the possibility of a fiasco. But there’s also the possibility of bliss.”
That’s Today’s +1.
Want to hit the game winning home run? Or throw the game-winning touchdown?
Know that you need to be willing to strike out in that same batter’s box and throw an interception from that same goal line.
When we dare to live our most heroic lives there’s ALWAYS the chance for a fiasco. And… There’s ALSO always a chance for heroic bliss.
Let’s step out of the warm-up area and into the arena.
Our destiny is calling.