Alabama or Auburn

“A fan will grab you and hug you and will not let go. When that happens, you wish it could be that way all over the world.”    Charley Pride

Newcomers to the State of Alabama will inevitably be asked the seemingly most important territorial question — a query that will come sooner rather than later: ‘Which team do you support . . . Alabama or Auburn?’ If your position is neutral, you will likely be militantly recruited by the fan posing the question while waxing eloquently about the team he thinks you should support.

The allegiance by die-hard fans literally dictates schedules – major and minor — for events and ceremonies, including weddings. You might think that this is a little bit too much, but convincing such a sports fan would be virtually impossible.

Typically, hosts of THE game of the season – the Iron Bowl pitting Alabama vs Auburn — avoid inviting opposing fans to their annual November Iron Bowl football parties. (Vivid memory of past experience with an outcome that did not end well has provided a permanent reminder)!

Passion exhibited by fans for either team is quite intense. On the surface, one might logically argue that it is ‘only a game.’ Why get so worked up over just a game? I think that logic may be true, but try explaining it to a fan. It just does not sell.

Such robust enthusiasm causes some fans to make a substantial investment in publicly exhibiting elements of their passion. As one such  fan, I am proud of what I call my ‘Alabama Room’ in my house. Yes, it has a lot of crimson colors, a multitude of Alabama prints, and other memorabilia.   You immediately get the point when you walk into the room.

Through myriad media connections, we are familiar with the passion exhibited by the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox baseball fans.  But what about the die-hard Chicago Cub loyalists, who, after a staggering 71-year drought, were rewarded with the 2016 World Series Championship!? Whether or not nationally recognized, the impassioned devotion of the enduring sports fan is not diminished. Do you agree? Do you know such an enthusiast committed to a particular team? Maybe you are such a devotee and have  first-hand insight of inherent behavior of an  extremist fan.

At the risk of tempting wrath from ‘Bama’ football friends, (some of whom subscribe to this newsletter), I emphasize one indisputable fact: It is just a game. Simply stated, that does not negate the passion of the fans – ultimate loyalty that will never be altered.

However, it may point us to something even more important. If I can possess such great passion for an athletic exhibition – one that is often created spontaneously, without any prompting – what might happen if I approached the critically important areas of life with such passion?

Might I find greater success in a multitude of areas? Yes. I know this to be true. Whenever we develop deep-seeded zeal for anything, we have carved out a template for passion in other spheres of life.  We can learn from what works.

We choose passion. In the beginning, we may be more conscious of the actual execution of our decision to be enthusiastic.  Later on, relying on the memory of repeated positive moments, our zeal may take on a more spontaneous nature.  But, it always remains a choice we make.  We choose passion.

 What if we could bottle passion that defines us and pour it out into other important aspects of our lives?  Significant areas, like our marriage, or being a parent. What about our career work or a social organization we hold dear? In the significant areas of our lives, what would happen if we added passion?

The result could be life-changing. The great multiplier is the title I have coined to describe and define passion. Take any formula for success in life and add passion to multiply its effects.  Any current plan you have is going to experience improvement when you add enthusiasm.

Readers of this newsletter who do not reside in Alabama may follow sports teams in your area. You may know someone who has great passion for a particular team. Perhaps, you have a cause or some organization that matters to you. It could be your family, or just another individual. That enthusiasm can be duplicated and used in other areas of your life.  You already have the template on exactly how to do that. Because of your own lived story, at this very moment, you know how to be successful! You already know! Wow!

The great multiplier. Available today. A choice you can make. Predictable results.

Whatever you are currently doing – whether work or play – passion is an option.  You have the template.

Choose enthusiasm. As your passion rises, know in advance that your success will also rise.

Roll Tide!