Encouragement vs. Frustration

I just read an article about Jake Plummer.

Plummer was the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos who eventually was put on waivers and picked up by Tampa Bay. He never did play as a Buccaneer.

It made me tear up in a way that sometimes movies on Lifetime do. This guy, he had over 5 million dollars waiting for him to play in Florida. Warm state, beaches, and MILLIONS of dollars. He loved the game, but hated the coach. As Plummer says, Shanahan wanted “perfection” and would point out his flaws instead of his attributes. Nevermind that phenomenal game you just played, let’s look at your f-ups.

And now, he’s never been happier. He and his wife and child live in beautiful Sandpoint, Idaho. Stephen and I went there once on a scouting mission and fell in love with the area. The lake looks to be an ocean, and there are beaches everywhere with no threat of sharks. The homes are gorgeous, and every street is lined with trees. Downtown is hippy and eclectic, and you look up to see snow-capped mountains in the winter from a nearby ski hill. The area proved too expensive for us in a town of only 7,000 people and we ended up in (much less expensive) Baker City.

But here’s the thing that got to me about Plummer’s history. He was unhappy. Beat up physically from a sport he loved, yet the mental beating is what tore him away from that life. Of course, he still had millions of dollars to start a new life (which he did) but he did just walk away. Now he’s playing handball with a ferocity that his former teammates still use on the football field.

It makes me think.

You can cultivate both raw and instinctive talent in an employee, or your child, or a student that you teach. Or you can get frustrated and irritated, in which one of two things will happen.

One, you squash their ambition and all hope of being successful.

Or two, you bite your tongue when you’re upset. Most people with any iota of intelligence will know when you’re disappointed, and know the exact cause of it. I’d bet 5-million dollars that they’d give anything to not having that same mistake happen again.

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