On the Tunney Side of the Street 37

by Jim Tunney

  A recent visitor to our home is a friend and former NFL official. We'd been friends for 30+ years, when he joined the ranks of NFL officiating. He was a top college official and a very successful businessman, eventually owning his own company. However, as a rookie official, he had a lot to learn - all rookies do.

During the time I was an NFL referee (crew chief/white hat), the NFL supervisor often assigned a rookie to our crew; I liked that. My reason was two-fold: (1) I enjoyed the opportunity to teach new officials, and (2) I wanted to learn from them. You see, as one ages, it's easy to rely on what you've done over the years. A new official may bring a fresh idea of mechanics (positioning on the field) and/or rules interpretation.

The above was a large part of the discussion (I'll call him) "Bob" and I had during that visit. Bob was very complimentary to me saying how much he was thankful for my guidance and nurturing. He was overly complimentary. My response to those kind words was "That's what I do." Now, before you get the idea that this is about self-aggrandizement, let me make this point.

In my book Impartial Judgment, I devoted a chapter titled "We all need mentors - and I've had the best!" I learned early in life to associate myself with those who are smarter and more experienced than I. It has served me well. As I grew in knowledge and wisdom, it now became my turn to help others - thus the expression, "That's what I do."

If you subscribe to the theory of "The Law of Attraction," then you understand that what you think about and believe in is what you attract; when you attract those new thoughts and ideas, you begin to assimilate them into who you are; thus, "That's what I do."

That philosophy has served me well over my years as a referee, teacher, school administrator, as well as my recent privilege as a college trustee. Once an individual understands that life and its experiences are not about him/her, but merely an opportunity to be a "lamplighter," then "that's what I do" happens. The rewards, if they are to come, are the occasions to bask in the satisfaction of watching others grow.

As someone once said, "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away." Nurturing others creates those moments.

Will you be a giver and/or teacher/mentor to others?

To learn more about Jim Tunney, or if your organization would like to secure Jim as a speaker, please visit www.tunneysideofsports.com and click on Jim Tunney www.twitter.com/jimtunney.