One Shining Moment

There are few recaps of any collegiate event that are so iconic in their meaning and association and can stir as much emotion as the NCAA College Basketball National Tournaments, “One Shining Moment.” If you are a basketball fan, or at least a follower of the NCAA Championships, that theme elicits memories and emotions.

CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz put the power of the video montage, shown at the conclusion of the national championship game into perspective: “Every kid that takes this stage, knows the song, knows the lyrics, knows what it means, dreams of stepping foot on that platform come Monday night. That song is really being played for them, dedicated to them.”

Watch the video from the 2016 NCAA March Madness:

First the obvious: The music touches your emotions, along with the energy and emotions of the young players chasing a dream most of them have had for years. The exhilaration of success in a win and the devastation of their dream coming to an end is felt. The entire team’s entourage is dreaming of winning the last game of the season as National Champions. However, only one team will realize this dream, all but one will experience the wrenching side of a loss. But were there any losers?

What strikes me as less transparent: We see the passion and the love of the game that transcends to success whether it is winning the last game of the season, or just being in the tournament as one of the best 64 teams in the country. We feel the story of the human spirit and the power of dreams, effort, emotions, team work and the overcoming of adversity. It is striving for ONE SHINING MOMENT as a result of a string of countless smaller less transparent shining moments strung together to produce the outcome portrayed.

We see the final outcome, not the journey. What we do not see, as in the case of most significantly successful events, changes, and outcomes are the countless hours in the gym, the sacrifice, the weight room training sessions, all those games of success as well as failure. We do not see what is happening in the locker room. There are countless stories of individuals where sports saved their lives by providing them a scholarship and entry into college where they have the opportunity to be part of a team and to experience the feeling and joy of belonging and success.

Moving off the basketball court, there’s something else we often don’t see: The years of commitment of a young employee in corporate life that culminates in being named CEO. We only see the outcome and say to ourselves, “lucky guy or lady,” or “how cool.” I sometimes reflect on the time I’ve spent mentoring a young person on what it takes to succeed in corporate life; the patience, doing what is needed despite the manager, looking for opportunity, paying your dues, taking some risk, developing relationships, and putting in the hours. I have mentored many, yet only a few will do what is needed. Others find fault in everyone around them for their stagnating corporate career. They fail at reaching their ultimate shining moment as they are not willing to have a series of smaller shining moments on their journey.

We do not see the person who makes a decision to change in order to achieve their personal desires in business, in life, in relationships. We do not see the struggles, the emotions, the leaning into the issues, for something that is staggeringly important. If someone is willing, and has the courage to take the risks and make the commitment to strive for their own shining moment, then they will be willing to seek help from resources beyond themselves.

We do not see the transformation when intellectual knowledge is applied to behavior to bring about change. We do not see the journey or the passion it takes to reach for and attain the desired outcome. We may not see how someone prays that those around them will take the time and have the patience to lean into the journey with them in order to experience the magnitude, joy, and amazement of being part of the final outcome.

Caribou has a slogan, “Life is short. Stay awake for it.” This is meaningful for those who desire to truly be alive and awake for themselves and those around them. This is also meaningful for those “inner circle” people in a person’s life who want to share in the joy and excitement of an amazing future.

What we see in the NCAA’s “One Shining Moment” is that it’s one thing to rejoice in the moment of victory and another to honor the journey that brought us here.

I tip my hat to those willing to do what it takes to make a change, to be humble along the journey, to make the sacrifice and be patient, to strive to be their best, to strive to be part of the ONE SHINING MOMENT through a series of smaller, less noticed shining moments.


2 thoughts on “One Shining Moment

  1. Thank you for sharing these reflections, I was especially struck by your reference to all the work that is behind the ‘one shining moment.’ The courage to try, risk, fail, and do it again leads to remaking life and relationships. I also appreciate the reflections about your core values from your last blog post!


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