The luxury of being in a bad mood

Athletes come to the weight room every night during the week to train. They’re not in season, they’re not forced to come, and the training is rarely fun. With no game to look forward to on the weekend, the payoff is far in the future. Indeed, the season might be months away.

Many come because they want to be better athletes. Some come because they want to do what they’re friends are doing. A few come because they’d feel awkward not coming with the rest of the team. Regardless, they choose to come.

In these situations, I don’t get the luxury of being in a bad mood. If I had a terrible day, I don’t get to show it. If I show it, they’ll see it, and they don’t have time for that. They’re not there to spend their evenings with a grumpy coach.

So from time to time I have to fake it. I have to smile even if I feel depressed. I have to be excited even if I’d rather walk out the door. They don’t have time for anything else from me. Leaders act the part, regardless of feelings.

Ironically, smiling often leads to happiness. Acting excited often leads to feeling excited.

This simple insight took me too long to realize.

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