“Optimism is the ability to focus on where we’re going, not where we’re coming from"
~ Simon Sinek
Despite having absolutely no knowledge of the game, nor the country’s sporting culture, an American college football coach heads to England to manage AFC Richmond, a struggling English Premier League “football” (soccer) team. That coach is Ted Lasso, and these facts are not a deterrent for a man like him because he knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that, beyond all apparent adversity, holding one’s focus on possibility, and believing that there is good in all people, is what is actually needed to lead any team.
“For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves, on and off the field.” ~ Ted Lasso
Ted is always able to see beyond the surface of an individual, to bolster them up, and to accept them the way they are. Throughout the seasons of the Tad Lasso tv show, for instance, we are able to track the journey of a particular character, named Jamie Tartt, who, although he is a top athlete within the club, is also… “a prick”. Slowly, over time, it is revealed that Jamie has a heartless father who constantly belittles his son. Eventually, beginning with Ted, rather than continued condemnation, understanding and empathy towards Jamie starts to spread across the team. And, as a result, Jamie’s personality transforms. He becomes a vulnerable, compassionate and empathetic team player. I found it hard not to grow fond of his quirky nature.
Of course I love the Ted Lasso character… as much as I similarly love the work of societal influencer, Simon Sinek. Both men value optimism, which is a way of life that I also take seriously. As I envision a world that is ‘a happier place for everyone together’, I am inspired through comedic wisdom and empowered by transformational tools equally, in their turn.
Simon’s work shows us how to develop our own purpose statements. Through his methods of diving deep into what calls us, from our youths to the present day, each one of us is able to uncover a driving theme throughout all that we do. I personally have learned I am ‘a pioneer’, who is committed to finding and demonstrating the many pathways to living a joy-filled life.
As each one of us learns to live from our true natures, we become inspirations for others… but the effect each one of us has on the world doesn’t stop there. We are all pulled by a profound vision, and the result of following the tug of this, is the impact of our greater contribution to the world.
Ted Lasso has the capacity to forgive. It is through forgiveness that Ted and his side coach, Beard, become deep, lasting friends and confidants. “If we see each other in our dreams, let’s goof around a little bit; pretend like we don’t know each other,” says Ted on their plane ride to England. Later, Ted reminds Beard about the power of forgiveness, and there is an important reconciliation in Season 3.
I believe each one of us suffers from the self-defeating stories we tell ourselves about life and who we think we are… (well… maybe with the exception of Jamie Tartt… Ted asked him if he would rather be a lion or a panda and his reply was, "Coach, I'm Me. Why Would I Want to Be Anything Else?”).
Perhaps Jamie’s is an attitude to aspire towards. When we separate facts from ‘stories’, we realize that we live most of our lives from the viewpoint of the stories we tell ourselves, and that doesn’t always serve us. One ‘fact’ is, I am a woman in my 60th year… but, just that fact alone is enough to then jump me off into a serious tall tale about the details of who I believe I am becoming, and what others might think about me.
Here lies all the power. Since I am writing the stories of my life, I can actually choose any theme. It really doesn’t matter. So, how about, “the wrinkles on my face and neck mean greater wisdom”. (That is my story, and I am sticking to it!)
In one episode, Ted Lasso asks fans at the local pub to have a little hope. They tell him, “It is the hope that kills ya.” Not so, for Ted. He responds, “I believe in hope. I believe in BELIEVE.”
We then learn that Ted has motivational yellow sign mounted in prominent places around his house and work space. He says that, even when he is too tired to floss his teeth at night, he looks up at his reminders and he is motivated to complete this final task of the day. With his mind open to possibilities beyond the ‘probable’ defeat of his team in their next game, Ted is spurred on into a creative spin. (And, from this place of inspiration, Richmond ends up giving their opponents one heck of a ride).
One of the things that Ted has said on the show that inspires me is this: “I think things come into our lives to help us get from one place to a better one.”
I believe that the Ted Lasso show has been so fully welcomed into our living rooms because it is time for us to transform our world through the power of ‘the Lasso Way’.
‘Good’ is the essential nature of each one of us, and of the world around us. The only things that make this seem false, are the made-up stories we use to limit our personal lives, and our experiences of the world at large. But, if… just for today… we choose to try on the ‘Lasso Way’, we might find that this day is a whole lot better than any day we have lived so far.
‘Today is the first day of the rest of our lives’. So, let’s get out a pen and paper and start the new scripts of the lives we hope for. Next, all we have to do is hold onto our beliefs in those visions, and then start living like they are already true!
~ Write your story about the dream life you desire to be living right now. Don’t hold back with excuses. If you could close your eyes, wave a magic wand, what would it look like, feel like, be like today? ~ Now that you have your new story in place, start owning it by doing one thing, each and every day this week, that walks you closer to that vision. ~ Trust. Believe. The Universe has your back.