Is your life an enjoyable journey or a series of risk/reward scenarios? In the NFL different players approach things… differently. Kerryon Johnson has proven he’s one of the good ones.
Kerryon Johnson loves football.
It’s his job, but it is also his passion. So when the Detroit Lion’s running back hurt his knee in week six this season he was despondent. It marked his second straight year with a significant injury.
What followed were surgery, rehab, and a sideline seat watching his team fail week after week. That’s tough to do for a competitor. But he watched as his team struggled to a 3-10-1 record, securing yet another annual trip into the top five of the draft.
So when he was finally cleared to play this week, with only two games remaining, his decision seemed like a simple one. Shut it down for the year.
Conventional wisdom bringing rare clarity.
Why risk further injury in a lost season?
Why play for nothing?
Because Kerryon Johnson loves football and loving football is exactly what he intends to do:
“As stupid as some people may see it, I like to play, man,” Johnson said, via the Detroit Free Press. “I did all this work in the offseason, did all this work in the summer, and I didn’t do it to play five games. Obviously, my goal every year is to play a full season. Two seasons down, I’m 0 for 2. But getting to [seven games], whatever it might be, is better than where I’m at now.” Profootball talk
So in an era of entitled athletes who often make “business decisions” to try only when it suits them, Johnson is the rare bird that actually enjoys the journey.
This is a marker for a successful life.
Challenges will come, but if you are keyed in on the process and the journey rather than the outcome, you are better positioned to persevere and thrive.
Getting paid for the work we do is glorious and necessary, but if you don’t love the journey, you are in the wrong job. Or stated differently, perhaps you carry the wrong attitude into the job that you have.
We all love the “after” photos of marathons and extreme weight loss, but the people who get healthy and stay healthy find a way to also love 6am at the Y. They love a treadmill. They love dead lifts.
If you fall in love with the process, eventually the process is going to love you back.
Profound statement. One I stole from an unlikely source. Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell.
So as you watch the NFL this weekend, remember guys like Johnson. And also remember all of the guys who aren’t out there but could be. To those guys the NFL is a job.
It’s not wrong, but it speaks volumes about their commitment, character and priorities.
Kerryon Johnson has made his choice, what is yours?