I will bet you have heard the phrase “defining moment”.
“A point at which the essential nature or character of a person or group is revealed or identified”
“The point at which a situation is clearly seen to start to change”
Or, “an occurrence that typifies or determines all related events that will follow.”
Precise, readily identifiable points that begin to emerge along the line of your life. Instants that not only bring clarity to who you are. But times that are indicative of the changes going on from within. Evidence of what you are in the process of becoming.
A “defining moment” almost seems to imply your participation in a passive event. A deliverance of sorts after a set period of waiting. An occasion where “something” just happens – then lo and behold – you become defined. And by that chance occurrence, things can then begin to change.
But think about it. The act of defining isn’t at all a passive experience. It is an active, intentional endeavor. A pattern of deliberate, learned and committed behaviors built by you. That little by little, burnish the edges. Creates form. Brings clarity. Eventually revealing an entity molded to a purpose. You. Defined.
And the change that typifies or determines all related events that will follow?
Already well underway. Because throughout the process of burnishing, forming and molding, you are eliciting change. Perhaps it is more evident from the inside out at the start. But as the defining proceeds and this process leads you toward finishing, those changes will become recognizable from the outside. Ultimately, they will impact all events that follow.
At the core of all of this activity? The engine of attitude, aspirations and accomplishment; Choice.
Because before you can define, you must first choose to become as one with the process. Not simply engaged. But invested. All in. For one and done will not work in this venture. It has to be how you choose to bring definition to yourself in this moment. The next. And In all those that are yet to come. Because each are interconnected. Each work together. All lead you to achievement, excellence and success. Finishing.
So in reality, these are the true defining moments:
The hours upon hours upon hours of sacrifice, diligence and effort spent in practice.
Studying, seeking help, asking for extra credit and weekends spent on academics to pursue a life of learning.
Being a fixture in the weight room.
Emptying yourself not just on the field, but in all you do. Not just once, but over and over and over again.
Engaging in the pursuit of focus, commitment, speed and strength
Conversely, these too define you:
Skipping class. Being late. Neglecting your assignments. Not taking care of yourself.
Putting me in front of we. Making it about you. Looking for ways to hide, avoid or just blend in.
Not being right here. Even right now.
In time, you will inevitably become the sum total of all of your choices as defined in and by these moments.
“The point at which the essential nature or character of a person or group is revealed or identified”
Defining moments that began the instant you decided to apply yourself entirely to a venture. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Physically.
Investing yourself fully into something that was difficult. Improbable. Never been done. Even a total stretch.
The common thread in all this?
Some magical moment when the Gods confer upon thee blessings too numerous to comprehend?
Something frickin’ boring, mundane and commonplace.
‘Cause even now – you are choosing.
Like you will be in ten minutes.
Tonight as you rep the game in your head.
At walk through.
On the way to the field
Along the sidelines.
In the huddle.
At the line of scrimmage.
Instants that can never really define you.
Just boundless opportunities for you to choose how you define yourself.