Posted by: G. Lane Cavalier | May 2, 2007

Life: White Board Sayings Explained – Number 6

“I love ME for ME!” – Terrel Owens,  Pro Football Player

Ok, On first guess you probably think I have lost my mind since I generally have very positive and team oriented sayings on my virtual white board here, but there is something to this line that I would like to touch on which makes it important (at least to me).

For those of you who follow football, you probably know Terrel Owens as the ultra-talented, outspoken, possibly troubled, and probably selfish wide receiver who spent time in San Francisco, Philly (I don’t count the two days in Baltimore), and Dallas.  

Putting that aside, remember it’s the message, not the messenger.  This line can have very positive connotations for you if you put it in perspective.

We are bombarded every day by messages telling us to work as a team, to sacrifice for the greater good, to give to others first.  All are very good messages, because we need to do all of those things.

BUT, every now and then, just on that rare occasion we need to pat ourselves on the back and evaluate all the skills and talents that we have and how we bring them to bear for not only our success, but the success of our organization.

I often do this when working on my resume, I’ll chant the phrase like a mantra.  I also do it as the last thing I say out loud before I get out of my car for an interview. 

I had a child psychologist once tell me (hey, his son was on my baseball team, I wasn’t seeing him professionally, but probably should have been) that we figuratively live our life like a mule pulling a cart.  Every time we do something wrong, we stop and put a rock (or boulder if it was really bad) into the cart.  Every time we do something right, we most often forget to take the rock out of the cart or at best take out a rock that was half the size of what it should have been.  When the cart gets to heavy to pull, we just cut ourselves free, and give up.  He said that was the oversimplified definition of a “Mid-Life Crisis.” 

With this in mind, every time I want to remind myself to remove a rock (or boulder) I simply remind myself that “I love ME for ME.”

PS – I will probably never get the chance, but if I did, I’d thank Terrel Owens for the quote because it not only is something to remember, it has also led to some of the funniest and best conversations I’ve ever had with my staff as I would catch another of them saying “I love ME for ME!” as they walked out of my office. 

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