If you were to have attended a Lynn University basketball game between 2015-2018, you would have seen something special. There was one player in particular who stuck out. Not because of his play, quite the opposite. In fact, this player rarely took off his warmup gear. But if you kept an eye on him during the game, his contributions to the team were arguably more valuable than if he were out there scoring buckets.
The energy Morgan Garrison brought to the game wasn't anything special in itself; it was the consistency in which he showed up each day with this energy and passion that made his role so valuable and his actions so admirable.
Morgan is a good friend of mine. We are similar in many ways. We were both athletes at Lynn, we both studied journalism and then went through the same master's program, and we both started on the bench more often than we did in games.
Because our situations were so similar, it was fascinating for me to watch him. He was a competitor, just like me. He worked hard to be the best player he could be, just like me. He wanted to play, just like me. I always wondered how he was able to embrace his role so well.
Now that we're both done with our respective athletic careers, I got the chance to sit down with him and ask the question I was always wondering, "How?"
I know how tough it is to find ways to be an asset to your team and feel like you are contributing to the overall success when you aren't playing, so I asked him how he was able to embrace that role. He couldn't have given a better response.
He knew that, if nothing else, his effort and drive were always within his control. His energy was not dependent on his play, his role on the team, or anything else for that matter other than the conscious choice he made each day to bring the noise.
"Let me be confident in my energy," he said. "I felt nobody was better at that level than I was when it came to energy."
That was all the answer I needed.
What Morgan shared with me is a lesson we can all learn from. He embraced his role and made the conscious decision that no one was going to be better than him at doing it. He was the glue that held the team together, and there was no one in the league that was going to be sticker than he was.
So, what's the takeaway for you? You may not be a basketball player, and you may not be an infinity pool of energy, but whatever you do, and whatever your role is, decide today that no one will do it better than you. Be the glue that holds everything together.