Last week over 9 million people tuned in to watch the rivalry football game between Colorado and Colorado State. With Deion "Prime Time" Sanders coaching Colorado, there has been heaps of hype around the program and people are genuinely interested in seeing how far he can take a team that only won two games the year prior.
However, the headlines shifted halfway through the first quarter when Travis Hunter, a star player for Colorado on both offense and defense, ran a relatively routine route as a wide receiver. The play was well-defended by the cornerback and the ball was overthrown, leaving Hunter virtually no chance to catch the ball. After the ball hit the ground, another Colorado State defender, Henry Blackburn, can be seen running across the field, planting his body in front of the defenseless Hunter and pointedly slamming his shoulder into his torso.
It was ugly. It was dirty. It frankly hurt to watch and it left the audience, the coaches, the other players, and even the analysts asking, "What was the point of that?"
No one can question Blackburn's talent for the game of football and his performance on the field. We can, however, question his intentions. Was he truly trying to help his team win in that moment? Or was he trying to hurt someone?
Almost a decade ago, I was elected to a position that called for me to be able to speak to audiences of thousands, interact with business professionals, post engaging social media content, serve on a board of directors, and advocate for certain legislative matters relevant to the organization. On the first day of training our manager and coach told us that we were selected because we had the ability to perform at a high level. Then he said, "But if you want to impact people, to change people's lives, you not only have to perform the job, but you must constantly check your intentions."
Are your intentions to truly help make your co-workers life easier, or are you hoping a. manager notices so you get a promotion? Are you volunteering for the service project because you know they need someone with a truck or do you want people to view you as selfless?
It's important to be able to do the job well, but it's just as important that we remain well-intended in doing so.
Grab a notecard and write down what your intentions are for the week: in your job, with you family, at school.
What is more important, that someone performs well or has good intentions?
“If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.” - William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice