In life we are blessed to meet many different types of people. Regardless of what a person’s relationship is to us, there are sets of people we will always need no matter where we are in life. Teammates.
While teammates can change, and the dynamics of the teams change, one thing that remains true is that we’ll always need teammates in this battle of life.
For some people and periods in our life, a teammate can be a parent, a sibling a cousin etc. For others it can be a spouse, a child, significant other etc. Other times it may be a co-worker, a teacher, an actual teammate etc. Regardless of the initial relationship we share with a person, our team is critical for growth and achieving our goals in life.
Anyone who thinks they can maneuver this life without a good team is in for a hell of a time.
But what makes a good teammate…clearly if a person loves you enough they can make a great teammate right?
There are times when even the ones we hold dearest can be a hindrance to our growth and development and thus they become less of a teammate and more of an opposition. A prime example of this occurs in young adults who seek to begin their life independent of their family but is constantly hampered by the expectations of younger years. Another great example of this occurs in marriages or relationships where one party is in one phase of their life while the other is not.
As a seasoned athlete of team sports, one should know a great team can only perform to optimal levels if all teammates are in it for each other and have the same goals in mind. If a teammate does not have similar goals and interests in mind, than the team cannot perform to optimal levels no matter how great the potential of the unit.
These instances, and several others, is when a teammate becomes a cheerleader or less. They may want you to do well and give you praise and encouragement but are not in the game with you. It is great to have cheerleaders but in order to win the game you need teammates. It is great to have the external pick me up every now and then but the best encouragement comes from people playing the game with you.
The sacrifices, the pain, the time, all of the effort and energy is shared in the process with a teammate, so is the reward. A teammate understands the struggle through in through, not because you talk to them about it, but because they are going through it with you. They are right there beside you, physically or not. It is very difficult to connect on a higher level with someone who is not playing the game with you much less not even understanding the levels and complexities of the game.
Relationships develop and change over time and people who were once our teammates can become little more than cheerleaders if that. Their values don’t align as well and the goals are not as similar.
It is in these moments we should accept the cheerleaders for what they are, a nice to have but not a necessity. In order to truly make it to the wherever it is you want to be in life you need strong consistent teams, not a band of cheerleaders.
No team structure will be the same in every aspect of our life. We are different people throughout different periods of our life and it is inconceivable to think that others change at the same rate and way we do. Inherently, our team chemistries and compositions will change throughout life as well.
Some of us are fortunate enough to have teammates that develop and grow together through time, continuously challenging and helping each other reach new levels. These teammates are the life friends, the permanent marriages, etc. But even these change in time, as they should.
As our values change we will fall out of other people’s teams as others will fall out of ours…it is life. We must accept these changes and continuously improve our present teams because a team is only as strong as its weakest link no matter how long or short the chain is.