Today, I would like to direct your attention to Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback. Tom has been a source of learning for me, ever since he rose through the ranks and forged a Hall of Fame resume. Whenever I watch Brady on the field, I watch with an inquiring mind by continually asking the question, “What can Tom Brady teach me?”I believe Brady has risen to the top of his profession because he is always engaging in Operation Wonder; he is very teachable.Bill Belichick, the head coach of the Patriots, saw in Tom a curious and ambitious pupil. He saw a mushy ball of clay that was ready to be molded into a Michelangelo. The fairy tale of Brady’s success is a tale of Operation Wonder at its best.The success of Operation Wonder requires being open minded and flexible, as well as curious and teachable. Brady values being teachable more than any satisfaction he may get from feeling safe with his old way of seeing himself and the game of football.
Unfortunately, for the for the overwhelming majority of people on the planet, it is the conditioned mind that prevails. They learn a little bit about something, and then they live within the programmed limitations of what they’ve learned. They hunker down in their comfort zone and stop trying new things. It’s like a sheep, hiding amongst the bleating herd, preferring security over curiosity.
What puts Brady amongst the few who never stop having breakthroughs? He knows what he wants and he is willing to do whatever it takes to grow. Do you want to be curious and ambitious and succeed in life? Or do you want to hide amongst the bleating herd of sheep – a wanna be player in the game of life but doing just enough to get by?
I find that it takes courage to challenge my old beliefs and opinions, and that’s because challenging them can leave me feeling deserted. What am I to think next? Think in terms of finding right answers, and right answers are what you will think next.
Student: What am I to believe, if I abandon all of my current beliefs”
Teacher: Wisdom lies beyond your current beliefs.
The powerful reason for engaging in Operation Wonder is to ask healthy questions. When you ask healthy questions you strengthen your Power of Attention so you can find healthy answers. The next time that you are watching your favorite athlete, or listening to your favorite musician, or watching your favorite entertainer – while enjoying the mastery that he or she is exhibiting – ask yourself, “What can this person teach me?” That, right there, has you engaging in Operation Wonder.
Be sure to check out my latest article for the Huffington Post here.