INVEST IN THE PEAKS AND VALLEYS OF EMOTION

This morning, I listened to The Hines Ward Show, a podcast led by the former wide receiver of the Pittsburgh Steelers and 2x Super Bowl Champion. In this episode, Hines interviews his former Head Coach Bill Cowher, one of the most well-respected former head coaches in the NFL. The whole episode is fantastic, and if you are a sports fan at all you will really enjoy this interview.

There is one quote from Coach Cowher that really struck me when I heard it this morning and I wanted to share it with you. Coach Cowher is talking about how he treated his football teams like family, and that when you invest yourself that strongly into something, you make yourself vulnerable to pain. This leads into an incredible quote about life:

"The further you go into it, there is a big hurt that comes with that. When you become involved and you buy in, and you say "I'm all in!"- with that comes the thrill of victory... and that gives you the best chance to succeed. But when you fail, it hurts a lot more. You go through the peaks and valleys of emotion. And isn't that what life is all about? Is to go through the highest of highs and enjoy it... and to take the lowest of lows, and be able to bounce back from it. Because that reveals more who you are- is the ability to get back on that bike after you fall down than it does to just keep on riding."

Amazing quote. My two biggest takeaways are:

  1. "And isn't that what life is all about? Is to go through the highest of highs and enjoy it... and to take the lowest of lows, and be able to bounce back from it." I believe that human emotion is one of our greatest gifts that make life worth living, and not just the positive emotions. This quote struck a chord so well with me because a life spent avoiding deep emotional investment is not really living. Here, Coach Cowher is first talking about being heavily invested in your passion, but he implies that you should be heavily invested all over your life- in your school, your family, your relationships, your passions, your career, and yourself. Yes, this will bring pain and sadness, but it will also bring you so much joy and happiness. If you can appreciate the the wonderful moments when you were invested, the pain that eventually comes can never outweigh that positive emotion. A life based on emotional detachment to avoid negative feelings will never live up to a life that goes through "the peaks and valleys of emotion."

  2. "...and to take the lowest of lows, and be able to bounce back from it. Because that reveals more who you are- is the ability to get back on that bike after you fall down than it does to just keep on riding." This speaks to the power of courage and resilience, and their fundamental place in determining character. You can't just not learn how to ride a bike because you might fall, and you have to be mentally prepared to bounce back up after you do fall. The bike rides you have after you get back up are much sweeter as a result, often even sweeter than the rides when you don't fall at all.

Hines and his Co-Host Michael O'Neal do an excellent job leading this interview, and there are a lot more life lessons revealed by Hines and Coach Cowher. This episode is worth a listen for any sports fan. Listen to the full episode here, or click the link below to check out more podcasts from The Hines Ward Show.

The Hines Ward Show

220 ACTION

  1. Write down all of the areas of your life that you can identify where you would consider yourself to be heavily emotionally invested.
  2. Write down any areas of your life where you would consider yourself not to be heavily emotionally invested.
  3. Think about why you are not invested in the areas you wrote down in #2. Ask yourself, "why not?", and, "should I be?"
  4. For any areas of your life where you said you should be emotionally invested, write down the steps it would take for you to become emotionally invested.
  5. For any areas where you said you don't need to be invested, ask yourself how much time you are spending in that area, and is it worth removing all-together?

Invest in your emotions! Invest in your life!


What did you think of this post? What did you think of the quote, and what are your initial reactions to it? Let us know in the comments!

Want to read another post about resilience? Check out our post on Breanna Stewart, UConn Huskies Women's Basketball player and 4-time NCAA Champion.