Love and Football

In yesterday’s post (The Light that Shines Inside of You), I wrote about something Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney said to his team before the College Football Playoff Championship Game:

“When the light that shines inside you is greater than the light shining on you, there is nothing to be afraid of.”

Yesterday’s post noted how this light analogy seems to ring true, and has throughout time. And I really think Dabo is onto something because he said something else that I think rings true about the light inside of us.

Dabo said, “This game will come down to love.”

To some, love may seem like an odd thing for a football game to hinge on, but for those of us who have played the game, or for that matter, for any of us who have taken on any great challenge in life, love is the most powerful thing in this world. Why wouldn’t it matter in football?

Taking this idea of the light inside of us a step further, this light analogy is a description of the love inside us. This light, this fire, this energy inside us is love. I am hardly the first person to see things this way. Love is often described as fire, warmth, or light. People who are loving are often described as shining, glowing, and a light of life. Love is often described as a burning desire or a warm feeling radiating from the heart, from the center of the torso, the core, and I don’t think this is a coincidence. The body’s responses to love, which include a release of adrenaline and an increase in heart rate, explain this feeling biologically and support the idea that love feels hot, warm, and exhilarating. Love is a fire inside you.

The more you understand the fire’s unconditional existence, the more you will connect to the passion, brilliance, possibility, creativity, freedom, and love it creates in your life. The more you believe this fire is conditional – that it only burns occasionally when the right conditions exist – the more you will disconnect from your passion, brilliance, possibility, creativity, freedom, and love.

Please connect. Love. Let your fire warm and light your path in life.

The Light that Shines Inside of You

Inside the Clemson locker room before their College Football Playoff Championship Game, the Tigers’ Head Coach Dabo Swinney had a message for his team.

“When the light that shines inside you is greater than the light shining on you, there is nothing to be afraid of.”

I love this message. I realize it seems cliche and hokey to talk about the light inside of us, but it’s become a cliche for a good reason: It rings true across time and culture.

While some have referred to our light inside, others have called it a fire inside, a burning passion, brilliance, shine, illumination, a radiant light. When we are performing at a very high level, others describe us as being on fire. The analogy is apt because it seems to match our experience.

What I really love about Dabo’s statement is that it combines our inner brilliance with the idea that the outside world can’t dampen or outshine our inner fire. When we remember that our light can shine no matter what is going on around us, we have nothing to fear.

Other statements that describe this condition are rising above the fray, overcoming the odds, and living from the inside-out.

When you awaken to the understanding that your brilliance exists despite anything going on in the world around you, you gain incredible freedom in your mental and emotional life. You no longer need to waste precious resources searching for the causes of your thoughts and feelings. You no longer need to cast blame. Your light shines because of you, and nobody and nothing outside you can change that.

Even you can’t change it. Like the sun, the source of all life in the world, your light is always shining. When it seems like your fire is out, it’s only because your mind is clouding that fact or turning you away from it temporarily. Be aware of the illusion that your fire has gone out. Trust that it is still burning bright, fueling your ability to make the plays of your life.

It’s normal to be cold and cloudy and turn away from your light at times. It happens to all of us. I suspect that’s one reason why Dabo reminded his troops of this before the game. It’s easy to forget at times. The world can seem harsh, but it is no match for your inner fire.

Whether you believe this light is your soul or simply chemical energy of neurotransmitters swirling through your brain makes no difference. Your thoughts create your experience of the world, and the outside world is simply a canvas you project your thoughts onto. When you understand and trust that you create your experience of the world internally, you no longer fear situations such as success or failure. Indeed those terms begin to seem completely made up, and you begin to gain freedom to create an experience of the world that you desire. This is the beauty of the energy of life: It creates its experience from the inside-out.

So here is to hoping that you can also experience the light and brilliance you were born to manifest. Let your light shine brighter than any circumstance in your life. You have nothing to fear.

Making the Play


What a game. Clemson played a game with Coach Dabo Swinney’s proclamation of belief, love, and guts, and prevailed against the great Alabama Crimson Tide, 35-31. In the post-game interviews, Alabama’s Head Coach, Nick Saban, one of the greatest coaches of all time, attributed Clemson’s win to a very simple factor.

“They made the plays, and we didn’t,” Saban said.

Every endeavor has its own plays to be made. You either make them or you miss them. The more plays you understand how to make, the more plays you will make consistently. The more plays you make, the greater your chance of winning.

Too often we get lulled into thinking that the conditions (situations) dictate our response. To be a play maker we need to be open to the idea that no matter what the situation, we have influence.

In a battle that is weighed on a scoreboard, games aren’t determined by one play, even though the last play sometimes matters in the outcome. Each play counts equally. Often, it seems that games are determined by 3 or 4 big plays, but it simply seems that way because the plays made during the rest of the game balance each other. Each play, each moment, is an opportunity to make a play that tips the balance of the scales.

Sports are simply an extension of a greater life, and every situation in life presents a play to made, a moment to be seized. The best playmakers understand that no matter how favorable or unfavorable the situation appears, it is full of wide open potential, and in this invitation to possibility, the playmaker does what he can to influence the world in front of him.

Last night, Clemson made a few more plays than Alabama, but in such a great game, both sides made plays all night long. Some were easily noticed, others were subtle and more easily glossed over, but each counted. And according to Coach Dabo Swinney’s proclamation, Clemson’s belief, love, and guts made the difference in making a few more plays than their opponents made. They made the plays that needed to be made to win.

If you desire to make plays in your life, I aim to help. There are certain keys that will help you make plays consistently. This blog is dedicated to those keys. I hope you enjoy it and make plays in your life.

My Best to You,

Jared Wood