When we go through life and we try not to lose

October 20, 2022

By Jeff Becraft


In Super Bowl XXXII, the Green Bay Packers played the Denver Broncos. The Packers were the defending Super Bowl champions.

This was during the Brett Favre era and he was probably my favorite player to watch. As I watched the game, it looked to me like the Packers were trying to hold on to their title. They looked like they were trying not to lose.

The Broncos on the other hand were playing with reckless abandon.

I’ll let you guess who won…

It was the Broncos.

When we go through life and we try not to lose, not to make a mistake, not to mess up, we are just not at our best. We approach situations more stiff. It is like we are trying to hold on to something.

But when we let go…  when we relax and stop worrying if we will do a good enough job, that’s when we can approach a situation with total abandon. And that is when we are really at our best.

Yesterday, I was part of a Community Mental Health Forum. My role was to give a 4-minute strategic plan presentation. I was so tired from getting back into town the night before, that when I got up yesterday, I felt like I could throw up.  I thought, “That would be great… ‘Excuse me just one moment, I need to go over here on the side and throw up…’”

All that really happened is more than space for this email could hold, but when I walked into the building at 11:15 a.m., I was totally relaxed and was even joking around when I first walked in. The Forum went well.

But then last night, I needed to speak at a banquet. I was even more tired than earlier in the day, my sugar level was high, but even worse, I started to worry and feel burdened… a burden I placed upon myself.  “I’m so tired… what if I get up there and just go blank? What if I don’t do a good enough job? What if…”  I walked up on stage and felt stiff.  I thought I did an OK job. But it wasn’t the reckless abandon that I had approached the Forum earlier in the day.

Even at my age of being old and grumpy, I can still fall into a pattern of trying to do a good job… of trying to measure up, not make a mistake, trying not to lose… instead of approaching something with reckless abandon and fully enjoying each moment.

It is a great day to fully embrace the day!



Jeff Becraft is the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].