WEEK 4 MARCH 2012
Today in Melbourne, Australia, is the State Funeral of a real legend, Jim Stynes. Jim lost his courageous three-year battle with cancer just last week, having undergone 20 operations, including many to have brain tumours removed. He was so much more than a star footballer and a Brownlow medalist. He was a youth worker, a businessman, a philanthropist, a writer, football club chairman, a Victorian of the Year, Melbournian of the year and honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia. Big Jim will be remembered as much for his tireless work off the field as on it. The Melbourne Demons legend came to Melbourne from Ireland to pursue a sporting dream and left a lasting legacy on an entire nation.
The words of his fellow team mate and great friend Gary Lyon say it all.
Jimmy refused to let the game define who he was. It was just a part of him and it allowed us to marvel at his determination, unwavering self-belief, resilience, strength, skill, endurance and courage.
He showed me that you could be committed but not obsessive, the need to separate the playing field from the field of life, that you can gain satisfaction out of the contest regardless of the result, that you could enjoy the environment and male bonding that footy provided but always maintain a sensitivity to what is right and wrong, that you never get so tunnel visioned that you don’t recognise the needs of others, that you can be both passionate and ruthless in the pursuit of excellence.
He was secure enough to know that displaying vulnerability can be a strength and not a weakness.
Despite being such a champion athlete, Jim wasn’t satisfied with just making a contribution on the field and he went on to start the Reach Foundation. The vision of Reach is, “That every young person has the support and self-belief they need to fulfill their potential and dare to dream.” I was lucky enough to work alongside Jim in some of his workshops and personally saw the enormous impact he had on so many. Jim believed there was greatness in every one of us. He inspired over half a million young Australians to live their lives with passion, honesty, courage and a purpose, a truly lasting legacy.
What is your legacy? What would you love to leave behind?
In the words of Jim himself just a few weeks ago..
I love life. There’s always something to do, something to be achieved, something to overcome, new people to meet. You’ve just gotta find your bliss and go after it. That’s where the drive is, that’s how you find your special place.
What is the little difference you can make to leave behind an extraordinary difference?
RIP. An extraordinary man who will forever hold a special place in the hearts of many.
Ann Quinn, Ph.D Peak Performance Specialist