Our experiences determine how we see the world. What we value, think is right and wrong, and what we believe is best for the people we love.

If we played as a kid, made the team, and had success, we reflect on our past fondly and interpret our experiences as positive. Particularly if they provided status, gave us a sense of accomplishment, and made us feel part of something.

The result is an inclination to want the same for our kids. Or the athletes we coach.

What truly changes us is how we feel. If we get excited to compete, then competition must be good. If we experience joy in winning, then winning must make us stronger. And if we are proud to be part of tradition, then it’s a tragedy when it’s taken away.

What we feel in the moment, or desire to feel in the future, is a powerful motivator. It drives action.

The danger, however, is that blindly following emotion can lead us astray. When we isolate our view to personal experience, it’s restricting.

Instead, we need to moderate feelings with thinking, seek out information in the world that challenges us, appreciate what others know and believe, and what their viewpoint has to offer.

Because with fresh perspective comes opportunity, and the chance to do things better.