Fan, Friend

Adding stakes

Sporting events, such as the NFL playoffs, are fun to watch with a crowd, especially a crowd of friends.  But one way to add much more excitement, especially if you weren’t particularly rooting for one team or another, is to encourage everyone to make cheap bets with friends while everyone’s watching together.

“One dollar says they convert this third down!”

“You’re on!”

ohhhhhhhh…. Ohhhhhhhh….  OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-AHHHHHHHH-Awwwwwwwwwww…..

Dollars are exchanged. General merriment and hilarity ensues.

Suddenly the audience is no longer a passive actor. Each of us becomes an active participant. There is shouting and clapping and cheers and laughter. There is joy.

It’s amazing how much any event, sporting or otherwise, becomes more interesting when there’s some small personal stake at risk. In the end, no one walks away more than a few dollars up or down. But when you have something to win or lose attached to these otherwise random outcomes, you care more. You stay involved. You’re no longer a bystander. Suddenly, it matters. All for maybe a $1 here and there.

What if we made more every day things matter?

Friend, Homeowner

Hosting your friends

How do you feel when you host a large gathering? Do you feel anxious that everything is going to go as planned? Do you feel put upon that you’re in charge of entertaining everyone? Do you feel crushed under the weight of preparing the house? Do you feel stifled because of the crowd in your home?

My wife and I rarely deal with those emotions whenever we invite a crowd over. Partially because we’ve hosted so many gatherings of close friends that it’s become second nature. We don’t have something prove or a reputation to uphold. We aren’t typically throwing a fancy dinner party, or trying to impress anyone. We just want to hang out with our dear friends.

It helps that we’re extroverts, so we gain energy from large gatherings. My idea of heaven is a big room with all my friends there talking and laughing. Though to be fair, our more introverted friends tend to enjoy the gatherings as well, because it’s with people they know.

To the introverts, I hope you find the joy of being with the people you’re comfortable with, on your terms.

To the extroverts, I hope you find many excuses to host shindigs and give others that chance for joy… and skim a bit of joy off the top yourselves.