How to Love

By: Jim Murphy

How to Love


  1. The greatest moments in history, in every area of life, are moments where love was the power behind the person. Whether it’s Nelson Mandela, William Wilberforce, or 14-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala, they all overcame great odds, empowered by love.
  2. It’s exactly the same in athletic performance: love has been the fuel driving the most extraordinary sporting moments and prolific careers.
  3. So how can you and I wield this power? How can we take hold of this love–this passion, the willingness to sacrifice, to suffer–and do extraordinary things?
  4. Realize that for most of us, we’ve set our goals far too low. Even if your biggest goal is to win the Masters golf tournament, it’s too low.
  5. The problem is that your love is too small, dissipating in shallow desires and not empowered from sacrificial ones.

“Show me what you love and I’ll show you who you are.” – James K. Smith, You are What You Love

I love tacos. The meat and cilantro, avocado, salsa, and onions–all goodness and abundance, wrapped in love. I also love sushi and sunsets, great salads (with prawns and pralines), bike rides and big hugs, and ladybugs.

I love baseball and board games, learning to cook and reading great books. I love great moments, where we learn and grow and ideas come together, and special moments, like when the first pitch hits the glove, the ball and the leather.

What I love most, however, far exceeds incredible culinary experiences or the greatest sporting moments. What I love most is to feel fully alive, to be immersed in moments so magical, they seem surreal in their depth and vitality.

Those moments have an energy that has no concern for tomorrow or regrets of yesterday, only pure possibility. There’s no needs, no concerns–no thoughts of self. These moments are such a gift, and they all have one thing in common: the selfless, fully present, non-judgmental awareness that characterizes love.

Unconditional love, the kind willing to sacrifice everything (like about 2,000 years ago today), is the most powerful force on earth. Most of us, however, never fully use its power. Too often our love dissipates and becomes desires unfulfilled, impulses that turn into addictions.

There’s a golf tournament this week in Augusta, Ga that I love. It’s been such a gift to share amazing moments with extremely talented people at the Masters. For most golfers, to win the Masters would be the pinnacle of accomplishment, as high as it gets.

Teddy Scott, caddie for world #1 Scottie Scheffler, has been the caddie for the Masters champion 3x so far (twice with a kid from Bagdad named Bubba). What he might tell you if you ask him, as others have found, is that extraordinary accomplishments are often followed by an emptiness. After achieving your greatest dream you might wonder, is that all there is? I thought it would feel different.

What happens so often is that we chase our dreams, riding the ups and downs of an emotional roller coaster, only to realize perhaps years later to our dismay, that we were always chasing our tails. We had hoped that one day we’d get all our circumstances just right, with the relationships and bank accounts and beautiful people all arranged just so, all of ’em loving our picture perfect posts… only to realize we were chasing the wrong dream.

The far more powerful dream would be to become the type of person who lives fully, capturing all the small moments, even the painful ones, because she doesn’t waste her love; she prays to be worthy of her sufferings, so she can love greatly.

The question is not do you love, but what you love, how you love, and perhaps most of all, what you do with your desires.

How to fully utilize the love waiting within you:

  1. Start by journaling about what you love. Gather those good moments and memories, places and people that have been the highlights in your life so far.
  2. Ask yourself why you love those things and what each moment, memory or person gives you.
  3. Recognize that most people dissipate their love by getting passionate and fighting for lower level things that don’t last, pursuing temporary transactions that lack meaning.
  4. Elevate your loves and your life by letting go of your little lollipop loves, and let your outcome goals be the by-product of seeking to learn and grow in love, wisdom and courage.
  5. If your goal is to win the Masters, for example, pursue absolute fullness of life, to become wholehearted, then you’ll have the best chance to live the best possible life, and oh by the way… the best chance to win that tournament in Augusta.

Love Jim


The Inner Excellence audiobook is in production! Should be submitted next week, where you’ll find it on Audible. I’ll send you a note when it goes live. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of one of the interviews included in the book…

Click here!

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