New Years’ Resolution: Five Steps to Being a Bigger Fan

A “fan,” sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person with a liking and enthusiasm for something, such as a band or a sports team. Fans of a particular thing or person constitute its fan base or fandom. They may show their enthusiasm by being a member of a fan club, holding fan conventions, creating fanzines, writing fan mail, or by promoting the object of their interest and attention. (Wikipedia)

Fans come in all shapes, sizes, and...well, colors!

Are You a “fan?”  By definition, being a fan means that you display a positive approach to your support. If this were not true, then why would the definition be littered with so many positive words (see underlined)?

Nowhere do I see this definition so clearly displayed that during the college football season, and more enthusiastically during the Bowl Season. The opposite is also true – where I see people who call themselves “Fans” behaving in ways so contrary to definition.

For example: My alma mater just completed their season with a loss in a bowl game. The so-called fans are calling for assistant coach’s heads on platters, and bad-mouthing the play of young men who have given their all this season for the sheer love of game and a college education. For me, being a fan means support through thick-and-thin, during good times and bad.

How much money I donate (or not) to the school does not determine how much of a fan I am — and I have no more or less right to claim my “fan-ness” than the next supporter.  But my parents raised me to understand that “…if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”  I still try to live by this credo, and when the team is not performing well, I keep my mouth shut.

I also try to apply this approach to how I live each day — I’m a fan of me!  I’m a fan of my wife and the life we have together.  I’m a fan of my kids, their wives and our grandson.  I’m a fan of my friends, co-workers, and the connections I’ve made on Facebook, LinkedIn and @Twitter. But even I know that living my life as a better fan is possible!  And that is my resolution for the New Year, to work at being an aficionado of those objects of my fan-ness!  It’s so easy being a fan if you adopt these Five Steps to Being a Bigger Fan:

    • Support the object(s) of your affection with enthusiasm;
    • Regularly write and send fan mail (a Post-It with three words on it is often more than enough!);
    • Promote your person’s interests and be attentive to their need to pursue them;
    • Keep feedback positive, even if the instance prompting the feedback is negative;
    • Don’t keep your “fan-ness” to yourself. Be a fan in public, leading by example so others can see how they could be a fan in their own circles.

You know, 2012 is starting to look pretty good.  Until next time, Keep It Relevant and have a Happy New Year!



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