I’ve never thought a whole lot about goldfish.
I mean, why would I? Sure, I loved having a tiny fish bowl in my room when I was a young girl. I loved picking out my favorites at the pet store to bring them home as my first official pets. I loved pouring that fish food into their tank. I even loved running the PTO Goldfish pond when my kids were growing up, year after year, watching the pure delight in their faces at something as simple as winning a goldfish to take home.
But, I never really gave them a serious thought. Until last week. Until, coming across Ted Lasso, the latest comedy going viral on Apple TV.
Who knew that we could learn a lot about how to live a happy life, how to succeed in life or in sports, by taking a lesson from a goldfish?
One of the greatest lessons on the show (and there are many!) that stood out for me was the moment Ted suggested to one of his soccer players to “be a goldfish.” You may be wondering, why a goldfish? They don’t live that long. They are confined in a tiny tank for their short little lives. They eat the same boring food day after day. They don’t really get to do anything.
Those are definitely shortcomings. But they also have a peculiar trait we should pay attention to. What is it? A goldfish has virtually no memory, at best 5 to 10 seconds. A goldfish only knows how to live in the moment. A goldfish isn’t schlepping all kinds of s*#t around. A goldfish is simply being a goldfish swimming around enjoying life. A goldfish isn’t projecting anything into the future.
A goldfish doesn’t have a past.
As the new perpetually positive coach for a UK “football” club, Ted brings with him a whole lot of small town charm. It seems, however, he’s a fish out of water! He knows nothing about UK football, soccer here in the US, but he does seem to know a lot about empowering and helping others grow while living a joyful life. He exudes cheerful optimism. He sees life through rose colored glasses. He doesn’t know anything other than to “BELIEVE.” Believe in what? Believe in good. Believe in the goodness in everyone.
I doubt Ted has ever picked up a copy of “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, yet he seems to have its lessons naturally programmed into his DNA. He takes nothing personally. He is impeccable with his word. He lives fully in the present. He forgives the most egregious transgressions at the drop of a hat. He carries zero zippo baggage around.
Ted Lasso may be goofy, silly, sappy, comical and perhaps a bit simple. That’s what makes him so darn perfect. And lovable.
But perhaps he’s not so simple after all. Maybe wisdom is in the simple things in life.
A goldfish is simple.
A goldfish has no ego.
A goldfish only knows one thing –
Who knew we could learn so much about life from a goldfish?
Be a goldfish. I’m gonna give it a go. Will you join me?