By Dan Coleman
Being at a party and being tolerated because an invitation was received is one thing. A warm welcome at a party is another. Brandon Burlsworth understood the feeling all too well. Amazingly, he personified elements of the political theory, Isolation Moderation, before it was developed. He examined himself constantly in order to solidify strengths and identify weak areas to improve. As the theory advocates, self-analysis, feedback, and continuous improvement are the bedrocks on which his sustained prosperity was built.
The question may have occurred to readers what a celebrity athlete has to do with a political theory. It is a well-timed question, if so. Using verbal snapshots of his life, Brandon’s career story will be told within the context of the previously discussed avant-garde theory, Isolation Moderation, also bursting with untapped potential.
Brandon was not unattractive but he did not have a movie star’s face. And he was not a shoe-in for a glamorous athletic career. Though tall and big, much of his weight at his high school tryout was excess stored fat. Even at his collegiate tryout, he was under-weight and unfit. Though not lacking coordination, he lacked an obvious athletic grace. He commanded attention, not with an ease of movement that made playing look effortless, but, with the fact he delivered results on the field. With incredible effort, his potential eventually emerged and was noted. For much of his life, though, his most remarkable attributes were the strength of his ambition and his humility.
Exactly as the political theory calls units to do, Brandon Burlsworth had been self-inventorying since middle school when he first announced his desire and intention to play football. He was honest with himself and others. He was a sponge but he handled the issue wisely. Brandon paid particular attention to feedback from those he considered in a position to know. He would begin working a strategy straight away to strengthen the weakness. Weight gain that was muscle to fortify his position is a great example. Despite a decidedly inadequate fount of professional or personal encouragement, he was sure of what he wanted and stayed the course. He did not wait for anyone’s applause or approval.
Brandon modeled the theory in that being good or having some success was not enough. He never stopped seeking his absolute best. Even after a game win, he still sought input. He developed an admirable level of skill and demonstrated incredible determination. The right people noticed. He was an upward call to other family members and to his teammates.
Though a Razorback freshman walk-on, prepared to finance his own first year, he was awarded an unplanned full scholarship once the coach had observed him during the pre-season campus football training. His desire to excel and succeed also called the college teammates higher. He went from an ignored, ridiculed walk-on to a team leader. He excelled in training and performance on the field. His successes were not limited to the football field.
He excelled academically, surpassing the scholarship requirements. He was the first player and the first student at his school to finish a master’s degree before his last game. Despite the initial ridicule he faced, he further personified the theory’s call to not only maximize his potential, but also, to help others do the same.
Many with his success on the field and off might have gloated at a teammate’s need for tutoring. Instead, Brandon helped a teammate who had been one of his most harsh critics in the beginning. He understood that his sustained success was linked to the team’s success, even that of the critic’s.
He was a role model to other students, young aspiring athletes, and even to his teammates. He attended religious instruction at the coach’s office and brought others to it. Wins, wads of cash, wine, and women were not his mantra. Though other players flaunted their athletic benefits, he drove the same used car throughout college that his brother had helped him obtain his freshman year.
The lack of a silver platter perpetually provided and perennially replenished, in his early beginnings, promoted sustained humbleness. While celebrity treatment, cash benefits, and popularity resulted in large egos and self-centeredness, Brandon was always willing to talk to a young fan aspiring to play. He did not lose sight of the fact his life would be very different were it not for fans willing to spend money to watch him play. He was not above a fan.
Even after his status grew, he did not forget about the continuous effort which helped him secure his current position. He felt pressured to prove himself and accepted the possibility of not acquiring special treatment. Sustained gratitude and mindfulness helped Brandon maintain his humility when his status increased. After graduating college and signing a professional football player contract, the coach asked where he would be when the training session started. His response was that he could be found in his parents home, in a small town in Arkansas. The lifestyle Brandon was used to never changed, even as his reputation and fame expanded. Brandon maintained the same relationship with humility until the day he tragically died from an auto accident.
A celebrity status in the context of the political theory, Isolation Moderation, does not change the objectives. With the premise of non-aggression, the theory encourages self-inventory, maximization of one’s potential, and the need to help others. Brandon did not take fans for granted. He always made time. Without falling into the trap of invincibility, Brandon did not rely on his status as protection from rebellious debauchery. He regarded people as humans instead of instruments for his own gratification. He did not lose himself in the midst of celebrity and opportunity.
Aiding the enemy is a punishable offense in many circles. A change of mind from non-aggression, however, is exactly the challenge of the theory. An entertainer whose identity will be protected was once overheard musing over the irony that Los Angeles and Death Valley are in the same state. This performer compared the back-stabbing, cut-throat entertainment world to that of heat with dry, lifeless sand where death comes quickly and vultures are ever-present to pick the bones of those fallen.
The theory challenge is to be one’s own best and then to look outward to help one’s peer group. Are you willing to do that if doing so is unpopular? Will you be the breath of fresh air or the circling vulture?
Intrigued… check out the next application of this theory
Lost… refer to the previous explanation
2 thoughts on “Singular Enhancement Optimization: Power Decisions Matter More”