Column: CEO Learnings
For author Patrick McCaskey, Worthwhile Struggle is the fourth book of his “Sports and Faith Series” and his best effort yet. As with past books, McCaskey draws heavily from his experience with the Chicago Bears as the grandson of George Halas*, his passion for his Catholic Faith, his commitment to family, and his formative years at Notre Dame College Prep (Niles, Illinois).
McCaskey’s writing is like a fine scotch that grows on you. His books are a collection of essays, supplemented by letters and speeches, featuring lessons and insights gained from his grandfather and other family members (Betty McCaskey, Kay Adelman); professional sport franchise owners (Dan and Art Rooney, Wellington Mara), coaches (Joe Madden, Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy, Mike Ditka), and players (Bob Cousy, Bronko Nagurski, Walter Payton, Brian Urlacher, Brian Piccolo); saints and biblical figures (Nehemiah, St. Anthony, St. Joan of Arc, St. Kevin of the Nettles), and special priests he has encountered along the way (Fr. Meconi, Fr. Sandanato).
These stories are organized around McCaskey’s Ten Commandments:
- Honor and love what you do.
- Use your time well and focus on what needs to be done.
- Live with passion, inspired by those good people who came before you.
- Look ahead with hope and confidence.
- Follow the rules of good behavior.
- Work for the good of all.
- Succeed with good character.
- Respect authority.
- Find your own calling.
- Be flexible and adapt to change.
To absorb McCaskey’s gift, refrain from reading this book as you would read other books. Instead, read a little each day. Savor the stories…Meditate on the insights and wisdom provided.
Don’t try to rush through this book or you will be disappointed.
Instead, take the time and allow yourself to be inspired, as McCaskey suggests, by those good people who came before us. This book needs to be sipped not gulped down in a hurry.
The author notes that there are worthwhile struggles today. They require sacrifice but, in the end, you will be rewarded. Those worthwhile struggles that are top of mind for McCaskey today are:
- Family is a worthwhile struggle
- Love is a worthwhile struggle
- Committee work is a worthwhile struggle
- Providing respectful comic relief is a worthwhile struggle
- Writing books is a worthwhile struggle
The last chapter of the book consists solely of McCaskey’s biblical poems which highlight the author’s “personal celebrations on faith, struggles, and salvation.”
Also, a unique and engaging feature of the book is that Chicago Bear quiz questions developed for the author’s public appearances are included at the end of each chapter…fun for anyone who follows sports or lives in the Midwest.
Worthwhile Struggle is a story of a life and relationships…a story of love, peace and happiness. McCaskey’s curiosity, humility and love of people is on full display throughout.
- Worthwhile Struggle, by Patrick McCaskey
* George Stanley Halas Sr., nicknamed “Papa Bear” and “Mr. Everything”, was a player, coach, and owner involved with professional American football. He was the founder, owner, and head coach of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears.
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