Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot
On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
A great lesson I’ve learned from coaching. I’m a high energy guy and when in a competitive setting I can be especially so. A couple years ago, before my team played our main rival I was especially pumped before and during the game. However, as the game went along, I noticed that certain guys kept complaining about little injuries and some were asking to sit out which was very abnormal. What I came to realize was that by showing them how pumped up I was (far more than usual), I made the game seem too big for them. Some were afraid to make mistakes and let me or their team down so they became gun-shy.
This taught me a lesson about leadership. While it’s certainly part of my job to make sure everyone is excited to play, it is also my duty to show them a calm resolve. From that point forward, I have remained just as enthusiastic, but I pick my spots better. I now make sure they see my excitement but also that I’m relaxed and believe in them. Staying steady like this regardless of the stakes or situation has helped my coaching but is also a lesson that I believe translates well into any leadership situation.
A recent reminder of a good lesson. The youth football league I have coached in for several years was recently bought out and taken over by new ownership. They’ve made quite a few mistakes and it’s been frustrating for players, coaches, and parents alike. I’m on an email thread with all the coaches and initially it started out with the sharing of constructive information but quickly broke down into a complaint-fest from a few. I raise this point because it reinforced a belief of mine that complaining is ultimately a waste of time and energy.
We’re all faced with things we don’t like. No one is saying you must pretend to enjoy it but carrying on about what “should’ve been” will land you nowhere. In this specific case, I chose not to voice my complaints though I did share the same frustrations. Instead of griping, I made calls and wrote emails to people I knew could help, told them what I wanted and got it done. Many other coaches did the same and like me, tired quickly of hearing others complain. When you encounter some bad news or a tough situation give yourself some time to be angry/frustrated/etc., (I recommend about 30 minutes tops) but after that time is up, it’s time to start seeking out solutions and acting.
Question of the week. I had several conversations this past week about “inner voice” – in other words, how do you talk to yourself? Are you positive, negative, etc.? So, the question is, what does your inner voice sound like? My inner voice tends to be overwhelmingly positive and constructive, but I am also very hard on myself as a form of motivation. I’d say part of the time I’m Tony Robbins and part of the time I’m Rocky’s trainer, Mickey. One thing I always avoid is putting myself down. So, what does your self-talk sound like? If it were a movie, who would you get to play that role (or roles)? I think it’s a fun but important question.
A concept I believe works. I took golf lessons many years ago and believe me, I had a lot to correct. The problem was, when I’d go to play golf after my lessons my mind would be over-loaded thinking about 5-10 things I’d been trying to improve. As a result, I started to get (even) worse. When I explained this to my instructor, he told me to pick one thing per round to work on. It didn’t matter what it was, only that it was only a single thing. The reasoning behind this is to keep my mind focused and the task manageable.
I believe this same thing is great advice for anything and everything in life as well. The next time you find yourself frazzled with too much to do, try to keep focused on a single task, get it done and then move onto to the next. When you keep it simple and manageable your productivity and performance will improve.
Some quotes I love.
“An individualist says: I will not run anyone’s life, nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave.” – Ayn Rand
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
“Everyone must choose one of two pains. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.”
“Treat energy the same way you treat money. It’s a finite resource that needs to be wisely managed and invested.” – Dandapani
“If you’re not helping to make it right, then stop complaining about it being wrong.” – Joe De Sena
“Regardless of the overwhelming odds or obstacles in your path, you always have an opportunity to overcome. It is your attitude that will determine the outcome.” – Jason Redman
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