On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
A recent reminder of an important concept. One of my sons has been frustrated with his role on a new football team. Much of what he’s feeling is justified and we discussed the specifics why. However, after we did so, I told him it was time to stop worrying about what we couldn’t control and start affecting what we could. A phrase I love to illustrate this is “chop wood and carry water.” This is a way of saying we must pursue the small but challenging tasks and habits each day that will lead to success. In this instance, my son and I came up with workouts, drills, practice habits, and a mindset that would translate into even better on-field performance and hopefully fulfilling the roles he desires.
There will always be situations we feel are unjust or unfair. Spending too long complaining about them will only cause us to waste our energy and feel worse. Instead, our best course of action is to do what we can to improve, get stronger, and become ready when our opportunity arises. When you encounter a situation you don’t like or think is unfair, don’t whine about it; start chopping wood and carrying water.
A great question I was asked. “What percentage of people would you consider to be strong and capable?” I was asked this earlier in the week and found it interesting. My definition of strength would involve a combination of mental, physical, and emotional characteristics. In other words, it’s not about having the biggest muscles or the ability to win a fight, it’s a combination of attributes that combine to make someone better able to endure challenges and hardships.
Having said this, I believe that 100% of people possess the ability to be strong and yet only about 20% of people do. Certainly, no one sets out to become weak or incapable, but it can happen to anyone if we aren’t careful. Following the crowd, lack of responsibility, not challenging ourselves, constant complaining, bad relationships, poor physical and nutritional decisions, and more are all common causes of weakness in my opinion. No one will be perfect but taking steps each day to develop mental, physical, and emotional strength will make us stronger and more resilient; and the world always needs more of those people.
Something I heard and loved. This week I heard the phrase “Don’t think less of yourself but think of yourself less.” I found this to be very succinct and pertinent advice for two reasons.
First, it is vital to have a high sense of our own personal worth, high self-esteem, and to maintain lofty expectations for ourselves. We must think well of ourselves and our abilities because it sets the tone for how we want to be treated and what we expect to attain. Second, there is a tendency to spend too much time in our own heads over-thinking our circumstances and situations. This creates stress and at times, isolation. If we can focus on others, much of that stress and worry subsides naturally. We grow stronger and deepen relationships with those around us while simultaneously decreasing our own worries.
Something I believe. At my office, we have been undergoing plumbing repairs for months. It’s an older building and poor installations over the years caused accelerated breakdown of the pipes which have caused a series of problems. Just as poor decisions in plumbing installation can cause issues, poor decisions in life do as well.
Poor behavior can take the form of bad habits, lack of drive, inconsistency, dishonesty, poor actions, lack of integrity, and more. Initially, these often go unnoticed and become forgotten. However, over time they cause a breakdown within our lives of self-esteem, trust, relationships, finances, and so on. This can happen for years and then without warning, we wake up one day and realize things are a mess. To avoid this, give thought to how you truly want to live your life. Consider what is most important to you, then craft actions that honor that and allow you the chance to become successful.
Some quotes I love.
“Be careful what you tolerate, you are teaching people how to treat you.”
“Watch what a man does when he stumbles, and you’ll see his true character. Good times are easy to navigate. Challenging times require something more. The challenging times are more revealing than the prosperous ones.” – Ryan Michler
“When you have something to say, silence is a lie.” – Jordan Peterson
“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa