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.
Something that inspired me. Last Friday night, my wife and I volunteered at an “All-Stars Event.” This is an evening where individuals with physical and/or mental handicaps are paired with a volunteer (a “buddy”) for an evening of fun so their parents and/or caretakers can have a few hours to themselves. I went excited to help but left inspired.
What inspired me was the overall vibe I got from those with the disabilities. They remained completely in the moment, excited about small things, polite, kind, and never complained. Whether getting pumped to sing karaoke, play a game, attempt an activity, or just spend time around people that were also enjoying themselves; the attitudes I saw were amazing. Smiling and persevering no matter the circumstance is something I believe in. I saw that on full display last Friday from those amazing people.
Something that impressed me. At that same event on Friday, lots of the volunteers were high school age. Many volunteered in part to receive credit toward the service project hours that most schools require for graduation. When I heard they were there for that reason, a part of me thought perhaps they would give a half-hearted effort, check their phones constantly, or otherwise just go through the motions. I am happy to say, that was not the case.
Instead, I saw a group of young people that gave an incredible effort while having fun and helping. No one was afraid to look foolish singing, dancing, or playing, and I witnessed some wonderful connections being made between the volunteers and the attendees. I saw energy and patience on display throughout the evening. I believe that if you are going to “be in” on any endeavor, you should be “all in.” Those young people did exactly that and I was proud to see it.
A good question to ask yourself. “Who or what am I loyal to?” This question is crucial because it helps identify who and what is important to you. These can be people, outcomes, goals, causes, or more. Then, it allows you to evaluate whether the way you’re spending your time and directing your energy is supporting those loyalties or not.
The people/things you are loyal toward should remain your focus and help you avoid distractions. For example, being loyal to your children means spending time with them, teaching them, and helping to better their lives. If your actions strengthen that, then you’re in sync with that loyalty. Conversely, if you identified health as a loyalty but are not careful with what you eat, drink, or how you move; you are not supporting it. Give thought to where your loyalties lie, then back them up through action.
A lesson that has stuck with me. One year out of chiropractic school, I joined a successful practice in Connecticut. The owner/chiropractor was an amazing doctor and businessman who became my mentor. Joining the office of such an accomplished doctor so early in my career made my deficiencies as a chiropractic physician noticeable. As a result, it was initially a struggle to get patients to come see me or stay with me for treatment. It was quite humbling.
Rather than complain or make excuses, I focused on improving my craft (and the other doctor greatly helped me). My skills began to improve, slowly my confidence increased, and I began to expand my patient base. By the time I left that practice for Colorado six year later, I was equally as busy as the other doctor and had won two awards as best chiropractor in the county. I learned that when you encounter adversity to never give up or lose faith in yourself. Instead, learn what you can each day (often from mistakes), persevere, and understand that growth is a process. That will allow you to address weaknesses, double down on strengths, and discover your own unique style. I continue to utilize that lesson professionally, personally, in my physical endeavors, as a coach, and more.
Some quotes I love.
“A mistake that makes you humble is better than an achievement that makes you arrogant.”
“Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but keep going anyway.”
“If you’re not dreaming big for yourself, who’s doing it for you?” Gary Vaynerchuck
“Before you can win, you have to believe you are worthy.” – Mike Ditka