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 I teach my children. In Colorado, it is common to encounter a rattlesnake. The best practice is to be on the lookout for them, and if you do see one; obviously avoid it. Life has its own rattlesnakes to avoid as well. I feel three are particularly crucial for young people to be wary of.
The first is drugs and alcohol. Young brains take time to develop personality, confidence and more. Adding in these chemicals creates a reliance upon them as opposed to what is inside of the person. Second, bad relationships can become an anchor that drags you to the bottom. The wrong boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse can separate you from family, destroy your confidence, stunt your progress, and so much more. Finally, the wrong friendships can be a problem as well. The right friends will want to see you succeed and have your best interests at heart. Conversely, the wrong ones will pressure you into poor choices if it suits them. Beware of the rattlesnakes of life and avoid them.
Something I heard and loved. Our pastor used the term “weapons of mass distraction” last weekend. This is a term to describe the amount of pointless stuff constantly coming at us and distracting us from our goals, duties, and dreams. Examples include social media, television, biased news, and many others.
It’s a solid exercise to ask yourself how much of your time is dedicated to the people and activities you value most, and how much goes to fluff. For example, if a young child is trying to interact with a parent focused only on playing Candy Crush, I would argue they are succumbing to a weapon of mass distraction. None of us will focus one hundred percent of the time, but we must understand that we are under constant attack from distractions and must protect ourselves from them.
An interesting interaction. I was speaking to someone this week about their struggles with nutrition. They expressed to me their frustration with not losing weight, but also told me they make sure to never deprive themselves of any foods they want. I found this interesting because the foods they did not want to deprive themselves of were all high in sugar and low in nutrients.
My feeling is that avoiding things that stall or prevent progress is not “depriving” you of anything. Rather, it is discipline and a practice that should be followed. Big goals require sacrifice. Therefore, they will demand discipline in what we eat, our activities, habits, time management, and/or so much more. The road to success will often require us to eliminate things that feel comfortable but are not helpful. Don’t view that as a negative, see it as the discipline that all successful people utilize. Changing your mindset in this regard will be your biggest accomplishment.
A recent lesson. Last weekend, I coached against another coach that behaved worse than any I’ve ever experienced in my high school, college, or coaching career. He personally insulted multiple players on my team (including my own son) that are 12 or 13 years old. If that was not enough, he yelled at the young referees on every play, argued the correct score, twice offered to fight me, and once even put his hands on me. In short, he was unhinged.
Normally, if someone were to put a hand on me, I would not hesitate to act. However, in this situation I remained as calm as possible and let him know in front of everyone what I thought of his behavior and how pathetic his antics were. The reason I did so was that sometimes even if you are in the right, you can react wrongly. Knocking out another coach in front of teenagers was not the lesson they needed or the consequences I wanted to face. Instead, I held my ground, made some humorous remarks, called out his terrible behavior, then walked away victorious with my team. Later, three of their players walked away from their coach/sideline and asked if they could come to our team and play for me next season. I’m sure I didn’t handle it perfectly, but I was glad I did not react to horrible behavior with some of my own.
Some quotes I love.
“Coach them hard and hug them later.” – Bear Bryant
“A fool contributes nothing worth hearing and takes offense at everything.” – Aristotle
“When life puts you in tough situations, don’t say ‘why me’ say ‘try me’.”