Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 31st

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 31st

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 31st 458 640 Matt Kenney

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

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.

An analogy I loved.  This week, I heard someone describe throwing a sealed bottle into the ocean.  That bottle will endure battering from storms, tides, and severe weather but keep going and remain afloat.  However, if the cap loosens, water will seep into the bottle and before long, it will fill up and sink forever.  That bottle works just like our mind.  We can successfully deal with anything around us so long as we keep the right mindset and don’t allow the wrong outside influences to enter our thinking.

In athletics, business, and life, I have seen people fail that I never expected to.  They began to doubt themselves, lost faith, and confidence, then quit out of nowhere.  Conversely, I have seen people overcome obstacles that would break most by remaining mentally strong.  The thoughts you think are going to be far more crucial to being successful than anything that happens to you.  A proper mindset can deliver you from even the worst of times, whereas the wrong thinking will cause you to crumble even at the slightest adversity.  As Marcus Luttrell says, “’I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity.”

Something I notice.  When you are highly focused on attaining a lofty goal, people will think you are odd.  Likewise, if you live a life where you eat healthy, avoid common vices, and live with elevated standards, morals, and principles; people will often say you’re weird or obsessed.  However, if you watch a ton of TV, eat poorly, stay inactive, or prioritize unimportant things; people will say you’re normal.  This is fascinating to me.

When you encounter someone that sets a high benchmark in their behavior and standards it tends to cause us to have one of two reactions.  First, we can try to make ourselves feel better by bad-mouthing or tearing down those above us.  The second option is that we can decide to improve by raising our own game and addressing our flaws.  I’ve lived on both sides of this but now exclusively pursue only the latter option.  Personally, I think it’s better to be a “weird” overachiever than a “normal” underachiever.

Something I heard and loved.  I heard someone mention recently that it’s important to have a critical mind but not a critical heart.  After thinking this through, I concluded that I agreed wholeheartedly with this concept.  A critical mind allows us to be decisive, find solutions to problems, and develop better paths forward.  It also allows us to make ourselves and things around us better.  On the other hand, a critical heart usually causes us to act in a way that develops resentment, anger, and frustration within us and/or others.  Critical hearts destroy relationships, hurt people, and kill confidence.

As a doctor, coach, and father I have learned that it’s best to try to teach and address actions without making it personal.  For example, I want to coach my players to play their best and utilize their talents, but not in such a way that they feel as if I am angry or don’t like them.  Likewise, I want to parent my children so that they learn hard lessons without breaking their spirits or confidence.  Critical thinking is necessary to make informed decisions, find better practices, and evolve our behavior.  On the other hand, a critical heart should be avoided because it tends to poison us, our relationships, and our output.

Something I enjoyed.  On Memorial Day, my fourteen-year-old son and I did the Murph Challenge (named for Navy SEAL Mike Murphy who died in Operation Red Wings).  For those unfamiliar, this is a 1-mile run, followed by one hundred pull-ups, two hundred push-ups, three hundred air squats, and another 1-mile run while wearing a weighted vest.  I have done this workout on many occasions, and my finishing time would be considered very good.  That said, I got beat by my teenage son.  As we ran our second mile together in fact, he passed me like I was standing still.  It is a humbling moment for any father when you realize your offspring have become capable of beating you in any form of competition.

Though I am never excited to lose to anyone, being defeated by my son brought up a great reminder.  As parents, our goal should always be to have our children become better versions of us.  This entails physically, mentally, emotionally, professionally, and more.  I had not competed with my son in a long while and it pleased me to see the intensity and killer instinct he had to leave me in the dust.  It made me proud to see him do this athletically, but I’ll be even more satisfied when I see him produce comparable results in more important endeavors throughout his life.  This is what all parents should desire for their children.


Some quotes I Love.

“Who’s the bigger fool, the fool or the fool who follows him?” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

“Beginners are many, finishers are few.” – Stephen Covey

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” – Bob Marley

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