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.
Something I believe. One of my sons plays on a football team that has been good but not great for years. They run an outdated offense and have success against lesser teams but struggle against tougher competition. Worse, when they do face the better opponents there are no adjustments made to try varying the game plan, utilize strengths of their top players, or challenge whoever they are facing with anything unexpected. After the inevitable loss, the coaches will tell the players they need to do better, and the pattern will be repeated once again the following week. There is an important life lesson here.
We all have goals we want to attain, habits we want to correct, and relationships we desire to improve. If we continue to take the exact approach that has never gotten us the result we want, are we truly serious about achieving it? I would argue no. Furthermore, just because we think what we are doing should be working, doesn’t mean it can or will. Life is a results-driven endeavor. It’s a waste of time and energy to repeat the same things and expect a better outcome. It’s vital that we scrutinize the methods we are using so that we can adjust and improve.
A great reminder for me. I had a morning this week that was out of character for me. I set a later alarm than necessary, did not prepare for the day as I usually do, was not moving with much purpose when I did get up, and basically just started going through the motions. At first, I comforted myself with excuses about how hard I always work, that I never miss a single day of exercise, and the like. That lasted for about 15 minutes before I got sick of listening to myself and left to go on a run to break the cycle.
This reminded me of the importance of playing offense rather than defense, especially in our morning routines. For me, offense means waking up early (usually without an alarm by 5am), reading my Bible first thing, preparing things for my day/my kids, spending time with my little ones, exercising intensely, eating healthy, and heading off energized for my day. When I follow that approach, I go on the attack and never have a truly “bad” day. Conversely, if I do not follow those guidelines, I fall to the mercy of where the day takes me. I feel defensive, less in control, have more potential to feel anxious, and my production can suffer. Trust me, if you play offense and attack your mornings, you will quickly see how much better your days go!
Something I loved. One of my sons made a comment about a teammate recently that I found significant. Though this boy is extremely talented and successful, the comments were about his leadership rather than his performance. My son told me “He’s honest about how the other players play, how the coaches are coaching, and he’s honest about himself. I respect that.”
I thought that comment was very telling and important. We become hypocritical when we expect behavior we don’t follow ourselves. When we are willing to hold ourselves and others to the same high standard, great things can occur. We are less likely to make excuses, accept low performance, or allow people we shouldn’t into our circle. It is crucial to be honest about what we are seeing from others while at the same time being willing to do so with our own actions.
Something that motivates me. I have four children. My oldest is almost 17 and my youngest is only 3. Something that gives me great motivation is never wanting them to say, “Dad used to.” In other words, I never want them to see me as someone that fell off in terms of my effort physically, mentally, as a father, businessman, or anything else.
As I age, I want my kids to continue to see me as someone that never slows down. If I can do that, it is my belief that they will be more willing to follow the example I set physically, emotionally, in faith, in parenting, financially, as a leader, and in other areas. My desire is that by doing so, my children will pass that on to their children and a new generation can benefit. I do not take myself too seriously, but I take that responsibility extremely seriously.
Some quotes Iove.
“Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.” – Napoleon Hill
“On poor teams, captains lead by popularity. On great teams, captains lead by example. They arrive early, stay late, train hard, and apply the same high standards off the field.” – Gary Curneen
“Do not let your empathy for others stop you from maintaining the boundaries that you set to protect yourself.” – Michell C. Clark
“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” – Theodore Roosevelt