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. On Friday night, my wife and I volunteered at a Starry Night Prom event. This is a wonderful event thrown for people with physical and/or mental handicaps that is structured like a prom with dressing up, a red-carpet walk, sit down dinner, dancing, karaoke, and more. My wife and I were “buddies” that were paired up with a date for the evening. It was incredibly special.
I was inspired to see a group of people that have undoubtedly suffered many challenges, have amazing moments for themselves. Watching people walk the red carpet with smiles on their faces, high fiving, twirling, waving, and more was emotional in a beautiful way. All night I saw people enjoying moments that were important to them on the dance floor, singing karaoke, and more. It fueled my soul to see some special people enjoying a little taste of the spotlight. It’s nice to have exceptional moments for ourselves but it was more amazing to see such deserving people also have wonderful moments!
Something I believe. I was consulted this week by two people regarding how best to help some of their clients with adhering to better nutrition and exercise. These particular people are in their 40’s and often fail to follow the advice they paid to receive. I was asked whether I thought they needed to be encouraged constantly to get “wins throughout the day” or whether I thought they needed tough love.
In instances where mistakes are being made but the effort is high, I am a fan of encouragement. People in this category can benefit tremendously from a little confidence boost. Sometimes, praising someone’s effort but fine-tuning their approach can make all the difference. Conversely, when effort is low, excuses are high, and people are failing to follow through on their responsibilities, I never find encouragement effective. Those times call for truth and tough love because if a person is not motivated to help themselves, nothing anyone says can help. In these cases, I have found the most value in having people consider reasons they may be self-sabotaging. Depending on the effort, a pat on the back may be the right strategy while other times, a kick in the butt is better.
A lesson I’ve learned. There will be times in your life when you will be in pain, exhausted, grief stricken, lonely, bored, and/or worse. You will find yourself on the ropes mentally and physically and these are likely to be some of the most brutal times you ever experience. This will be when you most want to give up but when it is most important to keep battling.
I have learned through the loss of friends and family members (decades before their time), divorce, financial difficulties, painful races, and more; there are times when things will seem hopeless, senseless, and overwhelming. When you get there, you only have two choices, keep going or quit. If you give up, it will get worse. If you decide to keep going, it won’t feel amazing right away. It’ll feel like a chore, but you must “embrace the suck” because every second you keep going will make you stronger and teach you a lesson. Battling through the lowest points in life gave me confidence that I cannot and will not be broken. If you are facing a tough time in your life, keep fighting because it will teach you the same.
Something I have found effective. Have you ever had times in your life when you can’t seem to get out of your own head? When you worry about all your problems day and night or over-analyze things to the point where you begin to annoy yourself? I certainly have. There are numerous ways to help with this, but I believe one of the most effective is finding a way to help others.
When you seek to help others, it provides a healthier perspective. It reminds us that we are not the center of the world and that our problems may not be quite as large as we thought. More importantly, it gives a feeling of satisfaction that you’ve made a difference in someone else’s life or circumstances. Last Friday, I had a lot on my mind and was quieter than usual (I’m rarely quiet or have a bad day). It was not my best day but after two minutes of volunteering my time at the Starry Night event that evening, my outlook was transformed. I did not spend a second thinking of my “problems” for those five hours, and it got me back on track. Even if you are going through a tough time yourself, try to help someone else. It will make a tremendous and positive difference in your outlook.
Some quotes I love.
“A bad system will beat a good person every time.” – W. Edwards Deming
“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” – Victor Kaim
“The biggest asset in the world is your mindset.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
“Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.” – Elissa Robertson