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 impressed me. Two weeks ago, I was at a football game for my middle son. Sadly, a player on the opposing sideline suffered a seizure (unrelated to an injury or contact) and the paramedics had to be called. Parents and players alike were worried as this boy remained on the ground waiting to leave via ambulance. As things got quiet, one of the players on my son’s team asked his teammates to pray for this boy. At first there was no response, but he was insistent, and soon they were all on one knee in prayer for their opponent.
The boy who asked his teammates to pray is probably the smallest on the team by far. He does not play a ton and in most cases, would likely not be noticed. However, when he saw someone in need, he instantly became a leader in whatever way he could. His teammates respected his conviction, and he led them in prayer in a way that I felt showed great strength and empathy at the same time. Leadership is all about stepping up in times and ways that may not be expected, and that young man did just that.
A good reminder. I was speaking to my best friend last weekend about some issues he is facing. They include work, ending a relationship, logistical issues going forward, and more. I have been there myself and understand how difficult times like this can be. My advice to him was to go “micro.” In other words, facing the entire picture and every issue at once is going to be too daunting. You’ll be instantly overwhelmed, so it makes sense to focus on one thing at a time.
When we are facing challenges on multiple fronts, it’s like looking at a map and knowing we need to reach multiple destinations nowhere near one another. Since it’s impossible to get to each place simultaneously, we must choose one. Once we have the goal, we can direct our attention more effectively toward it. This includes taking daily actions steps as well as making sure we don’t neglect ourselves physically, mentally, nutritionally, or in terms of sleep. In tough times, pick a single problem to begin working on, try to make daily progress toward it, and care for yourself as you do so. This will help.
Something I hear often. I’m often told by patients and friends the different things they “struggle with.” In general, these involve bad habits, poor decisions, and repeating the same behaviors over a period of years. There are exceptions, but in most cases these wounds are self-inflicted. Furthermore, there is usually great thought given to the issue and the hold it has over us, but less consideration is given to how to resolve or improve it.
When someone tells me that they’ve been struggling with something for years or decades, it tells me they have either done nothing, not enough, or the wrong things to address it. There is no shame in having a struggle, we all do. However, if we’ve had them so long that we talk about them constantly and they have become part of who we are, it’s time to start wondering if we’re approaching it correctly. If you have been facing an issue for a long time, be open to a different approach. Sometimes, it’s not that the problem cannot be fixed but rather that we haven’t found the best method to address it. The answer is likely to include an honest evaluation of ourselves and some hard choices, but it can be accomplished.
Something that resonates with me. I love to watch competitive shows. These include everything from cooking to enduring in the wild. What strikes me is that there are always a group of contestants that seem to “lose” yet come away winning more than anyone else. In other words, they fail to win the prize but leave happier than anyone else with what they gained through the experience. This truly appeals to me as a man who has always tried to be his best.
I’ve won a lot in my life athletically, as a business owner, coach, and more. In some instances, anything less than first place would have felt like a failure. However, there are times when going through an endeavor taught me so much that I didn’t care where I finished. For example, I finished a 100-mile race in about 400th place and gained a lifetime of lessons doing so. I can think of sub .500 teams I have coached that I feel more pride in than championship teams because of how they over-achieved and grew as young men. In life, there are times when you can contend for the top spot but other times when you are nowhere close to doing so but have an opportunity to learn and grow. Both should be valued and respected because they are crucial in their own ways.
Some quotes I love.
“If you don’t separate yourself from distractions, your distractions will separate you from your goals.” – Steve Harvey
“When you tell people that the delusions they are experiencing are grounded in reality and that it’s everyone else’s job in society to reflect those delusions back at them, you’re not doing them any favors. In fact, you’re engaging in cruelty.”
“The truth is, it’s always too soon to quit. Keep going.” – Sally Mcrae