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.
A recent reminder. I had an interaction last week with someone I have known for 25 years. The exchange may as well have come with a script because the talking points, excuses, and tone were the same as they were decades ago. As unfortunate as that can be to deal with, it provides an important reminder.
Before any change or growth can occur, there must first be a willingness to do so. Without that desire, the same patterns will continue to play out, especially in times of stress or discomfort. When a person becomes willing to change, it does not mean that everything will be perfect immediately. Rather, it is merely an admission there is behavior creating an undesirable result that needs to be addressed. That allows for an environment where change becomes possible, and growth can occur.
Something I love. For many years now, I have run with the American flag on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and September 11th. It’s admittedly a small gesture, but I take great pride in this small show of patriotism and love for this country.
On Monday, I completed the Murph Challenge and then ran another 6 miles with the flag. During those miles, I had some amazing experiences with people I encountered on foot and others in their vehicles. I had people salute the flag, ask to take pictures with me, and as I came to a traffic light; all the cars stopped in each direction to let me go and cheered as I did so. It was very cool to witness these displays of patriotism up close. I have been blessed to complete many races over the years, but running with the flag fills me with even more pride than those finishes. What makes it so special is that I am just an anonymous guy carrying the flag. All the reactions I get are for the symbol I carry, and it truly energizes me and gives me faith each time I do so!
A simple but important concept. “I was going to.” “I was thinking about.” “I might decide to…” These are all ways of saying that you were considering an action and then did nothing. This is extremely common in almost any aspect of life you can imagine. The simple truth is inaction is rarely the correct plan of action.
Pursuing a course of action does not guarantee it will go perfectly. In fact, there is a likelihood it will not go as planned. However, putting things into motion creates a willingness to continue attempting different methods to attain a certain result. You become less afraid to fail and more determined to succeed. Conversely, inaction creates paralysis by analysis. You become so afraid to fail thinking you’re not ready or prepared that you talk yourself out of even attempting anything. Ironically, this guarantees you will not succeed. If there is something you want to gain or achieve, start acting rather than wishing or hoping it will happen for you.
Something I agreed with. I heard someone speaking recently about how going through the motions is not the same as being present and completing something with purpose and intention. In our hectic society, this is an important distinction to make. Doing something to cross it off our list usually sets the bar of effort low. For example, setting aside time to be with our children and being on our phone the whole time is not the same as being with them, enjoying, and interacting with them. It can be the same amount of time spent but with two different outcomes.
Whether it’s a workout, time with friends or family, business endeavors, or anything else; give what you’re doing all your energy. Doing so will exponentially increase the output of your efforts. You will be amazed at the difference in your results versus just going through the motions. Be less concerned with merely getting stuff done and more concerned with getting things accomplished well.
Some quotes I love.
“The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg. It’s what you’re made of not the circumstances.” – Unknown
“The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.”
“Learn to be done. Not mad, not bothered, just done. Protect your peace at all costs.”
“My life is my message.” – Ghandhi