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 the things I am known for when I coach is being a “hype man.” I have a unique way of pumping up my team and by the time we take the field, we’re like William Wallace in Braveheart ready to battle. “Hype” is fun and can raise the level of passion and excitement in any endeavor. While this is something I love, I am far more passionate about preparation.
Preparation involves hard work, repetition, practice, discipline, habits, and more. Done properly, this will accelerate the development of abilities which in turn builds confidence. Without preparation, no amount of hype or motivation can compensate for it. That said, when someone has prepared well, hype can go a long way. Just that little bit extra excitement can make you feel even more certain of your abilities, especially if things become challenging. Prepare yourself each day as best you can but add in a little hype to fuel your fire as well.
Something to be aware of. When people get hungry, they often instinctively seek out the quickest forms of food to provide them energy. These tend to be high in sugar and fat instead of nutrients and solid ingredients. So rather than healthy proteins and salads for example, your mind tells you to go for candy. My belief is that this premise applies to more than just food.
Undisciplined minds will always seek out “mental candy.” These are paths of least resistance and include laziness, poor habits, morally questionable behavior, reduced quality standards, etc. My method for avoiding mental candy is to shift my focus from how a decision will make me feel in the moment to how it will make me feel later. For example, eating unhealthy meals, skipping workouts, or quitting activities will only make me feel horrible down the line so I don’t allow myself to do that. Simply shifting your focus from instant gratification to how it will feel later can give you the power to make far better decisions.
A great reminder. My wife and I went out for brunch last weekend. As we ate, a couple came to the table next to us and told an elderly couple that they paid for their meal. They said some really nice things, wished them well, and left. It was very nice to hear. Later in the weekend, my wife was at a store when a woman told the young man behind the counter that his tattoos would cause him to get cancer. He was a young kid and my wife said he became visibly upset and hurt by that ridiculous comment.
We all have the potential to be a person that either uplifts or brings down those around us. Personally, I see no value in being someone who makes people feel terrible. You never know where someone is at in their journey or what they’re going through. Sometimes, a simple extra word of praise or support can make a difference. These interactions over the weekend reminded me that I never want to be the person that leaves somewhere with people feeling worse about themselves because of me. Instead, my desire is to somehow uplift those around me whenever possible.
Something I strive for. One of my favorite feelings in the world is what I like to call an “empty tank.” To me, this is where I feel like I have exhausted myself as much as possible within a single day. It involves challenging myself physically, work performance, and the quality of the interactions I have with those I care for most. If I can maximize those three areas, by the time I go to bed I feel exhausted and satisfied that I did my absolute best that day. There is no better feeling for me than having an empty tank.
I would estimate that in each month, I hit this goal only once or twice. Most days, I must be honest with myself and admit I could have done a bit better in one or multiple areas. When that is the case, I use it as motivation for the following day. The point is to set forth a high personal standard. Doing everything I can each day to empty the tank has truly helped transform the quality of my life over what it once was.
Some quotes I Love.
“There are three solutions to every problem; accept it, change it, or leave it. If you can’t accept it, change it. If you can’t change it, leave it.”
“Old keys don’t unlock new doors.”