Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 5th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 5th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 5th 150 150 Matt Kenney

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’ve learned.  There is a line in a song I love that says, “And I learned that I was a liar.”  This phrase appeals to me because I have found it to be true.  That does not mean that I’m dishonest with those around me because I’m not.  Rather, it refers to the lies that we all tell ourselves.  These include untruths about our circumstances, potential, level of effort, and much more.

As I began to go through challenging times in my 30s and 40’s, I had no choice but to find extra energy, creativity, and resolve to overcome the circumstances I faced.  Slowly, I began to realize that my previous efforts were a mere fraction of what I had always been capable of. Now, I feel as if I always have more to give.  Whether I fail or succeed, I will always return with more knowledge and energy the next time.  That basic process allows me to constantly evolve into a better businessman, father, husband, athlete, and person.  If you are like me and have felt that you’ve done your best and gave all you could, you are a liar just as I was.  You have so much more to give once you eliminate all excuses that the “new” you won’t even resemble the previous version.

Something I notice.  My wife and I watch a lot of competitive cooking shows.  Something I often notice (and that the judges point out) is when someone’s cooking station is a mess and disorganized, things usually don’t turn out well.  The clutter leads to steps being missed, details being overlooked, and food coming out rushed.  Conversely, when things are in order, there is a better chance the dish will have proper seasoning, flavor development, and presentation.  The point is that even with identical ingredients, the process can alter the outcome.  Life works the same way.

When you start your day rushed, have messes around your home or office, fail to plan, or wait until the last minute to get started; results will suffer more than thrive.  Quite simply, you won’t be able to tend to crucial details, quality will suffer, opportunities for greater success will be missed completely, and the stress level will be elevated.  I lived like this for years and do not recommend it.  Instead, try producing at least a rough plan of attack the night before, waking up even 15 minutes earlier, allocating more time than you need, and not waiting too long to get started.  If you do this, I promise you that you will find yourself far more efficient, less stressed, and more successful than you imagined.

Something I believe.  Whether on social media, television, or anywhere else; there are always ads for “hacks” or shortcuts offering instant results for things that normally take time.  You’ll see these for weight loss, pain, skill development, etc.  While I am certainly a fan of learning more new things and finding efficient ways to succeed, I am rarely a fan of these “hacks.”  That is because in my experience, the journey toward a goal usually provides far greater reward than the actual goal itself.

When we set out to achieve a purpose and constantly work toward it, something amazing is allowed to happen.  We become more resilient, acquire knowledge, discover unexpected traits/talents within ourselves, and eventually we find we’ve morphed into better versions of ourselves.  There is simply no shortcut to gaining all of that, it takes time and effort.  When I began competing in ultramarathons and other races far beyond my comfort zone, my goal was the finish line.  However, looking back I barely remember them, but I have used the lessons I learned in training/during races to overcome some of the hardest moments in my life.   Attaining the goal was great, but how those journeys changed me and who I became was far more valuable.  No fad or hack can give you what the process of striving toward a goal will.

Something that affected me.  When I was a kid, I remember my dad hitting a homerun in an intramural softball game.  I had only seen home runs at Red Sox games and never saw my dad do anything “cool” before so I thought this was awesome.  This small thing planted a seed that would later manifest when I became a dad.  My goal became to allow my kids to observe me in different environments other than just as their dad.

As a result, my children have seen me compete in brutal races, volunteering in various roles, speaking publicly, and more.  They have seen how I manage the successes and failures of these various endeavors.  Selfishly, I hope that my kids will see me attempting large challenges and evolving as a person and emulate that same behavior throughout their lives.  Just as that homerun planted a seed for me, I hope that I can show my children that you don’t ever want to stop trying to become a better version of yourself.


Some quotes I Love.

“It’s all about the journey, not the outcome.” – Carl Lewis

“Luck is just another word for tenacity of purpose.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We’re just here to be memories for our kids. Once you’re a parent, you’re the ghost of your children’s future.” – Cooper, Interstellar

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