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 heard and loved. I recently heard someone use the phrase “You can’t cram for crops” and loved it. The implication is that great crops require the right seeds, plowing, planting, developing nutrients within the soil, sunlight, and consistent rainfall/watering to allow them to grow. Put another way, the process of growth cannot be rushed and will require diligence and patience.
We live in a society where we want and expect things instantly. While that has its place, most of the things we covet do not work like that. Success in business, athletics, relationships, our fitness, and more require careful attention, consistent effort, and time. If you are trying to achieve something special in one of these areas, try to think of it as growing crops. The process cannot be rushed, will require plenty of time and exertion, but can become bountiful when done properly.
An analogy I like. I’ve been working out consistently since about the age of 15. During that time, I have had a few injuries while lifting weights. Interestingly, these have never occurred during heavy lifting but were always with light weights. With heavy weights, I always had respect that if I wasn’t careful, they could injure me, so I made sure I did everything perfectly. Conversely, with lighter weights I felt invulnerable and occasionally would get careless with my form. That is how the injuries occurred. This is analogous to experiences I’ve had in life.
When I faced my most daunting struggles, I knew they had the power to break me. Thus, I put my best effort forward mentally and physically to prevent that from occurring. Other times, I have ignored or dismissed relatively smaller problems that I did not consider a threat. On their own, they could not harm me, but eventually they built up and wore me down. The small issues I dismissed were the ones that cumulatively caused me to struggle most. My approach now is to treat any potential threat to my mental or physical health with equal regard. As with weights, have respect for the fact that it is not only the heaviest things that can harm us but the lighter ones too.
A recent experience. Mentally, I am an incredibly strong person. This has been forged through a combination of enduring significant hardships in my personal life as well as extreme workouts, and endurance events. I say that to provide context that I am a difficult person to rattle and get out of my normal, positive flow. However, on Sunday I was at an event and one person made a comment to another that completely got me off track. It wasn’t an insult or even directed at me, but it got my mind spiraling into negativity.
I mention this because this is how the toughest enemy will approach you. Not with brute force or an elaborate plan, simply a whisper in your ear that gives you a reason to start behaving differently. When you are not acting like you, you become easy to control. Often, you will exhibit behavior not in accordance with your character. In my case, I wasted the remainder of the day being quiet, angry, and less excited than usual. The following morning, I worked it through and realized I was being foolish and weak but was glad for the reminder it provided. If you are not careful, you can be easily manipulated by an enemy inside or outside of your mind with even the smallest of comments. Be prepared to always deal with such attacks.
Something that always inspires me. On my drive into work each day, I am often stopped at a traffic light near the Colorado School for the Blind. As a result, there are usually people without sight using walking canes maneuvering carefully on the sidewalks, navigating the crosswalks, and getting to/from the school via bus. I see this occurring in the nicest of weather as well as when it’s cold, snowy, and icy.
Most days when I drive to work, I am excited but there are times when I have concerns and worries weighing on my mind. Any time that has ever been the case and I see those groups of blind folks talking, smiling, and navigating their way without the benefit of sight, it motivates me. I’m reminded of how blessed I am and that my stresses today are not likely to be there for long. I’m certain that if given the option to have my “problems” with the gift of sight, those people would happily accept that deal. We tend to have it far better than we sometimes believe, I’m thankful I get that reminder so often.
Some quotes I Love.
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington
“If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader. Sell ice cream.”
“We often wonder why more people don’t take a stand when things get tough. It’s because most people were told their whole lives to sit down and shut up.”