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 in some way. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
A beautiful lesson. My wife is a nutrition and fitness coach and earlier in the week I overheard her speaking on a Zoom call. She talked about wanting to surround herself with people that value themselves. One example she used was that of a friend whom she noticed would never partake in any form of gossip. My wife explained that when she observed this, she knew her friend valued her friendships. The friend never told her this directly but based upon her actions, it became obvious.
Another point she made was that when you are around people that value themselves, they never need to convince you of how they feel, you already know. For example, when you see someone that is upbeat and positive, eats well, exercises, and is in great shape, they don’t need to tell you how much they value health. You see how their actions and behavior and know immediately they value their own health. People that have value for themselves pass that on to others and for that reason, you can never have enough of those people in your life!
An interesting interaction. I had a conversation with someone the other day who was asking me a lot about the way I work out, the races I continue to run and about my training in general. Each time I answered one of their questions, they would give me advice on why I should stop doing something and what I should do instead. Was this person an elite athlete with years of experience? No. They were overweight, sedentary and had exactly zero expertise in athletics and/or training.
I mention this because I have encountered this many times. Often the people that will give you the most advice are the least qualified to do so. When we get advice from someone our instinct is to respect it and try and take it seriously, but many times we shouldn’t. Everyone has an opinion and there is nothing wrong with listening. However, when it comes to the most important things in your life, be careful who you listen to because not everyone knows what they’re talking about, and you want to avoid becoming sidetracked heeding advice from people that claim to have expertise but don’t.
Something I believe. Earlier this week I had an interaction with someone to whom I used to be very close. Without fail I am always kind, respectful and tolerant of this person but unfortunately, I am often a target of their anger and this week that was the case once again. I didn’t say or do anything to incite them but found myself on the receiving end of some serious vitriol. Though this wasn’t pleasant, it did remind me of a couple lessons.
First, the way people talk to you is how they feel about themselves. Kind and confident people never say horrible things to friends, family or even strangers online. They understand that making someone else feel bad will never make them feel better. However, people that are unhappy with themselves will do this. They don’t feel good about who they are and therefore don’t mind trying to make others feel bad as well.
Second, sometimes the best gift you can give yourself in a situation where someone is attacking your character, insulting you, etc. is to simply ignore them. I am from Boston and have been a fighter since the time I was young, so I am no stranger to conflict. However, when I find myself being attacked by someone over text or email like I was earlier in the week, I just ignore them. I cannot control their behavior but can certainly control my own. Engaging people like that is fruitless and only leaves most of us feeling horrible about ourselves. In cases like this, I say nothing and give myself the gift of being able to walk away knowing that I kept it classy and didn’t stoop to a level I’d later regret. I’m not suggesting you must allow yourself to be someone’s punching bag, but sometimes it’s better for you to just simply ignore someone rather than engage with them.
Something I teach when I’m coaching. I was reading an article the other day about a pro athlete making suggestions about ways to make practices more “fun.” The head coach did not seem thrilled and suggested the player worry more about playing well and less about how to make practices more fun. This reminded me of something that one of my coaches and I have always preached which is that success is the most fun.
When we coach our young men, we teach them the goal is to improve each day and as that happens individually, it will strengthen us cumulatively. We want them to have fun (and they do), but we don’t structure things so that the goal is to entertain them. Rather, our goal is to work with them and improve on their skills and awareness at each practice and game. As this occurs, they grow more confident which makes things fun for them. Whether in sports or life, becoming successful can be the most fun you have.
Some quotes I love.
“Not everyone who openly criticizes you is your enemy. Not everyone who openly praises you is your friend.” – Ryan Michler
“You can come back from anything no matter how bad you think the situation is. It’s all about your mindset.”
” There is no being generous to a fault. Because there is no fault in being generous.” – Marcus Lemonis
“99% of the harm is caused in your head, by you and your thoughts. 1% of the harm is caused by reality, what actually happens and the outcome. Most of the time, the problem isn’t the problem. The way you think about the problem is.”
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
“When you’re confident in what you bring to the table, you don’t have to chase and beg anyone to sit down and eat.”
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