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 important. I speak with people all the time that say, “I just can’t wait for things to start going well.” Normally, this would entail making more money, having the perfect job, being in a better relationship, reducing stress, etc. The assumption with this way of thinking is that things are either completely bad or perfectly good. This will never be the case.
What I have come to understand is that you will always have good and bad in your life. Within your finances, health, relationships, personal life, business life, there will be things you wish you could keep forever and others you’d like to change immediately. Embracing this perspective is important. First, it trains you to appreciate and pay attention to even the smallest things that are going well. Second, it allows you to understand that if/when things become difficult, they are not there to stay but rather to pass. Cherish what you have that’s good and address what isn’t.
A story I love to share. When my oldest son was 10 years old, we signed up to do an 8-mile race together. As it turned out, on race day there was 6 inches of snow on the ground and temperatures were in the 20’s. Walking to the start line, I saw droves of runners simply give up and head to their warm cars instead of competing. My son and I ran that race and enjoyed every second. We still talk about it in fact.
The crazy part is that my son took third place in the 19 and under division that day. He did so not because of blazing speed, but because of the one hundred runners that signed up to run that race, only three ended up competing due to the conditions. There is no way he could have outrun the older and faster competitors, but he beat them by attrition. He was simply willing to try his best when others let the conditions scare them off. Life works the same way. As things get tough, people will find reasons to quit. If you can be a person with the resolve to keep going no matter what, you will be able to pass by many and achieve what they could not.
Something I was asked. On Saturday, I went to a football field and put myself through an intense workout. I was pushing weighted sleds, carrying weights, sprinting, and endured a pretty grueling 90 minutes of work. There happened to be a gentleman walking the track around the field and he asked me what I was training for. I think he figured I must have some type of upcoming competition or event to be doing the things I was. Since that was not the case, I told him “I guess just life.”
Training for life for me involves three specific benefits. First, the intensity with which I train each day is to challenge myself to be uncomfortable. The more that happens, the easier I can handle the speed bumps of daily life. Second, I want to be the healthiest, most energetic, physically strongest, and mentally toughest version of myself so that I can enjoy and be an example to my wife and four children. Finally, I want to be healthy and active as I age. When I have grandkids one day, I hope to play with them on the floor and take them to many places. I would never want my body or health to prevent me from doing that, so I work hard now to prevent it. If you’re struggling to get into shape right now, it can help to ask yourself what you’re truly training for beyond the scale or esthetics.
A simple piece of advice. I’m from the Boston area and from a very young age, have been blessed (or perhaps cursed) with the gift of colorful language. I’ve used and been around that way of speaking so long that it always seemed normal to me. However, I listened to someone speak recently about how the words we use tell others about us. I began to think about some of the language I used at times and was not super proud. In the end, I decided I would make a change. Since that time, I would estimate I’ve cleaned up my language by about 90%. At first, I made many slip ups but after a couple of weeks, it has gotten easier. This reminded me of a simple piece of advice I love.
We all have multiple things we want to correct or achieve at any one time. It will be too daunting to fix them all simultaneously, so it’s best to choose one at a time. This allows you to direct your focus toward one goal and improve more efficiently. It will also boost your confidence as you see yourself making incremental strides. After you reach one goal of self-improvement, you can move on to the next utilizing the same basic premise of one thing at a time. While this advice is basic, I have found it to be incredibly effective.
Some quotes I Love.
“Good talent with bad attitude equals bad talent.” – Bill Walsh
“99% of the battle is getting yourself in the right state of mind.”