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.
A lesson I’ve learned from sports. Whether playing or coaching, a constant lesson I have learned and taught is to always keep moving. When you stand still, you become easy for an opponent to deal with, take yourself out of the action, and make it nearly impossible to create a positive outcome. Conversely, when you are in motion, you become unpredictable and more likely to make a good play. The point is that you must keep moving to keep up with the action around you. Life is no different.
In life, one of the worst things we can do is to stop moving or become stagnant. Examples include lack of exercise, not seeking new knowledge, accepting bad habits, and falsely believing we cannot change. Rather than doing that, we want to remain in motion through exercise, reading, interacting with new people, attempting new things, and more. Whether it’s in athletics or life, make sure you keep moving because your results depend on it.
Something to remember. I had several conversations this week in which people expressed to me why they didn’t want to do something challenging because they preferred something easier. For example, “I don’t like the taste of water, so I drink a lot of soda.” or “I’d rather sleep in than do a workout.” These people are expressing displeasure with pursuing a habit or activity that would help them while comparing it to something that is counterproductive. I think of this like comparing apples to footballs, they are in no way similar.
As a doctor and expert in exercise and nutrition, I have encountered this way of thinking countless times over the years. We all enjoy relaxation, rest, and recreational activities that are fun. However, those things are not designed to make us better or lead to higher levels of achievement. The habits and activities that create growth and success are difficult. They challenge us mentally, physically, and in how we budget our time. If you want to succeed, you will need to embrace doing the hard things. Do not waste energy comparing things that elevate you and bring you out of your comfort zone to things that do not.
A recent (and funny) reminder for me. One of my quirks is that I do not believe in using an umbrella. I find them foolish and refuse to own or use one. My family knows this, and we have a lot of fun with it. At my church, I am a greeter and welcome people at the front door. Recently, it was pouring rain as people were arriving for the service and I was asked to stand in the rain with an umbrella and walk people to the front door. I agreed, and so for the first time in decades, I used an umbrella and my family made sure to take plenty of pictures of this.
I walked in dozens of moms and older women, and they were all extremely grateful and told me how polite I was. Though I wish my family had not taken pictures of this, it made me feel better to help than it would have to watch people get soaked to the bone. As simple and silly as this is, it was a reminder that sometimes the right move is to humble ourselves and help those around us.
Something that resonated with me. I listened to a talk this week and the speaker mentioned grapes. He talked about how grapes are grown and then eaten or sold for a small amount of money. However, the grapes that are crushed can become wine. Those grapes transform from something that is common and inexpensive into something that sells for hundreds or thousands of dollars, and can be served to kings, queens, and dignitaries. The grapes are the same, but what the grapes go through changes everything.
Life works the same way as these grapes. Look to anyone who is successful in any field or endeavor. I guarantee they have had to go through an incredible struggle to get to that point. Just like the grapes, they’ve been crushed but turn into something more special and valuable. Throughout your life, you will inevitably be broken down and suffer at times. Those times may hurt, but if you utilize them properly, you will be able to turn them into something better and far greater than you imagined.
Some quotes I love.
“Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.” – Calvin Coolidge
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing the monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – C.S. Lewis
“Understand people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.”
“Reward loyalty with loyalty and disloyalty with distance.” – Brandi MacDonald
“The truth has no defense against a fool determined to believe a lie.” – Mark Twain