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.
An incredible experience. Last week, my oldest son got his license and on Thursday he picked me up so we could grab his brother from football practice and grab some dinner. It was raining as he drove but within one or two minutes, it morphed into the craziest weather and driving conditions I have ever witnessed. As it turned out, we were driving less than a ½ mile from the tornado and were enduring over 100 mph winds, torrential rain, hail, minimal visibility, downed trees, and debris being thrown all around us. We had no choice but to continue driving, so I calmly began giving my son instructions on exactly what to do. He remained completely calm and after about 4 miles, we found a spot where we could pull over and I took over driving. My son in the backseat was freaked out but my oldest son and I were excited, full of adrenaline, and high fiving!
Something I have learned throughout my life is that the worst thing you can do in an intense situation is panic. If I had freaked out, my son would have as well, and we would have been in even more danger. The best thing to do in a crisis is to take a breath and begin with the first necessary step. Once that happens, you move on to the next, and so on. Keeping focused on the tasks helps avoid a spiraling of emotions that leads to wasted energy and time. My son stayed as cool as could be in a stressful situation and I’m certain he will carry that lesson with him forever.
Something important. There is a saying that if you spend enough time in a library, you will eventually read a book. I believe this same principle has applications to daily life as well. Specifically, if you hear things from those around you long enough, you will eventually believe them. When people tell you how terrible you are, you will believe them after a point. Conversely, when people build you up, you are likely to gain confidence and feel you can accomplish great things.
For that reason, it is crucial to be careful of who you let into your life, inner circle, and head space. You will never be able to completely avoid negative people. However, the discipline is to learn to not let those people in too close where they can convince you that you’re less than you are. The people you want around are those that value similar principles as you, have morals, are not threatened by your success, and build your confidence.
A recent reminder. Last weekend I was sitting at my son’s football practice and talking to my-longtime assistant coach (our sons have now moved up to a new league that we don’t coach in). We were discussing a heartbreaking loss we had in the playoffs several years ago and how we should have won the title that year. Then we went on to discuss how great it was to win consecutive titles over the past two seasons and see our players blossom like they have. The interesting part was that we both agreed that had we won that heartbreaking game a few years back, we probably would not have kept coaching.
That win would have felt like a good ending point for our team and most likely we all would have gone our separate ways and played/coached in different leagues. However, the loss kept us together, gave us a reason to return, and made us hungrier. Ultimately, that made us work harder to become better coaches, players, and teammates. This was a reminder of how important losses in life can be. They never feel good, but they cause us to alter our approach, get stronger, increase our efforts, and so much more. It can be argued that in the end, the losses make us far stronger than the wins. If you have suffered a setback, allow it to strengthen you and understand it will help you somehow down the line.
Something I think everyone should know. I hear from patients and friends all the time that are going through challenges. These can be in relationships, business, mental, physical, and so much more. Sometimes they’ll comment that they don’t know why it’s happening to them. The simple answer is because it happens to all of us. Therefore, I believe two things must happen.
First, you must expect that you will face adversity. It’s not personal, but it will inevitably happen so expect a fight in some fashion. Second, since you’re expecting a fight, you should prepare accordingly. This means creating the strongest body and mind you possibly can. Personally, I utilize exercise, difficult races, mentally dauting tasks, nutrition, family time, and faith to build myself into a form where I feel confident I can face anything. Certainly, I hope everything will go smoothly, but if it doesn’t; I won’t be surprised or unprepared.
Some quotes I love.
“The quickest way to succeed is to start now and figure it out as you go. You can’t learn to drive in a parked car.”
“If you want to be successful, you need to be bad, then you need to be good. Then when you’re good, you need to fail. And then when you fail, you’re going to figure it out.” – Nikola Jokic
“You should not honor men more than truth.” – Plato