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 good reminder. Last Friday, I was stopped at a traffic light with my two oldest sons when we were hit from behind by another vehicle. We pulled over and I got out of the car to handle things. The woman who hit us felt bad and was apologetic. I made sure she was doing ok, provided her with some medical advice, and we swapped information. When I got back in the car, my oldest son commented that my reaction was not what he would have expected after someone hit us.
He remarked that I was smiling and seemed to be going out of my way to help the woman who caused the accident. I told him that was because it was not the end of the world, and I don’t believe in making people feel worse when they’re down. Furthermore, I would not consider myself a man if I berated or did not help a woman that was obviously upset, hurting, and having a bad day. Later that night, my son told me he was proud of how I handled the situation. This was a reminder to me that children will always learn more from actions than they ever will from words.
Something I believe. When you take something with substance and strength and water it down, it will lose potency. This is true of beverages as well as life. If you water down your principles, your character will not be as strong. When you water down your standards from “great” to “good enough”, your results will suffer.
When we water things down, it is usually because they challenge us physically, mentally, spiritually, or more. It is a protective mechanism our minds provide to us so that we don’t feel bad for not following through as we intended, decreasing our level of effort, compromising our standards, or straying from a path we know we should be following. Don’t allow yourself to settle for anything watered down. If you have convictions about how you should be living, do not allow yourself to settle for a lesser version of them.
Something important to understand. We all know people that blame anyone or anything for problems. From employers, to friends, family, the government, weather, bad luck, you name it; there is an endless list of people and things to blame for shortcomings or lack of progress. While this is common, it is far from effective. It’s crucial to realize that when we blame outside factors for our failures, we are essentially giving power to those things.
The process of blaming someone/something foolishly absolves you of responsibility and places it elsewhere. This simple act strips you of your own power and gives it to others. You’re essentially telling yourself that you are not strong enough to overcome outside factors, and that you’ll only succeed when things are perfect, or you are allowed to do so. When you accept full ownership over your actions, this changes immediately. That mindset creates the strength and fortitude to face whatever challenges you may encounter, and you will remain focused only on the path forward and outcomes you desire.
Something that resonated with me. I watched a docuseries on Connor McGregor this week on Netflix. One thing really caught my attention. He talked about how when he trains, he is always fully focused and gives his all and that has never been an issue. However, he goes on to say that what he does outside the gym makes all the difference. When he starts eating foods he said he shouldn’t, sleeping later than he said he would, and being less intentional with what he knows he should be doing; his results suffer.
I have found this to be true as well. When we are chasing a major goal, every choice we make either brings us closer toward it or further from it. Interestingly, it is often the small choices that provide short term comfort such as sleeping in, eating poorly, over-indulging, skipping activities, and more that ultimately sabotage the long-term goal. It is easy to stay focused when doing things we enjoy. However, if we can remain disciplined and diligent when we are not doing those things, our results will only become enhanced.
Some quotes I love.
“The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more you will be comfortable.” – Connor McGregor
“People are strange; they are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.” = Charles Bukowski
“Self-love isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, self-love means that kick your own ass when you need it.” – Brandi MacDonald
“Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Nine times out of ten you will underestimate your own capabilities and capacity, and you’ll overestimate someone else’s. And that’s the number one reason you’re not where you want to be in life.” – Bedros Keuilian