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 analogy I love. I remember times growing up when I’d be over at a friend’s house on a Saturday or Sunday and the moms/grandmothers would be cooking all day and ask me to stay for dinner. By the time the meal was ready, it was always some of the freshest, most flavorful food you could imagine. The reason for this was that everything was prepared slowly so that things could be done just right and allow the flavors to develop. It took hours but the results were amazing. If they had used a microwave to cook the meal it could have been done in minutes, but would it have tasted the same? Of course not.
This same premise applies to life. Our world promotes a microwave approach of ideas, schemes, pills, gurus, and everything else you can imagine convincing you that you can have whatever you want with little time or effort. What they fail to explain is that success is never obtained in that fashion. Instead, it will be a journey that requires commitment, practice, and determination to achieve anything worthwhile. Just as the best foods will take time to prepare, so too will your greatest successes so think stove, not microwave.
Something that affected me. About 6 weeks ago, I had a chiropractor come to my office for an adjustment. He retired after 40 years in practice in Texas and moved to Colorado with his wife so that they could be close to their daughters who are in their 30’s and starting families. We immediately became friends, and we’d swap adjustments and/or go grab lunch. It was great having an excellent chiropractor to adjust me regularly and I began to really look up to him. In fact, it was like looking 20 years into my future and seeing exactly what I would like my life to look like.
Last Tuesday, I was informed by a mutual acquaintance that my new friend had tragically and unexpectedly died. Though I only knew him for a short while, this news was devastating to me. He was in excellent health, was enjoying his first year of retirement, loved being active, and spoke glowingly about his family. Having lost both my sister and a best friend (my brother-in-law) over the past 2 ½ years, this was even worse. Having experienced losing people suddenly and well before their time, I will provide you with some basic advice I hope you follow. Do not leave the house without hugging those you love, try not to leave issues unsettled with people important to you, and do not take time for granted. Do not spend time stressing about your own mortality, but make sure that if you were to leave today, your life and relationships would be in a place you were pleased with.
A simple reminder. As I arrived with my son to his junior kindergarten class this week, I realized that we had forgotten his backpack with his lunch. I am usually very organized, so this was uncharacteristic of me. When I returned home to grab it, I found the backpack had been moved into a play area by my daughter and that was why I missed it. Furthermore, I always double check I have it before leaving the house and failed to do that. Basically, I did not follow my usual system and the backup I have for it. This served as a reminder, however.
Our systems will make or break us. Forgetting a backpack is no big deal. However, if a system isn’t followed in a pre-flight check, security protocols, or reading an x-ray or MRI to detect cancer, it could be. It is crucial that we have certain systems in our lives to ensure we get things done properly, on time, and with consistency. This leads to efficiency and less stress, and after a short period of time will become second nature. Begin evaluating what methods you have in place to accomplish things for yourself, family, or business. Continue what is working and improve anything that is not.
Something I value. Recently my wife gave me a small piece of advice that I really needed. In the moment she said it I wasn’t thrilled but after a minute or two of considering it, I agreed with her. She is not the type to make petty comments or give pointless advice so when she takes the time to tell me something, I listen. I have a small group of other people in my life that I trust to do this for me as well.
I believe it is crucial that we have people in our circle that will tell us hard truths when necessary. The purpose of receiving this information is not so that we will be harmed by it, but rather to allow us to improve in some way. Personally, I value this type of feedback most from people that I trust but that do not bombard me with constant frivolous advice. Instead, they take me aside when necessary and give me a constructive criticism based on their love and respect for me. It may take me by surprise or be difficult to hear, but instinctively I know the value and importance of their words. If you have people such as this in your life, respect them. Also, if you are this type of person to someone else, be truthful and timely in your advice and deliver it with grace and kindness.
Some quotes I Love.
“Life gives to the givers and takes from the takers.” – Joe Polish
“Going from being worried about what might happen to being excited about what might happen is truly only a mindset shift away.” – Cory Allen
“The race always hurts. Expect it to hurt. You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt. You train so you can tolerate it.”
“On every team, there is a core group that sets the tone for everyone else. If the tone is positive, you have half the battle won. If it is negative, you are beaten before you ever walk on the field.” – Chuck Noll