Skip The Ride If You Want!
Goals are meant to give you direction and to motivate you to work toward achieving that goal. Goals give us reminders of what is important to us and help us to stay on track. Achievement of the goals themselves are not meant to be the purpose of life. The journey is much more important than the destination. No one gets on a roller coaster with the goal of getting it over with as soon as possible. We all want the ride to last longer. The up and downs of the roller coaster ride are what make us scream and get a huge adrenaline rush. When the roller coaster stops, we head to the exit. The ride is over. Most of the time, we want to run back to the line to ride again. We must set goals. Work toward those goals. Put your hands up in the air and scream your head off as you enjoy the ride! However, if all you want to do is to achieve goals so you can check boxes off on your "to do list", then you may as well just skip the ride and walk over directly to stand at the exit.
One of the challenges of being young is the inability to completely appreciate the concept of time. For those who are much older and who have lived life, there are two profound realizations about time:
Realization #1 - When we are young, we feel there is an infinite amount of time. We have our whole life ahead of us. There are many more days to come than the amount of days we have already lived. We feel that we will always have the time to do certain things, to accomplish goals and dreams and to even say the things we want to say to the people that we want to say them to. This is why procrastination is more often found in young people than in the older folks. Those who have lived life have realized that time tends to pass us by much more quickly than we anticipate, and they see the time they have wasted. They realize that seasons are only 3 months long and it takes a another nine for that season to return.
Realization #2 - When we are young, we feel that every single second matters and if we waste one moment, we will never get it back and we will never make it up. If I get sick and miss a day of practice, I will never get that day back and I will never reach my goals. If I miss out on this one experience with friends, it will never be made available again (FOMO). This is why we see younger people rushing around much more than older folks. We think this is the case because older people are slow and frail. This may be partially true but what is more accurate is that those with experience have rushed around themselves and have finally realized that it is a waste of energy. We realize that seasons come and seasons go but they eventually come back around again and sometimes the next season is better than the previous year.
The Point - As we get older, we realize that both of our youthful assumptions about time have some element of truth but there needs to be a balance. Time is finite, so we need to make a conscious effort to take advantage of the opportunities that we have and although making the most of time matters, it doesn't matter as much as we think, so if we miss something, we must be content and know that every moment isn't a "make or break" moment in time.
Time ... Erodes ... Memory!
Ask someone who is much older than you about their past and you will be amazed how they remember some facts and experiences as if they occurred yesterday and they will actually be 100% accurate. At the same time, that same person will find it difficult to accurately remember facts from experiences yesterday. And then there is the common occurrence that happens to us all where we remember past experiences and accomplishments a little differently than they actually occurred. We remember school to be much harder or much easier than it actually was. Athletic accomplishments are usually much better than they actually were. Our times are faster and distances further. The snow and the hills that we had to travel to attend school where much deeper and steeper than they actually were. Life in general was much harder or easier than it actually was. Time erodes memory. Our memory doesn't hold on to the truth as much as we assume it does. This is to our benefit when it comes to unpleasant experiences that we want to forget. That is why the phrase "time heals all wounds" is a comfort to us all However, time also erodes our memory and we forget how hard we worked to get to where we are now. We need to constantly remind our-self how hard we worked and how much time we have devoted to our training that has helped us to get where we are now. That memory should give you a strong confidence. And after you remember how hard you have worked and how much you have accomplished, you need to take that knowledge and make the decision to work even harder and smarter so that you may improve even more.
STep ... Up!
Choice. We have choice. After a practice or competition or test, a student-athlete can respond in a multitude of ways. If they perform well, they can be happy and satisfied and not see any need to change what they are doing (not a great choice). If they perform poorly, they can become self-consumed and focus on the disappointing result or goal not met and allow the performance to negatively impact their future practices, competitions or exams (not a great choice). Then there are those (these are the successful people) who see competition and practice and exams as one more step in a very long staircase that takes them upward toward their goals. A successful step gets us closer to our goal but that doesn't make the rest of the steps any easier or already achieved. (it is a staircase and not an escalator) All steps are equal and one step merely brings you to another equal step. So ... What did we learn from that successful step and how can we use that to make the next step even better and also successful? And when we do find ourselves slipping or stumbling on the step (it happens), do we forget about all of the progress we have made up the staircase? Do we go limp and lay on that step or even worse, allow ourselves to slide all the way down to the bottom of the staircase? Or ... do we realize that this was a small moment in time and only one step of many and we get up and take another step forward and upward. Getting better requires responding appropriately to both successes and failures. We can and should learn from both.
Life Is A TEAM Sport!
We have all watched the runner finish the race and throw their hands in the air in victory. They are excited. The spectators cheer and politely clap in recognition of the effort and success of the single runner. In contrast, we watch a basketball player sink the last second three pointer and the team erupts off the bench and tackles the shooter while the fans rush the court. Winning alone is fun. Winning as part of a team is often much more. Life is better when shared with others. Life is more fun when we can do what we love along side people we love. The quality of life is multiplied when the number of people involved is multiplied. There is a reason why we curl up in a ball and into the fetal position and want to shut everything out when we are sick or tired. And there is a reason that when we win or when we are excited, we throw our arms in the air and jump up and down as if we are inviting anyone around to join us. Life is better when life is lived with others. Be intentional about living life today with others ... at least 6 feet away!
1) Worry - to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret. (Dictionary)
2) Worry - a cause of uneasiness or anxiety; trouble. (Google search)
3) Worry - the thoughts, images, and emotions of a negative nature in a repetitive, uncontrollable manner that results from a proactive cognitive risk analysis made to avoid or solve anticipated potential threats and their potential consequences. (Wikipedia)
4) Worry - a response to a moderate challenge for when the subject has inadequate skills. (more Wikipedia)
5) "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." Corrie Ten Boom
6) "Do Not Worry ..." Matthew 6:24-35
7) "No one can pray and worry at the same time." Max Lucado
Worry should not be an attitude or a condition or a lifestyle. Worry should not be an uncontrollable behavior that prevents us from finding peace. Worry should have one purpose in our life. Worry should be a flashing red light and a annoying blaring siren that has one function - it alerts us to the value that we place on something in our life and it acknowledges our feeling of inadequacy to properly deal with that something in that specific moment of time. Once alerted, our attention should begin to move away from the loud noise and bright lights (which accomplish nothing of additional benefit) and turn quickly to specific ways in which we can control the situation and when there is nothing else to control, we then should pray about those things that we have no control over. Control what you can control and then pray about the rest!
Make a List!
Two very important lists exist around Christmas time: Santa's "Naughty or Nice" list and our own Christmas list. As a kid, our Christmas list was a huge deal. We wanted those items on that list really bad. We also wanted to make sure that Santa knew how much we wanted those items and that is why we put crayon to paper. As I grew up, my Christmas list lost it's importance and purpose, for many reasons. However, I still want things. In athletics, we want things. We have goals and dreams and desires. A good routine for anyone who wants to achieve success is to make a list. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and what you want to get better at. Add to the list daily. Work to achieve the things on the list. Check off those items on the list that you achieve. Add more stuff to the list. And don't complain if all you get in your stocking for Christmas is underwear and socks if you don't take the time to make a list of what you really want.
The "X" Factor!
Algebra refresher: 1X = 10 when X is 10. 1X equals 5 when X is 5. 1X equals 0 when X is zero. X is the variable.
Unfortunately, some of us are too smart for our own good and that "smartness" becomes a limitation. Our academic preparation has given us the tools required to figure out the answer to many of life's questions, while also helping us in school. However, our intellect often debilitates or hinders us in certain activities, such as sports. In athletics, when we attempt to think our way to success, our brains actually get in the way. Sports are not a chemical formula where you add a mixture of chemicals together to create a specific product. Sports are not a simple math equation where 1 + 1 = 2. Sports are not linked to astronomy where, when every planet is aligned, only then will peak performance occur. Sports include more than one variable and often times, many more than two. There are a lot of variables in sports. Effort. Motivation. Heart. Mental toughness. And yes, talent. Therefore, Talent multiplied by Effort does not always equal success. We know that anything multiplied by "zero" will equal "zero". So if the equation includes other variables, such as confidence, belief, competitiveness, joy, and patience, and if any of these variables equal Zero, then we get nothing. As an athlete, we need to increase the value of every variable but also insure that there are no Zero value variables that negate all of our time and talents. Lack of confidence and belief are the most often variables that turn a 10 to a 0. Talent (10) x Effort (10) x Confidence (0) = zero. Nothing. However, if we can take a variable and increase it dramatically above all others (such as confidence), we can turn a small number into a huge number. With some self-confidence in the equation, Talent (10) x Effort (10) x Self-confidence (1) = 100. but with Talent (10) x Effort (10) x Self-Confidence (10) equals 1000. Self-Confidence at a 10 can take value 100 result to a 1000. And that is why self-confidence is the X-Factor for many athletes as they pursue success.
Fail ... To Get Better!
Did you fail today? If you did, you have the opportunity to get better and you are closer to reaching your goals. If you didn't fail, then I am sorry because the opportunity to improve will be less likely. Failing leads to success. If you fail, you are not a bad person. If you fail, you are simply a human being. Failure occurs more often than success (unless you sit around and do nothing of importance and never take risks but then again, that is the ultimate failure. You fail when you don't try). When we attempt to improve ourselves and strive to achieve more than we have in the past, we will fail. Failure is only a waste if we don't choose to learn from that failure. Our attitude when we fail should be a combination of frustration mixed with motivation. We are frustrated (an emotion) for not achieving what we wanted to achieve but then we should be motivated (an action) by that frustration to learn and to grow and to try again. Failure should not be a combination of frustration and pity/demotivation/discouragement (lack of action). Those attitudes simply demonstrate our ego and our lack of humility that lead us to think that we are too good to ever fail. No one is capable of avoiding failure for eternity. No one is perfect. Get over yourself! Failure happens when we strive for success. How will you turn failure into success today? That is of most importance.
"If you want results, you need to work hard?" At face value, the instruction given by well meaning parents, teachers and coaches is accurate and motivational and seems appropriate for such things as a T-shirt or poster with a cute kitten hanging from a ball of yarn. However, working hard doesn't always equate to the results you desire. If your goal or result is to be LAZY, then you actually need to avoid working hard. Also, if your goal is to be COMFORTABLE, then hard work usually brings a fair amount of discomfort, therefore if you want to be comfortable, hard work should be avoided at all costs. If HAPPINESS is your goal, then hard work typically doesn't make you laugh. Want to FEEL GOOD or FEEL BETTER or FEEL RIGHT? Working hard tends to bring soreness, if not worse, and hard work often feels anything but "right". However, if and only if our goal in life is to OBTAIN SOMETHING CLOSE TO OUR FULL POTENTIAL, then HARD WORK, and SACRIFICE, and being UNCOMFORTABLE and even PAIN are indeed appropriate and they should be the priority. The ingredients need to match what we desire to be the outcome. If you desire a fruit salad, I suggest using fruit to make it. Baking a chocolate cake, you may want to avoid using salmon. And if you want to be a champion, I suggest using a champion mindset and champion behavior and champion priorities.
COACH. FATHER. HUSBAND. SON OF THE KING. WHITWORTH UNIVERSITY.