Blogpost, self-reliance

Tip the Balance

Parents are preprogrammed to be proud of their children. It’s only natural that there should be that bias. At one point or another, we have all listened to a parent gush over their child’s big or small accomplishment. It may be annoying to people on the outside but it makes perfect sense. The scale between pride and disappointment is naturally weighted toward a parent’s pride.

Conversely our own pride and disappointment scale seems to be weighted in the other direction. It is often easier be disappointed in ourselves rather than proud. Since we spend every moment with ourselves and know our every thought and shortcoming, it makes sense that our “pride scale” might be weighted toward disappointment. This doesn’t mean that it’s helpful or the way that it should be. So it is your job to TIP THE BALANCE. This does not mean that you should feel proud of yourself for everything you do. Sometimes disappointment is exactly what the doctor ordered. My suggestion is that you celebrate your successes just a bit more. Allow yourself to get on a roll because the other option is a little scary.

We tend to avoid actions that are associated with negative emotions such as pain, embarrassment or disappointment. Generally speaking to reach even the most modest forms of success, some pain, embarrassment or disappointment is necessary. So avoiding the actions that create negative emotions and having a scale tipped toward them is a recipe for disaster.

Feel free to use this clip as a response to anyone who belittles your accomplishments. Maybe even you!

So celebrate yourself when you do something good. We’ve each got our own level. Getting out of bed and showing up to work on time may be your success for now. Or maybe you’re trying to break the world record for pull-ups and have failed twice. Give yourself a break because most people aren’t even trying that. The internet and social media have plenty of people for you to compare yourself to in order to undermine what we’ve just talked about. F$%& THEM! You’re you! Measure yourself based on your own standards. If you were still 5 years old, your mom would be bragging to everyone about how you stopped wetting the bed. So look at yourself through the most caring eyes that you can imagine. Get out there and start doing things. Some of it will work out and some won’t. Regardless, you have the potential to be one hell of a person. Just give yourself a break if you’re not yet!

I’m proud of you! Go make it happen!

Pete

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Not Hard Work, LABOR!

HHS SoccerMany sports teams are in the middle of their preseason sessions at the moment.  I’m sure that many players are working hard.  It is almost a prerequisite for any level of success in the sports world.  The reason that I hedge is that there is a higher level of effort that is more in line with the actual effort.  That level of effort is called labor.

Work is a scientific or mathematical equation: force x distance = work.  It also has particular connotations in our culture.  Common words that are associated with work are: hard, job, difficult, employment and pain.  While these may be common, I don’t know that I would describe them as positive.  Although we recognize the value of hard work.  Many people would look to avoid it.

The reason that I would change to labor is not because work and labor are synonyms.  It is actually in labor’s secondary meaning that all of the magic happens.  Although many people may make work and labor the same inside of their heads.  Labor is the process of giving birth.  In particular the final part before delivery.  Taken as a whole, the process leading up to and including labor is no picnic.  Talk to almost any mother and there will be stories of morning sickness, discomfort and pain leading to a crescendo of “ultimate pain”.  At this point, work is sounding pretty good!  The difference between the two is that at the end of labor, there’s a miracle to behold.  Almost any mother will tell you that it is the worst pain but all is forgotten in the end.

So as you start any endeavor, go in with the idea that you are going to labor toward your goal.  The pain and discomfort are part of the process toward the eventual miracle that you are looking for.  In the end, the pain will be forgotten and you’ll be able to rejoice in the two things that you’ve created: your goal and the new version of you!

Go labor toward your passion today!

Pete

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Accidentally Mummifying Yourself

KilimanjaroThe world is filled with things that cut.  Like walking through a patch of thorn bushes with exposed skin, injury is an almost certainty.  In the short term, bandaging the cuts is the right strategy.  In time, the wounds will heal.  If too many cuts pile up, the bandages become wrappings.  You become a mummy.  Movements constrained by the bandages on wounds that never healed.  Avoiding cuts completely is an impossibility but choosing a new path and learning how to wield a machete are both options.  Band aids are not a long term solution, they are a short term fix.  This concept is obvious when thinking about real wounds but with metaphorical wounds, this is a common strategy.

The key has always been preventative medicine/measures.  Solving old problems with solutions that minimize or eradicate the issue is the best way to get better problems.  That is an understanding that everyone needs to have: PROBLEMS AREN’T GOING AWAY!  The most that you can hope for is to have the best problems possible because you’ve solved the old and boring ones.  Why would you choose to flail around in that same old thorn bush when you can figure out how to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

I know that many of you out there are bleeding and it hurts.  My heart goes out to you and I hope that this message will help you move on.  Break free of the thorns and find the path to the mountain where you can see for miles.  It won’t be easy but it may be worth it!

Have a great day!

Pete