Be Grateful

Today as I was driving to work I noticed how beautiful the sky looked.  I am blessed to have the privilege of living on Kauai.

With all the Stoicism I have been reading lately, it really made me think about the things I should be grateful for.  I do get caught up in thinking about money, work, and tons of other little things that sometimes I think mean a lot but in reality they don’t.

 

I’m grateful for my loving wife

I’m grateful to be living on Kauai

I’m grateful to be an American

I’m grateful to have a job

I’m grateful to be able to see

I’m grateful to be able to walk

I’m grateful to have my cognitive ability

I’m grateful for the people that allow me to coach them

I’m grateful for the tough times I’ve had because they have made me strong

 

I bet I could go on and on.   It’s surprising that if we actually stop, and give ourselves time to think, how many things will come up.

Go ahead and just stop.  Seriously.  Give it a try.

 

Get The Reps In

Many times throughout the day I find myself thinking, “That would be a good blog post.” But when it comes to sitting down to write it, I get paralyzed.  I start thinking about how do I start this, or how can I make this the best it can be, or how should I structure this.  And then…  nothing happens.  I get to caught up in thinking about how I need to improve my writing skills or come up with a great introduction.

This made me think about a story I read or heard on a podcast, I can’t remember which.  You can find it on google.  But the story goes like this:

A professor  separates a class into two groups.  One group is graded on the quantity of pounds they produce in clay vases.  Something like 50lbs equals an A, and 40lbs equals a B and so on.  The other group is graded on the quality of one clay vase.  They can plan it out however they like but they are solely measured on the quality of their vase.  The interesting thing that happens is that the group that is measured on quantity, also produces the best quality vase at the end of class.  They had time to learn from their mistakes and then improve upon them.  Whereas the group that had one shot planned and planned but when it came to executing the plan they failed to come up with a high quality piece.

I believe the same goes for my writing or anything else you and I do.  Repetition will help us progress.  It might not get us to perfect but we will certainly be better than when we started.

Apply this to your golf swing, a weightlifting movement like the snatch or clean and jerk.  You can apply this to coaching as well.  You can plan all you want, and read all the books about coaching, but until you go through the fire of coaching athletes you won’t become great at coaching.

Bottom line is just get going in whatever craft you want to be good at.  Each repetition is a chance to improve.  Sometimes the repetition will be great and other times it won’t turn out so well. Chances are that over time and with enough repetition your craft will improve.

Cheerfulness

“…Cheerfulness.

Without requiring other people’s help.

Or serenity supplied by others…” ~Marcus Aurelius

 

I came across these words in a book I’m reading called “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius and Gregory Hays.  This is an excerpt when he is reminding himself on “How To Act” as a Roman Emperor. I won’t go into who Marcus Aurelius is, other than he was a Roman Emperor that practiced Stoicism.

After reading these sentences, I wondered, How many of us can be happy or calm without other people?  How many of us really know what makes us happy on our own?

I began to think about what makes me happy.  Golf came to mind.  I will go on my own to a course that is close to the house looking for that cheerfulness and calm feeling sometimes.  But then I thought about how it really goes, I tee off on the first hole, and the happiness and calm feeling I expected to have goes out the window.  More often than I would like, the ball doesn’t exactly end up where I would want it to.

Then I thought about weightlifting.  Weightlifting is a place I can genuinely feel happy without other people.  Breaking personal records sends chills and excitement through my body.  That feeling will last for hours and even a few days and then I pursue more records.

At some point breaking weightlifting records will end.  Possibly in the near future for me.  Then I will be forced to think about what other types of things I can do on my own to be cheerful.  Reading, writing, sharing thoughts come to mind.  Growing as a human being.

I challenge you to think about the things that you do on your own that bring cheerfulness and serenity in to your life.  Take 5-10 minutes to brainstorm and see what you come up with.