Thursday, June 30, 2016

Who's Life is it Anyway

My last link got so much interest from my followers, that I figured I'd use another one. I used to watch this show called Who's Line is it Anyway. It's basically an improv comedy show, you can check out the link if you want to get an idea about the show, but it's really not that important, I just wanted you to know where the play on words came from for the title of this post.

I think when we are younger we often get wrapped up in trying to live a life that allows us to fit in, or sometimes we live a life that has us standing out, in an effort to get the attention of others. Sometimes we look around, and see what everyone else is doing, and make decisions just like everyone else. I think we do this for many reasons.

-It's safe. You know, when you are in middle school, or high school, or even as an adult, it's safe and comfortable to take a look at the crowd, and just kind of blend in or fit in. If you do this, there is less risk of looking stupid, being made fun of, or standing out. And, if things don't work out, then you don't feel as bad, because you'll probably have company, or you can play the, "that's life".

-It's easy. If your decision making process involves following the crowd, then you don't really have to process decisions.

-We are unsure of ourselves. Sometimes, we just aren't sure what we want, or who we want to be. So, we look around, see the popular girl, or guy, or the successful, wealthy family next door, and we make decisions based on what we think we would like to be, in the absence of any real direction.

-We don't have any foundation to pull from, no anchor for our soul. Regardless of your spiritual/religious beliefs, we all need to develop some type of moral compass, core values, or foundation that we can draw from when we are making decisions. When we are younger, this area is not always fully developed, or firmly entrenched, and when we are older, we often stray from these beliefs in order to satisfy or most immediate desires.

-"That's just what you do"   This is my favorite, or least favorite. Question: What do you do when you graduate high school? False. (just kidding, Schrute) You go to college, right? Why, because that's just what you do. What happens when you graduate college? You get a job. Then you buy lots of stuff with all the new money you are making, then you get a credit card to buy things that you can't afford right now, but that you can pay for later because you have a job. Then you buy a house, get married have children, get a dog, buy a bigger house, work more hours, etc. etc. Then you wake up one day and realize that you don't like your job, your house costs more than you want to pay, you hate picking up your dog's poop, and you don't really like your kids.

Just a joke...for some of it. But the point is this:

There is no blueprint. There is no road map. And everybody is different. You don't have to chase the dreams of your parents, or do something because, "that's what people do". One of my former players, P, once told me, "Coach, you're the real MVP". Now, I'm nowhere near cool enough to know what that means, and I would be ridiculed by my girls if any of them actually read this. But how about this, "YOU'RE the real MVP". That doesn't mean be selfish, or arrogant. But it's your life, and it doesn't belong to anyone else. You need people in your life to support and encourage you, and you need some type of core values/spiritual ancor/belief system to draw from. But, you are the most valuable player in your life. You don't have to talk, walk, dress, date, interact, or live like everyone else. It's you that matters here. What do YOU want to achieve? Who do YOU want to be? Where do YOU want to go. What do YOU want YOUR life to look like?

Who's life is it anyway?

Much Love,


Monday, June 27, 2016

The Weight of Lies

I just stepped up my blog game in a major way. If I pull this off like I think I have, watch out world. I believe this is what Al Gore had in mind when he created the interweb, for folks like me to "link" (technical term, look it up) information so others could see it.

Take a few minutes to listen to the song, it's kind of catchy. It talks about the weight of lies, and how they will follow you everywhere, if you don't deal with them yourself. Some of that is my interpretation. Here is the application as it pertains to Thriving:

Think about everything that we tell ourselves on a daily basis. How do we speak to ourselves about how we look, how good (or more likely, how bad) we are, or what we can and can't do. How often do we compare ourselves unfairly to others, and how often does that comparison have us coming up short? One of my friends has a sign in his house that says, "comparison is the thief of all joy". I think that is pretty cool, and also very true. When we try to measure ourselves up against everyone else (and their facebook and pinterest lives) we usually come up short. Or we say to ourselves, "if I only had what she had, or if I had the resources they had, or if I was a little bit more____ or a little bit less____, then _____" These are all lies that we tell ourselves, and we do it fairly consistently.

My encouragement for you is this:

Don't allow the weight of lies to bring you down. Not the lies that we tell ourselves, or the lies that others are so eager to spout (more on this later). Don't handicap yourself before you even start the day with negative self talk. The truth is this, God created us each to be unique, and he wants us to do more than survive life's challenges, he wants us to thrive in the midst of them. Check out 1 Corinthians 7:17: Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. Also, Romans 8:37: In all these things we are more than conquerors, through him who has loved us.

Don't listen to the lies of this world, of discouragers, who tell you things that are contrary to the promises of God, which are eternal and will last long beyond the challengess of this day. T-Swfit (that's right) says that haters gonna hate. It's inevitable. But don't hate on yourself, abide in the promises of God. You were created to Thrive.

Much Love,


Sunday, June 26, 2016

In Your Best Interest

Lazy summary: Look at everything that occurs today as being in your best interest, an opportunity to grow. It's easy to see challenges or disappointments as unfair or tough breaks that have set us back from our goals. What if we began to focus on everything as an opportunity to grow,  chance for us to get better (maybe in an area that we wouldn't normally consider)? Not an easy thing to do, for sure, but we are working on thriving, rather than merely surviving life's challenges. It's okay to be disappointed, but I want to encourage you to look past the disappointment, and find an opportunity to grow in everything you do. 

I'm re-reading a book by Jamie Gilbert and Joshua Medcalf titled, "Burn Your Goals". The book focuses on the idea that you should remove the idea of goals for your life, and instead, focus on the things you can control, such as your attitude, your effort, your approach. Rarely can we control the outcome of things. In other words, we can't control whether or not we win a state championship, a region championship, or even whether or not we make the team. Some coaches may argue differently, and that is okay, But think about this: Let's say you set a goal next season to win a state championship, and that is your focus for the year. Think about all of the things outside of your control that can occur during the course of your season. Your starting pitcher gets hurt before the playoffs, your super talented point guard is ruled inelgible after Christmas, or your coach unknowingly breaks a rule that disqulaifies you from post-season play altogether. Or how about this, you meet up against a team or player that just has the game of their life, and there is nothing you can really do about it on that given day.

 While some of these may be more far fetched or unlikely than others, I'm sure you can see some reality in at least one of these circumstances, or think of some situations in your own life and experience where something happened that was well beyond your personal control.

Here is the encouragement, focus on the things that YOU can control. Your coaches probably tell you this all of the time, but unfortunately, many of them have a hard time modeling this for you you, as they complain about officials, or the weather, or any number of things that THEY can't control. We all battle this as coaches, and as people in general. Think about what you can do TODAY, and each day, in practice, or in your life, to be as great as you have been designed to be. Be specific about it:

-I will attack each sprint as an opportunity to improve my endurance.
-I will take all of my coach's instruction as an opportunity to improve.
-When I get tired today, I will encourage a teammate, rather than focusing on my fatigue.
-When someone gets chewed out by coach, I will be the first to pat them on the back.
-I will display gratitude today, for the opportunity to be on this team.

 And when you the unavoidable obstacle in life, find the opportunity to grow. Don't just survive life's challenges, THRIVE in the midst of them.

Much Love,