I heard an interesting story about a philosophy Pat Riley the NBA coach and front office person shared about winning. The same thought can be applied to the even more challenging game of life. He discussed the difference between and excellent game, and game excellence. Which one are you striving for? In order to answer that question I guess we should begin by defining those two terms. Let’s tackle an excellent game. An excellent game means you train for a particular game and give it your all for that one game. Rivalry games come to mind in this example. How does this pertain to life? Think of a first date? You spend so much energy picking out the perfect place to go, or the perfect outfit. You make sure you have your best jokes at the ready, breath fresh and every possible emergency covered. What happens if you happen to have the good fortune of dating that person several years later? “What do you want to do? Order a pizza and stay home and watch television?” How about a job interview or first day on the job? You try to do your best on every little detail. Pay close attention to how you present yourself, the words and things you say at the office. A couple of years down the road? “Damn I don’t want to go to work, one more time with the snooze button” This happens to each and every one of us. Once we accomplish that goal such as having the affections of that attractive person we have been chasing, or finally getting that dream job. Once we have them we kind of let ourselves go. Not always intentionally. Perhaps we take things for granted. The funny thing is if you ask yourself honestly do you still deserve your partner as much as you did during that time you were trying to convince them that you were the one? Are you still the employee for of promise and hard work that company hired that day? If you are, congratulations to be sure! Chances are you mind find yourself lacking in a few areas. We all do. So what is game excellence and how does it differ? an excellent game focuses on massive action to accomplish a certain end and having a great game, which has its place. Game excellence is the constant daily focus on the small details daily to improve the player. How does this relate to life? At home, are you constantly listening to your partner to gather new information and compare it with what you already know about them in an effort to find new ways to make them happy and strengthen the relationship? At work, are you constantly looking for ways you can do your job better and save the company time and money? For my sports fan followers I compare that to watching film. Looking for ways to increase your value as a player or in real world terms as a person. So this weekend ask yourself “Am I shooting to have an excellent game, or to have game excellence? Am I looking to have a great night or to become a great person?” I certainly learned a lot from that interview I hope you did too.
In beginning any new undertaking one of the greatest things we can do is ask others for help. Be it a new creative project or just attempting to live our lives with more joy and passion, there is always someone who can make some part of our journey easier. Now with the internet and email asking people for help became that much easier and widespread. A few of you may have been cringing inside reading those last few lines, but that is about to change. I used to be the same way. “nobody likes to ask for help it’s a sign of weakness” That is what I used to think. One day one of my mentors changed that for me. When we were out for lunch and I began to argue to pay the bill he asked me “how do you think it makes me feel to buy you lunch?” I told him I honestly didn’t know how it made him feel. “How would it make you feel?” he asked me. I told him it always makes me feel good to be able to treat my friends for dinner. “Oh it does?” he asked. “Yet you were going to deprive me of experiencing that same feeling?” Truly he knew that was not my intent, but it did get me thinking. When I started this blog I asked a million people a million different questions. Friends who write their own blogs, friends who know how to promote things. Friends who are also trying to bring light to others. Then I stopped. I started to worry I was ‘bothering’ them. Did I appear that I didn’t know what I was doing? One day, just to show you how long it takes for me to get a point, I apologised to me friend for asking her to many questions about her blog. “Why would that bother me? I’m sure you’ll be happy to be able to help me later on” she said. I was taken back to my friend at lunch that day. Not only does asking for help make our journey easier and quite often saves us a lot of time and grief, but think of how it makes the other person feel. Better yet, think of how you feel when someone kindly asks for your help. Do you look down on them? Chances are you do not and you feel pretty important and valuable. Now why would we deny another that feeling? To make things even better, it often forms new bonds between friends and supplies us the perfect opportunity to practice gratitude.
one interesting thing about living a positive and more rewarding life, and one you should be prepared to face once you venture on this path is challenges. Ironicly I am not speaking of lifes challenges to your positive spirit, although there is sure to be some of those, but people challenging the validity of being positive. At first this made no sense to me. Why would anyone not like a positive person? What is wrong with trying to live a life that is not only more self satisfying, but rewarding to others as well? We shall look to answer those questions and more in a future post, but I want to share with you an example of just such a situation that a coworker approached me with the other day. “what good is a positive attitude if it doesn’t change anything?” she asked me. “What do you mean?” the example she gave me seemed to shed light on one person’s view on the world. “Well, if a negative person and a positive person both fall off a cliff, will they not both hit the ground and die no matter what kind of attitude they have?” This is a good question. I think the answer may be found in the ‘life to years and not years to life’ paradigm. While it is true a positive attitude sure can help your longevity, my goal is to help you enjoy whatever time you have here, be it long or short. So what was the answer I gave this lady? Before I answer that, let me remind you of a very important lesson. People who disagree, challenge and maybe even mock or dislike you for trying to better yourself are more a reflection of themselves then of you. I know this thought may not help in the moment, but always look for the lesson. Are they forcing you to look at things a new way? Are they showing you why it is important to maintain a cherry disposition? Either way, be grateful for they are teachers wether they know it or not. My answer by the way, “Yes, they both will die, but who do you think will have more fun on the way down?” So remember, it is important to have fun every day, you never know what cliff may be around the corner!