Tag Archives: control

Why Love: Success Part 1

Title with hands on a high bar

Before you watch the following video of Gina Auriemma talking about athletes he tries to recruit, pay attention to his use of the word Love.

“Recruiting kids that are like really upbeat and loving life and love the game and have this tremendous appreciation for when their teammates do something well..”

I recently blogged about how my sons have felt the sting of failure, but also how it was important to feel that pain because it meant their heart was in it and that they would eventually have success in their activities (Losing Hurts and that is Good).

Success.

That is the first reason or answer to the question: Why Love? As I mentioned in my blog, and if you follow the UConn Women’s Basketball team this year, you know that you can still lose even if you play with heart. But that ability to play or live from Love gives you the strength to handle setbacks.

There are two ways Love helps us succeed.

  1. Builds Strength
  2. Is the foundation to successful characteristics (for next post).

Building Strength

Let’s do a mind experiment. Think back to a time you were frustrated, angry, or felt lost or sad. There are a million ways we handle these emotions, but at the base of these emotions was a sense that the situation and feelings were imposed on you. That you had limited control or choice. I what you are thinking, and yes, I’ll quote the cliche: You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you… (Brian Tracy).

And I use the word cliche because we have all heard this before. But which attitude should we choose? I can choose anger, or fear, or any attitude I want. But when you choose Love you are building strength to become successful.

OK, stay with me as we take this a step deeper. Go back to the mind experiment and the negative reactions. Now think about control with the idea of strength. An easy example, have you ever said something in anger that you really didn’t mean? Or at least thought it? Yes, we all have. How does that happen? We lose control because we are not centered (or strong enough at that moment) from a stance of Love (the choice to care about a person, thing or idea, and to act accordingly). So we internally, or worse, externally say something we don’t really feel. Yes, at the moment we do because those emotions are controlling our hearts and therefor our minds and mouth. Love gives us the strength to choose a different outcome.

It takes time and practice to operate from Love. Each time you do, you become stronger, you become more in control of your life. Nothing… Nothing stops the pain and tragedy of life. Love is the factor that helps us move past those moments to build a successful life. We will still lose games on last second shots, that’s life. But who wouldn’t want to be a part of a team with 11 championships or a 111 win streak? Or better yet, laughter at the dinner table, friends and family at Christmas, and Love.

The next post will look at the second part of success, how love is the foundation of successful characteristics.

Quote with a single star and last sun rays

 

 

 

 

 

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Are You Ready?

For all the hours I’ve spent on the road, all the years living in Nebraska and Wyoming, I have never hit a deer or an antelope.  I have had a number of other car accidents, but I’ve always spotted the deer while driving before anything bad could happen. Until this morning…

Right now, it is completely dark for most of my commute.  This morning the moon accompanied me on my drive. I was in between Doniphan and the interstate (as the picture below shows).  Things were going fine, music on, cruise set, and I was checking traffic to decide when to go into the left lane so I could merge onto the interstate.  I just crossed the bridge when the deer appeared.

Image from Google Maps

I was still in the right lane when the deer appeared on the passenger side, just in the fading part of the headlights. Both of us were caught in that eternal second. Because of the light the deer looked like a ghost, faded, almost transparent.  I could see his head snap back and his black eyes widen.  I swear his expression was, “What the….”

I did nothing. Which was the best thing. The deer and I caught up with time. It seemed my car lurched forward to do it, getting ahead of the deer to miss him.  I looked into my review mirror but could not see if he crossed the road or not.

No matter how much we try, we cannot control Life.  We have control of our attitude, or work ethic, and our smile.  But Life, it is like a box of Ping-Pong balls dumped out on a concrete floor.  We will get knocked around, sometimes drastically.  This got me thinking about dictionaries…

As an English teacher I forever get the question, “How do you spell that?”  I would always respond with directions to the bookshelf where the dictionaries sat waiting to be opened.  Even when my students had computers I would get that question.  At a time when answers are sometimes just a click away, why did my students still ask that question?

I think part of the shift we are experiencing, in school and our own lives, must include the ability to react (or know when not to in my case) to Life.  That is a grand statement, but I’m not sure I have had a whole day where something didn’t go wrong.  Where a Ping-Pong ball didn’t knock something off track.  Or a deer run out in front of you.  Are you prepared to react, to adapt?  Are students prepared?

Courtesy of Flickr user Lester Public Library

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Cruise Control

My new commute is mostly on the interstate, and like everyone I set the cruise control and drive.

But is setting the cruise really driving?  It seems like it is more of an attitude that we have set our speed and we are not going to change.  No matter what.

I am sure you have experienced that car that sits just inside your blind spot, no matter what you do with the cruise control.

Or the car that is set a half a MPH faster than the truck it is passing.

How about when you see that you will be able to pass the car and truck ahead of you, so you move into the left lane, and just as you get to the car… it jumps into the left lane making you slow down (and yea, it is the car that is a half MPH faster than the truck).

But is this cruise control attitude just a reflection of what we do with our lives?  The cruise control comes in many different forms in life.  Work, school, same nightly routine.  Cruise control is a great function for the car and life. At times. I have become angry when I drive just using cruise control (“just pass the truck, the cruise goes back down automatically,” I’ve mumbled on the road). But, I’ve noticed I feel the same when I am living by cruise control.  When something happens that makes me step on the brake, or change lanes; a sick child, me ruining dinner (homemade French fries are not easy to make), or any number of things that are just apart of life. A part of driving.

The road I drive to work stays the same, but I will never have the same driving experience, ever.  The cars and trucks change, road construction, a new CD to listen to, any number of things make each day different.  At times I can just cruise.  At times life runs smoothly.  But we must be ready to drive. A car is designed for that, just as life is designed to be lived.  Enjoy the drive today.

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