Jul 7, 2021

We Really Should Appreciate What We Have More

If you were to talk to any competitive athlete, basketball, football, yes, even a waterskiier, almost to a person they will have a scene, a play, a circumstance...or many of those, that drive their desire for improvement, desire to win, desire for excellence. 

Competitive people will often refer to, usually, one of two things.  

AYYY I gotta chip on my shoulda ova heeaaa

1) a chip on their shoulder.  This one covers alot of ground, but, typically its about proving the doubters wrong, or feeling as if people doubt you for some real or imagined reason. 

2) the hatred of losing, vs. the love of winning.  I.e, i work so hard because I hate losing so much!

Of course there are the bullshit inspirational quotes that people pretend to live by, but, to really keep yourself moving forwards towards whatever goal we all tend to utilize the above two ways to do so. 

There is a fear of failure, there is a fear of getting passed by, there is a fear of getting out worked, there is always a fear. 

Fear is the most powerful emotion that we as humans have and the one that is forever able to be mined for success and for failure. 

We have all had that moment in some competitive endeavor.  You may have stayed up a little late the night before, or real life got in the way of a training session or two, or you just didn't perform at a level that you expected of yourself.   You lost that tournament, or say, didn't reach your personal best, or missed that shot. 

You will go over and over in your mind what you could have done better, what you should have done to not let that happen.  Thats the fear.  That is the poison that we put into our own minds.  

my tan line!

/shifting to first person 

I have a very specific scene in my head I play over time and again, I was at a three event tournament at a sweet lake in a little town in the middle of a state.  They had made a second..or third? lake to handle just the slalom event.  We all stayed up late the night before partying, which...cmon we were in our early 20s, but, we were fogged out that next day. 

I was super late for the 2 ball and just cut like a maniac and laid out to get to it and crashed super hard and skidded up onto shore (it was a narrow lake).  It was sweet as hell, but, i think back to that alot because that was probably as good as I have even slalomed in my life and it was the best lake i have ever skied on and I biffed and it bothers me still because did i do everything I could to succeed?

/shifting back to silly crb style. 

Rarely, but sometimes, you actually do everything right, perform at a high level and still lose.  You can accept those right?  You work hard you perform well and yet still.  

That is ok. 

Its the gnawing little parts when your own brain poisons your psyce and starts putting things into you that are not helpful or do nothing but nag at you, bring you down, etc.  

"oh, you think that tuesday night margarita was worth it?"

"maybe if you had worked out a little more in the off-season"

"feel pretty stupid now don't you that you didn't do WHATEVER!"

And this is a problem that we all have and its not just for sports its for everything!

We focus on our own negatives so hard because that is such a powerful driving force that we don't give proper credit to what we do well, or what we have that is good!  Life is such a mental fuck that maybe it does take a cheesy inspirational quote to help you along, but, that real driver is fear. 

This is why that is a problem. 

omg no way you silly little scamp!!

Because for alot of us, it seeps into your just normal ass daily life.  You don't look at the good you do, or the positives in your own life.  Shoot, even taking that into account in your skiing or your athletic endeavor, we don't appreciate enough what we have that is good, because that defeats our own internal narrative that we aren't good enough and need ot be better. 

Social media accounts are probably partially to blame simply because we see other peoples ideal life as they wish to present it.  Its not the down moments when they are sad or bounced a check (do we have those still?), or fucked up a relationship with someone or had a bad day at work or are fighting with an addiction or disease or mental health issue.  

Because we look at other peoples idealized life and compare it to our own...which we are living in RIGHT NOW, and not just the picture we post on instagram showing ourselves in our own best light! 

Its a ring light for life, vs. the normal ass flourescent light where we look like hell. 

Right?  we all do it and it makes no sense.  we judge ourselves against some arbitrary external viewpoint of other peoples lives, or approximated lives and then beat ourselves up over the imagined gulf between what we see in them and what we feel in our own!

Here is probably the most common, relatable example of this.  And again, its true for EVERYONE.  

You and your significant other are out with another couple.  In that moment you and them are all happy and having a great time, you'r at dinner at a cool restaurant and holding hands and making jokes and all that.  You begin to see the other couple and thing, "why can't we be like that, they look so happy", because maybe that morning you had a little tiny argument about your dirty clothes on the floor, or you forgot to take out the garbage or your are having doubts in your own head about where this relationship is headed. 

So these little tiny seeds of doubt, which should just whiter and die on the shelf in your brain with no light, for some reason you go into that room, with that shelf, and pour some water on them, you make them grow!  

Like a dummy

You are creating a situation that isn't there because you are conditioned to believe that you need to have something to fight against, then to appreciate and love. 

lol totally....imma fucking murder you later Todd

An example that has come up alot within the past year..year and half...during the pandemic, regarding our days jobs, with a weird kicker at the end of this question and answer. 

"Hows it going here?  How are sales in this time?"

"Not great bob..but, shit, lucky to still have this job, could be alot worse"

And here is the part that matters.  We use, "could be alot worse" as a cover. But, fuck that.  yes it could.  and two years ago it could have been and 5 years from now it could be as well. 

Things could be worse!  Things could be better!  

We are not at the bottom looking up, we are in the middle somewhere floating in some odd state of homeostasis where we have the ability to go up and down but, we tend to ignore the up and focus on the down as a means of motivation to not go there. 

We are so much more cosmically aware of mental health these days, in others, in terms of overall policy, but, do we actually take the time to take care of ourselves anymore then we used to or do we fight with our own demons in private because thats what we feel we should do and that is something to motivate?  

To provide the fight and the power and the energy to succeed?

There is an interesting tipping point in any timeline related to a sad or painful event.  Be it losing a loved one, a broken relationship, a bad circumstance that eventually instead of looking back on memories of that thing with a frown or tears you look back and it makes you smile or laugh.

At the CRB offices our tv will cycle through our photos on icloud as a screen saver, which natuarally brings up memories of days gone by, in them are some photos of people that are either no longer in our lives or no longer in anyones lives. 

There are also hella nonsense too, its not all heavy duty nonsense. 

But, for the vast majority of those pictures of the people that meant something and left us, or meant something and left all of us, most of those bring smiles now in remembering that situation and being happy that we experienced that. 

That is such a nice lens in which to view those circumstances, however, in our daily and in our own owlds we create, do we utilize that lens to give ourselves the smile instead of the frown?

We cast a critical eye on our own proceedings, for example, at lunch we were complaining about our apartment situation, its to small, not enough lawn, neighbors are loud, is this what we really want, landlord is a weirdo...etc.  And a friend said, "huh, i dont know, I thought that place was pretty cool...nice little place"

All those negatives all the problems that we see as some sort of wall in which we can't go around was blown to bits by someone saying, "yeah, dummy, place is tight"

Focusing on our own negatives as if that is the light we want to shine into the world, instead of being grateful for what we do have. 

This is why as a competitive person who uses that fear as a power source for success, we also have to learn to turn that off, turn off the desire to always win/defeat others and appreciate what we actually have!!

Its the simple axiom, replace "i have to" with "I get to" and it changes your whole outlook on life.  

I have to go work.  


You get to go to work.  

I have to replace a tire on my car. 


You get to replace a tire on YOUR!!! car.   

Holy shit right?  You have a car.  Good ass job by you!!  Vroom Vroom son!

Or lets try this one.  

Like alot of people, I assume, we have put on a few pounds during the last year or so.  A big part of it was we figured since we can't go out, lets learn to cook those items at home.  

And so you watch youtube and dick around on recipe sites and learn to make all sorts of different things.  

So, how do you look at that now, now that we are coming out of this pandemic and go back out to places and ride your bike or go to the park and not be worried as much?

Well, you can look at it as "I was a lazy and gained weight" or, "well, I tried real hard to be a better cook and turns out I kick ass because I ate all my food!!!"

We need to focus on our own positives and not our negatievs by default.  

Not that we ignore them, lets not be silly, but, by our own default logic we should appreciate our gifts, our place in life our abilities to do what can and not conflate them with what we can't/don't/won't/haven't. 

Back in day we crashed out hard on a slalom course (in front of pretty girls too, dang it) when we were feeling frisky enough to get into some short lines and put up some numbers.  

All these years later, thats still something that burns, but, we were able to crash out in front of some pretty girls while feeling frisky enough to get into some short lines and ski great. 

Thats pretty fucking awesome...and that is something we would like to feel again. 

We don't get there, to that feeling to that mental space, by weighting ourselves down with the could of would of should of, we get there by lifting ourselves up with the, "right, but, how many people can actually DO what you did and besides all that, maybe they are in awe of what you did"

Again, never assume...we should never assume...that the other persons life is perfect, that their relationship is what you see at that nice dinner...they probably had an argument in the car on the way there about the cable bill or the lawn mowing or whatever. 

Defining our success via a prism of light from other peoples lifes will only further your frustration into your own because you/we don't know that other person and the trials they go through, the battles they fight on their own. 

Negativity is easy, its cheap and it can derail 

positivity is hard in the face of all that gets thrown at us.  

and this is certainly not some bullshit inspirational quote where you...

gibberish bullshit. 

You are comparing yourself to someone else and somehow its not a zero sum game, you can just "outwork" them, as if they aren't doing the same. 

Appreciate what we have, what we have been able to do.  See the positives in life, in your own life, as the true beacons of what should inspire. 

Not a bullshit quote about work or limits or "never be afraid to fail"

Be afraid!  

Thats ok!  That means we have a brain and a soul and a life. 

But allow life to work in equilibrium.  

We can always strive to be better and use that fear as a motivator, as an energy source for the furnance of internal power. 

But, that can't supersede the ability to appreciate what we have, how we got it and let that mirror off the dark and illuminate the light. 

1 comment:

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