Where do I fit in the world?

A fascinating blog post. Where do we fit in the world? How special is each individual? What is our purpose?

https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-purpose-of-life-is-to-be-a-nobody-72ceeb078373

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Humans are creatures of habit who are influenced by their environments. We are biologically wired for survival.

Human nature is to find the smoothest means of success within our present environment. We will always look to find the “path of least resistance” towards our goal. The easiest route to success is not always the one that is in our best interest.

Is it easier to work out at lunchtime or wake up 30 minutes earlier and do it in the morning? Is it easier to pick up a pizza or cook a well-rounded meal?

The first step to growth and self-improvement is understanding that your default is the path of least resistance and choosing to make the decision that you know is in your best interest. In the words of the Cadet Prayer – “Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never be content with a half truth when a whole can be won.”

Why I Coach: Relationships

There are many reasons why I coach. Probably too many to get into all of them. This morning, I had reason to pause and consider one of them while responding to an email from someone I’ve known for over 10 years – and only because of the sport of hockey.

After my freshman year of college I seized an opportunity to work at a hockey camp in Nisswa, Minnesota – Minnesota Hockey Camps. Since that summer, I’ve spent 9 summers in the Brainerd Lakes Area as either a counselor or a coach, coaching, mentoring and working with young people from all areas of the country. Anyone who’s ever spent time at MHC will tell you it’s a very special place filled with special people.

One of the people that I met there is now playing college hockey on the East Coast. We got to know each other through MHC, first working as counselor & camper, then as co-workers at the camp as we aged. When it came time to look at colleges, she asked me for some schools to look at, as she was considering going somewhere out east. I was someone from outside of the normal circles and someone who had experience in other parts of the country. I value the experience of moving away from home and meeting new people, as it was a huge part of my growth and development as a young man and something that I think has immense benefits.

Yesterday, I received an email from her. Last week I ran into her men’s coaches and asked about her and how she was doing. It was so cool to hear how happy she was, how much she was enjoying her experience and she was thankful for my help in finding a college. She has had a good career with a growing program and helped them find new levels of success. To read that email and know that I had an impact on her life is a very special feeling and one you don’t get after a game.

As a coach, you impact many people’s lives on a daily basis but you don’t always truly know the impact of your words and actions. The ability to motivate, inspire and mentor young people is an opportunity and responsibility that coaches have every day and one that is often taken far too lightly. Meetings may only last for 15 minutes, practices for an hour and games for two, but these relationships that we build can last a lifetime.

The impact of that email that I read this morning cannot be understated – it hit me at a time when I needed it most (as these things usually do) and helped to remind me of one of my core values as a coach. Relationships. Building, maintaining and cultivating relationships is at the very core of who I am and what I do. Why do I coach? Because of the email that I see

Why do I coach? Because of the email that I receive from an old friend thanking me for my influence in her life.

The Difference a Minute Makes

Amazing the difference one minute can make in the world huh? At 11:59pm we’re talking about all the good and bad things that happened in 2016, and then all of a sudden at 12:00am we’re talking about all the things that we will (or won’t) accomplish in 2017.

And it all happened in the span of 60 seconds.

Imagine if all the minutes in your life had that same impact? What if we could completely change our outlook on the future in the next 60 seconds? Produce an optimism and excitement about what’s next rather than dwelling on what happened?

Every minute of your life you make choices. You make the choice to focus on the past or on the future. The choice to build positive or negative habits. You make a choice to take action or live with regret. Every 60 seconds in your life can have the same impact of 11:59pm on New Years Eve.

Happy New Year – may 2017 be a year full of minutes that make a difference.

Airplane Mode

You know the announcement.

“The cabin door has been closed. At this time please power down or switch your handheld devices into airplane mode for the duration of the flight.”

Everyone tries to sneak in that last text, video, facebook post, etc. before the flight attendant catches them.

But I don’t want to talk about to flights today. I want to talk about using Airplane Mode in my everyday life.

I, just like 99% of smartphone owners, have become addicted to my device. The dopamine hit you get from the buzz or ding of a text, email or social media message has become part of our daily lives.

Smartphones have become so onmipresent in our lives that we have to make announcements and signs to tell people to put them away during the most important times in our lives – weddings, funerals, holidays, etc, etc, etc.

These devices trick us into thinking we’re being productive and efficient because we use them all day. In reality, they are a major distraction from some of the most important things that we do – administrative work, creative work, and true, personal communication.

Luckily, these addiction machines have a great feature that allow us to eliminate the noise. We can put them in airplane mode. No contact with the outside cell world. No texts, calls, emails, tweets, snapchats, etc. Just focus.

Starting today, I am going to spend at least 90 minutes every day in airplane mode. I’ll use it to create copy, watch video, design practices/drills, read, write, have lunch with a colleague or mentor, who knows? What I do know, is that for 90 minutes every day I’ll be able to turn off the world and focus on the present.

 

Its the Little Things

Why do we put off the simple, easy tasks that would make our lives that much better/easier/simpler?

Things like cleaning a room or a desk. Like checking the mail every day. Shooting 50 pucks. Doing one extra set of a lift. Spending an extra five minutes on the practice green.

We put them off because we can. Because it is easier to say “oh I can do it tomorrow, it will only take 5 minutes”. Those dishes can wait until the morning, you could pay your bills easy enough tomorrow.  You’re really tired at the end of a workout and think you don’t need to put in a little extra.

All of these things are simple but not easy. They will improve your fortunes over the long run tremendously, but have very little value in the short game. Spending time and energy on things that have little immediate value can have tremendous dividends – not only do the activities help you in the future, but your ability for self-discipline and mental toughness grows.

So the next time you think, I’ll just do it tomorrow. Stop yourself. Do it today. Do it now. Your future self thanks you.

Zero Sum Game

Athletics is a zero sum game.

Black or White. Win or Lose. With the end result there is no shades of gray.

Individual performance? Sure, there is an ability to measure yourself and your performance, but as to the overall result, it is one or the other – not both.

What do you want the outcome to look like?

What price are you willing to pay?

Win or Lose?