Heath Ledger, playing the role of the villainous Joker in the Batman series, had a famous line that often causes me to rethink.
Why so Serious?
It’s a great question to ponder. Admittedly, I sometimes get way too serious in my work and in life. That serious bit, causes me to stress more, live less, and miss out on great experiences and relationships. I often realize later – usually after the moment – that I missed an opportunity to really connect and be present.
So, what’s the antidote going forward. Well, there’s a short little anagram, which is just a fancy word for acrostic, to home in on embracing fun daily. As you can guess, it spells the word FUN. Each letter means something specific.
Focus – the right focus – will keep you out of trouble. Focus means to be fully present. To be aware of what’s happening in the present. Not the past. Not the future. But right now!
Focus means being attentive and motivated...
What if you lived life like you were training for the Olympics? What would you do different?
That’s the question I asked myself that stopped me in my tracks.
I realized I wasn’t playing full out. Yes, there are days I’m giving everything I have – and I’m leaving it out on the field wherever I am present, but there are many days that I just don’t’ have it. There are days I just don’t give it my best and I fail to FOCUS.
It’s not because of a lack of intent. I want to play full out. My aspirations are there. The reason why I don’t FINISH is because I can get out of balance.
The balance revelation drew my attention to something called the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Maybe you have heard of them. Here's a hokie graphic that illustrates them. (thanks Adobe Stock)
Here are the 8 in no particular order. Each of them have an equal weight of importance and value.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”
— T. S. Eliot
We just launched a new three part series on Resilience on the Breaking Average Podcast. Have you seen it? The first episode aired recently centers on the concept of Acknowledging the Threats. The next episodes take it even further. This is such a powerful principle. Resilience is a secret untapped strength each of us have, we often just don't know it.
There's an old line from the legendary Japanese Military Strategist that sets the table.
Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.
What he's saying is spot on. You can't be yourself and face your challenges until you know yourself. That's where it starts. But that's not enough. He's also saying you can't face the enemy and defeat the enemy without knowing the enemy. Both are vital.
There are some battles...
There is a great scene early in the movie Remember the Titans where two teammates are in a huge disagreement. Gerry Bertier, the captain and star linebacker, who is white, is arguing one point with his teammate Julius Campbell, another talented linebacker, who happens to be black. Bertier is pressuring Julius to step up his game.
Julius counters with a different perspective reflecting on the clear lack of hustle between whites and blacks on their team. Because of the dysfunction, Julius openly wonders why he should care for anybody other than himself. In response, Bertier tells Julius, "That's the worst attitude I have ever heard." It's in that moment, you wonder if Julius is going to clock Bertier, but Julius responds candidly and calmly putting the pressure back on Bertier. "Attitude Reflects Leadership, Captain." Bertier is left standing there with no words. It's as if he got hit by a...
Let's face it. Life comes at has hard. How we handle those challenges reflects our character. None of us are perfect though. They are times in our life where we feel the pressure. We struggle. It's inevitable.
The good news is that there's a way around it. There are some tricks of the trade that we can leverage to overcome the emotional hit -- at least minimize it. I call it Emotional Retelligence. It's about retelling - essentially hacking -- your emotional state realtime. It's powerful! Here it is in a nutshell.
#1 - Acknowledge the Emotion. Admit what you're feeling. Don't deny it. Let's say you are planning a big event, and that sense of overwhelm just hits you hard. In that moment, admit to yourself what you are feeling. It might be something like,
I need to make a confession. I am a recovering reluctant leader, and I'm doing everything I can to avoid a relapse.
The problem started way back when. Probably when I was just old enough to notice classmates (maybe even my older brother and sister) discrediting my unique ideas or thoughts. You know, an idea that disrupted the norm. Like, "What if we built a maze fort out of these cardboard boxes?” Or, “Want to help me build a wall of Legos to blockade mom and dad's room while they're sleeping?”
"No!" My brother and sister didn’t like either one of those ideas from their little brother. Sometimes I struggled with my voice being heard. Being the youngest, you often feel overlooked and ignored. It's frustrating. I remember when I was six knowing exactly what to do to put the family door knocker on the door, but no one wanted to hear my suggestion. I felt unheard and insignificant.
Eventually many of my imaginative...
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he– Proverbs 23:7
I've previously shared about the importance of “being transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This effort is not a “one in a done” exercise. It takes a daily commitment. The key is to eliminate our misbeliefs and unfounded self-limitations -- and instead think the truth.
One of the things that helps me the most is to create a set of “I am” statements. These are statements myself, about my beliefs. These are affirmations. Here are a few straight from the Word that you can use about you. It's scriptural truth — what God thinks about you — which is the most powerful truth there is.