Let me start this post by saying, no, that is not me on the mountain.
Full credit goes to my friend Dean Foster, who is much more adventurous than I.
He’s currently in Australia for five weeks, because he can.
What an incredible experience that must be. He’s been all around the world and loves it.
And when he’s here, he and I play squash together. It’s how him and I have reconnected after years of not talking. Dean was a referee years ago. We were good friends, until he moved on to other things and I stayed refereeing. He loves his life now, and I love mine.
After six years of not speaking, I texted him out of the blue. I asked him for coffee and it was just like old times. Obviously our careers had advanced and we were in relationships, but there was a familiarity that had rekindled.
The thing I remember about Dean is that he was an honest and genuine person. He would always have someone’s back and support them in their journey. And that’s what I missed. So we got back in touch.
There is something endearing and positive about a relationship that is beneficial to you. Whether it’s a coworker, family or a neighbour, positive relationships shape who you are as a person. And we can all benefit from the people we surround ourselves with. A saying I’ve heard recently is to ‘be the dumbest person in the room’. How else are you going to learn and grow as a person? I don’t know everything, nor do I pretend to. So why have such an ego around other people? That is toxic and won’t help you flourish. Be polite. Ask questions about someone else for once. Have some patience and empathy. Stop living in your own bubble and realize there are others out there who you can learn from.
You know, I feel the human race is taught to be full of themselves. How is it that our self worth is determined by our career, or how much money we make? Is that really the measuring stick of how good we are as a human being? No. I refuse to accept that notion. How can we live each and every day worrying about other people around us, and their accomplishments, and whining about how we’re not there? ‘Oh, he got a promotion ahead of me, he doesn’t deserve it!’
Here’s the real ball breaker: What have you done to make yourself better today?
If this is not an active thought in your head, maybe it should be.
Your success is based on your actions, and no one elses. Stop blaming others for the work that they put in to achieve the rewards. I constantly hear in the referee world that just because someone has put in the time, that they deserve the better assignments.
It’s hard work getting to the top. And this isn’t just for hockey, it’s work, it’s relationships, it’s at the gym, it’s everything you do!
Oh, I didn’t get playoffs even though I’ve been in the league longer than so-and-so (Ok, did you go an watch other leagues, absorb yourself in the game and study the rules?)
Oh, I can’t find a girlfriend, I’m going to stay single forever (Ok, did you start thinking about someone else’s needs, rather than your own?)
Oh, I can’t do a chin-up, and I never will (Ok, well how’s your diet, sleep pattern, post-workout recovery, water intake…?)
Stop blaming other forces but your own.
Jump out and take hold of your life!
You don’t need that pizza to ‘treat yourself’. You don’t need that boy’s night out when it’s your anniversary with your partner. You don’t need to sleep that extra 15 minutes in the morning. Get up and go to work earlier than the boss.
Be that person.
And get rid of the people who keep dragging you down. They are toxic and offer no incentive to you. Imagine this: You’re a lobster who is trying to claw its way out of a pot of boiling water, but the other lobsters in the pot keep grabbing on to you. But at the bottom, it’s just boiling water that will kill you. Keep climbing. Get out of that pot!
Unfortunately, that means ignoring the worst version of yourself. Get rid of that person. Ignore the selfish and less than fulfilling thoughts. Pursue greatness. Everyone’s definition is a little different, but ultimately, anyone can get there.
My circumstances sucked as a kid. We were poor. Mom was a single parent and a drinker. She hit us. I left home in high school. I was homeless for a brief time, bouncing from couch to couch. I contemplated suicide, even attempting it once. I struggled with mental health problems, but have since recovered immensely.
We all have our own problems, but it’s how you manage the cards your dealt by fostering positivism and reaching out for help when you need it. I couldn’t have done it without my beautiful wife, who is a social worker. We constantly work on our mental health together and it makes us a stronger couple each and every day. But I couldn’t do this without her love and support.
Be that love and support to someone else today. Someone is screaming inside and you have the power to heal them. Live with empathy, love and compassion and we’ll all be a little better because of it. Put in the damn work. It’s not easy, but the rewards will be plentiful if you just hustle a little bit more.
Jump out and grab that opportunity.