“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” – Abraham Lincoln
On this day 506 years ago, Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel were revealed by the Pope.
Now I don’t expect something even close to that magnificent masterpiece of human creation by the legendary artist but I hope it inspires you to do something of simple greatness of your own design today. I mean if he could paint and bring something so beautiful into existence while in the most uncomfortable positions for @ 5 years, it would seem it should be simple for you to add something positive in not only your, but other’s own lives.
If you can’t think of something new to achieve, just do something extraordinary with one thing that you do on a daily basis. In many ways, there’s a simple magnificence to doing purposeful things which you can be proud of but as usual, that’s just me thinking again for you guys but why not give it a try!😘
“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” – Arthur Ashe
I’m not a big fan of cliches. They are used too frequently without thought and just products of repetitive statements we use during complex situations that certainly require something of more value and sentiment to the recipient.
I was thinking of one in particular. “I’m here for you” or “I’m there for you”. I get the basic gist of it – a simple offering of support and maybe a little more but what should it mean? I guess I could devote a great deal of analysis to these statements but my evaluation is centered around what I’ve meant when saying it in the past compared to now, and what it’s meant when offered in my direction.
Thinking of when I used to say it, I pretty much meant it literally. I’d be “here” for someone but they’d have to generally come to where I was if they needed something important. I was “there” for someone but not really. I was usually at a safe distance so that I would be unable or unwilling to get “there”. Not always and maybe not intentionally but in thinking back, too frequently.
In addition, I find little comfort when someone says “I’m there for you” when going through tough times. I really don’t need a congregation of people at where I’m at since I already know how I got “there” and don’t like where “there” is at. I may not expect the answers but it won’t help me to have company “there”. What is needed is a temporary escape from “there” and maybe another mind and set of eyes to show me a possible way to get out of “there” because a cascade of thoughts and emotions sometimes complicates the recognition of the simplest and most logical solutions.
I know, this sounds like a bad comedy bit but here’s the point. Now when I say “I’m here for you”, it means that when called upon, I will be “there with you.” I understand that trying to provide a quick solution to a complex dilemma generally leads down a more complex path or at times, proving to be more destructive. I do know that taking someone from where they may be (figuratively and/or literally), slowing things down, maybe mixing a genuine hug and reason to smile, and letting them be heard so that they can hear themselves on the outside of their mind provides a good starting point to get out of “there”. This then challenges the best parts of myself by seeing what that person (not me) is capable of doing and offering small guidance about what might be done to slowly take their initial steps somewhere else. Importantly they will know that if needed, I will support and help them up (not carry) when they stumble and fall. More importantly I will reinforce them on the best direction because it’s their obligation to “make it happen” for themselves.
This is a lot of words but a simple point I hope you recognize. By who you are, you have the best potential to be difference makers. By virtue of how you were raised and the nature of your character, personality, compassion, morality, and fundamental beliefs, you can provide so much of the best part of who you are to others. I’m not just talking about the obvious targets like girlfriends or family but also friends and acquaintances who are reluctant to demonstrate the hidden cracks on their hearts and souls.
How often do we ask “what’s wrong” and get a response like “I’m fine” or “okay” (save that discussion for another day) and settle for it when we know things are absolutely the opposite. I won’t ask “what you are waiting for” but more “why are you waiting”? You are no longer the “innocents” of my generation but increasingly responsible and accountable for your generation. If you want a perfect world, time to start perfecting the world around you and see if it can be expanded a bit at a time through your own acts of kindness based on your own goodness.
I’ll end with the words of a U2 song. “A broken (or injured) heart is an open heart” so if you recognize it, maybe that’s the time you could really be “there” to help it heal – this is separate and apart from romantic relationships but on a more profound scale. Simple gestures might just lead to small miracles. Either way, I’ve been “here for you”, will be “there with you”, and help you get away from “there”, and always will! It’s not hard to find me, you know?
So think about what you say to someone and the actual real meaning behind it and then, give more meaning afterwards to what you just said because one day you may be the one person they need to rely on! It may be a heavier burden than anticipated but sometimes, affirmations that evidence your character may also call upon untempered accountability so that the perfect world you’re looking for might reveal itself beyond your horizons.
If you do enough of the good things right, you generally cannot go wrong. If you do enough of the good things great, you can generally go where you dream! – Dad
(Since I wrote the original version in 2015, Jason has become a sophomore starting infielder at U of Santa Clara and Christian has committed to play at U of Washington once he graduates high school in 2019 – I think they took the message to heart and continue to prove my point.)
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Know that no matter how hard we try and what is gained or left unachieved in our efforts each day, appreciate this. We learn so much about ourselves and that we can achieve exponentially more during the days ahead by applying that discovery towards our future endeavors.
I came up with this thought while at the beach the other day and it kind of encapsulated a great deal of my transformation. Walk through this with me if you can see my logic. I don’t like using the term “failure” because by making the initial effort, you have only been “unsuccessful” so far in your initial attempt(s) and only by learning through those attempts can you see how close you are to success. Hopefully you wisely use that experience and knowledge to recalculate the next attempts to quicken our approach to our objectives or expansion beyond them.
I do understand the concept of “underachievement” to the extent that one chooses, for whatever reason, not to apply their known ability to a situation that demands it. More disappointing than the outcome is the knowledge that the preparation was so insufficient that the ability could not be called upon because the resources for its application were unavailable. Either way, responsibility boils down to personal ownership of all related causes.
With respect to the over applied term “overachievement”, I’ll put it out there that it does not exist and is primarily used for dramatic effect. It’s certainly debatable but in my opinion, “overachievement” is really a matter of “under-discovery”. We learn almost every new day that we are capable of more than we expected of ourselves by embracing our existing and newly encountered challenges. Prime example: the 2014 Redondo High baseball team. Casual observers would dismiss the success of the team reaching the CIF semi-finals as just a result of “overachievement”. Maybe there was just a lack of appreciation by the coaches and team of the hurdles that needed to be conquered a month before the Bay League season started and ended (remember the no-hitter against you guys in Irvine).
But then as in life, there was a new discovery of what was always there that introduced itself through the timing, sequence, the circumstances, and opportunities that revealed themselves and were taken advantage of leading to a growing faith and belief in not only that outcome, but doing what had never been done in 100 years by taking the CIF title a year later, and the following year ending in the top 10 national rankings while doing more of what’s never been done in the quest and final culmination of another championship! “Overachievement”? Hardly since in my mind, it’s just the expansion of what has either revealed itself or you have unlocked in your hidden vault and is now part of the magical routine of your existence.
I’ll finally leave you with this challenge. I know it’s fairly impossible to bring your “A” game to every encounter. However when presented with the greatest obstacles in the path of your most sought after goals, apply and exhaust the best part of you to overcome it. Do not allow the term “underachievement” to be used to explain the outcome. You’ll see what you thought was the best you could achieve, regardless of the result, is only a precursor to what is available to you in the future given the proper outer effort and inner discovery. Then history of YOUR world can be rewritten everyday as a consequence!