Pause. Breathe. Relax. Zoom out. Prioritize. Focus. One step. Another step. Breathe in. Action. Breathe out. Action. Repeat. Intentionally present. Enter flow.
What a powerful tool the mind is. Used intentionally the focus is unstoppable. Pause, focus, enter a state of flow. This can be done at literally anytime. Yet I do it far more rarely than I should.
When left reacting to emotion each wave becomes like another would be rescued hoping to save a drowning person by jumping in with them only to be drug down to the depths while adding another victim to the situation. Emotional response to emotional response only compounds and exacerbates the challenge.
Pause to focus, to breathe, and to grasp what can be controlled. Set emotion aside for its proper time and take logical and intentional action to solve the scenario first. Enter a state of flow through focused effort and complete the goal.
Today I was the calm in the center of the storm. I paused. I breathed. I focused. I took logical and intentional action. Emotions were set aside, my presence was targeted at the right task with no distraction. I was in a state of flow until the task was completed.
I realized that I have the opportunity to do this at anytime. I need only choose it. So easy to say and see, so difficult to do. Practice, practice, and more practice.
Today I saw a glimpse of the other side of the gap. The beauty on the other side so close at hand and so difficult to attain. The memory of today will steel my will to practice to work towards it more.
It is one thing to read, study, and visualize doing something. It is wholly another to actually do that same thing. While training is all well and good it is easy to think I know how I will respond. Today I had an opportunity to reality test how much my practice has helped.
When something unexpected happens I have a choice to make. All that practice paid off as the muscle memory went right into action and I responded in the way I wanted rather than reacting as I would have. In this scenario it made all the difference.
I was offered an opportunity to exercise my stoic practice today. In some ways I found success and in other ways I found opportunities for improvement. Pausing to think was great, not foreseeing and thinking through the possibility of the change was not so great. The opportunity to learn through real life exercise was priceless and will continue to help me grow and close the gap.
Dominic is starting to work on his Eagle Scout project. The potential project includes creating a dog park in our neighborhood. The first step before he can even put his proposal together is to ask all the nearby home owners if they would be okay with that.
No worries, Dominic just put on his Scout uniform, grabbed his notepad, and started knocking on doors. How wild is that? Even better, he doesn’t know who more than half the people are! Dominic is basically going out and doing cold calls voluntarily in support of a good cause.
That simple action makes me so proud. It’s be so easy to take the easy way out and find a different project, use a over, or some other form of communication. Nope, he’s grabbing the bull by the horns and has received some tremendous feedback already.
One more reason I’m proud of Dominic, he understands that some of the best things in life lay well beyond the point of discomfort. Never give in to fear when courage is the right answer.
This last week included a grand total of seven soccer games for the Kreiling family. Dominic had three varsity games and Gavin had four games in Madison. All soccer, all weekend.
For sure, I had a great time watching them both play. It’s always fun watching my boys doing something they are passionate about.
What I’m specifically grateful for today is the way sports helps them learn to be better leaders and adults. Throughout both of their games they did some things with extreme excellence and they both made mistakes. Regardless of the action, they learned and grew from the experience.
Both learned some priceless and timeless leadership lessons I hope they draw from throughout their lives.
For sure, sports won’t be their careers. That said, their sports experiences are helping them grow and mature into the leaders they can be. Seeing glimpses of that growth over the past week have been awesome!!