Catch.

Relationships are just like a game of catch. They require interaction, cooperation, and a mutual understanding of where the “ball” needs to go. I’m not just talking about relationships between couples either, I’m talking about various types of friendships that require a little give and take at times, a few hard times, and a little forgiveness. Relationships vary between people, but the sentiment is the same we trust those who we have relationships with.

When people play catch there is plenty of back and forth between the participants at play. Each person involved needs to maintain awareness of what is coming their way and also be aware of what they are tossing out. Having knowledge about how far someone can throw and their catching abilities is key in knowing the pace at which the game of catch can be played. Yes, this is a metaphor, knowing your partner or friend is necessary for knowing what information your partner can take in at a given time and what their emotional state might be at any given time. What you know or don’t know can help or hurt your relationship, be attentive and aware of where you both stand.

In any game of catch, an effort is required by both parties playing. One person needs to be on target as they throw and the other needs to be aware of what is coming their way as they prepare to catch what is being sent their way. The effort needed by all parties involved in making the game enjoyable, successful, and continuous as long as both players stay involved and invested in the time together. When you are in any relationship or friendship put in the work, keep the ball moving, and your interest in the relationship at hand.

A game of catch played by at least two people working together to toss a ball back and forth.

Two players who are aware of the other person, their needs, abilities, and interests as they work together to catch and continue with whatever comes their way. People can drop the ball at times and adjustments are made to ensure the game is to go on if both parties are willing to continue. Be invested as you play and learn from one another as you go.

Classroom.

As a child I was not a fan of being in classrooms. As a student I found myself bored and uninterested in the subjects I was mandated to learn. I wouldn’t say that I was a terrible student, but I wasn’t invested in learning the information I was required to at that moment. I appreciated my teachers and the time they would invest in attempting to shape my young mind, but I have always wanted something different based off my interests at the time.

As an adult attending university at times have been an uphill battle for me because of that mindset. I struggled even in subjects I was interested in all because of the rigid structure that higher education requires students to conform to. I had to break my mindset of the avoidance and distaste for classrooms and what they meant to me. That process took me two years of university education and thousands of dollars. I still don’t enjoy classrooms at all, but I am now able to listen better and learn easier behind a desk while being lectured at.

Learning for me was something that was never limited to classrooms. I was always learning outside of school either at home from books or out with my parents. I was and still am a questioner, I always want to know the “why” behind things, I want to understand the process and the mechanics that make things happen. From paving roads to the law process questions have been a tool I’ve used to learn a little about a subject and pursue what I wanted to learn or drop what I haven’t

Self learners tend to be able to pick up a subject and guide themselves to a working knowledge than a mastey of a desired subject. Many of the self learners I know are in a constant state of educating themselves and are often either early adopters of trends or find themselves in a constant state of catch up trying to rejoin the industry they are involved in.

Classrooms can be the best proving grounds for some along their educational experiences. For others classrooms can be places that dam learning and hinder the progress of different individuals. Each of us learn differently so find the place you learn best and excel in your education.

Adjustment.

Life is filled with adjustments, adjusting the seat on your car, the temperature in your house, the holes in your belt, and many more. Adjusting is something we simply have to do. Making these adjustments can be a real challenge as we adapt to the change around us. Becoming comfortable with adjustments can take some time but once we find our flow we are good to go.

Recently at work, there have been a few adjustments that have raised a red flag at many of my colleagues. The changes have annoyed and upset so many because we have been a department that has worked in a specialized area for so long and some feel that specialization is being overlooked and their skillset downplayed. It’s hard to see these changes made and so many people struggle with the new adjustments.

We know that these changes could be a defining change for our company. That applying our catalog of skills could benefit the business and be a catalyst for new growth at our place of work. What we often fail to see is the bigger picture that others see for the overall growth opportunity for the firm. Any business that expects to grow has to make these changes from time to time, these adjustments can be painful at first but if implemented and actioned correctly can spur a net positive growth opportunity.

Employee satisfaction is a great asset to any company, companies often understand that changes can affect employee satisfaction. These changes that companies change can often change an employees outlook on how they view their position at work. Employees need to be better at seeing the bigger picture that their employer has, and being understanding that changes that are made and designed to build a bigger better company.

Random thoughts on adjusting to change as an employee and why an employer adjusts positions and responsibilities to spur new growth.

Together.

We are better together, we do better together, we work better together. I don’t know how else to say it, we need to do a better job at being united together to help each other to become better people. It’s something we all see every day the stories designed to divide and weaken us.

We see this no matter where we turn, the idea that we need to look down on others and unite against them because we do not see the world as others see it. That because some believe in one truth and we believe in another that there isn’t a common ground that we share. Are there bad people out there? Yes, many but overall we can agree that people are good and can surprise us if we give them the chance.

What are we? We are the human race, all struggling everyday with challenges that involve money, relationships, mental and physical health, food, borders, education, and work. We all breathe our way through another day and hope that our days can be happy, each one hopefully better than the last.

Together we can contribute to a better world for everyone if we are a little nicer, at little more patient, a little better to listen, and a little better at understanding each other. Is this the easy road to take? Once again no, but this is the best road to being more people together.

The Unknown.

What do you feel when you think of the unknown?

Are you fearful? Needing to have a plan of what is going to happen next? Do you feel hopeful that everything will play out without any real problems? Do you even worry about it? If you were to ask ten people about their thoughts on the unknown everyone’s answers would vary, and you would find some who feel similar to you but others who’s take on the unknown are vastly different than yours.

When thinking about the unknown we need to accept that failure as an option for us. If we are able to accept the unknown we need to be prepared to fail at least once as we go forward. Accepting this frees us from the fear of failure as we start out new ventures with old or new friends.  Don’t be afraid to fail, know that you probably will.

As your wading through life allow the unknown to enrich your experiences every day. We never know what is coming our way every hour is different and we never know what might happen to us. It’s best to accept that enjoying life and its unknowns will be the happiest route to go. I’ve been on both sides of the fence with accepting and fearing the unknown, I can confidently recommend that you embrace the unknown and let it enrich all that you do.

When I first left the USA in 2007 I traveled to Peru and soaked up every moment of this experience. I jumped at the opportunity to try new foods, babble in poorly conjugated Spanish, and interact with all the locals I could. My time in Peru was a life changer that put me on common ground with the world, and a desire to see everyone as equals. I was fearless in a new place and recognized that the unknown was creating an unforgettable experience.

I’ve used the same mentality with every new culture and country I’ve visited since. Have I always been accepting of a new culture and the unknowns that come with it? No, but the more I jump in and immerse myself into the local culture the better my experience is and the more genuine the conversations become with the locals.

Having apprehension about the unknown is okay, just don’t let it spoil a good time nor hold you back from living a full life of genuine happiness.

Legacy.

What do you want to be remembered for? Your ability to smile through challenges, kindness towards others when it is needed most, your zest for life? or your work ethic? There are countless things to be known for and remembered by. Each day we are forging experiences that will be used by others to remember us by when they think back on us.

Each of us can look back and remember someone who was a light in the darkness, or a stain on the situation. There are also those who we have forgotten entirely due to the fact that they weren’t key players in the experiences we think back on. These are facts of life we will be remembered for the things we have done, or forgotten entirely by some.

When I think about the legacy others are leaving for me to remember I think warmly of the experiences I’ve had at wrestling tournaments watching my father coach others through successful defeats of their opponents or comfort and coach them through defeats they suffer themselves. My father as a wrestling coach taught me how important it is to show up ready for anything, to be prepared for any outcome, and to recognize the opportunities for growth in any situation.

Being taught how to look at opportunities doesn’t mean that there won’t be hard losses that take some time to work out. However, during these times you can stand tall, recognize the struggle will pass, and you can still look your opponent in the eye and shake their hand knowing that the next match there might be a different outcome.

One thing to remember is these challenges aren’t always against other people, we can agree that some of the hardest matches we will face against are the battles fought within, against ourselves. We are our own challengers more often than most will want to admit. However, there are many who are the strongest, kindest, happiest people we know who’s championships are won without anyone seeing the event happen.

Your legacy can be a variety of many things. Successful businesses, holding public offices, works of art, tales of travel, or being known as a mentally strong person who has balanced many things and smiled through the hardest days. Be confident and know that you are great, you can always do better but today, you’re great as you are your legacy is still being written.

Limit.

There I was climbing with people I barely knew, climbing a route I’d never researched, testing moves I had never used, and loving every moment of the struggle or wiggle as I climbed to the top of the route. I was afraid to fall, afraid to embarrass myself in front of strangers and climbing gurus. Yet when I fell no one laughed, no one shouted you can’t do it. I only heard encouragement from my new friends and alternate moves that I might be able to try using to move a little farther up the route.

After what seemed like an hour or so I had wiggled, pulled, and pushed my way to the top of the route that earlier had me second guessing my willpower and abilities. I was grateful for that moment when I reached the top to look down at my friends and celebrate that moment with them when I had climbed the toughest climb of my young passion for climbing.

Many of us have heard the phrase “you can’t do that.” or “you won’t make it.” by others who doubt our skills, abilities, and willpower. (Perhaps by others who doubt themselves because they tried, failed, and gave up instead of finding a way to complete the challenge in their own way.) They look at us and set limitations for us that we haven’t thought to set for ourselves. These assumptions can cripple goals, deflate confidence, or fuel the desire to accomplish lofty goals even more. I’ve been affected by both mindsets personally,  there are countless people who have limited me based off my looks, not my abilities.

These moments when we feel limited or helpless are heavy times. They can defeat us before we even begin our journeys, these moments are pivoting moments that can define you. These moments when the fight is the hardest, you have the option to allow those who limit you to win, to tell you what you can and can’t do, resulting in a type of learned helplessness.

An attitude of I can’t is a quicker destroyer of lives than an attitude of instead of doing it your way and the way you might think I should do it let me show you how I’m doing it. Some might say this behavior and attitude are dangerous because what if you fail and prove those who limited you right? I say that failure is a guaranteed step between you and the outcome you desire. You alone set your limits, how far you decide to go is entirely up to you. Just do your best, stretch a little as you go, and indeed you’ll step outside of the limits they set for you and reap the reward of true freedom in your own comfort zone.