It has been a rough couple of months. We have experienced restructuring, unplanned staffing changes, road construction that caused access issues, needing to replace equipment (read as massive expenses), and even incomprehensible heartbreak. I feel like we have a right to complain. We should be allowed to scream in frustration, and cry under the weight of all that life throws on us. Life, in that regard, can be too generous.
And yet, I tell my staff that we all (me included) need to let that feeling go. We may have the right to wallow in our misfortune, but we shouldn’t. There are times, of course, when we do cry. There are times when we should scream. It’s not unacceptable, yet still life needs to be lived.
I have a dog named Kumo that has an unbelievably high level of energy. We need to walk him every day, take him to the park, throw the ball or play chase until he gets tired. If we don’t: someone’s shoe becomes a chew-toy. That is how I am coming to define life. Kumo is like life. If we don’t live fully and with great energy, life becomes destructive.
I have always believed that we have to accept life as a game. Accepting whatever happens as a challenge. If we can overcome it, we win a point. I think every person can handle more than they ever thought they could. Because, just like a game, when the challenges just keep coming, we become better players. We learn the ways to get points by practicing, and the points would have no value if we didn’t, on occasion, lose one. But it’s OK, we can handle it, the game goes on.
One thing I have learned is a skill called “re-framing.” When a problem presents itself like a disturbing picture, we have to realize is that it’s not the art that challenges us, it’s the way we have the piece framed. If we can look from another angle, take another perspective, and see the same image with a new frame; we realize that the picture may not be so bad.
Road construction blocks 75% of our families from attending the gym? We re-examined budgets, reinforced spending discipline and accepted the decrease in business. At the end of it, we have not only a better and more efficient operation but a much improved access for the families we serve.
Same image, different frame.
When I have to replace equipment I have to see it as an improvement for the kids in the gym. mats get old, equipment becomes dated, and our kids deserve only the best. Sometimes it is hard to spend the money, but in the end, the kids win.
One thing I can say for sure is that when given the choice to see things positively or negatively we should be aware of the repercussions of our choices. Being positive about a challenge may prove hard, but the pay off is so much better. Choosing to keep our focus on the dark, just steals time from our game. How many points could we get if we just played more? Being on the sidelines, crying, never developed a champion.