Don’t Avoid the F – Word

Even if you’re not a football fan, you’ve probably heard of Tim Tebow. He has been a polarizing figure for some reason. People seem to love him or hate him. I don’t really understand why. You’d think he was a politician. Perhaps because he was never shy about his faith and he prayed publicly. But he was never goofy about it. Kneeling on the sideline of football field to pray just before you go get your brain knocked around isn’t the craziest thing to do, is it?

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Tebow is a former Heisman winner (the award for top college football player) and played quarterback in the NFL and by all accounts was a great guy; a good teammate and someone who was caring and generous.

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of Tim Tebow but only because he quarterbacked the Florida Gators in college, a rival team to my favorite Alabama Crimson Tide, and worse than that, in Denver he threw the winning touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas in overtime against my Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2012 NFL Wild Card game. Just thinking about that is getting my heart rate up.

Since then, he’s been pretty quiet as his NFL career stalled out. Recently though, he announced that he was going to give baseball a shot. So in August of this year, in front of media and scouts from 28 major league baseball clubs Tim Tebow worked out and tried to display his baseball skills…a game he hadn’t played competitively since high school over 10 years earlier.

The reviews were mixed and some say he failed. He failed to impress the scouts and failed to demonstrate that he could play at a big league level.

I wonder how many people took Tim aside before this day and said something like, “Tim, why are you doing this? You’re almost 30 years old, maybe you shouldn’t bother. You’re going to embarrass yourself. You’ll look foolish.”

I’m guessing there were some. And if they didn’t say it to him directly they were probably thinking it.

But when asked after the tryout, why he went ahead with it, knowing that it was a longshot to have any success at all, this is what Tim said…

“I’d rather fail, than regret not trying.” 

I’d rather fail than regret not trying. I don’t know about you but maybe he’s on to something.

A while ago, someone asked how our business was going. Kathy and I opened a cafe in 2015 and this person was inquiring. I told him that it was going well, even beyond our expectations. His response was “Really?” He looked surprised.  

Hey, the stats don’t lie. Most small businesses do fail. And we’re only in year two, so maybe he’ll be right some day, I don’t know.

I’ve failed before. I failed a course in school…heck, I even failed the 10th grade! It turns out, you have to go to class if you hope to pass the course.

None of us wants to fail. Whether we are trying out for the team, pitching a new project at work, starting a new relationship, or a new business.

We’ll do almost anything not to fail. But what if failing isn’t the worse case scenario? What if failure is not the thing we should be most concerned about?

Maybe there is something way worse than failing…Not trying at all.

Often times, the very thing we’re afraid of, is what we should pursue.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”  – Jack Canfield

Failure leads to new opportunities.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

Failure is the inevitable part of successfully reaching our goals.

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis

Failure is not the end of something.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Will Tim Tebow play professional baseball? Most say no. Time will tell. But does playing matter more than trying? He would rather live with trying and failing than not trying at all.

“I’d rather fail, than regret not trying.” 

What are you avoiding to do in your life because of fear? The fear that you may fail?

If you knew you could not fail, what would you do that you’re not doing now?

How does a different perspective on failure make trying something possible?

Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 30-minute discovery call. Lets talk.

Why You Shouldn’t Avoid This Household Chore

Some of my earliest memories include being in the kitchen with my two sisters washing dishes after dinner.

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One would wash, one would dry and the other would put them away. The latter was always considered the easiest of the three and one I rarely if ever got to do for some reason…but I’m not bitter…really I’m not.

But I also remember numerous times when I would spend time alone finishing up dishes and cleaning the kitchen.  Barely tall enough to reach, and often on a chair, I would wipe down the counters, the stove and anything else that needed attention.

I admit that this may seem a bit odd for a 5 or 6 year old to take this kind of initiative. My parents didn’t ask me to do this and it wasn’t a form of discipline or anything like like. I just remember the satisfaction of completing the job. I liked the clean kitchen and I remember feeling like I was doing something helpful for my mom in particular.

This may have been where the seeds of neatness (some may say “neat freakness”) were planted in me; although there are earlier stories of me coming in from playing outside, to wash my hands…then go back out to play.

Things haven’t changed much. We don’t have a dishwasher at home and I wash dishes daily. And since opening our cafe last year I’ve washed more dishes than ever. There we have a dishwasher but everything gets washed by hand first.

My motto? “We only wash clean dishes.” They are sterilized before even going into the dishwasher.

But maybe I was on to something; even as a young boy?

Recently I came across an article that outlined the value of the household chore of washing dishes, by hand in particular. You can read it here.

Why would something as simple and mundane as washing dishes by hand have any real benefit, other than clean dishes. Let me take a stab at it…

Why you should wash more dishes, not less.

It causes you to slow down. 

Life moves at a fast pace for most of us and slowing down is becoming a lost art. Washing dishes well, means being methodical and slow, not rushed or hurried; unless you want your 24 piece dinner set to become a 48 piece.

The smell is refreshing

This may sound silly, but it’s real. Do you know that there are at least 27 different scents of Dawn dish soap alone? I think my favorite has to be Mediterranean Lavender. Yup. I think the folks at P&G are onto something there. Our sense of smell is closely connected to our memories and emotions too. Smells we enjoy can trigger positive memories.

The water is relaxing

Now, I like the water almost at scalding temperatures, but for normal people, slowly moving your hands through warm water is soothing and relaxing. Just avoid the knives.

The time is reflective

When I wash dishes at home, I am able to look out over our back yard. This time of year I enjoy the colours of the changing trees, I look at the pool and smile through the memories of the past summer pool parties and time with friends and family. I think about life in general and the direction that mine is going. I problem-solve, dream, plan and set goals. And I pray.

It’s actually productive time, but in a way that seems more like rest than work.

So you see, washing dishes by hand has a lot of benefits. And I almost forgot about the hydro you’ll be saving by not running your dishwasher. That’s important where I live.

So men (and women) don’t avoid doing the dishes. Sure, get your kids to do them once in a while but don’t let them have all the fun and benefit from doing them.

Somehow I figured it out 45 years ago that doing dishes was a good thing…and it still is.

 

Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 30-minute discovery call. Lets talk.

 

 

Why Gratitude Should Go Beyond Thanksgiving Weekend

In Canada, we just celebrated our Thanksgiving holiday by gathering with family and friends, eating huge turkey dinners and taking in a baseball or football game.

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But even a national holiday designed to give us time to celebrate the harvest and all the blessings of the year, doesn’t guarantee that we do it, does it?

And what about the other days of the year? Is thankfulness and gratitude only mandatory on the second Monday in October?

When was the last time you paused, and took time to acknowledge the people and things you are thankful for?

Not surprisingly, there is plenty of research to suggest that gratitude has many benefits when it’s a regular part of our lives.

A Huffington Post article  highlights 10 benefits of gratitude that include better grades, better sleep and better relationships.

Gratitude has the ability to impact so many areas of our lives. It can improve our mental health by reducing stress or more accurately, reduce the effects of stress.

Gratitude also improves our physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in “Personality and Individual Differences”. It’s no surprise then, that grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.

Journalling has long been a well accepted practice for a variety of things but is now gratitude has become a focused benefit of journalling. Just do a Google search on “gratitude journals” and you’ll see just how popular the practice has become.

When we’re grateful, we’re not complaining.

When we’re grateful we’re not focused on ourselves.

When we’re grateful we’re not bitter.

When we’re grateful we have a better outlook on life in general.

The benefits of gratitude shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s just good for us.

Gratitude is a spiritual thing to do too.

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

God wants us to learn to be thankful for all the gifts He has given us. It is in our best interest to be reminded that everything we have is a gift from Him. Without gratefulness, we become arrogant and self-centered; we begin to believe that we have achieved everything on our own. Thankfulness keeps our hearts in right relationship to the Giver of all good gifts.

Giving thanks also reminds us of how much we do have. I think it’s easy for many of us to focus on what we don’t have rather than what we already do have. By giving thanks we are reminded of that. When we focus on blessings rather than wants, we are happier.

When we start thanking God for the things we usually take for granted, our perspective changes. We realize that we could not even exist without the merciful blessings of God.

We can have thankful hearts toward God even when we do not feel thankful for the circumstances we find ourselves in. We can grieve and still be thankful. We can hurt and still be thankful. Giving thanks to God keeps our hearts in right relationship with Him and saves us from a variety of harmful emotions and attitudes that can rob us of the peace God wants us to experience.

Okay, let’s see. Gratitude can lead to better physical and mental health, it can improve our relationships, it can help us avoid greed, complaining and self-centeredness. Gratitude sounds like a good idea.

So how can we gratitude into practice and start to reap it’s benefits? Let me suggest 3.

  1. Pray with gratitude. Maybe, prayer isn’t a normal part of your day. Even if it isn’t, I encourage you to start. Simply tell God what you are thankful for. Don’t make prayer all about what you want from God…start with what you’re grateful you already have.
  2. Write with gratitude. A journal is a great practice. Why not start every day by writing “5 Things” you are grateful for.
  3. Express gratitude. Saying please and thank you are not simply basic manners but hallmarks of gratitude. When was the last time you thanked someone for something they did, or said. When was the last time you let someone know how special they are to you and why? When was the last time you thanked someone for making a significant difference in your life…a family member…a friend…a mentor…a co-worker, boss or employee. The opportunities never end.

So, when was the last time you paused, and took time to acknowledge the people and things you are thankful for? 

Trust me you’ll feel better…honest.

What are you grateful for? What is one thing you can do to express your gratitude this week.

Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 30-minute discovery call. Lets talk.