Drive

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It’s 5:00am and the clock interrupts blue skies over a calm shoreline. I would swear there’s sand in my bed, but it really is just in the corners of eyes as I run my left pointer finger down and away. Jumping out of bed with both hands firmly planted, my feet almost face the ceiling and then hit the rug. In full stride, I step towards my closet to put on today’s coat of armor.

I think,’What battle is being fought today?’

Most days include a few, so I need to pack a bag get it loaded onto my silver horse before I forget.

Part hair to the left or right?

Then onto the easiest decision in the morning, breakfast. Same solution each morning, a super parfait made of greek yogurt, blueberries, apricot jelly on a bed of crunchy granola and honey topped with wheat germ and cinnamon. Every day, home & away for over 10 years. No coffee ever. A tall glass of apple cider or juice with as much apple cider vinegar as I can handle that morning. It’s going to be another successful day. There is drive is every fiber of my bones, tendons & muscles. But the direction of that power will be misguided if I don’t make my first creative attempt at a smile.

I look at our cat and wonder, ‘What he would be look like if he was human? What job would he do? What type of cat would he have? Alright, no more playing.’

I look at my online calendar to see conflicts and there are always a dozen or so. Drop, keep, keep, drop, drop, drop! If you want to know who and want you love… try overbooking everyday and going through this exercise in 10 seconds. A priori decisions tell plenty about you. Then I breath. I assume I was before that, but now I really breath. After going thru a few deep, full lung-busting inhales/exhales, appropriate game face goes on.

“Hello, Jake! What do you want to eat?”, I shout down into his room.

After the answer will determine the next 15 minutes and ability to catch the bus on-time. It’s this game face that I enjoy the most. Not hockey, yoga or any of the many hats in the rat race I hold. The elbow grease it takes to be a leader for my family. That is true reward. Cliche? If I really didn’t mean it, but I couldn’t be more sincere. With all the rushes I get each day, nothing stays with me as long as a hug for helping my son get a sandwich or my daughter a new app for her phone.

Oh gosh, I’m going to be late for work, I must stop digressing. I get my family into the car and we just get to bus stop on time. Switch face now to marketing mode. I’ve meet many marketing people in the last 25 years. Some just don’t get it and others get it but don’t care. The select group of less than 1% are leaders and make things happen. I believe this to be true of all things, only about 1% know, everyone else is so distracted or ignorant that the have little wins but are very inconsistent. Even a broken watch is right two a day. Do I care if the rest of the world acts like what I’m saying is wrong, I refer back to my 1% rule. In order to be better, lead better and achieve lofty goals that seem insurmountable, I must not allow what was done before to be an example.

I begin each work day with a new slate. The start is about the research. All the information available won’t mean I thing if I make the wrong connections. If I assume anything is correct, I’m not a leader. I’m a pencil pusher. So after I’ve done all the research I believe I’ll need to start my day, I’ll connect dots. Then connect them another way and then another. The information and multitude of possibilities are not used to solve the problem for create anything. They are my library for the day. All of them are possible. Going into a problem with no end game or expectation is by far the best way to remove emotion from the equation thus limiting distractions.

Some solutions need to be about emotion. In that case I’ll consider the problem using all emotions. “How would it be if I made them cry, laugh, angry, confused… what if that wanted to die or live with greater hope. Can I get them to love or hate?”

This all happens in minutes. Every permutation is considered and those I forgot will be added later. Then I been to focus deeper. Like putting a magnifying glass on sand, then a microscope. The big picture takes all things into account, but it only tells some of the stories. If I’m going to arrive at the best option and there will be thousands, I’ll need to know everything about it. Right done to it’s building blocks.

So after research, connecting dots, and deeper insights… I pause. The pause is to come back to reality, what matters. All the information in the world and details does not solve problems, simple steps solve problems. Sometimes it takes thousands of simple steps, but they are still just one action, followed by another. Nothing happens in a vacuum, so finally I talk to people. See what they think. Leaders can not be shy nor can exist without the next leaders. Those that will carry the torch.

What I love about this process it grows stronger each day with each project. Because I’ve gone through many solutions, the ones I don’t use today… I may use tomorrow. I’m in a sense, solving all types of issues when I try to solve one. I like to think it’s like driving. All the outside information is processed and you react, second after second. Driving eventually becomes second nature and when you add navigation, playing your favorite song and phone calls into your vehicle… it can be quite a busy place, yet you still drive. Looks like it’s time to drive home. “Dammit, traffic.”, I say while thinking now is a great time to get a jump on tomorrow’s problems.

S’later

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Game

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Sasha Elise Briggs #21 – back right

How do we teach what we never truly experienced?

I’m sure I’d be a pretty good field hockey player if I practiced a few hundred hours & competed as much as I do the other hockeys. Actually, I’d be really good. But I don’t need to play it, I need to teach it and train my daughter to be better at it. So I can’t with good conscience teach her about body position or how to develop the right muscle memory. And I’m not sure she is ready for the cerebral aspect of the “game” itself just yet. And I’m also highly aware of not teaching her about a “skill” that will hurt her in other aspects of her life. We all know dedication, determination and the will to succeed are pretty strong traits universally. That I can teach. But what about imposing your will to break your opponents will?  Or developing a physical body that is geared for one thing and one thing only, field hockey. If I teach her to swing with force and intent, will she be learning a valuable skill or one that can used wrong? It’s a fine line for boys, and a fine line for girls.

So I believe before skill training, physical development and the will to succeed there is something that trumps it all… emotional maturity. Something that is in us already. Win or lose, it’s a journey with a finite timeline. Facing pain along with pleasure creates great leaders. Understanding the journey and the lessons with maturity and strength guides all else when it comes to sports. Being proud and humble, having humility and will power…the ying/yangs of athletes. The greats try new things all the time because emotionally they are prepared for all results. We’ve all heard the wonderful quotes from athletes about trying hard and accepting lose, but how many of us are prepared to face the real world situations that arise? Many adults have apathy, depression or fear of facing loss head-on because of the pain. But I do not. When a moment arises, I do. If I can pass along one thing to my daughter that would improve her “game”, it would be… stand tall and stand often!

Get up, get up, get up…What it takes to pull that out from someone is letting them know it’s there. We all have the ability to face pain as well as we face pleasure. Supporting their actions & respecting their entire being. You are not alone in the struggle. You’ll find many athletes will discuss the loss with the other losing players on there team to share in the misery. Coaches are there to guide wins to manage LOSS.

The next Bri99s BLOG will be about god.

S’later.