What you do is the only thing that really matters – not what you say. I don’t give jack about what you say. Show me what you do.
The quote above is a nicer version of an argument I served up to someone tonight. I was tough. Firm. Assertive. I didn’t back down. I didn’t even give him an opportunity to respond.
Granted, he was on television and I was at home. On my couch. Beside my cat. In polka dot pajamas (me, not my cat). But still…
The poor man in question is a baseball player. He’s actually one of my favorite athletes of all time.
But…. well… if you see the world’s biggest rut somewhere on the side of the road, look smack in the middle of it. You’ll see my boy, bat in hand.
Don’t be afraid – even if he swings at you, he’ll miss you.
It is wise to direct your anger towards problems, not people; to focus your energies on answers — not excuses. – William Arthur Ward
In all fairness, we’re all guilty of talking a bigger game, at times, than we’re currently playing. We all get in ruts. Fortunately, most of us don’t have to experience these ruts in front of the whole world, subjecting ourselves to pajama clad cat lovers drinking iced green tea and muttering under her breath.
Personally, I think most of our “ruts” are the result of distractions or a lack of focus. Getting distracted is easy. Losing focus is easy. What’s hard is realizing what the heck is going on and doing something about it.
It’s far easier to throw on your cloak of denial. I’m just as great as ever. The one with the problem might just be you. Ever thought of that? No? I didn’t think so.
“The ability to apply your mind steadily and exclusively to one subject at a time is a mark of superior power and essential to really great achievement.” – Grenville Kleiser
Overcoming distractions, as well as distracting thoughts, takes practice. To be sure, it takes a bit of concentrated effort.
When my girls were just learning to crawl, they’d sometimes head off to parts of the room that I (the world’s biggest mother hen and epitome of an over-protective mommy) didn’t want them to be in. Perhaps they were close to the television set that might get a wild hair and fall on them… or maybe they were near a window where a giant pterodactyl (a holdout) could come crushing through…
Whatever the perceived danger, “mommy” didn’t want “baby girl” there. So, I’d physically pick her (whichever her it happened to be at the time) up and physically move her to a safer place – i.e. my lap.
I’ve learned that this is the same approach we have to take with distractions – whether they’re physical distractions or distracting thoughts. We have to take the upper hand, recognize that they are the enemy of our success, and remove them from our vicinity.
I’ll close with a passage from a book from 1917, “Inspiration and Ideals.” It was written by Grenville Kleiser, a favorite author.
Concentration (or focus) can be cultivated by regular and conscientious practice. When you detect your mind wandering, instantly substitute the desired subject for the intrusive one. Repeated efforts of this kind will rapidly remedy the fault. Be on your guard against mind-wandering and idle daydreaming as enemies of culture and progress. Be deeply interested in what you are doing, and ignore vagrant ideas. Concentration will rapidly build your mental power. It is vital to large mental growth and personal advancement.
I love this part best of all: “Be deeply interested in what you are doing, and ignore vagrant ideas.”
Beautiful. Now I have a baseball game to get back to and an athlete to apologize to. He’s human. Who knew?
For some outstanding quotes about focus, click the link.