The Gift of Changing Your Mindset

We started basketball last week.  In the gym of the local YMCA, Carter and eight other boys run around, dribble, pass and shoot. A good number of the kids on the team were in the spring’s baseball league, so we aren’t too far outside our comfort zone.  Carter loves the game.  Anything that allows a constant flow of movement is paradise.

Tonight, near the end of practice, Carter slipped and lost the ball to another player.  He fell and, as he stood up, started crying and saying he hurt his arm.  I walked him over to the side where he got a drink and rested for a minute.  The coach (a friend of mine) came over to try to get him back into things.

It took some convincing.

I sent the coach a text message afterwards to get his opinion on practice in general.  He said that Carter is great, if he could only figure out a way to change his mindset.

My son, blessed with coordination and athletic ability at age seven, can’t take conflict and failure.

As I typed that sentence, I realize he sounds a lot like his old man.

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As writers, failure and rejection is a part of life. Google famous authors and you’ll find their rejection stories, grand novels passing through a hundred publishers before finding the right one. Writers in second and third careers before their break and release onto the market.

Failure and rejection has meaning.

The story of Peter is one in the Bible that always fascinated me.  He was told, by Jesus, that he’d deny him three times.  Imagine the one you would die for telling you that you’ll turn your back in a time of trouble. The accusations fly and Peter, as predicted, makes his denials.

In the midst of pressure, he walks away. He takes the route of believed safety.  When he life goes sideways, he chooses to walk away rather than stand firm. We know it doesn’t end there, though, as he is reinstated by Jesus and lives out his life to face a martyr’s death like each of the other apostles.

The tipping point is the choice to get back in the game. When Carter cries, he’s reacting to failure, to the fear of not meeting expectations or making someone happy.  When he wants to walk away from the game, the shame (and shame must be strong at seven) wins.

I know that feeling, every time I put off editing another chapter, writing another post, or crafting another email.

There is nothing as exhilarating as living in your flow, playing the game, moving towards the end goal. This week, consider your mindset and make a change.  List out those things you are putting off, whether in business or personal life. Start getting them done one task at a time.

It is a gift that can change your 2016 for the better.

~Matt

Mindset Matters

I’ve spent more than a year working the insurance side of rehabilitative medicine. For those of you not familiar with the term, a rehab hospital takes on patients after their surgeries, illness, or accidents. They work on restoring function and daily life activities with exercises for the body and mind.  This experience has taught me the importance of mindset.

Those hurt most deeply can heal if they believe they can.

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Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a name-it-and-claim-it guy. God isn’t a fax machine that receives our requests and returns a response as soon as our faith level is higher than a set point. The battle, the fight that flows one step at a time, relies on mindset.

I’ve seen patients come through the door in severe states of injury and illness.  The ones who believe they can improve make the highest gains. The others who do not can, and will, get stuck.

I’m on the email list of John Lee Dumas, founder of Entrepreneur on Fire. If you are interested in starting your own business, or already in the journey, check out his site.  In his most recent email he wrote the following:

The only way out of following your dreams is that you have to quit.

Read that again.

Following your dreams can take many forms.  It can be personal, emotional, financial, health, or wellness.  It can be writing that book that’s haunted your soul for years, running that marathon, losing that first pound, and having a single good day.

One day of victory. One day of hope available for anyone willing to chase it. Everyone deserves a shot to follow their dreams.

Mindset matters.

Know any people who just bring down a room? When the caller ID shows their number you cringe just a little inside.  We can carry the weight of our pain and make it our identity.  We take out our resentment on the closest target, whether we know them or not.

Nothing is easy. We are told in Scripture that we will have troubles in this world, but we know who has overcome the world. We remember the verses, talk to friends, pray, journal, and take on the next day to fight again. We choose how we feel and enter into a mindset.

We pick our lens to view the world.  So, how are you seeing things today? What is your frame of reference?

What dream are you chasing?

~Matt

Soundtrack Inspiration:

Something different for today.  David Jack is an athletic trainer. He’s appeared on more than one television program and publication.  He’s an inspiration and a man of God. This video is the first in a series of three.  Every statement he makes here is golden and speaks volumes about the importance of mindset in life.