Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finding Inspiration for Battle

Young or old, inspiration lies within...
What happens in the moments after you are told you have cancer?

Or when you are let go from a job?  Or when you go through a break up?  Or when you lose someone close to you?

That, my friend, is up to you.

I've been into self help books ever since I spent more time reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey than studying for finals my sophomore year at the University of Michigan.  I don't remember how I scored on the finals, but I sure as hell remember that there is a gap between a stimulus (cancer diagnosis, pink slip, break up, etc.) and your response to said stimulus.

In that moment (and all the moments to follow through your journey) you have the ability to choose how you will move forward.  Not how society expects you to be in your given situation...

How YOU choose be.

I've previously talked about how when one is faced with an immanent scenario the initial choices get easy (Post Here).  In the case of a cancer diagnosis it's either to seek out the right treatment or to let nature take its course.

Pretty cut and dry.

While the choice of your initial path is relatively simply, the day-to-day gut checks and pondering of your new and future reality is the hard part.  It takes a lot of effort to stay up in your battle and you are likely going to find yourself in some valleys.  It's all part of the process.

I often found myself seeking outside advice from fellow cancer fighters, online support forums, and oh yes, self help books when looking for inspiration through my cancer journey.  I also enlisted the help of a family friend (Jim Warner) who is a world class whole life coach, author (check out his new book Drama Free Office), speaker, and entrepreneur, with a personal track record of self discovery.

He gave me an arsenal of tools and opportunities to discover who I was as a person and what I was capable of coming out of my cancer journey.  Going into our work I expected to go through the exercises and he would enlighten me with his wealth of knowledge or the answers would reveal themselves based on an answer key or something of the nature.

Kind of like all of the self help books I've read since sophomore year in college...

Not so much.

The greatest lesson I learned from Jim, and I am sure this is why he is worldly renowned for his work, was that I didn't have to look further than my own life to find the inspiration I needed to move forward.

When reflecting on my life path I found multiple instances where I was dealt a horrible hand and figured out how to overcome and thrive in my new reality.  I reflected back and realized that no matter what the struggle, when I stayed true to myself and learned from the situation, I inevitably came out a better person on the back end.

This revelation calmed me down and made me confident about my future, however long it may be...

As much as our society pushes the success stories of others who overcame great odds on us as the way it has to be done, you often don't have to look further than your own life for the inspiration you need to move forward.

And who better than yourself to Lift your life?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Welcome the Uncomfortable

Coach Lumpp (L), Coach Scott (C), Coach Mike (R)
I recently started coaching Mite level (6-8 year old) travel ice hockey on the weekends, which brings back an insane amount of memories from my youth.

I grew up playing in the same rinks for another team in the area which is making life come full circle in a sense.  When standing at certain point on our home ice I can vividly remember a shot I took, a pass I made, or when I almost threw up from my coaches skating us so hard.

Glory days!!!

In hindsight, my Mite AA coach Ken Johnson’s 60 second conditioning drills were almost as bad as chemo recovery…

One thing I learned from hockey was that if you put in the work and did it the right way, you would always improve.  As coaches we ask our kids to push their comfort level by skating as fast as possible around cones or stick handling while skating backwards.  By pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone they may fall a few times, but will grow and improve over the course of the season.

If they short circuit the drill just to finish first and be seen by us coaches and their peers as the “winner” they inevitably take away from their future potential.  This is a tough lesson to learn as a 7 year old when you live in a society that emphasizes winning above all else.

Not to mention a tough lesson for a handsome 32 year old named Roger who blogs on Lift Living....

I think it's safe to say that being uncomfortable in a situation or nervous about an upcoming event are emotions we frequently feel during our lives.  In the past I've personally spent a lot of energy analyzing different scenarios and approaches to a situation or even avoiding the uncomfortable feeling by taking an alternative route to resolution.

Recently I've realized being uncomfortable or nervous is not something we should be afraid of, but something we should welcome.  Those feelings are physical indicators from our bodies that we are on the precipice of a chance to improve ourselves.

When you recognize this opportunity and push through it you will be building your confidence and lifting your life towards a higher level.

And if you fall along the way take it like a 7 year old hockey player...

With a smile.