Weekly Thought – May 16, 2023
Fred supported turning experiences into experiments. He used this philosophy to step outside the subjective response to difficulties. He constantly stopped to study what was happening in his life and to craft a set of observations. Reality was hard-wired into his personality.
Getting Ahead of Your Feet
Physical exercise is one of my favorite activities. You look at me and wonder how that can be, right? I didn’t say my own physical exercise. Mary Alice and I live close to the Cooper Aerobics Clinic. On Saturday mornings I stop by my local donut shop, load up, then drive to a convenient parking spot and watch men and women running around the track lap after lap. As I said, I am a fan of physical exercise – theirs!
However, I don’t waste the time because I take my notepad and observe styles of runners, habits of regulars, and even ego patterns. Most who circle the Cooper track are well-trained and consistent. However, every once in a while a new member decides to show out and run faster than their ability – their body gets ahead of their feet – and they fall down.
I see this happening emotionally, professionally, and financially to people who move themselves beyond the fast lane into the one marked “frantic.” They either recognize the problem and adjust, or they break down.
I remember I was driving my sports car along a stretch of highway where the cars were driving maximum speed (and so was I). All of a sudden I threw the lead balance from my front wheel and extreme shaking began. The terrific vibration required I slow down to keep the wheels from shaking the car apart.
Other drivers tried to pass me, dangerously attempting to go around me, and laying on the horn as they probably were making uncivil comments about my driving – and the inadequacy of my British car. I had to choose whether to respond and drive faster with the end result of a car permanently damaged by the vibrations, or to slow down to a manageable speed and irritate all those behind me.
Life gives us those opportunities for decision making. Do we leave the fast lane temporarily until we regain balance, or do we sacrifice to please others? The runners at the Cooper Clinic have the same decision to make? Do they pull over into the right lane, allowing others to pass them while they regain their balance or do they insist on running “with the big dogs,” risking injury and certainly producing frustration in all those behind?
One of the key factors in this decision process is: don’t panic. This is a primary rule for race car drivers. No matter what happens panic dulls reaction time, fogs the brain, and usually results in less opportunity for a positive outcome. Frantic and panic are enemies of effectiveness.
This week think about: 1) What is my built in emotional response to problems? 2) How am I disciplining myself to handle stress? 3) What can I learn from situations which would foster panic?
Words of Wisdom: “Don’t panic.”
Wisdom from the Word: “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage – I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33 NET Bible)