Have you ever gotten through a tough spot where you felt the sigh of relief kick in that comes from accomplishing something?
"MAYBE" I can finally breathe now.
"MAYBE" I've finally arrived at my destination.
"MAYBE" all of my hard work has finally paid off (literally and/or figuratively).
But here is where an important decision needs to be made.
I've got mine vs. I have a responsibility to give back.
We can't make rest and celebration our permanent destination.
After a hard fought journey, those are both important and needed. But if we stay there too long we'll miss our greatest opportunities and ultimate responsibility. #Serving.
I think the greatest impact we make comes from a point of understanding that is birthed from moments where we've struggled.
Another one of my writing mentors, Carol McLeod, shared some advice with me early on that I've never forgotten.
Carol said... "Don't waste your pain, teach from it."
True, authentic teaching comes from a place of personal experience. Having "been there, done that" allows us to speak from a different place. There are times when we can see someone's face and know what they are thinking and feeling. We have the words to lift them up, and pour into their lives.
I use that advice Carol gave me to shape my writing, speaking, and coaching.
Think about it like this:
A great player has the ability to use their journey as a teaching tool. They choose the approach that Carol shared with me. They don't waste their pain, they teach from it.
It's what I call #TheMVPLife.
Mental. Verbal. Physical.
Think. Say. Do.
They share stories about when times weren't always great. They lend their voice to the process they used to overcome the challenge. They pour into other teammates lives as they talk about how they can see it differently. They speak encouragement about the process. And at the end of the day, they walk with them as their teammate experiences the same success they did...physically.
Great teammates take what they can do physically, teach from it verbally, so that others can see it themselves for the first time mentally. Great teachers reverse the process so that others can retrace their steps.
P, V, M so that their teammates can move M, V, P.
Do you see it?
Sometimes we have to look over our shoulder and see the need.
As a coach, when we are doing cardio training, our teams will run various distances at different paces. My student-athletes will tell you that if they finish, they know it's on them to go back and run with every teammate until we've all crossed the finish line...together.
I've got goosebumps writing about this, and I do every time I see it.
As much as it's a physical task, it's in those moments that I see #TheMVPLife come to life. I watch as good players turn into great leaders. I watch that as they run back, they are yelling from a great distance. They are calling their teammates names and saying "YOU CAN DO IT!" And their running back to them says "I'm here for you. I won't leave you. I believe in you."
You'll never see those runs on game day. What you will see are the fruits that come from sowing the seeds of trust, love, and family. You'll see kids giving more than they knew they had in them.
You'll see kids seeing things differently, speaking words of encouragement, and together...experiencing breakthroughs and accomplishments.
Great players go beyond what they learned themselves, and reverse the process to teach their teammates how they can succeed.
#TheMVPLife is a repeatable process for intentional progress.
Stories of success are grown from seeds of struggle.
Good players turn into great leaders when they see the seeds, and nurture them.
And before you know it?
You'll have a forrest of maturity all around you.
Those are the teams that "get it".
So the next time you are struggling with a "MAYBE" moment, "...it MAY BE that..." you need to reverse the process and teach from your pain. Or...you might need to ask someone else to do that with and for you.
"Once you reach it, this is how you teach from it".
That happens when we realize that our struggles can become our strength.
For those who have been successful, I want to encourage you to look over your shoulder. It's time to run back out there. You may have reached a successful moment, or exciting breakthrough. If you have, please allow me to share my congratulations with you! I hope you have the opportunity to celebrate those wins. You deserve to.
But can I ask a favor?
Before you do that?
Look over your shoulder.
Someone may need you to run with them.
"But what if I can't think of the right things to say?"
We'll talk about that tomorrow.