There is one lesson that stands out far and away ahead of every other that I have learned as a coach. I’ll show you how my good friend Mike and my good friend Joe live through this lesson.
Mike used to get up every morning at 5:45am to make it to the 6am rebounding (small trampolines) or spinning (stationary bicycling) class. He used to go to bed by 10pm in order to be able to get there then next day. And one day, he told me what a particular day looked like: It was 5:40am and the middle of winter on the east coast of America – i.e., cold, dark, and quiet outside. And his alarm had gone off. He was so tempted, so tempted, he said, to just doe off a little longer. But he felt that he couldn’t. It was just before his 6am class and he had to be there. If for nothing else, to set an example for his two teenage kids about getting out the door and to your goal, he said.
Joe has gotten up early when at jobs that required him to get up early. Joe really believed in the individuality of people and in the self-awareness of knowing when and how you want things done. Joe also believed in people thinking for themselves, and he really believed in the rogue thought, i.e. in the idea that contradicts other ideas.
One day, when Joe’s son was a teenager, he said to Joe, “I really don’t like to floss – when I go to the dentist, he asks me when I last flossed before….” Joe also didn’t like to floss, so he joked but half-seriously back to his son, “Yeah, I don’t like to floss either. When the dentist asks me that question, I say, ‘Last time I was here, I flossed.'” So they both laughed, and Joe’s son actually stopped flossing.
Big deal or not? Probably not life-shattering. Joe’s son also may have stopped eating vegetables, going to the gym, and a few other habits because Joe’s attitude was “Hey, if I feel like it, I’ll do it.” Mike’s kids kept doing sports and flossing and doing the things that “You just do, no matter how you feel.”
It kind of makes me sad in writing up Joe’s story – obviously, this isn’t Joe’s whole story – he is amazingly creative and personally successful in so much of what he does. But it makes me sad because I sense lost opportunities. Lost flossings, lost gym outings, lost veggie dishes.
What’s the difference? Joe did things when he felt like it. Mike did things – you tell me, how did Mike do things?
Answer tomorrow in a few hours!
Thanks for reading.