Over the weekend we took my son to the New England Regional Track finals. He kept warning me that they were seeded just about last and were not expected to win their race or even come close to winning. I gently reminded him that earlier in the season he had not expected to get to run at Regionals at all, in fact, he had not even expected to run in his state finals. We all packed up and went. He was in at the 4 by 800 relay, which for you non track geeks, is a relay where that each run a little over 2 mins. He had only run this relay 3 times. One time to show his coach that he was a fast “short distance” runner, one time in the state meet and now he was running at an arena where many elite runners had raced. There was great energy and expectancy in the air. His team was not last but they certainly were not in the top 5 either. I didn’t know what to expect from him when he found me in the crowd afterward. He had some choices to make on how to view his race.
He ran consistently and even ran 1 second faster than he had last time (seconds! OMG- track talk!) but 2 out of the 4 boys did not have their best race: choice: I could possibly blame someone else for the outcome.
He met a coach and father of an elite runner sitting next to me in the crowd (ok, I met them and introduced him) they gave him technique suggestions and told him that the mere fact that he was here as a sophomore showed remarkable potential: choice: I need to change high schools so I can get better training. I am possibly not in the right place to be doing my very best.
3rd and final choice:
As we drove out of the city in search for a lunch spot, I heard him say, “I went to Regionals. I can hardly believe it, as a sophomore. It is just now sinking in!”: choice: I am satisfied and happy today, right in this moment.
Over lunch, he also expressed that he was considering staying at his small Catholic high school (we had been talking for weeks about a change.) The choice is up to him, all these choices are up to him. It is how he chooses to think about the race that really counts.
The same goes for us, we can wake up starting the day thinking that we can’t possibly accomplish all we need to do. We can carry those defeating thoughts as we plot our weekly and monthly calendars out. We can choose to think that we don’t have enough creative time or that our businesses are not growing fast enough. We can focus on deals that didn’t happen instead of being pleased with the ones that did.
Make the right choices about how you view where you are today. Decide to be grateful that you have energy to accomplish anything on your daily and weekly calendar. Realize how fortunate you are to get to incorporate creativity into your life. Understand that you may not see the roots spreading underneath the surface of your business, be confident that each step you take is grounding you for growth. Rejoice in the GOOD things that are going on in your life and choose to believe that the deals that didn’t take place didn’t take place for a reason.
The outcome of Luke’s race was what it was. He could have had gone over every detail in the car (and trust me-he does that often) and dissected it. I was so proud that he just basked in the opportunity that he had that day to even be in the race.
It moved me. I spent the rest of the weekend quietly painting and puttering with a smile on my face, happy to even have to opportunity to do what I do. The right view of your race changes everything.
How are you going to choose to think about your week?