A common theme here on my blog is making sure I do things I say I am going to do. Ultimate games, writing projects, being part of the music team at church, spending time with friends – putting the time in is always worth it. But how do I cultivate the mindset to have the energy, physically, mentally and emotionally, to get out of bed and get to doing all these things?
The first thing I do is remember it’s not always about how well I do the thing. If I make it to the field for our ultimate game, I’ve taken the first step. I can focus on what happens during the game as each moment unfolds. If I book in time to write or edit and sit down at my computer to do it, I’ve taken the first step. My fingers and brain can work their magic from there. If I get up on Sunday morning and carry my guitar up to church, I’ve done the hardest part. Playing and singing is almost automatic as long as I’m there. If I’ve organised to meet up with friends or go to a event, setting foot outside the door can be the hardest part. What comes after that, is putting one foot in front of the other.
Turn up. It’s more important than we think. We don’t have to be the best we can be once we get there, but we do need to get there to give it our best.
Once a fortnight, on a Saturday, I run an ultimate training for a group of players keen on improving their skills and teamwork. This morning, heavy clouds rolled in and it poured with rain – not exactly ultimate playing weather. My enthusiasm for running the training flip-flopped and a few times I even considered cancelling it, staying inside under my blankets, and playing video games for the afternoon. Instead, I checked the council website to see if the sportsgrounds were officially open. They were, and the rain and clouds cleared for the afternoon, so I made my way out to the fields.
It was a small group, probably partly due to the weather and partly due to me giving late notice there would be a training, but the training was awesome. Lots of throwing practice in a bit of wind, a few drills, and then a scrimmage. None of this would have happened if I had stayed at home because of a little bit of rain.
In a slightly different vein I often find myself absent from my keyboard when I have pencilled in time to write. My current housemates and other friends go out a few times a week to have dinner together and to catch up, usually after a game of ultimate. I find it difficult to say no, because these activities require less intentional mental energy than writing or editing. There is no need for me to feel bad for choosing to write sometimes instead of going out. What I have to do is make that choice, and stick to it.
There will always be distractions calling for my time, and I must be smart enough to avoid them and get stuck in.
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What are some factors that prevent you from putting time into things you want to?
How do you figure out when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’?
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Get to know yourself better and you’ll more easily find the things that can trip you up.
Keep on keeping on being awesome.
Cover photo by Grace Kusta Nasralla from Pexels.
4 thoughts on “Showing up”
It’s good to follow through. Then the old adage works. “Plan your work and work your plan”
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I like that. Sometimes to make things achievable we need to work out what it is we are trying to achieve. Turning our words and thoughts into assertive action, with Jesus beside us every step of the way, sometimes carrying us when we don’t have the strength to walk – I’m feeling that a bit today!
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Hamish, you are freaking awesome! 😀 My friend, you have a genuine gift with words, creativity, wisdom, and encouragement. You shine brilliantly and I hope you never ever question that. Never have I read your words without coming away with something treasured.
I love your commitment to do what you say you will do. Honestly, brother, that’s a hard trait to find these days in many many people. It is one that I value and honor in you, greatly! Indeed, if we can’t be true to our word, what will we be true to? Plus, it tends to be a slippery slope just as you mentioned. It would have been easier for you to curl up and stay home when the odds looked stacked against your training session. Yet you persevered and the reward was worthy of the struggle!
My friend, these words of yours really resonated with me, “We don’t have to be the best we can be once we get there, but we do need to get there to give it our best.” — Wooowww, yes! I’m really really hard on myself. It was deeply ingrained in me that I had to be ‘perfect.’ Obviously perfection is nothing more than a lying poison we drink that leads to nowhere good. That’s why your words really hit home. It’s true; I have found that our imperfection, our honesty, our struggles are what makes us so amazing. It’s always what others can relate to because they too are imperfect. When we are open about what makes us perfectly imperfect and just turn up — it is then that we learn to thrive and can change the world around us for good.
“How do you figure out when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’?” — Ahhh, this has been a tough one to learn over the years! I was a chronic people pleaser that always said yes when my heart said no. To me, it really is about following our peace. It is good to understand the ‘why’ behind the no or yes. If we are saying yes because we want to please someone else to our detriment or avoid something else – we need to say no. If there is an absence of peace concerning the decision, I will say no — until I have peace that it’s a yes, if that moment ever comes. Peace is a treasure that should never be undervalued.
I hope this made sense and wasn’t too long. Keep writing, Hamish. You are brilliant!
It has been a blessing reading all of your comments. 🙂 I had been feeling flat and apathetic to begin this week (thanks to choosing to go to sleep to late and not spend as much time with God over the weekend as I needed), so reading your words of kindness and encouragement have been uplifting. God always provides what we need at the time we need it. I often doubt it, but He never fails me.
When I was training for the World Ultimate Club Championships one of my best friends reminded me giving my best for *that* day was better than good enough. My depression dragged me down often through that campaign, and I struggled to break free of thinking I any turnover or mistake was on my shoulders. I also admit I turned that anger outwards occasionally, and that is never ok. Everyone was trying their best and I had no right to say they weren’t.
But everyday that friend would ask me, “Are you giving your best for today?” And each time I was reminded I was giving it all the energy I had on that day.
At times I still struggle to say no, but am getting better at understanding the feeling within that is saying I am not at peace with saying yes. Your description of the absence of peace is something I will take forward with me as I make decisions into the future.
Thank you again for your kindness. Keep sharing it with those around you, just as God keeps sharing honest kindness and love with us. ❤
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