Offense…all the Time?!

Offense…all the Time?!

I grew up playing soccer at a time when most people had no idea what that was.

I’d get asked, “Chrissy (yes, that’s what adults used to call me), do you play football?”

So at the ripe age of 6, I would blush because I knew the look I’d get in about the time it would take me to answer their question.

“Um…no…I, um, play soccer?” Somehow my answers always came out like a question when I was put on the spot.

Then?

Well, I’d have to explain what soccer was to every adult. The Super Bowl was still a novelty then so no one had any interest in the game of soccer.

But, that’s what I played and my job on the field was that of a Forward: the dude that would get the ball into enemy territory and drive to the goal and score. Well, that’s what I was supposed to do.

I was okay and scored a lot of goals. Seemed to be second nature as I got older. That was pretty cool and it felt good…of course, it always feels good when you get better at what you do.

The thing is, I loved playing offense.

You’re the point end of the spear, the cutting edge; THAT person that is THE go-to dude to gets things done.

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Benjamin Franklin said, “Some die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”

Hm…I hope I’m not one of those people. I want to keep growing, you know, on the offense of life’s playing field…

As in, taking the ball every chance I get and shoving it down the enemy’s throat. BAM! I score again and fling my arms in the air, run around the field in crazed excitement while the crowd chants my name (not Chrissy, of course).

Hell, I’ll even strip my T-shirt off and fling it into the crowd…why not!?

Yeah, why not?!

We’re told we have to excel. We have to change every day, every second, every minute of every freaking day…excel here, excel there, excel everywhere.

WE HAVE TO BE ON OFFENSE all the time, else we’re going backward.

We’re beat over the head everywhere you turn on the internet. Everywhere!

Bloggers quote Ben, like I did above, then tell you you’re not good enough and unless you follow The 10 bullet points in some article of self-improvement, you’ll never fulfill your dreams.

BLEH!

Honestly, I don’t have that much strength, nor the energy.

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My dad used to yell at me from the sideline during games…

“Move up,” he’d scream. “Get in there,” he’d bellow.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not bashing my dad. Like every dad on the planet is proud of his kid that scores in life. But dang, I was that kid that got distracted.

By butterflies. By the grass that felt squishy under my sneakers (no, we didn’t know what cleats were then). By the shapes in the clouds. By thoughts of riding my bicycle. By thoughts of building plane models after riding my bike.

Then?

Dog-gone if that stupid ball didn’t sail over my head while daydreaming about just simply living life and not worried about offense, excellence, or greatness.

Then, not only would dad yell at me for not paying attention, but the whole team, every parent on the sidelines, and of course the coach.

Ugh!

Shoot, things haven’t changed much in all these years.

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For those who are always on the front lines, playing offense, trying to get better every day…I wonder…what would it be like if you decided to do nothing, absolutely nothing for awhile.

Yes, unplug! Get off the field of play. Stop worrying about advancing the ball.

What if you and I actually gave our minds, hearts, bodies, and souls some downtime?

Do nothing! Read a favorite book for fun with no agenda in trying to improve self, or learn a new life hack.

What if you and I just spent time watching the stars?

What if you and I just disengaged ourselves from this fast-paced, express lane, internet lifestyle to sit quietly in nature and watch the sunset and listen to the wind in the trees and hear the birds singing an evening lullaby?

To hush our thoughts from screaming responsibilities of tomorrow, or the failures of our past.

To just chill, relax, allow our hearts to be still and our souls to catch up to where we’re at.

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I think the hardest thing I’ve ever had to learn was not to train harder or to be more disciplined…

…but to allow life to come to me and cherish the now; this moment without it being cluttered by the guilts of the past or the fears of the future.

To love myself.

To be more patient and understanding…with myself.

To slow up, appreciate, and share love with someone special and those friends that share common interests that truly care about me.

To let myself get sleep. Rest.

To say, “You know…what’s more important? Getting the ironman award at the end of the year for not missing one day of work, or taking a few days off and spending it doing something fun with someone I appreciate.”

It’s easy to get bogged down with life; with the self-help pundits of the day yelling from the sidelines for not being perfect, and the weight of watching the ball sail overhead at times…

Yet, imagine how much better the quality of our life would be if we just give ourselves permission to goof off once in a while.

Just saying.


Photo by Click and Boo on Unsplash

Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Life Hack, Reinvention, Self-Improvement
Hard Part of Leading

Hard Part of Leading

The hardest part of leading?

You stand out.

You stand out from the pack.

From those in your peer group.

From those who hold no rank, title, or position at all, but have decided to lead themselves and hold themselves accountable to something higher than the organizational culture they find themselves swimming against—think of your subordinates.

From supervisors who are hemmed in by their own fears; known only for their emotional bullying of subordinates, and everyone knows that they get nothing accomplished but for shuffling papers from point A to point B.

Thus…

Conspicuousness…it means to stand out so as to be clearly visible.

Most fear Conspicuousness to the point that they won’t speak up, or stand up. Too worried, afraid, and intimidated by what the boss might think, or the popular opinion might say about them.

Leading those around you, first, starts with leading yourself.

We can parrot with, “lead with dignity and respect, with a smile,” and yet, that’s the very thing you must do with yourself.

Leading yourself through the dark corridor of the initial onslaught of fear when you’re about to make a decision to speak up and stand up for what you believe when you know everyone is going to give you the look.

To lead yourself with care over the threshold of a decision that not many are willing to make.

There’s been much said about leadership for many years.

There’s been much said about reinvention for many years.

All that talk—whether in the form of official leadership training or a blog about reinvention—amounts to empty words, unless applied to in a daily practice of life.

When that happens, real leadership takes form, and real change takes place.

Dare to be Conspicuous.


Photo by salvatore ventura on Unsplash

Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Leadership, Life Hack, Reinvention