Written by 8:40 am Podcast, Raising Competitors

You Don’t Like It? Do Something About It.

Did you catch Tuesday’s baseball fight between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox?

Both benches cleared after KC pitcher Brad Keller beaned Chicago batter Tim Anderson for overly celebrating his home run two innings earlier.

It’s an unwritten rule in baseball that you aren’t supposed to flip your bat after hitting a home run. You wouldn’t normally want to turn on a fight and show your kids it as an example for a lesson, but bear with me. It’s easy to say it’s Anderson’s fault for flipping the bat. If he hadn’t, Keller wouldn’t “have had to” hit him with a pitch.

Beaning a player for celebrating after you threw a crappy pitch he could hit over the fence is your fault, not his.

I’m not big on taunting. I’m under the mindset that unless you score the game-winner, you “act like you’ve been there before.” In football, it was score a touchdown, hand the ball to the ref, and go back to the sidelines to celebrate with your teammates. No showboarding. No endzone dance celebration.

It’s just how I played. However, I have no issues if that’s not how you played.

If you earned that home run, basket, touchdown, you earned the right to celebrate it. My job on the field is to stop you. A pitcher’s job is to throw strikes and get batters out. When he doesn’t, well, you see the ball sail over the outfield fence just like Anderson did Tuesday.

If you don’t like it, throw a better pitch next time.

Too often today we get angry at others for what is our fault. We throw the equivalent of an adult temper tantrum because you took advantage of a mistake we made. Or worse, we do nothing about it and only hope it’s better next time.

We don’t like the way our boss treats us, so we complain about it instead of:

  • Having a conversation with her about the relationship
  • Investing time to learn new skills so we can take on a new role at our current company, or
  • Dusting off our resume to hunt for a new job

We expect our complaints to change the situation. It never does.

Same goes with our relationships. We complain about how our relationship “isn’t working,” “toxic,” or “dead” – yet we choose not to seek counseling, choose not to communicate with the other individual, and choose to stay in the relationship instead of leaving it. We’ll complain until our voice goes hoarse.

But we never take action to change it. The truth is, if you aren’t choosing to change the situation, you’re choosing it.

It’s our individual responsibility to improve our situation if we don’t like it. It’s not up to someone else.

  • If we don’t like our current income level, it’s our responsibility to pick up extra hours, start a side job, or work toward a promotion.
  • If we don’t like how someone treats us, it’s our responsibility to remove that relationship from our life.
  • If we don’t like where we are right now, it’s our responsibility to put in the necessary work to not be there next year.

When it comes to our kids…

The lessons shouldn’t be around how you do/don’t celebrate goals – but instead how you respond to what you don’t like that’s out of your control. We don’t control a lot of things in this world but we always control our effort, our focus, and our choices. It’s in our responses that our power lies, so when we blame others for our response, we’re shifting the blame and trying to deflect responsibility for what is ours and ours alone.

We blame the weather for not getting a workout. But it’s not the weather’s fault we chose to sleep in and skip the (indoor) gym.

We blame our siblings for getting us in trouble. But aren’t we who was sneaking out of the house in the first place?

We blame our teachers for failing math. But is it the teacher’s fault we struggle with a challenging subject? Did we seek tutoring help? Did we do research online to find new ways to learn the subject? I would have killed to have the access today’s students have to Google and YouTube for learning Calculus.

Our actions are our responsibility. Not theirs.

It’s EASY to blame other people and things outside of our control for how WE choose to respond. It’s easy to live life like baseball’s unwritten rule that says you can retaliate because “it’s someone else’s fault.”

But at the end of the day, we only control three things: our effort, our focus, and our choices.. If we choose to retaliate or speak out in anger, it’s a choice we made, not one someone else made for us.

A Winning Competitor always focuses on what she controls:

  • Her effort (always giving 100%)
  • Her focus (only on things she controls)
  • Her choices (her actions are up to her and her alone).

Don’t let anyone else distract you from those three things. 

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