Check it out.
Such a cute video.
A great example of optimism.
But another thought nags at me.
Scroll below the video if you care to explore that thought with me.
Sure. He’s the “GREATEST CATCHER in the WORLD!”
But that’s not what he wanted. He wanted to be the “GREATEST HITTER in the WORLD!”
all by himself.
with no coach.
no developmental feedback (constructive criticism)
no hard work.
He GAVE UP his self-proclaimed dream.
and settled for what he was ALREADY good at.
(theoretically. At that moment, he has zero competition. “Greatest Catcher” status remains to be seen until he’s on the receiving end of an average pitcher’s fast ball.)
Does all that sound mean? pessimistic?
If the goal is to make him feel better, then yes. I suppose it is.
BUT. If the goal is to help him GET better, then how is cheering for him when he abandons his dream a good thing? How is cheering for him in this situation NOT encouraging him to give up instead of asking for help and working toward fulfilling his dream?
Seriously. Everything I do well, I probably sucked at in the beginning.
I serve as a career coach and one way I do that is to volunteer with a 12 week program that helps the unemployed and underemployed find, obtain and keep a family sustaining career. As you might expect, the people who apply to this program are looking for a better job. They’re looking for a career inSTEAD of a job.
But even more foundational than that, they are looking for CHANGE. They want a better life. A more stable income. Security. Self-confidence. Hope. Encouragement. Inspiration. They are sick and tired of the status quo and they are at a place in their life when they are ready to do something about it. Without exception, every single person who applies is, by the act of applying, asking for help. When they are accepted into the program, they themselves are agreeing to accept help.
So what happens when the coach they’ve been matched with or another student in their group hears their story and reacts by assuring them they are “fine” just the way they are and they don’t need to change a thing. They are ENOUGH.
If you are looking for change and you are being assured you don’t need to change because “you are enough” just the way you are, what does that mean? What does that do to your motivation? If your choices – by natural consequence – have led you to where you are in life and you are not happy with where you are, is hearing “you are fine just the way you are – don’t let anyone tell you that you need to change” really helpful?
Is it kind?
Is it true?
I find myself thinking about the old adage:
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.”
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
~ Albert Einstein
and one of my personal favorites:
“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
~ Winston S. Churchill
In my experience, telling these students – or ANYone seeking change or betterment in any area of their life – that they are fine and enough is counter-productive. If you want to get better at anything, there ARE steps you can take and by the sheer nature of the word CHANGE, those steps HAVE to be different steps than the ones you’ve taken in the past and the steps you are taking now. I’ve written about some ways to approach changing for the better four times in the last few days alone:
1. It Doesn’t Matter if You CAN. It matters if you DO.
2. Want to improve? Give people permission to tell you the truth.
3. Looking for a Qualified Teacher or Credible Mentor? 4 Things to Consider.
4. problem solving and benchmarking.