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Part of Life...

So, I saw this post on social media this past week on two occasions...The person shows a set of photos showing her daughter not making a volleyball team in junior high. 

My thoughts go like so...

There should be NO 6th place trophies. Ever!

How's that kid going to know the how or the why to get a job or go for a career she wants?

When do we stop hovering as parents? 

Children need to understand a few things. One, is that very few if any humans are Great or even Good at everything. Secondly, to attain most things in life such as a basic living, perhaps wealth, or a skill set takes work. Consistent, hard work, lots of it. And once in a while depending on the situation, some luck. Yet, I believe it also takes Faith as well. And at times perhaps, the relentlessness of a pit bull-like attitude. 

What I've witnessed in helping corner men as fighters here and there. As well as coaching adults and children for their competitive running and the like. And as well in my therapy business of near three decades. I've learned to listen to the excuses people make about not wanting to drink enough water, not stretching, not eating well, and or not completing a task for their health/sport. Especially, after I've either given a hint or directly suggested how they may help themselves in those areas.  

Some of it may appear as one's own laziness, arrogance, fear, and or misperception on the part of the 'trainee/student/etc...'. 

However, most of the time it is that their will to truly accomplish something is not what they thought they had initially desired. And that's when I say, TANSTAAFL! There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!

When our oldest was in 4th grade, she stated she would go Harvard. As if she were an automatic shoe-in. I stopped her. Looked her straight-on and strongly said, "TANSTAAFL! Noone just deserves anything." She looked at me astonished. Astonished that I did not encourage her remark.

I continued, "You will know this now. There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. And you will always know this." She looked at me bewildered. I walked to the fridge magnet basket and pulled out a pen and a yellow post-it pad. I wrote, TANSTAAFL! There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. On the little yellow piece of paper. 

I said, "Now. Please give me your homework folder that you look inside of every school day." She handed it to me. I proceeded to tape the note inside where she would pull out her homework for the teacher every school day. And said, "You will not remove this piece of paper from inside this folder ever. If it's removed I'll just get another piece of paper and tape that in as well. If need be, explain to your teacher that no matter how smart we are, we all have to work for All things in life."

Part of life? You bet. It constitutes of consistent hard work. And will can beat skills of those that do not put in the time. And not everyone is going to GET THAT JOB. 

I had this happen much to me as a kid (1960's and 1970's). Four tries for a basketball team in Four years, and made the team in my senior year of high school. It wasn't my skill, not my grace, not my knowledge of the game. It was the amplitude of my aggression and the amplitude of my attitude. It was that I accepted my lack of coordination, my lack of grace, my lack of knowledge, my lack of skill. But in my acknowledging all that I lacked, I knew I could and would work consistently with no complaint, no excuse.

 I'd show up EARLY for tryouts. I'd ask for extra help from other kids who'd made the team in the past, before tryouts. I allowed myself to be humbled by their knowledge and incredible skill sets. 

I went in with the attitude of being open, and not attached to any idea. I admitted to myself that as much as I could run far, throw a football, hit a baseball and so forth, I admitted that I knew nothing. And knowing nothing or thinking that you do, can get you places you would have otherwise never gone.---Jody-Lynn Reicher 


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