A Wake-Up Call from a Softball to the Face

Softball story

Channeling my inner Bubba Gump

Sometimes you get in a funk. For me, it was a string of negativity and doubt. During it, everything seemed off and my mind was on auto-pilot. Until it hit me.

A softball that is. Right in the face.

I got clipped charging a groundball that took a bad hop at our last softball game. The ball split my lip open pretty good. I probably overreacted by going to the ER but when someone in urgent care tells you that “you might need a plastic surgeon” I figured it was bad. It looked pretty gross but nothing was ultimately wrong.

Yet I couldn’t help but think. What if this was a sign trying to remind me that I’ve gotten away from who I am and wanted to be?

A softball to the face

I believe in the law of attraction. And since my behavior over that past week was pretty negative, it seems logical that I would attract a ball to the face. But it was a wake-up call I desperately needed.

My negativity was based on unrealistic expectations from something I was chasing too hard. I got caught up in the madness and forgot to enjoy the process of personal growth. When things aren’t meeting expectations, our minds have a natural tendency to send the inner critic with more negativity, and that’s what was happening to me.

doubt kills dreams

EVERYTHING and ANYTHING can be a monumental or meaningful moment. That wake-up call you desperately needed. A “sign” that tells you you’re on the right track. Or even something weird that continually happens to you that is trying to teach you what you aren’t willing to learn.

Think about that for a moment. Has it already happened or is it happening now? What about with your health or fitness level?

We must try to see past unfortunate reasons for what happens and remember that things and moments are just that. How we view and live in them is what ultimately determines their value. There are things we can’t control but we do have a choice to focus on what we can control and our ability to respond.

Stop focusing on not focusing

The problem in part for me happens when I begin to put more energy on not doing something. Obviously, I don’t want to be a negative thinker, so logically you might think it’s better to find ways to deal with it when it occurs. Right?

This approach never worked for me.

Instead of reacting to these emotions and trying to do everything to avoid them (ironically at the same time means focusing on them) it’s far more meaningful to understand why it is happening in the first place. Then, proactively approaching the potential reaction before it happens.

Explained by Mark Manson in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, “the fixation on the positive—on what’s better, what’s superior—only serves to remind us over and over again of what we are not, of what we lack, of what we should have been but failed to be. After all, no truly happy person feels the need to stand in front of a mirror and recite that she’s happy. She just is.

The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

Put another way, happiness is not a solvable equation. Dissatisfaction and unease are inherent parts of human nature and are necessary for creating consistent happiness.

Perfection sucks anyway

Of course, I’m not perfect. It is easy to forget about the root of the problem. Thus the reason for this story. In this case, it was my “busyness” distracting me. Thinking about how far I have to go and all of the things that need to “go right” for it to happen.

It reminded me of an inspiring podcast I listened to the other day. One of my favorite quotes from the guest, Don Miguel Ruiz, was

“We must accept ourselves and not obsess over chasing a dream that was built on something you expect.”

The biggest takeaway from this episode was remaining dedicated to the process but letting go of expectations. Because high expectations are rarely met. Of course, we should have them, but our ability to deal with the outcomes and how we manage our expectations is one of the most important things to determining our own happiness.

It can change and will change as soon as we forgive ourselves for not meeting our own expectations.

Concluding thoughts

Expectations and beliefs only exist for as long as we believe them. All the work put in is meant to shape us unconsciously in the moment. It is not for dwelling on and trying to remember every little detail when the moment arrives.

This moment wasn’t anything groundbreaking but I decided it would serve as a reminder for me to not forget to enjoy life. To let go of expectations and remember that consistent action in the right direction is all that I need. When I focus on being a better person, doing the things that I enjoy, and consistently acting towards what I want, I put myself in a better position to reap the benefits of the unpredictability of the universe.

And so do you.

“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.” – Jim Rohn

Have you ever had one of these moments? Did it have a lasting effect?

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