“You ought to look into joining the rec center, it is like a YMCA. It’s ten minutes from where we live and you can swim, play basketball and lift there if you want.”
I nod my head and tell him I’ll check it out. The price is right but I still want to see for myself.
It is not because my standards are impossible to meet but because I don’t know my neighbor well enough to know if ours are similar regarding gyms or not.
They definitely aren’t on food, Weinberger’s Deli is nice, but it is not the kind of deli I am used to or looking for. Doesn’t mean I won’t go back, but when I do my expectations will be different.
Surprised By A Wall
I am walking through a local mall and see a group of teenage boys walking my way.
They remind me of my kids and the days when I was one of them and I find myself smiling.
As they come closer I start to wonder if the big kid in the middle plans expects me to move or if he is going to show off for his friends by doing the shoulder bump thing that we men sometimes do.
I am in no particular rush to be anywhere and think of this moment as being a good opportunity to do some people watching so I stop where I am at and watch as they come closer.
He is not moving and when I make eye contact he gives me the old thousand mile stare so I figure, screw it.
An internal click goes off inside my head and I hear that whistle from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly go off inside my head.
Sure enough he smacks into me but I am set and he bounces off of me into his friends.
I smile and shake my head at him. My impression of a wall is still solid, I have skills.
Sadly being able to make like a wall isn’t something that will yield millions but it does lend itself to this story about managing expectations.
Since I was stationary the kid had ample time to walk around me or even say excuse me but he didn’t because he had different expectations.
I wasn’t certain he would smack into me but I was confident that if he did I would be fine.
And I expected that whatever the outcome of the moment was I would have a story to share.
My expectations were realistic.
That is something I have worked hard to teach my children to do because realistic expectations lead to less disappointment and help build opportunity.
It is not always easy to manage our expectations either, especially when it comes to people because humans are not rational or logical.
We like to say and think we are, but so much of what we do is based upon arbitrary choices that aren’t based upon fact.
That is not always a bad thing either because there is a lot to be said for following our hearts and being willing to take a risk.
Take A Chance On Me
I have asked people to take a chance on me and been disappointed but I have also been pleasantly surprised.
Hell sometimes I have been shocked because I never expected them do so.
And sometimes I have been shocked because I asked for that opportunity and expected to be given it and then it didn’t happen.
I related those words to a young man and talked about how if things were different I would the knight in the picture above.
Give me the opportunity to go fight on your behalf and I guarantee I will unhorse the others and if need be do whatever else was required.
I’d do it because it is what I do and it comes easily to me. I was born and built to take care of some people but sometimes you can’t be the person that does that.
Doesn’t matter whether you’d volunteer because you will never be hired for that particular position.
Some things don’t change unless you or them ask for help.
Funny thing is, I understand so much more than they think I do. I see more than I mention or share.
In large part it is because I am rarely that guy who will ask for help.
But I am working on it.
Be Clear: Ask For Help
Sometimes it is hard to ask for help because we are uncomfortable doing so and sometimes we make it harder on ourselves.
There is a great exchange in one of the books that Game Of Thrones is based upon. It is a scene between a boy and a girl.
If you are not familiar with it I’ll let you read the text below and decide who is who.
“If you need help bark like a dog.” – Gendry.
“That’s stupid. If I need help I’ll shout help.” – Arya”
Reminds me of a time when someone said, “you be happier and see more clearly if you took your head out of your ass.”
Might not be especially eloquent but there is some truth to it.
Sometimes we over think or complicate things unnecessarily.