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Entries from November 2008

It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose . . .

November 16th, 2008 · 5 Comments

softballcarry_080501300w2Last April, the women on the Central Washington University softball team lost a game to Western Oregon University and forfeited their chance to go to the playoffs.  They did it in a spectacularly unusual way.

An opposing player hit a home run over the center-field fence, but she injured her knee, and fell to the ground, unable to run the bases.  The umpire ruled that she would forfeit her run, and that her own teammates couldn’t help her.  So the Central Washington first baseman and shortstop picked her up, and carried her around the field.  She scored, and their team lost.

“In the end, it is not about winning and losing so much,” the first baseman said. “It was about this girl. She hit it over the fence and was in pain, and she deserved a home run.”  The three players laughed their way around the field, wondering what the spectators were thinking.  You can read the whole story here.

By losing the softball game, these amazing young women won something so much richer.  They’ve won a round in finding the real work of life—that of living it to our fullest, finest potential.

Tags: joy diet · play

Can You Work Like a Child Does?

November 16th, 2008 · 1 Comment

boy-irons_000005521272xsmallToday, I randomly opened the Tao te Ching to this:

“The best athlete wants his opponent at his best.
The best general enters the mind of his enemy.
The best businessman serves the communal good.
The best leader follows the will of the people.

All of them embody the virtue of non-competition.
Not that they don’t love to compete, but they do it in the spirit of play
In this they are like children and in harmony with the Tao.”

The task itself, the way it is approached and performed, is more important than the outcome.  This is the spirit of play we bring to our work, our careers, as joy dieters.  Living to our fullest potential is not an impossibly tall order when we let go of outcome and just do our best.

Tags: joy diet · play

Rejecting Others While on Mental Autopilot

November 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

In this charged atmosphere four days before the elections, it’s really easy to judge and criticize those who disagree with us.  We build walls of safety around the rejection of large groups of other people, and seek companionship and comfort with those who believe as we do. Those with other viewpoints become strange and clueless.

For the last few days I’ve been trying to fully accept the other side.  Not to adopt their beliefs or positions or candidates as mine, but to let go of my judgment about what it means to believe differently than me.  It hasn’t been easy. I’m struggling with years of habitual thinking. But it does feel lighter and freer.

Going off of mental autopilot feels risky because it shifts our identity in a dramatic way.  But the joy diet requires it, at least my joy diet does.  Carrying my habitual judgments around feels like a heavy burden, draining my attention and compromising my joy.

Are you flying on mental autopilot?  Is it a burden?  How would it feel to let it go?

Tags: joy diet · risk