if i live the life i’m given i won’t be scared to die

my current job consists of creating graphics, making videos, producing services, and many other creative and technical things like that. if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you knew that. what you may not have known is that i have a bachelor’s degree in sport management with a minor in coaching.

yep, a minor in coaching.

no, that’s not a joke.

yes, there were real classes.

no, i’m not making that up.

coaching is one of those fields that is littered with catch phrases and mottos. you could google any successful coach and you would likely find a list of the phrases or sayings that he always used for his teams. when i was in high school, our baseball team’s motto was always, “good is the enemy of best.” we also used “if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse” quite a bit. in college, when i started working for our football team, our coach instilled the idea of “prepare to win. expect to win.” it was plastered everywhere. it was in the lobby, in the hallways, and in the locker room. we knew what the expectation was by those six words.

as i’ve grown up, i’ve held on to certain catch phrases from certain coaches and i’ve gotten rid of others. for some reason, maybe it’s just the way i’m wired, having one sentence mottos to cling to is something that keeps me motivated and balanced. when i don’t have something to rally around, i find myself moving in different directions and going nowhere at the same time. with that being said, i thought that today i would share with you the three catch phrases that i’ve been clinging to lately.

win today.

this one’s about as simple as simple gets. i picked it up from the football coach i worked for in college. we all have things we want to accomplish and big goals that we want to achieve. the key to getting to them is to win today. win the battle in front of you. win the next thing. for me, my battle right now is still my weight. i still have a goal of getting under 300 pounds. for the past week, i have been focusing on winning the day. since starting last wednesday, i have either lost weight or maintained my weight every single day. most days it’s been something small like .2 pounds. the key is that i haven’t gained. each day i’ve set out to win that day.

what’s your battle? what do you need a win against today? is it an addiction? is it being polite to your wife? is it something completely different? whatever it is, win today.

embrace the awkward so they don’t have to.

church can be an awkward thing. many people have all of these feelings towards it and it makes them feel uncomfortable and sometimes even scared. i see it as my job to take away that awkwardness for people coming to our church. i take time to put together playlists for before service that sound like stuff people coming from outside of the church world will be comfortable hearing. i make sure that everything that we show looks and sounds like something you would see in a magazine or on tv. i go out of my way to eliminate anything that could be “christianese” so that someone new doesn’t feel awkward.

embracing the awkward doesn’t just need to happen in the church. it needs to happen everywhere. it may be awkward to help the mom in the grocery store who is trying to reach the cereal on the top shelf while still keeping up with her two kids. put yourself in her shoes though. how awkward does she feel knowing that she’s struggling to do a simple task and that people are starting to look at her? embrace the awkwardness on your end so that she doesn’t have to feel it on hers.

embrace the awkward of starting a conversation.

embrace the awkward of asking for forgiveness.

embrace the awkward of _________.

embrace it so that others don’t have to.

keep your palms up.

this idea is another one that i stole from bob goff in his book love does. he talks about how his day job is being a lawyer and representing other people. while talking about when his clients have to give a deposition, he writes:

so when my clients are being deposed, i tell them all the same thing each time: sit in the chair and answer the questions, but do it with your hand palms up the whole time. … i’m very serious about this. when their palms are up, they have an easier time being calm, honest, and accurate. and this is important, because it’s harder for them to get defensive. when people get angry or defensive they tend to make mistakes. but nobody can be defensive with their palms up.

i have a natural tendency to walk through life with closed fists thinking people are out to get me. my first inclination when someone says the need to talk to me is that i did something wrong and i’m about to hear about it. i have no clue why i feel this way, but i do.

i walk through life with my fists clinched.

i want to walk with my palms up.

for me, it’s a daily choice to give people the benefit of the doubt. i have to remind myself multiple times throughout the day that people make mistakes and that it’s okay. i have to make the conscious effort to not be defensive or judgmental about pretty much everything.

grace is an amazing thing. i take advantage of it all of the time but when my fists are clinched, i rarely ever give it. i want to be a person that gives grace. i want to be a person that loves well. it’s impossible to do that while walking around ready and looking for a fight. i have to keep my fists open and my palms up to be the person that i want to be.

those are my three. what are yours? what statement or mottos is motivating you this week? i’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

win today.

embrace the awkward.

keep your palms up.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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