May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
Recently, I posted a video about a conversation I had with my father and although the chat was with my dad, it could very easily have included my mother because the two of them are the biggest risk takers I ever met and I was fortunate enough (sometimes I have a hard time realizing that) to be indoctrinated with the mental fortitude to be able to lay it all on the line to go after a dream.
The irony of the story is that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This is a subject that has ruled my entire life and not until I read "The Mental Game of Baseball" by H.A. Dorfman my sophomore year of college (way back in 1996) did I recognize the importance of the brain games we play on a daily basis. I have been on a personal progress journey since then and I have come to know three truths:
- It never gets easier. I've been in this game for 20 years. I thought I would have a few things figured out by now (and I'm sure I probably do), but the longer you do something/anything the more likely it is you're going to see things you never thought possible mixed with the stakes being higher than you could have ever imagined. But I don't want you to scare you... I want you to know each, and every day is a battle, and it is up to you to slay those dragons every single day. Each time you do so, you gain a sliver of more confidence, experience, and readiness for the next challenge.
- The game is going to change, and you had better be ready. Oh, how the last three years have punched me in the face with perspective. Let's pretend it's 2018 for a hot minute; If you were to tell me we (Team DelMo) would be working with the likes of Cherry Blossom, NYC Marathon, Brooklyn Half, Broad Street, Love Run, ACS Bike A Thon, etc., I would have said, "Why? We're doing great now, why would I want to do that?" I had no idea the road we were heading down, but I'm fortunate enough to have had the courage to pivot when I did, then go all in on that pivot. Read that again. At some point in your life, you're going to have to do this and it's not going to be easy. It will be very uncomfortable, and you may doubt yourself along the way, but you cannot give in to those doubts, you must press forward. It is in that place of courage and perseverance that the Gods will meet you with a helping hand. Trust me.
- This too shall pass. I was first introduced to this phrase by my father a few decades ago. I was going through some difficult times and my father said this. "My grandmother used to say this too me when I was having a hard time seeing the forest through the trees. 'This too shall pass.' You'll be ok. Trust me." I took great comfort in that statement and refer to it often. But only recently did I realize this does not only apply to times of great difficulty, but it also applies to the good times too. Remember that, when times are good, when you are smiling, when you are surrounded by the people you love and who love you, that moment will not last forever, so you had better make certain you enjoy it because a new dragon is awaiting you around the corner. Bank on it.
If you understand these three truths, then it is impossible to lose the mental game. You are your greatest asset, you are your greatest teacher, you have everything you need to take care of business and create the life, race, circumstances you want, but you will have to run through the fire in order to make it happen.
Understand it. Know it. Love it.