I can recall my seemingly never-ending enrollment in summer camps during my teenage years. It never dawned on me, until now, how eager my mom was to drop my brother and I off for only a few hours in the morning. It was interesting, how quickly only a few hours progressed to full-time engagement. Our camps were suddenly scheduled back to back as my mother’s patience grew thin with two teenage boys at home. Besides being out of my mother’s hair as she lovingly dropped us off at the hollowed grounds of the baseball diamond, an education began that took me years to comprehend.
It felt like only yesterday as I could hear the baseball coach with his confident big booming voice during warm ups ask, while smugly scanning the quorum of pubescent boys, “Do you know what today is”?. His eyes felt like laser beams piercing the facade of teenage toughness and exposing all of our insecurities. One brave kid spoke up attempting fate and with a quiver in his voice he replied, “Monday, Coach?”. The coach responded back, “Maybe to you it’s a Monday, boy, but to me it’s a good day to work”. From that day forth, every morning he would ask the same question without fail. It didn’t take long for everyone to catch on, “It’s a good day to work”.
It seemed so routine and simple repeating that phrase over and over again. I used to think this guy must be real special as the only thing he seems to know is, “it’s a good day to work.” How can his entire life revolve around this simple phrase? It only took me 20 years to figure it out…at least I think I did.
I am sure we have all heard the phrase, “Garbage in, Garbage out” (GIGO). It is a phrase commonly used in the software development world to reflect the need for logical and accurate code to be written to produce consistent and accurate results. The moment there is a failure during the developing of a decision-making system, the system is only capable of making unreliable, nonsensical results; hence the term GIGO.
We can apply this concept to many areas in our life. If your diet consists of only fast food, you cannot expect your body to be in great shape. Ultimately, your poor diet choices will likely manifest into high blood pressure and cholesterol. Take a quick survey of your life. Who do you spend most of you time with, what kind of materials do you read, what kind of effort do you give at the gym, and how are your financial investments doing? Bad friends, make bad relationships; bad books, give bad advice; poor effort at the gym, gives small gains; and finally, bad investments, see poor returns. Hopefully, it is clearer now, what is meant by the phrase GIGO.
Reflecting back on my baseball coach, it turns out he wasn’t as simple as I had once thought. He was attempting to prepare our minds to work hard and focus on our field of dreams. Through consistent encouragement, he was cultivating our internal voice to believe that despite what else was going on in our lives, today we were to commit our mind and body to developing ourselves to play the sport of baseball. He was trying to gather our focus and attention to motivate us to perform to the best of our ability by setting the stage of our expectations.
What a valuable lesson. I wish it could have held more meaning earlier in my life. Moving forward, I would like to encourage you to cautiously choose the words you speak. Those words often set the tone of your mindset. If you can say aloud and truly believe that today is a good day to work, then you are positioning your mind for success. If you believe today is going to be a miserable day, then you are positioning your day to be filled with misery. You are effectively creating your own self-fulfilling prophecy. If we choose to have this control over our lives, why not make it an awesome day to work.
Thankfully, we have the ability to set the stage in our life and create the reality we choose. The choice is yours as to the information you would like to fill your mind. Furthermore, it is your responsibility as to what you do with it. Focus on words and thoughts that are value added propositions and limit the ones that diminish you or others. We have a limited time on this earth, why not give it our best effort now and learn ways to enjoy this ride. Start positive, say it aloud, believe it, and watch your day unfold according to your inner most desires.