This morning, I learned of the passing of one of my favorite college professors, Brother Ray. I read the article about him in Manhattan College’s magazine, “The Quadrangle,” and I was flooded with memories of sitting in his class and absorbing his wisdom.
Yes. He was one of those rare gems who becomes more than an instructor. He positively impacted every student who sat in that room, and when I retrospectively connected the dots of my own life this morning, I realized how instrumental Brother Ray was in influencing my mindset, my outlook on life.
Every class began with “What Are We Celebrating Today?” As a college student, this sometimes seemed silly. I had moments of thinking, “Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of why we are here and cut out this fluff.” But through the course of a semester, he was able to plant the seeds of change within each of his students with questions like this.
What is the point of learning something new if you can not celebrate it?
There should be something worth celebrating each day and we’d be remiss if we ignored that.
As a weightlifter, this positive mindset is crucial. Some days, it seems as though the weights are taunting you. It’s as if they’re saying, “Hey buddy. I know I was light yesterday, but today I’m going to make you struggle with every single attempt.”
There are weeks when you feel beaten down, and you wonder why you ever liked this “dumb sport” in the first place. The struggle is real!
You will not succeed every day, and that can quickly make even a veteran lifter feel beaten down.
When you are riding the waves of success, you feel unstoppable- like a real superhero. But the path to success is never a straight line with an upward trajectory. It’s a not even a curved line. It’s a scribbled mess of a line that bends and folds upon itself but somehow manages to break through.
If that’s not a metaphor for life, I don’t know what is.
And it’s the reason why we should be asking ourselves “What Am I Celebrating Today?” daily.
I recently spoke about this with a friend who was upset with herself over her performance in a meet. In her eyes, she had not lifted at her peak performance levels so the meet was a failure. But in examining her “failures,” we could see a pattern emerge.
Every missed lift was the result of rushing her pull and not bringing the bar to her hips. Her nerves at the meet amplified this flaw in her movement and this amplification highlighted exactly what she needs to focus on in future training sessions. Thus, the meet was not a failure. It served it’s purpose in her overall journey to becoming a better weightlifter. And that is worth celebrating.
Brother Ray had it right by starting every day with this focus and I want to continue to spread his message by sharing it with all of you.
As we positively change our mindset, we become more patient with obstacles we face. Those obstacles stop being barriers in our way, and instead, morph into challenges that help us grow. We keep frustration at bay, and thus, achieve more. And most importantly, celebrations make us happy.
So what are you celebrating today?