Life Posts

The Kid in Right Field

My eleven-year-old son recently started playing baseball again. I realized this weekend that I’ve become the dad that explains baseball nuance and rules to the parents around me. I can’t help it. Even as an introvert, I have to respond when a parent randomly asks out loud (to no one in particular), “Why did that kid just run to first base on a strikeout?”

But this last weekend I saw something I didn’t have an explanation for. If you look at the photo below, my son’s team was on the field in green. And if you look closer, the kid playing right field is wearing a bright orange jersey (look in the red circle).

That’s because he was on the other team.

Our team was short two players, which also explains why there were only two outfielders. Evidently, they went to the other team and got someone to play the field. I couldn’t help thinking how challenging this must be for this kid. How hard should he try to play defense against his own team? Were his parents rooting for him to play amazing defense too? What if his team lost because of an amazing play he made against them?

It’s a bit of a tricky situation which leads to confusing motivations. But this is actually more common than we may realize.

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3 Types of Comparison

It’s been noted that we can compare ourselves to others in at least three different ways.

  1. Upward comparison – with people we perceive are better than us. This leads to envy.
  2. Lateral comparison – with people we perceive are at our same level. This leads to competition.
  3. Downward comparison – with people we perceive who are worse off than us. This leads to arrogance.

We’d all love to say we’re above the comparison trap, but I’ll be the first to admit how easy I can get sucked into this. Even in areas that shouldn’t matter.

Michelle and I have been working out at Orange Theory together now that all our kids are in school during the day. This week we had what they call a “benchmark row,” which means you time yourself doing 2000 meters on the rowing machine. Afterward, you input your time in their computer so it saves it to your profile.

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Where Do You Need to Grow?

Here’s an interesting observation I’ve had with the growth in my own life. It’s often only in retrospect we realize any progress we’ve made in an area. At the time, we tend not to see objectively how we’re doing.

I recorded a video last week and I ended up looking through similar videos in the past that I had loaded. When I compared my face in the videos I was shocked.

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How to Recognize Blind Spots

Michelle and I now have all five kids at full-day school. It has definitely marked a new season of life for us as we have our daytime back for the first time in more than twelve years. We’ve gone to coffee and lunch and begun to explore how we can best use this time.

One of the realizations is that we can actually attend a gym together. This is something we’ve tried over the years but schedules and kids made it impossible. We signed up for our local Orange Theory and have gone to three classes so far this week. Which coincidentally reminds me of this hilarious video:

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Simone Biles Isn’t Playing Battleship

I remember hearing business professor Adam Grant talking about success back in 2015. He said that “Success is less like Battleship (sinking other ships), and is more like the rising tide that lifts all boats.” That’s such a beautiful image, and one I’d argue is even more needed today.

I grew up playing the game battleship and found it an early opportunity to harness my emerging type-8 enneagram personality. There’s such satisfaction in taking down an opponent and feeling successful as a result. What’s not to love about the game description?

“Feel the authentic thrill of the battle when you wage war on the high seas in the game of Battleship… It’s a full-out assault. Position your ships strategically to survive the relentless strikes. Then target your opponent’s ships and wipe them out.”

As I got older, I realized this is a cheap view of success. If someone else has to lose or be torn down for me to thrive, something is wrong with me (and likely the system around us). Yet that is often how we view others. It’s also why we may not feel super excited by the success of those closest to us. It feels like a loss to us vicariously. We assume boats have to sink for the game to be played.

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How One Change Helps You Make Other Changes

I’ve had a lot of reflection time recently. After finding out it would cost us $7k to rent a minivan for our Oregon trip we decided I would drive from Arizona and Michelle and the kids would fly. That decision meant I drove away from our rental home by myself after enjoying it with our entire family for weeks (which was weird). And it’s meant I’ve had a lot of amazing introvert time to think.

Being back in Oregon this long—and especially buying our own rental home in Oregon—has stirred up lots of emotions of ends and beginnings and the bizarreness that is life. Oftentimes we need to learn how to let go of things we love or that feel good in order to make room for what Jesus has for us next. It turns out we didn’t need to let go of Oregon, we just needed to let go of our original plans for what we thought we’d do in Oregon.

I recently read a book from Cait Flanders where she said that “Every small change you make pays compound interest. It helps you make another change, another mindset shift, another decision to live a new way.” I love that idea. That’s why the journey tends to matter just as much (if not more) than the destination. If you understand the craziness of compound interest it’s exciting to think of how that shapes future changes we’ll be able to make based on changes we’re making today.

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