If you watched the ESPYs last night, you caught a highly moving and emotional speech from ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, who’s fighting cancer for the second time. If you missed the speech, you can watch it here.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I spent a large chunk of yesterday in a foul mood. I was stressed out about things that don’t actually matter that much and overtired and just yuck. But I watched that speech and it caused me to stop and think for a second.
Here’s a guy who’s fighting cancer (he doesn’t want to know what stage) and has been for years. Yet despite that, he works out harder than most healthy people and has a full-time job at ESPN. He travels. He’s a doting dad. He refuses to change the quality of his life because of a disease, and most importantly he refuses to react frantically to the disease. He sets his own terms about how he wants to live out whatever time he has left.
Think about how often we’re just at the mercy of things in our environment. You’re typing away as soon as an e-mail from your boss comes in, you’re trying to plow through a list of errands, you’re reacting to something someone said to you. It’s easy to spend your time in this defensive mode instead of making personal choices about how you want to live. But listening to Stuart’s speech got me focused on changing that. Instead of just moving through my day waiting for stuff to happen to me, it’s time to make strong, decisive choices about how I want to spend my time. I have no idea how much of it I have, let’s make it fun and happy and worthwhile.
Get done what you need to get done, but make sure that you’re using plenty of in a way that makes you feel good too. Pursue that hobby you love, start that side business, ditch the people who drag you down, travel when you can. Don’t let dumb, unimportant things get you flustered (I’m so guilty of this). They’re dumb. They’re unimportant. In the grand scheme of things, they matter roughly 0 percent.
The other thing is this: you don’t have total control over your life. Unfortunately. It would be nice if you did. But you can control how you approach various situations. You can send yourself into a frenzied panic, or you can choose to see the good things and enjoy a sense of relative peace, even when things around you are chaotic.
Did you see the speech? I really thought it was so inspiring, and it definitely helped me to shift my focus and attention.