Monday, December 29, 2014

Eliminating noise

I don't know exactly what I want to say, so why don't we just see where this goes?

A little over a year ago, I was doing a race. The CU Tri team was also at the same race. I was texting a friend of mine. That friend had given their phone to one of the members of the tri team. Obviously, I didn't know, at the time, that I was having a conversation with some 20-something year old.

One of the messages that I received was, "We don't play at triathlon".

I never said anything to the person. I mean, they were a 20 something. But all I could think of was, "That is so wrong. So backward."

One of my favorite sayings is "I take what I do seriously, but I never take myself seriously."

You can take your hobby or job seriously, but it should be should feel like play.

Without fun or play, why are you doing what you are doing?

Now look, I spent many many years being unhappy in my job. I know what it's like to be miserable. I always believed that work should be fun. Granted, there will be times of stress, but if a job is 90% miserable (like mine was) or even not fun and only 10% fun.....that's a problem.

When winning (or a paycheck) becomes the focus, the focus needs to change. Winning isn't winning.

The journey is winning: the process, each decision, every step we take...that's winning.

Of course, a 20-something year old wouldn't understand that. He was focused on the result, the outcome.

I know I can sound like a broken record sometimes, but there's more.

Recently, as of yesterday, I once again changed my Facebook lists. I'm allowing fewer and fewer people see my posts and even fewer see my blog entries. (Sure you can hit the blog at any time, but most people don't check in like that).

I also noticed that several of my friends have deactivated their FB accounts. They didn't tell me they were, I found out on my own. My reaction was "Good for you".

In addition to that, I've been reading blogs. I've noticed that I'm not the only one having this backlash against social media. However, people are handling it in different ways. Some people are deactivating their accounts. Some people are creating a new account under a nom de plume. Some people are eliminating toxic & negative people from their feeds but keeping their original account. For me, I also had privacy concerns. Repeatedly, I have customers, vendors or other business associates look me up. I put my accounts on lockdown. This blog is unsearchable. My profile on FB is unsearchable (via search engines). If you do find it, you can't see anything. And, I have to "approve" anything that I'm tagged in.

I've done all of that to figure out what works for me. Last week, I was unplugged for week. I'm sure very few people, if anyone, even noticed my absence.

It's about eliminating all that noise. We can disagree on training methods or politics or money management or how to raise our kids, but no one needs negativity or trolls in their life.

If you're reading this post, and you came through FB, are now on the short list of blog readers. If you don't want to be part of the group, drop me a quick message. I'll remove you from the reader list. By now, you know that my feelings aren't hurt by things like that.

Over the past year, I got tired of the "criticism" disguised as "helpful advice".  I have a Coach. If you want to question my training, I will direct you to her. (BTW: No one has ever been critical on my blog. Everyone here is always fantastic. I've seen people--including coaches-- attempting to bully athletes. It's really sad. Who wants to see that bullshit?) I see people (athletes and coaches) giving advice all the time. People have even given me advice that I thank them for and then quietly ignore. (I'm sure most of you understand the subtle difference between questioning someone's training versus asking questions about their training. Hell, I'm often really curious about why people do things. It has nothing to do with being critical but understanding the challenges they are facing.) You ran 27 miles this weekend? In one day? Why? Asking "why" opens the world to a whole lot of, "Wow. That's amazing."

We all have different goals. We all need different approaches. What works for you, might not work for me and vice versa.

Thanks for being part of my process.