“The Good and the Bad”
by Coach Kellen Tichenor
I have never lived a day in my life that was ALL good. I have also never had a day that was ALL bad. People like to label things either as “good” or “bad”; “I had a bad day today”, or “she lived a good life”. “I have a bad knee”, or “the movie was good”. The fact is, we have good and bad going on simultaneously in our lives every day, and it is important to recognize both. I have heard some people say that if you want to be happy in life, you should focus on the positive and ignore the negative. I disagree, because ignoring the bad is ignoring a chance to learn, and focusing solely on the good can create delusions of the truth. I have seen maybe one episode of American Idol in my life, but it was one of those episodes at the beginning of the season where they audition people. Some people of course were very good, then there were others who were unbelievable bad at singing. Now, I think some of that comes from people who know they’re bad, but just want attention on television. However, there were some people that really seemed to get their feelings hurt when the judges pointed out that they simply are not good at singing. The sad part is that it seems like someone in their lives along the line told them they were great, when they were obviously not. I’m not saying that if you have a dream that you shouldn’t go for it, because you absolutely should, but you also need to honestly evaluate where you are.
If you choose to only see the good, it can really set you up for failure. If someone had told one of those American Idol contestants that they weren’t good at singing, maybe they could have taken some singing classes and done some things to improve the quality of their voice, so that they had a better shot at making it. Looking at the bad of a situation can be a good thing, because it allows you to evaluate and see what things you can improve on, and even see what things are just out of your control so that maybe you can make adjustments to your goals, or maybe even take a different path, completely. It is also important not to linger in the bad of a situation, to the point where you overlook the good.
Over the weekend, I was coaching at a big gymnastics competition at Disney World. One of my girls who had been really struggling to get through her routines in practice the weeks leading up to the meet, had pulled it together right before the competition and actually managed to make it through all of her routines when she competed. After we finished competing our last event, she was very sad. When I asked her why, she said because she had made mistakes in her routines, and she didn’t get the scores she was hoping for. So, even though she had made big accomplishments, she had overlooked that, was upset to the point of tears and had become very discouraged. I sat down and talked with her for a while. She is a smart girl, so as I talked, she thought about it and turned her focus around. What I told her is that it was okay for her to feel upset. It means that she has expectations for herself, and is motivated to achieve her goals. Then I encouraged her to feel those feelings, but to then think about what exactly she was disappointed in, and what she could do when she gets back to the gym, to work toward a solution. Lastly, I asked her to think about what her routines looked like a week ago in practice, and then look at what she had done in the competition, and think about the accomplishments she had made. What is important to remember is that we can learn from both the good AND the bad, so it is the best thing for us to take in both.
Acknowledge your accomplishments and reward yourself for a job well done, so that your brain wants to continue to accomplish. Acknowledge your shortcomings and failures so that you can learn and improve your situation the next time around. Try to also recognize that in just about every situation, there is both to learn from, because outside of God Himself, there is nothing that is all good. And outside of Satan himself, there is nothing that is all bad.