The greatest stress in our lives does not come from seeing problems. It comes from an inability to see them clearly when we know they’re looming over us. It’s the feeling of helplessness when the future is foggy.
This morning I meditated while looking up at the stars. Because of the overcast skies, the view was mostly grey clouds. Every 15 or 20 seconds, the clouds opened up, and glimmering stars shined through. It was a glimpse of what was truly there had it not been overcast.
This image made me think about our current environment and how cloudy the world is today. People feel stress, anxiety, anger, and fear because they can’t see beyond tomorrow. They know there is a problem but don’t have a solution. It’s a feeling of helplessness.
It’s easy to fall victim to this attitude and put our lives on hold completely. But instead we should see the sky on the other side of the clouds and proceed to push through to it.
I was asked several times in my hockey days about the difference between those who made the NHL and those in the minors. Most think the answer is in their skill or ability to play. However, the physical skill of top athletes at both levels is almost the same. The answer is in consistent performance.
Amateur athletes expect themselves to perform when they are rested, have no injuries, and the stars align that day. On other days a lower performance might be acceptable. Professionals, on the other hand, expect to execute a top-tier performance every day, no matter the circumstance. Even with a broken finger, a black eye, and playing their 3rd-straight road game, they find a way to deliver their best.
Professionals see the stars through the clouds. They see the unknown as an opportunity to grow their skill and character. They hold themselves accountable to excellence at a time when they could easily find a way not to. Professionals find ways to tackle the impossible while amateurs find reasons to stop. Most importantly, professionals never blame their environment for lack of execution.
The stars on the other side of our current situation are very bright. Don’t allow yourself to be stopped by the unknowns. These are the times that separate the amateurs from the professionals.
Embrace the experience, and stay solution minded.