Facing Life's Challenges Head-On
During my Florida vacation several years ago, I had the opportunity to bond with my then-fourteen-year-old cousin Rhett. Throughout my retreat, I particularly enjoyed hearing Rhett discuss his aspiration to become a chiropractor. Even though I was delighted with his career goal, I enjoyed kidding with him about all the fun he would miss out on by not choosing a splendid line of work like being a radio DJ. Even though radio had been a decent career for me, Rhett’s mother Joy knew that there was a lot more security in his professional preference than mine, so she kindly took me aside and asked me to cease my verbal nonsense. I knew she was right on, so I stopped the teasing. Even though our career choices had no commonality, I really got a kick out of discovering this coincidence: just like my fourteen-year-old cousin, I had set my career goal at exactly the same age. My dream began when I was nine; however, my adolescent voice wouldn’t catch up to my vision for another five years.
This visit to Florida contains another amusing memory for me. My occasion to bond with Rhett happened to be right in the middle of his middle school baseball season. Rhett’s mother was responsible for finding volunteers to perform a variety of duties at the games, and she asked me if I would be the booth announcer for a live game. Rhett echoed his mom, expressing the same request. He figured it would be a piece of cake for me to wolf on the mic at the game since I had been a radio DJ for nearly 18 years. Fresh challenges are exciting for me, and this assignment absolutely fit the bill for two reasons: I know very little about baseball, and I am totally blind.
Now, it is not as dumb of an idea as you would think. Uncle Marvin ran the scoreboard beside me, and he has a vast knowledge of baseball and the jargon to go along with the sport. With this winning combination and team effort, he could communicate to me what I needed to convey to the crowd. Uncle Marvin and I embraced our brand new challenge and willingly accepted our mission.
As blessing would have it, my mom and I were together on this trip. She sat in the booth with us, along with her two sisters, which really made this event an extra special occasion for all of us.
With Marvin’s excellent help, I confidently announced all of the player’s names with enthusiasm. We got into a rapid rhythm with Marvin passing on to me what to say after each play. His voice didn’t come through the speakers because of my quick finger operating the microphone’s on and off switch. I had a blast being the convincing announcer known as Baseball Blake for the duration of the game. Through Uncle Marvin’s eyes, along with his assortment of baseball lingo and great sense of humor, I was able to comfortably and believably boom out all kinds of brand new baseball terminology on this lively afternoon. No spectator had a clue that there was a blind dude in the booth behind that mic, but the most comical component to me was that my limited knowledge on baseball didn’t deter my delivery at all.
I believe that the pleasure I got from doing that live event probably resembled the buzz actors and actresses get when they perform as an authority on a subject that they, in many instances, aren’t especially knowledgeable on.
So, how do you face challenges that come your way?
First, be determined to meet the challenge. You can do it! Remember, as Joe Sabah says, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!”
Second, you need to have a team environment. Decide who to collaborate with and who will help you to see your challenge more clearly. I would not have been successful without my caring Uncle Marvin by my side as my necessary Seeing Eye Person.
Third, when faced with a challenge – dive in! I love the saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing imperfectly until you can learn to do it perfectly.” Do it and grow in the process.
Finally, think about what worked well and how you felt about it. As you reflect on successful events, you can begin to use those positive feelings as an anchor and draw upon them when faced with future challenges.
I don’t know that I will ever call another baseball game, but I am up for the challenge! Are you up for the challenges facing you? Rhett certainly was. He is now a licensed chiropractor and massage therapist who’s happily married, just as he had hoped and planned for in the eighth grade.