Simple analogies are sometimes the most powerful way to get a point across.
Sometimes a guy will hear something for the 100th time but THIS time it’s said slightly differently and suddenly he gets it. A switch is flipped that can not be un-flipped for him.
He can’t un-see what he now sees as pure truth.
And at this moment he feels empowered to change his thinking…which changes everything he’s been feeling.
I used to have a wonderful dog named Kody. He lived to be almost 17 years old which is OLD for a Golden Retriever. And for 17 years, Kody had primarily ONE THING on his mind. It was his pacifier of happiness. His lifeboat of inner peace.
It was…tennis balls.
“When I’ve got a tennis ball in my mouth the world just stops…nothing else matters…and everything in my life is good.” ~ Kody
In fact, Kody would get a fresh container of tennis balls every Christmas. I would wrap it and put it under the tree.
Kody knew it. It was almost like the “new tennis ball smell” molecules escaped from the can. It took just one molecule to put him into a catatonic trance until Christmas morning.
It was cute, but annoying. You couldn’t reason with him. And when I finally told him he could open it he just ravished the can. He didn’t need me to open it. He just ripped it open until he reached the only thing that would make his world right again.
You would think that would be the end…but no.
The problem was that Kody thought inner peace could only be achieved if he could fit ALL the balls in his mouth at once.
And even when he succeeded he still wanted more. There was no satisfying his need to fill up on the ONE OBJECT of his desire. Anxiety was STILL gripping him until he just wore himself out and fell asleep.
The moral of the story?
You can never get enough of what you don’t really need to feel happy, calm and confident.
What are the “tennis balls” in your life?
What ONE object, person, idea, goal, fantasy or story do you have that rules your mind and your sense of well-being?
How did it get that power over you?
What else is your life have you sacrificed in order to give focus to that one thing?
And what might happen if you could just “flip the switch”?
Spit out the balls, shake your head and say, “What if I don’t NEED those balls to be happy?”
When we’re coaching men on the journey from “good guy” to “great man” we often find out he’s got an intense “tennis ball fixation”.
This keeps him in “good guy” mode because he will do or say anything in order to get the ONE THING he thinks will make him feel okay. Goodguys have a bad habit of trying to get things from other people in order to feel good about themselves. They are sublte in the way they negotiate, manipulate and control others to get their needs met.
Breaking this habit requires a “I coulda had a V8!” moment. It’s that moment of clarity when he thumps his forehead with the palm of his hand and he gets a little flushed in the face.
The embarrassment and guilt “goodguys” feel when this switch flips are actually GOOD. Guilt can be an extremely productive force to help men choose a new perspective.
He sees clearly that the tennis balls were NEVER going to help him.
He needs to be happy no matter what – with or without tennis balls.
And when he begins to internalize the truth – that his entire foundation of happy, calm confidence is created in his own mind – the great man emerges.
Some men reading this will get it right off the bat ;) but others need help to have a serious shift in their thinking which will change their future drastically.
This is why we’ve created many ways for you to get involved in our community of amazing men.
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