I was “assigned” a topic a few weeks ago, and after a few stops and starts where I didn’t think I was on the right track, I think I’m finally onto something. The topic in question is thoughtfulness - something that, unfortunately, has been a foreign concept to me in recent months.
I’m at a point right now where I’m just fucking fed up with myself on multiple levels. This isn’t anything serious, but it involves the level of effort I’ve been putting in with various parts of my life. I’m not “happy” professionally, per se, but I have a nice little platform to advance from, and I know I have – and will continue to develop – the skills to do a hell of a lot more with everything. I’m not unhealthy, per se, but my effort level at the dining table and in the gym hasn’t measured up to my own expectations, and it’s been showing, big time. My complaint about myself here is just a laundry list of shit at which I haven’t been trying hard enough.
That’s where thoughtfulness comes in. The easy cop-out response to a question about thoughtfulness would entail an explanation of how I’m poised to do all the little things necessary to make everyone else happy – or at least to let others know I’m thinking of their well being. That shit’s easy, because I was raised that way, and I’ve always taken pride in having an almost preternatural awareness of what the people around me need in terms of courtesy and consideration. That’s not an issue, and it never has been.
What is an issue, and what will continue to be an issue if I don’t put a stop to it immediately, is my own inability to take advantage of opportunities when they come up – and believe me, they come up all the time. It’s as though I work just hard enough to put myself in position to do something good, and then I turn around and coast and fail to take the steps necessary to put myself over the top.
This piss-poor effort level runs contrary to the concept of thoughtfulness in this case because I tend to raise expectations and then massively under-deliver when it’s time to move on things. That’s been happening a little too much over the past year or so, and it’s a bothersome situation for me because I know the root cause of the problem, and because I also know how to solve it but haven’t taken the requisite steps thus far.
When people expect something out of you – a certain level of performance, or maybe for you to simply be at your best on a certain day – and you mail in some shitty effort because you haven’t taken the time to properly prepare and execute a plan, it’s a lack of foresight on your part, and you’re not being thoughtful. You’re fucking things up for yourself, and you’re fucking things up for others who’ve erroneously invested time and energy in you.
I’m in a position where people expect things from me, and I’m not merely talking about what happens “in public” or professionally. The idea, then, is to be ready when things come around – when I have a chance to do something really good with my own life or for someone else I’d like to either bring into my life or keep there.
If you’re not ready 24/7, and you haven’t taken the time to prepare yourself physically, mentally and professionally, you’re not being thoughtful.
It’s like sitting on the bench for eight innings of a baseball game, then being asked to pinch hit in a clutch situation. If you haven’t been following the game, you haven’t watched film of the pitchers you’ll potentially be facing and you didn’t address the things you needed to work on in batting practice, you’re fucked, and you’re fucking over a long list of people, including your teammates and the 50,000 people who bought tickets to see you play.
That’s where I’ve been recently – sitting on the bench with my thumb up my ass, distracted, not paying attention to the game, and out of shape from not taking my reps in the batting cage. Sorry for the cheesy sports metaphor, but it fits here because I’ve been caught too many times over the past year with my pants around my ankles when opportunities have been sitting there waiting for me on silver platters. And that, my friends, is not what I’d call being thoughtful to anyone. Nor is using fifty different cliches during the course of one paragraph, but that's another issue entirely.
So, fuck that. That’s not going to happen anymore. I’m very much sick and tired of watching shit pass me by while I make excuse after excuse for why I’m not ready to jump. It’s been a complacent year, but all that’s done now, because I’m not a thoughtless prick, whether we’re talking about my treatment of myself or of others. If you know me, or you work with me, or you’re waiting for me to just fucking do something, rest easy.
Shit’s finally under control again.