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  • Writer's pictureBurk Moreland


If you have children, you are probably familiar with the phrase: “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit….” I used to use it on my own daughters all the time. As I heard it from another parent the other day, I started thinking about the message it sends. Compliance and lack of control came to mind.

For children, much less adults, I can’t say that throwing a fit ever seemed like the right course of action. However, just agreeing to “get what you get” is where I have an issue, especially later in life. I firmly believe that we have at least a degree of control in our lives. We have free will. It doesn’t mean we always get exactly what we want, but it means we have a chance to.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have parents who say:

All you have to do is want something bad enough and you can do it….

This phrase gives people hope, yet, as many of you have heard me say, hope is not a strategy. Wanting it is definitely part of the equation, but as most of us have experienced, no fairy godmother grants the wish. You have to take some action, even simply asking for help.

So where does that leave us? We can’t just be along for the ride, yet we are not in complete control. Our destiny is neither carved in stone nor flying in the wind. We are generally somewhere in between. Most people either blame past or current circumstances, or wait for some magic transformation that will come in the future. Either way, they are stuck on the perennial hamster wheel because no one has told them how to get off, challenged them to do it, or held them accountable to make it happen.

This is why I love my work. Seeing eyes open up and the reality of the possibilities unfold is where the real fun of coaching is. You don’t have to remain where you are in life. You don’t ‘get what you get.’ In fact you can have great influence over what you get. Most people just never give themselves a chance. They want it… but don’t know how to get it.

Have you ever seen a three-year-old with a tablet computer? He will have it unlocked, changed to Spanish, post three or four selfies and load the newest version of angry birds before you can scream “Noooooooooo!”

Why is it so easy for the three-year-old? He knows no limits. He is willing to experiment and fail because he hasn’t learned that doing so is a problem. He doesn’t have a comfort zone, like he will later in life. The world of experience is still wide open and he’s ready to take action.

In order for you to get past your own fears, uncertainties, and doubts, you have to push your limits. You have to be willing to fail and learn. Growth can’t happen otherwise. Unless you are totally content in your life and want nothing more or different than what you have right now (God love you), my challenge to you is:

Do something that pushes you. (Start by trying little things that challenge you.) Experience the “‘Thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat” a few times. Most of the time you will find that the agony is not all that bad — especially if you do it with someone else’s help.

No right-minded person goes off the ski jump without getting a bit of coaching first right???

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