Thinking well isn’t something you do just because it seems like a good approach to take, it’s a way a of life you embrace and put into practice as much as you possibly can. When you develop a positive mindset and adopt it into your way of being, it’s not easily abandoned when things don’t go your way.
One of the sayings I often find myself sharing with people is that, “I don’t have bad days, I have bad moments.” There are some days when I find myself replaying this in my head over and over again as a reminder that my day or life for that matter doesn’t have to be defined by a mishap or series of unfortunate events. It totally recognizes that there will be points throughout the day when things will go terribly wrong and we’ll come up on the short end of the stick but they don’t have dominate our entire being.
I think of my good friend Rick Sovereign as an example of someone who wholeheartedly embraces this positive mindset. You see, Rick has been battling prostate cancer for the last couple of years and there have been several moments when things didn’t look good and the thought was that he would be lost to friends and family was a reality but throughout it all Rick continues to persevere and sees each setback as a minor hiccup.
Although he's a pro golfer by trade, he has a deep love for the game of basketball and he cares about the growth and development of the game particularly in young people. In fact, he and I first connected almost a decade ago when our daughters who were the same age were trying out for the same basketball team. Our similar passion for the game brought us together and we’ve been friends ever since.
He has always been super positive and credits it to the way he thinks. As I write this, Rick is in the hospital with what he believes is Stage 5 cancer despite the fact that the medical professionals say that there are only four stages and that doctors have told him his illness has advanced to the last one.
I once remember Rick sharing with me how he learned how to "think well" which is a concept he cultivated on the golf course. There are times when we have to deviate from the “plan” and do something different based on the set of circumstances we're presented with. Every round of golf doesn’t go according to plan and there are always times where you'll have to deviate because you've hit into a sand trap. We all basically have to work with what we've been given.
This is what he did continually did over and over again. He broke both of his arms several months back when he was routinely climbing out of bed one morning. You see, the cancer had spread throughout his entire body and as a result his bones had started to deteriorate and become weak. Hearing him recount that ordeal so matter of factly has always stayed with me. He said as he gave a slight chuckle, "Well Audley, this is just one more obstacle to overcome".
I should point out that this isn't the case of someone who is denial and delusional of his situation. He totally recognizes that his mortality is in question and the treatments he receives will not necessarily cure him but instead prolong his life. But for Rick, that gives him the opportunity to continue to positively influence those around him and teach the concept of thinking well to overcome any obstacle whether it be on the green, the basketball court or in life.
I'm blessed to have learned these lessons directly from him with my own eyes and its my belief that anyone who comes in contact with Rick walks away feeling equally as blessed.
Click here to read an article written about my dear friend Rick.
See you on the court!
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