Digging Deep

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.
— Henry David Thoreau

Life is crazy. Think about how much control we actually have. Our power to control is near next to nothing. It’s scary to think about but what can we control? I cannot think of much that is in my control but I can focus on what I can manage. 

I grew up a competitive swimmer, it was the only sport I had ever participated in besides t-ball. The only control I had was my attitude. Believe me, I would have loved to have control over the water temperature or the torturous practices they showed up twice a day. Swimming can be an isolating sport where you are constantly pushing your body while depriving yourself of oxygen; breathing is a luxury. I can imagine that every sport deals with the pain and frustration that comes with training and competition. Some of us had a saying which was about breaking the “pain threshold.” The pain threshold was a place where my body would feel like it was breaking down and I could feel the momentum leaving as I powered through the water. What little rest I could get on a turn I enjoyed immensely, only to push off again and the pain would come quicker. This was about pushing through the pain to where it was no longer a factor in performance and when swimming became really fun. Pushing the limits is something that I could have only learned in the pool.

This takes a toll on more than just the body but also the mind. That’s what digging deep is all about. Now that I am 20 years passed the days of training, I’ve utilized this learned trade in my world of business and design.  

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Drink Coaster Design

Rejected by my daughter.

Just like anyone else reading this, I have had the ground removed from beneath my feet and scrambled for a safety device. We moved back to Michigan nine years ago from the state of Washington. In that nine years I was unemployed which had a lot to do with the economy but freelanced when I could. I took a job that made me miserable then landed a position that picked me up. That job left when the company doors closed, and I was unemployed again. Then I went all out on my own fulltime with the convincing of Ann, my wife. Through all of that stress and disappointment I still celebrate these life lessons. It’s all positive! Those times when I could only look up, I found myself digging deep and moving forward. The mind is a force to be reckoned with. It controls everything about us and learning how to react to defeat is the crashing wave to dive under.

Disappointments are just another challenge. Embrace the rejection, dig deep, and plan. There were other times in life that I felt completely rejected and overlooked. Those times beat me down. There’s a timeless thought in the human existence, ‘that/it could never happen to me.’ Well ‘that’ or ‘it’ has happened and while the rejection felt real it was nothing more than closed door. On to the next. Every day I do my best to celebrate the wins, opportunities, and give thanks to the ones that didn’t pan out. I have found that if I celebrate the smallest victories, they end up being some of the biggest.