I had a great conversation with one of my few morning clients this past tuesday morning. This particular client (Nancy) is a wiz at marketing and advertising. She runs her own successful firm and has been doing so for a long time. This is impressive to say the least because not only is this particular industry very competitive, but it is always changing. Strategies used to sell products and promote business twenty years ago don't work quite the same in 2011. To be successful in the world of marketing and advertising it requires one to stay up to date on social and cultural trends in the area you are marketing to as well as to be continually developing more effective advertising strategies. So to say that Nancy has and continues to be successful in this business means she knows her craft well. On tuesday during our session Nancy told me about an encounter she had recently had with another "Advertising Professional" (as she put it). This encounter was not of a pleasant nature. Nancy said that the encounter occurred after she returned this particular individuals missed phone call. This individual felt it was his duty to give my client a lecture on how exactly advertising was done and how she need to proceed if she wished to purchase air time on a local radio station for advertising. Nancy did not enjoy this lecture and very quickly proceeded to let this individual know that his advice was not needed and not welcomed. Rightfully so if you ask me I mean Nancy has been practicing and honing her craft for many many years and has produced great results for her clients. I very much doubt she needs much advice from anyone let alone an unsuccessful wanna-be ad professional. Nancy filled me in on the background of this particular individual including his failed attempt at starting his own ad firm and his employment record of which was not spectacular in any sense of the word. But what really got me thinking was what Nancy said at the end of her story. Nancy told me that she cannot stand to watch someone do what she does and do it extremely poor. Or even worse have one of these individuals try to tell her how to do it.
Now here's where this story comes full circle. When I heard Nancy say this it really struck a chord with me. I often experience the same exact feelings especially considering how many "experts" there are in the health and fitness industry. I mean it seems like anyone who has every picked up a weight before in their life has the title of Master Trainer for the world. But hearing someone else share with me that they experience the same phenomenon in their industry really brought me to the conclusion that this is not something that is only isolated to my field. I finally have made peace with the fact that I will continue to encounter "experts" for the rest of my life whether its working in the Fitness business or working split shifts as a cashier at the local dairy queen. There are always going to be the individuals who believe they know and see all. The same individuals who ignore all others opinions and insights in spite of their lack of success. And the worst part is we often let these unimportant individuals affect are mood and are attitude toward what we do. I know I have already spent way to much time worrying about what the local "functional anatomy guru" at our facility is sharing with our members that is going to result is a lot of torn rotator cuffs. I realize that it does me no good to worry about what others are doing.
I can only control what I do and nothing else. There is no point in worrying that the guy doing knee bends on the bosu ball in the corner is wasting his time and probably doing more harm then good. I have no control over this individual. What I do have control over though is avoiding people who do not hold up to my standards. I do have control over training my clients in the most practical, efficient, productive, and proficient manner. I do have control over guiding my education and insuring that I am always learning. I do have control over my attitude and my reaction to the forces acting upon me. I do have control over getting my workout in each and everyday.
I think the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr said it best with his untitled prayer that has become known as the serenity prayer. I get it to folks that not everyone is religious or believes in a higher being, but I think there is some good advice in this piece of writing for all of us. So I will end with this:
God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.