Make It Happen Monday – Find Your Brick Wall

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When you were a kid, did you ever throw a rubber ball up against a brick wall? When I was growing up I spent a lot of time by myself by virtue of the rural town I lived in. As such a favorite outdoor activity was to throw a ball against a wall to catch, work on rebounding, and so on.

What did this little game do for me, other than my childhood sounds like an After School Special when you say it out loud? (it wasn’t, by the way. No real complaints here)

I learned that no matter how hard I threw the ball, the wall didn’t care. Slow pitches, fast pitches, and even the occasional curve all hit the wall and came bouncing or rolling back to me. Some throws returned faster than others, but they all came back. And they all came back as a reflection of the way they were thrown.

This weekend I was talking to a friend that I haven’t really caught up with in a while and, as usual for us, there was a solid mix of both business and personal talk (for us those two aren’t really that separated). One of the great things about this friend of mine (and hopefully I serve the same purpose for him) is that he’s a conversational version the brick wall in my childhood games.

No matter what spin I put on a statement when I throw it out there, he returns a legitimate, honest answer or counter-question. While this isn’t always what I want to hear, or fun to receive, it is always growth-inducing. By having to actually justify my statements and actions, I’m forced to examine those statements and actions. Often this leads to further clarification, altering, or even reversing my previous opinion. It always improves my position.

Look, there are a lot of people out there who don’t have the spine to stand up to another person. You can tell them whatever you want, no matter how full of shit you might be, and they’ll happily agree with you.

“Yes-men” are a dime a dozen. And like anything that costs less than a penny, you get what you pay for.

Chances are you’ve already got a bunch of them in your life. There’s nothing wrong with that, really. It’s almost unavoidable. The key is to make sure that you have someone who you can rely on to give you the straight insight. That person isn’t adding validation to your life, they’re adding value.

So how do you identify this person, if you don’t already know them?

Who’s the person you know in your life that you at times will consciously avoid asking their opinion, not because they’re constantly negative and just a dick, but because you don’t want to hear the answer?

If that’s the person that will tell you the uncomfortable truth and help you come up with solutions, rather than just knocking you down, then they’re a pretty solid brick wall.

It’s Make It Happen Monday. Who are you going to ask the hard question to?



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Comments on Make It Happen Monday – Find Your Brick Wall Leave a Comment

February 28, 2012

Pete isip @ 2:57 pm #

word…

Isaac @ 4:16 pm #

Yo Pete!

You are definitely a “brick wall”, man. I know it’s something you struggle with because you hate telling people shit they don’t want to hear, what with that big heart of yours, but you do the right thing by sticking to the truth. You’re one of the best I know at being able to tell someone when things are awesome and when they’re not and be straight up either way.

Cheers,

Isaac

Joe Almany @ 5:07 pm #

Nice post! Good food for thought!

Isaac @ 7:48 pm #

Thanks, Joe!

Isaac

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