I’m the King of Bunker’s Hill…
…as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I’m gonna play in the Big League.
We’re Number One.
This attitude is everywhere, it really is!
Whether we are looking at who has the highest stock or the best car or the fastest selling somethingamabob, we are checking it out.
Now, there are exactly 2 paradigms that explain why this is important to us human beings. Both are grounded in human nature and propensity and are just plain flat-out NORMAL!!
Paradigm A is that we look upwards, pridefully and longingly, from the bottom of the rubbish heap, emotionally, financially, socially, skill-wise… we are hurt or beaten down.
Paradigm A says that we are going to stay there on the bottom of that heap and so, in order to make progress towards the top, it is necessary to make the top closer to where we are by pulling it lower. We can gossip or whine. We can get on subsidies and take a piece of the income and benefit from what someone else earned. We can do whatever it takes to pull others lower and shove them underneath ourselves (the crab-in-the-bucket story).
I saw this happen at gymnastics meets years ago and was bewildered by it. This is what it looks like: Some guy (or several on a team) is doing an amazing skill, something that is ahead of the game and wonderfully intense! A coach whose gymnasts are not doing this skill approaches the Meet Director and complains that the skill(s) ought not to be allowed, or ought to not be given credit because nobody else is doing them. You see, it is just not FAIR that they are doing these things ahead of the others. (Hey, I even remember when an international conference was called to determine whether Olga Korbut should be allowed to do back-handsprings on the bars and the beam!)
(Hmmm…scratching my head I am thinking that this approach is completely nonsensical. Aren’t we supposed to be one of the toughest sports? Aren’t we trying to push the limits and do more and continue to learn new stuff? How would the whimpering coach react if the shoes switched feet? What is the probable long-term outcome of his behavior here today?)
Instead of worrying further about this absurd interplay, I would bypass the scene, walk directly to the coach whose guys are doing the amazing skills and cut a deal. (Never, not once, EVER was I denied.) Sometimes I was invited to come and learn how to coach the skill(s), often to bring my gymnasts (I always took at least my sons) to practice on so I could take it back with their point of view as well. I often had coaches come to my gymn and coach my team for a fee or even do a clinic.
This second group of coaches are exemplary of Paradigm B. This is the attitude that progress by someone else doesn’t lessen my progress. In very fact, unless I have a worthy competitor, then there is no push and no glory in my accomplishment anyhow! The Paradigm B thinking process is one of a Growth & Change Mindset. Just because I was on top of the heap yesterday, doesn’t mean I will stay there. AND just because I was on the bottom of the heap doesn’t mean I must stay there tomorrow.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was living a Growth & Change Mindset as I approached these coaches to take advantage of their knowledge and leadership. Part of it was because I was solely responsible for the progress of my team, which included my 4 sons, and they deserved a better chance than being satisfied with the status quo. Part of it was because I really do believe I can make a difference in this old world. I get to choose whether it is for the better or the worse.
In everyday life we choose to travel one path or the other. When we gossip and tear others down, it takes the focus off of us and temporarily relieves the normal pain that comes with living life...but at a cost. Conversely, when we instead choose to initiate gratitude and talk cheerfully it also takes our minds off ourselves and makes life less painful. Same coin, different tosses.
Toss after toss of each coin in our lives will bring us closer to the top OR, will seemingly drag others down so we think we are closer to the top.
We can choose to steal from the boss or our workplace or we can choose to proactively fill the toilet paper when it is empty. We can choose to whine about our hard tasks or we can be darn thankful we have a job. We can choose to tell the Meet Director that we object to new skills or we can go learn the new skills.
OK, what good is this diatribe without a suggestion to implementation?!
Look at the top of the heap. Who is the King of your Bunker’s Hill, the hill you care about, where you’d like to spend time at the top, seeing the wide view? Learn how they got there. [Of course there are those who are born into more money than they have the sense to manage and it is always a lost cause. There are those who threaten or bribe or lie their way to the “top” (especially in politics in my opinion!). But those should not be your mentors.] Figure out whom you wish to have as a mentor and then get to know them. Talk to them, read about them, listen to them, have them come into your world and “Do a clinic.” Do what they do, read what they read, think as they think, and then go ahead and make it even better with your own personal strengths and insight.
I absolutely know that after the rock (or pebble) is tossed into the pond it will hit the bottom, but the ripples continue on outward for a very long time. We toss that coin, we throw those pebbles, every moment, every thought, every attitude, every choice - matters.
You are the King of Bunker’s Hill if you pursue the path that leads to it.
You can be as teachable as a little child and be the greatest in your “kingdom/sphere of influence” on Earth or in Heaven.
You have the same number of hands as anyone who plays in the Big League.
You already are Number One in something. Make sure it is something worthy and not Number One WHINER!
PS. Please take a moment and see Coach Mark Paulsen video right here. The first barrier to our abilities is absolutely physical. We cannot choose donuts & pop over healthy stuff and expect to improve in any playing field whatsoever. He is Paradigm B - teaching us how to be as successful as he & his athletes are. I hope you choose to be Paradigm B and learn what he has to share.