I have another book coming out in a few weeks. Ummm, lets just pause there for a second… can we? I can’t tell you how strange it is for me to type out those nine words. I—have—another—book—coming—out—in—a—few—weeks. Sorry, ten words—math wasn’t my forte either.
In fact, if someone had told my teenage-self that I would have two books published as an adult, I would’ve thought they were crazy! And, with good reason. Hey, I was the proverbial “poor student.” Particularly in English class. Reading was a painfully slow process. It still is. I didn’t understand basic grammar—okay, perhaps, I still don’t. And, the result was some embarrassing report cards. Yup, I barely passed some of my high school courses.
When I was eighteen and graduating from high school I was good at two things: rowing and drawing. Naturally, I put all of my eggs into those two baskets and went off to university to pursue both.
WHERE TO BEGIN:
When I arrived at Syracuse, my university of choice, I had every expectation that I was going to thrive in both areas. And, I did. Why? Being confident in my ability to do both, row and draw, were long established parts of my story. I had been told and, consequently, I believed that I was good at each.
However, part of that belief system was as much about what I believed I wasn’t good at; writing being at the top of that list. Again, all from convincing evidence. Therefore, when I arrived at Syracuse and found out that I had to enroll in an English course, I was choked. As a Canadian studying in the US, I was a foreign student. Therefore, I was required to take English.
In that course, my instructor was used to reading assignments from ESL students. Luckily, I had a foot-up! When I received my submitted essays back with notes like, “Nice work,” and “I like the way you expressed yourself here,” my story began to change.
It went from, “I’m an awful English student and shouldn’t waste my time writing,” to “maybe, just maybe, I can put words together.”
With more encouraging feedback, I felt greater safety in venturing into more writing. With more writing came more practice, feedback and understanding, and soon I was writing without any fear of the marks or comments that would follow my submitted work.
Eventually, I got to the place where I am now. I just write—because it’s another way to express a creative part of me. And, therefore, I enjoy it.
The fact that I’ve written two books and have started a third doesn’t seem so crazy anymore. When you write everyday, eventually you have enough for a book. Who’d of thunk?
As adults, we all have stories. And, many of them began years ago; some quite innocently. However, for any number of reasons, we’ve kept them alive fueling them with so-called evidence that convinces us those stories are correct—even when they’re not. Sometimes, it’s our own undoing.
When we are presented with an opportunity to change the story—to rewrite it, we begin to see the possibilities that are in front of us.
The same goes for the young individuals that we work with. The feedback that we provide ignites stories in them as well. Sometimes those stories inspire them to grow and achieve incredible heights. Other times, they limit them.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we lie when we provide feedback. If a young body doesn’t have a four-minute mile in it—fair enough, they’ll figure that out. But, it doesn’t mean that we can’t inspire a lifetime of running just for the love of it.
Not surprisingly, the questions that come up for me are simple; what new stories await us if we’re given permission to rewrite the one’s that are limiting us today? And, of course the bigger question as coaches, teachers and parents, what stories are we writing in others?
Photo credit: Screen Shot
If you would like to join Jason at one of his Pulling Together book launches in May,
here’s where you’ll find him:
Thursday, May 11th @ the Victoria City Rowing Club
5100 Patricia Bay Highway, Victoria
Thursday, May 25th @ the Lululemon Lab
50 Powell Street, Vancouver
Jason Dorland is a High-Perfomance Coach who believes the most undervalued and underutilized components of reaching our goals are the mental and emotional areas of our lives. With your commitment, Jason can help you make a positive difference in how you approach your life’s dreams and goals. Guaranteed! To find out how—contact Jason today!