When Things Finally “Click”

In Family, Inspiration and Motivation, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on February 3, 2010 at 11:43 am

There are moments in life when things seem uncertain, uncomfortable or confusing, causing us to feel frustrated or anxious.  Our desire for instant gratification only exacerbates these moments, which usually have to do with some kind of change.  Although change is inevitable and continuous, many of us still seem to resist it as much as possible, regardless of our age or personal situation.

My daughter is three-and-a-half years old, and has almost no desire to go on the potty.  Although she likes to wear “big girl” underwear, when the moment of truth arrives, she wants us to put a diaper on her.  Try as we might, my daughter is resisting the change despite the bribes and rewards that we are using to entice her.  And while it seems that this process is going to last forever, we both know that it won’t.  We went through something similar with my son, and then one day, it just “clicked.” He was virtually potty trained overnight.

Kids start playing organized sports at a much younger age than I did when I was young.  Some kids just have a natural ability that shows up right away.  Others need more nurturing to help them reach the comfort level that allows them to play to their full potential.  Having coached my son in some capacity since he was five years old, I have witnessed this first-hand.

During my son’s first season of football, he tried hard in practice, but when it was time for the games, he just seemed lost.  Nothing that I said or did seemed to make things any better.  But he loved playing, so we just dealt with the growing pains and hoped that things would turn around.  In his second season, he seemed to regress as the practices started.  But then one day, it just “clicked.” He started making more plays and being in the right place at the right time.  By the end of the season, he had shown great improvement, and was one of the starters on a winning team.

When we arrived in Texas, he once again had to start over, but this time he was doing it as one of the youngest in the league in the heart of football country.  He tried hard in practice, but once again, started to look lost at times during the games.  We actually got to the point where we told him that football might not be the best sport for him.  Even though he said that he loved playing, he had a lost look about him that started to carry over to the practice field.  It was never about him being the best on the team.  All I wanted was for him to do his best.  After learning some new techniques from his uncle, once again, things finally “clicked,” and he began to show vast improvement.

One of my favorite things to do is to watch sports on television.  While my son enjoyed going to see sporting events live, his attention span for watching the games on TV with me was limited at best.  It frustrated me, but there wasn’t much that I could do about it.  Because I enjoy going to sporting events with him, I didn’t allow his lack of attention for watching games on TV dissuade me from bringing him to various games.

Before moving to Texas, I had never attended a college football game, but always wanted to do so.  My son and I went to the TCU season finale, where TCU capped off an undefeated regular season.  It was a great atmosphere, and my son was really into the game.  I think that participating in all of the TCU rituals during the game somehow gave him a greater connection to the game than he ever had before.

After attending the TCU game, my son started paying attention to the games on TV.  It was as if everything “clicked” for him at the stadium that day.  He already appreciated sports, but he seemed to become a true fan that day.  By the time that the BCS Championship Game rolled around, my son paid attention to every play in the game, and cheered for his chosen team to win.

In recent weeks, I’ve seen him watching sports news on his own, and he is now able to name players on many different teams.  It is like all of the years of sports influence that he’s had since birth finally sunk in.  The best part is that it gives us yet another bond between us.  I enjoy watching the games much more with him than I do when I’m watching alone.  This is not only true of live sporting events, or sporting events on TV, but also movies that feature a sports theme, such as “The Blindside” which we saw together yesterday.

I came to the realization during the movie that things have really started to “click” when it comes to my son and sports.  At 7-years old, he not only knew who Nick Saban was, but he also knew that he was the current Alabama coach, even though the movie is set at a time when he was coaching LSU.

We tend to see the “click” in our children because we are amazed when they know things, or learn things, that weren’t expected by us.  Adults also experience moments when things finally “click.” Sometimes it is referred to as an “ah-ha” moment, and other times it is just a feeling that things are starting to fall into place, or a comfort level is finally being reached.  It could be getting over the learning curve of something new (job, city, technology, etc.), or something much larger like a life-changing epiphany.

On my journey in pursuit of health, wealth and “happyness” I have already experienced several moments where things finally seemed to “click.” I’m not sure if this is due to my change in mindset, or if my sense of awareness has heightened because I am writing about my progress.  Either way, I am happy that things are starting to “click!”

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