I've been involved with the sport of soccer for a good 16 years now and over that time, I've had the privilege of hearing some very good advice from the mouths of a range of coaches.
There is one coach who would not shut up, who talked so much that we girls would find our muscles seizing up in the cold winter evenings that were the norm at training, while he went on and on and on.
I remember this coach vividly because he had a disability when it came to remembering names and would get our names back to front at EVERY training session that whole season.
He's the coach who kept calling me "Brown Eye" to the great amusement of my team mates, a 'brown eye' in the Australian parlance, being a colloquialism for "anus". Perhaps appropriate where my kicking skills are concerned...
But amongst his limitless patois there was a gem I picked up and apply today: When you find yourself verbalising the words: "I can't", the brain picks up on it and guess what, you'll find that you really "can't".
Of course, the opposite is true. The greatest tool to positive change is physically HEARING yourself encouraging YOU.
In other words, your greatest training tool is your own brain... and your own mouth.
In my blog yesterday, I mentioned the speech I gave on Sunday. Do you know, a strange thing has happened overnight. I have inspired MYSELF!
The words I found myself carefully pronouncing to my audience of 130 or so men and women of a mix of ages and demographics seem to have insinuated themselves into my thinking.
I can't seem to forget what I heard that speaker Bronwyn Hope saying.
I have no intention of posting the full contents of my speech. I do think the 'event' of a speech is often part of the experience and reading the text of a presentation often doesn't quite provide the full story.
Still, I would like to recap the two ideas that have stuck in my head today. Regular readers of my blog will recognise them I'm sure.
The first important idea I explored was the concept of how we spend our time. Specifically I explained that:
"From cancer you really learn that time is an irreplaceable currency. It should not be unwisely spent, but carefully invested.
"Because illness steals time. All of a sudden, pleasant routines are replaced by hours spent in waiting rooms.
"Diaries are crammed with appointments - not with friends or colleagues or family - but with surgeons and oncologists and therapists.
"The choice of how you spend your time is taken away."
From here I pointed out that one of the hardest things to do it seemed was to create quality time. "Time that is savoured... not juggled. To live it fully doing a few things we enjoy really well rather than doing a hundred things we don't enjoy really poorly."
Tonight I keep going over this in my head. For some reason, I find myself now taking even closer stock of how I spent my day today.
What did you do today? What parts of it did you savour? In what moments were you most mindful?
What did you do today that you really enjoyed? Did you do it well?
But there is another idea I discussed, and it's taken directly from an earlier blog I wrote called "The Gifts you Give."
I spoke about the rewards one receives from cancer, a race for which there are no medals because the only quest is to finish.
"The only rewards", I said, "Are the absolute truths that reveal themselves from the struggle to survive, that cannot be displayed and can only be carried in your head or your heart.
"The absolute truth I discovered came early in my own cancer fight as family, friends and even strangers banded together to support me by way of many gifts.
"They were gifts of generous actions, kind words, flowers and presents... but not diamonds, the cheap bastards.
"As I fought my way through my various courses of treatment, I was touched by the way so many people were prepared to cheer me on, in whatever way they could.
"From this came the realisation that is my reward so far...
"At the end of the day, when you go to meet your maker, your life here will not be measured by the things you accomplished, the races you won, your medals or titles.
"It will not be measured by the possessions you had, your job description, your fabulous attributes.
"No one will care about your petty vanities, your fantastic looks or the legacies you have left.
"Your life here will be measured by one thing and one thing only: The love you gave and the love you received."
Again, I've been going over this in my head today. It's really stuck with me.
I've been thinking about the things we say to each other, how we greet each other, what we comment on.
I've been reacting to bad things I've seen people saying about others on Facebook. In fact, I've unleashed a tirade and withdrawn any support for their 'pages'.
I've been thinking about how I showed love today, and what kind of love I may have attracted.
Importantly, I made pact with myself today: to mindfully seek out only positive people, encounters and experiences.
Life really is too short to be around people who are mean spirited, negative or self-centred.
Life is too short to waste time doing anything that does not uplift, inspire or enhance you in some way.
Life is just too short to waste time.