I also mentioned that it's a word I was introduced to when I was a kid. And like a lot of things pertaining to my childhood, it was connected to my efforts to deal with my attention deficit disorder, and in particular the hyperactive part.
My parents did a good job of trying to find ways to help me settle down and focus when I needed to do that. Before I even started first grade, I was evaluated, which included a recommendation that medication be considered to help the part of my brain that seemed to be on overdrive.
The other recommendation included my parents and I talking to a specialist who could help us come up with a plan to help with my hyperactivity as well as help all of us find out the best way to help me learn in school.
As I got a little older I started seeing a counselor in school who had a lot of experience working with kids who had ADD and ADHD. He also said he wanted to help me with my frustration about how hard it was for me to keep friends. I've always been very competitive (in addition to being hyper) and this pushed a lot of kids away because I was too much of a "handful" for them.
Being competitive was a big part of my makeup, and not being able to manage that competitive streak had been the source of a great deal of difficulty in getting along with other kids. Just trust me on this one. Being a little hyperactive kid was hard. And it was also hard on other kids who just wanted to play with me without me overwhelming everything.
As I got older, I always wanted to win when it came to spots and I always wanted to be liked. The problem I had was getting those two goals to cooperate with each other. If I tried too hard to win at something, I seemed to lose sight of how other kids felt about my drive to always win. I would try so hard to be the best at sports, for example, that I didn't realize that my bragging was a major turn-off to others. My brain operated on the "one track" principle: Whatever you're doing at the moment, block everything else out and get the job done.
The counselor I started seeing in school realized I was extremely frustrated when I felt like other kids didn't want to be around me because I was trying too hard to win and be the best. I was on the road to being extremely good at sports, for example, but I wasn't gaining any friends in the process. If it hadn't been for this counselor, I probably would have ended up as a good athlete who was very lonely, confused, and depressed.
Well, he decided to use my competitive streak to help me be my best in sports and to also be more aware of my behavior with other kids. He was trying to move my "one track" brain to "two tracks."
He knew me well enough to know that I always liked a good challenge. When there was a clear goal I could focus on, I had fewer distractions. I didn't need any help in challenging myself to excel in sports. I did need help in challenging myself to be good in sports and being a good team player.
Since I was already competitive, he started using the word "challenge" to make me aware of accomplishing the two goals I had: (1) to be good at sports, and, (2) to have friends who liked being around me.
I won't go into all the details of how he helped me set this up, other than to say that he challenged me to be more aware of how to accomplish both of my goals. I'm please to say that this was a major turning point for me. I was able to see how I could be even better at sports if I was working better as a team player.
Well, guess what? I continued doing well at sports and I started making more friends. My journey to develop a "two track" brain started paying off.
So, there it is. I guess I started loving the word "challenge" because it had so many positive payoffs for me. I continued to challenge myself to be good at sports and I started challenging myself to be a good team player. I started having more friends because they could see this was not "all about me." This was now "all about us."
Now that you have the background to how I'm going to accomplish some of my goals, or resolutions, for the new year, my next post will be explaining how I'm going to use my competitive spirit to challenge myself to accomplish three really important goals. The goals I've selected this year all have to do with some major changes I'm planning.
Okay, I just re-read everything I wrote here and to make some edits, etc. Since we started the blog I've been trying not to apologize for writing such long posts, so I'm not going to do that now.This is just the way I write and I don't think it's too bad. I figure people will either read it, skim it, or not bother. I hope you read it because I think it explains who I am a little better.
Anyway, the next post will be part 3. Maybe things won't seem so wordy (or hyper) if I break it up like this. If you got this far, thanks for reading! ;)