Broaden Your Mind (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

The other day, a friend and I were talking about my last article and letting kids enjoy whatever they compete at. I realize the person I’m really trying to reach and speak to is myself. I truly feel that whatever I write about is what the Lord is trying to convey to me. I want people to know I don’t have this figured out and am a work in progress.

In trying to broaden my mind, I’ve come to believe that if you want to be small minded you talk about people; if you want to be average minded you talk about events; and if you want to be big minded, you talk about ideas. So I told my friend about an experiment I did six or seven years ago while warming up for the slack at Laughlin. I came up with some brainteasers I’d heard and while visiting during warming up I would throw these out to people. It was amazing to see how people reacted. The people who wanted to be small-minded didn’t seem interested and distanced themselves from me. Others would come back all through the day and make guesses and ask questions. I wanted to challenge people and in turn it separated the three categories of people.

What I found was the people who kept coming back and trying to figure out the riddle were the people who were working hard in their life to better themselves, people with a “can do” attitude. This spoke loudly to me. Now when I look back and think about where those people are in life it’s not surprising. There are many people who have a lot of ability who don’t make it in rodeo; then there are people who don’t have as much ability but have a great attitude that do make it. You can win because of ability but you win consistently because of mental toughness.

That kind of attitude will help you appreciate life and make the most of your time. It’s easy for me to get caught up in getting from event to event and looking that the time in between as wasted or down time. Time is what we make of it. If I’m not careful I’ll miss out on the real events in life, which is a Saturday at home with my family. Even if it’s just the boys and me riding horses on the ranch, that’s the real joy in life.

This relates to last month’s article and how hard parents sometimes push their kids. Whether it’s the kids, or us we need to enjoy the moment and what we’re doing. This is not a particularly joyful time for me because I’m having shoulder surgery in the next couple of days. I don’t know whether I’ll be out a month or six months – but on the flip side I’m getting ready for the birth of my little girl and I’m going to be home and not have to miss any of it. Hopefully my shoulder won’t be so bad that I’ll be out six months, but if that’s the case it will just give me that much more time at home to enjoy my family.

Till next time, God Bless and I’ll see you down the line.