"Don't let anybody mess with your swing."

The strengths based approach assumes that people gain more - more efficiency, more effectiveness and more personal fulfillment - when they invest in what they do best naturally, when they build on their talents as opposed to focusing on improving areas of weakness. This may seem self evident, but it is a relatively modern and radical shift in thinking. Most of us experience our world as predisposed to tell us where we are weak and focus on what we lack. We are keen at finding fault.

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The Ted Williams Villanelle

THE TED WILLIAMS VILLANELLE

“Don’t let anybody mess with your swing.”
- Ted Williams, baseball player

Watch the ball and do your thing.
This is the moment. Here’s your chance.
Don’t let anybody mess with your swing.

It’s time to shine. You’re in the ring.
Step forward, adopt a winning stance,
Watch the ball and do your thing,

And while that ball is taking wing,
Run, without a backward glance,
Don’t let anybody mess with your swing.

Don’t let envious bastards bring
You down. Ignore the sneers, the can’ts.
Watch the ball and do your thing.

Sing out, if you want to sing.
Jump up, when you long to dance.
Don’t let anybody mess with your swing.

Enjoy your talents. Have your fling.
The seasons change. The years advance.
Watch the ball and do your thing,
And don’t let anybody mess with your swing.


- Wendy Cope (b. 1945)
(for Ari Badaines)

 

The Power of Accountability

This story is inspired by an article that I read recently in a running magazine called "The Power of Accountability." The author, a "casual runner", decided to train for a half marathon. She joined a training program that provided the structure and resources, but what interested me was her emphasis on the accountability factor. Joining a running group was critical to the author's success; without them, she "would not have ventured outside on some of those winter nights."

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