Matt's Minute - Act as if you're in control...

Matt Thurston, Director of Ops here. We're going to try something new here on the MANTRA blog. We want to share more of our perspective as a family-run business. There's more to MANTRA than just the products we sell. We're a group of active people trying to juggle personal life, professional life and our own health/longevity. And it's hard. It's a roller coaster ride of clarity and fuzziness and focus and distraction and success and failure and on and on and on. But here's the thing - we wouldn't have it any other way. And that's the toughest part to explain. That's what I'm looking for in Matt's Minute. We want to take you on this ride with us, hopefully find some relatable, maybe even inspiring topics along the way...so here goes. 

I had an interesting experience this past weekend, over vacation. Which shouldn’t have been so surprising…that’s what vacation’s for, right? 

Anyway, we went on a dolphin cruise. You jump on a boat with 30ish other people, cruise around the bay and the kids get to see dolphins and generally get a lesson on the local ecosystem. They even pull some wildlife out of the water (and put it back, of course) and the kids eat it up. And my goodness, did they have the best time. 

As an uptight dad, for me, the trip promised anxiety. It’s hot as hell, it’s windy as hell. The captain is pointing out dolphins to 30 people, while fighting the wind, while spinning the boat to point you the right way. He’s dodging other big-ass (and I mean big-ass) boats. And he’s in the bay, with tides moving…which means he very nearly runs this 70’ boat aground here and there. And the guys pulling wildlife out of the water, sometimes pull pointy, toothy, poisonous things out of the water. And they do this with a dozen kids standing around, optimistically reaching out for them.

But here’s the thing. It never felt chaotic. It felt controlled. Predictable even. The captain never mentioned the water getting too shallow (or acknowledged the plumes of mud behind us), he never stammered when a dolphin should be “around here” and wasn’t. And the deck hand pulling death out of the water…calmly reminded the kids not to touch, then threw said death (scorpion fish, etc.) back into the bay and redirected their focus on the starfish being passed around. 

I was about halfway through our 6+ hour drive home to Austin when it hit me. That adventure was cloaked in attitude and perseverance. Act as if you are in control, and in a moment you’ll be in control. Act as if you’re not scared and soon enough, the death goes back into the water. Chaos, confusion, indecision and threat are temporary; they will stick around as long as we let them. If you will them to be short lived, they will be.

Anyway, this struck me as really relevant to life right now given all the nonsense that's floating around. And don't get me wrong, there's some real serious stuff out there we should be paying attention to. But if you want to spend all your time worrying and sweating the small stuff, you won't have enough gas in the tank for the big stuff. Put more in my own vernacular, you're locking yourself into a rough cycle and you're going to miss the good shit. :-)

Put in my work vernacular, we turned it into a Mantra: Act as if you're in control...and you soon will be. Act as if you're lost...and you soon will be. 

I have this printed out on my desk. It reminds me that regardless of the moment, I cannot forget that I still have control. 

Anyway, hope you enjoyed and more to come soon!

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