When you squeeze, stress, or apply pressure to something (or someone), you often find out what’s inside: the “juice within”. Sometimes, what you get is what you expect; sometimes, it’s a surprise. The only way to know for sure what something (or someone) is made of – without taking them apart – is to apply a little pressure and see what kind of response you get. I don’t mean pushing people’s buttons for no reason, but no one really knows what they can, or cannot, handle (or how) until put in the situation. Despite what they may think, few people really know how they will react or what they are (or are not) capable of until “put to the test” – when and where it counts (the most).
The “juice within” has nothing to do with the (burning) “fire” of inspiration and desire, the (shining) “light” of one’s unique character and spirit, or the “heat” of passion; the “juice” is just what is inside – that comes out under pressure.
People have many qualities. What often “counts” most (in sports, business, relationships, and life in general) is what they do when they “have to”, rather than whatever they may say (when they don’t have to back up their words with action and results). Usually the moment (of Truth) isn’t chosen – and the “juice” (good or bad) may flow quickly and unexpectedly (revealing what’s really inside).
In my (personal and professional) life, I have often been surprised (as have others) about what comes out – and what doesn’t – when I feel “squeezed”, “stressed”, and/or “under pressure”. Believe it or not, there is no real difference between the “good, the bad, and the ugly”; like it or not, it’s really all the same “Oren juice”.
I am both a “survivor” and a “quitter” – depending upon my perception of how important it is (to me) to do what(ever) it takes to “succeed” (rather than simply secede). Rather than “mental toughness”, I think of this as “emotional endurance”.
Although I sometimes seem to lack “confidence” and may tend to prefer and perform better in and from a “defensive” position, I also often seem to initiate and create “offensive” (scoring) opportunities. I tend to pay attention to both what I and others are doing, the situation and results, and then make corrections and improvements.
My focus tends to be less on winning than on just doing my best – at what matters and needs to be done. When I notice things that others are doing that could be improved, I sometimes offer my observations and suggestions – even to those considered my opponent(s).
I tend not to take an obvious leadership role unless either no one else does or I think I could do a “better” job than I think is being done. Mainly, I prefer to lead by example. I’m not usually very flashy; but I do tend to get the job done – and have been known to outperform others with more (natural) talent or ability.
I’m not sure how “coachable” I actually am; but I can follow instructions (when I choose to) and figure out what’s expected of and from me – even if I’m not always interested in or able to meet those expectations.
My “weaknesses” include a certain lack of flexibility (in both my physical body and my thinking), a tendency to “minimize” my accomplishments while simultaneously “overestimating” my (potential) capabilities, and being more concerned about getting hurt, getting “beat”, and/or looking bad, than “winning”, “succeeding”, or doing well. On the other hand, I can usually emotionally “disengage” and just play, perform, or be present – in the moment – without getting all wrapped up in how I feel.
Like most people, I’d rather “win” than “lose”; but I can also usually keep most things in perspective. I prefer to do well, but don’t consider myself particularly “competitive” – even though there are probably people who would disagree (and may perceive me to be quite “dominant” and “aggressive” at times).
Overall, I would like to believe that I am a “good sport” – in attitude, conduct, and ability. But what’s within me – the “Oren juice” – is not what I think and/or tell you. The juice within is what I actually do, show you, and comes out (under stress – when the pressure is on)….
That’s my perspective. What’s yours?
© 2009 – 2014, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.