Friday, August 2, 2013

The Man In The Mechanical Mirror

by Henry Flowers IV


That was the reaction from a good friend of mine named J, as his eyes beheld something that was terribly difficult for him to fathom. Not only did he not want to see the entire video, but he made sure that I promised not to show it to anyone else.

Would you like to know what it was that got J so upset? Would you like to see the video yourself? I know you would.

The curiosity that fuels the bulldozer in each one of us is right now urging you to dig further into this mystery and uncover the dirt.

Well, no need to worry. While I did promise not to show the video to anyone else; I didn't promise not to tell anybody what was in it.

Not only am I going to tell you exactly what got J so upset, but I'm also going to tell you what it has to do with you and your future growth as a person.

And in the process, we'll both discover how being willing to take a good hard look at the "Man in the Mechanical Mirror" can make all the difference in the world. Are you ready for the dirt? Here we go.

As I began to pursue areas to improve my tennis game and to help my fourteen year old son to improve his, we discovered one thing that made a tremendous difference in our skills - the Mechanical Mirror.

I found that when I took a video camera, or the mechanical mirror, if you will, out to the matches that we played ... and I went back and watched the match - an amazing thing happened.

I discovered that there was a tremendous difference between what I thought I was doing on the court, and what I was actually doing. I watched, and rewound, and paused, and slowed it down, and studied that film until I saw what the real me looked like; and then I knew what I needed to change.

The mechanical mirror told me the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. My racquet is moving THAT slowly - my feet are THAT clumsy - and my serve is THAT lousy - despite what I thought.

The video made me see what needed to be changed, and my desire to grow in this game made me do what it took to change.

Because I saw vast improvements in my skills and those of my son, well, I thought that everyone would want to know how to improve their game. That's where J comes into the picture.

With a bright smile that could have out-shined the sun, he gladly accepted my offer to record his match against my son Jason. The match went exactly as I though it would. Jason beat J soundly in the first set with a show of youthful skill and talent that J just couldn't match.

In the second set, J came out with flurry of crafty, clever schemes that gave him the second set. And in the final tie-break third set, J pulled off the upset with an impressive show of wit and wisdom that left my son Jason angry and tired.

I couldn't wait to get home and transfer the footage to J so he could take a good hard look into the mechanical mirror and see what the real J looked like.

Let the opening statement prove that J was NOT happy with what he saw. "I look like an old man! Don't EVER show that video to anyone else ... please! I look terrible." said J.

Well I must admit that there are some old men whom I play with, whom would find thirty-something-year-old J's comment offensive. I'm just saying. He did look pretty slow, and to be honest, I think my son Jason lost not because he was out-played, but because he was simply bored to death!

Friend, are there some areas in your life that you are not willing to take a good hard look at? Is there an area in your family life, personal life, or business life that you would like to improve, but you haven't been willing to allow an impartial party to show you what you really are doing?

I'll admit to you that it wasn't easy to take a look at the footage when I first started to play tennis; and I can scarcely tolerate the very thought of going back into the archives and looking at the old footage right now.

But one thing is certain. Since I did the hard thing, and allowed myself to be examined by the mechanical mirror; and followed that hard thing up with actually looking at the footage, and doing what needed to be done in order to make the next video look like one that I wanted to watch; things have been tremendously better.

It wasn't easy, but when I took a look at what the real me looked like; something did become easy. Winning more matches.

When you allow someone into your life whom you have given permission to hold you accountable for the things that you are doing that may be hindering your progress; you then open yourself up to making the vast improvements in your game that I saw in mine; that Jason saw in his; and that J will never see in his life because he only thought he wanted to get better.

It turns out that J doesn't want to get better ... doesn't want to identify areas of need ... isn't willing to take a look at the man in the mechanical mirror. Are you?

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Until next time, this has been ...
A Husband, & A Father of Five,
Henry Flowers IV

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