Thursday, October 20, 2016

Seeing Further Down the Road: Why Your Parents Think Different From You

At the National Indian Education Association conference this month, I was presenting our research on 7 Generation Games with Bruce Gillette, who I met in 1990 when he was a student at Minot State University and I was a brand new assistant professor right out of graduate school. After 8 years in southern California, I had moved to North Dakota, bought a house in the country and started a new career. It was a whole lot of changes.

The conference was held in Reno, NV and the last time I was in Reno was also for a conference, on SAS statistical software in 1985. After 6 years of marriage, 5 years working in aerospace, 3 of those years in San Diego, I was getting divorced, moving to Riverside and going back to graduate school. After 14 years competing in judo, I'd just retired from competition, having won the world championships a few months earlier. It was a whole lot of changes.

Bruce is an addiction counselor, and he spends a lot of his time giving advice to young people. He made a really good point,

"Sometimes, you tell young people that their choices are going to cause them problems, but they won't listen to you. They don't have your experience. They don't always realize that, from where you are standing, you can see further down the road."

My other friend named Bruce, when I get down on myself about something I did stupid when I was young (it's a long list), will always cheer me up by reminding me,

And look how far you have come.

The point is that some things that loom large when you are young can be seen from the perspective of years as not nearly as big as you thought.

Yes, getting divorced was awful and fighting over custody was worse, but no one died, I went on to get married again (twice!), my daughter turned out to be a wonderful human being.

It was a huge shift from international competitor and industrial engineer to graduate student and researcher. There was a big cut in pay, a complete change in hours from a 9-5 job to classes and labs in the evenings and studying or working around those, plus having three children age five and under.

Moving to North Dakota living out in the country was a lot like Green Acres (everyone under 50 will have to click this link to find out what Green Acres was).

My point is, there were a whole lot of changes from point A to where we are now. There were many times when I thought,

"I can't leave this job/ man/ city / school/ club because .... "

and, yet, I did. Sometimes, I wasted time when I could have moved on to a better school, relationship, job, etc. because it seemed like it was SUCH A BIG DEAL to change. When I look back, though, many of those times, whether they were amazing or quite the opposite, were just a small part of my life. Whether it was getting a grant funded, a raise or winning a tournament, at the time I might have been furious, ecstatic or heartbroken - but a few years later, I could barely remember it and all the details that made such a difference at the time had completely slipped my mind.

So, the next time you and your children (or parents) cannot see eye to eye, think about whether maybe it is because one of you can see further down the road.

Speaking of which, you can actually walk down the pages of this map (virtually) if you play Forgotten Trail. Runs on Mac, Windows and Chromebook.

What's that you say? I only have an iPad? Well, then, get our free Making Camp app here.


Unknown said...

So true

And sometimes it is hard to look down the road, especially under pressure

In light of the recent big news, I would like to mention someone who I think has been looking down the road in 2016 and making smart moves:

Taking time off

Saying No, no, no

Throwing toxic people out

Limited and controlled press contact

Clean up surgery

Enough time to prepare and train

Brininging in Olympian boxer Mikaela Meyer

Taking time out to help people by sharing her peronal struggles with Ellen

Not fighting on the history making cards in July or November

Ronda did not rush. She did not hurry

People love a comeback story and Ronda has many well wishers

This is especially true with Ronda because she is a champion for others outside of her sport and did things like found Gompers Judo (children's judo club) and teach for free for years when she struggled for money

"The very successful say No to almost everything, " Warren Buffet

December 30

The Queen of MMA returns for her crown!

Unknown said...


Regardless of whether Ronda ever leaves the Glendale Fighting Club, she has made some excellent choices in 2016 that deserve note.

And yes I agree Edmond hit the Ronda lottery the day a loyal young champion walked in his door and I believe that all of the other things Dr De Mars has said are true.

Anonymous said...

On an unrelated note...I hope Ms Shiot didn't forget the most famous sports woman who upended the good ole boy club called NHRA top fuel drag racing....Shirley Muldowney. Shirley not only competed, she destroyed all of the best men in her sport. And if some people do not think drag racers are athletes, know this...the g-forces pulled by top fuel dragsters is 50% greater than the forces encountered in state of the art jet fighters as well as space shuttle re-entry...and reaction time (fast twitch muscle) is the fastest required of any athlete in any sport.

Unknown said...

Sometimes I am not the best at expressing my thoughts so I would like one more shot:

I play a lot of poker and virtually everyone passing through my game hopes Ronda wins. A surprising number of non MMA stories centering around her good deeds are told.

I (and most that I know) consider Edmond an idiot/fraud who has a poor record training MMA fighters other than Ronda.

I greatly respect Ronda's loyalty and hope it works our for her. Edmond hit the lottery.

As long as Ronda is staying with Edmond:

I always felt that Edmond should be brininging in more and consulting with more.

I am happy they have brought in a real boxer for Ronda to spar with and talk to- the Olympian boxer lady. This should have been done earlier. Clean up surgery should have been done earlier.

I offer Ronda great respect and props for the many good moves she has made in 2016:

Time off, limited and controlled press contact, throwing out toxic people, sharing her struggles on Ellen which I am sure helped quite a few viewers, passing on big fights in July and December, having the clean up surgeries, bringing in Olympian Miss Meyer to help with boxing- sparing and advice.

Ronda did not rush her comeback. She did not hurry. Very important.

I have great respect that she founded a children's Judo club at Gompers and taught there for free for a long time when she was broke and struggling with an uncertain future.

Ronda has said that there is not a best trainer but there is a best trainer for you. She is betting on this. I hope she wins her bet.

I hope I am showing the proper respect to someone who was the most dominate athlete alive not long ago.

I was hoping Holly kept the belt untill Ronda could rematch because I had bet she would win that fight.

"Very successful people say No to almost everything," Warren Buffett

Ardebaren said...

Have to admit, Bruce sounds like a pretty awesome guy.

mandy said...

I've discovered that it's very frustrating to try and impart any of my personal knowledge/experience to those who don't want it (i.e. the teenager with my DNA who pretends he's not related to me in crowds). Hell bent for leather to screw up for themselves, children are :D . First-hand experience does offer many lasting advantages, but we as parents are kind of relegated to sit back and watch our babies, mid screw-up, thinking to ourselves: "I told you that would end that way/not work out/result in a disastrous 'Spring Break Forever 1992' tattoo." It's funny how things lose/gain importance upon reflection, with proper distance. I'm getting used to being a spoil sport, I guess. My mom and I still have this problem at times. When she begins with "You need to...", I kind of tune out. That means a speech is coming! I guess there's not much that changes over time between kids/parents. Oh, and I'm under 50 and remember watching Green Acres. I'm just a 40-year-old pup :).

If there was a possibility of going back to when I was younger, my change would be that I would try harder to make life better for others, regardless of what was cool or what I thought might embarrass me in front of peers. Kind of funny how we avoid the nerd, the "weirdo", the shy or poor person when we are young. I've been on all ends of those. I've never regretted helping someone. I just wish I had done more.

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes, you tell young people that their choices are going to cause them problems, but they won't listen to you. They don't have your experience. They don't always realize that, from where you are standing, you can see further down the road."

I was a stupid kid once. Not sure if I've learned a whole lot in my sixty years of living.

Peace ~ Bear