Friday, April 27, 2012

Left Handed Loser?

My wife and I play racquetball. It’s not much of a contest if I play with my dominant, preferred right hand. So, I’ll play left handed! Then it becomes a contest! I think it strengthens our relationship. We both gain benefits of playing together including health, playfulness and balance. I don’t dominate the game. It’s a win-win for both of us.
I’ve come to realize there are several other benefits for me to playing left handed.
It gets me out of my comfort zone into my learning zone. I get a new perspective. I see the unfolding shots in new way and play differently. Natural moves I took for granted are challenging. When I make a mistake using my left hand, I tend to be more thoughtful in how I might do things differently next time. I fail forward.
By playing left handed, I have to focus and pay more attention. This keeps me in the game. I also have to be more aware of my swing as I tend to be more awkward and take wider swings. 

This style of play reminds me not to take myself so seriously. While winning maybe satisfying, learning and being in relationship has even greater satisfaction. 
Playing with my left hand reminds me that my resources are deeper and broader. Phantom rules get broken as in, “I must play with my right hand!” Or “I can’t play racquetball left handed!” Or “That’s not the right way of playing racquetball.” Or “Racquetball can only played one way.” Or "It's all about winning." It opens the door to possibility thinking including  looking at what else in my life I have a set a pattern and if I were to break it, new opportunities would emerge!
There are health benefits. I know I use more of my brain and give it more of a workout. My left arm is getting more movement thus getting stronger.
Finally, it brings balance into my life. I gets me to live into the ying and yang. It reminds me there is a time for everything and to make time to deepen relationships with others as well as myself.
What is your dominant hand, your preferred way of doing things? What would happen if you tried a new approach, see from a different perspective?


TerryH said...

I loved reading this Dave; especially as a lefty myself! Thanks for sharing your reminder to be always the beginner.

Bill Treasurer, Giant Leap Consulting said...

Nice post with lots of good learning attached! I am a lefty, so I'll just reverse the advice and play righty.

You mentioned the benefits that you gain. I'll bet your wife gains too. Not just by having a more even game (and partner!), but by seeing your commitment and willingness to get out of your comfort zone it frees her up to do the same. Shared vulnerabilty - now that's a solid relationship!

Norrie Wake said...

Dave, great observation. I use the right hand-left hand signature activity in the MBTI presentation and it always warms people up to some self awareness. You have given me some additional material and fresh perspective. Thanks!