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Posts Tagged ‘Perserverance’

Giving our best…

I love football – it’s my favorite sport.  A bit ironic I suppose, because football is the epitome of a time in my life that I did not give my best.  Actually, it was worse than that; it was one time that I quit.

I quit my high school football team two weeks into the start of the season.  It was the only time in my life that my Mom told me I disappointed her. I can remember going into the head coach’s office to quit as if it just took place yesterday.  A bit ironic I suppose, because after being a starter and co-captain my freshman and sophomore years, I was not even going to go out for the team my junior year.   The coach called me over the summer and asked me to reconsider.

I acknowledged his request, but when I showed up I wasn’t prepared to give my best.  And the coaches weren’t prepared to coach me up.  Somehow I decided that quitting was the only escape.  I’ve regretted it ever since.  A bit ironic I suppose – it’s not the not-playing that I regret; it’s the not giving my best.

I bet there have been special coaches, mentors, and managers who have had a positive impact on your life.  Coaches come in all shapes and sizes and use a wide variety of styles and techniques.  I bit ironic I suppose – some coaches resonate with us; some don’t.

Here’s a 6 minute video clip about a high school, underdog football team, their coach, and his expectation to giving our best:

http://youtu.be/-vB59PkB0eQ

Probably not a technique that transfers into the business world, but his message does, doesn’t it?  A bit ironic I suppose – coaches aren’t magicians – we must help them help us.  And in return for their knowledge, enthusiasm, and time; they only ask we give our best.

In business, our favorite, Unknown Sage offers:

Common misconceptions about coaching in the marketplace: 

  • “Coaching is primarily for correcting behavior” – If we only coach people when they do something wrong, we have missed the point.  It’s about building not fixing.
  • “Coaching requires giving up power and control” – The manager relies more on influence. The person is still accountable.
  • “Coaching takes too much time” – Coaching takes too much time if you don’t do enough of it and you don’t do it correctly.
  • “Coaching is soft stuff” – The manager who avoids soft stuff usually does so because it is so hard.  The work is easy; people are difficult.
  • “Coaching is laissez-faire management” – Freedom in the workplace, actually just about anywhere, is rooted in strict discipline.
  • “Coaching is simply being a good cheerleader” – A good manager has the courage and inner strength when needed to tell people the truth.
  • “Coaching is like therapy” – To be a good manager and coach one does need a basic understanding of human behavior and motivation, but therapy has no place in your relationship with the people you are leading.

Coaches enjoy occasional accolades, too.  The best I ever heard was a tribute to Bum Phillips, head coach of the then, Houston Oilers.  It was once said of Bum:

He could take his and beat yours – and then he could take yours and beat his. 

A bit ironic I suppose, but they gave their best to him.  It’s a good idea to find a coach to help us commit to giving our best too, yes?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Dates never forgotten…

September 11th comes back around this week; what dates are never forgotten for you? 

In the beginning of the novel, A Tale of Two Cities is the contrast, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” within the context of both occurring at the same time.  For Americans, 9/11/2001 seems like a demarcation point between the best of times before that morning and the worst of times after, true?  That’s when terrorism literally collided into freedom. 

Do you remember where you were when news of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centers in New York was broadcast?  I always will.  It’s amazing what we can accomplish during the best of times; and what we can endure during the worst of times, don’t you think?  The 9/11 attacks were the worst of times for many Americans. 

April 20, 1999 was the worst of times for my home town.  (Although truly, we are all Columbine.) 

At a personal level, how many bests and worsts have you had?  The bad times help us appreciate and enjoy the good times even more, yes?  Here’s what Ernest Hemingway said: 

Life breaks us.  And when we heal, we’re stronger on the broken parts. 

Our ability to gain strength from adversity should come as no surprise, though.  Our ancestry is made of up generations who had to overcome adversity.  Much of today’s adversity pales in comparison to theirs, doesn’t it? 

For many of us who did not suffer a direct loss of loved ones from these tragic events, our hardships now come in the form of inconvenience and economics.  We work harder today to keep up than we did before; travel has become more difficult; guns are all too prevalent in our society; in our schools (and at our theaters!). 

Things we once dreamed of seem further from our reach.  We have extended our resources close to the breaking point in defense of our country and our way of life.   But for America, that’s nothing new.  Our country has been on the brink; had parts broken; and healed back stronger for as long as we have been a country.  Were the hardships of the Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Viet Nam War, the Civil Rights Movement, or any other national, local, personal, or family crisis less hard? 

We are up to facing today’s challenges.  We are strong because we come from generations of strength – families who struggled to make for this country, for their families, and for themselves the best of times.  Like past generations, Americans today have the opportunity to earn and enjoy the better things in life.  And we know why they are the better things: 

To really enjoy the better things in life, one must first have experienced the things they are better than.

Oscar Holmolka 

So this week we reflect on that never forgotten, life-changing event now known as 9/11.  Like the day an American walked on the moon, or the night the USA Olympic hockey team won the gold medal to Al Michaels’ famous words broadcast around the world, “Do you believe in miracles?”,  let’s turn to our favorite, Unknown Sage once again for this reminder: 

            The First Rule of Life: 

The best things in life aren’t things.                   

My local community is stronger following the 4/20 Columbine killings; and I believe America is stronger following the 9/11 attacks.  Both dates will never be forgotten!

GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©

Our dates…

9/11/2012 has come and gone, but some dates are never forgotten.  

In the beginning of the novel, A Tale of Two Cities is the contrast, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” within the context of both occurring at the same time.  For Americans, 9/11/2001 seems like a demarcation point between the best of times before that morning and the worst of times after, true?  That’s when terrorism literally collided into freedom. 

Do you remember where you were when news of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centers in New York was broadcast?  I always will.  

It’s amazing what we can accomplish during the best of times; and what we can endure during the worst of times, don’t you think?  9/11 was the worst national society experience for many of us.  April 20, 1999 – Never Forgotten – was the worst of times for my home town; although truly, we are all Columbine. 

At a most personal level, how many bests and worsts have you had?  The bad times help us appreciate and enjoy the good times even more, do you agree?  Here’s what Ernest Hemingway said: 

Life breaks us.  And when we heal, we’re stronger on the broken parts. 

My local community is stronger following the Columbine killings; and I believe America is stronger following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Our ability to gain strength from adversity should come as no surprise, though.  Our ancestry is made of up generations who had to overcome adversity.  Much of today’s adversity pales in comparison to theirs, doesn’t it?  

For many of us who did not suffer a direct loss of loved ones from these tragic events, our hardships now come in the form of inconvenience and economics.  We work harder today to keep up than we did before; travel has become more difficult; guns are all too prevalent in our society; in our schools (and at our theaters!); and our 401(k) balances are still struggling to regain their original value. 

Things we once dreamed of seem further from our reach.  We have extended our resources close to the breaking point in defense of our country and our way of life.   For America, that’s nothing new.  Our country has been on the brink; had parts broken; and healed back stronger for as long as we have been a country.  Were the hardships of the Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Viet Nam War, or any other national, local, personal, or family crisis less hard? 

We are up to facing today’s challenges.  We are strong because we come from generations of strength – families who struggled to make for this country, for their families, and for themselves the best of times.  Like past generations, Americans today have the opportunity to earn and enjoy the better things in life.  And we know why they are the better things: 

To really enjoy the better things in life, one must first have experienced the things they are better than.

Oscar Holmolka 

So this month we reflect on that life-changing event now known as 9/11.  Like the day an American walked on the moon, or the night the USA Olympic hockey team won the gold medal to Al Michaels’ famous words broadcast around the world, “Do you believe in miracles?”,  let’s turn to our favorite, Unknown Sage once again for this reminder: 

            The First Rule of Life: 

The best things in life aren’t things.

GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.

 

Dates…

9/11/11 has come and gone, but some dates are never forgotten.  

In the beginning of the novel  A Tale of Two Cities  is the contrast, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” within the context of both occurring at the same time.  For Americans, September 11, 2001 seems like a demarcation point between the best of times before that morning and the worst of times since, true?  When terrorism collided into freedom, our lifestyles were forever changed. 

Do you remember where you were when news of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centers in New York was broadcast?  I always will.  

It’s amazing what we can accomplish during the best of times; and what we can endure during the worst of times, don’t you think?  9/11 was the worst experience for many of us as a national society since April 20, 1999 – Never Forgotten.  That was the worst of times for my home town; although truly, we are all Columbine. 

At a most personal level, how many bests and worsts have you had?  The bad times help us appreciate and enjoy the good times even more, do you agree?  Here’s what Ernest Hemingway said: 

Life breaks us.  And when we heal, we’re stronger on the broken parts. 

My local community is stronger following the Columbine killings; and I believe America is stronger following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

Our ability to gain strength from adversity should come as no surprise, though.  Our ancestry is made of up generations who had to overcome adversity.  And much of today’s adversity pales in comparison to theirs, doesn’t it?  

For many of us who did not suffer a direct loss of loved ones from these tragic events, many of our hardships now come in the form of inconvenience and economics.  We work harder today to keep up than we did before; travel has become more difficult; guns are all too prevalent in our society (and in our schools!); and our 401(k) balances are struggling to regain their original performance. 

Things we once dreamed of seem further from our reach.  And we have extended our resources close to the breaking point in defense of our country and our way of life.   For America, that’s nothing new.  Our country has been on the brink; had parts broken; and healed back stronger for as long as we have been a country.  Were the hardships of the Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Viet Nam War, or any other national, local, personal, or family crisis less hard? 

We are up to facing today’s challenges.  We are strong because we come from generations of strong families who struggled to make this country, their families, and themselves the best of times.  Like past generations, Americans today have the opportunity to earn and enjoy the better things in life.  And we know that they’re the better things: 

To really enjoy the better things in life, one must first have experienced the things they are better than.

                                  Oscar Holmolka 

So this month we reflect on that life-changing event now known as 9/11.  Like the day an American walked on the moon, or the night the USA Olympic hockey team won the gold medal to Al Michaels’ famous words broadcast around the world, “Do you believe in miracles?”,  let’s turn to that favorite, Unknown Sage once again for this reminder: 

           The First Rule of Life: 

The best things in life aren’t things.                                                     

                                                                 GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.

To my friends Jacque, and Pam, and Theresa, and…

“You have cancer.”

 Is there a worse phrase we can hear?   

To Jacque, Pam, Theresa, Woody, David, Matt, Nancy, John, Tony, Lisa, Tracy… and all who have heard that phrase, our hopes and prayers are focused on you. 

In 1959 my Mom heard that phrase, too.  She was thirty nine years old.  Fifteen years later, she succumbed.  But it was weeks and years longer; a lifetime longer; than the doctors predicted.  Remembering her spirit today brings to mind Charles Richards: 

There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.  One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week. 

Live she did; a full life – one week at a time.  She had things yet to do; her family to care for; things to see; things that awakened her inner strength and incredible will to live.  And her powers were amazing.  

That terrible phrase has remained a part of my life since I was a child.  Unfortunately, today many of our friends and colleagues and even family members are hearing it.  How many do you know?  Go on – take a moment and think of them; offer them a prayer.  You see, we can help them as they seek the inner strength to live. 

In 1959, I don’t think we knew a lot about cancer.  It seemed fairly black or white back then:  either you had it or you didn’t; and if you had it, it was described by the part of your body it was found.  My Mom’s started with breast cancer, but spread into all kinds of new locations and unusual combinations. 

Today, medicine has come a long way in early detection and more granular categorization.  My friend told me she has Sarcoma of which there are some 43 categories.  She said her doctors couldn’t categorize hers calling it instead “unclassified” – a 44th she supposed with a smile. 

When it comes to cancer, it seems the more we know, the more we don’t.  One thing we can agree on perhaps was said by this Unknown Sage, “Everyday things become of little meaning in the face of death.”  What becomes important is family, friendships, personal perspective on life – the part of life remaining to live. 

In times like these we realize we are all destined to die; it’s just the how and the when that differs.  But I’m not trying to bring us down; just the opposite!  Mark Twain said: 

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. 

OK – so let’s not get mired in thoughts of the undertaker.  Our friends, family and colleagues need our help with their thoughts of life!  Even modern medicine acknowledges that we all have incredible, unknown strength and unbelievable wills to survive deep down inside.  And each of us has the power to awaken and inspire this will to live in others.  

So if you know someone that has cancer, help them be strong today.  Help them face their treatments this month.  Help them heal this year.  Think of them this week; write them; call them; text them; go see them.  Tell them: 

Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.

                          George Washington 

And to my wife and everyone else who has summoned that power and are now cancer-survivors – God bless you! 

 GAP 

How’s your day?  When life gets tough you could get a helmet.  Or, you could read The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please sign up on www.TheQuoteGuys.com.

To my friends Matt, and Nancy, and Tony, and…

“You have cancer.”

Is there a worse phrase we can hear?

To Woody, David, Matt, Nancy, John, Tony, Lisa, Tracy… and all who have heard that phrase, our hopes and prayers are focused on you.

In 1959 my Mom heard that phrase, too.  She was thirty nine years old.  Fifteen years later, she succumbed.  But it was weeks and years longer; a lifetime longer; than the doctors predicted.  Remembering her spirit today brings to mind Charles Richards:

There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.  One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.

Live she did; a full life – one week at a time.  She had things yet to do; her family to care for; things to see; things that awakened her inner strength and incredible will to live.  And her powers were amazing.

That terrible phrase has remained a part of my life since I was a child.  Unfortunately, today many of our friends and colleagues and even family members are hearing it.  How many do you know?  Go on – take a moment and think of them; offer them a prayer.  You see, we can help them as they seek the inner strength to live.

In 1959, I don’t think we knew a lot about cancer.  It seemed fairly black or white back then:  either you had it or you didn’t; and if you had it, it was described by the part of your body it was found.  My Mom’s started with breast cancer, but spread into all kinds of new locations and unusual combinations.  Today, medicine has come a long way in early detection and more granular categorization.  My friend told me she has Sarcoma of which there are some 43 categories.  She said her doctors couldn’t categorize hers calling it instead “unclassified” – a 44th she supposed with a smile.

When it comes to cancer, it seems the more we know, the more we don’t.  One thing we can agree on perhaps was said by this Unknown Sage, “Everyday things become of little meaning in the face of death.”  What becomes important is family, friendships, personal perspective on life – the part of life remaining to live.  In times like these we realize we are all destined to die; it’s just the how and the when that differs.  But I’m not trying to bring us down; just the opposite!  Mark Twain said:

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

OK – so let’s not get mired in thoughts of the undertaker.  Our friends, family and colleagues need our help with their thoughts of life!  Even modern medicine acknowledges that we all have incredible, unknown strength and unbelievable wills to survive deep down inside.  And each of us has the power to awaken and inspire this will to live in others.

So if you know someone that has cancer, help them be strong today.  Help them face their treatments this month.  Help them heal this year.  Think of them this week; write them; call them; text them; go see them.  Tell them:

Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.

                                                                          George Washington

And to my wife and everyone else who has summoned that power and are now cancer-survivors – God bless you!

                                                                           GAP

How’s your day?  When life gets tough you could get a helmet.  Or, you could read The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please sign up on www.TheQuoteGuys.com.

Here’s to today – good, great, or better

“Forever trust in who we are; and nothing else matters.”

                          Metallica

Words we can live by – from a heavy metal band of all sources!  Of course, I think they’re about my age.  Is heavy metal still relevant?

I find myself doing a lot of self-reflection during this time of year.  I like to recap my accomplishments of the previous twelve months; put the finishing touches on my Annual Achievement Plan; work on income tax preparations (yuck!).  Like a lot of employees, I just went through annual benefits enrollment at my company; and I still feel the warmth from my family and friends as we gathered for the holidays.  To top it all off – the days are getting longer! 

An Unknown Sage once said,

          “People can be divided into three groups:

                      1. Those who make things happen,

                      2. Those who watch things happen, and

                      3. Those who wonder what’s happening.”

I do feel a bit clueless from time to time (and Lord knows my wife and children typically think of me as being stuck in the 3rd group).  You should be there to see the reactions of my future daughters-in-law as they get to know me.  The phrase “acquired taste” comes to mind.  However, a lot of that is just my shtick; but don’t tell them.  

I really do try to focus on staying present in the first group; making things happen; finding success.  I know it’s not easy for many of us.  Like many of you, I’ve always had to work for a living – I mean blue collar type of work – I mean taking the long way – I mean overcoming set backs.  Now don’t get me wrong; I’m very much a white collar, sales professional.  It’s just that to meet my goals usually takes me longer than my friends and colleagues who are blessed with great talent.  They have figured out how to work smart, not just hard.  Me?  Well, maybe I dip into that 3rd group more frequently than I’d like to admit.

No complaints though.  Success is defined in many ways and is a very personal matter.  When you have great self-confidence you are successful, yes?  That’s why one of my favorite hobbies is writing.  I like the way it helps me channel random, positive thoughts and the way positive reinforcement helps me maximize my productivity.  I’ve always believed that thinking positively, optimistically, with great self-confidence puts me on the path towards success. 

Of course, not every day is a stellar day.  According to Ashleigh Brilliant (and I agree with her), “I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.”  Nonetheless, doing the best I can; giving what I’ve got; facing each day – one day at a time; that’s how I’ve tried to approach my career pursuits and my personal goals.  And when I pause at this time of year to reflect for a moment on what I’ve been able to accomplish, it is a nice boost to my self-confidence (even if my boss and my family still think I’m a little weird!)

So here’s to today – good, great, or better:

 “Success never rests.  On your worst days, be good.  And on your best      days, be great.  And on every other day, get better.”

                                                                        Carmen Mariano

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

                                                                        GAP

How’s your day?  When life gets tough you could get a helmet.  Or, you could read The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please sign up on www.TheQuoteGuys.com.