Archive for December, 2008

An Athlete’s Responsibility

December 17, 2008

While speaking with a group of athletes last week on the responsibility to be a leader,  I was taken aback by how attentive the group was. I think we are entering an era of endless possibilities for molding the integrity of today’s athlete.

I find them so ready and willing to hear about how it is they can become better people while they improve as players. I am currently working on my second book,  Competing with Compassion, and I am encouraged by the fact that its message will be well received by this generation of athletes.

I find that these young men and women want to contribute to others, they want to sacrifice for the team and learn how to lead their teammates. They want to know how to be a better, more centered person as well as a high achieving athlete.

This is great stuff! It gives me a lot to look forward to as a sports fan.

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Good News Travels Slowly

December 15, 2008

I was recently doing a coaching session in one of the long term care facilities I work in, and it occurred to me how much people want to be included and appreciated.

In The Miracle of Optimism, I theorized that all humans need to be provided with three basic elements so personal growth can take place. Those elements are 1)giving and receiving appreciation, 2) feeling inclusion in the communities they are a part of and 3) receiving and giving consistency in their interaction.

Especially emotional consistency.

Each and every time I conduct a session it amazes me how much the employees crave those three elements. I am also grateful that I am able to witness them showing each other appreciation. To watch a face light up when a co-worker shares a story of how an action taken by another was appreciated is inspirational. It amazed that so many of the employees had never received positive feedback from their co-workers.

Why can we so readily share/spread gossip and negativity and so rarely share appreciation?

Personal Growth Through Sports

December 11, 2008

Yesterday I stood in front of 50 athletes and coaches and talked to them about their responsibility as students, athletes and leaders. I stressed the idea that sports have to be about more than the games being played.

When we reduce the lofty teaching potential of athletic participation to the score of the games, we have lost a chance for personal growth.

Athletes have the responsibility to show courage in their decision making. Leaders have to sometimes be like the eagle. The eagle does not flock with the crowd; it stands alone with pride. Athletes are under a microscope with others watching their every move, this means that they must move about with a high level of integrity.

They have the unique chance under public scrutiny to blend mind body and spirit with a unity of purpose like no other venue. We the public hold athletes to very high standards, and rightfully so. Applying the same standards to our personal lives will foster personal growth.

It will make us better individuals. Stronger individuals.

Imagination is Everything

December 9, 2008

The most limiting question you can ask yourself is “how is this going to happen?” If I had asked myself how I was going to write a book, have a family, live in this house and raise my children I would have been stopped in my tracks.

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything, it is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”I would add, be sure you are in a positive state of mind while imagining/visualizing the life of your dreams.

These aren’t pipe dreams. They are real dreams.

Do not limit yourself in any way. You have the power to be and do as you desire. “What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists” said Alexander Graham Bell.

So begin to see your future right now and feel it.

My life is a living testimony that “whatever the mind can conceive it can achieve.” Nothing just happens to us, there are no coincidences and everything that has ever happened and will happen has been manifested to us through our thoughts.

Imagine and achieve. The sky truly is the limit.

Intentional Appreciation

December 5, 2008

Happy Friday everyone!

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, appreciation and gratitude are topics that I like discussing. The reason behind this is that acknowledging the great things that we have going on in our lives is essential to our growth as humans.

Gratitude and appreciation are  power tools that help us build a joyful, abundant and optimistic life. This can be done right here and right now. Learning to generate these feelings in real time, no matter how the situation appears, is a key concept in healing and releasing old wounds and perceived problems. When you develop the practical and spiritual tools of being grateful and appreciative for all that comes your way, you’re on the path to a blissful, energy-packed life.

Even if your life is functioning fairly well but lacks a little of the zest and zeal you desire, gratitude and appreciation, generated on purpose and with intention will ignite your soul like nothing else.

We live in a very stressful and fast-paced society. It’s easy to accumulate negative emotions from the little day-to-day interruptions of peace in our lives. Gratitude and appreciation will help us look at those interruptions as gifts.

Learning to use gratitude and appreciation within a practical ritual is what helped me deal with the many hardships I faced  in life. I was able to snatch the pearl out of each and every incident by ritualizing the feeling state of appreciation.

We must learn to turn feeling appreciative and grateful into a habit. It’s about as healthy as a habit can get.

Have a great weekend!

Staying Optimistic During Tough Times

December 3, 2008

In the last couple weeks I spoke to high school students and business people alike. I am always amazed at how the audience receives the message of hope I deliver in those speeches.

They always ask questions about some of the personal stories I reveal in my book. They find it hard to believe that I was able to hold a level of optimism given some of the trying conditions of my youth (abject poverty, extreme instability…). I always share with those who attend that feeling good and holding a place for hope and optimism is an inside job.

No other person or event should control how they respond on the inside to outside circumstances. No matter how hard life’s punches are, we can decide to remain positive through the pain.

That includes tough economic times, losing a game or any other challenge. Each of us can learn to hold dominion over our internal feeling state. Once we learn how to do that, life becomes much less stressful and much more beautiful.