Archive for the ‘Commitment’ Category

How Winners Are Made

Success has been, and continues to be, defined as getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down.  Nothing in life is free and living surely ain’t easy.  Life is hard.  Real hard.  You fail more often than you win.  And no one is handing you anything.  It is up to you to overcome what you’re up against.  If you want more… prove it!  If you want to be the best…get out there and earn it!  Dream bigger.  And don’t stop pushing forward until you get there.

Happy Wednesday!


Success Is Not Calculated, It’s Earned

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Success is not a bunch of numbers written next to a dollar sign or some mathematical formula that’s tabulated together so other people can see what you’ve done.  Sometimes success is defined with these tangible things but true success is intangible.  It’s a feeling.  A sense of right.  It’s the feeling you get when you have a dream, you follow that dream and then you achieve that dream.  It’s about being able to sit back and say, “this is what my life is supposed to be.”  It’s about not making reasons for why you aren’t doing what you wish you were doing.  It’s about not being jealous or envious of what others have, because you are living your dream, day in and day out.

Success is not always glorious.  Most of the time it’s hard work.  It’s sacrifice.  It’s things that no one else wants to do.  But that is why they’re not successful.  Separate yourself from those who are not willing to reach their potential.  To achieve this you will need drive.  You need passion.  You need willpower.  You need heart.  You need mental focus.  You need strength of every kind.  But what you don’t need is a calculator.

Tomorrow’s success is earned through today’s actions.  Take action.

Happy Wednesday!


Are You Mentally Resilient?

In order to be mentally resilient you need to be able to take situations with negative input and produce positive output.  The ability to do this is all based on how you react, respond and recover from these situations.  At the foundation of these three R’s is your attitude.  Without a positive attitude what you do with the three R’s is useless.  Once you get your attitude right then you can move on to building your mental resiliency.

First step: how do you react?

Reacting is about gathering information, processing it and then reacting mentally.  This is where your attitude is important.  If you have a negative attitude then the first reaction is probably going to be “woe is me!”  And let me tell you, no one is going to feel sorry for you, unless they have a negative attitude too.  But that’s not the kind of company you want to be spending your precious time with.  If you, on the other hand, have a positive attitude then you set yourself up to be able to react in a positive way.  Now your thought process is, “I can deal with this.  I can overcome this.  How can I make this better?”  Those are words that move you forward, not keep you in the same place feeling sorry for yourself.

Second step: how do you respond?

Your response will be dictated by how you reacted internally to the situation.  This will be based on many factors including your attitude, mindset and what your past experiences have been.  Responding can be empowering – if you have the right attitude.  It means you have taken the time to mentally react – you thought the situation through and now you are prepared to give a thoughtful and purposeful response.  Again, your attitude is important.  Your attitude that created your reaction directly impacts how you will respond.  If your attitude is bad you may respond with things like, “I’m doing the best I can.  I’m just doing what I was told.  I didn’t have enough time.”, or some other excuse-based response.  Alternatively, if you have the right attitude, you will avoid such defeating excuses and will instead have the character to be in control of your own emotions, think quickly on your feet, and come up with something that is forward moving rather than self-defeating.

Third step: how do you recover?

Recovery is about learning from what you experienced so you can lay the groundwork for the next reaction.  It prepares you and makes you more mentally resilient.  Isn’t that the old adage, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger?  Yes, once you experience something and get past it, it doesn’t seem as daunting the second time around.  You can also think of this as reflection.  Recovery is about reflecting on the situation – what happened and how you handled it.  Recovery is the time during which who you are comes face-to-face with who you want to become.  This is when you have the opportunity to adjust the sails to keep yourself headed in the right direction.  In a direction filled with self-esteem, self-reliance, self-confidence and mental strength and resiliency.

Your reactions lay the groundwork for how you respond, which paves the way for how you can recover to prepare yourself for the next challenge.  These challenges may come in the form of a friend, a sibling, a parent, a child, a coworker or a spouse.  But next time you are challenged, welcome it, because now you have the recipe to overcome it and emerge on the other side with a great life lesson and improved mental resiliency.

Happy Wednesday!


Find A Way!

A lesson from Find A Way by Merril Hoge

One of the things I loved about my brief stint playing for the Bears was having the head trainer, Fred Caito, tell me Walter Payton stories while he was taping me before practice.  One morning, I hopped on the training table and said, “Okay, Fred, fire away.”

A teammate named Maurice “Mo” Douglas then piped in.

“I got one for you,” he said.  And he told this story: “I was just like you,” he began.  “I loved Payton and wanted to be just like him.  So when the Bears drafted me, I wanted to meet him right away and when I did, the first thing I asked is if I could train with him.

“Walter said, ‘Sure,’ so we set a date and a time and I showed up early, I was so excited.  Payton then pulled up in his red Ferrari and stepped out wearing his Roos sweatband with matching sweats and wristbands.  He looked sweet.  The first thing we did was warm up, and then we walked over to the famous hill he trained on.  He explained the goal was to run up the hill as fast as you could and then rest on your walk back down.  So we exploded up the hill.  My heart was beating out of my chest as we reached the top.  I could barely breathe.  I looked over at Payton and he was breathing with ease, like he’d never taken a step.

“On the way back down I caught my breath and asked him how many we were going to do.  Payton looked over and said, ‘Ten.’

“As soon as we reached the bottom, we turned around and headed back up.  I got halfway up the hill and turned around, walked back down, puked, and then got in my car and went home.”

When Mo finished telling his story he said something I never forgot.

“The difference between Walter and me,” he confessed, “was that he wanted it more than me.”

Every day you are faced with challenges that test how much you really want to achieve the things you are working towards.  How hard are you really working towards these things?  Are you willing to outwork the guy next to you?  Do you want it more than anyone else?  If you don’t, then stop wondering why you haven’t achieved your dreams.  If you do, then stay focused.  Great will is worth more than smarts and skill.  Change and adversity will become your greatest teachers.  And remember, victory is never the absence of failure – it is the will to be the last one standing.

The path to your dreams will not always be a straight line.  There will be times when you think you don’t have the strength to go on.  There will be times when you want to give up.  There will be times when you don’t want to run another hill sprint.  When this happens, remind yourself of how bad you really want it and remember these three words: find a way.

Happy Wednesday!


What Can I Do To Make This Better?

Imagine it’s New Year’s Eve.  Every restaurant you want to get into is going to be packed.  You know this so you prepare for it by making a reservation.  You make a reservation for 7:00pm with the expectation that when you show up at 7:00pm the restaurant will have a table ready for you.  That’s the whole reason you make a reservation, right?!  Well, some restaurants must have missed that memo.  Instead, what a 7:00pm reservation means is you show up at 7:00pm but you will be seated in the order that you came in the door, the same as every other customer that walks in and didn’t make a reservation.  So instead of sitting down at 7:00pm to eat, you don’t get seated until well after 8:00pm.  So what this basically equates to is this: you tried to do what was right and make the restaurant’s life easier by letting them know when you were coming and how many people you would be with, but they don’t care that you made the extra effort.

It doesn’t end there.  Once you’re finally seated you then get lucky enough to wait another hour before they cook your food.  By the time you eat it’s 9:30pm, recalling that your reservation was for 7:00pm.  Over the course of this 2.5 hour time frame you asked more times than could be counted, when are you going to be seated and when is your food coming out, and not one person took ownership and gave you a direct answer.  Instead, their answers were, “I’m not sure, it’s really busy, maybe in like 10 minutes?”  And you have to accept that answer because that’s the best you can get from a poorly run establishment such as this one.  Nevertheless, you eat your food and enjoy the time you have to spend with your friends and family as the new year comes to an end.

At the end of the night, you get the chance to put the icing on the proverbial cake when you ask to speak to the manager.  This time you get one better.  The owners are there!  Wow!  Think about this for a moment.  The owners of the restaurant are at the restaurant and you just experienced one of the worst levels of service imaginable.  Sad and unbelievable!

So you get your opportunity to speak with the owner.  You explain what happened over the course of the night, because out of compassion for them you think that as an owner you would want to know if people had a bad experience so you could do everything in your power to improve that experience.  So yeah, you are trying to be nice, even though it seems they are doing everything in their power to ruin your last night of the year, and what does the owner do?  They argue with you!  Holy Jesus!!  They argue with you and tell you all of their problems!  News flash!  Customers in your restaurant could give two shits less what your problems are!  They are paying you money.  You should be doing anything in your power to fix any negative experience they have.  You should be bending over backwards to right any wrongs.

But alas, I digress, because some people just don’t get it.

Despite this being a largely negative experience all the owner had to say after listening to everything you had to say was, “what can I do to make this better?”  Wow!  That’s it?!  It’s that simple?!  With those 8 words she could have taken a situation that was bad and made you feel like you really mattered.  She could have offered you to come back for a buy one get one free meal.  Or she could have comped part of your meal that night.  Anything.  Something.  And that is what would have given her an opportunity to create respect and loyalty for her establishment, but she flushed that opportunity down the drain.  Just like her employees she chose to rent the problem instead of owning it and fixing it.  And now it should make more sense why your night was what it was, the owner created a culture inside that restaurant that was just like her.  That of a renter.  And the renter attitude shined like the lights of Times Square.

It’s 2011.  You have a new year ahead of you.  Don’t be like every person in this restaurant – a renter.  When you have problems don’t mope and groan and make excuses about why things are not right or ideal or perfect.  Ask yourself, “what you can I do to make this better” then get to work.  Put yourself in the right mindset to move in a positive direction and to create positive change.

Happy New Year!


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