Aug 28, 2016 - Musings    No Comments

S = PG + PC

My Formula for Success is PG + PC, where PG = Personal Growth and PC = Personal Contribution. My aim is to deliver information and insights to assist you with your PG and PC.

I have been an Athlete, a Warrior, and a Businessman. I have had Success and Setbacks in all of them. Generally I have learned more from my setbacks than my successes – and I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned.

This relates to another role I have had success in and greatly enjoyed. That is as a Coach – on the Athletic Field, in the classroom, and in the Boardroom. I love being called, ‘Coach Jim’. Often the persons I coached were more talented than me – yet I had great success in coaching them to higher levels of achievement.

One of my greatest privileges and pleasures has been coaching kids’ sports, especially baseball. I love baseball, the thrill and challenge of the play. As a coach, I appreciate the value of practice and play in learning life lessons that transcend the athletic field: Discipline, Leadership, Teamwork, Commitment, Perseverance, and Resilience.

I coached youth baseball from Kindergarten T-Ball to high school seniors. My favorite age is Little Leaguers, aged 8 to 12. Kids of this age have begun to develop some skills, have some respect for authority, and are very coachable as they are still fascinated by life and their own possibilities.Braves copy

On my teams we emphasized the responsibility and required discipline to practice 3 Magic Words:

Hustle (use deliberate speed at all times)

Back-up (support your appropriate teammate on every play)

N’Gup (Never Give up! – regardless of score)

Effective coaching, as well as parenting and management, improves skills and attitudes that develop personal confidence for improved performance.

I’d like to relate a personal story that, for me, is symbolic of successful coaching.

For my Little League teams I always had my players select nicknames like Tiger, Eagle, Rock, Batman, Radar. Our nicknames differentiated us from all other teams and instilled a sense of team spirit and pride.

Some years ago there was an 11 year-old Israeli boy on my team. He chose the nickname ‘Thunder’. Thunder was small for his age and coming from Israel had never played baseball. He worked to improve his skills and was committed to practicing our three Magic Words in practice and games.

IDFA year after playing on this team the young Israeli boy moved with his family back to Israel. Like most young people in Israel at age 18 he was conscripted into the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

Several years later he re-connected with my son, Gary, a friend and teammate on that Little League baseball team. They shared stories about their separate experiences from age 12 to their meet-up at 23. The young Israeli man having completed his IDF commitment told Gary about initially being afraid when he went on military patrol in potentially dangerous areas of Palestine. He then shared how he remembered, as he pounded his chest, that he was ‘Thunder!’ He remembered the ‘Three Magic Words’ and embraced the personal discipline and self-confidence that he had practiced as a young baseball player. He discharged his assigned duties with courage, responsibility, teamwork, and honor.

IDF 3Initially when Gary re-told me this story I felt very proud that my coaching influence had assisted Thunder to ignite courage and self-confidence when required. From a wiser perspective, I am inspired knowing that the key was that a young boy took a boyhood experience, gave it importance, and stowed it as a tool to be used when needed.

This is a wise practice for all of us.

We have the choice to make the learning and energy-memory of any experience, any success, and any setback into a powerful tool – a source of energy, courage, discipline, and grit to support us. In fact, our experiences are only useful when cultivated for the supportive lessons and charged with meaning – to be accessed and re-ignited whenever we need. As a coach it is my experience that this is the path to S = PG + PC.

Successful people 3 copy

What experiences can you re-imagine and imbue with supportive powers to be ignited when discipline, responsibility, and courage are required?

Aug 24, 2016 - Musings    No Comments

Life’s 3 Simple Rules

3 Simple RulesOur friends at the Global Awesomeness Report shared this quote and I thought it was a great message to inject into your week, and life.

Life doesn’t need to be complicated, however being human, we often make it complicated by over thinking or by becoming crippled by fear at the thought of taking a chance. However, as far as we know, we only live once, so wouldn’t it be a shame to have lived our life without truly living?

So, our challenge to you is next time the little voice in your head is making excuses for not pursuing your desires, be bold and brave and live by these three simple rules.

Rule #1 – If You Do Not Go After What You Want, You’ll Never Have It

Sounds logical, doesn’t it? However we often limit ourselves because we don’t believe we deserve our dreams or doubt whether we’re good enough. But if you don’t apply for that dream job, chances are there will be no divine intervention and you won’t get it.

Manifesting your dreams or what your dream job looks like is important, however the other vital piece of the puzzle is taking action to make it happen.

Rule #2 – If You Don’t Ask, The Answer Will Always Be No

Roses

There are some things which are easier to ask than others. Especially when it comes to matters of the heart, as no matter how old we are, the fear of asking someone out never fades! Although not taking any action and living in a perpetual state of anguish is often worse than the actual rejection. And just imagine how wonderfully elated you’d feel if you took that chance and they said yes?

Worse case scenario, they unfortunately say no, however at least you know, right? It may not be the outcome you were looking for, however take comfort from the courage it took to take control of the situation and the freedom you now have to move on.

The same principle applies for anything in life – don’t let the fear of hearing no stop you from chasing what your deepest desires are singing out for. There’s always a 50% chance it could be a spectacular yes, which is much better than the 0% chance you have because you never asked (…and clearly you don’t have to be a mathematician to appreciate that ratio!).

Rule #3 – If You Do Not Step Forward, You’ll Always Be In The Same Place

Sometimes it’s easier to live safely in the compounds of the status quo than to venture out into unchartered territory where you know the waters will be rough. However, with that fear, deep down also comes the knowledge that moving forward, no matter how much out of your comfort zone, will provide you with countless opportunities to gain, grow, love, learn and develop.

Sometimes the benefits of taking a leap of faith may not come to fruition until after the event, but just know in your heart that stepping forward into the light is always better than being stuck in the comfort of the shade or the dark.

If you’ve recently been bold and stepped out of your comfort zone to pursue a dream or follow your heart, we’d love to hear what you did and what the outcome was, good or bad!

 

Jul 19, 2016 - Musings    No Comments

“Strategy with tactics is prelude to winning. Tactics without strategy is prelude to defeat.” – Lao Zsu

Failure 3I was visiting my friend Darren who was living in another city. While Darren and I (13 years old) were walking around the block we met a bully who was older and bigger. He started hurtling insults as us.

We hurriedly walked on. I asked Darren who he was and more about him. Darren said, “ He ‘s a bully. His bark is probably louder than his bite as he usually picks on smaller kids.”

With this knowledge I turned and walked back to the bully.

When the bully stated insulting me again and reached out to push me, I quickly stepped aside, grabbed his shirt, and punched him in the nose. He fell down. I put my knee on his stomach and told him I was going to keep hitting him until he promised never to bother me or my friend again. He did.

For years I carried this memory with feelings of cowardice because I shirked from defending myself at the first encounter. Ultimately with greater wisdom and self-assurance I realized that this was a pretty smart strategy. Knowing your opponent and his capabilities before engaging allows you to plan and prepare – usually resulting in a better outcome.Know More or Less

Lesson: In every combat, be it in the street or in business temper your attack with wisdom.

Jul 7, 2016 - Musings    No Comments

It’s Not What Happens – It’s What You Do About It!

Mitchell 2He sat in his wheelchair smiling and exuding charm and confidence.

Years before as a result of two horrendous accidents his body had been burned and disfigured head to toe. Toes had been sewed on his hands to replace burned-off fingers. A number of cosmetic plastic surgeries had somewhat restored his face recreating his nose and lips. Nothing could be done about his crippled unserviceable legs. This was the amazing man W Mitchell that it was my honor to meet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYBUoGO_9Nw

Our meeting was many years ago in Arizona at a Tony Robbins NLP Certification program. Tony had invited Mitchell to address the participants telling his personal story of overcoming hardship and resourcefully responding. Mitchell’s manner and message were deeply moving and inspiring.

At the time Mitchell was running for the Lt. Governorship of Colorado – under the theme “Not Just Another Pretty Face.”

I had the privilege of spending some ‘one-on-one’ time with Mitchell. His genuine friendliness and personal warmth shined through. Mitchell shared with me that he knew that he would be a good Lt. Governor and had ideas that would benefit the people of Colorado. He also confided that he lacked the funds to run an effective campaign and that he was embarrassed and reticent to ask people for monetary support.

My reaction was swift and forceful. I said, “Mitchell, you are crazy! Don’t you know what an honor it would be for people to support you? Your courage, resilience, and energy are not only monumentally inspiring, they are what is needed to make the changes necessary to bring about needed and wanted change.” I believed my message with all my heart. I felt that we both shared a moment of revelation and mutual appreciation.

Mitchell did not win that election. More significantly he has gone on to be a much sought-after international public speaker. His message of “It’s not what happens to you – it’s what you do about it” is timeless and transformational.

Mitchell’s courage, wisdom, and contributions to inspire others has continued to motivate me. The lesson we shared about ‘giving others the opportunity to support our worthy causes’ has also continued to be a valuable life-lesson. I proudly shared this concept through my own efforts in recruiting support for Operation Smile and Habitat for Humanity – two very productive giving organizations that I have been privileged to serve.

I urge you to go to Mitchell’s website (http://www.wmitchell.com/).

I am confident through Mitchell’s stories and mentoring you will find great value and inspiration – to view your challenges from a transformed perspective and take right actions to handle them resourcefully and resolutely.

Please send me your personal stories of overcoming challenges through personal determination and resourcefulness.

It's Not What happens

 

Jun 9, 2016 - Musings    No Comments

Advice from An Old Farmer

Old Farmer

*Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
*Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
*Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
*A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
*Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
*Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
*Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
*Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
*It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
*You cannot unsay a cruel word.
*Every path has a few puddles.
*When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
*The best sermons are lived, not preached.
*Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
*Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
*Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
*Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
*Don‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
*Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
*If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
*The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
*Always drink upstream from the herd.
*Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
*Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
*If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
*Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
*Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.
*Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

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