NEWS FLASH!!!


This bit of information that we do not have to agree on everything to be kind to each other hopefully is something you already know…at least intellectually. In this day and age of social media, individuals can broadcast their opinions to the world with a click of a button. It is my belief they should. I think one of the beautiful things about technology and social media is the ability to be exposed to others who are different than we are. Whether that is someone in a different city, state or a different country.
I am blessed that this blog is followed in over 100 countries. I regularly converse with wonderful souls from Italy, Lebanon, Syria, Australia and a host of other countries. Still working on Greenland, but we will save that story for another post. What warms my heart is that on any given day people in countries that can’t seem to get along socially or politically both read what I have written. Just today I was in touch with some amazing individuals in both Pakistan as well as India. Yesterday despite what I read in the headlines, people in both Turkey and Syria read what was posted here.
I equate this to my ability to speak to topics that affect all of us. No matter where we live, everyone would love to reduce their stress, increase their joy and become the best version of themselves. In general, we all have a burning desire to live a life full of happiness, abundance and love. All of us at some point enjoy motivation, inspiration and encouragement. Everyone enjoys receiving a smile. Well maybe not one of my coworkers, but she is the one who probably needs it the most. As you can see deep down we are a lot alike. We all have hopes, dreams and passions. True, they may not be the same, but we all have them.
What about those pesky differences? There are major differences after all. Religion, sex, politics. All of the subjects we were told not to discuss because they precipitate many disagreements. I say we should discuss our deep beliefs and passions. It is learning the proper way to discuss them. I also think disagreeing is ok. We just need to learn how to disagree. Even at the highest level we have regressed to personal attacks and name calling. It can be challenging to admit someone has a right to a contrary opinion than us. It can be even more difficult to be able to respect that opinion.
Do you know what happens when you can say things like, “This is the way I think, but I understand and respect you have a different belief on this matter. How can we work together to come to a common accord?” One, you sound like a really badass. Seriously. You are a warrior. You have conquered the fiercest opponent – your own emotions and your own mind. There is not greater challenge than that.
Here is another bonus to being diplomatic and understanding – you never come out looking like a jerk. By displaying a sense of compassion and understanding you have taken the high road. You also give them an opportunity to not only be a part of the solution, but walk away with dignity and respect for their belief. Why people feel there can only be one correct belief, opinion or answer is beyond me. Instead of focusing on trying to change others, we should work on changing ourselves into someone who operates with more compassion and understanding.
Some of you may be saying, “How can I agree with someone who has a different faith than I do?” Again, it is important to note that you don’t have to agree with someone to respect their differences. This picture is bordered in green and yellow. Those two colors happen to be the colors of the Green Bay Packers, the local professional football team. Every Sunday when they play you can read posts and comments on social media of a very intense and passionate nature. Again, nothing wrong with that. What is sad is often these degenerate into the same name calling nonsense of the other subjects.
Here are a few quick news flashes… You can’t change others, only yourself. People are allowed to be different, just as you are. Two people can have different opinions and beliefs and neither or both of them can be right. You can both disagree and respect someone’s difference. There are civil ways to discuss differences. Being exposed to and not automatically rejecting different people and their thoughts and beliefs can lead to some of your greatest personal growth. So let us all be kind to each other and work to live with more compassion.

IS IT A SEASON… OR IS IT JUST A GAME?

Here in the United States, it is the season for the National Football League or NFL. Where I live, in West Allis Wisconsin, most of the people cheer for the home team of the Green Bay Packers. The  season is 16 games and by the time you read this the third week will have just completed. This amounts to a little less than 1/5th of the season. Mathematically, certain teams will have severely limited their chances to play for the championship, while others are well on their way to competing for a title.

This past week I was reading news of the odds teams had after 2 weeks. Currently, the home team is 2-0 which is a good start. 61% of teams with that record go on to the playoffs. There are certain teams, such as the one out of Miami Florida, that are 0-2 at this point. Only 12% of these teams will compete for a championship.

What does all of this have to do with living an amazing life? As in many cases, I think sports can be a great analogy for life. Granted our season is generally longer. (Although how long our season is varies from person to person) Each day can be looked at as a game. You win some and you lose some. The more games (days) you win, the more likely you are to win a championship. (an amazing life) As with our sports analogy, the more wins you stack up the more the odds favor your success.

What if you haven’t had many wins up to this point? What if, like our analogy, you find yourself at a metaphoric 0-2? Yes, the odds are a little steeper and you must work harder to win the rest of your games. To speak directly, if your life is less than you desire. Maybe you find yourself not prepared for retirement? Maybe you are behind on your dreams and your bills as Les Brown likes to say. Then you must work harder and with a greater sense of urgency to turn things around. If you are in your 20’s, you may think you have plenty of season left, but the truth is we never know.

As a life coach, just like other coaches, my job is to help you improve your game, not to play it for you. Except life coaches help you with the most important game of all, the game of life. My advice is to play hard every game. If you find yourself staring down a losing record, don’t give up hope. A good football coach would tell you to focus on doing your best each game and then you will have a successful season. As a life coach I would recommend focusing on each day and before you know it you will have a successful life.

YOU ARE A CHAMPION

Recently, I had a discussion with a coworker about Billy Alsbrooks, an author and motivational speaker I enjoy. The subject was on being a champion. Mr. Alsbrooks states in his videos that we are all champions. This gentleman took a slight issue with that. “I am not always a champion. Some days I lose my temper and act in ways I shouldn’t.” he informed me. I would like to share with you my reply to him.

I do not pretend to speak for Billy Alsbrooks, but instead will give you my interpretation of his message and how it spoke to me. The first thing that came to mind was the definition of a champion. When people hear the word champion they think of the person holding up the trophy. Someone who did not lose. If you have read my writing for any length of time you will know I look at a champion differently.

To me, a champion is someone who is always learning, always growing. We consider a baseball player with a 300 average a champion. A 300 average means they ‘failed’ 7 out of 10 times! Think of people we call champions today. Lebron James was on a team in Cleveland that could not win a championship. He did not give up. He ended up playing in Miami where he won and then went back to Cleveland to win one there as well. Michael Jordan, who many consider the best player of all time did not make the cut on his high school team. He used that for motivation to work harder and won 6 championships. Tom Brady had to wait until the sixth round to be drafted. Then he was on a team who had a star quarterback. Instead of feeling dejected, he practiced twice as hard. When his time came he took full advantage and has won several championships.

This is not limited to sports. What if I told you there was a child who grew up with a mother and father who were alcoholics and mentally and physically abusive. At one point even having dish soap poured down his throat for something he said. Growing up poor eventually having six fathers and leaving home at 17 what would you predict for his life? Failure? Poverty? Surely there would be a general anger and distrust of people. That man was Tony Robbins who has gone on to be one of the best selling and most inspiring success coaches of all time.

The point is this. Champions are not people who win all of the time. They are those who learn and grow from their challenges and so-called failures. There are days we all don’t live up to our own standards. We lose our temper, we don’t follow through, we are not as productive as we should be. Those things do not mean we are not champions. All they mean is we have lessons to learn and chances to practice improving ourselves. It also serves as a great way to remain humble. Remember other fellow champions have their off days too. Be understanding and use those moments to remind them that they too are champions.

A true champion is not about their standing or their situations, but more about what they do with them.

EVOLVE, DO NOT INVOLVE

Here is a simple question I have learned to ask myself that has reduced my stress by a great margin. In addition to the stress reduction, it has kept me focused and helped me improve almost every aspect of my life. What is this amazing question? Will this help me evolve in any way? Now this can be financially, spiritually, emotionally, physically or any other way in which you might come out a better person.

Routinely I see and hear about people concerning themselves with things that do not matter in the slightest. They argue passionately (and sometimes even hold grudges) about things such as sports or politics. They get involved in gossip. They worry about celebrity activities. The ironic thing about all of this is it seldom affects the people they get so passionate about. The political landscape will not change because you and your coworker are no longer on speaking terms. Your team will not change its approach to the game because you and your best friend end up screaming at each other. In fact, they probably will never even know or care that the discussion happened. How will it affect you? It will stress you out, put a little wear and tear on your nervous system and probably a lot of your relationships.

Then there is the matter of gossip. Margie and I go to great lengths to keep this as far away as possible. Working in bars as a DJ, however, I have the unfortunate displeasure of seeing this more often than I care too. People who have no involvement in an issue throw their opinion and quite often themselves into others business. I cannot think of a time when this has resulted in anything but more of a mess.

Begin this week to ask yourself “Will this help me evolve as a person?” Maybe the book you are about to read will help you learn something, or maybe it will give you a laugh or some heartfelt entertainment. Will voicing your disagreement as to how your football team played verses how your friends played do anything but start a disagreement?

While thinking of this, be careful to know the difference between instant gratification and evolving. Sure screaming at your spouse when they make you mad may allow you to blow off some steam, but will it do anything to help your relationship evolve? Will giving a not so friendly gesture to the person who cut you off in traffic really do anything to help the situation?

This takes a little practice and we all have moments that we do things that have us asking ourselves, “Why did I do that?” If we make a practice of asking ourselves “Will this help me evolve?” more often, we can avoid asking ourselves the first question.

RUM AND FOOTBALL LEAD TO GREAT SUCCESS…WELL KIND OF…

While relaxing with a glass of rum and the NFL network the other night I caught a segment that really caught my attention. This is pretty amazing for two reasons. The first is that drinking and rum and watching television is usually something I do to relax although it can bring inspiration of a different nature to light. The second thing is it was a great example of how the secrets to success of any nature are all the same. Let me explain. This coach who won both a college championship as well as several super bowls was speaking to a group of incoming college freshman. When asked what his secret to winning despite different situations his answer was a very powerful lesson, not only in the world of sports, but life in general. He said it is not always the most talented team that wins. Not even always the team with the greatest will to win, but the team that is the best conditioning. It was the team who at the end of the game still has energy to keep playing while the other team is sucking wind. That the secret to success was not found on the playing field but at the dinner table and in the weight room. What does all this have to do with living a successful life? In short, everything. Our attitudes, and our minds are much like our body. They need conditioning. You cannot just work out one time and expect to be fit. you cannot eat one healthy meal and be able to eat whatever you want in the future. You also cannot expect to read one self-improvement book and have your life transformed. You cannot expect to have a grateful attitude for a week and to never work at it again. Like being down with seconds to go in the game life will often seem impossible it is not the time to try to develop a positive attitude no more than the final seconds of important game is the time to try to get in shape. This is why success conditioning should be a daily exercise. If you spend an hour in the gym five days a week. you could at least spend thirty minutes a day three days a week reading a book dedicated to Improving your life. Or spend your morning commute listening to success coaching cds. Think of it as a workout for your attitude and spirit. When the tough times come your mind and spirit will be in top condition while others are ‘sucking wind’ to maintain a positive outlook you will be busy winning the game!