Do you find yourself constantly looking for that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? When I was young, it felt as if I was constantly yearning for my lucky break—when I was it going to be my turn. That quickly faded, and I realized that sitting around waiting would get me nowhere.
Growing up, I was faced with many “forks in the road” if you will, where whichever decision prevailed, would affect the rest of my life. Some of these were just minor detours, where others, significantly changed the direction of my future. Knowing what you value most in life can aid in creating a path that only leads to success.
A story that you may have heard me mention before, emphasizes my belief that you create your own luck. By knowing what you want, helps you focus on how to get it. At one of my first jobs, it was considered an honor to be invited out to coffee with a group of what seemed like the “cool-kids.” One day, I was invited, and I saw one of my co-workers—and #1 sales guy in the company—sitting at his desk. I asked why he wasn’t joining us, and he simply responded “Why would I waste my prime hours sitting around being unproductive?” Bam! It was the epitome of a “no-duh” statement that resonated with me the rest of my career. What on earth would I gain by sitting around a coffee shop discussing with cohorts our dissatisfaction and longing for a better pay day?
I truly believe people make their own luck. You constantly hear people whining about how lucky someone is, when in reality, if they spent as much time towards their goals as they do whining about not attaining them, they would be “lucky” as well. People tell me all the time how lucky I was to experience the success in business that I have; but really, I just knew what I wanted and worked hard to get it. The lucky ones, are usually the hard working ones.
Sometimes it seems like some people get all the breaks. There are those who get where they are by standing on the shoulders of giants; but if taking advantage of people is what you value, the type of people you surround yourself with, probably wouldn’t hesitate to do the same to you. Luck seems fleeting when you don’t learn the lessons, and gain the knowledge from working hard for it. The path to success is never a strait road; but you’ll never get anywhere by sitting on the side trying to hitchhike a ride.
Every time someone tells me how lucky I am, I say “Why yes, yes I am. I am lucky to have a good head on my shoulders and the love and support of the people around me.”
Every year, the impending day of overstated love and chocolate ridden profit, Valentines ignites a combination of emotions for many different people. For me, I feel the love and appreciation for my wife. For others, it may be resentment, happiness, longing or apathy that they feel for the 14th day of February. Over the years, it seems that Valentine’s Day has gotten a bad rap as just another Hallmark scheme disguised in cards, flowers, and candy—Oh my! But as I do during most holidays, I look into the initial meaning behind this day—to appreciate the one I love.
The one you love can be anyone, not just the alleged “significant other”. Your valentine can be your parents, a colleague or your best friend. Valentine’s Day is meant for you to show your appreciation for those who have been with you through the bad and the good, the hard and the easy. We should all be so fortunate as to have such strong champions of our potential. The support, encouragement and love of the people in your life are absolutely vital to success in the nth degree.
Valentine’s Day is not the enemy, it is our ally. It grants us the opportunity to be reminded that there are people in our lives whom we cherish, and should not be forgotten. Even if you don’t take the actual day to your advantage, use it as a prompt to cue your display of affection to those people, or person. Even a simple card of understated adoration that says “thank you for being you” can move a person more than you realize. You never want to be presented with the instant that you realize, that the moment to show your love has come and gone. It is a situation I wish for no one. It’s hard to embrace, but eventually you learn to value those who have held your hand along the way.
So let me leave you with this: let love live and appreciate those who do. I love you Rita.
It’s time to stop and evaluate. We are now three weeks into the New Year. So how are those resolutions going?…Hello? Anyone there?
We are one month into 2011, the year that you’re going to lose those ten pounds, get that promotion, visit that distanced friend. So again, how is it going?
Commitment, motivation, determination—these are all things we know we have, but sometime have trouble keeping them focused on a predetermined goal. There are always the same hurdles that leave you saying “Oh, I’ll start in February.” I find the best way to stay on track is to have a friend there to help you along the way. Remember what I told you earlier “What gets measured, gets done.” By adding a friend into the equation to keep you constant and avoid any deterring variables, will only result in a winning combination.
So I am here to give you a little kick start, and hold you accountable for you promised to yourself. In the end, your resolutions are only to better yourself, but self-efficacy is the greatest proponent of a successful life. Not because you are better than anyone else, but because you have become a better person than you were. You never hear anyone say “Gee, I’m really upset that I’m ten pounds liter and in better health…” or “Hmm, this rekindled relationship with my best friend really sucks” or “Wow, being able to run again without cigarettes isn’t that great.”
It’s early in the game. You’re resolutions are not a lost cause, and there is still time to get started. Begin with recruiting a support system. Whether they be a friend, a coworker, family member, or even a mentor, find someone who will be the best fit to hold you accountable and motivate you through your resolutions. When you’re feeling weak and veering off course, having someone there that you know will hold you accountable and talk you through it makes the difference between you saying “I wish” to “I did.” Getting started is the hardest part. Just tear the band aid off!
Another year has passed us by…did you live it to your full potential? January 1st is a day that I look forward to with every passing year—out with the old and in with the new. It is a time that allows us to reflect on our accomplishments and road bumps, while providing the foundation for new goals of improvement. I truly believe with all my being that everyone can have a fresh start—and what better time than now.
If you have read my book, or followed me this past year, you can understand why I thrive at this time of year. This is the time to sit down and really think about what you value in your life. Is it good health? Do you want to focus more on your career path? Or would you just like to spend more time with family and friends? These are all wonderful goals, but we must remember to RUMBA when setting our resolutions.
The biggest mistake that we make is setting “umbrella goals”—or goals that are vague and can cover a whole realm of to-do lists to accomplish them. Be realistic and specific when outlining your resolutions. Rather than vowing to “do better at work” or “exercise more,” or “to communicate more with friends,” focus on numbers. Remember what gets measured gets done. By specifying that you will attain a 10% increase in your numbers this month; or work out three days a week for at least 30 minutes; or you will call one friend a week to catch up—these little pledges will create attainable milestones for a successful year.
As for me, I have my resolutions; and will be sure to cherish each moment that I have fulfilling them…whether its eating breakfast with my family or swinging from the tree tops of Costa Rica. remember that it’s ok to start small, but start now.
“What were you doing in September of 1992?” Trey Wingo, of ESPN, asks as he, and many others, commemorate the 297 game starting streak of Brett Favre. For all of the football fans—or even sports fans in general—Brett Favre is a name that immediately deems respect upon its mention.
As I watched Monday night’s game, Vikings vs. the Giants, everyone was on edge as they saw Brett Favre get tackled from behind, injuring him on to the reserve list for the first time in nearly 20 years. However, Favre’s reaction has he was interviewed about his ending jaw-dropping streak was surprisingly light hearted and accepting. He recognized that it was just time; and that he had gone through a career which he began with a full head of hair, and ended it without—not by choice. He held his head high and accepted that he had had the privilege of playing a game that he loved for much longer than most in his field (no pun intended).
What really caught my attention was not Favre’s humility, but the reactions and comments by not only his companions, but his competitors. As ESPN commentators commemorated Favre’s career, they respectfully spoke of his commitment, perseverance, and passion for the game. Each and every one of them looked to him as a role model, and a person to be admired. Tom Jackson reiterated the passion that Brett Favre had for the game; and that when you spoke to him, his attitude and energy radiated onto his teammates and into the crowd. Trent Gilford, recalls the hair on his arms standing on end as he and his teammates listened to the Green Bay crowd cheer as they announced Brett Favre’s name.
No matter what team you cheer for, or what sport you watch, I believe Brett Favre to be the leader of his sports generation. His entire demeanor is the kind that I revel about throughout my career. The affect that Brett has had on the game of football is one that will be remembered. Seen as an Iron Man, he set an example of mental strength that can only be attained by commitment and goal setting. He played not for himself but for his team, and was revered as a true leader among the NFL. His legacy as a football great will live on not because of his record, but because of the journey he took to get there.
“What were you doing September of 1992?” Merrill Hodge responds “playing against Brett Favre at that first game…and at the end of the day he demands respect.”
What another wonderful day participating as a head judge for the GSEA Awards. The competition was fierce, and great to see such young minds so energetic and full of great of ideas and drive to see that those ideas lead to great businesses. Below is an interview discussing the competition and some advice regarding anyone looking to do well in both business and life.
Last Friday, I was recognized in the Phoenix Business Journal for my success in the community, and in life. They do a wonderful job of highlighting the importance of aligning your everyday decisions with your values, and applying it to your everyday business philosophy.
As I’ve always said, your earning years are based on the foundation of you learning years, thus allowing you to participate in the returning years. Once you’ve lived a life of achievement, its important to share your knowledge with those who have the potential of creating their own success. By withholding the stories that led to your triumph in business, you are doing a disservice to the world around you.
As a man who takes nothing for granted, and has spent his life appreciating those in it…I was elated to see the front of my Wall St. Journal featuring an article on gratitude this morning. For those who know me, and those who follow me, you know the importance I bestow on showing gratitude and the benefits it has to offer for body and soul.
The article highlighted not only the social, but the physical benefits that result from interjecting gratitude into your life daily. The article states that “adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not…” I can only agree with declaration made the various scientists that added to the article. My whole life I have been thankful for those who have mentored me, educated me, and loved me; and am one of the most energetic, social and loving people you will ever meet.
When I was a young man in the army I experienced an act of generosity that forever changed my life and how I treated other people. I was on a weekend pass when I had finally saved enough money to buy a car. I saw a small black Austin that took my breath away—it was perfect. So I sat down with the manager to make my first meaningful purchase. The car cost $300 and I only had $50. “No problem,” the manager told me. “Fifty dollars is enough to start.” As I went to sign the loan, he made small talk and asked where I worked. I told him that I was a soldier at Camp Borden. Immediately, his entire demeanor changed. “I didn’t know you were a soldier,” he said, and refused to offer me financing for the car. Naturally, I was distraught as I saw my dream s of driving around in my new car evaporate before my very eyes.
So I hitchhiked back to camp, where I must have looked dejected because Duty Sergeant Jack Vart asked me why I was back when I had a weekend pass. I recapped the story of my disintegrating dreams of a new car to the Sergeant. To my surprise he instantly offered to stop by the store with me to talk with the manager. With nothing to lose I accepted the offer
As we pulled up to the shop, Sergeant Vart told me to stay in the car. After some time passed, I went inside where the manager had all of the papers ready to sign. “I’ll make an exception in your case,” he told me. I was ecstatic, and drove that car for over a year
Finally, one day after I had paid off the load ahead of schedule, I received the agreement in the mail. It was to my amazement that there were two: the one that I had signed, and then one that the sergeant had signed. Until that moment, I had no idea that he had actually provided his personal guarantee that I would pay for the car. He had assumed all of the risk. From that point on, I was so grateful for the trust that Sergeant Vart had given me, I could only hope to be able to help someone in the same capacity.
I can only say, that I have made sure to be grateful for everyone in my life. Not only personal but scientific experience has proven that life is better when showing gratitude for others. Let the people you appreciate know their worth by showing thanks and being grateful for their presence in your life.
To read the entire Wall St. Journal Article, click here.
Wow, what an exciting week. I just came back from being a final round judge at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA’s) in Kansas City at the Kaufman Foundation. This program was created and managed by The Entrepreneurs Organization. This group is for College / University students worldwide who are interested in entrepreneurship, or who are running a business while they are in school.
The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards is the premier award for the undergraduate business owner. Student entrepreneurs compete at the regional, national and global level to win a chance at a massive prize package, media recognition for their business, and much more. If anyone reading this knows of any student that qualifies contact me right away as there are lots of prizes and it is an amazing group and a program that can change the lives of any student who competes. There are students coming in from all over the world and the energy in the room is contagious. Any business person who would like to be a judge at a future event also contact me. Here are a few pictures taken.
Over the course of three days, author and entrepreneur Peter Thomas shared advice and exciting stories about his life with UH business students and members of the Houston community.
Thomas visited UH from Wednesday to Friday as part of his “Be Great” book tour, which was presented in Houston by the C.T. Bauer College of Business and the Bauer Leadership Consortium Advisory Group.
What motivates Thomas on his journey is the opportunity to give back to the community.
“I have had a very blessed life, so to have the opportunity to be able to give back is what keeps me going,” he said.
Thomas shared with people the advice he talks about in his new book “Be Great: The Five Foundations of an Extraordinary Life.”
As simple as it may sound, Thomas says that having values, focus, visualization, inspiration and reflection as important foundations in your life can make one a successful person.
“When your values are clear, your decisions are easier,” Thomas said.
Every person has his or her own values, and having one’s own values straight is always essential.
“Your personal principles define what is most important to you,” he said.
Thomas discussed goals and fears, saying everyone should be realistic and really think about what they want to achieve in life. Whatever this may be, Thomas said, people should not let anything get in their way.
“Don’t ever be afraid of failure, he said. Get up and do what you do.”
Thomas strongly encourages people to visualize goals before they happen.
“Your mind sees it as a done deal,” he said. “First, see it. Second, imagine positive results. Lastly, believe it will happen.”
Marcela Pinto, manager of the Ted Bauer Leadership Certificate Program, said students have already told her how beneficial it was to have someone like Thomas as a guest speaker.
“It is beneficial to have a successful business person talk about what students learn in the classroom and how to apply all those things they learn in the certificate program,” Pinto said.
Some students attended the events for class credit, but many attended for the chance to hear Thomas speak.
“(Thomas was a) really interesting speaker,” economics and global business junior Omar Barazi said. “A very influential guy I could really learn from.
“Thomas encourages everyone to have A.M.C: a great Attitude, Motivation, and Commitment.”
During his time on campus, Thomas made a large classroom visit and held a book-signing event. He also held a “LifePilot” workshop, which is designed to promote change and growth in participants.
Proceeds from his book sales in the area also benefitted student scholarships at the Bauer school.
For additional articles, click here