9 Reflections from the Brainpickings Newsletter

Today I want to pass on 9 great reflections I harvested from the Brainpickings newsletter. I subscribe to this newsletter and it always challenges me mentally to think outside the box. You can find it at Brainpickings.org.

1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
It is infinitely better to understand than to always be right

2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
As Paul Graham observed “prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like”

3. Be generous
4. Build pockets of stillness in your life
Meditate. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming that allows for unconscious processing

5. When people try to tell you who YOU ARE, don’t believe them
You are the only custodian of your integrity and what people think reveals more about them than it does you!

6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity
The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living

7. Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time
Borrowed from Debbie Millman, the myth of overnight success is just that, a myth. The real magic of making one’s character and destiny unfolds in the blossoming of our ideas and self through retuning our definition of success

8. Seek out what magnifies your spirit
Find the people, ideas, books and values that magnify your spirit and hold on to them and visit them often

9. Don’t be afraid to be an idealist
The world tells us that the road to success lies in catering to existing demands. Supplying the right ideas and values creates its own demands making us better in the long run and those around us as well!

(Thanks to Brainpickings.org for supplying these thoughts!!)

Great Movie Lines-Skyfall

This was a great exchange between Bond and his new quartermaster, Q. There are many life lessons to be learned from this scene. Youth, while energetic and innovative, is not always preferable to age and it’s resourcefulness and experience. Technology and innovation is not always preferable to hands-on and personal interaction. I want to focus on the latter while endorsing the former ūüėČ.

We live in a world of Twitter, Facebook, smart phones, tablets, you tube, Internet, etc, etc. It’s easy to send a text, post a tweet or a message, watch a video, send an email. While this has made our lives better, more efficient, faster and reliable it will never take the place of personal interaction. People need people. When we are suffering, have lost our way, need advice or direction all the texts, tweets, and videos won’t help. We need someone to take the time and talk to us, help us through it! Don’t ever think that someone doesn’t want to hear from you. Pick up the phone and call them, have a meal together, TALK! You will never know the immense impact that a word of encouragement or a hand written note will have on a person. It may be the very thing they needed that day to get them through it and help them turn the corner.

To paraphrase the clip..”Every once in a while a text has to be sent” “Or not sent. It’s hard to know the difference when you’re buried in your smartphone”

Encourage someone TODAY!

Great Movie Lines Part 5- Gladiator

Remember the final scene of Gladiator when Maximus is chained and is confronted by the Emperor? The Emperor asks him if he fears anything. Maximus says “I once knew a man who said death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back!”

I have pondered that line quite often. What is the takeaway? I believe it is a hidden character trait of great men from a bygone era. In today’s world the majority of men are weak. Weak fathers, weak athletes, weak husbands, weak employees, weak men in general. History is full of great men who faced “death”, whether real or hypothetical and stared it down to achieve greatness. Patton, Eisenhower, Reagan, Lombardi, any man who confronted an issue that required his absolute dedication to success and victory is this hero I am speaking about. It could be the man who works 12 hours a day to provide for his family while putting his own desires on the back burner, it could be the athlete who trains relentlessly to achieve his goals while never compromising his values, it could be the man who loves his wife and stays dedicated to her until death smiles at him, or the man who trains his children in the way that they should go.

We, as men, all have the opportunity to smile back at death each and every day of our lives. The question is will we cower in the face of it and become weak and robotic or will we smile back, powerfully, and make our mark on society. The choice is ours as long as God grants us breath! Be a Maximus and not a Commodus!

Want to Play your Sport in College?

As an Area Scout for National Scouting Report I hear of former athletes who should have gone on to play in college but never got the chance. Don’t let that be you! Take charge of your future TODAY!
Go to http://www.nsr-inc.com and click the Free Evaluation box and get scouted today! Get your parents involved in this process as well. They want to see you happy and fulfilling your dreams and potential! God Bless!

Great Movie Lines! Part 4

“Time passes us all by”..”Especially if you”re standing still”

In Rocky 6 Rocky tells his son he wants to fight again. ¬†His son passes it off as an old man trying to re-capture some moment of glory from his past. ¬†He tells his dad not to worry that whatever he is going through will pass. ¬†He says “Time passes us all by”. ¬†Rocky utters a great line..”Especially if you are standing still”

This is a bit of hidden advice we miss. ¬†We all want to achieve. ¬†Make the team, start, open a business, get better grades, have a better relationship, change the world. ¬†The problem is that the world is like a bucket of crawdads. ¬†Whenever one tries to climb out of the bucket the others pull him back down. ¬†When you have a goal, something you want to accomplish the world will try to pull you down..”You’re too slow, not big enough, not enough education, you are what you are-can’t change, not enough money, too much or to little of SOMETHING” ¬†Never let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams. ¬†No one can dictate to you what you can achieve because most of the world doesn’t have the heart or guts to get it done. ¬†Now a caveat to this is that what you want to achieve must be for good! ¬†Right and wrong is the filter through which all your desires must pass through.

Have a dream? ¬†Then go after it because time will pass you by—ESPECIALLY IF YOU”RE STANDING STILL!

Daily Inspiration!

Watch this every day when you awake and then go about your day!!  God Bless!

Great Movie Lines! Part 3

Remember the scene from The Dark Knight Rises when Batman gets the Catwoman to take him to Bane? ¬†Catwoman cautions him “Be careful, Bane’s men aren’t your average brawlers!” Batman responds “Neither am I”. ¬†What’s the lesson here? ¬†There’s an old saying..”Discretion is the better part of valor”. Sometimes even though we think we’ve got all the angles covered it’s better to stand down and rethink the situation. ¬†Batman was so confident of his abilities that he didn’t stop to think that there might be an adversary out there that could be his match. ¬†We’re like that sometimes. ¬†We rush into situations, full of confidence without thinking through all the angles. ¬†Confidence is great, it’s the mark of champions, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes we need to sprinkle it with a little judgement. ¬†Young athletes often make this mistake. ¬†They put themselves into situations that are risky because they’re sure they can handle it when often they find out that their “adversaries” were not your average brawlers.

Good judgement is a virtue. ¬†Develop it, grow it, mature it. ¬†Then sprinkle it with your confidence born from championship timber and you’ll be hard to beat..NO MATTER WHO THE ADVERSARY!!

High School Athletes! Are you being recruited?

Many high school athletes dream of continuing their sport in college.  Most never get a chance for a variety of reasons.  If you have the skill to play in college there IS a college out there where you can play and get scholarship money.  As an Area Scout for National Scouting Report I talk to college coaches across the country looking to fill their rosters with qualified student athletes.  If you want to play in college, here are a few key things you must have:

  1. A burning desire to play your sport in college
  2. Good Grades!  Coaches do not want to worry about whether they can keep you in school.  Additionally, if you have good grades you can get a combination of academic and athletic money and possibly get all your tuition paid for
  3. No geographic restrictions.  The more places you are willing to enroll, the more options you will have athletically.

Biggest myth high school athletes and their parents believe is that if they are good enough they will be found by colleges. ¬†Not true. ¬†The number one factor you must know…”If you are not TALKING to college coaches then you are not being recruited” ¬†Bottom line. ¬†Questionnaires are great but did you know that in 2011 after they won the 2010 BCS Football title Auburn sent out 3400 questionnaires. ¬†They could only sign 25 players. ¬†You do the math!

You can play in college. ¬†You have to be scouted and have the right plan in place! ¬†Don’t delay, do it now!

Great Movie Lines! Part 2

In that great football movie “Any Given Sunday” Coach Tony D’Amato (Al Pacino) is addressing his team before they take the field against Dallas in a first round playoff game. Now the Sharks (Tony’s team) have lost 5 of their last 7 and the most recent loss, which denied them a first round bye and home field advantage, was particularly disturbing as the team lost faith in their star QB Willie Beaman who, like many young stars, became a little too enamored with himself and his value.

D’Amato knows that if his team does not come together NOW they will get demolished. He gives one of the greatest speeches in pre-game history https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9CD7uj2TL0 His most revealing line is “We can either stay here and get the S#*@ kicked out of us or we can fight our way back, into the light”. That’s what life is all about. Business, school, sports, relationships, etc all will beat us down. We will encounter times when everything seems to be crumbling around us. We have 2 choices. Stay there, continue to spiral downward and get the S#*@ kicked out of us OR fight our way back into the light. Inch by inch, yard by yard, sales deal by sales deal, test by test, conversation by conversation. It’s what champions are made of. That inward flame that says “I will not be beaten, I will not be trampled upon but I will FIGHT my way back!”

The sooner we embrace this philosophy the quicker our lives will have meaning and we WILL achieve our goals while better dealing with the inevitable downs. But no one can do it for you-it has to come from within. Preach on Coach D’Amato!!

Next: “Bane’s men are not your average brawlers…neither am I”

Great Movie Lines! We can live our lives by them!

This is the first in a series of “Great Movie Lines” and how they really can affect our lives.

May 8, 2015

Remember the last Rocky movie in 2006? ¬†Rocky is counseling his son who thinks the world, and his dad, gave him a bad break. ¬†The son just can’t seem to break out because Dad’s (Rocky) shadow is too encompassing. ¬†Rocky tells his son: “If you know what you are worth then go out and get what you’re worth” ¬†What great advice. ¬†Most of us languish in dead end jobs, or in bad situations thinking “If only” ¬†Well its time to make “If only” happen. ¬†Go get what you’re worth but you have to be willing to take the hits.

Rocky then tells his son “It ain’t about how hard you hit, its about how hard you can get hit, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done” ¬†Sales people can benefit from this line more than any other profession. ¬†Sales is about rejection, and how you deal with it. ¬†How many “no’s” can you take before you get that first “yes”. ¬†It’s not about the successes, anyone can deal with those–it’s about the REJECTION. ¬†How hard can you get hit and keep moving forward! ¬†That’s how budgets are met, clients are added, sales are closed—WINNING IS DONE!


NEXT WEEK–“We can stay here and get the crap beat out of us or we can fight our way back, into the light”



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