Monday, November 16, 2015

This Is Not A Math Test!

The odds may be stacked against you but what the odds don't know is this is not a math test... this is a completely different kind of test; one where passion has a funny way of trumping logic...

Numbers can be fascinating in the way they expand and draw back together, the avenues they create. I'm just not willing to live my life by a formula. Fantasy Football has taken the glory from the competition and made it a stat driven leader board. People measure their every step and moment of sleep. We cannot fathom taking action without a stack of number to validate our decision (or indecision so it seems).

What happened to romance? What happened to leaping into the unknown? What happened to glory?

Winning against the odds destroys logic... It is a profound opportunity to know that with each day the less-courageous can be made to look foolish.

Does anybody remember courage? Impulse? The joy of uncertainty?

Indeed, our lives are not to be lived lived by simple standards. We are called upon to corrupt the system by disagreeing with logic. It's called innovation, transformation, disruption.

Popular opinion is often wrong, numbers lie and beurocracy has been created by those protecting their lack of ingenuity.

Some times you have to be willing to try in spite of the odds. Those who rely on logic hate speadsheet tampering.

I am not now, have never been and will never be willing to be predictable!

Counter Thinking
Herb Brooks had a calculated method for beating the Russians, Namath threw a ton of passes in his super bowl upset, Muhammad Ali knew exactly what he has doing when he leaned back on the ropes in Zaire. Upsets don't happen by accident, the assumed lesser wins when they decide to change the rules of the game.

The first step to beating a superior opponent is meeting them at mid-field letting them know you are not afraid of them.

Shine a Light
"... all these people around you saying, "we've got so much further to go, it's gonna get worse before it gets better", I don't know if that's true..."

The above excerpt from Plastic Flowers by The Front Bottoms reveals a consistently ignored truth:

Tony Robbins doesn't own the market on self-help!

The Great Jerry Garcia himself had noted ones ability to find light in the strangest of places.

If you go to church for inspiration and you feel nothing, stop going! If your job sucks the life from you, quit! If you hate your boyfriend, break up with him. At the very least, find a way to knock an elephant on their ass from time to time.

Don't wait around for the logical choice to change your life. Fix it on your own.... It is far more satisfying to win a game on the field than by forfeit.

They Won't Remember You for Being Regular  
When we were kids we would gather on the side of the football field at varsity games. Naturally kids from the other side of town would come over to our side of the field and a game of football would break out. There were no rules, it was kids with uncompromising pride, fighting for one another. We'd competed against each other in the neighborhood for years now we were venturing out.... together.

I would yell at the top of my lungs for the older boys from my block as they crushed the out-of-towners. Time went by and at a certain point I took offense to men in opposing jerseys walking our sidelines. I dropped the ball in front of them and a game ensued. We butted heads for a few drives when I looked up to see the younger kids from my block cheering me on.... It was my time to lead and I wasn't going to let them down.

You are remembered for the times you stuck up for your tribe. There is no valor in letting your little sister suffer because you were too cowardly to stand up for what you believed in.

Numbers lie, rules were meant to be broken, heroes are made when the impossible is conquered.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ms. Misery

There is a lady who goes to my gym and she stands waiting for occupied machines. She does not have a purpose in her workout regimen, she is simply waiting for the opportunity to remove another person from their routine.

I know a woman who walks the streets in the dark. Each day she complains of motorists not affording her the right of way on the street where she cannot be seen.

A man stomps into the coffee shop each day and darts over to the half and half container in the general servicing area. His purpose is to bring it up to the counter to complain about it not being sufficiently filled.

These three people share a commonality:

They wake up each day miserable and seek to find someone to blame it upon.

The miserable are usually so because of choices they have made, choices they did not make or unfortunate circumstance. They have not confronted the elements of their short-comings because they deflect the responsibility for their lack of happiness. They take great pride in their misery and seek to spread it where ever they may go.

I know the lot in life of the miserable because I was their bedfellow for so very long.

There was a time in my life where I sought validation for my every effort by complaining about my misunderstood lot in the professional world. I fancied myself a Larry David type, thinking my negativity had intellectual charm.

Visit any barroom at quitting time and you'll find a few hundred people complaining about their jobs through the lens of liquid courage. They bitch about their bosses and co-workers until one of them walks in (and then they cower in red-faced reality).

How To Survive Life on Mars  
Those who survive in space do so because of their uncompromising positivity. Giving in to death on any mission may be as simple as disarming your helmet, but failure is never an option. Think of yourself alone, with limited resources and nothing but time to destroy your confidence. Most of those bold enough to explore the next frontier have found a way to survive.

Mental, Physical and Spiritual discipline are essential to survival here on earth as well.

Those Who Do Not Seek Credit
On Veterans Day, you'll see those pretending themselves Heroes while others do their best to find peace; here presents a metaphorical overlap into the corporate world.

Those who are really good at what they do seek not a trophy or a trip to the Bahamas. They just want to do great work, solve problems, use their brain (and heart) and have a little time to live their life.

You cannot make someone truly great by praising their effort. They either have it or they don't!

The Seemingly Impossible Process of Finding The Positive
Every time I think the old (negative) me is gone, he rears his ugly head. People are hard to deal with, rules are hard to follow and the climb to success often seems dictated by outdated process.

It's Really Difficult to Stay Positive. I struggle with it every day.

The alternative is to be the woman who takes your machine without using it, the man who insults the effort of who he feels to be the easiest target or the woman who walks the wrong way in the dark simply to insult the precaution of others.

They chose the easy route. They will die miserable and alone!

There will be times when you simply cannot find grace.... walk your dog, grab a beer or find a way to laugh.

Above that, here's what you can control:

Every day you wake up with a choice to rule the world or get your ass kicked:

- Bounce out of bed early
- Be willing to be uncomfortable
- Try hard and keep trying
- Never give up

Become a morning person. Find a way to appreciate Mondays. Tell those who work hard that you appreciate them.

Be willing to fight for what you believe in.

Know that love is at the center of everything... and if you haven't found it, don't stop until you do.

...You will find it...

Be interested in other people. Be a person who is interesting to know. Share your ideas and your resources.


Keep your religious and political opinions quiet.

Pray when you need to. It can't hurt!

Don't Forget to Remember!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Harvey Dilemma

When two team are competing in a Championship, neither of which you care about, you look for intriguing story lines. On Monday, a nation of casual observers discovered Matt Harvey... the barrel-chested embodiment of determination who was destined to save New York from their far-superior opponent from the Mid-West.

For 8 innings Harvey threw strike outs, fist pumped and sat with half his ass on the bench chomping at the bit to get back out there and compete. As he was called upon to leave the game after the 8th inning, he refused to be removed. He charged the distance of the dugout to tell his Manager that he was not leaving the game to the behest of his pitching coach.

As Harvey emerged from the dugout to pitch the 9th inning, the crowd erupted. The man known as the Dark Knight was here to save Gotham... the greatest comeback in sports history was in motion.

Until he failed.....

Sports pundits will look upon The Dark Knight's failure in front of the world as an act of uninformed bravery. Those pumping their shoulders at the onset of the 9th inning, were shaking their heads mere moments later.

There are millions who will blame the foregone championship on Matt Harvey.

I think him a Hero!

... with every triumph there is the story of courage, resilience, self-confidence & risk taking....

Most people sit back and deflect the responsibility of their teams destiny to another. It is simple (in so many ways) to rely on statistics to validate decision making.

The world needs more people who are brave enough to risk being called stupid because they believe in themselves.

Dare to Try
I've had success in a variety of fields simply because I was willing to try. It's that simple, if you put yourself out there you are 80% of the way there. Then, all you have to do is work hard.

You can call Matt Harvey stupid for extending himself into the 9th inning, but at least he was bold enough to try.

Nobody can eat 50 eggs...!

Stick Up for Yourself
Our success relies on the support of others. We spend a good chunk of our time convincing others to follow our lead. Sure, data is important in defending our proposal, but passion matters just as much.

The romance has been lost.

We want to protect our spot in the pecking order by doing the safe thing.

If you know you are the best option, don't allow your passion to be delegated to another.

Take the reins... LEAD!

Hold Yourself Accountable
There cannot be results without a measurable plan. You'll need to track progress every day. If you know where you are going you can be far more confident in your ability to succeed.

Your future is more certain if you put yourself in control. Part of taking control is owning your results... as well as your failures.

I talked to a young person recently who told me young people don't like the word "accountability". The word, he felt, was based in a micro-management ethos that threatened people into results. Makes sense, but there is a downside to that line of thinking........

If you rescue a dog you still have to feed it.

Matt Harvey would have been heralded as a hero had he won that game (even if the Mets failed to beat the Royals in the 2 remaining games). Now, he has to live with the results of his decision.

He bet on himself and he lost!

That is life, a moment of blind optimism squashed by reality.

The Data Behind the Decision?
Maybe Harvey isn't crazy..... The Mets closer had blown 2 saves in the series already, the Royals bullpen was far superior, the Royals bats were far better in the late innings, the series would be heading back to Kansas City for 2 more games and he was pitching well.

Maybe Mr. Harvey just wanted to complete the game to give the people of New York, and believers in the power of sports, something to believe in (in this otherwise failure of a series).

Instead he fed the doubters and came out looking foolish.

Simply because he believed in himself enough to try.

Don't Forget to Remember!