Monthly Archives: April 2014

We Are The Champions, My Friend…

This Queen song is one of my favorites and it fits perfectly with the Victor mentality. Often times we just want to get the Championship ring just for stepping on the field.

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Unfortunately, if you’ve ever played a sport, been in a pageant, or taken a breathe, then you probably realize that it doesn’t work that way.

You practice showmanship, basic functions, speeches, relationships, etc. on a daily basis and most the time you get it wrong, but the more you mess up the more you have the potential to learn.

Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” explores this thought, and more, with research and is a good read in my opinion. He states that it takes roughly ten thousand hours to master a particular field.

He outlines many different fields and well known icons that you never would have known spent that much time practicing to get where they are.

The truth is that no matter what your dream or what you imagine. The only person stopping you is you.

Queen’s lyrics continue with, “…and we’ll keep on fighting till the end.” It’s true you can’t stop. Even as a champion it only gets harder. You’ve set a new bar or a new standard. This means others will now know it’s possible.

It will become easier for them and harder for you. You will make mistakes as the lyrics suggest, he’s made a few. Others will come at you similar to as they tell you about sand being kicked in faces. However, you’ll come through.

Now I by no means preach Queen, but I do enjoy this and other songs as over played as this one may be at times, even today. Though it still has a great message to take from it.

Champions aren’t born through natural birth though it may seem that way at times. They are forged through mistakes, trials, failures, disabilities, and sometimes triumphs.

The only thing separating a victim and a victor as I describe them is on pushes on and the other stops.

To put it into perspective. For an average forty hour work week ten thousand hours is approximately four years, nine months, twenty five days, fourteen hours, and forty six minutes.

In 2009 I believe there was a study showing that men lived to be 76 on average in the US. That’s 15 possibilities to apply 10,000 hours towards mastering something by just 8 hours a day every day of your life. Women you live to be 81 according to this study so after he’s gone you can master something else at 8 hours a day.

There are endless possibilities if you apply yourself. I’d like to write a book and though I may be far from that at this stage in the game of “mastery” I believe these blogs in my free time will help me to achieve that goal as well as to hopefully help others achieve theirs along the way.

Thank you everyone that reads this blog and thank you for supporting my attempted mastery of not only the english language, but also of teaching and sharing. I hope you not only enjoy reading this, but take something positive from the posts.

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Help Wanted – Hard Work & High Reward

I am looking for a new hire. There is no travel, there is no set hours, and you can perform the job from anywhere. Whether you are grocery shopping or laying out by the pool. Of course there is no cash involved, but the payout can be just as beneficial and at times priceless.

You probably thinking this is a scam, but it’s not. The job I’m referring to are random acts of kindness. While you may be rolling your eyes I can promise you that if you are looking for a way out of your situation or victim mindset then this can help.

I admit there are times I myself have to force myself to come about to perform the act and there are times I have kicked myself for not thinking about helping as the moment has passed. However, the more you do the better you will feel.

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I rarely “feel” like helping someone before I do it, but I always “feel” good about performing it. Maybe it’s not selfless, but it’s sure not selfish. I’m not talking about throwing money at situations. This can help, but I’ve found it rarely feels as good as getting physically involved.

I often try to make time to help my friends out by patching a roof or by fixing a random item around the house, but I find holding a door, flashing a smile, handing someone something they’ve dropped, and other random things like this, while seeming effortless, can make a big impact on others whether they know it or not.

I have had a lot of people not even thank me when I do something for them, but a lot of times I’ve had others comment on what I did that weren’t directly effected by the random act, but just witnessed it.

When I was laid off with nothing to do, but work out and apply for jobs I would always try and do things for others. Little odds and ends and one gentleman from one of the volunteer activities I had gotten involved with saw me and asked what I did I explained to him my profession and he happened to work with a firm locally that he ended up getting me a job with. It is the best job I’ve had and has given me opportunities that I couldn’t have imagined 5 years ago.

This man works with another firm and still calls me to this day offering me jobs and while I appreciate it, and the offers always get better, I am completely happy with my current position and opportunities. That one act landed me a job when I was looking, but was not expecting it at that venue and it got me a job better than the one I had previously.

I also was never able during that two months to ever feel sorry for myself and become the victim of that economy. In fact it was the opposite, I felt like a rock star. I increased my pay from the previous job by three times and I was the youngest member in the company in that position all in a one year period.

On the opposite end of the spectrum I watched as a gentleman within the company got passed up for a position that he put his time and effort into and he use to ask me for advice at lunch and I remember him telling me he felt like the wind had been taken out of his sail. To which I responded it just meant he had to row till he found the wind again. It takes a little effort, but eventually it would pick back up. Also, by focusing helping on the new boss, no matter your stance, and helping him it would not only take his mind off the wrong that he felt, but it would also help the company.

Unfortunately he didn’t listen and became offended and left the company. Now if he would have just stopped looking at the situation as a victim the gentleman that took his position didn’t even last a year and this gentleman would have been perfect for the position if he’d have just stuck it out a little while longer. Instead he had the victim mentality unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong he was a great guy and great at his job, but just got stuck in that mentality at the time, which only hurt him in the long run.

I wanted to share both of these because one way to stop focusing on your situation is to focus on others and just reminding yourself that while there are situations that effect you they can only effect you to the extent you let them.

Pain is inevitable and lasts for a minute, but it’s up to you how long the pain will effect you by what you do after that pain to cause you to fail or succeed.

My father use to tell me there is no use in crying over spilt milk. He is right the milk spilled and the longer you look at it and cry the further it spreads. Same is true with focusing on yourself for to long. The longer you look at the pain the longer it will stay there and on top of that the more pain you will find.

Just remember no one is perfect and if we look long enough at ourselves we will find the imperfections and focus on them. Try not to focus solely on the situation at hand and how it affects you, but instead focus on the effects of the situation and the needs of others. That could include family, friends, or strangers. In the long run you will see the benefits yourself.

Remember life’s not a sprint it’s a marathon. Pace yourself, if you haven’t been training the way you should you’ll wear yourself out.

Victims of Circumstance

Ever ask yourself why me? Ever wonder why you feel like the victim of circumstance? I know I have.

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I use to see people and wonder why they always seemed to be at the right place at the right time. I never could seem to get it right. If I was not in the wrong place at the wrong time I seemed to be at the right place at the wrong time or visa versa.

Trust me I get it. Just saying that makes my head spinning less thinking about it. That is till one day someone asked me why I always seemed to be at the right place at the right time at work. After laughing I asked what he was talking about. He went on to explain that I seemed to always know when something was about to go wrong at work.

Now to explain I am in the construction industry, and with as many horror stories I have heard or seen, I’m proud to say very little has actually happened to me or any of the crews I was over seeing when I was in the field. Especially since I’m in the electrical industry.

I told him it wasn’t luck I just knew when something didn’t look right or was in the wrong place to potentially cause an accident. I went on to explain I had just gathered the information over the years by many facets.

That got me thinking that while I didn’t see it as luck it appeared as luck to him because he didn’t know what I knew it just appeared effortless to him. Now to my friends who have worked with me over the years they knew I had my fair share of zaps.

I took that and started looking into other areas of my life. Such as relationships, finances, fitness, etc. I realized that while it may appear that the Quarterback on the field in the Super Bowl was in the right place at the right time he actually had been through his share of sacks to get there. The same was true with my work.

So I started to apply what I knew about how I got to where I appeared in the right place at the right time to other, less successful, endeavors in my life.

Here’s what I found to be the keys to my success at work and has since helped me to continue to grow in other areas that needed work.

I learned that basically I found out where to be and when to be there at work by generally two methods. The first being trial and error. The second was by being taught and applying the teachings. There are different ways that each of these appeared which I’ll dive into further later, but basically these are the two general categories each fall under.

It sounds simple enough, but you’ll be surprised if you actually analyzed your situations in the past that how often you tend to make the same mistakes over and over. As they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

Now there are multiple levels and plenty of embarrassing stories I will share that will go deeper into these points. However, I challenge you to look at the areas where you want improvement and do the following things.

First look at one if your biggest set backs (I call them set backs and not failures. You only fail when you stop working at something) find a situation in your past with similar results and analyze what you did wrong. Don’t point the finger at someone else this isn’t that time yet. Just first look at these situations and find the common denominators.

A good example for you to look at in your life is relationships as a trial run. You may be married with kids now, but I can assure you that most of you have had a failure once or twice. Either way you can use the same principles in any area. Weight loss, financial ruin, the list goes on. I will use my embarrassment of a marriage and another relationship to guide this point through.

So my common denominator in both my failed marriage and long term relationship at one time was me and them cheating on me with my best friends (different friends) both times.

Now these were the obvious denominators and I naturally blamed them the first time on my marriage, but when the same thing happened again just two years later in my only other long term relationship since my marriage. I grew up on the saying fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me so I had to question was it them or me.

To clarify this incident took place around the same time as my epiphany of right place at the right time. So by past experience I learned that this lightning shouldn’t strike twice. So I sat my girlfriend, at the time, down and asked what I had done to make her feel like that was an option. After she picked her jaw up she continued to tell me how she felt. That I was emotionally unavailable and that she felt deep down inside that maybe this would get an emotion from me.

Now she and I agreed that was not the right way to go about that and I can tell you she’s not that type of person and has never done that since. I know because we are still friends. I could never trust her like that again in a girlfriend capacity, but she is a good person and friend.

So next I called my ex wife. She pretty much gave me the same speech and again we both agreed it was not the right approach, but never the less it was done. Now I can say that, after 3 years of not talking, my ex-wife and I are also still friends and pretty much family still to this day. She too has not done that to anyone else since.

I would like to point out that those so called friends are not around and refused to talk to me or I’d share why they thought that was ok. To be honest I think it was an opportunity in their favor at that moment and they took it. I do want you to realize that is my opinion.

After talking to both of them I analyzed which of my friends and family told me what in each situation. As I look there were clear warning signs from others trying to help me that I ignored in both relationships. Those are the ones I have counted on for advice to this day. I have not always taken it, but I have stopped to weigh their words before proceeding with certain things especially relationships.

In both cases I was taught and can say that, while I may still be in search of the right one, the particular situation has never happened to me again. Mainly because I learned not only by going through the situation, but taking guidance from others in proven marriages as to what to do, what to look for, how to act, etc.

The bottom line is if you want to succeed in fitness, trial and error combined with the teachings of someone physically fit will help set you up to be in the right place at the right time in physical prowess.

If you want to succeed in your career trial and error combined with the teachings of someone who’s in the position you want will prepare you for being in the right place at the right time in your career.

If it’s success in financial and spiritual growth the same things are true. I know because after failure in most these areas combining these principles in my life in these areas I have seen substantial growth. It started hard, but after training and practicing these in situations I have started to progress more effortlessly by habit.

If you’re like me trial and error may be the only way that makes sense at times, but I promise you that the easiest way is through learning from someone who has made those mistakes in the past and has learned from them.

I still think it’s good to put your own trial and error into things as well and that is because you never know what could happen and though others have failed does not mean you will fail. Just make sure you do it calculated and maybe one toe in the water at a time. The more you know about yours and others personalities, past experiences, and future goals then the more you can know how you want to proceed.

This all goes deeper and I plan on breaking it down further in the future, but I promise that these are good exercises to start you off. Who knows you may learn more than I know by looking at these. I encourage you to share comments to help myself and other readers grow and to become victors more so than we already are.