It was cold and damp. No vibrant colors to brighten the rooms just a dull wash of white and gray. It was massive and spacious and utterly empty. No family or friends to be found; located thousands of miles away from any sign of civilization. An eerie complete and utter silence prevailed. Although not a captive, he was absolutely alone in this, his cave of isolation.
But… he called it A Fortress of Solitude! His glorious, magnificent structure. Brilliant. Rejuvenating. Inspiring.
And as young children we wished we could fly, high and far to our own similar fortress.
A powerful example of super strength and power, and perspective.
Almost every human being in the world is acutely aware and keenly focused on the 2014 FIFA World Cup, well everyone outside of the United States. The 31-day, 32 team soccer tournament, this time hosted in Brazil, is the largest sporting event on the planet.
Coming into the competition returning 2010 Champions Spain was ranked #1 in the world. The Spain squad has been on a terror of winning the past several years raking up an impression collection of championships.
An overflowing trophy case, pre-tournament hype and vast amount of talent on the field are great, but it still comes down to wins and losses, and with 2 of 3 matches already in the books, Spain has been eliminated after two straight tournament loses. The first lose was suffered at the hands of the Dutch (5-1) a repeat match of the 2010 championship game. If this wasn’t bad enough, Spain tuned around and was dealt a devastating blow, losing 2-0 to Chile in a David-vs-Goliath type effort.
No one can deny the greatness of the Spanish squad over the past five years, but great lessons can be drawn from their abrupt and fatal demise.
Some pressure is good… some.
Other than possibly the host country Brazil, no one came into the World Cup with as much pressure to win as Spain. Pressure to succeed is good when it fuels passion and creates focused energy. Teams can become galvanized create a strong bond, extreme pressure and scrutiny can quickly cause a team to buckle under the pressure. Spain collapsed.
Hard Work still matters
Chile is not the most talented squad in the World Cup. The Chilean team came into the tournament generously ranked 14th in the world, a far cry from Spain’s #1 ranking. Chile’s 2-0 win over Spain was the result of 90 grueling minutes of hard work. Every Chilean player ran harder, fought more and out worked their Spanish counter parts. What they lacked in skill and talent they made up for in effort.
Sweat the Little Stuff
Soccer is a series of small seemingly insignificant actions that eventually can lead to a big play. A thrown-in, a pass, a deflection, a sprint forward, a quick cut back. Each single movement or act appears trivial. However, the collection of these actions equates to an entire game and when executed expertly creates a fluid, free flowing game – “jogo bonito”. Spain was constantly looking for the big play, but struggled with basic game dynamics; their passes were off, players weren’t getting back defensively, communication amongst players seemed to be nonexistent. A complete game was not able to be accomplished due to the lack of focus on the small stuff.
Fight for the Big Play
No one enjoys watching a zero to zero game. (And in the business world a tie equals a loss). The purpose of the small stuff is to lead up to something huge, an awe inspiring moment. When all the minor components come together you should find yourself in that unique position to make a spectacular big play. Against Spain the Netherlands did so 5 times; Chile did it too, scoring twice. In contrast powerhouse Brazil controlled much of the game against Mexico, but couldn’t finish the big play, ending their match with a 0 – 0 draw. All the hard work and little stuff will only be worth it if you take the risk and make the big play happen. Sure it’s about the journey, but the finish is crucial.
“Great moments are born from great opportunities” – Herb Brooks
That’s Why You Play the Game
Switching sports, what if the Soviet Union had continued their dominance beating the US and winning the 1980 Olympic gold medal for hockey at Lake Placid? What if the New Zealand All Blacks had throttled the South African rugby team again in the 1995 Rugby World Championship match?
No one would have made a movie about that.
The script for life is also being written on a minute by minute, and day by day basis. Life is an adventure, a game waiting to be play and an outcome waiting discovered. Spain’s outcome for the 2014 World Cup was far different than the expected, while Chile’s possibly far better than they could have hoped.
When you live in a state like Utah the arrival for summer is especially exciting since we barely get three good months of warm, sunny weather. The long hours of summer sunlight mean extra time to spend outside with friends and family or even just time for yourself. It’s a great opportunity to reenergize the mind, body and soul. And all while disconnecting from electronics (yup, put the smartphone down for a few hours).
Here’s a few things I’d like to do this summer:
- Get a drink of water right from the hose
- Eat watermelon and spit out the seeds (not easy to find one with seeds anymore)
- Buy fresh corn on the cob from a farmers market or street side vendor
- Go camping (it’s on my 2014 bucketlist)
- Go hiking (also on bucketlist)
- Throw a Frisbee in the park
- Drink a cold root beer from a chilled bottle
- Have a water balloon fight (outside of course)
- Spend a day at a lake or at the beach (try Standup Paddleboarding)
- Go to the drive-in movies
Most of these activities are free or relatively inexpensive to do.
What activities do you look forward to or plan to do this summer?
I can help your company blow away the competition and get more customers. If you want a free sample, email or call me…
I literally laughed out loud when I read it.
If I order a free sample I’m expecting an army tank or rocket launcher to be delivered to the office. “Blow my competition away”, seriously? Maybe they sell super high-powered office fans – at least that would be relevant to their email language.
It’s quite embarrassing to the guy who added his name to email signature.
My takeaways from the email:
- Think before sending emails filled with cartoon language and overinflated promises.
- Never respond to lame emails, it only encourages people further.
A bit of humor and a good laugh was the perfect start to my day, so I thank the email sender for that.
Enjoy the journey!
Recently I was asked to talk with our Partnership Marketing Division and share some thoughts on how to achieve success at our company. I believe these tips can apply to most anyone at any company.
Be a Consumer.
Hopefully the product or service your company offers is something you’re a fan of. Therefore, you should be a consumer of the product or service where possible. At Access, we offer card-linked rewards to bank cardholders and we built local, regional and national discount programs. The more I use these deals and discounts, the better I do my job. I think like the customer because I use the program like our customers do.
Be Willing to do the Hard Stuff.
Every job has difficult “stuff” to do. People willing to dig in, get their hands dirty and do the hard stuff, are perceived to be more valuable to the company. Often I’ve noticed that the hard stuff usually becomes the easy stuff, once a few people (with the right work ethic and attitude) begin working on it.
Increasing your knowledge and skills every chance you get. This may be through a college degree and formal education. It may be through seminars and conventions. Daily articles, blog posts, webinars are great resources. Audiobook, ebooks and good old-fashion paperback books are excellent for increasing knowledge. Who knows, you might even be able to convenience your manager to buy the book for you.
Here are a few books I recommend:
- Strengths Finder 2.0 – by Tom Rath
- Getting to Yes – by Roger Fisher and William L Ury
- Ditch, Dare, Do – by William Arrunda and Ded Dib
Regardless of role, title or responsibilities you’ll be happier and more successful if you treat your work like a Career (not just a job) even if you’re not going to do it for the rest of your life.
More than 1.2 million mobile applications exist on the Android market. Over 1 million on the App store. (According to one stat I read) That’s astounding!
In this article I will include a detailed review of every application on both platforms. Okay, not really.
For the time being, let’s begin by reviewing a single app.
One of my favorite apps is Evernote. I use it for note taking, jotting down random thoughts and concepts had throughout the day and tagging articles I read online for future reference. As much as I find Evernote beneficial, it’s not the best resource for creating to-do lists.
Now, I’m not an obsessive list keeper, however to-do lists are quite practical. In my quest to find the perfect to-do list app I perused multiple app review articles before finally selecting Wunderlist. It has quickly become one of my favorite and most frequently used apps.
What I love Wunderlist and why:
- It’s free. This one seems pretty self explanatory.
- Both Android and iPad. There’s nothing wrong with being both an Android and Apple guy. In fact, it’s a great marriage. I’m a huge fan of my Samsung Galaxy 4 smart phone and also enjoy firing up the iPad when I arrive home. Wunderlist is available for both platforms (and syncs nicely).
- To-Do lists. I was seeking out a tool for creating and managing to-do lists. That’s us of Wunderlist. It’s doesn’t attempt to be something it’s not.
- Categories. Life is a balance between family and career, plus personal and professional development. Not to mention the occasional requisite grocery list, books I plan to read and movies I want to watch. Custom categories help me sort lists for all areas of my life.
- Sub-tasks. Rarely is a to-do item a one-step process. Wunderlist allows me to create sub-tasks under the main item. This way I know each of the next steps towards total task completion. Otherwise daunting tasks become straightforward when breaking down to a series of small manageable tasks.
The Wunderlist app has far more capabilities that I’ve yet to unlock and utilize, but I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a way to generate and track progress on your to-do lists.
Are you using Wunderlist or have a to-do list app you think is better? Let me know, I’d love to learn more about other options.
Got a preferred new app you recently downloaded? Share your experience by commenting below.
- Control Technology – Use technology like cell phones, computers, tablets, apps, and websites to your benefit. Stop letting technology control you.
- Talk to People – Yes, actual face-to-face conversation is preferred. Speaking over the phone is a distant second. Notice I didn’t say text more, tweet more or email more. Talk – your family, friends, and co-workers will feel more appreciated.
- Put Down the Device – Lift your head, take your eyes off the tiny digital screen and see the world around you. This breathtaking world will be enjoyed more fully by seeing, hearing and feeling it, than anything you’re staring at on that 7” phone screen.
- Let it go – We all make mistakes. Embrace it. Stop holding a grudge and you’ll feel relieved and much happier. My six year old constantly singing the Disney song with the same title is a great reminded that I need to do better at this one.
- Experience Something New – routines are good, finding something new is better. Try new foods, make new friends, learn new skills, read a new book, find a new favorite song. Variety really is the spice of life – so spice it up!
Motivating other people is no small task. There are a myriad of steps and techniques to consider when working to motivate an individual or an entire team.
Before any of that can take place however, you must first understand yourself.
- What motivates you?
- Why are you motivated that why?
- What factor do you find personally de-motivating?
The more you understand your unique drivers, the better you’ll be able to help others identify it in themselves. After all, you can’t motivate anyone to do anything they do want to (or at least you shouldn’t). You can help them develop a deeper personal understanding and awake their passion within.