Monthly Archives: March, 2012

Heroes and Villains:

Over time our view of Heroes and Villains has changed, Theater, Movies, TV have played into, cashed in and altered or view on the subject.  You can learn everything you need to learn about Heroes and Villains by looking at the evolution of the Pro Wrestling Industry.  OK, this may turn some of my readers away, or it may pull some in deeper.  But before you pass judgment on this post realize, Pro Wrestling is big business, and it’s biggest spectacle is about to take place.  So in honor of Wrestle-Mania, well if you want to know keep reading; if not, I will be here same time next week.

First and foremost, Pro Wrestling is a Circus, it is a sport with no off season and it is a never ending drama all rolled into one.  We love watching the Hero Win, we love to watch the Villain Lose; and we will pay good money to see it.  So, if you want to I provide a link to a list of the gimmicks that are used to draw us in to the Melo-Sports-Drama-Circus that is Pro Wrestling.

In Wrestling, like in Business, it is about being the Champion.  “To be the man you have to beat the man: is a famous wrestling quote.  Remember, this is the foundation of Pro Wrestling.  Everyone wants to see their favorite wrestler work their way up to becoming the Champion.  To become the Champion, you have to beat the Champion in a clear win, the Champion does not have to Beat the Challenger, this is an escape clause the Champions have used to their advantage.  Remember to be the Champion you have to “Beat” the Champion.

OK, on to the overview.  First the Hero is who we pay to see win, most of us cheer for the Hero; Generally the Hero fights for the fans and plays by the rules.  Second the Villain is who we pay to see lose, and we boo the Villain.  The Villain fights for money and fame and will cheat to win if needed.  It has been said the fans decide the Champion by their reaction, who every gets the loudest Chorus of Cheers or Jeers; whomever sells the most tickets, will eventually be the Champion.  Now this is not based on Right and Wrong, it is based on ticket sales.  In the Business of Pro Wrestling, it is better to be greatly hated, than kinda of liked.  It is the end of the line if you are total ignored.

So to keep this brief:

Heroes Play by the Rules!  Villains Cheat to Win.  Heroes fight for their fans and stay humble.  Villains are arrogant and fight for money and fame.  Villains will gang up on Heroes.  Heroes will face ever increasing odds and still play by the rules.  Villains will get desperate and break the rules.  Then we will cheer if the Villain gets caught cheating and the Heroes Bends the Rules to give the Villain a dose of his own medicine.  This is how it works, and most of us can identify with it. 

Wrestling is full of gimmick story lines.  The Student Vs the Teacher, The Working Man Against the Boss, The Giant against the Strongman, The Little Fast Guy against the Big Slow Guy, The Turncoat against the person they wronged; these are all common story lines in the Wrestling World and they play out over and over again.  Oh, by the way, these story lines play out in TV, Movies and Theater, without the high flying theatrics of the Wrestling World.  Well sometimes TV and The Movies use even more Theatrics than Pro Wrestling.

Funny thing, notice I never really mentioned fighting for what’s right and what’s wrong; or fighting for truth and justice.  See that happens in Wrestling, is people have short term memories.  Villains can become Heroes when a gang of Villains turn on one of their own, and (you guessed it) a Hero comes to his rescue.  Just as a Hero can become a Villain in an instant; by being a turncoat or ambushing another Hero.  It plays out over and over, the brawls, the run-ins, the saves.  It’s all there to get people to either cheer or jeer; but ultimately it is all a ploy to sell tickets.  We want to see our Hero Win, we want to see the Villain Lose, and we want to see it play out like a Three Act Play and we vote with our dollars.

Remember, we vote with our dollars.  Oh we will save that topic for another day.


The Highway is My Way.

Everyone has heard that famous quote:  “It’s my way or the highway!”  Can anyone tell me who said it first?  I can’t find a definite answer.  As far as this post goes, I am using it to illustrate my point, “My Way is the Highway!”

My Way is the “Information Super Highway.”  The Internet will either help us come together or it may tear us apart.  Either way, I choose it as a tool to help spread the word.  My online diary of posts etches out where I stand on searching for the truth, finding your purpose and chasing your dreams.  I choose to ride this Highway as My Way!

“My Way is the Highway” is also my stance when ever I am faced with Tyrannical Leadership.  Some people can follow the “All Knowing” and “All Powerful” Leaders, Managers, Owners, etc.  I can’t.  I respond best to those who are open to new ideas, and lead by example.  I respond best to those who coach and mentor and continue to evolve and grow as they lead.  I respond best to those who are still searching, still learning, so if someone gives me the “My way or the highway” speech, it sends up a lot of warning signs in my mind.  The only “All Knowing and Powerful” I know of is up in Heaven!  Given the choice, “My Way is the Highway!”

Again, “My Way is the Highway!”  What answer helps the most people get to where they are going as safely and quickly as possible?  Highways are meant to help people get from where they are to where they are going.  I could take the side roads to work every day, it would just take a lot longer to get there.  Most of us choose the highway to get to where we need to go, don’t we?

“The Highway is My Way!”  I would love to be able to get in my car and drive from town to town, making friends, raising money for charities, getting block clubs together to clean up parks and fix up neighborhoods.  I would love to be able to start a great big convoy that brings positive change everywhere we go, and empowering people to sustain the new levels the change brings.  I know the Highway can be seen as a dangerous place, or it can be seen as a tool and how it is used is up to each person.

“So My Way is the Highway!”  I am coming to you thanks to the Information Super Highway, the Internet.  I am making my stand that I want to continue to learn and grow and my input matters.  I think your input matters too, I think that like-minded people are better off together; and that if we can link up enough people who want to make a difference, one day we can make a difference.  One day we can ride on both the “Brick and Mortar” and the “Click without Borders” Highways at the same time.  Going from town to town training up the leaders of the future, and fixing some of the mistakes of the past.  I think we can do it together.

My Way Is The Highway!

Over, Under Around or Through: How to deal with roadblocks.

Before this post can apply to you, you have to qualify.  You have to be going somewhere.  This post is not for people who are standing still.  This is not a post about the fork the road, the high road, the low road, or the road less travelled.  This is a post about dealing with “Roadblocks” that are keeping you from getting where you want or need to go and there is no turning back.  You have four choices; Over, Under, Around or Through.  Choose wisely.

 Again, this post is for those who are going somewhere, working for a certain goal.  You are on the road and you are ready to take on the world.  Well the world is ready to take on you also.  The fact of the matter is, if you have set a lofty goal, if you are chasing a big dream there will be obstacles to overcome.  This is not about giving up or turning back.  If you are ready to quit then stop reading now and go take a nap.  Life will be here tomorrow.  If you choose to keep reading, maybe it means you do not want to give up. 

 Most of the obstacles you will face will be people.  There will be people who do not know how to help you, there will be people who do not have the authority to help you.  Then there will be people who do not want to help you, and there will people who will only help you if it helps them.  So, how do you figure out who is who and what to do?  How do you figure out when to go over, go under, go around or go through?  Keep reading if you care, keep reading if you dare, keep reading and I promise I will share.  OK, I will stop with the rhyme scheme now.

 Step One, when you encounter a person who is a roadblock:  Be Nice.

OK, I admit this step is hard for me, but it is a vital step.  Be nice to the people you meet along the way, no matter where you are going.  Say “Hello,” tell them your name, ask them their name, tell them what you are doing and what your problem is, ask them if they can help you or if they can point you in the right direction.  Give them a chance.  If they will not help you, you have to qualify why they won’t help you.  Maybe they do not know how or do not have the authority to help you.  Maybe they do not see any benefit in helping you; or they are just selfish and do not help anybody.  In some cases, they are against you because their goals run counter to your goals.  Either way “Be Nice” take a step back, take a breath, thank them even if they don’t help you.  OK I admit it is not always easy for me to “Be Nice,” so I have to work on Step One myself.

 When to go “Over” a Roadblock; usually the first person you encounter either does not know how to help you or does not have the authority to help you.  Be Nice, explain what you are trying to do and then if they can not help you, ask to speak to the boss, the manager, the owner or whomever can help you.  Hopefully, 9 times out of 10 they will give you the name and number of the person you need to contact.  If you are nice to them, you may make a friend and an ally.  They may put in a good word for you when they see the person who can help you.  They may want to help you if they can get permission to help you.  So if the person “Can’t” help you, seek out the person who “Can” help you.  In this case you simply go over the Roadblock.

 When to go “Under” a Roadblock; sometimes the person who “Can” help you does not see the value in helping you.  They may ask you, “How does helping you help me?”  Outside of the proverbial “Birds of a feather flock together” and the “You reap what you sow” arguments; you may need to show the person how them helping you helps them.  Now I am assuming that what you are doing is a win – win type of good cause.  In that case you may have to win over some allies who are underneath the person.  Make them a deal.  Most bosses want to look good to their bosses, and “more business” always helps bosses look good.  Can you help them increase their business or cut their costs?  Ask them, if “I can get someone to come along with me at no cost to you, and then report their findings back to you; would you consider it then?”  Remember that first person you met who could not help you?  Were you nice to them?  Maybe you can now recruit them because if you have done this correctly, the “Boss” may give them the power to help you, as long as you can prove that by helping “You” it somehow helps the “Boss.”  This is a prime example of going “Under” a Roadblock.

 When to go “Around” a Roadblock:  Some Roadblocks only appear to be Roadblocks and once you get closer you see they are just in the way, not intentional blocking the way.  OK, let’s review:  Step One, you were nice to everyone.  Step Two: the first person you asked could not help you and you went over them to the boss.  Step Three:  You tried to work out a deal with the person who could help you, but the deal fell through; either they did not take the deal, or they could not see the value in what you were doing.  Do you give up now?  No, you simply move on to the next person or business or opportunity.  You just go around the person.  They may not be blocking the way, they are just in the way.  Either way, “Be Nice” and they will more than likely be nice to you even though they may not help you.  Sometimes a Roadblock is just in the way, so just go around them.  They may help you some other time.

 When to go “Through” a Roadblock; some people are going to be against you.  Now listen, I have given you more than enough chances to give up or go back, but you are still here.  Are you ready for what I am about to tell you?  Some people, no matter how nice you are, not matter how much you try to show them how what you are doing could help them, and not matter how much you try to go around them; some people will work against you.  They are true roadblocks to what you are trying to get done.  They could be people who will tell you point blank, we are against you.  This happens all the time in sports, only one person or team can win the championship.  Sometimes your goals run counter to someone else’s goals.  May the best team win!  Other times, people who you think are your friends are ready to stab you in the back to keep you from winning.  Ever heard; “All is fair in love and war?”  You may not think that way, I don’t think that way, but I know for a fact there are people out there who do think that way; and I have lost many a friend or acquaintance because I found out they would or did stab me in the back.  So what do you do?  Give up?  Turn Back?  Nope, you have to gather up a full head of steam and plow right through them.  Don’t cheat, let the truth and your courage guide you.  Sometimes you are just going to have to be determined to go through the roadblock that is in your way.

 Over, Under Around or Through: Are you going to let life’s roadblocks stop you?

To be your best in business, you have to be F.A.S.T.

At first glance, many people are going to think this post means to be good in business you have to be first.  Then they will dismiss this post without reading any further.  Now since I used F.A.S.T. as an acronym, it behooves the reader to dig deeper.  F.A.S.T. – Foundation, Assets, System and Transactions: To be your best in business, you have to be F.A.S.T.

 F.A.S.T. – Foundation, Assets, System and Transactions:  F stands for Foundation. 

Any and all successful business needs a solid foundation.  Have you done your homework?  If you intend to open a store selling widgets, you have to buy a building, turn on the utilities, and hire a staff.  Can you afford the start up costs?  Can you train up your work force?  Are you better off renting retail space somewhere until you get up and running?  Do you have the right management team in place?  Business needs a solid foundation.  If you have been following the Mojo, you know what I am going to say next.  Get around people who have experience and success in the area you want to break into, and learn from them.  Do you have a place to sell your product or service?

 F.A.S.T. – Foundation, Assets, System and Transactions:  A stands for Assets. 

Assets, what goods or services do you plan on selling?  How is your product any different than what is on the market.  Is your product better?  Is your product cheaper?  Is your location more convenient?  Do you have enough supply to meet the demand for your product?  It seems pretty basic doesn’t it?  Ask someone who went out of business why they went out of business, then ask their former customers why they went out of business.  Is your business an asset to your customers, and do you have the assets to stay afloat?

 F.A.S.T. – Foundation, Assets, System and Transactions:  S stands for System.

Is your business model efficient and effective?  Many business have been started, been successful, been copied by other people, and then ran out of business because the competition got better than them.  If you sit back and think about it, you can name some examples.  There is a lot of money to be made just in business consultation and employee training programs.  Look at your model and always look for improvements you can make to your system of bringing your product or service to market.

 F.A.S.T. – Foundation, Assets, System and Transactions:  T stands for Transactions.

Let’s assume for a minute you have done everything else.  You have a great location, a fully stocked store, a great system in place, but no sales.  How long do you think you can last without any sales?  You have to pay close attention to you transactions.  How many transactions are you making?  How much are you making per transaction?  How are your transactions trending?  Are costs going up or down?  What about profits?  Look for ways to grow your transactions, and look for ways to survive downturns, downtrends and weak sales periods.

 F.A.S.T. – Foundation, Assets, System and Transactions:  A business needs a Solid Foundation, Superior Assets, An Effective and Efficient System, and Sufficient Transactions to succeed!

One Hit Wonders Have One Thing In Common!

Failure to Follow-Up!  Nobody wants to be a “One Hit Wonder”, I would dare to bet that everyone wanted to have a follow-up hit after their break through into the big time.  So what happens?  Why do One Hit Wonders Fail to Follow Up!?!  Let’s take a look at ways people fail to follow-up after their big break.

 Failure to Prepare:  Be careful what you wish for.  When people dream of hitting the big time, they spend a lot of time practicing, practicing, and more practicing.  Many barriers are in their way and then suddenly like magic, they are everywhere.  Instead of begging, borrowing and stealing to get by, suddenly everything is being handed to them on a silver platter.  But all those things come with a price, are you ready to continue to practice and prepare when there are distractions and temptations at every corner?  Stay in the game, which means continue to practice, learn, grow and allow yourself to be coached by people who really care about your future.

 Egomania turns to megalomania, or biting the hands that feed you!  It takes a certain level attitude and confidence to become a Star.  You definitely have to believe in yourself.  Let’s face it, people love watching that arrogant upstart burn up the ladder of success, almost as much as they love to watch that arrogant upstart fall flat on their face.  It takes many people to make a successful business work.  Not just in entertainment, in anything.  The minute you think you did it all with no help, your help will stop helping.  Remember to thank and reward the people who helped you realize your dreams.   

 Drinking the “Kool-Aid”, only to find out all that glitters is not gold.  Where do I come up with these things?  The best way I can explain this is; some people use other people.  A lot of times, people will not be who they say they are, they will help you to a point and then abandon you.  Who knows why, jealousy, greed, disagreements; there are probably a hundred reasons but one of them is some people are just plain evil.  You have to see past the first wall of temptation and find out more about what you are getting yourself into, and how many people make it safely to the other side.  You also have to look at who you are surrounding yourself with, how much do you really know about the people with whom you are doing business?

 Fresh Meat for the grinder or it is better to burn out than to fade away.  Some people fail to pace themselves.  They think they can go 80 – 90 hours a week forever.  Can you, really?  Sooner or later, everyone has to recharge.  Life is full of peaks and valleys.  The people who manage their schedule the best are usually the ones who stay around the longest.  You can’t be everywhere and everything to everyone at once.  You have to continue to pick you battles, prepare for battle, celebrate your victories, analyze your defeats, pick up the pieces and start over.

 One Hit Wonders Have One Thing In Common!  Failure to Follow-Up!  Too many times, one hit wonders get caught up in the success they have, and do not plan for the next battle.  There are probably a lot more reasons out there, but after a while it is all the same old song.

How you finish depends on how you start.

How you finish depends on how you start.

Many people do not start with the end in mind.  Many people never even really start, they just go along.  Starting means planning; to start something you have to know what it is you are starting and where you want to finish.

 I started this blog with a couple of goals in mind.  To motivate people through positive affirmations, to become a better writer, to become a better team-builder, to become a leader, and last but not least World Domination!  So the only way to finish a lofty goal like that is to start, but more importantly to persist. 

 Many times we are doing what we think we need to do because we are told by a bunch of people that is what we should we doing.  But what if the people who are telling us what we should be doing are not doing things that we want to be doing?  Will we wind up somewhere we don’t want to be, because we listened to people and followed their advice even if they did not ask us a very simple qualifying question; “What do you want to do with your life?”

You can not finish a Skyscraper with out plans, plans and more plans. Would you leave it all to chance, if you were going to build a great big tower, that people who have never built a great big tower will tell you how to build a great big tower?  Everyone needs to think about how they are going to finish what they started before the start what they started.  This may not make sense to a lot of people unless you give me poetic license.

Listen, most of us are not chasing our dreams, we are just going along with what we have been told our whole lives; if this is true of you than you haven’t even started either, you are following someone else and going with the flow.  To actually start you have to figure out it what it is that you want to do.  Then you need to plan to do what you want to do.  Then you should probably go over you plan with a few people who may have done something similar to what you want to do, or at least read a few books on what you want to do.  Then you should ask yourself, can I finish what I plan on starting.

I could tell you right here and now, that I plan to run a marathon, tomorrow.  The problem is I know I am not in the kind of shape it would take to run a marathon.  I may be qualified; I have run my whole life.  But, I know that people who are good at running marathons have to run for over 3 hours to finish a marathon.  So even though I have ran for years, after about 30 minutes to an hour, I really just don’t feel like running anymore.

Now if I were a little more serious about running a marathon, then I would read an article or two about running marathons, plan out a training schedule that fits my lifestyle, maybe adjust my life a little, maybe get around people who run marathons and train with them.  Oh by the way, Life is a marathon, so why would life be any different?

Have you looked at where the lives of the people you are hanging around are leading?  Birds of a feather, flock together they say.  Have you thought this through?  I know for me to reach my goals, it is going to take a team of like minded people.  So I am searching for like minded people who want to go in the same direction I am headed.  Does this make sense after all my starting to start to finish talk?    

 How you finish depends on how you start.

The more I change the more I stay the same.

I am not the same person I was when I was a kid, or 10 years ago, or 10 months ago.  Sometimes I wonder if I am the same person I was 10 days ago, I know I am constantly changing.  Hopefully, I am growing, learning and getting better at what I do.  Hopefully I am an agent of positive change; hopefully I am helping make the world a better place.  But I can’t help to stop and reflect and try to connect the dots from my past to my present and give direction to my future.  I see myself still dreaming of the things I dreamed about when I was a kid, only in a different context.  The more I change, it seems the more I stay the same.

 I dreamed of being a Rock Star when I was a kid; travelling from city to city making music.  I had no real concept of working for a living.  Now that I have to work for a living, I spend my days dreaming of travelling from city to city making music.  And now that I have a concept of money and leadership, and teambuilding and teamwork; I dream of raising millions of dollars for charity and helping clean up and rebuild neighborhoods everywhere I go.  The more I change, it seems the more I stay the same.

 I spent many hours as a kid playing makeshift drum sets out of boxes from my toys and games.  My parents bought me a toy drum kit when I got a little older and a played it into the ground.  I dreamed of being in a band and touring the world.  Now I spent many hours trying to build makeshift teams of people who will work together, co-promote each other, expand each others businesses and try to help others along the way by volunteering and doing fund raisers.  The dreams change a little, they shift around, but basically they stay the same.

 As I grew older, my parent told I could not play the drums or join marching band.  I played the French Horn in orchestra, but my real dream was to be in a Rock Band.  I saved my money and bought a Bass Guitar, because everyone was a “Wanna Be Guitar Player” and Drums we out of the question.  Everyone told me to go to college, and give up on my dreams.  I played that Bass until my figures had blisters and then I played some more.  I developed thick skin.  Now people tell me to go to work and stop wasting my time, but I have thick skin.  I still want to be a Rock Star, maybe a Rock Star Engineer.

So what is wrong with wanting to organize charity fundraisers and blow them up into charity festivals, and travel the world leaving a positive impact on communities and maybe making some music along the way?  I think I am a visionary, and I am working on the Leader part of the deal.  It seems I stay the same throughout all the changes.

 Bass Guitar, I was no a Bass Player but I had not amp.  But I played that Bass like there was no tomorrow, and I borrowed amps until I could afford to by one.  Then I was a Bass Player with an Amp and no car, so I bummed rides to practice and I booked as many shows for any band I was in as I could.  And when I could I would jam some guitar, or drums or keyboards; I would play anything that made noise, and try to turn it into music, though some would still call it noise.  I was making a lot of noise.  So here I am years later, still making noise, trying to make music, trying to sing a song and get other to sing along.  The more I change, it seems the more I stay the same.

 So when people ask me what I want to do with my life, it is easy.  I want to be a Rock Star, not the tragic Rock Star figure with the sad ending, or the burned out past his prime holding on to fame Rock Star, no I want to be the Rock Star who helps others become Rock Stars.  I want to be the Leader who helps others become Leaders.  I want to be the Dreamer who helps others chase their Dreams.  I want to be a Team-builder who helps build teams of people who will co-promote each other, and raise money for charity, and make work seem like play, and have fun along the way, all the while living a lasting positive impact on every place we stop. 

I want to be a Rock Star; it seems the more I stay the same the more things change.

Rise above the static.

It sounds so simple. To go viral on the internet, become the new sensation, and cash in on the new found fame. Seems like everyone is doing it, has the internet and social media made it possible for an “Average Joe” to be able to jump into the “Big Leagues?” Can someone, anyone rise above the static? Well the answer is Yes and No but mostly No. Why, because there is more static than ever!

You can stop reading now if you want. Sometimes I feel like I am just adding more static. Yes, in the age of Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and WordPress; everyone can have a page, a channel, an audience. Anyone and everyone can post a Video of Cute Cats, or Dancing Babies, or Singing Future Stars, Amateur Actors, Next Wannabe Models, Backyard Wrestling, Garage Band Heroes… the list goes on and on. I am not mad at anyone who is ready to draw a line in the proverbial Cyber-sand, I am saying that from a distance it all adds up to more Static. The only question is “Can you rise above the static?”

In the past, whoever had the biggest megaphone won, the loudest speaker system won, the most press won, the most TV time won. A machine called the Evil Media creates stars for mass consumption. Somehow Evil and Liberal Media are interchangeable, but no one thinks that Evil and Conservative Media… OK I will not mess with that right now. Social Media was supposed to give Little Brother a voice. And it has, but Little Brother is also doing all the things Big Brother is doing; spying on each other, investigating or stalking depending on which side of the law you are on, and creating diversions and distractions in the name of entertainment. More Static!

Enough people sign up to Facebook, enough people sign up to YouTube, enough people sign up to WordPress, and the “Big Players” take notice. How can they cash in? Then they have channels and resources and get the most likes, and little brother is left fighting in the shadows yet again. In the end, if you stand far enough away from it and it is all noise, commotion, static. The noise and commotion get your attention, and then you have to take a closer look. But the more money you have, the more resources you have, the bigger your channel, the more Hits you get, which in turn gets more people’s attention. So can the little guy separate from the pack? Can the little guy generate enough steam, enough heat to get noticed for something with any substance?

It’s all static, it’s all been said, it’s all been done. Can I really be more interesting than “Dancing Cats” and your kids’ recital? Can the little guy not be tempted to sell out to the big guy on the first decent offer? I don’t know, for now I just draw my line in the Cyber-Sand, and dig in, and make a stand and try to make a difference and hurl as many clichés as possible until my little channel is seen, and heard. Each connection is precious, so precious even spam starts to look good. Spam; back lash static from the abyss. Can I rise above the Static?

Is being comfortable keeping you from being great?

Is being comfortable keeping you from being great?

When people ask you how are you doing; Do you answer OK?  Are you doing good?  Are you working for the weekend?  Will life be better tomorrow or are you holding steady? 

 Most people are creatures of habit.  Most of us develop patterns, stick to a schedule.  We get to work first, or we leave last and sometimes we do both.  We have our patterns, because our patterns work and they provide what we are used to having.  We are used to having nights and weekends off and a couple weeks of vacation a year.  We are used to seeing the family during the holidays.  Our habits, our patterns become traditions.  There is nothing wrong with being comfortable, but do you want to be great?

 Being great means you may have to take a risk.  Actually becoming great requires risk and sacrifice.  If you want to be great at something, anything, you are going to have to put in some extra time.  Natural Talent will take you pretty far; but as you come up against better and stronger competition, you will have to practice perfect practice.  Even then there is now guarantee you will be the best.  Many people have practiced their whole lives to qualify for the Olympics and most do not win the Gold Medal.  Most never win a medal at all, they are happy to be there.  When all of their friends were comfortable, they were working long hours training, many times away from their families. 

 Many people have sacrificed long hours to become footnotes in world history.  More greatness is forgotten than remembered.  Everyone who makes the Olympics is a champion in their country.  They are the best at what they do.  Many people how have been long forgotten worked their whole lives at a chance at greatness.  Think about all the people who missed the cut, think of those who were never called or worked behind the scenes coaching and supporting.  Lots of people sacrifice so that a select few can be celebrated.  Greatness and Comfort rarely meet before a Victory. 

 The world loves underdogs who win.  But when underdogs lose, they become bums, losers.  Would you have the courage to risk everything and lose?  Would you give it you all, would you give your best even when the odds are stacked tremendously against you? Would you still work those extra long hours even if no one gives you a chance?  No One thought David would beat Goliath, what if he did lose that one?  Can anyone name all the people who lost to Goliath?  Can anyone name anyone who lost to Goliath?  No we only know that Goliath had never lost before David.

 And what about the One Hit Wonders out there; think about the flashes in the pan that rise fast and fade faster.  Ask you self, did they get lucky and then could not handle the pressure?  Or did those shooting stars work hard, make it o the top and then get lazy or take it all for granted?  I am not telling people to not be comfortable; no I am challenging people to not be trapped in their comfort zone.  Greatness is a risk, it is a chance.  If you want to risk being great, you may have to sacrifice some comfort along the way.

 Is it worth it?  Is it worth it to you?  If you gave it your all, and came up short, would you be OK with that outcome?  Would you be OK being a footnote in history?  Are you OK with taking your shot when no one else will, even if you come up short?  I am not telling people to give up their comforts.  I am asking if people are happy where they are, are they willing to take a chance at greatness.  Personally, I just want to take a shot at greatness.  I am just a little shot who is still shooting.

 Is being comfortable keeping you from being great?

Life is like a giant game of Chess!

Chess is a great thinking person’s game, or at least that is how it is advertised.  Chess like Life is a game or sport where planning and adjusting are vital to successful outcomes.  Chess players are trained to think 2, 3, 4 or even 5 moves ahead.  I thought that great chess players made great thinkers.  I then found out that maybe I was wrong.

 Have you seen people who are great a chess and not so good at life?  I have met a few people who played Chess a lot, and I found myself playing more Chess when I was around Chess Players.  I studied the game and I surprised a few of the top players I was around.  They were not world champions, just people who played during lunch or break times at work.

I liked studying the game more than playing the game, so I found myself watching the people.  I wanted to find out if Chess Players really were thinking 4 or 5 moves ahead in the daily lives, not just on the Chessboard.  I would start to play experimental positions not to win or lose, but to see how people would react.  Some people loved certain pieces for all the wrong reason, like one guy would not trade his Knight for my Queen, and it was not a trap or gambit, just a straight trade. 

 The more I played a certain person, the more I listened to what they were talking about outside of work, in their daily lives.  The more I wanted to listen to how they were thinking about life and they were not really thinking 3 moves ahead outside of work.  We were all living pay check to pay check not really knowing what we were going to do next, let alone 2 moves ahead.  Everyone was so focused on looking like they were a great Chess player, but were they working just as hard at the game of life?

Life is like playing 10 or 15 games of Chess at the same time against an endless parade of opponents.  Your job, your career is a Big Chess Match being played at many levels.  We are in the game, at some tables we are Pawns, at other tables we may be Knights or Rooks.  We all want to feel like the King, but really; how often are we the King?

At home, another Chess match, with your family and your friends.  You want to believe we are all playing for the same team, but really we are in competition with our friends and neighbors, constantly playing “Keeping up with the Jones’”  Where to work, where to live,  when to spend, when to save, what to wear, what to eat, who to vote for; it’s all Chess, Chess and more Chess being played at so many levels.  Thinking 5 moves ahead, getting there first, do you camp out for great deals during the holidays?  Are you always late paying your rent?  Either way it is all part of the game.

 So many examples are out there, too many to name.  But the bottom line, we want to believe that people are smart because they play Chess; when in fact playing Chess does not make you smarter, it just means you may get better at Chess.  Studies have proven this to be true.  To play the game of “Chess” better, you have to study the game; to play the game of “Life” better you also have to study the game.  Forget about keeping up with the Jones’ and get around people who are successful in areas you want to be successful in, Study their habits; then get more information about the things in life that really matter to you.

In Chess you learn, that if you can get one of you pawns all the way across the board safely, the piece can be promoted.  Hmmm, Life is like a giant game of Chess!