12 Lessons in Character – from a Puppy

puppiesphoto courtesy Terry Bain, Flickr

“I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the “lower animals” (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me.” ~Mark Twain

Perhaps one of the very best way I know to simultaneous test and develop your CHARACTER is to adopt a puppy.

I’ve now had two dogs and I can attest to the powerful impact dog ownership has had on the development of my character. My first dog, Hercules was a mini-Lab I adopted when I was 22. He was about eight weeks old at the time. That was perhaps the scariest and greatest commitment of my life to that point. He passed away 15 years later and thanks to him so many great fortunes crossed my path – starting with my wife.

When I adopted ‘Herc’ I was still in college, no job, no real responsibility. Continue reading

So you think you are too busy to watch this video? What a joke!

I know, you’re a VERY BUSY person…. Really, I know, you are “super busy” and don’t have enough time to watch a video that is almost an hour long yet has the information and insight that is very likely to transform your life.

I get it… sort of.

Guess what my friend, BUSY is just another form of LAZY.

I just heard you say, “WHAT!?” “Did he just call me lazy?”

Listen, if you’re too busy then what you’re really saying is your just too LAZY to identify the most important things in your life. There is a great “Law” of efficiency that Brian Tracy talks about (he’s funny that way because so many things are “Laws” and he has what seems to be about 100 different laws). Having said that, the man is spot on.

The Law of Forced Efficiency states, “You never have enough time to do everything, but you ALWAYS have enough time to accomplish the most important things.”

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Kindle KDP Promotion Goes LIVE TODAY! Top Ten eBook; Self Esteem, Personal Transformation & Depression

“The lazy man does the hardest work.” ~Proverb

Why NOT give it a try?

If the goal of writing the book is to help people, why not give it away— at least for a short period of time (like TODAY for instance), right?

Last year, just before the holidays I received an incredible email. A woman wanted to purchase not just one copy of the paperback The 3 C’s of Success or 10 copies but between 30 – 50 copies” — she ended up buying 45 copies of The 3 C’s of Success” as GIFTS, and then gave them away to all her managers at her company.

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Arnold’s 6 Secrets of Success and The 3 C’s

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Despite his latest marital misgivings… I think this is a fantastic or (FAHN-Tastique- Arnold speak) VIDEO (content wise — the cinematography could use some work 🙂 ). Arnold touches on the most elemental and important aspects that have helped to DRIVE HIM and his success. It’s also revealing to see/understand his mental framework/principles responsible for forging his character.

From my vantage point, it’s interesting to see where his “6 Keys” overlap and intersect with “The 3 C’s of Succcess

Arnold’s 1st Key: Trust Yourself
This is interesting because you’ll notice this message is ALL over this website (see this site’s ABOUT page) and of course the same message resonates throughout the book “The 3 C’s of Succcess. So, which “C” does “Trust Yourself” fall into? Most likely, CHARACTER – that is belief in yourself. There is definitely a little bit of CREATIVITY as well in his first key. That is, in order to trust yourself you must have sparked some unique, creative thoughts!

Arnold’s 2nd Key: Break the Rules
We (you) must think outside the box. Arnold’s point is, don’t break the law but be sure to break the rules. What is the point, he asks of doing everything like everyone else? This obviously falls under Creativity but no doubt contains a little Character. That is, without the confidence to break the rules you won’t likely do it.

Arnold’s 3rd Key: Do not be afraid of failure.
TranslatedCourage which is the foundation of  CHARACTER!

Arnold’s 4th Key: Ignore the Naysayers:
Critically important and is rooted as well in CHARACTER!

Arnold’s 5th Key:
WORK YOUR BUTT OFF!!! There is simply no way around it – he says, “No Shortcuts”. This is (again) both Character and Completion. I love the part about “someone out there RIGHT NOW, is working hard, getting smarter, etc.” No pain – no gain.

Arnold’s 6th key:
GIVE BACK. GIVE BACK. GIVE BACK. NOTHING is more rewarding then giving back. This constitutes Character.

Summary:
His content is spot on. You must believe you CAN do it! You must be unique/think different/break the rules! You can NOT fear failure! There will always be naysayers— ignore them entirely! And, without HARD WORK you will NOT get where you want to be! You must work hard! Finally, nothing is more rewarding than giving back!

Those are his exceptional foundational “rules” for success if you will. Yes, there is a bit of irony there given his current / most recent situation with his wife and that these are “rules” (if you follow). But please know, there is no secret to success and unfortunately there is no 4 hr work week.

So, here is a man (ARNOLD) who’s experienced terrific levels of success. You can hear the knowledge, experience and wisdom in his words. Whether it was Body building, Hollywood, Politics. The TERMINATOR kicked-ass because he was FOCUSED and BUSTED his ass. His record speaks for itself and there are great lessons to learn even from his current (personal) situation with Maria. As a public figure (unfortunately) personal situations do not tend to remain personal.

Always remember, as the great coach John Wooden used to say, “Talent can get you to the TOP but it is CHARACTER that keeps you there.”

Until next time. To your succcess (w/ 3 C’s!)

~mws

Competition is GREAT and why losing is often FAR BETTER

Competition and value of losing

“If you ain’t first, you’re last. You know, you know what I’m talking about? ” ~Ricky Bobby

“Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.” ~Vincent Lombardi

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” ~Michael Jordan

My morning run typically ends at a park. Given that summer has just started more than a few dozen kids can be found running around and playing on any given morning. In between sets, (pushups/pullups) I notice that seemingly everywhere kids are competing; racing on foot, racing on bikes (one tiny kid had a bike that didn’t even have peddles and was racing!) everywhere I looked kids were playing tag, soccer, etc. Then, it spilled out of my mouth; jaw dropped, ipod blaring in my ears, “duh, (i said to me) competition IS natural.”

News flash! It’s human nature to compete. However, somewhere between when I was six years old and my daughter turned six we became “NICE”. You know, no winners and no losers. “Don’t worry Jimmy, just feel good.” Sarah, (who scored 3 goals) looks confused as we explain why she didn’t actually win. “there are no winners Sarah.”

While there are many larger societal challenges at the moment this one is on my radar. When and WHY did we decide we could reverse thousands of years of competitive evolution and teach kids NOT to compete? Does anyone think Sarah really believes there are no winners? Who thinks the Olympic games are going to disappear anytime soon? Guess what, kids know better instinctively.

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Guest Post: This is where the story really begins…

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” ~T.S. Eliot

It was a beautiful spring day, the sun was out, the birds were singing, squirrels were playing in the yard, and I Brian Webb a recent college graduate was deciding my future. I was at home in Maysville, Kentucky discussing what I should do with my life and what endeavors I should partake. The decisions were made that I should move to Cincinnati and live with my father and work in the IT field with his company as a mentor/internship. With my education, it was believed that I can move up to management. With that decided, I drove back to Lexington content on my decision.

“Life tends to happen when you are making plans.” I arrived at my apartment in Lexington, Kentucky and decided to lay down on the couch to take a nap. However, I couldn’t sleep, I had a strange headache coming on stronger and stronger. Bam! Bam! BAM!!! Felt like a nail was being driven in the back of my skull. The pain was excruciating! So, painful in fact that I got sick and passed out.

My brother came rushing to my side and called 911. The ambulance delivers me to the ER in a coma. End of story.

Now, this is where the adventure really begins…. Continue reading

Time: Don’t Manage it – Channel it

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Time may be the ultimate illusion but in the final analysis it’s is all we have. Consider that without it there literally is nothing else, not within our perceivable, physical realm. And with it, seemingly all possibilities exist.

Yet how people “manage”  their time is ultimately what separates those who achieve their ideal future – their success, and those who don’t. On the most basic level, “success” becomes a derivative of time management. But, the question is; do high achievers really “manage” their time or do they do something else? Do they regard time differently?

PERCEPTION & RELATIVITY

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. Now THAT’S relativity.” – Einstein

Not only is time relative – it’s illusive. Continue reading

When there is no “Why?” 9 Lessons in Achievement from a “Crazy” Man

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Brilliant. astounding, outstanding and remarkable

There aren’t enough superlatives for MAN ON WIRE!

Things have been a little busy lately – and wanting to get to this “review’ / post since I saw this movie well over a month ago! Man on Wire is incredibly entertaining movie and not just for the never-to-be-repeated, remarkable feat itself (tight-rope, in this case wire-walking from one World Trade Center tower to the other) but, also, for its direction, production, and original footage.

I happened to see this movie (wifee’s recommendation) just before the Academy Awards (no surprise it won for best documentary).  The story features Phillipe Petit and his mission to realize his life’s dream of walking a tight rope between the two world trade towers. The brilliance from a production standpoint is the reenactment is interspersed with some fantastic original footage.  But, what makes the movie truly so powerful and riveting is the UNDERLYING THEME.

We are all walking a tight rope.

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10 Great Success Lessons from a Legend: Coach John Wooden

“Success is the peace of mind which is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you made the effort to become the best at what you are capable of becoming.”

~ John Wooden

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Whether you like basketball or even know what a basketball is, chances are you would have been moved and inspired by this man! Up until his death at the age of 99 in 2010, John Wooden was regarded a quick wit and sage to many players, coaches and friends who sought out his friendship and counsel. To give you a little flavor, here’s another quote from the same article referenced above.

“When asked about the keys to successful aging, Coach was quick to respond: stay busy, stay active, enjoy every day like it is your masterpiece, have some variety and try to learn something new every day,” Castel said. “One of Coach’s famous quotes, ‘When I am through learning, then I am through,’ illustrates his lifelong commitment to learning.”

“Make every day your masterpiece!?”

I almost let the brilliance of that comment escape me. It sounds too cliché, right? “Make every day your masterpiece.” Wow! That is super powerful. If I could only possess that type of presence, that type of awareness — to make each encounter, each moment of each day a masterpiece. In order for each day to be a masterpiece, each moment would have to be a masterpiece. By definition that is what a masterpiece is, right? All pieces/component parts masterfully interwoven to produce magnificence? I ask you, just what affect would that have on my life’s outcome?

And, “Lifelong commitment to learning.” Sound familiar?

Based on the above statements, I think it’s obvious why I’ve taken some time to spotlight the “Wizard of Westwood.” Certainly, a site like this, dedicated to success philosophy, is going to harmonize with so many of coach’s philosophies.

Yes, the “coach” is synonymous with “Success.” In fact, you’ll recall that in “The 3 C’s of Succcess,” he is referenced for his storied commitment and direct study of success as well as his 14-year refinement of his “SUCCESS PYRAMID.”

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Take notice! At a relatively young age the Coach started to ASK questions — he wanted to understand SUCCESS better. In fact, he cites a story where his math teacher forced the class to consider what success meant to them (sound familiar?). It was a profound moment in young Wooden’s life and he never forgot it. What is success? He wondered. As a young teacher he became disillusioned by seeing the pressures and expectations certain parents put on their kids if they didn’t receive an “A” or a “B.”

Those judgments he felt were hurtful, limiting, and in some cases unfair. He thought long and hard about success and what it ought to be — what the definition should be. Sound familiar? (See 3 C’s).

So, he ultimately settled on this definition, believing it provides everyone equal footing. In many ways his definition is attributed to this poem, which he often cites…

At God’s footstool, to confess, 
A poor soul knelt and bowed his head.
”I failed,” he cried. The master said,
”Thou didst thy best. That is success.”

Widely regarded as the best college basketball coach of all time and  named the “Coach of the Century” by ESPN. John Wooden had a knack for cutting to the core issue, focusing on fundamentals and expertly dealing with different and difficult players – their unique personalities, star egos — and all the while forging character. In short, he was a remarkable coach. His methods earned his teams unparalleled success. In 70-71,71-72 his teams went a perfect 30-0, winning back-to back NCAA championships. Only a few coaches have ever had one undefeated season. In fact, during a 12-year stretch, he won an astonishing 10 national championships

Here are a few quick lessons I’ve learned from his many insights:

1. Ask questions and focus upon what you want to master.
He elected to ask questions and focus on success and therefore came to know success. If you become what you think about most of the time, what better concept to focus upon, contemplate and learn about than success? He spent 14 years — YES, 14 YEARS — developing a success pyramid. How many DAYS have you thought about your definition of success and its component parts?

2. Life is a TEAM Sport.
Wooden embraced diversity and worked to find all players’ strengths.

3. Don’t treat everyone the same.
To COACH effectively you don’t treat everyone the same. Everyone responds differently. Some require encouragement and some require increased pressure and challenge. Same goes for management.

4. Concentrate on what you can control.
Coach would never let his teams dwell on the opposition. They remained focused on what they could control — mainly…

5. Practice Fundamentals FIRST and LAST.
He was legendary for grinding even the best players on the basics. He knew they could do fancy dunks — but could they hit a clutch free throw or bank shot when it counted? Do you know what your fundamentals are?

6. Moderate and Simplify.
Wooden exemplified this on the court and off with his simple demeanor and tremendous humility.

7. Focus on effort not the result.
Knowing that practicing fundamentals takes time, he was concerned solely with effort and commitment, understanding that success is a byproduct of said constant effort.

8. Quality Leadership and management require teaching.
Effective teaching requires coaching. Effective coaching requires caring and caring requires listening! Even today, ex-players recall his impact because he cared and took the time to listen and teach.

9. Balance is everything.
He said this often — balance in life and balance on the court. He put balance only second to LOVE. Balance is everything. “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” This, in essence, is balance; controlled action in all areas of life.

10. Love Rules.
See above. He used to say “the purpose of discipline isn’t to punish but to correct.” With love in his heart and by always seeking to measure intent and effort first, his players would quickly align with the teams goal — a national championship. They never feared or second-guessed his intentions.

So, when you combine all his methods, it becomes fairly easy to see why he has been so successful on and off the basketball court.

Thank you Coach! All the best Sir! Thanks so much for your tremendous gifts — your thoughtful consideration and study of SUCCESS has no doubt made many a person’s path more swift and assured. We are all likely to go farther faster because you have contributed so generously. We have indeed been fortunate to benefit from your wisdom.

Continued peace, health and happiness.

~MWS

Note: Be sure to watch this feature TED talk Wooden gave at the age of 91 about success. RIP Coach. You’ve left us all a little wiser and we can never repay you (the way you would have wanted it- see #10 below).

TED TALK -> http://bit.ly/9ji96g (priceless wisdom coming from the Coach himself)

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