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A Letter to My Son About Failure

Karate

Hey buddy,

I can still picture the excitement on your face when I came to pick you up from your karate lesson tonight.

“Get your phone ready, I’m going to break a brick!” you said.

I admit, on the inside I was a little worried that you wouldn’t be able to do it, but you’ve surprised me in the past when you’ve broken through really thick boards.

I can still picture the determination in your eyes as you positioned yourself behind the brick, took a deep breath and, with a yell, brought your fist down as hard and fast as you could. The brick didn’t break that time. Or the next time. Or the next.

I watched with sadness in my heart as you fought back tears and walked to the side of the group.…

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Motivated Monday – The Need for Adversity (Good Timber)

Frozen Forest looking up

Happy Monday! This weekend I was reminded of this wonderful poem about the necessity for adversity in life. Without opposition, obstacles and struggles, we would grow on the outside but not develop the inner strength needed for happiness and success. Remember, “good timber does not grow with ease.” Enjoy!

Kris

 

Good Timber

The tree that never had to fightOld Oak Tree at Winter Sunset
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.…

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International Try Something New Day

Try Something New DayHave you ever gotten to Monday morning and you can’t really remember anything you did over the weekend? You know you did stuff but nothing really stands out to you. Have you ever arrived and the end of the year and thought, “What made this year special?” Or does it seem like the years come and the years go and life pretty much moves along at a constant and comfortable speed?

Well, I’m on a crusade to help people overcome their ruts. I never want anyone to get to the end of their life and say, “I wish I would have tried _____.” or “I regret never doing _______.”

So we are starting “National Try Something New Day” which will occur every year on September 7th.…

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20 Reasons Why Intelligent People Fail

Intelligent Failure Woman

This is a really interesting list from Robert Sternberg’s book,

In Search of the Human Mind

1. Lack of motivation. A talent is irrelevant if a person is not motivated to use it. Motivation may be external (for example, social approval) or internal (satisfaction from a job well-done, for instance). External sources tend to be transient, while internal sources tend to produce more consistent performance.

2. Lack of impulse control. Habitual impulsiveness gets in the way of optimal performance. Some people do not bring their full intellectual resources to bear on a problem but go with the first solution that pops into their heads.

3. Lack of perserverance and perseveration. Some people give up too easily, while others are unable to stop even when the quest will clearly be fruitless.…

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Why Perfectionists Are Often the Biggest Failures

perfectionismA few years ago on a college campus, a ceramics professor decided to try an experiment on one of his classes. At the start of the semester he divided the class into two groups and explained that each group would be graded differently.

Group 1 would be graded on the total number of pots they could create throughout the semester, with a minor importance given to quality.

Group 2 would be graded on just one pot. They had all semester to work on just one pot so they better make it impressive.

At the end of the semester, the students all turned in their work for grading. To the professor’s amusement, the 5 highest quality pots all came from the group who was focused on quantity over quality.

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A Wish for Our New Graduates

graduation hats

To continue our Graduation Week posts, I wanted to share this wonderful short poem from Donald Kaag, a high school teacher from Moscow, Idaho. He shared it at a high school graduation in 2006, the year he was retiring. These were his final words to his students and I think they are applicable to all of us:

Seniors

I’d wish you a nice life

If I didn’t care about you so much…

What I wish for you is freezing cold graduate homeless-man

So you will appreciate warmth.

Real hunger

So food will taste wonderful when you get it.

Loneliness

So that when you find a true friend you will appreciate

The work and the difficulty of earning…and keeping…friendship.

graduates friends-fingersI wish you love

And loss

And love again…

That you find something so precious you would give your life for it,

And then the sense…the heart…to live for it.…

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7 Tips for High School Graduates

graduation-caps

     This week all around the country many teenagers will graduate high school. All the years of homework, minimum wage, and social anxiety will culminate in the wonderful event we call graduation. Many will consider it their move from adolescence into adulthood. Some will go on to college, some directly to careers. Some will enter the military or leave on a religious mission abroad. No matter what the future holds for you, young graduate, there are some tips that I would like you to know as you enter “the real world.”

#1 – Enjoy your time at home. These are your last days with your parents and siblings. Once you leave it will never be the same, even if you come back. You may be in a hurry to get out on your own and experience the “freedom” outside the walls of your home but, trust me, it is a whole lot more complicated than it sounds.…

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Obstacle or Advantage? – The Incredible Story of Anthony Robles

Anthony Robles

This weekend was the collegiate national wrestling championships. As I watched it briefly I was reminded of a great wrestler named Anthony Robles. I first heard about Anthony when he was in high school, he being from my home town of Mesa, AZ. He later wrestled at my Alma Mater, Arizona State University. But these aren’t the reasons I followed Anthony. I was more intrigued by the fact that he was having so much success in spite of being born with just one leg.

That’s right. For no known reason, he was born without one leg. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any kind of a stump, so there are no prosthetic legs that will work for him. From a young age he had to learn how to manage with crutches or by hopping on his left leg.…

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I’ve Learned…

I’ve Learned…

leanred fromI’ve Learned…

that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned-
that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned-
that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned-
that you should never ruin an apology with an excuse.

I’ve learned-
that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes.…

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