Tag Archive | goal

Let the games begin

You’ll not find much time left on the countdown clock for the start of the 2012 Olympics. Very soon you’ll hear the words, “Let the games begin.” Will you be watching?

Whether you’re a dedicated sports enthusiast or an occasional viewer, take advantage of the events in these next couple of weeks. Look beyond the gold, silver and bronze to see the stories of commitment, concentration, control, and courage that enabled these athletes to accomplish their goals and realize their dreams. Regardless if they win a medal, they qualified to participate in the XXX Olympiad. That is no small feat.

As you watch and listen to commentators regale you with facts and statistics, see if they inspire you. Regardless of their innate talent or abilities, each one (not just the track stars) had hurdles to overcome whether physical or emotional. None of them woke up one morning and decided to try out, and each one learned from the experience. I think we can learn from them as well.

You might enjoy reading what Penelope Trunk learned about business from playing beach volleyball or Christie Rampone gained in the area of leadership from her soccer experiences. And, you’ll become aware of many more inspiring stories once these games begin.

We will hear a lot to inspire us, and we’ll see examples of successful results. Will it be enough for us to do what it takes to follow our dreams? It could.

Warning for all high school graduates

Since the first days of September, you’ve been thinking about graduation day, but more, perhaps, as a closing, and rightly so. It’s the end of a phase of your education and life. Now things will change. These changes will be far from subtle as were the ones from grade to grade. They will be drastic in comparison, and they’ll come at you fast.

Remember the sing-songy mantra you used to chant at the beginning of summer vacation? “No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks”? In one sense, your dreams have come true. Seriously. Even if you’re going on to college, those days are gone. Nothing will be the same. Sure, you’ll have classes with pencils (now replaced by technology) and books (now coming with huge price tags and little resale value), but the classroom will change. The teacher’s dirty looks will no longer come as a result of mischievous behavior. Instead, they will challenge your previous 18 years at the core and possibly the entire foundation of your life, especially if you are a Christian or hold traditional values. Are you ready?

Many college professors project a persona of having all of the answers and view you as an unenlightened blank page on which to write their agenda. Their goal is not to see you learn to think so that you can become the innovators of tomorrow; rather, they want you to join them as they espouse their theories of the way the world should be based not on lofty ideals or fact, but on failed programs from the past. Their goal? Land you like a fish – hook, line and sinker. Are you ready?

One thing you’ll learn in your history classes is history repeats itself because people ignore the results achieved the first time around. Sometimes they just rewrite it altogether. I achieved my degree a lot later in life and watched professors distort facts about some of the time periods I had already lived through as an adult. This coupled with the way they changed the events themselves helped me recognize what they could do to young people unless they were prepared. Some of the sources they quoted had fancy names, but no real quantitative results to substantiate their data. To be fair, some of these proponents are only repeating what they had been taught and likely had not done their own research. If I were just coming out of high school, however, I might not have been as well prepared to see through their views. Are you ready?

With today’s ready access to technology, you have resources available to challenge the best classroom orators. Don’t be so quick to toss out your core values. God does not change nor do His principles. If you want to know truth, go to the source. The Bible will not take you down the wrong path. Are you ready?

Just for fun, check out this video to see how things used to be, why they were that way and how things are changing. You or even your parents, just might be a part of making a real difference. BTW — CONGRATULATIONS!

Can you learn from an 8-year old?

Have you ever seen a large-ticket item you feel you’d like to have, maybe even needed, but have no idea where to start to make it happen?

Some people seem to be born with focus. They know what they want and go after it, usually with success. Those on the opposite side of the continuum seem to float their way through life aiming at little and becoming confused by the less than desirable results. Although you can pay a lot of money to find and read a host of books, get training or attend seminars on setting and achieving your goals, you might also like a more simplistic approach.

Instead of trying to remember what each letter of a SMART goal stands for, you can follow journalism’s 5 Ws and an H – What, Why, Where, Who, When and How. With these questions you can define

  • what you want
  • why you should have it and what challenges will need to be addressed along the way
  • who needs to be involved
  • where to find resources
  • when it should take place
  • how to make it happen

You can adapt the questions to your specific purpose.

Without any help from adults or older siblings, my 8-year old grandson came up with his business plan to obtain a trampoline and prepared it in the form of a proposal to his parents. You might like his method. The last I heard, he’s still working on the second phase. I think you’ll chuckle at his wisdom.

ETHAN’S TRAMPOLINE

Why we need a trampoline is because:  It will help with heaLth. How it will help is it will give us leg muscles and we will play outside.

Where will we get the money? How we will get the money is it will be a birthday present from Dallas, and Michael, Sabrina, and Grandma, and Grandpa, and you guys (his parents).

Where will we put it? The options of where we could put it if we got it is:  In the back yard or on one of the sides of our house.

Safety: Make sure it has a net and has unlimited weight.

Other: We can move the basketball hoop towards the trampoline. We can save money because we won’t have to go to the workout gym.

Come and get it

 Have you ever seen an eagle swim? Click here to see for yourself.

A good friend sent this video to me. Perhaps it’s on an email circuit from your friends as well, but one thing stood out. Apart from the fact I had no idea an eagle could sit on the water like a duck and then swim a modified butterfly stroke, I had to marvel at his perseverance. Granted his growling stomach drove him on, but it seems that there might be more of a lesson learned beyond a picnic at the lake. 

We cannot be certain how hungry our friend was in order to determine his motivation. Was this meal the eagle’s first of the day or did it give the appearance of a quick and easy snack? Regardless, our buddy accepted the challenge, even though it took four failures before he realized success. Maybe observing the eagle will help me (and you as well) to persevere with new adventures or difficult situations. 

Saw the opportunity – Even from great heights above, his eagle eye spotted a meal in the midst of the water. 

Envisioned himself successful – He pictured himself partaking of the delicate morsels. 

Planned to succeed – Stephen Covey would say he “had the end in mind from the beginning,” and he decided to go for it. 

Tried the easiest approach first – Swooping down and picking prey out of the water  had worked before, so that was the natural approach. If it worked, great. If not, something else would. 

Assessed the situation – The first try didn’t bring lunch. Maybe he was just off his game a bit, so he tried again being conscious of the entire process.   

Tweaked his program – Making adjustments along the way, he kept trying. You have to give him credit. 

Took a less conventional approach to meet the goal – Though I’ve now learned that eagles can swim, they generally choose a more conventional mode to prepare their meals. This eagle must have also read Robert Frost as he took the road less traveled and it made all the difference. Maybe his method will also work for me.

What’s the classic response?

It’s amazing how you change as you mature. (Mature is a more politically correct, less offensive way to say age or get older.) 

When I was in high school, I loathed English class where we were required to read books like Don Quixote, Moby Dick, and other really long books fondly referred to as classics. (Would you believe some people in the class did not read or finish these selections?) The teacher would attempt to engage his pupils in discussion about the book’s virtues and insisted the author had a deeper meaning that should be relatively plain to us. Nine times out of ten, we missed it. 

I really struggled with those classes and could rarely see another story coursing through the pages. Melville’s use of the great white whale as a metaphor went right over my head. Now that I’ve matured and have more life experience under my belt, I can better see the story within a story.  I can appreciate the role character development and placement plays to deliver a message while providing a pleasurable experience to the reader. 

Although I have recently increased the number of books I am reading on a monthly basis, I think I’d like to change it up a bit to add some of the classics to my reading list, and this time I might even finish them.  I think I’ll start with a goal to read 3 this year. Any suggestions on which ones I should choose? What would be your classic response?