Prove Them Wrong

James van Riemsdyk is a professional hockey player.  
He spent the last four years in Philadelphia after he was drafted into the National Hockey League.
He’s a good young prospect who has shown stretches of brilliance.  But he was also plagued with injuries, a concussion and some bad luck.  So when the Flyers traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer, van Riemsdyk wasn’t surprised.  
A well-mannered young man, he immediately tweeted the Philly faithful how much he enjoyed playing in that tough hockey town.
But it is what van Riemsdyk did next that may have made all the difference to this young, struggling athlete.
He began wearing a wristband under his equipment sent to him by a friend who owned an inspirational clothing company.  The slogan said:  “prove them wrong”.
And prove them wrong he did by getting off to the fastest start in his career with the hope that now van Riemsdyk will finally catch up to his full potential.
The trade turned out to be a win-win for both teams because the Flyers received Luke Schenn for van Riemsdyk and he is off to the same fast start with his new team.
Prove them wrong doesn’t mean do them wrong or hold a vendetta against those who give up on you.
It is a reminder to never give up on yourself.
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Making Your Own Good Luck

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all”. 

That’s funny, but not true.

Blaming luck is a cop out of sorts – a way to see the negative side of things.

I know people – and I’ve worked with people – who seek out failure like a heat-seeking missile finds its target.  And I think they do it because of fear of failure.

If you blame luck, you don’t really have to take the chance of failing on your own.

If you read this space regularly you know I am a great believer that failure is actually the required precursor to success.  Tell me how many failures you’ve had and I can see a success coming.

Failure is a way to discover what works and what doesn’t.

A foolproof method of gauging your own desire and that of those around you.

“Lucky” people are rarely lucky.

Even those who think luck won them the lottery sadly find out that most big lottery winners become losers in life – losing their friends, family, job and, of course, the money eventually runs out leaving them destitute. 

You may prefer this great advice from Branch Rickey, one-time commissioner of baseball:

“Luck is the residue of design”. 

We make our own good luck.

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  • John Wooden once said, “hard work and good luck go hand and hand”

Stress-Free Email

So the Postal Service is cutting out Saturday deliveries in August and somehow I can hear millions of people moaning about the email that is going to pick up the slack.

Even more junk mail.

More back and forth communication that used to be limited to fewer postings.

Gen Y has it right.  E-mail is so outmoded and yet we find ourselves stressed out over it.

There is so much volume and it’s not letting up.  Factor in Facebook, Twitter and other social media interactions and we conclude that what put the Postal Service out of business is putting us out of our minds.

So, here are some workarounds:

  1. Open a new email address and give it out to others the way you would hand them a $100 bill – very selectively and infrequently.  Monitor this address the most once you have made the switchover.
  2. Consider a new IOS app called Mailbox.  It’s a retro way of handling mail just like snail mail.  You can sort your inbox into three pretty neat columns.  But it’s a tool not a total answer.
  3. You can answer your email at prescribed times each day but it might be better to refer back to #1 and start over.  A lot of email even handled twice a day can be stressful.
  4. Try to make emails Twitter length where possible.
  5. Sometimes the seemingly endless back and forth to, say, make an appointment might be better handled with a short phone call.

The answer is to take control of something that started as good and has now become a nightmare for many.

“I don’t believe in email.  I’m an old fashioned girl.  I prefer calling and hanging up” – Sarah Jessica Parker

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  • I like it.  I’m guilty of that at times in an effort to expedite my email (stress) but it sure helps the receiver to know the updated subject line

  • Jerry, here’s one … CHANGE THE SUBJECT LINE in the email when the topic changes. Saves a lot of time for everyone and your message is less likely to missed. Too many email exchanges turn into a series of Re:Fwd:Re: The Dog Ate the Goldfish even after the subject has changed to Did You Hear They Are Firing The Marketing Staff At Noon.

Beginner’s Luck

It is amazing how many beginners are lucky.

If you’ve wondered why that is, perhaps it is because beginners are not really lucky.

They are fearless.

The more we fear failure, the more we fear what it takes to be successful.

When we start something new – such as a new job, a new hobby, or a new interest, our best days are usually in the beginning before we hear the negative attitudes of others, or even worse – the repetitive words of constraint.

What can’t be done. 

What’s too expensive to consider. 

What someone else might not want.

You could say Mark Zuckerberg had beginner’s luck when he invented Facebook in college.  

But it was no accident. 

It was a lack of fear.

So beginner’s luck is a misnomer.  It should really be called beginner’s fearlessness.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few” – Shunryu Suzuki

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The 100% Never Fail Motivator

A friend of mine took me to lunch in his new car.

It was a brand new Cadillac.

I complimented it and wished him the best but I got more than a pleasant lunch that day.  I learned an important lesson.

He was a business owner/salesman who relied on his own work ethic and ability to sell himself to make a living.  And here is what he told me:

“I bought this car because I exceeded the sales goal I set for myself in the beginning of the year.  I knew if I could hit that goal, I would make enough to reward myself with a new car.”

But I asked him was there ever a time when he set a goal and fell short.

His response:

“Last year – which is why had I picked you up for lunch then, we would have been driving there in my old car.”

His advice:

  1. Even if you get close to your goal, do not give yourself the reward anyway.  Getting close is such a strong motivator, you will actually more than exceed your original goal once you’ve fallen short.
  2. Choose a reward that can be well defined – like a car, a vacation, a full day at the spa, etc.  The more tangible, the better.
  3. Once you earn your reward, be mindful every time you think of it or use it (as driving in his car) that the material reward represents something more important – your commitment to work toward your goals.

Or as Confucius said:

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps”.

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