The Story Of The Quiet Superstar…And How You Can Become One

November 12, 2012

I was talking to my daughter the other day about basketball. She said she is currently playing it in Gym class. She added that she enjoys it, but she was struggling. After all, she is short for her age, and basketball is a tall person’s game. She said she was trying to play well and improve. The problem is that her lack of confidence was eveident. As a result, the other kids aren’t even throwing the ball to her.

I tried to think quickly. Although I very much enjoy the game and have decent athletic ability, I am not good at basketball. So what could I tell her? As I thought about it, I thought of my favorite college and NBA players. My favorites are the ones who are not seven feet tall, and not even the ones that score the most points. They are the ones who rack up the assists and do the little things to help the team win. Basically, they are the ones that help the superstars and the high point scorers look good. These players are the ones that find the big guys and get them the ball for the easy shot. Again, they help the stars succeed and look good.

I advised my daughter that she could be this type of player. Basketball is a team game for a reason. The biggest guys get the inside dunks and block shots from the opponents. The shooters are the ones scoring the long 3 pointers. Then there are those I mentioned that have a high number of assists and do what’s necessary where needed. Everyone has their role. Each player that has reached the college and professional level is there because of ability, but also because they were smart enough to figure out the best way to contribute to a team based on their size and ability.

I explained this to my daughter. She is not tall, nor has she had much practice shooting the ball. I explained to her how to find the players that could make the basket and do her best to get the ball to them. That’s something that, based on her ability, she could work to get better at. Once the other kids figure out that they would get the ball from my daughter to score, she would get the ball more. In other words, if they figure out that my daughter can help make them look good, they will of course give her more opportunities to do so. She would be considered a valuable member of the team.

What’s the point of all of this? You too can be considered a very valuable team member wherever you are. You can help yourself stand out. How? By helping others look good. This goes against the normal way of thinking. Most people attempt to stand out by bringing the attention on themselves. It is human nature to do this. However, you are more likely to be noticed when you help others get noticed. You are more likely to look good when you help others look good. In a nutshell, you succeed when you help others succeed.

I began following this suggestion and I certanly see its truth. I challenge you to do the same.  Remove the focus from yourself, and see what you can do to help others shine. If you do this consistently, you will begin to see the spotlight shine on you more often. You will feel great for helping others, and will experience significant rewards yourself.

I challenge you to increase your assist total. You can score some baskets too, but the key is to help others succeed and look good. They will be blessed, and so will you. Then you will all be winners. Have an excellent day!


The 100 Smile Challenge

September 17, 2012

It was one of those Sundays. Instead of relaxing at home with the family and watching football, I was at my part time job handing out free food samples. However, it was a very slow day. The weather was beautiful, the local football team was playing their first home game, and people were just not in the food shopping mood.

My mind drifted as I stood there in the far corner of the store with much less than the normal amount of vistors I would normally see. First I prayed. Then I visualized reaching some of my goals. However, after a while I could no longer focus. I felt like I needed to do something drastic and make positive impacts at the same time. Then the idea came to my mind. I usually do my best to put a smile on someone’s face with a kind word, or simply smiling at them. However, when things get busy at the store or at at the school I teach at, the smile and positive intentions sometimes disappear. I made the intention that today, since it was much slower, I would make this effort with every single person that came my way. My goal by the end of the day was to get 100 people in my presence to smile.

As I thought about it, I realized that the task was not very difficult. It’s a fact that when you smile at someone else, it is very likely they will smile back. I’ve seen it before at this store. Even if they don’t like what I’m promoting, they will still usually respond positively to the hello and smile they receive from me. The only difficulty today would actually be coming in contact with 100 people.

I began the deliberate smiles and positive greetings. I immediately received positive responses. I couldn’t get everyone to smile back, but even those who didn’t at least acknowledged me and said hello. One benefit I didn’t plan on during this time was that, as I was relaying smiles and positivity to others, I was being affected myself! I began to feel more positive and energetic. Besides putting smiles on the faces of others, I was getting the biggest kick out of this, and the smile grew automatically on my own face. The funny thing is that I was promoting a relatively unpopular product (seltzer water). Regardless, my encounters with the customers felt more natural and at ease, even though many had no interest in sampling the product.

As the day went on, I realized I was going to hit this goal. There were enough people passing by in the 4 hours I was on the floor. And I had 4 more people at home to share this positivity with as well! As it turned out, my final count was 112. As I end my day now I thank God for the idea, and the satisfaction of putting smiles on 112 faces today. It’s not the first time I’ve put a smile on someone’s face. However, it is the first time I set such a drastic goal and actually exceeded it. The reminder from this is that it can be done anytime, anywhere. I teach 150 students a day. Why not make the same deliberate effort to put some extra positive into their day? The same can be done with family members, friends, supermarket cashiers, people passing by, etc.

I would understand if you called me crazy for actually taking the time to tally smiles. I would certainly believe you. Those closest to me would say it’s something typical that I would do. However, I challenge you to do the same. Set a number goal and go out of your way to put a smile on as many faces as you can. It’s not difficult. Simply keep the smile on your own face, let God’s love shine through you, and say hello or something nice. You’ll be amazed at the positive impacts you make, and how good you feel also. Yes, the 100 smile challenge is a bit extreme, but sometimes you need to be that way to stand out and make a positive difference. Please share your results of where and when you try this and accomplish it. I would love to hear about it. Enjoy the blessings : )


Great Steps To Make Your Mind Happy

March 4, 2012

It is a fact that the more we use the power of our mind, the greater our chances of success. If we want to maximize our mind power, I believe we need to maintain a happy mind. I found a video by Nelson Berry that outlines 4 ways to exercise the power of our mind:

  1. Set goals. The most efficient goals are clear, specific, and present tense.
  2. Clear the mind of clutter. Just as our homes are more comfortable when they are clear and clutter free, our minds work the same way.
  3. Listen to music. Our favorite music has a very positive effect on our mind-set. It helps cultivate the mind, relax, and help us feel good.
  4. Repetition/Consistency. The object is to continuously see the the change we want to be in our minds, and repeat positive phrases to ourselves. When we do that, we are guided to act it out and manifest the results we desire.

For more detail on these mind power exercises, check out the full video here…

http://youtu.be/QAGGpTkza3M

 


Magnified Focus

February 24, 2012

I’ve always had a fascination with items that could do more than they’re supposed to do. For example, what do we use a magnifying glass for? The obvious answer is that we use it to help us see small words on a page, or small features on an object. However, there are other cool things it could do as well.

You may have tried this experiement before…you need a piece of paper and a magnifying glass. When  you take the magnifying glass, focus on one spot of the paper, then let the sun hit that spot…it eventually burns a hole through the paper. Cool stuff!!

Recently someone explained to me how we can use this “cool stuff” to get ourselves fired up, if you will. We all have goals we want to accomplish and dreams we want to realize. However, often times we don’t achieve those goals because we let obstacles get in the way, then we get discouraged and give up.

Based on the above example, think of God as the sun, yourself as the magnifying glass, and the paper as an obstacle. Would you like to burn a hole through that obstacle? Well here’s a great way to do it…Focus!! Instead of keeping your mind focused on the obstacle, keep your mind fully accomplished on the successful accomplishment of your goal. You the magnifying glass maintain your sharp focus on that. You let God be your help and guide. With your focus and God’s help you a burn a hole right through your obstacle. You then stay focused until you complete the goal.

You may believe this is easier said than done. However, when there is sufficient focus and reliance on the sun, the magnifying glass never fails to burn through the paper. Sometimes it takes longer than others, but it still happens. The same is true for us. When we do our part and focus positively on the realization of our goal, and we rely on God’s power, the mission never fails to get accomplished. Sometimes it make take longer than others, but we either receive our desired prize or a better one. It never fails!

My challenge for myself and anyone else is to be the magnifying glass and stay focused on the goal. Then allow God’s light and power to shine on it, and know it’s only a matter of time before great things happen. Keep the same positive focus, and your goals and dreams will be realized. Enjoy the blessings : )


I Can Do It!

February 21, 2012

Do you ever wish there were certain words you could say to inspire yourself in every situation? Some of you may already have them. If you do, I recommend you continue to use those words. However, if you are looking for a way to inspire yourself, eliminate fears, and increase yourself, this information may help.

I found a video the other day by Brian Tracy. In this one minute video, he simply suggests that we repeat the phrase “I can do it” to ourselves repeatedly for any situation that we need the faith to excell. Too many times we don’t take the necessary steps to accomplish our goals and dreams. Why is that? One simple word…fear. We are afraid to move forward, mainly because we feel like we can’t do it. We can’t imagine ourselves being successful.

We can change the patterns of fear by following the advice in this video. By constantly saying “I can”, we eliminate those thoughts and feelings that we can’t, and replace them with thoughts of confidence and the ability to accomplish the goal. Instead of envisioning failure, we imagine ourselves succeeding. When our minds our filled with these positive thoughts, we confidently take the necessary action we need to take instead of procrastinating on the sidelines.

It’s amazing how simple words and thoughts can change our outlook. That’s why this video is so helpful. The simple words “I can” repeated to ourselves constantly will help us truly believe we can accomplish what we set out to do. Try it, and you will be amazed. To see the video, click on the link below. Enjoy the blessings : )

http://www.aemind.com/success-empowerment/positive-affirmation-i-can-do-it-brian-tracy/


Positive Observations

February 5, 2012

There is a great deal of talk in the educational world these days about the accountability of teachers. One of the ways teacher performance is rated is a classroom observation by a school administrator.

I am a teacher. Although I understand the need for accountability, it makes me uncomfortable that my entire year’s performance can be judged in a 45 minute snapshot. In the correct manner, an observation is used to find some strengths, and help teachers find ways to improve their performance and student learning. At my school, it is taken a bit more seriously, and it does not make me comfortable that jobs are maintained or lost based on a single observation. Last year, even though my students are performing very well, I had received good reports in the past, and have a positive reputation in the school community, criticism from an adminstrator’s single observation almost cost me my job. It was another single good observation later in the year that saved me. Hence the reason for my lack of faith in our school’s system.

I use this information to illustrate an important concept. It was recently observation time for me again. As I prayed about it, I felt God telling me I had two options. I could focus on my distrust, negative thoughts, and feelings of inadequacy, or I could focus on His strength, positive thoughts, and feelings of success.  I quickly decided my chances were much better if I chose the latter.

Before the observation, I did two things. One is that I prayed for success. The second is an excellent enhancer to any prayer. I played out a successful teaching experience over and over in my mind. I saw the positive response of the students and my observer. I heard my positive, confident voice. I felt the satisfaction of student achievement as well as my own.

As I focused on these two things, there was no doubt that this would be a positive experience. As it turned out, my report came back positive and ideal. I learned of several positives that added to the positive classroom experience. I also learned some helpful information that could enhance those positives. Just as an observation should be!

I cannot stress enough the importance of experiencing positive observations in our minds. For any situation, when we see and experience success in our minds first, it plays out in our world, usually sooner than later. Success becomes natural because we’ve already “experienced” it many times. As I’ve said before, our subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real and imagined event. If it sees success, real or not, it will lead us there for more.

God has been kind enough to give us an imagination. Let us use it for our good and His by seeing and experiencing the events we wish to live out for real. Before long, it will no longer be a part of the imagination. Instead it will be our real, normal life experience. Enjoy the blessing : )


Is It Positive or Negative? How About Neither?

December 30, 2011

In our society today, it is typical to judge the events and circumstances in our lives as negative or positve. It’s usually one or the other, right?

I recently read a very interesting article to challenge this notion. I apologize that I did not save or record the author and website to provide a direct link. I will provide the nutshell version. The author suggested that we avoid classifying things as positive or negative. The key is to just take each life event as it comes and to be thankful for it.

At first I thought this was one of those easier said than done challenges. However, after further thought, it made sense. In most cases, when someone sees something as negative, they tend to dwell on it. And when we dwell on the negative it only seems to get worse. When we see things as positive, we can dwell on that and be thankful. In this case, we are likely to see more of the positives in our lives.

I decided to try this philosophy. I will say that it has given me a great peace. When negative things have occurred, I have been able to focus on the event instead of the negativity of it. I took the time to thank God and ask that He use it for my good. In every case, my frame of mind became positive. It also took away some of the difficulty of maintaining positive thoughts. Sometimes I put too much pressure on myself trying to remain in a positive frame of mind. This can then develop into a negative. When I just take things as they come using this philosophy,  the positive thoughts even seemed to arrive and remain more naturally. It actually makes it easier to stay in that positive frame of mind.

This formula may seem a bit too simple to some. However, I recommend you try it. It is very helpful in maintaining a positive frame of mind and an attitude of gratitude. When we do this, it affects our own lives and those of the ones around us in a very positive way.

I will conclude with a Bible verse that sums up this concept. The apostle Paul says…I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. (Philippians 4:12).

As always, I would love to hear your success stories. Enjoy the blessings : )