Lou Holtz, Hendrix and the Prince of Egypt on Attitude: Just Believe

Admonitions from Lou Holtz in my Twitter stream jarred me out of a summer haze (not that kind, deviants…) this morning:

Ability is what you are capable of.

Motivation determines what you do.

Attitude determines how well you do it.

Admittedly, I’ve had a chip on my shoulder lately. Too often it’s easy to gripe about perceived injustice, lack of appreciation or acknowledgement from friends, family and in the workplace.

Even if said sentiments are valid, I’ve come to realize it’s just wasted time, space and energy.

As with forgiveness, happiness is a choice. It’s a gift we give ourselves.

Again, as mentioned in previous posts: the world doesn’t care if you have a degree, nor how hard you may have worked for it.

The world doesn’t care if you’re grossly underpaid, overqualified, under-qualified or entitled. If you have a dissertation, 14K grill like Lil Wayne, 10-foot spoiler on a tiny sedan or more bling than the polar ice caps.

But the world might care if you care. Might believe if you believe. 

How many times, mornings…



Months does it get increasingly harder to wake up ready and willing to face whatever’s next?

To extricate ourselves from our own self-pity, helpless-complex or demoralizing slumps and quietly say:

I’ll try again.

I’ll be better.

And not for anyone else but me.

And with that perspective the nerve and renewed desire to lighten someone else’s load, too…

That’s commitment. That’s selflessness from selfishness. Cynics might dismiss as antiquated, but experience seems to say that forgiving yourself usually precedes forgiving others.

As Daniel Deronda said, it’s about using your unhappiness to help you see other peoples’ pain. 

One of my favorite flicks is the story of John Nash, the mathematics savant from West Virginia played by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind, which garnered 4 Academy awards (including Best Picture) in 2001.  

One scene that particularly resonated with me depicts a young, salient and blisteringly impatient Nash witnessing a “pen ceremony” (where faculty present their pens in honoring and welcoming a distinguished member).

Though not an official rite of passage at Princeton, the reel goes on to Nash’s professor asking, ‘What do you see?’ Nash replies, “Recognition.”

Shaking his head, the professor elucidates him: Accomplishment.

So often we miss the mark because we’re too focused on the mark, rather than our motives and the process of getting there. Perhaps the hardest part is recognizing when perspective’s lost, where we might have veered off-course in our attempts to control where we’re headed.

The notion of a journey, not a destination. The notion of being present, and slowing down to embrace the moment for what it is.

Granted, nothing worthwhile comes without a cost. I’ve learned that the most rewarding and enriching experiences have also stretched me the most.

Have hurt the most. Have disappointed the most. But man you stretch — and that’s what truly matters.

My first annual review post-college is this month, a part-time gig at a humble, locally-owned business in the town where I attended university. Perhaps the title and the prestige aren’t there, but at some point the world doesn’t seem to care a whole lot about that either.

Rather than dwelling on the fact that friends, family and loved ones are thousands of miles away out West and scattered across the globe, I’ve learned in the past few years to focus on making the best of the people, places and time that are in front of me.

To check my attitude, and willingness to make someone’s life a little easier. To accept the only guarantee I know so far: change is consistent.

Upcoming Footloose ( ahem — remake) dude Kenny Wormald‘s onto something:

If you’re true to yourself and you work hard, and treat people with respect you will Grow… 


Dan Waldschmidt >> Why Believing is the New Selling

Spin Sucks >> Seven Habits to Change the Perception of PR

Anthony Iannarino (new site looks great) >> Unlearning Learned Helplessness

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute >> PR and Fighting the Content Marketing Battle Within



Impossible Spells I’m Possible

To my own detriment, I tend to be a bit nostalgic sometimes. Lately I’ve been thinking about my distaste for conflict and others’ cynicism, disenfranchised perspectives. But as opposed to infantile leveling with gripers and whiners through another inane parody or satire, I’ll stick with escapism and lighter fare.

In The Journey from Success to Significance, a gift from my high school guidance counselor, one of my favorite speakers and leaders, John Maxwell discusses subjects of motivation, influence and inspiration for business leaders, ministry and graduates alike.

I love this quote from him:

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men, who find it easier to live in a world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact; it’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration; it’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

A requisite talent snob/outdoors junkie (I grew up with unorthodox competitive sports and performing arts, which I’ll save for another post), I tend to follow public figures that exude commitmentpassion and purpose. They’re catalysts for social change while honoring tradition, and compelling models of the hunger and heart it takes to fulfill your destiny in all facets of life. Roger Federer is one of them.

One pastime I picked up during college was tennis. Growing up, I always enjoyed watching Sampras and Agassi duke it out, so it was a natural progression when Federer leapt onto the scene. Though amateur at best (my serve’s a work in progress…), I love the community — there was always someone to hit with, provide pointers and offer encouragement or challenges along the way. I’m more of a baseline player, and love long rallies. Like backgammon, chess, table tennis or billiards, I like that no shot or play is ever the same, and there is always a new way to approach strategy. (I’ll admit I’m one of those persnickety pool players that surveys the table before taking the shot lol).

But anyway, for those that can pony up the dough, there are myriad clubs out there through local fitness centers and recreational programs (there were some great ones when I was out in Vegas, but I stuck to local courts with friends and pretty much anyone that would humor me).

My best friend’s sister got me a pretty nice racket during her wedding party a few years ago (their Dad’s corporate at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Pittsburgh), so I’m eager to return to the courts as the weather shapes up (after all, usually ambiguous in Believeland). Golf, disc golf (or frolf if you’re George Costanza) and Tribe time’s also fast approaching…

What are you looking forward to this Spring?

Apologies for low-resolution/quality

Unbelievable Rally