Blog Post #244 – I didn’t make the Olympic Team this year

I didn’t make the Olympic Team this year

Yes, as the title says “I didn’t make the Olympic Team this year”.  Also I’m not going to attend (in person) the Olympics (winter Olympics) this year either.

One reason was I didn’t have a goal of making the Olympic team.  Of those on the team this year, I would guess 100% DID have the goal of making the Olympic team.  They practiced – hours and hours. They had coaches.  They competed many times (maybe every weekend?).  

Another reason that they made it (and I didn’t) was that sacrifice they made.  

TIME – I like the comment by Malcolm Gladwell that 10,000 hours in the magic number of greatness.  Now, there are only 8,760 hours in a year (and if you assume ⅓ of the hours you are sleeping), that is about 4,800 hours available.  If a person had a job, or is a student, parent, you probably are down to about 2,000 hours available for practice.  Taking that a step farther, that is about 40 hours a week.  In most places, 40 hours a week is the equivalent of a full time job.  Let’s take an Olympian that is 25 married and is working a job (money is essential too).  If you work 40 hours a week, train 40 hours a week, and sleep 56 hours a week, that is 136 hours – out of the 168 hours in a week.  Not much time for eating or doing ‘fun’ things – you are training for the Olympics – not much fun allowed.  And … 2,000 hours for practice will mean it should take you at least five years of “full-time work equivalent” to get to Gladwell’s 10,000 hours.

MONEY- For most of the activities in the Olympics you need to compete on a regular basis.  That probably means going to the various ski contests, or to the skating rinks regularly.  You probably have to have sponsors – or rich parents / friends / relatives – or a fantastic great job.  Flying from New York to Colorado to ski twice a month is expensive – plus lodging, food etc.

INJURIES – from the stories that commentators make on the Olympic broadcasts, almost all have had some injuries along the way.  Skiers have gone off course and through fences, etc.  Skaters have gotten too close to another skater and have been cut – or knocked out.  Hockey players are notorious for missing teeth from violent plays against the boards.  Coming back from injuries takes time.

COMMITMENT – It takes a huge amount of commitment to be an Olympian – and maybe even more to be an Olympian Gold Medal winner. Thinking of some skaters (or others) that started at age 10 or 12 – early on, the parents made the commitment – driving the fledgling athlete to and from practices.  (I know of hockey parents who take their child to hockey practice at 5:00 in the morning as it is hard to get ice time).  At some point the athlete needed to make the commitment their own.  They had to choose to stay with the sport – or to drop out.  It also takes commitment to get up early on those mornings to get your running done, to lift weights, and then still practice after school for four to six hours.  (Plus get your school work done).  

SO … how about you?  Are you ready to put in the time, the money, expect and recover from injuries and the big commitment to be an Olympic athlete?  Or … are you ready to put in the time, the money, and commitment to be a CEO of a major company?  

The choice is yours – if you want something bad enough, you can work your way through all the steps and levels to achieve it!!!

 

What do you think?  Let me know at:  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Bruce

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Blog post #243 – Many hands make light work.

Back to adages.  Today – “Many Hands make light work”

I’ve used this as a joke many times.  If the lights go off (like in an electrical storm), you get everybody in the room / house / place to stand up and raise their hands – because “many hands make light work”.

The concept today is that having a group of people doing a project makes it go quicker.

If you have a group of people painting your living room, it will get down quicker, you will have people to talk to during the process, and the time will fly.

In our neighborhood, the homeowner association (HOA) has hired a maintenance crew to mow.  They should up with two to three mowers, two or three edgers, two of three blowers.  They hit the ground running.  Where one person could have done the work, with four people on the crew, they work together and can move on to the next project.  

It does help to have somebody working with you.  Light conversation and interaction can make a heavy task more bearable.

So – many hands do make the project  / the task / the work go quicker.

In today’s business environment, it is rare to find a project with just one person working on it.  Most projects are team projects – sure there is a leader of the team – but will all joining in to complete it, it is “light” work.

 

What do you think?  Let me know at:  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Bruce

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Blog Post #242 – Nothing Ventured, nothing gained

Blog post #242 – Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Back to adages.  Today – “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The meaning should be fairly obvious – do nothing, get nothing in return.  

There are other similar statements:

  • A turtle only makes progress by sticking his neck out
  • You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take (in basketball)
  • Do nothing, be nothing

A lot of this goes back to goals.  The bigger the goals, the bigger the steps to achieve them.  If you are successful – you will get great returns; even if not successful but you have worked on it, you are a changed person inside you – and WILL make progress as you step out.

As I frequently do, here is a Biblical perspective:  The Parable of the Talents.

A man was going on a journey and called three servants in.  To one, he gave 10 talents (a footnote in the version I am using says “A talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years’ wages for a laborer”; to another five talents and to a third one talent.  He commanded them to make use of the talents.  When he returned the man with 10 had been faithful and had doubled the amount to 20; the man with 5 also had used the money and doubled it to 10; but the third had wrapped up his 1 talent and hidden it away.  The man took that 1 talent and gave it to the first servant.  He said “And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

We all have some ability – whether simply just to work hard and be diligent and save – or with other talents – and we are to venture forth and gain from those talents.

We periodically hear of people working for fast food places (or other low income jobs) that persevere and become very successful.  

So, nothing ventured, nothing gained – what will that mean for you today?

What do you think?  Let me know at:  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Bruce

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Blog post #241 – Don’t judge a book by its cover

Blog post #241 – Don’t judge a book by its cover

Back to adages.  This is a good one – Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Let’s take it to books first (since it refers to books).  Maybe the publisher has a great artist that makes outstanding book covers – but the inside material is boring and not very valuable (maybe like my first book – except the cover was as boring as the book!!!)

And … likewise, maybe the author is a great writing, the material is superb, but he and/or the publisher couldn’t get an artist to design an appropriate cover, so the cover is just the title of the book in Yellow letters on a blue background – so, the cover is pretty  boring, but the material is great.

Now to people.  Some people are just not all that stunning in appearance.  If he didn’t have a black hat and appropriate clothes, I think country singer Garth Brooks would not get through an audition.  But, he has a great voice.  Another one (from the past) is Jim Nabers – who was Gomer Pyle on both the Andy Griffith show and his own show as a Marine recruit.  His downhome accent disappeared when he opened his mouth and sang.  

The movie with Will Smith as a down-and-out man who wants to be a stockbroker (“The Pursuit of Happyness”) has him interviewing for an internship – dressed in jeans and not appropriate for the position.  Somehow he convinces the  manager to hire him – and (of course) all eventually works out – with hard work.  

As humans, we tend to view people in good clothes higher than those in rags (although jeans with holes seem to be popular with teenage / college women).  We show favoritism because of the clothes.

I do occasionally do a Biblical reference and I will use James 2: 4-7:
For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while you say to the poor man, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet, have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?”

The outward appearance is nice, but the real person is inside.  I remember a student who had been in an accident whose face was distorted, even after some plastic surgery.  His mouth was off center on this face.  By his appearances he was not going to be a good information systems person.  BUT his brain was very strong and after graduation had a successful career.  

So, don’t judge a book by its cover – or don’t judge a person by outward appearances.  Get to know them (and with the adage a couple of days ago), walk a mile in their shoes, and you may (probably) find a diamond in the rough!!

 

What do you think?  Let me know at:  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Bruce

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Blog post #240 Love adages

Blog post #240 Love adages

Today – February 8th in my wife’s birthday.  As I’m in a series on adages, I thought I would look at some sayings on love.  Let’s look at Biblical saying on love:

  • “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
  • Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
  • “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
  • “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
  • “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
  • “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
  • “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
  • “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
  • “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
  • “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love.”
  • “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
  • “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.”

In my research there were many more both scriptural and secular comments on love.  Even the Beatles said “All you need is love”.

In generations past (and this is still true in some parts of the world), there were arranged marriages.  The parents of the man and the parents of the woman got together and developed a contract for the man and women to be married.  If you will, it was what it was.  Possibly in some of the royal marriages, the King would invite various royal suiters to visit the prince (or princess) because royalty should marry royalty. But, in these cases, as the man and women lived together and worked together, real emotional love frequently replaced the contractual love.  A French comment is:  “Love is often the fruit of marriage”.  

In modern times, (at least among us commoners), we date, we test the market, we “fall in love” – and we marry (or for some – we don’t marry but live together).  Love becomes an act of the will (and the emotions).  And … we as couples need to keep working to make love work.  Another adage I like is “Marriage is the act of falling in love with the same person over and over.”

So … love makes the world go round; love one another; love covers a multitude of sins; all you need is love!!!  

So, to Connie and to all – I love you; Let us love one-another!!!

So what do you think?  Comments?  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Bruce

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Blog Post #238 – Hatred

Blog post #238 – Another bad word 

Last week I took a word I hate – “can’t”.  As Henry Ford said “If you say you can or if you say you can’t; you are correct”

Yesterday I was reminded of another word – HATE.  Now I used that word in the first paragraph.  But, the way that I HATE that word is when it is applied to people (and groups) and obviously to people or groups that you do not like.  

I see undisguised hatred in politics.  Maybe the word ‘hate’ isn’t directly used all the time; but the name calling does get old.  I have a friend (?) that calls the president an idiot (and worse) and then another friend who insults all the liberals he can.  

I saw the same Sunday with the Super Bowl.  I heard people say they “hated” one team or another.  I can see dislike, but actual “hate”.  Can the people I know who really don’t know Tom Brady (for example) really ‘hate’ him – and to pluck out his eyes, or crush him, or sentence him to hell?  

From an online dictionary, I found this: Hate (v): feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone). “the political candidates hate each other”’; synonyms:  loathe, detest, despise, dislike abhor, execrate.  

From 1 John 2: 9 in the Bible, I see: “He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still”; I also see “Love one-another (John 13:34).  

I know intense / passionate dislike for one another.  I have been on the wrong side of that too many times – mostly me hating others (not so much on people hating me – although I’m sure that happened).  My bias is that life is too short to have such a passionate hatred.  I wasn’t around during Hitler’s reign, and from I sense, I would have not liked him – although he did solve Germany’s terrible inflation and money problems during the Great Depression – before his heart really turned black.  But with my current acceptance and understanding, true / deep hatred is a terrible black spot on the soul.  Recently a man who was a trainer for women’s gymnastics for the Olympics was convicted of molesting many young female gymnasts.  At the sentencing, a father of one of the girls rushed the man as to kill him.  Yes, the man through the trial was convicted of vile and terrible things – and to one who only knows what television tells me – it seemed as if the judgment was just – and ultimately, he will have to stand before God.  Let God judge him.  I also know the scripture that says “Do not judge, lest you will be judged.”  In my reality, there is one final judge – God.  God does hate sin; but loves the sinner.  My time on earth is maybe 100 years – after that from my limited understanding (after all who can fully understanding God); eternity comes after my death.  Should I hate somebody so completely that I miss out on a pleasant eternity?

How about we get rid of that word – hate; and substitute something like “I really don’t like that person”?

The Native Americans supposedly had the concept – Don’t criticize a person until you have walked a mile in his moccasins – or until you have walked a mile in his shoes – until you really have gotten to know him.  Can I hate Tom Brady until I walk a mile in his cleats?  Can I hate Donald Trump until I walk a mile in his shoes?  Can I hate Hillary Clinton or Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi or others until I walk a mile in their shoes?  

I know my problems – assuming others have their problems too (and as far as I know, there are very few truly perfect people around).  Maybe we should try to get alone – to learn to accept others as they are.  Why does the dictator of North Korea hate us?  (And … why do we hate him?)  Let us agree to disagree – but without being disagreeable.  (And following an idea from Scripture, maybe we should pray for those that we don’t like …)

What do you think?  Let me know at:  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Bruce

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Blog post #237 Adages – The early bird gets the worm

Blog post #237 Adages – The early bird gets the worm

I’m doing a series on adages or common experiences.  With yesterday’s adage about ‘Birds of a feather flock together, I’m staying in the bird category with “The early bird gets the worm.”

So … thinking about that.  If the supply of worms is low and the quantity of birds in high, if you are one of the first birds to swoop down on the worm population, you will get something to eat (and with robins and other birds – something to take back to the nest for your baby birds).  If you go to the extreme – and there is only one worm, the very first bird will get the worm – that is the earliest bird to go after the worm will be the one and only winner.

Does the parallel work in real life?  Most of the time (with exceptions).  

Let’s think of Yeti coolers (and cups).  Yeti was definitely an early bird on the improved cooler (and cup) scene.  

In their story, the brothers that founded the Yeti cooler wrote:

But the coolers that were out there just weren’t up to our outdoor adventures — the handles would break, the latches would snap off, and the lids would cave in. Not only was it a hassle to replace our coolers after each season, but also these cheaply built, ordinary ice chests were limiting our good times. And that frustration led us to a solution.

 

In 2006 we founded YETI® Coolers with a simple mission: build the cooler we’d use every day if it existed. One that was built for the serious outdoor enthusiast rather than for the mass-discount retailers. One that could take the abuse we knew we’d put it through out in the field and on the water. One that simply wouldn’t break. We decided early on that product innovation would come from necessity and firsthand experience — not from market research and data analysis. And we’d never sacrifice quality for a few extra bucks. Because having your cooler’s lid cave in when using it as a casting platform should never be part of anyone’s fishing trip.” https://www.yeti.com/our-story.html

 

Soon the Yeti cooler became famous – mostly from word-of-mouth.  People (outdoor enthusiasts) loved having a cooler than could keep things cool (or hot) for much longer periods.  Even at a higher price that most coolers of that period (2006), it WORKED.  

Aside, on long drives, I like to have coffee – with caffeine – to keep me awake.  I have bought some insulated mugs that promised to keep hot beverages hot for several hours.  They didn’t keep it warm enough for my 13 hour drive to Nebraska!!  But, cheapskate that I am, I just wasn’t up to the price of a Yeti mug (stupid me).  That meant I had to stop at McDonalds restaurants more frequently to get more HOT coffee (of course, the stops also meant I could use their restrooms).

Here the early inventors reaped the early profits (symbolized by getting the worm).  Being first in a new market was very lucrative for Yeti.

Being a leader in a new market – be it online book sales (then everything sales) like Amazon.  Being that first company (or early bird) can define the market and set a niche for the company.

My own take on this is that the first player can define the market, but it also puts a ‘bullseye” on that player / company.  When other companies see the success of the first player, they can work on playing catch-up and work on duplicating the concept.

I now have a coffee mug that isn’t a Yeti – it is a knock-off that was significantly cheaper.  Recently I’ve seen Yeti mugs at a cheaper price in order to compete with the knock-offs.  

So while the early bird gets the worm, the fast followers can duplicate some of the success of the early bird without defining the market.

What do you think?  Does the early bird get the worm?  Did the early leader set the standards?

 

Go for it!!!

 

What do you think?  Let me know at:  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Bruce

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Blog post #236 Adages – Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Blog post #236 Adages – Birds of a Feather Flock Together

I’m doing a series on adages or common experiences.  One that I remember is “Birds of a Feather Flock Together”.  

Somehow in my memory, this wasn’t always an upbeat adage.  In high school, the kids that smoke always were together; the kids that got in trouble were together.  That probably is true of actual birds too.  It seems like crows flock together as do buzzards and other less desirable birds.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have bluebirds flocking together (note, I have only seen one real bluebird – other than bluejays – in my life).  Or cardinals or orioles (other than on the baseball field) flocking together.

But maybe not quite as obvious is that the smart kids were generally together; those that studied were together. In the good sense of the word, the nerds frequently flocked together (maybe were pushed together by society?).  They would be discussing interesting technological issues.  The fraternity guys flocked together.  I was a faculty advisor for a good fraternity group – where academics and grades were a significant part of their organization.  That was a good flocking together (although the social aspect was definitely part of their lives and culture).

How about squeezing into a flock of ‘high flyers’ – entrepreneurs; Shark Tank type leaders.  Also you can ‘flock’ with those that go the extra mile – as compared to those who come to work late and leave early.  How about those who do extra free volunteer service?  That would be a good group to be in.  

I’ve had the good fortune to be part of many great groups of leaders – like NYDLA, ICCP, EDSIG, and others.  

A related adage is “You are known by the company you keep” – if you ‘flock’ with the winners, you’ll be a winner too.

So, as you reflect on this adage, think about the company you keep – are you with the good “flock”?

Go for it!!!

What do you think?  Let me know at:  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Bruce

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Blog post #235 – Superbowl Sunday!!!

Blog post #235 – Superbowl Sunday!!!

Today in the United States is Super Bowl Sunday.  This afternoon the New England Patriots will face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52 – opps that is Super Bowl LII  (other than Super Bowl 50, the NFL – National Football League has used Roman Numerals to designate the number).

Wikipedia notes:
Many pizza delivery businesses see their order numbers double as roughly 60 percent of the take out ordered on Super Bowl Sunday is pizza. Roughly 28,000,000 pounds (13,000,000 kg) of chips, 1.25 billion chicken wings, and 8,000,000 pounds (3,600,000 kg) of guacamole are consumed during the Super Bowl.”

And this:

“some police departments have noticed a dramatic increase in drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday”

This unofficial holiday is second to Thanksgiving in terms of food consumed.

Many who never watch football will tune in – to see amazing commercials.  The cost for a 30 second commercial is 5 million dollars but that commercial generally reaches a huge audience of viewers.  There are those that also will watch the commercials off the internet.  You can see the commercials at: https://youtu.be/RoCMga9wOHg

Today, how about a brief reflection on those statistics.  What if you could have a commercial for YOU on the Super Bowl?  What if you were as diligent on your business as the NFL and television networks are for the Super Bowl?  

Fifty-two years ago was the first Super Bowl – where the ads cost only $42,000 for a 30 second spot.  Fifty-three years ago, there wasn’t a Super Bowl – yet, here we are – all hyped up about a football game!!  Could we or this country get as hyped up about education, the environment, healthcare, security, immigration, and other social and global issues?  

In terms of the age of this country, this event is still somewhat a baby.  In my lifetime, this has grown from an idea to a huge multi-million dollar event.  What if you had an idea – a goal – that could grow to a huge multi-million business?  

YOU CAN DO IT – put the time and resources into making your ideas work – and maybe 52 years from now, the BRUCE WHITE event (or whoever you are) can be the same colossal event – or even bigger?  Can you dream it, can you make it?

Go for it!!!

 

What do you think?  Let me know at:  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Bruce

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Blog post #234 – A stitch in time saves nine

Blog post #234 – A stitch in time saves nine

I’m going to do a series on common adages – today “A stitch in time saves nine”.

What does that mean?

The basic concept is doing something now / today will save a lot of work later.

Let’s say you have a small hole in the back of your pants – where you can’t see it but where anyone behind you can see it.  Just one one in the seam.  You say to yourself, “I should fix that”, but you don’t.  Maybe the next time you wear those pants you see that hole again – and again say “I should fix that”.  Maybe the third time you wear the pants the hole is slightly bigger “Oh oh, you think.  I should fix that”.

Time goes on, you don’t even notice it the next time you wear those pants – you are in a hurry to get to work (or wherever) and grab that pair of pants (maybe your favorite pair) and put them on and head to the bus (or car).

Sometime later you are in class – or a big meeting – and during that class or meeting there are a few snickers as you turn around to write on a whiteboard.  After the event somebody comes up and says “Maybe you could wear pink next time”.  You are bewildered at this comment – and you didn’t get the chance to ask what she meant.  

Again a few days later (and more laundry later) you wear your favorite pants (we’ll take a female side) wearing some pink underwear.  

The person who made the comment before says “Thanks for wearing pink today”.  

As that person turns to leave, you grab them and ask “What do you mean?”

“Your pink panties of course”

Your bewilderment still continues – how did this person know I was wearing pink panties?  At a convenient time you slide your hands over the back of your pants and find a large hole where the one stitch was out before.  

For the rest of the day, you do not turn your back on your class or your meeting.  Or, you maneuver so that the back of your pants is against the wall – and not visible to others.  As you walk down the hall, you wait until there will be nobody behind you – then stick to the edge of the hallway; trying to be inconspicuous.  

That night back at home, you take off the pants and see the big hole.  You say to yourself “Oops – I should have fixed that when I first saw it” – and you take an hour to carefully stitch up the hole.

IF – you would have done the first time you saw it, you would not have embarrassed yourself with a hole showing your pink panties.  

So, a “stitch in time saves nine” – doing something today / now will fix the problem.  Letting the problem go may let it get bigger (or the hole get bigger).  

Fix the problem today before it gets worse.

This can apply to almost anything – how about your attitude.  Get a little crabby today?  Let it go and soon you might be “Ms Crabby”. When you see a problem fix it!!!

 

What do you think?  Let me know at:  brucewhitecoaching@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Bruce

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