Category Archives: Life, Society, People

“You can’t see me!”…May work for John Cena but…

WWE wrestling superstar John Cena is an electrifying athlete.  He can power slam and jump off the ring ropes like a super charged Incredible Hulk.  With that in mind it’s interesting to note that the catch phrase he is most known for (and is sold on t-shirts with his face on them) is, “You can’t see me.”  John uses this catch phrase as a way to taunt his opponents and rile the crowd.

“You can’t see me.”  Saying that works for superstar John Cena but guess what?  You’re not John Cena.

To have an impact at anything you do: career, college classes, sports be seen.  To make an impact or impression you have to be noticed.  To be noticed you have to work, get your hands dirty and get what’s yours.

My catch phrase would be the antithesis to John’s.  I would say, “You CAN see me!”  Make that catch phrase yours (unless you’re John Cena).

Have you run a marathon? And I’m not talking running

I work out quite regularly and there have been some occasions when people have asked me, “are you training for marathon?” Or “have you run a marathon?”  I have actually never “run” a marathon and probably never will (running that far ain’t my bag) but that does not mean I will never accomplish a “marathon”.

Looking up the definition of a marathon one would find the following: “An event or activity that requires prolonged effort or endurance.”  A marathon takes discipline, will, desire and endurance to complete.  So what is your marathon?

Sometimes my “marathon” is taking on the task of changing a historical corporate process or culture that has become outdated.  It takes many meetings, emails, discussions, but I keep focused and envision crossing the finish line in my head – change; a new direction and I can finally breathe a sigh relief.

Lace up your shoes, get warmed up and make your move.

Life is a lot like a day with the horses

I recently saw highlights on ESPN of the Preakness horse race.  It was a great race with many different story angles giving it a cinematic sense of drama all the way up to the shocking victory by an underdog.

Taking a step back from the sport itself I began to think – A horse race is a lot like life.

So how could this be true?  Here are a couple of ways I see it….

  • To get ahead and be prepared takes a lot of work and practice, nothing comes easy.
  • When a big day comes you want to look your best:  Nicely groomed hair, clean nails and eye-catching accessories.
  • Even the most trained, the strongest, those with exceptional breeding and backgrounds sometimes get beat by someone not as talented or trained.
  • If you want to win big you have to take a chance.
  • When you think you’ve got it bad there is always someone else close by who is in a bigger hole than you are.
  • Victory is only momentary.  Winning today means the pressure to repeat is on for tomorrow.
  • Sometimes you step in sh#%t and well….that just happens.

Squished like a grape

My last post referenced a 1980’s movie classic “Valley Girl” and if it’s one thing I like its movies of the 1980’s so here’s another (and it probably won’t be the last)….

Probably one of my favorite movies growing up in the 80’s was the “The Karate Kid”.  Here’s a great sequence when Daniel and Mr. Miyagi are about to begin their training together:

Miyagi: Now, ready?

Daniel: Yeah, I guess so.

Miyagi: [sighs] Daniel-san, must talk.

[they both kneel]

Miyagi: Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later

[makes squish gesture]

Miyagi: get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do “yes” or karate do “no.” You karate do “guess so,”

[makes squish gesture]

Miyagi: just like grape. Understand?

Daniel: Yeah, I understand.

Miyagi: Now, ready?

Daniel: Yeah, I’m ready.

I thought this sequence was funny when I was young but understand its wisdom now that I’m old.

In anything I do: education, career, sports or working out nothing makes me feel better than going out and giving something my all.  I know it may sound cliché but when I put in the time on something and really give it my best effort I never feel bad no matter the outcome because I sleep soundly at night knowing I did my best.

The reverse of that when you go into something and go half speed, half-assed leaves me feeling tired, lousy or a loser.  I do not like feeling this way and that’s why I come to a situation and I know I can’t give my best effort then I need to dial back and asses that situation.  If I can’t give my best then I need to figure out why not or is it really worth my effort.

As Mr. Miyagi explains if cannot give your all to something than [squish] “just like grape.”

Thank you (and I really mean it)

I recently stopped at a local GNC for some vitamins.  As I got in line to checkout and get on my way a person in front of me was finishing up.  As this person completed their transaction the cashier made sure to thank them for their business and as the person walked away the cashier gave a wave and stated, “thanks again and I really appreciate your business.”

For whatever reason this caught me as something unique.  So many times (especially) in retail employees are conditioned to say “thank you” or “hello” but they do so with the enthusiasm of a doped up drug addict.  Most of the time I rarely notice these pre-programmed pleasantries.  I know people are conditioned to say them and don’t mean it half the time.  When I go to my local bank to withdraw money and the employee with bloodshot eyes says, “how are you” in a monotone voice I know what they are really saying is “how soon can get through with you so I can get out of here?”

My experience at the GNC was different.  What I witnessed was something genuine.  The cashier really did mean thanks and thanked someone for their business.

I used to stop at that GNC because it was convenient but I return because they “really” appreciate my business and mean it.

Do you really mean what you say?  Does your company?  Do your customers notice?  In a modern world filled with technologies and processes to be human or genuine is almost out of the norm.  But when I find this or see it I remember it and I know those that show it really mean it.

 

Beware of the Scorpion

Just a couple days ago Keith Olbermann abruptly left his show “Countdown” on MSNBC.  There has been no official explanation given for his departure but many have speculated his progressive views clashed the network and network interests.

Though this is shocking to hear it does not come as a surprise to me.  I would remember watching him on ESPN when I was younger and even then Keith was known for pushing the boundaries of what was considered acceptable.  To me Keith and people like Keith are what I would consider “scorpions”.  Why a “scorpion”?  This comes from the fable, “The scorpion and the Turtle”:

A turtle was happily swimming along a river when a scorpion hailed it from the shore.

“Dear friend turtle!” called the scorpion. “Please let me climb upon your back and swim me to the other side of the river!”

“No,” replied the turtle, “for if I do, you shall sting me, and I shall die.”

“Nonsense!” replied the scorpion. “If I kill you in the middle of the river, you shall sink, and I shall drown and die with you.”

The turtle thought this over, and saw the truth of the scorpion’s statement. He let it upon his back and began swimming towards the other side of the river. Halfway across, he felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck.

“Why have you stung me?!” cried the turtle as his body began to stiffen. “Now you shall die as well!”

“Because it is in my nature,” replied the scorpion as the turtle sank beneath the waters.

Cultures need and thrive when there is a mix of turtles and scorpions.  Turtles are hard working, wise, and methodical; scorpions are bold, aggressive and dangerous.  Each represent polar opposites that create a broad spectrum of emotions, thoughts and actions that spur thought ideas and debate.  Turtles and scorpions may help create debate, these opposites collide as much as they attract.

Think of this in terms of communication.  People may try to moderate their tendencies, their views but deep down ones true nature cannot be altered.  So take a moment to think about whom in your company, family, or friends are scorpions or turtles?  But be aware don’t put a scorpion on your back if you’re a turtle because you will only get stung.

 

Trust me, I’m a doctor?

Take two and call me in the morning?

Recently in the news it was reported the doctor who supposedly proved a link between vaccinations and autism bluntly exaggerated his findings and even made some of them up. It took years to uncover and prove this doctor’s findings to be incorrect yet in the meantime hundreds and thousands of people believed in his research and followed it faithfully only to now have what they thought to be true and safe to be ripped away leaving them blind stumbling in the dark.

This illustrates the danger that titles create in our society and culture. Doctors, professors, CEOs, PhDs…. when we hear these mentioned they command attention and respect. The people that have these titles over them are elevated over the common person.

I’m not saying that everyone who has worked or been given a prestigious title is a liar or should not be trusted but simply that title or not we are all human in the end. Humans are not perfect not matter the title associated with that individual and as such we all make mistakes.

I trust people with prestigious titles but I trust my instinct and “guts” even more. If I’m told something that doesn’t sit right with me, gives me an uneasy feeling in my stomach, I’m no doctor but I know that it probably is not right.

Do you Chi Sao in your Life?

Bruce Lee Practicing Chi Sao

Chi Sao is practice that originates Chinese martial arts and Kung Fu.

Chi Sao is the feeling of energy, more importantly your adversary energy.  The literal English translation of Chi Sao from its Chinese origin is “energy hand.”  Some also refer to Chi Sao as “giving hand.”

The main point of the Chi Sao is to feel your opponent’s energy so you can anticipate where they’re going, their intent and how to react.  Of course to feel an opponent’s energy you must close to the opponent.  This is probably the most difficult and counter intuitive concept to grasp in martial arts: when an opponent attacks go towards the attacker, feel their energy and react – scary.  It’s scary to jump towards someone who is trying to attack you or you do not know or you do not know what they want but you must react to protect yourself, to feel their energy, interpret the energy, guide it away from you and take charge of the situation, defend yourself.

You do not have to be Bruce Lee or an experienced martial artist to practice Chi Sao in your life.  The concept of Chi Sao goes beyond martial arts if you understand it’s core purpose in internalize it.  When faced with a challenge in life that is scary, that may make you turn away, that may shock you, freeze you in your tracks – fight those instincts, disregard those feelings.  Simply react to the adversity.  Jump towards scary the situation.  Feel the energy of the situation, learn the intentions of the situation and redirect that energy so that it may do not affect you or directly impact you a way that would cause you damage.

To sum this concept up in a more simplistic, quick way I would quote Woody Harrelson in one my favorite movies Zombieland when his character “Tallahassee” says, “Time to nut up or shut up!”

It's Tallahassee Time!