Monday, December 28, 2009


In this final segment of "The Best Advice I Ever Got," I'm leaving you with one of my favorite all time motto's, "Give Em No Choice."

Living with this attitude puts responsibility to achieve your dreams and goals on you! You will stop counting on things you have no control over like catching a break, good luck, or just plain hoping and wishing that you will get your chance.

You will start counting on your own motivations and your courage, which will drive your focus and preparation. You will focus on being prepared for when your time comes. The universe will have no choice but to accept the fact that you will have one day arrived prepared, skilled, and obviously the most excellent choice for what you do.

Source: Not sure. I have been telling myself this and passing this advice to others for a long time.

Why I consider this some of the "Best Advice I Ever Got":

The reason I consider this some of the best advice I ever got is because within these words hold the power of accepting personal responsibility. Once you are able to accept personal responsibility for the significance your life plays, the road blocks of achievement (which I've listed below) are seen as nothing but motivators. They are looked at as something to run through and leap over getting stronger and stronger in the process.

Internalizing the "give 'em no choice," attitude will welcome these roadblocks:

1. The People Roadblock: The hardest roadblock in achievement is other people, especially family members who are supposed to unconditionally love you. When family members criticize you, discourage you, and devalue your dreams and goals, it hurts deeply your self-confidence, and self worth. If your family is supportive, the second worst is those people whom you allow to be close to you in your life. If these people are say things to keep you down, discourage and make fun of your pursuits, then they will keep you at their level until you get rid of them. To get over this roadblock,no matter who it is, your mother, your father, a coach, a pastor, you must listen to your heart, you must use their negativity and unbelief in you as motivation, and "give 'em no choice," but to believe in you, by steadily showing them your effort, and you ability to fight through their negativity to the achievement of your goals.

2. The Life Roadblock: This roadblock is something that blind side's you on the way to a dream. Not something that you saw coming or invited on yourself, like a drug addiction, or some character flaw that you knew was going to eventually nail you. I'm talking about being truly blind sided by life. These come in the forms of personal, family, financial, occupational, or any other type of tragedy. These tragedies will make you rethink your goals, rethink you dreams, and throw you onto another course you never expected. Though these are extremely difficult to fight through, these life situations can eventually catapult you to another level of accomplishment. To get through this roadblock you must show the universe, "give it no choice" to accept the fact that you will never give up and to place you where you belong.

3. The Fear Roadblock: Fear is the invisible roadblock that is more devastating to goals and dreams than any other. These fears constantly tell you, "you're not good enough." These fears will keep you right were you are. These fears come in the form of, fear of failure and fear of success. Both of these have everything to do with the need of the approval of others. Until you do not care what others think about you, until you have no fear of not being accepted by others, you will constantly battle this roadblock of fear. You must turn this fear into courage. A fearless mind opens up a whole new world of opportunities to you. And when you live with no fear, you give fear "no choice" but to submit to you, work for you, and lead you to your goals and dreams.

This advice is all about going out and earning it. This attitude forces you to think about how you're going to prepare everyday to make sure you are the most excellent choice for what you do.

Too often we settle for being the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best choice. To me, this is not good enough. I want to be the obvious choice, not necessarily the best choice, but the most excellent choice that someone can make. When a high level athlete or individual is looking for a trainer or a training team that gives them the greatest edge, I want me and my team to be the undisputed, most excellent, and obvious choice.

How I Apply These Concepts to My Own Life:

Here is how I have applied this "Give 'Em No Choice," attitude and how you can start becoming the most excellent choice for whatever you do.

1. Enjoy Being the Underdog: You must thrive on people telling you that you are not good enough. You must allow yourself to be rejected. You turn this rejection into a chip, throw it on your shoulder, and let those chips motivate you everyday. It's not necessarily about proving anything to others, it's more about reaching your human potential and proving it to yourself.

2. Use the "Ten Times Concept": A concept that I have applied to my own life and teach others is the "Ten Times Concept." This strategy is about finding and modeling a person who is at the highest level of what you want to do. When you identify this person, read about them, interview them, and research them. The goal is to find out one thing; what it is that they commit to everyday. Discover their daily commitments go at it 10 times harder than they do.

3. Break a Record No One Would Be Proud Of: Maury Wills, a former Major League Baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers, at one time held the single season record for stolen bases swiping bags 104 times. What most people do not know is that he set another record that year--the record for the most times being thrown out! He was caught trying to steal 31 times that year. But when people look back on Wills career, they are not going to see 31 time caught stealing, they will see that he was the fastest, most lethal, baseball player in the base pads in his time. He didn't let getting thrown out discourage him to continue attempts. This tenacity on the base pads gave no choice to the world of baseball but to call him one of the most lethal base runners to ever play the game.

4. Keep Showing Up: As it is often stated, half the battle is showing up. It's easy to show up when something is new and exciting, but real discipline happens when you don't feel like showing up any more. Real discipline begins when the newness wears off. Real discipline happens when you start telling yourself "stay in bed," "I can miss one day," "I can make it up tomorrow." This is the time when you have get up, take a deep breath, and take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, moment by moment, and refuse to give in to an undisciplined mind. I have seen miraculous things happen to athletes, especially ones who are given no chance by anyone, when they just keep showing up and putting in the work.

5. "Keep a Song in Your Heart and a Smile on Your Face": Words of wisdom from my friend and performance coach, Hunter Woods. The song in your heart is about your joy and passion for what you do. It's almost impossible to achieve great things without passion and enthusiasm. That passion is your fuel and it help you keep going and going. Your enthusiasm is what gets others to join in your mission. There is nothing more attractive to people than being around someone who is truly in love with and/or passionate about what they do. Keeping a smile on your face is about forging through pain. No matter if it is the worst day of your life, to "give 'em no choice," you must smile at adversary, you must smile when you are looked over, you must smile when you are rejected again and again and again. You just keep showing up, keep working your butt off, and eventually, I can promise you my friends, you will, one day, you will find your self at the top, the most excellent choice for what you do.

In 2010 why don't you make a commitment to give all your naysayer's no choice but to place you where you belong. Show this world that you will settle for nothing less than the most excellent choice for what you do.

I'll leave you with a add that I tore out of a magazine a few years back that I glued to a poster board that I have in my office. It's about turning your naysayer's into motivation.

You Failed...

1000 Made Jumpers;

No Playoffs...

Abs 200 x 5;


15 Curls x 3


Bench Press 2 x 15;

Not a Leader...

Baseline's x 20;

A Fluke...

200 Made Bank Shots;

Too Young...

Lunges 15 x 4;


Triceps Press 10 x 4;

Played Out...

800 Meter Run x 2;


400 Meter Run x 5;

Played Out...

Calf Raises 12 x 3;

You're Burnt...

Squats 2 x 10;

An Outcast...

Reverse Hypers 12 x 4;

Past Your Prime...

Box Jumps x 3;

Ball Hog...

100 Meter Run x 10;

You're Garbage...

100 Made Free Throws;

Too Cold...

Military Press x 4;

You're Mental...

5 Mile Run;


Pull-Ups 12 x 5;

You Peaked...

Lat-Pulldowns 10 x 4;

Prima Donna...

Low Row 10 x 4;

Big Ego...

Leg Curls 10 x 4;

A Baby...

17's x 3;

Not a Team Player...

Film Review;

It's Over...

Suicides x 3;

No More Rings...

Suicides, x 3 again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Source: Leadership Expert, John Maxwell

Why I consider this some of the "Best Advice I Ever Had":

Through studying leadership, personal experience, and observation, I have learned that it is an absolute fact that everything (families, teams, organizations, churches) rises and falls on leadership.

The more I began to study leadership and looked at things through a "leadership perspective," the more I began to realize that great organizations and sports teams always began with great leaders.

I also quickly realized that crappy organizations and sports teams began with crappy leaders. I observed that organizations with equal talent and resources were always dominated by the side who had the better leader.

Why? Because the attitude of the team is the attitude of the leader. The work ethic of the team is the work ethic of the leader. The heart of the team is the heart of the leader. The character of the team is the character of the leader. And if the team has not bought into the leader, all of these qualities which summarize a great team will go in all different directions. The eventually deteriorates the team and the majority of the people will naturally follow the strongest leader in the group, most of the time, out the door.

I used to believe that leadership was about getting people to do what you want for your benefit. But what I have learned is that leadership is just a fancy word for servanthood. Leadership, essentially, is helping put people in a position to get what they want, while benefiting the overall mission of the team.

True leadership is not a glamorous. True leadership is, often times, lonely and difficult. True leadership is not done with the intentions of benefiting you. True leadership is done with the intention of benefiting others. True leadership is not positional. True leadership only requires a mission and that you have people volunteering to buy into that mission. True leadership has nothing to do with "leadership talent." True leadership has everything to do with character.

Ultimately, leadership is the ability to influence. To influence you must have a combination of the three C's: Character + Competence + Connection. The combination of all three of these is what builds that greatest asset a leader could

Dedicating my life to studying leadership and the quest to becoming the best leader that I can become has changed my life and the lives of many others around me. It is amazing what happens when I am able to convince someone to begin studying leadership. If they are at a point where they are ready to learn and listen, they cannot stop learning about it. They will buy every book and read everything that they can. It's something that is not taught in formal education, but when you begin to understand it and embrace it, it is the most powerful and important thing that you can learn about.

How I Apply These Concepts to My Own Life:

I have been in leadership positions my entire life. However, I have not been a leader in the majority of them. And even to this day, with thousands of hours of leadership hours and study under my belt, I still have a long way to go to becoming the leader I ought to be. So to continue that quest of becoming a person who is able to help people change their lives for the better, to help people to buy in to something bigger than themselves, and to develop other leaders around me here is what I commit to:

1. I prioritize leadership in my personal growth plan (Study, Read and Reflect on Leadership 3 x Per Week): I read one new book on leadership per month. I listen to leadership audio books and podcasts. And I am a member of the Maximum Impact Club, one of the most valuable leadership resources that anyone could have.

2. I teach, mentor, and pass on leadership resources to those around me: One of the most beneficial things I have ever done is to teach leadership to those around me. The ones who have embraced it have not only made their lives better, but enhanced others lives, as well as mine. This is one of the greatest gifts I have am able to give to anyone I know.

3. I practice leadership: I have been fortunate enough to be in a "leadership position" at my current employer since 2001. When I look back, I wasn't much of a leader until just a few years ago. I learned that when you get a leadership position you have about a six month window to prove that you are a leader and that you can be trusted by your followers. In that six months you can talk a lot, share your vision, and say all the things you want to do. But after that 6 months if your talk doesn't start matching your walk your credibility as a leader is diminished and many times finished.

I learned over the years that as a leader the first thing you have to do is win the hearts of your people. Only then can you win them to the bigger picture. Only when your followers believe you have the best interest in them, will they put their best foot forward for you. Practicing leadership, is essentially, a practice of making very good friends. Friends who are willing to do what they have to do for you and the mission.

4. I put myself around other great leaders: You attract who you are, you are who you hang out with. I want to hang around with leaders. I do not want to hang around with a bunch of people who just haplessly follow the crowd. I want to learn from face to face conversation from great leaders. I want to know what they commit to everyday. I want to know about the biggest mistakes they made in their leadership. I want to know what drives their passion and willingness to sacrifice for the good of their team and organization.

Great leaders are not that easy to find. The funny thing is, if you walk into an organization and ask for the manager or coach you may get a completely different person if you walk in and ask for the leader. The leader is the person with the most influence.

Remember this my friends, a leadership position is a valuable as the time you have to prove that you aren't a leader. Real leaders don't need a position to lead. They just need people.

I'd like to leave you with a poem that is in John Maxwell's book, Leadership Gold. It is a great summary of what real leadership is.

Leadership is the willingness to put oneself at risk

Leadership is the passion to make a difference with others

Leadership is being dissatisfied with the current reality

Leadership is taking responsibility while others are making excuses

Leadership is seeing the possibilities in a situation while others are seeing the limitations

Leadership is the readiness to stand out in the crowd

Leadership is an open mind and an open heart

Leadership is the ability to submerge your ego for the sake of what is best

Leadership is inspiring others with a vision of what they can contribute

Leadership is power of one harnessing the power of many

Leadership is your heart speaking to the hearts of others

Leadership is the integration of heart, head, and soul

Leadership is the capacity to care, and in caring, to liberate the ideas, energy, and capacities of others.

Leadership is the dream made reality

Leadership is, above all, courageous

Ask Yourself this Week:

1) What are my beliefs about leadership?

2) Do I call myself a leader, yet have no one following behind me?

3) What can I do today to start using this most powerful concept and become a better leader in my own life, my family, and my organization or team.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Last week in this 5 part series of "The Best Advice I Ever Got," the title was Attitude is Everything and featured some great advice I was taught from by my parents.

This weeks entry fits perfectly with the holiday season. It is about the power of giving and how small simple acts of generosity lead to a life of true greatness.


Source: The first time I heard this quoted was at a Perform Better Seminar about 5 years ago by Parisi Performance Coach, Martin Rooney.

Why I consider this some of the "Best Advice I Ever Got.":

For the most part life is a struggle of trying to get everything we can out of what we've got. We try to get the most out of our career, our bodies, our finances, and even our families. This advice I received, however, flips the switch and changes the mind-set to begin to think about giving first.

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, "You can get everything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want." This is easy to say, easy to comprehend, but much harder to actually do.

The consistent act of giving to others is where true greatness is born. We tend to chase success, while greatness is right in our grasp. Pastor John Wesley defines greatness as, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can."

This is great advice. If you want to be great...start giving more.

How I'm Going to Apply This Advice to My Own Life:
I am convicted as I write this article. I feel as if I do a decent job giving, but for the most part, I let my selfish nature and my "achievement blinders" drag me through each day.

I have learned there is a simple test which an indicates how good I am doing at giving to others. It is the acid test of greatness. It is my joy level.

My days mainly consist of my head down, eyes focused forward, striving to be the best at what I do, chasing success, thinking I'm blazing a path to greatness. As I strive and strive to do all these things, I hardly have time to realize that my joy is in the gutter.

When I'm too focused on becoming a personal success, I find myself eventually feeling miserable. Here's why: I'm so worried about what I'm getting I forget about what I should be giving. It's all about me.

I love the quote by John Andrew Holmes which says, "The entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others."

I have learned, buy having a two year old daughter, that this is the way that their mind thinks because it is as far as it has developed. Sometimes I wonder just how far I've come.

In 2010 I'm going to make a commitment: This commitment is simple: When I wake up, I am going to do my best to think about, define, and DO (write, encourage, call, visit, give to, lend to, send to) something for someone with no intention of getting anything in return. My goal is to give 365 blessings next year.

I cannot promise that I will be able to do this everyday. But imagine the implications that it would have not just for others, but also the joy level in my own life.


Author Steven Chandler who wrote, 101 ways to Motivate Others, "Either now, or on one's deathbed, one realizes a strange truth: there's no excuse for becoming great."

As a performance coach, someone who is consumed by the world of success, performance, and achievement, it is easy for me to forget that greatness has nothing to do with all of the "success" words.

The noteworthy thing about greatness is that it requires no training. Greatness requires no top-notch performance. Greatness does not require that you are the best at what you do. Greatness only requires a willingness to do something for someone else with the intention of blessing their lives.

Imagine what we could collectively do in 2010 if we made a commitment to blessing someone's life everyday. Imagine how the lives of others would change. And just imagine how your life would change.

If you take the time to bless someone's life. You may change their day and even their life. Because of what you did for them, they may do the same for someone else. This exponential giving could actually positively change the world around you.

I would like to challenge each of you to make a commitment this year, if not to 365 days blessing someone's life, at least 52 (one person per week).

Don't know how to start? Don't know how you could possibly give this many blessings? Below are some simple ideas to start your path to greatness in 2010.

1. Create Your List: Make a list of all the people in your life who (family, friends, school mates, co-workers, teammates, clients, and acquaintances) are you interact with on a daily basis.

2. Start with Those Closest to You: Hand-write, email, txt, or call either encouraging them, thanking them, or just telling them that you love them.

3. Thank the Important People in Your Life: Write a list of all the people who you need to thank. Buy thank you cards and send one thank you card each week.

4. Thank the People Who Made You Who You Are Today: Think of all the people in your life who have sacrificed a piece of their life to you to get you to where you are today (teacher, coach, mentor, friend): Write them a hand written thank you note or email expressing your thanks.

5. Thank Someone You've Never Met: Think about someone in your life who you have never met, but has influenced your life in some way (an author, a coach, or anyone else who has indirectly affected you through resources that they have provided). Write them a hand written thank you note or email expressing your thanks.

6. Start a Love Journal: This is something that I started with my daughters. I have purchased a journal for each of them. I hand write entries things that document their lives, how much I love them, and pass encouraging things I learn to them. I plan on giving these journals to them for their 18th birthday. You can start these at anytime, even if your kids are older. It's a wonderful way to start my day.

7. If you are Married, buy and do the "Love Dare" written by Steven and Alex Kendrick: This will change your marriage and your perspective on your relationships forever. This will give you 40 ways to bless you significant other.

8. Write Everyone's Birthday's on a Calendar: I have watched my parents do this every year for a long time. Buy a 2010 Calendar and write everyone's birthday's on it. Bless everyone of their birthday with a card appreciating them for how they've blessed your life.

9. Contribute to a Charity with your money: Find a charity that you and your family believe in. Commit to a certain amount of money each month to this charity. You can have it debited out of your checking account every month, but you actually get more out of it if you physically write a check each month.

10. Contribute to a Charity with your time: Find a local charity that you can contribute your time to. Mentor a child at the boys and girls club. Feed the homeless. Volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, play in my charity Madden Tournament:)

11. Train Yourself to Seek Giving Opportunities: Train yourself to look for opportunities to open a door for someone, open a car door for someone, help clean up something you had nothing to do with, say hello, be courteous, and thank those serving you (cashier's, janitors, etc.).

12. Train Yourself to Seek Character Opportunities: Find opportunities to do for those who can do nothing for you. Find opportunities to show love, generosity, mercy, and compassion for those who cannot fight back.

Lets change the world in 2010.