Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
My interest was renewed a few years ago when my step-daughter was playing high school ball and I committed my schedule to see all of her games.
Then a couple weeks ago, my alma mater (and hers now) won the state championship and I was there to see it from start to finish.
Her current school, Purdue is in the NCAA tourney and I'll be paying attention as the field narrows. But there are more lessons to learn as explained in this post from the DLM blog:
Posted: 15 Mar 2010 08:19 AM PDT
The NCAA basketball tournament is right around the corner, one of the most over-commercialized, bloated, melodramatic monstrosities on the sports calendar. Right? I mean, nothing shows the exploitation of the college “student-athlete” more than CBS’ billion-dollar baby. Right?
Wrong. For all the headaches and hype associated with the Field of 64, there are some important lessons the rest of the month can teach us. Between upsets and cutting down the net, keep these thoughts in your mind and think about how they relate to your life, career and even your relationships.
- Winning easy isn’t worth as much as winning hard
One of the first lessons of the tournament is getting in. Behind closed doors, the NCAA tournament committee decides who makes the field and who doesn’t. One of the key parts to their formula is the strength of your opponents. Think about that as you measure the successes of your business life. Have you built up your ego and by piling up easy victories? Do you know what it’s like to win hard, against someone just as smart or as talented as you, if not better? This is how the selection committees in our life (bosses, professors, recruiters) measure success. They are going to look at not just you, but who you beat. If you are cruising along with no challenges, who knows what you will do when you make it out of the first round?
- Everybody needs a spring break
For many students, the first round of the NCAA Tournament comes the same week as spring break, giving them a reason to pack up the car and take a road-trip for first-round games in Boise, Oklahoma City and Dayton. Just because you are a working person now doesn’t mean that you have to save all of your vacation up for the summer. You body needs to recharge every few months. Go ahead and take a few days, park it on your couch and watch the first two days of the tournament. Turn off your computer and your phone and watch the updates come in, late into the night.
- Sometimes you’re Goliath
Sure, it’s easy to root for the 16th-seeds of the world. Scrappy, small-school ballers who get everyone to cheer for them if they keep it close. But don’t make the mistake of always empathizing with the underdog. If you are doing business right, you will have smaller competitors looking to find your weakness and topple you. Don’t underestimate anyone who you may be squaring off with for a client or a contract. Stick with your strengths and don’t let up until the buzzer sounds – every time.
- Support your folks and root for the uniform
One-year wonders come and go these days in the NCAA Tournament. Kevin Durant spent a season at Texas, John Wall will be one-and-done this year at Kentucky. So if your school is in the field of 64, don’t fall too deeply in love with your superstar. Instead, root for the uniform, the colors and the tradition that make you a proud alum. The loyalty to those things are what unites everyone across the country who are tuned in to see your team tip off.
- Hustle and clutch are great skills
Two great plays you’ll see during March Madness are the buzzer-beating shot and the player diving out of bounds for a loose ball. How would you like to have members of your team at work who could deliver with everything on the line? Or someone who will throw their whole self into a project just to keep you from losing your momentum? You can’t teach those things, but you can look for the qualities when you decide who to surround yourself with at work.
- Everyone is an expert (they think)
It’s guaranteed that the person to win your basketball bracket pool isn’t going to be the office’s resident basketball expert. It may be a co-worker who picks the winners based on cute mascots or your friend who picks all the lower seeds or a rabid fanboy who thinks his school will win the title – and they do. Everyone has a system that works for them and sometimes they strike gold. Find your own system and don't rely on mimicking others success.
- Great individuals don’t make great teams
North Carolina and Oklahoma both had rosters filled with high school All-Americans this season. One thing they have in common? Neither is going to make the tournament. If your team is made up of a bunch of people who think they should be the star, no one is going to want to share the spot light. A team works best when everyone knows their roles. Who is your point guard? Who is your defender? Clearly defined positions, including a superstar, work best.
- When in doubt, musical montage
When you’re all finished with a huge undertaking, like crowning an NCAA champion, it always helps to reflect back on the emotions that everyone went through. That’s why CBS ends with “One Shining Moment”, the teary-eyed music video who shows the highs and lows of the entire tournament experiment. It gives even the most jaded of fan a chance to say – “hey, this is a great thing. And I’m glad I was a part of it.” Celebrate wins.
|Written on 3/15/2010 by Mike Koehler. Mike Koehler is a public relations strategist and new media director at Schnake Turnbo Frank | PR. He works out of his offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, teaching businesses how to use the web. He spends his spare time with his wife and three kids. Read his blog at www.stfpr.com/newmedia.||Photo Credit: |
Thursday, March 18, 2010
No real excuse, but I've just wrapped up a 6 day vacation and also forgot to set my alarm clock this morning!
After dinner tonight, I took my wife for a walk around the neighborhood and then logged on the computer and noticed that something was missing!
Besides walking, here are 39 more tips from the BudgetLife blog:
40 Ways to Stay Fit Without a Gym Membership
by Kyle Tuttle
There are quite a few reasons to skip out on a gym membership — it’s expensive, you don’t have the time for it, there isn’t one in your area, or you might just feel uncomfortable working out in front of all those people. Whatever it is, you don’t necessarily have to settle for being unfit just because you can’t go to the gym. Here are 40 ways you can stay fit without having to be a member of your local gym:
One of the most important keys to fitness is getting good cardio. The great part is, the only equipment you really need to get your blood pumping is attached to the ends of your legs. Jogging is the simplest way to get some cardio exercise done, and all you need is your feet, some comfortable shoes, and some space to jog in.
Invest in a good pair of dumbbells, ideally one with adjustable weight. They’re extremely flexible, as you can do a great variety of exercises with them and target almost every muscle group in your body. You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck, considering how expensive home gym equipment can be. Visit this site for a helpful set of instructions for dumbbell exercises.
You might think push-ups were invented by army drill sergeants as a way to torture new recruits, but they really are a fantastic exercise for your upper body, strengthening your chest, arm, and shoulder muscles. The proper way to do basic push-ups is to keep your palms shoulder-width apart, and your legs and torso as stiff as a board. Lower yourself until your face is about a couple of inches away from the floor, and then push yourself back up until your arms are straight.
Crunches are another standby exercise, replacing conventional sit-ups which may be harmful to your back. Simply lie down with your knees bent and your feet planted firmly on the floor. Using nothing but your abdominal muscles, raise your chest off the floor a few inches, and then bring yourself back down. Repetition is the key when it comes to crunches, so try to do at least 25 reps per set. Once things start getting easier, increase the number of reps until you start feeling the burn again.
Want to tone your legs and buttocks? Find a flight of stairs to run on. Go up as fast as you can, then walk back down. Doing this repeatedly will give your lower body a good workout. Just make sure no one catches you if you try this at the office.
Squats are a great way to work your thighs and buttocks. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and then bend at the knees until your thighs are just about parallel to the floor. Hold the squat position for a couple of seconds before bringing yourself back up.
Although bears are typically seen as heavy, lumbering animals, bear crawls are an exercise that actually helps improve your agility. Check out this video for instructions on how to do this workout.
Why not learn a new skill while getting a good cardio and abdominal workout? The art of belly dancing will help you tone that tummy of yours and improve your overall fitness. Follow these links toPart 1 and Part 2 of a helpful instructional video. It works for both men and women, but the guys should be warned – a lot people find belly dancing men a little awkward to look at.
Yoga has long been considered an excellent, low-impact way of improving one’s fitness. However, chances are that if you can’t get to a gym, you probably can’t attend a yoga class. It’s a good thing that you can practice yoga in the comfort of your own home, thanks to online instructional videos. Follow this link to a YouTube playlist of beginners’ yoga exercises.
Strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, and buttocks with wall squats. Start by standing with your back against the wall, feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly bring your rear end closer to the ground, with your back still pressed against the wall, until your thighs are just about parallel to the floor. Hold this position for as long as you can, then lower yourself slowly down to the floor. Try to beat your time with each rep.
If you can, go for bike rides in the park. It’s a fantastic way of getting some fresh air while working on your cardio and lower body. As an added bonus, you get to people-watch too.
Break out the old baseball or football, grab a friend, and play a little catch. You’ll find yourself huffing and puffing after while thanks to the great cardio.
If you’ve got one of those large exercise balls at home, you can give your core a good workout by sitting on one. As you try to keep your balance, your core muscles will natural tense and relax. This is one workout you can do while killing time in front of the TV.
It’s no surprise that Michael Phelps has an amazing body — swimming is an excellent full-body workout. The water provides natural resistance to your movements, and swimming lets you exercise in your full range of motion. You can beat the heat and get an awesome workout at the same time just by hopping into the pool and doing a few laps.
If you have a dog, taking it out for more walks is a fun way of increasing your aerobic activity. Don’t own a pooch? Offer to walk your neighbor’s or friend’s.
Simply walking is a good enough cardio workout, especially for those looking to get some cardio in. However, walking itself doesn’t have to be simple. Here are seven ways to enhance your walking, so you can make the most out of your stroll.
Those looking for more challenging workouts can check out these two programs. The exercises here can be done with minimal (if any) equipment, meaning you don’t need to head to the gym for a demanding exercise session.
Got kids? Take them out to the park for a friendly game of tag. Not only is it fun, but you’ll be getting plenty of exercise at the same time. Plus, it gets your kids to work out, too!
For another good core exercise, try doing planks. Position your forearms flat on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Keep your body rigid, with only your toes and forearms touching the floor. The idea is to support your body solely with your core muscles. Just like in wall squats, hold the position for as long as you can, and then try to beat your previous time with each new rep.
While it doesn’t happen often enough to become regular exercise, you can always be to your friends’ go-to person if furniture needs to be moved around. The tables, TVs and other pieces can be your weights, as you lift and push and rearrange the home. If you don’t have anyone to help out, you can always work on your own home — if you don’t mind an ever-changing layout, that is!
Crank up the music and just dance around. Move with the music — the faster and wilder, the better. Just make sure nobody sees you and thinks you’re possessed, okay?
For an incredibly high-impact leg and core workout, you can try doing tuck jumps. Many professional athletes do this to increase the height of their jumps, and the explosive power of their movements. Beginners, however, should take it easy on this exercise to avoid doing any damage to the body.
Go on a good, long hike up a hill or mountain. The higher you climb, the better your workout. At the end, you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic view.
Indulge your Rocky fantasies and do a bit of shadow boxing. It’s surprisingly good exercise, helping you tone most major muscle groups in your body.
Here’s something you can do to get some amazing abs: lie flat on the ground, head propped up on a pillow, and raise your legs a few inches off the ground while watching television. See how long you can make it, and then try to go longer the next time. You can even make a game of it by seeing how many commercial breaks you can get through in a single rep.
The lower back is often ignored during exercises, and yet it’s one of the most vital muscle areas, providing support to your upper body. Follow the tips in this video for some easy lower back exercises you can do at home.
Who needs expensive gym equipment when your body weight gives you all the resistance you need? Check out this video for a complete body weight exercise routine from a professional trainer.
Whether you’re looking for some quality time with your family, or for a place to take your special date to, the skating rink offers a lot of fun and physical activity. Roller- or ice-skating provides oodles of aerobic exercise, and gives your legs a decent workout.
Surprisingly enough, working on your garden makes for some good exercise. Think about it — all that bending and pulling and pushing and lifting can get pretty tiring! Regular gardening will help you tone your body, while at the same time making your garden look great. You’ll probably get a decent tan, too!
Remember how, in Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi would train Daniel by making him do household chores? Giving your house and furniture a good cleaning can be quite a workout. Not only will you be getting some exercise done, but you’ll also get the benefits of a very clean home the more often you do this.
Pick up a basketball and shoot some hoops. Whether you’re playing with some buddies or by yourself, the constant running, jumping, and shooting will add up for an excellent workout.
Can’t get to the gym because work takes up all your time? That’s no excuse for not getting any exercise done. Take a look through this list of exercises you can do right in front of your desk. It’s pretty handy for those dull days at the office, or for taking quick breaks from work.
They have rowing machines in the gym, so why not do the real thing? Rowing is a fun way to get a good workout, no matter what sort you’re doing. You can try it as a leisurely activity, such as rowing on a date; or you can go for the hardcore team-oriented sport known as dragonboat rowing. Whichever you choose, the activity will work a lot of major muscle groups, including the arms, shoulders, and upper back.
Whenever you’ve got errands to do away from home, try walking or biking your way there instead of taking the car. Your lungs, heart, and lower body will thank you for it.
Pilates advocates will tell you it changed their lives. That just might be true, since the exercise trend is a fantastic way of burning fat and improving your general fitness. If you can’t attend a class, this video will put you up to speed on the basics.
Many people attribute their well-toned physiques to a healthy sex life. They’re probably not kidding, as sexual intercourse is a well-documented means of effectively burning calories. Sex is apparently such good exercise that Fitness Magazine has provided a list of sex positions that can double as exercise. The article can be found here, but keep in mind that some people might find the illustrations NSFW.
Grab a chair and do some dips. Turn your back to the chair and place your palms on the seat. Your elbows should be shoulder-width apart, straight, and your fingers should be facing forward. Stretch your legs out a few feet in front of you, and then bend your elbows to about a 90-degree angle. This will lower your body and make your butt hover just a few inches off the floor. Straighten your arms again (but don’t lock your elbows!), using your triceps to lift your body weight. Start this exercise with three sets of ten reps, and increase the reps once things get easier.
Kill two birds with one stone — find a new hobby and get some rigorous cardiovascular training by taking up marathon running. It’ll build your stamina, tone your body, and provide more than enough aerobic exercise. You may just find that pushing the limits of your endurance to be an ecstatic feeling as well.
A lot of people have used the Nintendo Wii as an exercise aid, since many of its games involve a lot of physical movement. In fact, you can get a Wii Fit system designed specifically for this purpose. Who said video games kept you from exercising?
Total fitness involves working out your entire body. You can do that without ever having to go to the gym, so long as you know the right exercises. This helpful video series teaches you how to get a full body workout, as designed by a professional fitness trainer.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Posted: 09 Mar 2010 06:30 PM PST
Albert Einstein has long been considered a genius by the masses. He was a theoretical physicist, philosopher, author, and is perhaps the most influential scientists to ever live.
Einstein has made great contributions to the scientific world, including the theory of relativity, the founding of relativistic cosmology, the prediction of the deflection of light by gravity, the quantum theory of atomic motion in solids, the zero-point energy concept, and the quantum theory of a monatomic gas which predicted Bose–Einstein condensation, to name a few of his scientific contributions.
Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”
He’s published more than 300 scientific works and over 150 non-scientific works. Einstein is considered the father of modern physics and is probably the most successful scientist there ever was.
10 Amazing Lessons from Albert Einstein:
- Follow Your Curiosity
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
What piques your curiosity? I am curious as to what causes one person to succeed while another person fails; this is why I’ve spent years studying success. What are you most curious about? The pursuit of your curiosity is the secret to your success.
- Perseverance is Priceless
“It's not that I'm so smart; it's just that I stay with problems longer.”
Through perseverance the turtle reached the ark. Are you willing to persevere until you get to your intended destination? They say the entire value of the postage stamp consist in its ability to stick to something until it gets there. Be like the postage stamp; finish the race that you’ve started!
- Focus on the Present
“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”
My father always says you cannot ride two horses at the same time. I like to say, you can do anything, but not everything. Learn to be present where you are; give your all to whatever you’re currently doing.
Focused energy is power, and it’s the difference between success and failure.
- The Imagination is Powerful
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Are you using your imagination daily? Einstein said the imagination is more important than knowledge! Your imagination pre-plays your future. Einstein went on to say, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” Are you exercising your “imagination muscles” daily, don’t let something as powerful as your imagination lie dormant.
- Make Mistakes
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
Never be afraid of making a mistake. A mistake is not a failure. Mistakes can make you better, smarter and faster, if you utilize them properly. Discover the power of making mistakes. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, if you want to succeed, triple the amount of mistakes that you make.
- Live in the Moment
“I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.”
The only way to properly address your future is to be as present as possible “in the present.”
You cannot “presently” change yesterday or tomorrow, so it’s of supreme importance that you dedicate all of your efforts to “right now.” It’s the only time that matters, it’s the only time there is.
- Create Value
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value."
Don’t waste your time trying to be successful, spend your time creating value. If you’re valuable, then you will attract success.
Discover the talents and gifts that you possess, learn how to offer those talents and gifts in a way that most benefits others.
Labor to be valuable and success will chase you down.
- Don’t Expect Different Results
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
You can’t keep doing the same thing everyday and expect different results. In other words, you can’t keep doing the same workout routine and expect to look differently. In order for your life to change, you must change, to the degree that you change your actions and your thinking is to the degree that your life will change.
- Knowledge Comes From Experience
“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”
Knowledge comes from experience. You can discuss a task, but discussion will only give you a philosophical understanding of it; you must experience the task first hand to “know it.” What’s the lesson? Get experience! Don’t spend your time hiding behind speculative information, go out there and do it, and you will have gained priceless knowledge.
- Learn the Rules and Then Play Better
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
To put it all in simple terms, there are two things that you must do. The first thing you must do is to learn the rules of the game that you’re playing. It doesn’t sound exciting, but it’s vital. Secondly, you must commit to play the game better than anyone else. If you can do these two things, success will be yours!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
from Drew's blog:
Posted: 02 Mar 2010 11:27 AM PST
Many of us are burning the candle at both ends and in the middle. Our companies have been "right-sized" which is a nice way of saying -- same amount of work, fewer people to do it.
We're trying to keep up on the trends and changes in our industry, use social media to create a personal brand (and grow our companies) and stay connected to our customers.
Then, there's that little thing called new business. We're all trying to hold and grow our market share, our market presence and build the brand.
Oh right...don't forget about the charity boards, volunteering at our kid's school and just managing our personal lives.
And we're on call 24/7. Our devices makes sure of that.
Whew! No wonder we feel like we're running on empty much of the time.
So here's my question for you. How do you re-fill your bucket? How do you make sure you have enough in the tank to keep going? How do you stay physically, mentally and emotionally replenished?
Here are some of the things that work for me, but I'm looking forward to hearing your tips and tricks.
I serve others: Part of the reason I volunteer my time and share my talents is because it fills me up to know that I am using my gifts the way I believe God wants me to -- in service of others. I only volunteer and sit on boards for organizations that I genuinely believe in -- and care deeply about. That way, I can take immense pride in the work they ultimately do and my small role in it.
I have professional support squads: I learned a long time ago that I needed to bond and hang with other business owners who understood my worries, pains and joys. Through the years, I have either created or joined a small handful of groups that serve as my sounding board, my safe place to vent and my think tank.
But...perhaps most of all -- they are some of my biggest cheerleaders. They believe in me and my abilities and when I am feeling like I can't quite cross the finish line -- their encouragement helps me push through.
I'm a dad: First and foremost -- at the core of my being, I am my daughter's dad. Having declared her as my absolute priority helps me find balance and give me permission to never miss a play, or pick her up after school and hang with her rather than schedule yet one more meeting that day.
I travel: My job affords me the opportunity to get on a plane and go somewhere at least once a month. I know for some people, traveling is a huge hassle but I like it. I'm rarely gone for more than 3 days -- but in those few days, I am gloriously alone. It is more than a rare treat. It is absolutely replenishing.
I create an oasis where I can: I know I'm not going to get big blocks of "me" time. I'm not going to sit and watch an entire baseball game without multi-tasking or just do nothing for a couple hours. My life isn't structured that way.
So I take little mini-breaks where I can get them. Music is healing for me, so I will often turn off my phone's ringer, really crank up my car stereo and just let the music fill me. I'll take the dog for a walk just to breathe in the fresh air and get some think time in. Or I'll watch some ridiculous show on VH1 to laugh with my daughter.
It's hardly perfect. And it's probably not enough. But those are some of the ways I stay sane and re-fuel myself so I can keep at it. How about you -- how do you make sure that your bucket is full?
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Posted: 13 Feb 2010 01:32 PM PST
After spending 25 years in the FBI as a special agent in the area of counterintelligence (catching spies), you learn a thing or two about dealing with people. You learn that what motivates people is not your words but your body language. You can't get someone to trust you just because you say so, you have to demonstrate it.
Actions are powerful but they have to be timely. You have to move to action at the right time to let others know you are in charge and that you care. Similarly you have to be an effective communicator, not just of the obvious but of the nuanced. And of course you have to be able to observe, because nothing can be achieved without the ability to observe, decode, and interpret.
That is what I learned and those lessons apply to any business person wishing to get ahead. These four areas, when mastered, allow the average person to compete at the highest levels, they allow you to be exceptional.
Observation is important to every profession. Observe the world around you for clues and trends. Note the body language of your customers and clients; they will let you know, in real time, how they feel about you and your product. Body language, after all, is our primary means of communication.
- Communicate effectively
This means both verbally and non-verbally. Trust, empathy, and leadership is communicated non-verbally not verbally. Learn to use your body language to garner respect and loyalty so that you can communicate more effectively.
- Comfort for your clients and customers is supremely important.
There is a “comfort dividend,” only now recognized, and it is repaid by having customers and clients who want to visit more frequently, stay longer, and increase face time with you.
- Move to action
Nothing makes a customer or client feel more attended to than your movement to action. Anything small from walking over to greet them to making a key phone call, lets them know you care. Even if you fail they will know that you tried.