Monthly Archives: December 2013

Week 12 – How to put your socks on properly

Coach Wooden 3

I’ve had the privilege of being a Football coach for 20 years now. I’ve coached Highschool , College ball, and even a short stint at the Pro level. Coaching has become part of who I am, and I’m proud of my accomplishments. Not so much the wins and Championships (although those are cool) but more importantly it’s the opportunity I’ve had to mould some minds and be a difference in the lives of some young people.

I’ve really enjoyed Mark’s occasional reference’s to John Wooden. If you are not familiar with Coach Wooden, he is considered to be one of the greatest College Basketball coaches of all time. And not because of the 10 National Championships he won at UCLA.
Coach Wooden would be the first to tell you that “he” didn’t win 10 national championships, the young men he “taught” are responsible for those banners.

He was sometimes criticized for using unconventional teaching methods. They may have been … but they were always very effective.

Here’s a perfect example: Imagine your a new freshman player at your first practice with UCLA, excited and eager to learn from the great Coach Wooden. Waiting in the locker room to be taught some secret of the game. Coach Wooden would start every camp the same way.

“Please take off your shoes and socks,” Coach announced to the team, “I’m going to show you the proper way to put them back on.”

The new players would look around … they thought he was joking or lost his mind. What the heck did this have to do with basketball?

“Now, when you pull on your sock,” he said showing them through example, “I want you to make sure that there are no wrinkles or gaps,” as he put his own socks on. “Make sure your heel is fully seated in the heel of the sock; run your hand over the toes and make sure to smooth out any bumpy areas.” Then he showed each player how to properly lace his shoes and tie them snugly so that there was no room for the shoe to rub or the sock to bunch up.

Then Coach Wooden would get up and leave for the gym, the players would still be perplexed, why were they starting out the season talking about shoes and socks? Here they were, the best young players around, and this legend had just spent 30 minutes teaching them about shoes and socks.

Then, Coach Wooden would turn around and say ‘That’s your first lesson. You see, if there are wrinkles in your socks or your shoes aren’t tied properly, you will develop blisters. With blisters, you’ll miss practice. If you miss practice, you don’t play. And if you don’t play, we cannot win.

“If you want to win Championships, you must take care of the smallest of details.”

He would then walk away.

Coach Wooden understood the importance of the little things in terms of preparing for something bigger. He was great because he focused on the small, basic tasks that are the building blocks of every major victory. Sound Familiar? (Doing your sit, reading your DMP, using the laws of the mind)

I’ve enjoyed reading and learning from Coach Wooden since my playing days. I read anything I can get my hands about him. And I’ve used his methods and thoughts many times with my players to varying degrees of sucsess. His secrets were rarely about anything earth shattering, or some strategic new secret offence, they where always focused on the tiny details of each day that most of us overlook. Because he takes the time to look after the basics, Coach Wooden was prepared to tackle the larger issues that came his way with calmness, thoughtfulness, and wisdom.

Games are not won on game day, they are won at the first practice, with the first actions. It’s how we set ourselves up for greatness or faluire. Greatness is not achieved in a moment – it is the result of hundreds of small acts of preparation along the way.

“Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail” – John Wooden

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Week Eleven – Get’er Done!

Have you been putting something off?

You know how it goes.
One part of your brain says – “Stop procrastinating. Just get on with it. Finish it!”

But then another part screams- “But I don’t want to!”

It may not be anything major, but the task keeps nagging at the back of your mind. You feel unsettled, slightly annoyed and stressed.

Here’s the thing: you can’t be fully at peace until you complete the task. Why?
Because the tendency we have to worry about something we have started and haven’t yet finished.

In his book “Getting things Done” David Allen says that just by simply writing something down and making a list we free up valuable space in our Brain, like ram on a computer.

I think the service card exercise, in our MKMMA has been the most useful exercise of this experience for me. I have been studying procrastination and efficiently for years (mostly because I’ve struggled with both) and this has helped me tremendously.

Not finishing a project is like having a mental popcorn kernel stuck in your teeth. It is annoying, it won’t go away. It’s robs your brain of valuable energy until you get up get some floss and get it out.

But if you can just get it done, your brain will breathe a sigh of relief. You will feel lighter. Chances are you will have way more energy too.

As Jack Canfield says in his book “The Success Principles” –

“the quicker you move through [your] incompletes, the clearer your mind will be and the more “attention units” you’ll have to dedicate to those things that can really make a difference in your life”.

At the very least, you’ll feel some relief as you go to cross the task off your ‘To do’ list.

So how do we motivate ourselves to complete tasks and projects you keep putting off-

1- Consider how life will be better

Whatever the task is – no matter how painful and boring – consider all the good things that will come once it’s finished.

maybe it’s as simple as feeling more energized because your one step closer towards achieving a long term goal.
Or you no longer feel bogged down by it. You can reclaim a little more peace of mind and energy for other stuff.

2- Kato yourself into action

A little fear can be a good source of motivation. “Hiyaaa!!!”

So ask yourself the question –
What happens if I keep putting this off? — Hiyaaa!!!

Now, don’t freak out. Freaking out never helps. Too much fear can lead to paralysis.

But you may have to get your heads out of the sand, and stop ignoring this task … It’s not going away.

Don’t start something to don’t plan on finishing. And I got news for you. If you’ve started it in your mind (where all creation of ideas and task start) and you know it has to get done, you have to finish or it will nag you forever.

Hiyaaa!!! …

Besides, how much fun is it to not finish, focus on the euphoric feeling of checking another task of the to do list.

To do this requires self discipline, focus and strength. You need to be ruthless with yourself – finish the task and you’ll be training your stubby that you always keep your promises.

2- Get your dopamine firing

To help you finish a particularly boring task, you need to get your dopamine firing. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with the expectation of pleasurable experiences.

Now typically when your brain thinks of doing a boring project, dopamine isn’t released. The gates to your dopamine are firmly closed.

So how can you open up your dopamine floodgates?

By simply combining the task with some upbeat music that you really enjoy, hanging out with people you like, or being in a spot that makes you happy.

3 – Start before you feel ready

Don’t worry about the how, worry about the what.

The reality is you are never going to feel ready or motivated to start doing some tasks. You just need to start. One step at a time. Success will come if we don’t give up.

Week Ten – Whats an eleven letter word for “making your bliss a reality” … Persistence

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I persist until I succeed … or do I ??

The December scroll has been the most eye opening one yet.

I have found it so motivating and at the same time a window into why I have enjoyed some failures and some success in the past.

If I think about some home runs I’ve had, it has, without a doubt been attributed to my relentless persistence.  I was not going to let ANYTHING get in the way of my goal.  I would become so single minded in my pursuit of that goal.  And the flip is the same.  I have had some “intentions” in the past … had the knowledge do complete the goal … but didn’t apply the knowledge and was not persistent enough to get it completed.

That seems to have been a theme for me … huge successes due to relentless persistence. (usually at the expense of family or other areas in my life). Or Failure because I was simply not “moved” enough to make it something I wanted to be passionate about.

Balance is always the key … but how do you have relentless persistent pursuit of your goals and not get out of Balance?  I don’t think you can.  I feel the key is to constantly make adjustments.  Like a tight-rope walker with a balance poll. In a 50 foot walk across a tight rope he probably makes several thousand “micro” adjustments in his balance.  The audience can’t hardly even notice, he appears to just glide across the rope with ease, but in reality he is making constant tiny adjustments.

Thats the key, a business that doesn’t take inventory will always fail, and the same is for the biggest, most important company you have “MYSELF INC.”

Make the adjustments, stay balanced, keep persisting until you succeed … and don’t look down!

WEEK NINE – Left Brian / right brian

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What side of the brian do I use?  I’ve always thought of myself as a Left Brain person.  I pride myself on being a level headed, logic based, person.  I’ve always struggled communicating with people who are driven by emotion.  I’m naturally very impatient, and can even be downright cranky with people who don’t get to the point. I was pretty sure I’m a lost cause.  Well … This Master Keys process has taught me so much… turns out the more I dig into the science … I’m more balanced than I thought.

I can’t believe how emotional I feel when I do my readings! And now hearing my own voice is sending me over the edge.  This is not going to be easy to say … But the other day I actually got a little misty, thinking about my PPN, and how great it is going to feel bringing them to life.

Oh man …  I’m turning into a BLUE!!! Help!!!