It Takes No Skill To Hustle

My wife is always telling me that I’m smart. It makes me feel kind of, well, weird. I’m not sure why. I’ve accomplished too much academically to dismiss it altogether, but it’s hard to completely accept such praise. To tell you the truth, I don’t know what the heck it even means. To be smart, that is. I mean we all say it, referring to those around us as smart or bright. And I know there are tests that are supposed to effectively measure intelligence. But how many of us have actually taken one? And if we have, what exactly has it done to help us? Schools, of course, are notorious for using standardized testing to rank its pupils. But we’ve all heard about the biases inherent in some of these assessments. Furthermore, with more and more ways to prepare and study for these and similar tests, what does a good score on them really mean? That you are able to take a test and do well? That you have the means to afford private classes and tutors? Or...

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Winners know how to (and that they must) push boulders!

Keep pushing life's "boulders" and it'll pay off!

Bill Parcells, the soon-to-be Hall of Fame football coach had a saying for almost every occasion and circumstance.  He was as knowledgeable about life as football and never missed an opportunity to share his wisdom and charisma.  One of his favorite expressions was used to explain the emotional fragility of young players.  “Confidence is born from demonstrated ability,” he’d say.  Of course, the thought is not original.  You may, in fact, have heard other variations of it.  “Once you’ve done it once, you can do it again.”  Or “You don’t know you can do it until you do it.”  However stated, no matter who says it or in what context, it’s as true and real as the world is round.

Confidence comes from evidence.  That’s obvious.  Or is it?  Doesn’t it take some confidence to produce the evidence in the first...

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Keep Choppin’ and Keep Steppin’

mindset perseverance Mar 01, 2020

Chop big or chop small. Chop quickly or chop slowly. But whatever you do, Keep Choppin’!

Not long ago I was going through one of my crazy circuit training routines when one of the employees at the gym looked at me with a peculiar, perplexed, almost confused face. She’s seen me there dozens of times—always friendly and conversant—so I was wondering why she was looking at me in such a manner. Her confused look was actually, well, confusing me a bit. Later she walked by and said “Why do you work so hard? Is it like your thing or something?” I didn’t really know how to respond. As odd as it sounds, I initially felt the way I did when I was in high school, the same way a lot of kids, struggling to find an identity, to fit in yet stand out, feel. I thought back to a time when doing the best you could in school meant you were being a “teacher’s pet”, “bookworm”, or worse yet, a “know-it-all”. I remember...

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The Bluford Principle

We spend Christmas Eve every year at my in-laws in Modesto, CA, a little over an hour drive from my hometown of San Jose. We always have a great time there during the Holidays. My children get to see and spend time with their cousins, whom they don’t see very often. My wife gets to hang out with her siblings, whom because of life’s commitments- kids and work just to name a couple- she also sees a lot less than she probably should. And I get a mini-vacation, a few days that, because there are more adult eyes to look after ours and the other children, I get to relax and unwind a little.

As the stoplight turned green and we proceeded through the last busy intersection on the final stretch of road before my in-laws’ home, I noticed a man standing in a used car lot, which because it was nearly nine pm on Christmas Eve, had been closed for several hours. He was bundled up next to a streetlight, smoking what I’d hoped was a cigarette. “Look at that...

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Run it Back!

competition mindset Mar 01, 2020

Me: “Run it back!”
Him: “You want to switch the teams up a little?”
Me: “Run it back!” (this time throwing, the ball at–um, I mean toward–him)

Anyone who is a competitor, and we all have a little bit of that in us, can relate to that scenario.  You’ve just been whooped.  And at something about which you care at least a little bit (why else would you be playing the game?).  And rather than go home, or sit on the sidelines, or worse yet, take the easy way out and change your team, you want nothing more than to play again.  You want to start over, hit sport’s equivalent of a reset button.  You want to, as they say on the hoop courts, “run it back”.  

And the beauty of sports is that, even if you lose again, even if you lose AGAIN, it’s just one day.  You always have tomorrow to come back and compete again.  I had a coach that used to tell us after a particularly poor loss...

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Hunger and Fear- the Greatest Motivators

Whether you are a lion or a gazelle, you better wake up every morning RUNNING!

There is a famous quote, captured so beautifully in wall-mounted, framed photos in offices across America. The Successories brand of motivational and inspirational products has made a fortune over it and similar products and while many people think they are corny and stupid, I find these phrases captured in artistic photography have a way of capturing the strength and promise within all of us and the methods, sometimes reasons, which bring out that potential. I have not purchased any of these products but often find myself remembering the ones that I have seen and which have resonated with me. There is one phrase in particular that came to mind this week.

I am in the eye of what appears to be one of those few storms that happen in all of our lives. You know, those moments that we feel deep in our stomachs may change the course of our lives and the lives of our loved ones. The proverbial forks in the road...

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Our jobs as coaches, teachers, and parents

Leave it up to the Olympics to help me get this writing thing back on track. And leave it to one of the darlings of the games- along with Gabby Douglas and the Golden Girls of Women’s Beach Volleyball, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh—to inspire me and this post.

 

I certainly enjoyed watching other sports and athletes during the Olympics. Watching the American hoops team bring home the gold was fun. Watching Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee from South Africa who advanced to the semifinals in the 400 meters, was nothing short of amazing. And watching a human being run as fast as Usain Bolt had the feeling of watching something that could, or at least should, not be possible. But Allyson Felix is the one who got me off my you-know-what, prompting me to pull out my laptop and write.

She did it for me. More importantly, she finally did it for herself. After finishing a close second in her signature race, the 200 meters, in both Athens (2004) and Beijing...

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Negotiate On YOUR Terms!

Like in sports, don’t let Life dictate to you. Live your life on YOUR terms!

“RIP 30s”. In other words, “Rest in Peace, 30s!” That’s what the sign read, the one that was on my door when I strolled into the office on my birthday—oops, 40th birthday– a few weeks ago. It was a loving gesture, to be sure, mostly from a group of coworkers whom I put through a battery of exercises twice a week in what they’ve come to call “Bobby Bootcamp.” Led by the ring leader, whose name has been omitted to protect the, umm, guilty, they also put together a gift basket of the most thoughtful items. Protein drinks. Nuts and other healthy snacks. Even some blue sports tape, the exact kind I put on my bad wrists when we train. Clearly, the group gave this gift a whole lot of thought. And I’ll never forget it.

And it may have been the best thing that’s happened to me in a while, even though it didn’t start out that...

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Until..

mindset motivation Feb 28, 2020

I was watching a clip on Youtube of the renowned motivational speaker Les Brown today. It’s something I’ve been doing a lot of lately–watching different types of instructional videos–since I found the YouTube app on my DirecTV receiver (Menu/Extras/YouTube). In the middle of watching today, something dawned upon me. It is something I do continuously, something that I feel helps me make sense of the world around me. It is also something that, more times than not, ends up bearing itself out to be more true than false.

What is it?

Well, I believe that, although difficult and challenging, life can often be broken down into manageable, even logical pieces. Anecdotes. Precepts. Tenets. And it is my belief further, that by applying these universal laws–rules, if you will–we can become better and more successful in everything we do.

Today’s thought and realization is based upon one very simple word. Five little letters, I’m convinced, that if...

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Your Personal Brand

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With all this talk about and coverage devoted to Michael Jordan's 50th Birthday today, it got me thinking. Is there a more recognizable sports figure or brand than Michael Jordan? Has any athlete in the history of sports left as large a footprint globally? Has any single figure merged pop culture and sports so seamlessly? I can't think of any. Some might argue that Jordan saved the sport of basketball (games were shown on tape delay, believe it or not). He undeniably made wearing baggy shorts and a bald head (thank goodness for me) popular. And he certainly made Nike a shoe and apparel juggernaut, helping the company ascend to one of the most recognized symbols (the famous swoosh) and catch phrases ("Just Do It") in advertising and promotion history. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to "Be like Mike", the byline in yet another famous series of commercials created by Gatorade, another of his endorsements that quickly dominated its brand category because of its...

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