Increased Productivity

20130616_100553.jpgI read an article yesterday online from Inc. Magazine about two morning exercises to improve the day’s productivity. It seemed simple enough to do. Here are the two below:

  1. Write down three things you’re grateful for every day
  2. Write down three things that would make the day great

So I gave it a try this morning. Here’s my lists.

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It seems that the world can get busy or better yet, make you believe that you’re busy that you don’t have time to enjoy what you have. More importantly, be grateful for what you have. One thing we started in my family is keeping a gratitude journal. All of us have our own and the goal is write in them daily. The entries can be thoughts, a poem, or even a picture. And it can be from the current day or a realization you’ve had about something you had taken for granted. The goal is to make us all more aware how fortunate we are and appreciate what we have. By taking stock daily, we have become more aware of each other and ourselves.

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner

Here’s a simple nighttime routine that will help increase your awareness.

How do you show gratitude?

OGP #ThrowbackThursday: Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Be true to yourself. Don’t cheat yourself. Don’t be afraid to look in the mirror.

How many times have you heard these, or some variant of them? What do these mean to you? When did you first truly ask yourself — er, the mirror — “Who is the [insert self-affirming adjective here] one of all”? More importantly, when did you first take head of the answer, and what impact did it have on your life?

I recently had a very tough conversation with a beloved protege that led me to revisit this concept. It reminded me of a drastically different situation that caused me to do what I asked of her — to look in the mirror, be honest about what you see and, if you are not satisfied with what you see, be sincere in your actions to grow.

It sounds so simple. It actuality, it can be so hard. Sometimes it stings. When you are sincere, though, and you really want to grow, it’s always rewarding. Here’s my flashback…

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Parenting & Coaching

“I love to watch you play.”

I was reading two articles on Hands Free Mama, that focused on saying “hurry up”and the important thing about yelling. Later on in the day, I saw an article, “Mora handles UCLA with care” on Facebook about UCLA football coach, Jim Mora, posted by Proactive Coaching with the status “Love this perspective…coach like you are a parent – parent like you are a coach”

The Connection
Let me step back a moment. I first read Hands Free Mama when a friend posted this article, “Six Words You Should Say Today” and I started using it immediately. I was amazed  at how well it worked. Her article was based on one she read titled “What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent–And What Makes a Great One” that featured a survey by Proactive Coaching founders, Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller. I share these articles each season with the parents of my athletes. It is the first thing I say to my kids when they do any scheduled or impromptu performance. And it works, the words always bring a smile to their faces and generally earns me a hug.

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Being Thankful

Dear George: Remember no man is a failure who has friends. P.S. Thanks for the wings! Love, Clarence.”

As my family and I were celebrating Christmas last week, we watched It’s a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. It is a classic and if you’ve never seen it, I urge you to watch it soon. The reminder I always get from the movie is to celebrate what you have because it is greater than what you realize. Too often, we focus on what we don’t have or even worst, compare it to what others have. Which causes us to underestimate our self-worth.

A key element to happiness is appreciating all you have. When you take a good look at yourself and your “possessions”, it will be greater than you think. I suggest doing the following each day:

  • List three things you did well or positive outcomes from the day
  • Based on your, day, what do you want to improve
  • What is one thing you can do, that will lead to your desiered improvement

Listing these things daily will help in a greater appreciation of yourself and life in general.

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The Importance of Family

“The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.” – Charles Kuralt

As we are in the midst of the holiday season, I thought it would be good to reflect on family and how it shapes us. Family doesn’t have to be restricted by blood. I remarked to Dwayne aka Rollo once that even if my parents didn’t instill the importance of family to me, I would have learned it from all of the gangster movies I watched. No family is perfect, but they become perfect for us.

Strengthening Bonds
The little nuances families have are what makes them ours and special. From the extra advice to the constant support, family is always there. The key is making sure we are there and present for our family as well. I say a prayer each day to be a better father, husband, son, brother, and friend. With the hope I can continue to provide what is needed for my family. I know I fall short but I am still striving to be better. For me, I do best when I take things in pieces and that’s what has been helping me. But sometimes when I put too much energy in one place, another lags behind, which is very frustrating. But I started to acknowledge the gains I’ve made and the relationships I’ve strengthened instead of looking only at the faults. As they say, when you do one thing well it is evidence you can do more things well too. The Our Great Pursuit project is a great example. The idea sprung from me getting to know Rollo better and seeing how our conversations were helping each other. It began by asking tough questions and sharing stories maybe never told before. When that much trust is given, a bond is made stronger. One of the highest compliments Rollo ever paid me was saying I was someone he would want to know and hang out with even if we weren’t family. Sounds small, but it had a great impact on illustrating how he valued our relationship. And that has made us both better in the process.

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