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How can you create OPTIMISM in 2017?

Optimism is defined as hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something. 

– Google Dictionary definition

A competitor with an optimistic outlook hopes that in the future they will achieve the successful outcome they desire.  Hope however is not the driving force for them because in hoping for something to happen, we are implying that we have little control over its’ occurrence, that we are blindly throwing a dart at a dartboard and hoping to hit.

This hopefulness is combined with confidence.  The confidence the Heart of the Competitor establishes is based in their thoughts and actions that develop the confident mindset.  Confidence is taking action.  Confidence is being aware of the limitless possibilities that exist around us.  Maintaining awareness of these limitless possibilities allows the optimist to maintain this hope because they will allows be open and prepared when opportunity arises.

Optimism is a cycle, beginning with the belief in achievement as being possible, a hopefulness that all will work out, coupled with a confidence that when an opportunity arises, the competitor will act and achieve the successful outcome they desire.

Remember this: Optimism may be born with hope, but it is delivered with action.  The competitor’s actions and achievements will drive optimism, which will renew the belief within our mindset.  So, an optimist needs to act, even when they do not believe.  This action will lead to learning and the continual development of confidence in achievement.

Your goal for today: Renew your commitment to action; achievement will follow, allowing optimism to continually grow within you.

Question of the Day:

Write down one action you have been waiting to take.  Commit to taking this action today.  When you take this action be hopeful and open to all possibilities that will come from your action.

Each day is a competition and it is yours to win.

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THANKFUL for Challenges and Failures

On this Thanksgiving, many will take the time to recognize and name that for which they are thankful.  If you are like most people this will begin with family, health, and the list will go on.  I am thankful for the immediate family of my wife, Emily, our two sons, Simon, 7, and Spencer, 4, the extended family of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I am also thankful for the blessing of health that my immediate and extended family enjoys.  Moving from there, I would be remiss if I did not mention that I am thankful for a steady career as a teacher and the colleagues that I am blessed to work with, many of whom I call friends.

I could continue to list the things that I am thankful for, but there is one thought of thankfulness that continues to build a space in my brain and that is to be thankful for challenges and failures.  Challenges and failures have led me to enjoy the successes that have blessed my life.

I am thankful for the failures of previous relationships prior to meeting my wife, Emily.  These failures forced me to become a better person, knowing that relationships and ultimately marriage takes work and commitment.

I am thankful for the challenges and failures as a coach.  The many losses that I endured as a Collegiate Head Baseball Coach forced me to evaluate myself and my Core Values.  This failure challenged me to become more and focus on the connections with others and how I can serve others, rather than having them serve me.  These challenges led me to the Core Values, of Learning, Teaching, and Serving.

I am thankful for the times as a young coach that I lost control, breaking a clipboard, throwing a fungo bat, or going into a general tirade.  These situations have demonstrated to me the need for control and have allowed me to become a better father when responding to Simon and Spencer, a better teacher when working with a lethargic student, and have increased my ability to respond using logic and training rather than emotion.

I am thankful for the challenges and failures of positions I applied for and did not get.  I once found out I did not get a head coaching position from the person who got the job.  (That was awkward.)  I went to an interview in a neighboring school district with no portfolio or examples, totally unprepared.  I interviewed for an Athletic Director position, as a finalist and received no communication, not an email, or phone call from them for 3+ months, until I received a form email saying they had filled the position.  I also interviewed for another Athletic Director position and was told in front of another candidate that neither of us would get the position.  I am thankful for all of these failures and challenges because they fill my life with appreciation for the teaching position that I have at Lampeter-Strasburg High School because I am part of a staff that landed itself in the Top 1% of schools in Pennsylvania for improving the performance of their students in Algebra.

So when we sit down and list the things we are thankful for today, your challenge is to list a couple of failures and challenges you have experienced.  Look at how they have been a blessing or how they can be turned into a blessing because right around the corner from that challenge is the blessing.

Thanks for being a part of the TRIBE of Competitors.  Check out our launch of the Competitor’s Heart TRIBE Membership that is 50% for a LIMITED TIME.  It makes a great gift for the ELITE Competitor in your life.

YES, I WANT 50% OFF COMPETITOR’S HEART TRIBE MEMBERSHIP

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Amazing Opportunities

Look around your life. Seriously, take a look around your life and deeply evaluate the opportunities that abound in your life. There are many opportunities, yet the question remains, will you take the step forward and take advantage of these opportunities?

This thought struck me during our family vacation this past week. We rented a condominium in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. When we arrived on Saturday and got settled in to the rental, another family arrived in the condominium right beside us with children that were perfect matches as play partners for the week for our two boys, Simon and Spencer.

As the week progressed, this struck me as an amazing opportunity. Imagine what had to happen for this to occur, I mean my wife, Emily, took countless hours and days to find a rental that matched what was best for our family, while at the same time a family in Pittsburgh was renting the exact same condominium right beside us.

What are the chances?

It does not matter what the chances or the odds are on this happening, but it provided an opportunity for two families to become friends and develop a relationship. It was up to us to take the step and make the connection and take advantage of this opportunity. This is true for us in our lives. Take a look around and look at the amazing opportunities around you, but it is up to you to take the first step. Take advantage of the opportunities that are there, take the next step, make the connection, seize the opportunity, and live a life with no regrets. This is a true competitor, seeking to become the best and create the best competitive life for yourself.

Book Update

 As many of you know, I have been working on a book that can be utilized as a daily reader. This past week, I received the first proof of the book. This marks another step forward in this process, another opportunity for me and the coaches and athletes I am blessed to serve. Additionally, I recently completed an audio program that is made up of 3-5 minute tracks that should be listened to on a daily basis, placed into your daily routine. Since this audio program has been completed and is available, we have a special opportunity happening for the month of June, when you order the Competitor’s Heart Audio Program, we will reserve a book and send it to you FREE when it is completed. Check out the Competitor’s Heart Audio Program Here.

Keep taking advantage of the amazing opportunities in your life.

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Perfection Does Not Win, Competing Does

“Challenges are the doors to success and failure is only part of the journey.”

 – Eric Wong

Perfectionism is a huge roadblock to development.

Each challenge that presents itself is an opportunity to test your development and is not meant to be a demand for perfection. Perfection is never the goal. Pitching a perfect game in baseball has only been accomplished 21 times in the modern day game of baseball began being played in 1900.

Perfection is never the goal, competition is. The journey that we enjoy as competitors is filled with successes and accompanied by failures. The true Heart of a Competitor learns more from the failures than from success. We are not seeking failure however, we are pulling lessons from these failures and progressing to become the best version of ourselves we can become.

The cure for perfectionism is to seek out challenges. Push yourself to edge of your limits, enjoying the challenge and providing the best opportunity to test your ability. You are meant to be experiencing the challenges you are currently experiencing. You are meant to be pushing yourself to find out what you are capable of accomplishing. This is the journey, the doors that are opened when you are focused and open to every possible experience that is presented to you.

Knock each roadblock, remind yourself that you are developing the Heart of the Competitor and you are on the journey to being the greatest competitor you are capable of becoming.

Question of the Day:

 What has been holding you back on your Journey? What have you been avoiding? Seek out the challenge and attack it.

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Every Day is New Year’s Day

Now that we are 1 month into 2016, consider this thought as you attack the first day of February:

“New Year’s Day is to refuel life with a new enthusiasm that energizes to take everything in a more positive way and helps to stay committed to attain excellence that inspires everyone straightaway.”
– Anuj Somany 
 
New Year’s Eve is always celebrated with vigor around the world.  Millions pack into New York’s Times Square to see the ball drop, fireworks are set off at the Opera House in Sydney Australia, and countless other celebrations are held on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the coming of a new year.  This celebration represents the enthusiasm that everyone has for a new start to a calendar year.
 
The competitor treats every day as a holiday, to refuel with a new enthusiasm and energy.  The positive approach to every day allows the Heart of the Competitor to continue to pursue excellence.  When excellence is pursued, it attracts excellence from others.
 
The challenge for the competitor is to treat each day as a holiday, as New Year’s Day.  In treating each day as New Year’s Day, the competitor attacks that day with an enthusiasm that is unknown to mankind.  They search out opportunities to help others, to energize others to a level that was once thought impossible to attain.
 
Many people make resolutions at the beginning of the new year.  The competitor makes commitments and develops habits in the new year because they understand that excellence and greatness is a journey. 
 
Make a commitment to greatness today!!
 
Make today your New Year’s Day!!
 
Question of the Day:
 
How can you celebrate today like it is New Year’s Day?

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Big Thinking Leads to Big Doing

In his book The Magic of Thinking Big, Dr. David Schwartz provides twelve statements that contrast a “petty thinker’s” approach with a “big thinker’s” approach. His 4th statement focuses on the future and is as follows:

Petty Thinker:          Views the future as limited.

Big Thinker:             Sees the future as very promising.

The Heart of the Competitor sees the future, understands the promise of the future and pursues this promising future every single day. The promising future pushes the limits of what is currently and while doing this, achieves unbelievable and unimaginable dreams.

 

You are this person, you are the BIG THINKER and because you see the future as promising, you act to make it happen. You have the Heart of the Competitor and you consistently and persistently march forward to make your future a reality. In those moments when doubt creeps into your mind, your faith kicks it out with vengeance. You choose to live and compete with faith, stomping out any fear like a whack-a-mole.

 

The promising future that you envision must be followed with the work and attention to detail to accomplish this future, pushing yourself to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile everyday. In pushing to achieve a difficult and worthwhile objective you are developing the promising future your Heart of a Competitor desires.

 

Be a BIG THINKER.

 

Question of the Day:

 

What reminders will you place in your life to remind yourself and remember the future is promising?

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1 Simple Tool to Jumpstart Your Day

The conclusion of June marked the end of the second quarter of 2015 and the halfway point of the year. At this point, we should take an inventory of the first half of the year and evaluate what adjustments we need to make.

Based on the feedback from previous weekly messages, many of you have chosen a word for the year. My word for the year is GROWTH. For me this word was chosen to represent the challenge to take risks and push to grow. As I reflected, there were times during the year that my focus on growth had led to trying to do too many things. I forget where I heard it, but a saying that creeps into my mind describes what can happen in our society is that we wear “busyness as a badge of honor.” Busyness is not a badge of honor and she should be able to slow down and live our life, enjoying it to the fullest extent.

Since July 5th, I have been using something called a “Daily Register.” It is a combination of a Mission and Goal-focused, Attitude of Gratitude, and Success Journal al wrapped up in one

 

Click here to download and use the FREE template of the “Daily Register.”

 

Each morning, take the time to create 3 goals for the day. This may be a to-do list for you, or simply a mindset that you would like to maintain. (One day last week, my goal was as follows: Say Yes whenever the boys ask me to do something with them.)

The next portion of the daily register is to write down the daily quote that is posted on Twitter. These quotes are delivered at 6 AM everyday and they are a service to you to help focus your mind for the day. (One recipient of the newsletter told me these quotes are his alarm.) Click here to see today’s quote on Twitter.

The next portion of the Daily Register is the 3 X 5 strategy from Jon Gordon and it is labeled the Attitude of Gratitude portion of the Daily Register. By the end of the day, you should be able to come up with 3 things you are grateful for by 5 PM. (I must admit, I cheat on this strategy; I usually complete this just before I head to bed, which is usually after 5 PM.)

Lastly, complete the portion that includes the one success or one lesson learned. The lesson or success that is reported can be as big or small as you want it to be.

Imagine if you completed this Daily Register for the last two weeks of July, what a powerful momentum builder that would be the reminder of 2015. Now is the time to get started.

 

Click here to download and use the FREE template of the “Daily Register.”

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Go With Your Heart

As you give more of your heart, you get more in return.

As you give more of your heart, your influence expands.

As you give more of your heart, you are called to give more.

As you give more of your heart, you develop strength.

As you give more of your heart, you have the courage to COMPETE.

 

Competing takes courage. The courage to test your limits. The courage to step outside of your comfort zone and place your abilities to the test. The courage to fight the societal pressure of wins and losses. The courage to compete with yourself instead of comparing yourself to others.

 

The Heart of the Competitor is a courageously driven machine to become the best it can become. You have the Heart of a Competitor and are driven to create and use every possible situation as a learning opportunity.

 

In his book Choke, Sian Beilock details the need to prepare for performance in stressful moments by training with stressful situations. Police officers that are trained to be able to shoot and hit a target while being fired upon are much more successful than those that have only ever practiced without return fire. This is a must for the Heart of a Competitor, training in mentally and physically stressful situations. For the Heart of a Competitor, the number one way to create stressful situations in practice is to keep track of your progress in an area and that is done by keeping score. If you want to get better at something in a competitive situation, keep score of it in a practice situation and hold yourself accountable.

 

As you give more of your heart and focus in practice, you will get more of your heart and focus in a competition.

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10 Ways to Have the “Luck of the Irish”

Four_Leaf_Clover_03

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, this weekly newsletter contains 10 Irish Proverbs or Blessings that Championship Competitors can use to mold the Heart of a Competitor.

  1. May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgetting. -Irish Blessing

Playing in the present moment is about letting go of any past performances that keep us from performing at our potential. Learn the lessons from the past and focus on the present moment. You are meant to be in this present moment.

  1. Praise the young and they will blossom. – Irish Proverb

Be positive with our kids and they will grow to have the Heart of a Competitor, focused on what they can control, giving all out effort, and doing the little things that are needed to be successful.

  1. There is no luck except where there is discipline. – Irish Proverb

Habits and routines build a discipline that allows the Championship Competitor to “be in the right place at the right time.” Create championship habits and routines in your daily life.

  1. If you do not sow in the spring, you will not reap in the autumn. – Irish Proverb

We must place priorities in our lives and work towards accomplishing these priorities. Accomplishment is rooted in working hard on the priorities that you have established. True achievement occurs over a long period of time.

  1. It is a long road that has no turning. -Irish Proverb on Life

Success is a journey and becoming a championship competitor is about enjoying the long road of life.

  1. You will never plow a field by turning it over in your mind. – Irish Proverb

Championship Competitors create plans in their mind AND take action. Nothing gets accomplished in our mind, those with the Heart of a Competitor take action.

  1. An old broom knows the dirty corners best. – Irish Proverb

Experience is a great teacher. Championship Competitors learn from their experiences and tap into the experiences of others.

  1. Count your joys instead of your woes. Count your friends instead of your foes. – Irish Proverb

Focus on the positive relationships in your life and be rid of those that bring you down.

  1. May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live. – Irish Blessing

The Heart of a Competitor is competing to become the best they can become. The Heart of a Competitor is focused on competition and not comparing, not wanting what others have, but living a life that is full of what is best for them.

  1. “Old Irish Blessing”

Always remember to forget the things that made you sad.

But never forget to remember the things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue.

But never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.

Always remember to forget the troubles that passed away.

But never forget to remember the blessing that come each day.

This week, may you be blessed with the good fortune of the Irish. The good fortune that comes from remembering what has made you glad, those competitors that are in the fight with you, and the blessings that are in your life.

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Believing in You

Optimism is a way of life in everything we do as a competitor. We must believe that our goals and dreams will be reached; it is what motivates us on a daily basis. The belief and open-minded alertness that we will have numerous opportunities to do something that will help us achieve at our highest level.

Your beliefs and hope will move you forward each and every single day. Optimism is the drive to believe in the positive outcome of your process, your daily routines and habits. Developing optimism is the building block of accomplishing the large hair-brained ideas, goals, and dreams that we visualize.

This Far Side comic is the epitome of the large hair brained ideas, goals and dreams the competitor visualizes. There is always the “If.” The competitor allows this “If” to be present, but the Heart of the Competitor utilizes the optimism to know that when the hair-brained ideas come to fruition and they are accomplished, the rewards of accomplishment will be reaped. For what the competitor “sows, they also shall reap.” Sowing our thoughts, words, and actions with optimism, we will reap more than proceeding with a passive and negative approach.

Optimism and positive energy is a way of life. In order to begin thinking in an optimistic, the competitor must observe their way of thinking and the words they use. Are we using the self-talk of encouragement? Are we using the self-talk of persistent pursuit of our goals and dreams? As a first step in the optimist walk is recognizing what is said within our own head. Observe these words and when a negative thought enters your head, replace those with the optimistic, positive words.