Go 4 It

What if all those greats we learn about in history, science and the arts sat on their thumbs wondering? If they stood frozen with fear of failure would we be driving cars, chatting online with far-flung friends or sitting in the dark at night?

It’s almost as if I’m being hit over the head with the same message, today. Two of my favorites in the blogging world posted some good ones about seizing opportunities. We all know some only present themselves once. The moment to fulfill the success to its greatest potential might not return a second time.

So, without further delay, here are the two posts that grabbed my attention this morning.

The Only Way to Guarantee Failure is Never to Try – Dances with Chaos

If You Want Something, Ask – She Takes on the World

Good luck in pursuing your dreams, today.

See It: Moneyball

Brad Pitt‘s character, Billy Beane, in the movie Moneyball, reminds me a little of my dad. Like me, my dad is a Detroit sports fan. But, when it comes to watching the teams he supports on television, he just can’t do it. Unlike Billy, he is okay with watching live games. But, for some reason he just can’t sit still in his easy chair — at home — and watch. He says his nerves get shot from all the anxiety surrounding the outcome of the games.

When I selected this movie, I had that movie Hoosiers playing in my head. Remember that one about the underdog high school basketball team, starring Gene Hackman. It is one of my favorites because it is a great story about how a coach brings a dysfunctional, losing  team to greatness.

While Moneyball followed a similar storyline, what I gained from watching was a better appreciation for what it takes to be a great leader. Through Pitt’s performance I noted three reasons Beane is such a great example to those striving for success. He takes risks, cuts through the chase, and keeps the faith in his beliefs.

I’m sure most would agree with me, it is not easy to

take risks due to fear of the unknown and fear of failure. The outcome from any decision — even those that carry little risk — can be disastrous. But, without taking situations stagnate or decline; nothing improves because nothing changes. Beane succeeded because he took risks with hiring undervalued — but talented — players to replace all-star, celebrated performers. He knew these decisions could have ended his career. But, he needed to win baseball games. And, if he wasn’t going to do what was required to win, what was the point in continuing as general manager of the Oakland A’s?

cut through the chase because taking swift, decisive action requires a tough skin. One can’t be fearful of ruffling feathers or hurting feelings.  Beane knew all-star players from his team needed to be traded or sent back down to the minors. Making these changes to the team’s roster challenged his relationships with other Oakland A leaders and with the players. But, he had a job to do. He had to win baseball games; and he traded and dismissed in order win. Business is business.

keep the faith in your beliefs because outside influences challenge them constantly. Even those whom we consider to be close, trustworthy, and knowledgeable can get us on a path to second-guessing our choices. It is important to listen to and consider opposing viewpoints because the intent is to help; and sometimes there is value to the insight. But, there are times when one has to continue listening to that inner voice and to trust in one’s own knowledge and ability. Beane stayed the course. The result: The Oakland A’s won baseball games; lots of baseball game; and the Red Sox wanted to hire him so they could reap the same success.

So, on that note, the Detroit Tigers face the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day at Comerica Park, next week on April 5. Go Tigers!

Schedule It

This week I found myself lingering at blogs with tips and advice for success. Some are specifically for writers while others seek a broader audience.

Ironically, I’ve been struggling this week to complete my writing in a timely fashion. This obstacle delayed completion of other action items; and now I’m looking at the calendar thinking, “Oh, sh*t! It’s already Thursday! WTF did I do this week?”

Perhaps these WTF encounters prompted my visits with others who experience the same; and who have successful coping strategies.

So, one of the tips I’m going to try is a writing/blog post schedule. To date, I just sit and write whenever my mood or time permits. Going forward, here’s the schedule I sketched in my idea book at lunch yesterday.

Instead of trying to post everyday, my goal is to publish 3x/week: Tuesday mornings, Thursday afternoons and Sunday. My intention is to make myself more accountable to you — my readers.

Blog posts about parenting, family matters and other domestic issues will appear on Tuesday mornings. Thursday posts will be dedicated to writing, professional ambitions and other random adult conversations. Finally, Sunday posts will be about experiences I have when I’m not writing.

I am hopeful this change will keep me moving forward. Thanks for reading and have a spectacular day!

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