Understanding the Power of Endurance

A good coach is simply a good teacher. When you are instructing a student, you are teaching them standards. Just about everything we do in life is either learning or teaching. You do not teach standards by lowering them.

I have had men and women in my life that taught me the basics of life without compromising my development. Today, it is not difficult to find teachers who can see in a student the potential to do better when they have low scholastic scores. The problems exist when the school system lowers their standards to accommodate the students’ deficiencies.

When this occurs, the student is not challenged to grasp beyond the information contained within the limits of his or her school textbooks. This reality, coupled with the lack of parental involvement at home and other domestic problems, could very well be the initial developmental stages of incompetent thinking. However, even this mountain of circumstances can be overcome with the right mentoring and nurturing of a good teacher.

I mentor and guide young men who have had horrific childhood experiences, and yet have still beaten the odds. Growing up without a father is just one of many excuses that young men use to justify their lack of passion and willingness to succeed in life. Do not blame your inappropriate thinking on your negative home experiences. Blame yourself.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years incarcerated in a South African prison for fighting against an Apartheid system that stripped South African blacks of their basic human rights. Upon his release from prison, it was evident that he remained just as focused for the cause that he so fervently fought against while he was incarcerated. When you are under adverse circumstances, you must become better, not bitter.

Nelson Mandela displayed no signs of hatred or bitterness. What is more remarkable is that it literally took 27 years for him to turn a negative situation into a positive one. His persistence to maintain his posture while in prison made him the first president of a democratic South Africa, and the first black president of his nation. What he accomplished was virtually impossible.

His endurance turned the odds in his favor. Perseverance will always outlast persecution. Four years after his release from imprisonment by a nation that wanted to sentence him to death, the world watched him emerge as the leader of that same nation.

You can decide to become bitter or to become better when justice does not seem to find its way into your life. However, if you will stay the course, eventually serenity will outlast skepticism.

The Force be with you

Vision is one of the most powerful energizing forces, which initiates a drive in a person to pursue their greatest aspiration. It is the reason for perseverance, the reflection of thought, and the future realized. Vision is not hopeful thinking, but rather a preview into an unrealized reality.

Everyone has vision. Some people’s vision is simply smaller than other peoples are. Most people can only imagine having enough money to pay their bills on time and live a comfortable lifestyle. Others envision having more than just enough money to pay their bills, but they also desire to have the ability to help pay the bills of thousands of other people’s as well. Their scope is broader and they realize that they must exemplify more tenacity than the average person.

Every leader must have a clear-cut perception of where they are going so that they will not consistently lead their followers around through the wilderness of life. Your vision is where you are going, but your goals are the arterial highway on which you travel to get there. What does vision look like? Well, one thing is certain about vision, is that it takes the shape of a person’s thoughts.

Vision can be a building, a business franchise, a car, a jet plane, a university, a man landing on the moon, etc. When you see vision, it speaks loud and clear. It demands that those who view it respect it. Vision stands out and never blends in. When a spectator views a real vision, it is understood that the cost of it is more than most people are willing to pay.

The beauty of vision is when you begin to see it take shape as it is forming from the ashes of thought into the reality of substance. I have never seen nor heard of a vision ever being realized in a matter of a week, month, or even a year. Vision can take years to move beyond its infancy. Nevertheless, when a vision is pursued, goals are established and time is the process that incubates it. The Bible says in Habakkuk 2:3 (NKJV)

“For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

Make sure that you see your vision all the way through because it will not only benefit you, but others as well.

Aging with Grace

You know you’re getting older when your children begin to look middle aged. When your back goes out more than you do, that’s a sure sign that your days are numbered. Aging doesn’t have to be bad or regrettable. Aging can be fun if you approach it with the right attitude.

I appreciate being in my fifties because I still view myself as being quite young. I may not be as young and vibrant as I once was, but still, I have enough energy and mobility to rival any 30 year old. Okay, I thought the gleam in my eyes was from the sun, only to discover it was hitting my bifocals. And, there are times I feel like the “morning after”, but I hadn’t been anywhere. Nevertheless, I am having a ball.

There are some awesome benefits with aging and they are quite hilarious. For example, you can say things that young people cannot say. You can humiliate people and they simply chalk it up to your age. You can act like you forgot something and actually get away with it. Younger people will think you know all the answers without being asked. They do not have a clue that you have already been down the street several times that they are traveling on. Younger people consider your evenings dull, but you consider them very enjoyable and relaxing.

I discovered that the more I am left alone, the more I love it. Just imagine, I get to fall asleep anywhere and wake up refreshed. I like getting older; I just refuse to get old. My I.Q. has increased; I can answer many of the questions on the game show called, Jeopardy and actually like my adult children. Everything is great!

Unless, God just blessed you with a surprise baby boy who makes life’s processes start over again for you. This time, I started off at nearly fifty and my wife in her mid-forties. Wow, starting again isn’t all bad; I get to play baseball, basketball, soccer, kickball, bowling, golf, tennis, run and dodge, football, etc… Boy, I’m getting tired just thinking about all the running around I must still have left in me. If God has a sense of humor, this sure isn’t funny. Age with grace or you will find yourself becoming a miserable old person.

What motivates you?

What does it take to get you moving and energized concerning the fulfillment of your goals and aspirations? The answer to these questions can vary from person to person. However, there is one thing that is constant for every person; something is needed to spark their enthusiasm or starting will be a chore.

Some people allow fear to hinder them from starting while others move beyond the fear in order to start their project. Now, completing it may be another story, but one thing is certain, you cannot finish what you never start. There is an Art to the Start. I realize how this may sound like a cliché, but it is an art to it.

Motivation is needed and operating with some form of excitement is a plus. Motivation is simply taken from the word “move” and “cause or reason”. Thus, motivation is a reason or cause to move. What is the cause or reason that will push you more than anything else? What is the driving force beyond your motivation or the lack thereof?

For some people it is the potential of making a lot of money, some are thrilled to be able to help others, or others are pumped about having the opportunity to create or discover something. Just as hunters who answered the question of “Why do they love killing animals?” Most hunters answered the question with, “It is the thrill of the hunt!”

Despite how lofty your ambitions are or even how humble they might be, there must be a reason or cause for your motivation. When an aging boxer during the depression was losing in a comeback fight which was arranged knowing he was wash up as a fighter, thoughts of his children not having enough food to eat became more important than life itself. This thought became the drive for his motivation to fight with such vigor that it would take a freight train to knock him out.

There are some things you will not fight for as vehemently, even if your own life was on the line. However, if you loved your family that much more, your aggression will become energized by the thought of your children not having a father or mother around. Find your cause or reason and your motivation will be there to start and perhaps victoriously finish.

The Death of Dysfunction

Dysfunctional is a word to indicate the failure to function properly or a disturbance in the usual pattern of activity. In other words, there is a breakdown in the standard operational system of a person, family, business, or machine.

We live in a dysfunctional society where every family experiences it and every system or machine will eventually surrender its flawless record to it. Nevertheless, how do we manage our failure to function properly especially when we are facing challenges that seem to match up well with our personal strength? How can we account for the many advantages lost because of our ignorance?

I have embraced the fact that where there is an absence of functionality, dysfunction steps out of its shadow as a surrogate standard. People psychologically adjust to things falling apart in their lives, and thus they anticipate the failure. Therefore, they can find no reason to combat against what they consider the inevitable. On the other hand, these people most likely have not been tutored by a well-informed mentor on how life is supposed to work.

Most people do not realize this, but marriage was not intended to be combat zone. Nor were people given a limit as to the amount of money one can make. These are just a couple of areas where our system of belief breaks down and fails to function according to plan. If a person does not submit to their own devised standard to govern their life, one will be automatically adopted involuntarily.

You cannot have dysfunction without first having functionality. In other words, your marriage once worked, your income once sufficed, your self-esteem was once up, your dream was once alive, etc. You see, things had to function before there was a breakdown. How can a person manage the severity of their dysfunction? Easy, stop making excuses for why things fail to go according to plan. I realize that a person cannot control everything, but the things they can control should be personally pursued, placing a firm handle on it while guiding its intended outcome. Facing failure is not failure at all; capitulating to it is! This write up is entitled, “The Death of Dysfunction.”