You might not know this about me, but I used to lift weights. I wasn’t very good at it, and never got my arms the way I was shooting for, although I did it religiously for almost 2 years. I did develop my shoulders and upper back muscles though and my pecs looked pretty good; that’s the best I could do, no matter how hard I worked at it.
I’ve always had the strongest legs. Even before I was weight lifting regularly, I got on a universal leg press machine and was able to push it up to 500 lb when I was 15 years old. Later on, when I was doing weight lifting for real, I regularly pushed 500 lb, and every once in awhile would take a gamble and push up to 750 lb. Yes, my legs were strong. Continue reading →
“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” Isoroku Yamamoto… maybe…
The quote above is one that many people have seen or heard over the years. It’s attributed to the Japanese admiral whose name I’ve shown above. It’s also probably apocryphal; no one can prove that he said it, and he was someone who was widely quoted in his day.
It’s a great quote, but it’s unverifiable. The thing is, just because it might not be a true quote doesn’t mean it wasn’t an accurate quote. After all, he did say this at least a year before Pearl Harbor:
“If we are ordered to do it then I can guarantee to put up a tough fight for the first six months, but I have absolutely no confidence as to what would happen if it went on for two or three years.”
It was quite the prescient thought from someone who actually knew what the United States and its allies might be capable of, and he warned against doing some of the things that politicians for generations have wanted those who do the actual fighting try to tell them might not be the best course of action. No one is going to accuse him of being Kreskin, but he offered this one last blast just 3 months before the Pearl Harbor attack:
“Britain and America may have underestimated Japan somewhat, but from their point of view it’s like having one’s hand bitten rather badly by a dog one was feeding. It seems that America in particular is determined before long to embark on full-scale operations against Japan. The mindless rejoicing at home is really deplorable; it makes me fear that the first blow at Tokyo will make them wilt on the spot.”
Interesting isn’t it? Let’s change direction for a quick minute.
Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship in 7 games after trailing in the series 3 games to 1 against an opponent that almost all pundits thought was a much more superior team. It was the first time in NBA history that a team came back to win the championship after being down 3-1.
The Golden State Warriors won 73 games this year, more than any other NBA team in history, then worked some of their own magic to get into the finals by coming back from a 3-1 deficit. They had the league MVP on the team, Steph Curry, and all looks like it would easily be back-to-back championships for them.
Someone… okay, almost everyone, started to say some things about Lebron James, the team captain, the guy who was the first player to make 6 straight NBA finals since 4 players on the Boston Celtics teams of the 60’s that won 9 of 11 championships, the guy who had a finals record of 2-4, like he didn’t have heart, that he was surely now the former greatest player in the league and that players like him couldn’t succeed in today’s game. There were lots of other things said about him also, as well as his teammates, that were somewhat insulting if you ask me.
I’m not a Cleveland fan, but I am a Lebron fan. When I read a lot of the articles that were being written by people who “know basketball”, I had a much different thought. My thought: y’all have just awakened a sleeping giant… y’all and Draymond Green, who cuffed LeBron in the “gentles” in game four for a perceived slight…
They all had. LeBron came back to score 41, 41 and 27, with double digit rebounds and assists in all 3 games and at least 3 blocks in each of those games and basically carried the team on his back (though he did have some scoring help from Kyrie Irving) to an improbable championship. He was faster, stronger, bigger and had more determination than anyone else on the floor in those last 3 games. Folk who were talking trash before those last 3 games had to own up to the truth; this is the best basketball player in the world right now.
Don’t awake sleeping giants.
That is… unless you’re the sleeping giant. Can I tell you something? You’re a sleeping giant.
How do I know? Because I’m a sleeping giant. I really am.
A bit of honesty here, if I may.
I look at my life as a few big successes and a lot of coasting, some falling, and then starting the process over again. The successes always come in one of two ways. Either someone has irked me to the point where I feel the need to show them up somehow, or I’ve had a major low, to the point where it’s time to get going and, when I get going, I can be hard to stop… until I start coasting again.
Successes: multiple bowling trophies, scholarship letter, Asteriods championship (how many people remember Asteriods?), multiple times hospital director, 3 books, a standing ovation at the last wedding I performed at (wedding singer), spoke in front of over 200 people, spoke in 9 states, made over $200K two years in a row, and I’m about to celebrate my 15th year in business on Friday.
“Experiments” (I hate the term ‘failure’): almost flunked out of college my first year, dodged death about 9 times so far in my life, lost my job twice, have had 3 years when I made less than $10K, fought depression, have sleep apnea and diabetes and, as of Friday am on the border potentially heading towards glaucoma… and have made little money on all my blogs over all these years…
I’m tired! 🙂
I’m big on the concept of motivation because I tend to believe all of us can use a boost from time to time to help us awaken our giants. These days, at age 56, I may not quite be past the time when someone might irk me enough to want to find ways to crush them or show them what I believe I can do. I might get riled but frankly, angry energy doesn’t last long enough and these days it’s hard to focus on a goal when I’m angry; I guess I lost my killer instinct.
Instead I end up looking for other ways to motivate myself. One way is in writing my own motivational quotes. Another way is to find and imbue the quotes of others like this:
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali
Or find motivational messages and speeches like this:
The thing about awakening giants is that they turn out to do marvelous and spectacular things, things no one expected of them, things they might not expect of themselves but knew they were capable of. If they can do it, then we can do it.
Who’s going to come with me in awakening our sleeping giant on the first day of summer this year? 😀
May I talk about myself as a leadership trainer and mentor for a minute here?
Those of you who know me know that I write a blog on the subject of leadership and other things that I believe are associated with leadership. I’ve been writing that blog for over 10 years and I’m getting close to 1,300 articles there. I’ve written two books on the subject of leadership, and I’ve spoken in 9 states, 8 of them on the subject of leadership, though sometimes mixed with another subject.
Anyway, three different things happened this week, all in the space of 48 hours. The first one is the last one. Someone reached out to me on LinkedIn to announce a new list highlighting top people who write about leadership. The message wasn’t necessarily something I was expecting:
“By the way, your excellent blog is not on the list because you write so eclectically on subjects other than leadership – I enjoy reading you though.”
The second, which is actually the first, was having a podcast on leadership I actually was interviewed for last November by my buddy Jesan Sorrells go live on Friday afternoon.
The third, which was actually the second, came from reading an article on Saturday titled A Simple 3 Step Process to Win Your Readers’ Hearts written by a guy named Jason Quay. In that article his first recommendation was to find out who your top competitors are by going to Google and putting in a search term like “top xxxxx blogs” to see where, or if, you have any standing in that realm because it helps you figure out the audience you want to target if you have a specific niche.
I then decided to try to see where I stood in the worlds of blogging and social media. Turns out there are few sites that actually track that type of thing. Many of the lists I found were purely arbitrary, based on what the author liked rather than having any criteria. I also decided to check out the main topics of my other blogs because I was on a roll. My finance blog came in #283 on one site and my local blog came in at #7; not that Syracuse has tons of bloggers putting out a lot of content. lol
You know what? Seeing your work being listed among a number of those you consider as your peers is kind of uplifting. It feels like a validation of your work and words, and it’s hard not to feel good if and when you see it.
It’s also fairly meaningless. Whereas I’ve often said on this blog that my goal was to end up on someone’s top 50 list every once in a while, when all is said and done it’s not going to do anything for me other than allow me to have some bragging rights.
Very few people get much of a bounce because they’re on some kind of list. Where the bounce comes from is in doing the work and having your audience recognize you for it. Whether it’s views or rankings or sales, other types of recognition end up being way more important to your overall success.
When the conversation moves to the topic of niche blogging, I’ve always warned people that having a niche being too finite might harm them in the long run. I’ve always thought it was better to be grounded more in the overall topic and things that are a part of it because it’s easier to find inspiration to write about rather than finding yourself in a corner with nothing to say.
Let’s look back at my leadership blog for a quick minute.
Out of nearly 1,300 articles, 435 have specifically been on leadership.
In my book Embrace The Lead, I mentioned that any good leader always addresses the topic of diversity, something I’m very big on. On my blog I’ve written 167 articles specifically about diversity.
I also talked about learning how to communicate with employees and co-workers because that’s also pretty important; I’ve written on that specific topic 52 times.
Customer service; who works in any industry where customer service isn’t considered important? Who doesn’t believe good customer service comes directly from leadership? I’ve written specifically on that topic 82 times.
I’ve addressed employee issues, both talking to those who are employees and those who are in leadership because the two are intertwined; wouldn’t you agree? That consists of 22 specific articles.
Finally, motivation; heck, I write about motivation on at least 3 of my blogs but let’s talk about the leadership blog for the moment. I also wrote in my book that it’s up to leadership to find ways to keep employees both trained properly and motivated to do the work they do because it all ultimately falls on the head of leadership. If you work for someone else wouldn’t you like to work with someone who empowers you, motivates you, and helps you succeed? I do, which is why I’ve specifically written on that 213 times.
By my count that comes to 971 articles that concern the topic of leadership. That’s 75% of all articles on that blog; not bad if you ask me.
Let’s look at this blog now. With almost 1,700 posts here (ouch!), even though I say that I’ll write on anything I want to, I try to stick to certain topics for the most part.
Blogging is my baby; that comes to 465 article.
Writing is a major part of blogging, wouldn’t you say? That’s 59.
Social media? Are you kidding? That comes to 175.
Motivation; what, again? Wouldn’t you agree that motivation is a big part of writing and blogging and, to a small degree doing things on social media? That comes to 87 (it’s also the topic of the latest book I’m working on).
Making money blogging, which I have as its own category; that’s at 48.
Advertising or marketing online; another 157.
Internet issues, 116.
If I stop there, that comes to 1,136, or 67% on my core topics over the course of just over 8 years. Maybe not as finitely niched as some folks might like but I feel I could match up with anyone when it comes to output and pretty much staying on a related topic.
You might be asking yourself (if you’ve made it this far) “Where’s all of this going?”
The first place it’s going is in the direction of talking about value, or more specifically your value, how you see your value and how you get others to see your value. This piece is better addressed in one of my videos… of course lol:
The second is in the direction of perception: how you see yourself, how you want others to see you, how others see you and how much you care about any of these things. Did you read my rant post about 31 mistakes people make blogging and in social media? Every one of those points was about perception. Yet none of them were indications of the success or lack thereof about any person or organization.
The reason was just because I dislike something and want to see people be better doesn’t mean I get to determine anything else about them as it applies to what they do except for the parts that specifically bother me. Out of those 31 points, the only one that I’ve acted on personally is the one about popups because it’s the only one that actually affects what I do.
Even with that, I figure that it’s not up to me to determine how I see those folks; it’s up to them to determine how they wish to be seen. If they’re successful then they are; if they’re not, then they’re not.
The same goes for all of us. It’s nice being recognized. It’s great having people talk to us, share what we write, agree when they want or disagree and still be friendly about it. It’s wonderful seeing advice that we can get behind, whether we act on it or not.
Just like I’ve said about Google and SEO on this blog, I’ll say about everything else. You’ve got to be you; you’ve got to care about you first. If you care too much about the niche, too much about your presence, too much about how others are perceiving you and not about working towards either being successful or happy, then everything suffers… and I mean everything!
I’m not saying don’t learn new things. I’m not saying to never change. What I’m saying is that if you’re going to obsess about anything spend the time on obsessing about you and the goodness you can bring to the world and your life.
If you do that, good things and success will come your way. Hmmm… I guess this turned out to be a motivational post after all; what do y’all have to say? 😉
Over the course of just over 8 years of blogging I’ve had 15 guest posts here, the last one in 2013. Except for 2 of them, all the other guest posts were because I asked someone I knew to write about something I thought was pretty interesting.
In this case I’m highlighting my friend Kelvin Ringold, who I’ve mentioned in multiple posts on 3 of my blogs over the years and in many of my videos. Many local people know who Kelvin is, so I figured it was time for him to introduce himself to the other masses by writing a post on his main vocation, which is writing and talking about positivity. I owe this guy for lots of things over the years, so he gets a guest post; for the rest of you, don’t even think about asking. lol
He’ll introduce himself so I don’t have to, and I hope you enjoy the inspirational and motivational words he’s going to impart on you today. 🙂
Good day, my awesome friends. WELCOME to another day of… LIFE!
All things considered, I prefer life to most other alternatives I’ve seen, so every morning when I wake up pain free and moving on my own power, I consider that a really good start on a great day! And the rest of it is smooth sailing.
As you might have guessed, I’m the positivity guy: Kelvin P. Ringold, Prince of Positive, Oracle of Optimism — I’ve been dubbed by my fans. I’m the guy who can find the silver lining for any cloud; find an advantage in any disadvantage, because there’s Power in Positivity, and the mindset with which we face life determines what we get out of it, and it gets out of us. When you master your mindset, you master your life.
When I say that, some folks think that means that I don’t see negative things, that I ignore the pain in the world, that I run around with blinders on pretending that everything is perfect — but that’s not the case. What it means is, I don’t let those things define me. I am not my problems — and neither are you.
There will always be problems, but a positive attitude dictates how we handle those problems. It dictates whether we roll over and surrender or stand up and decide how we’re going to tackle them and move beyond them, around them or through them! Our mindset determines whether we’re going to focus on the problem, or focus on the solution.
Those two approaches are very, very different, and in a huge, seemingly metaphysical way… if we continuously focus on the problem, we will reinforce and intensify the problem. So, for many years, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people develop mindsets and strategies to focus on and create empowering solutions. And I have a few steps you might consider.
1. Make a decision
You must first DECIDE you’re going to be positive. The question I love to ask is: how many happy NEGATIVE people do you know? In the past, I’ve said that casually and matter of factly. But the truth is, if you’re not already at least a borderline positive person, it’s not all that simple to make the switch.
We’ve been taught and conditioned since birth — and maybe before — to be negative. Much of that conditioning came from well-meaning people whose purpose was to protect us and make sure we “faced reality.” In the process they scared us, jaded us, told us all about our limitations and why we couldn’t do or be more, so don’t expect it; and since most of it came from people we loved and trusted, we accepted it at face value and it became fact in our minds. But they were wrong — or perhaps better to say, they were operating from a flawed perspective.
We CAN do and be so much more than we’ve been typically taught that we can be, but we have to accept that as a reality and work towards attaining it. So to become positive there’s a great deal of past conditioning we have to override — which we do by focusing on the solution. Once you decide you’re going to be positive, then the work will start.
2. Turn off the News! All of it!
We are bombarded by thousands and thousands of messages each day, and many if not most of them are negative. We don’t “notice” most of them because we are deletion creatures. We tend to tune out things that we don’t need to directly interact with, or focus on to survive, but the subconscious mind still processes that information. NEWS these days is a melodrama. You only hear the bad, usually at a time when you’re eating or having quiet time. They charge it with emotion and innuendo to get your attention and reaction and RATINGS and leave US with the stress & anxiety while the advertisers pitch their products.
Emotion is one of the triggers that the subconscious mind pays attention to, so negative info charged with emotion (like the news) penetrates the veil and is planted in your mind. TURN OFF THE NEWS for 30 days and you’ll be so much happier that you’ll likely never turn it back on again. I stopped watching the news for the most part in 1989. Life is good. BTW… if you can wean yourself off Facebook, you’ll drop another few points of negative input. Just saying!
3. Associate with Positive People. Period.
No better place to learn to master your attitude than by hanging around people who have mastered their attitude. Positive people are calmer and more resourceful under stress, they typically put things in perspective and don’t respond with unbridled emotion, and they are solution focused. They learned to tune out the negative triggers — or at least put them in perspective. Birds of a feather flock together. Check your friends. If they’re all hyper and grumpy… well… think about it 😉
4. Refrain from Negative Conversation — especially negative self talk.
Gossiping around the water cooler, finding out about who did what dirt, listening to the office scuttlebutt… bad for you. Negative. It plants negative, creates suspicion and other negative feelings. Causes stress (what if they’re talking about ME like that behind my back?) Learn to disengage if it starts around you — go potty, remember that appointment you’re late for and get away from that. Refraining from negative self talk, again, is tougher than just saying it. It’s a habit.
You talk to yourself all day — constantly, and most of it is negative. “I’m such an idiot; why did I do that?” But you can at least become aware of the things you’re saying to yourself. Once you’re aware, then you can start to eliminate it. For me, when I notice myself talking negatively to me, I just say “stop it.” Sometimes I say it twice. But awareness is half the battle.
5. Read or listen to something Positive EVERY DAY (this does not include a newspaper — except maybe the comics section.)
You need something to counteract all that negative stuff you’re hearing and thinking all day. You need to read something that says you’re a great person and how much potential you have, rather than what a loser you are. You need to read or listen to things that talk about how people have overcome adversity and won — rather than the latest disaster.
You see, there are miracles happening around us every day! People are winning EVERY day — but that doesn’t sell newspapers (what’s left of them) or news. And the best time to do the reading — just a few minutes — is just before bed. That way, your mind has something positive to process while you sleep, and you’ll likely wake up in a better mood.
Another good practice, is to pick at least one thing — and preferably 3 to 5 things — that you are grateful for that happened in your day. If nothing that day, go back in your mind until you find something to be grateful for and let that be on your mind as you go to sleep also. If you need some practice on the gratitude, I did a personal list some months ago. Maybe it will seed your thoughts.
6. Do Something Nice for Someone — and don’t let them know it was you 😉
I don’t have to explain that one. You felt good just thinking about it, didn’t you?
7. Here’s a BONUS!
Get the song “I Just Want to Celebrate” by Rare Earth in MP3. I defy you to listen to that song and not get energized. It’s $1.29 on Amazon (that’s an affiliate link, so if you actually buy it there, they might send me a nickel.) Or you can check it out on YouTube. It’s my goto pick- me-upper.
8. And, I admit, I do have one other favorite you might like. You might consider subscribing to my Daily Dose of Positive called “Vitamin K Daily” A positive message each morning, Monday through Friday, designed to be read in 2 to 3 minutes (usually) to give you an empowering start to your day. It’s $24.95 a year but you get 4 weeks free to check it out and you can unsubscribe in like two clicks, if it’s not for you. You’re not billed until the 4 weeks is up.
Experts say is takes 14 to 21 days to create a new habit. Follow this positivity recipe for 14 day days, and chances are you’ll never stop. Make a habit of being positive, and I promise your world will change.
A couple of days ago I shared a blog post from the consultant’s group I’m a part of, as I’m the main writer there. It’s titled Are You Doing What You Want To Be Doing?, and it asks an important business question; are you doing what you want to be doing, which I guess makes sense. Anyway, go check it out after you finish reading this article… yes, I want you to read this article. lol
Anyway, I posted it on Twitter and got a response back from someone I know saying “not even close”, or something to that effect. Since it came back pretty quickly, I had a feeling he hadn’t actually read the article, so I asked if he was commenting on the title or the article, and he admitted it was just the title, and that he’d read the article when he had some free time. I said he should because there was a question at the end of the article that possibly needs to be addressed: What is it you want to do?
He came back with a response that what he wanted to do wasn’t possible at this moment because of a physical issue. I asked him a question that I see on Twitter on a regular basis: “what are you willing to give up.” He said he didn’t have anything he could give up; I challenged that based on what he’d originally said.
At that point I used my own tale, a very shortened version of it. One of these days I’m going to tell that long tale… somewhere. Anyway, I said I had to come to an epiphany 19 months ago about my health & what I was willing to give up. That was after I’d had a very bad and serious thing happen to me while I was out of town, by myself, that could have been way worse than it already was… that’s all I’m going to say for now.
Anyway, at that point he said he understood, and he had made an appointment to meet with a fitness consultant. I applauded him for taking that first step, and trust me that’s a major step for anyone to do.
When I was growing up, I played a lot of sports. The concept of “giving up” was the worst thing anyone could do. Only losers gave up; I was never a loser. Even when there were things I couldn’t do well, such as stupid soccer (did I just say that out loud? lol), I’d keep playing, trying my best, but hating every minute of it. I wasn’t ever giving up; not in my vocabulary.
As I get older, I’m learning that I have to give up a lot of things, or at least modify them drastically. I give up some of my time to exercise. I gave up some of the foods I eat because my body can’t take them anymore. I gave up some of my time to participate on the boards of a couple of non-profits, one of which I was extremely proud to have been a part of. Sometimes you have to be willing to give up something so you can either make progress, help others, or just save part of your sanity.
Sometimes that thing you have to give up is a limiting belief. This is one I suffer from here and there. The problem with it is that you have to stay on top of it consistently, like you were a former drug addict or alcoholic. The feeling always comes back, and each time it comes back you think “I’m not breaking it this time”… yet most of the time we do, thank goodness.
Since this blog mainly talks about blogging and writing, let me ask a question this way – what limiting beliefs do you have about blogging or writing that might be holding you back? Have you given any thought to it?
The way I see it, there are only two things to consider. One, do you really want to blog and all the other stuff that comes with it? Two, if so, what are you willing to give up to do it?
I’m not giving you any help on this one. Heck, I gave a freebie in this post that I’m not sure if anyone even downloaded because no one’s mentioned it or thanked me for it; sniff! So, you’re going to have to do your own work this time around.
I am going to make this question more broad though, in case blogging isn’t your issue. You don’t necessarily have to tell me what it is you’re looking to achieve if you don’t want to. However, I’d like to know what you’re willing to give up to achieve… whatever. Go on, I won’t laugh… unless I have to. 😉