No. 1 – Burning Desire with Definite Plan

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I’m an avid golf fan and during Tiger Woods prime years 2002-2008, I was amazed by his discipline, training and mental toughness that enabled him to stay on top for a long time. He revolutionized golf by incorporating physical training as a big part of it. Before Tiger joined the PGA, it was not common to see chiseled men playing golf, in fact it was the opposite, big men with protruding bellies playing golf. Tiger had three major impacts on golf: 1) Integration of fitness as a daily regime, 2) Increase in prize money, and lastly 3) Increase in fan base, as more young people started to think that golf is cool.

When Tiger was young, he set a goal that he wanted to surpass Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors. He still has a long way to go, having won 14 by age 40, but he has won more tournaments than any active golfers out there. Back then, setting that goal and articulating it was a bold statement. Many people might have wondered who he was and if he could be out of his mind. Because he has a burning desire and a definite plan to succeed, coupled with the fact that he surrounded himself with people that were there to help him along the way, he was able to make progress and make an impact in the sport he loved.

On September 20th, 2015, Jason Day supplanted Rory McIlroy as World No. 1 golfer. Jason Day started golf at 13, which is too late for modern golf standards when kids are starting at 2, 4 or 6 years old. Tiger Woods was his idol. When he was 20 years old, he talked about his desire to overtake Tiger Woods. In 2007, Tiger was at his prime. Because of Jason’s statement, he suffered some backlash when people questioned his capability to achieve such lofty goal. He spoke to his coach and asked what he said that was wrong. Jason was really upset.

What people don’t know is that Jason’s burning desire is intense to be the world’s number-one golfer. He also had a definite plan. He surrounded himself with people like long-time coach and caddie Colin Swatton. His plan consisted of four categories: technical, tactical, physical and mental. Mental was the last stage. This year he had a couple of close calls at Saint Andrews. Over the last three months, he finally gained mastery of the mental aspect of his game and that started a series of wins, including the PGA and subsequently two Fedex cup tournaments by a large margin. The plan called for being number one at age 22, however he made it at 27. What’s the lesson to be learned?

  1. Do not deviate from your plan – if you’re making progress. It might take a long time to get there, but each step is part of the overall journey.
  2. Continue to believe in yourself – no one knows you better than you do, so if you believe you can do it, prove everyone wrong and make it happen.
  3. Don’t be afraid – declare your plan and challenge yourself to get it done. When people know your plan, you have nowhere else to go, but prove to them that you can get it done.
  4. The right people – choose the right people to be on your team who have your best interest at heart. Do not let other people use you. Make sure you trust your people to have your best interest at heart.
  5. Patience – we all want to achieve our dream yesterday. We can’t wait to make it happen, but it does not work that way. It will came when the time is right. You need to be persistent and make it happen.
  6. Winning mindset – you need to have a winning mindset. Yes, you cannot win them all, but you cannot go out there and play for the sake of playing. Just like my daughter’s golf Coach Jun Espiritu always said, “Practicing is not about hitting many balls. It’s about making the most of each shot. Imagine each ball is costing your dad 20 cents. Each time you hit the ball without going through your routine, it’s like throwing away 20 cents at a time. Are you willing to throw away your dad’s money?” Since then our driving range practice consists of 68 balls (medium bucket).

 

Everyone has dreams. The difference between those who make it and those who don’t is the burning desire and having a definite plan coupled with the discipline to make it happen. I find Napoleon Hill’s quote appropriate, “Success requires no explanations; failure requires no alibis.” When we dream and don’t do the work, we have no one else to look to for the result. As long as you work on your plan and be persistent, you will eventually achieve your goal. Throughout your journey, you will be tested. It depends on your courage and determination to see your dream through. Decide what is important to you and dig deep to make it happen.

To close, I’ll leave you with this saying by Napoleon Hill, “If you don’t conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” If you have no discipline, you will never achieve your dream, because your current habit will rule your life.

A great day – a lesson is learned

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Drive Chip and PuttJuly 16, 2015 today was a great day, for a lesson has been learned that will be important for years to come. My daughter Faith has been playing golf for three years now. Each year I observed that she made progress and her love for the game continues.

Two years ago, I saw the Drive Chip and Putt at the Masters on TV.   It consists of the best young golfers representing different parts of the US.   I mentioned that to my daughter and she said she wanted to give it a try.   We did and the first two years yielded tough lessons and heartbreak for her.   She knew that she has a long way to go to achieve her goal.   Last year we decided to change coaches. The objective was to find someone who could spend more time with her and help her develop her skills.   We were introduced by Faith’s friend mom to Coach Jun Espiritu.   He coaches at the PGA tour in Paramus.   Faith started to improve because she is learning the logic of the game. The game is not about hitting the ball around the course, but rather understanding how to adjust and maneuver through the situation presented. Dealing with the situation and making it happen.

Faith has been preparing for the Drive, Chip and Putt for a couple of months now. This journey started when, right after last years’ event, we changed to a new coach and the transformation started this year. Early this year she made it a goal to make the next round.   Last night she had a lesson with her coach. When I arrived from work, I asked her if her stuff was ready.  She checked her stuff and realized that her glove was missing.   We looked everywhere but could not find it.   We look through her old stuff and found an old pair, thinking she could use it on Thursday.

When we arrived at Galloping hills, we bought a bucket of balls and proceeded to warm up. After hitting about a dozen of shots, she complained her hand hurt. She took the glove off and there was a blister on one of her fingers. She said it was painful. I accompanied her to the club house to ask for a Band Aid and I decided to buy a new glove. She said the blister hurt and was bothering her.   I thought to myself, all this work came down to a blister that could potentially ruin it for her. I told her to take a deep breath. I reminded her that she worked hard to get here that she needed to block it out and dig deep. To be successful, at times we must work through adversity to know ourselves and what we can be capable of. She said she would give it a try. One of her drives was over 200 yards. Three skill challenges later, she was moving on to the next round. She was so happy to place 3rd overall at the local qualifier. She was 2nd in Driving and 3rd in Putting.   She learned a valuable lesson in dealing with adversity and learned that she is capable of achieving great things.

When a lesson is learned, it is always a great day. We’re so proud of our daughter. ⛳️

Do Not Do List – What is holding you back?

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Last week, I was teaching part three of the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth to our constituents at our company.   As I was presenting, one topic, what came to mind is the “Do Not Do List.”   Like anyone, I often struggle as I work at overcoming some of my weaknesses in life.   This is a daily challenge and I persevere to keep at it.   So I thought it would be appropriate for me to write my blog on this topic.

What is a do not do list? It is a list of things that are holding you back.   It could be habits, practice or behaviors that prevent you from making progress.   On my list procrastinating is number one. I have the tendency to put things off because I think that I can get it done tomorrow.   This habit has caused me a lot of trouble because I failed to accomplish the things that I need to do, therefore I cannot move to the next step.

Here is how you create your list

  • On a piece of paper, fold it in the middle.   Write weaknesses on the top left section and action item on the right side
  • List your weaknesses – these are habits, behaviors and practices that are holding you back
  • For each weakness – write it on the left side of the paper and on the right side list action items that you need to do to improve or eliminate your weakness.  More importantly, state when you will work on it.
  • List the impact of each item to your life – how much impact does it have in your life? Does it hold you back?   Mark it as High—very impactful, Mid— impactful, Minor—little impact, that holds you back
  • Prioritize – do this by marking the most impactful first. High impact to minor impact.
  • Start now – don’t wait another day. Start now and make it happen.
  • Persevere and be persistent – do not stop and be persistent.   Consistency is the key to your success.

Once you have the list, you need to change your habit and the things that you do in your life. In order to make progress, we must change our habits.     There will be days we don’t feel like working on our weaknesses, but a day wasted means we are day away from achieving our goal.   I advise that you keep at it and be persistent.

Writing is a labor of love, share this to people you now will benefit from reading it. Let me know if it works for you by commenting on my post.

 

What would you do? Unsportsmanlike conduct

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March Madness did live up to its expectation.   My two favorite teams made it to the final four. Kentucky and Wisconsin are my favorites. I had picked Kentucky to win, however Wisconsin was clearly hungrier and wanted it more.

After Wisconsin won a fierce match against Kentucky, what transpired after left me shaking my head. How could Coach Calapari let his team walk away without shaking hands with Wisconsin’s players?   I understand that the players will be upset when you lose a big game, but sportsmanship is the ultimate reason why we play the sport.     I was surprised that Coach Calapari would let some of his players walked off the court.   As a coach, he is the leader and leaders should hold their people to a high standard.

I’ve been coaching for three years and I always stress the importance to our players that we will win and lose graciously.   While we will be upset, we will honor our opponent and respect them,    because they earned the win.   I will never tolerate anyone on my team disrespecting our opponent.

What ensued made matters worse. During the press interview, one of the star players for Kentucky was heard saying profanity on live microphone.    I find that inexcusably rude and disrespectful. What did Coach Calapari teach his player? It is unimaginable that they could be high draft picks entering the NBA draft when they don’t have the basic manners needed.   I put this back on Coach Calapari’s shoulders, that he needs to step up and rectify this.   We expect better from his players and know that they need to be held to a standard like everyone else.   The loss was a huge disappointment, but the is totally unacceptable.

As a leader, you need to make sure that your team understands that they are upholding a certain standard.   That any unsportsmanlike conduct will be dealt with accordingly and no stone will be left unturned.     As an athlete, they are role models whether they like it or not.   They need to step up and be accounted for.

If you’re the head coach, what would you do? How would you provide an effective feedback?   I felt that the moment it happened was the perfect time to teach your players a lesson.   It is more impactful to deal with it right after it happens than doing a postmortem.     As Vince Lombardi says, “The strength of the group is the strength of the leaders.”     With that said, the leader should be the role model and carry the team in good and bad times.

Do your best at all times

At my daughter’s recent soccer tournament, they played a team from the same town. The team is in A flight.   Before the match, most of the players were talking about losing to the A team.   I heard them talking about it and I couldn’t help but inquire why they think that way.   I mentioned to them that if we truly believe we will lose, then we might as well stay home and not drive after a snow storm, because it is not worth it to take the risk driving after a nor’easter.    I told them that they need to prepare and be ready to play hard no matter what the situation.

As I walked back to my seat, I thought of Napoleon Hill’s quote that defeat is only a reality when we acknowledge it. Our acceptance of the defeat is what will seal the deal for us.   Our mind it the most important organ in our body; it is the central command center that dictates how we behave and go about doing things. When it gives a command to shut down, defeat is just a matter of time.   Going back to the game, our team lost to the A flight team 4-0, but they played keep-away after leading by 4.   I think how our players thought led to the harsh outcome. But, nonetheless, it is a good experience for them to match up against teams that are better trained than they are.

After lunch, my wife and I had to remind our youngest daughter that she needed to finish her book report. She had been working on this on and off for a week.   She was taking her sweet time and often left things to the last minute, which makes it very stressful for everyone.   This time around I reminded that her effort is directly correlated to the grade that she will receive. In addition, if she does not try her best there is really no point paying for a private education when the public school system is adequate.   Nonetheless, I’m not sure what we missed. The struggle continued and by 9 p.m. she was still not done.   I had a long talk with her and her sister about trying her best at all times.   What does it mean to do your best? I emphasize that it does not mean getting an “A”, but rather it means that you did all you could and will be proud to have your name associated with the work you produced.

My point for this post is that if you don’t believe in yourself and acknowledge defeat before you even start something, there is really no chance to make any progress.   Furthermore when you don’t plan and just leave everything to chance, it is difficult to expect a good result.   Nothing beats preparation, as it put you on the right path to make things happen.   It also allows you to adjust your plan accordingly.   The next time you feel like you’re not confident about a situation. ask yourself the question: Are you not capable to make it happen because you don’t believe in yourself? Or, it is just a perception that you can’t get it done. If it is the later, pause and takes a deep breath and give yourself a chance and proceed. Giving it a try is better than not trying at all.

The BEST

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I’ll start my post with John Maxwell’s quote, “The best you can hope to do in life is to make the most out of whatever you’ve been given.”     This is part of the law of intentionality.   It means that in order for you to make progress, you must be able to work with what you’re provided.

Over the past seven years, as I embarked on the journey on my passion for talent and leadership development, I started to blog, share my inspirational quotes through various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. My aim was to inspire others to believe in themselves and bet on themselves to succeed.   And at the same time to stop listening to those who tell them it cannot be done.   When we don’t value ourselves, no one will.   No one will raise value unless we do it ourselves.

As I touch on the topic of chasing your dream, it is worth nothing that your dream must be realistic.   I excchanged messages with someone I respect on this topic that we cannot just tell everyone to chase your dream.  That if someone worked hard and never gave up, they would achieve their dream.   What if your dream is not realistic? What if the person doesn’t have skills and experience to ever achieve it? That would mean we are giving false hope.

Here are some of the points I want to highlight:

  1. To dream is great because it inspires you to pursue something, but make sure it is realistic. That it is attainable.
  2. Create a plan – create a plan on how you will achieve your goal. Make sure to track your progress throughout the year and continue to adjust your plan.
  3. Create a training plan – a training plan is needed to move you from point A to B. You need to gain new knowledge and skills to get to the next level.
  4. Bet on yourself – if you don’t believe in yourself, no one will.   Be confident of your talent and capabilities
  5. Seek a mentor – if you’re trying to learn something or the ropes on how things are done, seek a mentor.
  6. Seek a coach – if you’re experienced and seek to move up to the next level, seek a coach.
  7. Be positive – be realistic but be positive and focus on the lesson learned from mistakes and move forward. Avoid people who aim to bring you down.

In closing, I want to encourage everyone to aspire and dream. Bet on yourselves and keep at it.   As long as you’re making progress, you need to continue your journey.   I will urge everyone not to give up at the first sign of defeat and to keep at it until they get the job done.

Be Nice

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As the holiday comes around, it seems that the yuletide season softens people’s hearts and people become friendly and kind.   I observed that people tend to say hi and hello more than other times of the year.   I’m puzzled by this phenomenon as it does not make any sense to me, akin to being fake or putting on a front.   I think people need to be consistent regardless of the time of the year or occasions.   Occasions might make the person friendly, but rather what’s inside the person should be the guiding light.   As I always mention to my daughters, you need to be consistent no matter what.   Who we are is what matters more than the situation that is around us.

To those who read my blog, I challenge you to a kindness challenge.   Be kind each day no matter that situation and circumstances.   For you’ll never know how your kindness will affect other people. More importantly you don’t know the lasting impact of your kindness and how it can change someone’s life. This world can be mean and cruel when people don’t care about others.   Do we need to throw our weight around? I don’t think it does anyone any good.   Kindness is the currency that can make this place a better place.

Share your kindness and let someone know you care. It does not cost anything; in fact being kind does not cost you anything.   I urge everyone to challenge two of their friends and let’s spread kindness.