| Masters and Champions III
Squeezing More Minutes Out of Every Hour
There is one intensely important moment you are invited to participate in with a very focused attitude of determination. If you let it pass, you lose more than you may realize, perhaps forever. Grab it, and the rest of your life will be affected positively.
No matter how often you're told, you still believe that your death is in the
'far-flung future,' don't you? Even when we learn of other people dying, by the dozens or the hundreds, we're certain that it'll never be us. True, or not?
You will be described in glowing terms, or you won't. It's one or the other: you lived with passion & excellence, and others noticed it; or you did not.
Your perception is hardly consistent with reality. As Henry Ford said,
The prolific presence of this critical moment is matched only by the rarity of its use. Make no mistake; it's the defining moment of your life, because it will define and describe who you are and how others view you.
You'll surely agree it's a moment you can remember for as long as you live, and the moment which everyone will look back upon and remember most about you. It happens to be the moment that will reveal the actual words of your eventual obituary in one newspaper or another.
W. Mitchell survived having his face burned off in a gasoline fire. After 2 years, he was back in the mix, succeeding again. He ran for Lieutenant Governor of Colorado with a button that said, "Vote for me; I won't be just another pretty face in the governor's mansion."
If that wasn't enough for ANYONE to deal with, he then barely survived a plane crash, which left him paralyzed below the waist….so he let them take off his useless toes to create new fingers (the old ones had also burned off). Now get this…. he got out of the hospital… AND STARTED ALL OVER AGAIN!! Even without the use of his arms and legs he seems to be getting more out of life than, well, than 93 of out every 100 who read these words. He repeatedlyidentifies the resources he can use in this moment.
You'll undoubtedly nod your head and say, "Yep. Yep. How true. We really can do what we most want in life". You'll then return to your daily routine and do about as much today as you did yesterday. As proof, just look at the most recent 100 days of your life, and maybe The most recent 1000 days of your life, where little has changed in terms of your effort levels.
Almost precisely seven of every one hundred people who read these words, although they usually have limited formal education, are smarter than the other ninety-three. If you're one of the seven, you're smarter because you understand, at a gut level, that if W. Mitchell can look past what he's lost, and focus each day on what he has left, then you can, too, and will. He's got a successful radio show in Colorado. What are YOU doing today to get ahead? In the words of the great James Earl Jones, "Shut up, shut up,SHUT UP! If you really knew better, you'd really DO better, wouldn't you? Don't tell us; show us. Better yet, show the most important person on earth, whose face can be found in your bathroom mirror.
The daily habits of Brian Dickenson really call out for attention. Because his neck muscles no longer transmit instructions from his brain, Brian Dickenson's head is supported by a brace. The only movements he can make are with his facial muscles, which still smile, and with his eyes. A camera in his computer calculates his gaze from the way his eye reflects a beam of infrared light off of a blown-up screen with a keyboard on it. He looks at the keyboard on-screen, and the computer types any letter he looks at for more than half a second.
He became that one in ten thousand struck by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It destroys nerve cells in the brain & spinal cord, preventing muscles from receiving brain messages. Because it doesn't affect the mind, Brian had to witness the gradual paralysis of his arms and his legs, his ability to swallow, to speak, even to breathe on his own.
He's already passed the point where 95 percent of ALS victims simply choose to stop breathing. But Brian Dickinson has chosen to keep on breathing & to keep on writing. His focus is what brings him to continue working. How does his life, and daily efforts, compare to your own? Answer the inner you who wants to be known for doing something better than others. Don't answer me; answer yourself. How does Brian Dickenson's daily efforts towards excelling at his work compare to yours?
With a lifetime passion and career centered on words, he takes more steps each day than you do. Granted, they're tiny steps. Still adds up to more than yours, doesn't it? He's pursuing his life's passion. It would appear that, in the game of life, this physically paralyzed man is kicking your ass from here to Rhode Island. He simply refuses to quit. His columns are becoming familiar to an ever-growing audience although he battles a most mysterious, lethal disease. Every day he reaches out for one more try. What's your excuse again?
What can we add to this? Details of Christopher Reeves, & his own inspiring story of struggle, determination, and success? The way Vinnie Pazienza took a broken back, and 'permanent paralysis,' stood up, walked… ran… and returned to being a champion professional boxer? Maybe you've heard of the teenage girl with polio, & braces…you know, Wilma Rudolph and her gold-medal performances at the 1960 Olympics? The fastest woman in all of history… who wasn't ever supposed to walk, let alone run!
Ricky Henderson broke 2 records: Stole more bases than any other player… and got tagged out (trying to steal bases) more than any other player.
You can find a number of professional baseball players who have lifetime totals of 300 strikeouts. Three men, added up together, struck out literally thousands of times: Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, & Mickey Mantle!! As you may already know, these men also hit the most home runs. Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times for his 713 home runs. Hank Aaron was close behind. Mickey Mantle actually struck out 3 times for every home run he hit!!
Ty Cobb, with 90 broken records, and an amazing lifetime average of .367 was, far and above all others, the greatest hitter of all time, although he only succeeded one time for every three tries!! Think about it. Stop nodding your head and agreeing. Stop and think about this!!
We know for a fact that the way you spend your minutes is an accurate movie of how you're spending your life. It's the mental movie everyone will play when they get the news that you've moved on to your so-called final reward. How you use your individually precious minutes is how you're now using your life. This and nothing but this will determine the words that make up your obituary.
Who cares what you are capable of
doing? Get real.
This may come as a surprise to you, so brace yourself for the realization that there are people around you who are better at what you do than you are. You may be surprised to learn that most of them will help you get up the ladder, provided you ask for their help, by making sure they see you busting your hump to do your best, and/or actually telling them you want to be more like them and asking if they'd consider being your mentor.
Try remembering that if they're doing it better than you, they know it better than you. Pride goes before the fall, doesn't it? Never in history has a human being succeeded fantastically... ...alone.
No one. Ever. That equals "never." From Bill Gates and Mahatma Ghandi to Alexander the Great and Michael Jordan, Socrates and Tiger Woods, Tony Blair and Grandma Moses -- they all had role models, they all had teachers.
People who know everything can be taught nothing.
Those who stretch their current day's activities to include at least a few minutes of learning to do it better carry enormous advantage over everyone around them who is NOT using those few minutes. Even just five minutes per day getting better at anything from laughing or loving to pushups or pizza-flipping, brain surgery or politics: there are no known exceptions. Some of the things I love to do are: playing piano or guitar, painting, singing, laughing, physical affection, helping others, reading, and working on computers. Whoops, let's also include eating: I really love eating. So, I make it my business to try and do each of these things every day, even if only for a few minutes. Do you think there might be a connection
between my skill levels... and the fact that I make it my business to do these things each day?
Think about when you personally get to that certain point where you find yourself looking back at the hundreds of individual months that have flown by and you're asking,
and ask each person more times.
Be specific in what you seek, as precisely as you should identify what it is you actually want at the end of it all, and during the effort itself. Even if it's just an hour a week, don't let your life be just getting through the month without going broke and exhausted. Identify something that's worth developing a reputation for, so mething you'll enjoy having ten months's experience at, then twenty, and a hundred, and beyond. Long before you get to that point, you'll "suddenly" notice that your income has risen repeatedly. Money follows excellence, not the other way around.
Pick up a book, go to a museum, ride a go-cart, identify the career that you would most love to be a role model in. This is the most important day of your life, the only day in which to build your present and future reputation. Seize this day as if you really mean it. It is rich and pregnant with 1,440 separate minutes of exquisite, opportunity-filled minutes!
Before you can Carpe Diem , which is Latin for "Seize the Day," we begin first with Carpe Momentum, which means "Seize the Moment"
This is the day, and this certainly is the moment...
... just for you.
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