Randall Cobb’s first NFL game was a bit of a surprise to everyone outside of the Big Blue Nation. He snagged a pass over the middle that ended with a 32-yard touchdown reception. He busted a kickoff return for 108 yards in a season when returners should simply take a knee and let the offense start at the twenty. All on the same night, President Obama gave his Jobs Act Speech to congressional leaders. Maybe it’s just my circle of friends, but it seemed like Randall Cobb stole President Obama’s Big Moment.
WTMJ, the Milwaukee area NBC affiliate, selected, not the game, but the PRE-game show over the President’s address! How did we get to the point that the speculation of a good game is a better option than the President’s address during a time of an economic crisis?
- A Bad Football Game is more Entertaining than the best Presidential Address – The only “entertainment” aspect of politics today is when a politician comes crashing down from the ivory tower in a scandalous blaze.
- People Don’t Know What’s Going On; so, They Don’t Watch – Perhaps some sort of fantasy congressmen league could be introduced to track actual votes, wins, bills introduced. People know the rules in football–they don’t always agree, but they can at least watch a game and understand what’s going on. The majority of what occur in Washington politics happens when cameras aren’t around.
- People Feel as though They Are Not/Can Not Make a Difference – The bureaucratic machine is too large for my voice to be heard, but what if one voice could make a difference? What if one voice could be amplified and heard above the deluge of media, partisanship, and status quo? The first difference you can make is to start discovering what’s going on. Here’s a link to the President’s Fact Sheet for the American Jobs Act.
Randall Cobb didn’t steal President Obama’s Big Moment; we gave him the chance by giving him an audience. A 108-yard return replaced interest in a $447 billion tip of the iceberg problem. It’s time for USAmerican Cheeseheads to show DC politicians what “for the people and BY the people” really means.
[In full disclosure, I watched the replay of both the return and the speech--the result of having to be in school on a Thursday night.]
God’s Financial Plan: Spend Conservatively; Save Strategically; Borrow Cautiously; Give Generously.
The Must Reads:
- Choose 1-2 “Big Rocks” to tackle each day (a la Steven Covey)
- Start Each Day or by “eating a frog” (a la Brian Tracy)
- Single Task (a la Leo Babauta)
- Manage Your Energy Not Your Time (a la Loehr and Schwartz)
- For your biggest projects, identify every single task you need to complete; get it out of your head and on to a piece of paper (a la David Allen’s GTD)
- What are you hearing ME say?
- What are you doing to Obey?
The Read if You Have Time:
- Call a Time Out
- Substitute a Player
- Bench a Player
- Try the Unexpected
- Take One for the Team
I re-watched Jim Carey’s “Yes Man” movie this weekend. The movie’s slogan, “Yes is the New No,” seems to be the way of today’s world. The movie glamorizes always accepting the options laid before us, but the hustle is finally revealed at the end.
We say yes out of our desire to please others, often without recognizing the implications of the “no’s” that we are declaring at the same time. We say “yes” to so many things that we eventually rob ourselves from recreation, then sleep, and eventually to the relationships we value most friends and family. It’s OK to Start Stopping.
Seth Godin says, “Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time” (Read The Dip). Our culture teaches us that quitting is a moral failure: “quitters never win, winners never quit.” It’s time to fight the cultural tides and start stopping. To see quitting in the sense of regaining freedom rather that a personal liability.
Time is the standard currency for relationships. You have 168 units of time this week. Sleep is going to take up 49-56 units (either commit to the rest now or subtract days off the end of your life). How are you investing the remaining time? How are you going to squeeze in relationship time with those you love?
How can we create more time? Dan Rockwell provides three options:
The easiest option is the hardest option: eliminate. We’ve got to learn to say no, but we also need to start eliminating, to start stopping. Make a list of your major time eaters and identify one that you can and need to stop. You have my permission to start stopping. The time has come to quit some good things for better things.
“Everything seems easy to spectators.” – Loren Pinilis, check it out!
The Must Reads:
- Do more of something.
- Do less of something.
- Begin something.
- Stop something.
- Instead of eating lunch alone, intentionally eat with other co-workers and learn their story.
- Make a list of your co-workers birthdays and find a way to bless everyone on their birthday.
- Make every effort to avoid gossip in the office. Be a voice of thanksgiving not complaining.
- Be the first person to greet and welcome new people.
- Visit coworkers when they are in the hospital.
- Go out of your way to talk to your janitors and cleaning people who most people overlook.
- Keep small candy, gum, or little snacks around to offer to others during a long day.
- Lead the charge in organizing others to help co-workers in need.
The Read if You Have Time:
A growing mind is a changing mind.
Perhaps an effective way to measure how much
you have learned in the past year is to count
the number of times you have changed your mind.
People who never change their mind worry me.
Chronically confident people terrify me.
- James Shelley
Let’s get this straight: I suck at change as much as you do! I don’t like it, I don’t care for it. As a matter of fact, we all hate it! Find somebody that loves “Change” and suggest for just a moment that they do something like last time and see what happens.
Change is inevitable. God prepped us for change through the seasons, through growth and maturity. All about us, we see change. Even the rock that looks permanent changes, e.g., the Grand Canyon. Why are we so surprised when it the winds and waters of life and spirit call us to change and force us to change? We literally, act surprised even though we know some day, some time, some way, we are going to change.
Change is growth. Growth is change. If you are a learner, you’re going to open yourself up to change. Unless you’re simply reading and reviewing items that support your already formed opinion. James Shelley’s challenge to ask a simple question: How many times have you changed your mind? Begs us to be honest with ourselves and determine if we’re really
learning growing at all.
Change is life. Scientific thought suggests that your body is at most 7-10 years old! Your old, dead cells disappear; new, live cells emerge and sustain life. Without change, even at the molecular level, we die. I choose life.
I felt a bit like Kramer and Newman pushing the limits of the car’s ability to run on fumes. I made it to my destination. Did my work. But when I started to leave, the car would not start. I was out of gasoline.
Cars are not the only things that run out of fuel. Dan Rockwell asked two questions on his blog:
- How do you practice self-reflection?
- How do you refuel your tank?
Self-reflection enters the priority list right after “clean toilets.” When was the last time you put a calendar appointment titled “Reflect On Self?” In a map-less world, we don not even force ourselves to take the time to determine where we are, where we want to go, and how are we going to get there.
My personal self-reflection occurs when there’s nothing else to do in one of two sittings: while I’m driving (without the kids) or while I’m lying in bed trying to sleep. Basically, when there’s nothing else to do. I review my weekly productivity against a list of action items, but truthfully, I haven’t spent the time reflecting on how these actions fit into my larger purposes. I have a feeling that we could all use a 30 minute appointment to reflect on our lives and our futures. Plug in 30 minutes this week on your calendar to sit still and listen.
I refuel my tank the same way I refuel my car–I push myself to the brink of emptiness and then I try to guzzle as much as I possibly can as quick as I can. Reading is my favorite form of fuel. Reading gets me out of the rut of my daily tasks, feeds my inner learner, and provides a resource for me to share with others. Conversations with others on the journey fuels my tank and gets me excited!
I take Proverbs 27.17 to heart: “As iron sharpens iron,so a friend sharpens a friend” (NLT). The best iron-sharpening friends make it to my Personal Executive Board. They don’t get paid, but they get consulted. They have the right to approach me at any time to challenge me, to encourage me, or to give me two million dollars (though none of them have enacted that right). Find some folks that will push you along, pull you along, and love you along the journey.
You don’t have to refuel yourself the same way I do, but you have to find a refueling station at some point. Start planning ahead so you don’t run out of energy!