Chapter 71

Appreciate The People Around You

Today's Empowering Quote

"Hay is more acceptable to an ass than gold."
-Latin Proverb

Today's Empowering Question

"What is the most appropriate form of appreciation and/or service I can provide to each person?"

Today's Fast Session

I expect that most people reading that quote would disagree with Mr. Wooden initially. Why? Because so many people play "Lot-to," cheat on their spouses, lie on their resumes, cook the books to make the stock price higher... all to try to short-cut the system.

John Wooden never talked to his teams about winning... only about doing their best.

And when you do your best, you often become THE best.  Why? Because hardly anyone else is doing THEIR best.

I noticed that in my business career. I've risen to the top of four different industries now because I focus on doing the best job that I can possibly do.

To have one eye over your shoulder worried about things outside of your control does only one thing... it makes it impossible for you to do your best. With one eye off the road, you are going to crash sooner or later. Usually sooner.

My grandfather used an analogy with me to help me keep my mind where it should be. Of course I didn't do what he said to do for a long time, but here's what he told me. He said that no matter what I am doing, think of myself as on the top of a ball - balancing. I had to focus only on what I was doing or I'd fall off the ball. If I took my
attention away from the ball, I was going to fall off.

Throughout this last season in the NBA, I watched all the team's statistics concerning their wins on "the road," games played in the opposing team's home field.

And I thought it was absolutely fascinating that, at the end of the season, out of 29 professional teams, only 5 had winning records on the road.

One of the main problems? The opposing fans rooting for the home team...

Interesting to note that of those same teams, 21 out of 29 had winning records in home games.

So when the game is on the line and that multi-millionaire superstar is taking a critical shot in the fourth quarter, chances are better that he'll make it at home but miss it on the road. Why? Because most of them aren't completely focusing on their task. Instead of the basket, they're thinking about the guy in the 4th row.

"Home field advantage" is at play in everyone's lives every day.

You see, when John Wooden was coaching in college, half of all their games were "away" games, but there was a period toward the end of his career where his teams won 88 games in a row. Nearly 4 full years without losing a single game.

You see, his players weren't thinking about winning -only of doing their best... every minute. Every play.

They were like machines programmed to do their job. If they were focusing on their job, the crowd couldn't affect them.

It sure helps to have a coach like that, but in life, you usually have to be your own coach. You simply can't rely on someone else to pump you up when you need it. Because quite often they'll let you down. You'll want some pep talk, and the person you call to make you feel better isn't there, or they aren't in a peppy mood themselves.

Bottom line is, you've got to control your own moods.  That's why I always have some kind of book with great thoughts near by, why I always have a tape playing in the car and why I always have a Think Right Now! CD playing throughout the night.

The world is a giant ball. Turning, turning, turning.

When we don't focus on where we're going, we fall.

The "crowds" are often hostile, but if we just pay attention to what we can do, to what our little job is and do it to the best of our ability, quite often we will come
out on top.

Will you win awards right out of the shoot? Probably not.

Will you make a million in a year or two? Not likely.

Will you meet Mr. or Miss Right tonight? Does it really matter?

A better question is: With a different focus, will you get better at whatever it is that you're doing? In fact, will you quickly get better at nearly everything you do?


Will you feel great about yourself as you are doing your best?

Yup... IF you pay attention to how you succeeded so you can repeat it, and IF you aren't worried about someone else's performance or what anyone says about you.

You see, all of life is a game. Whether you are in front of crowds or all alone, you will act based on what you are thinking about - on what you are paying attention to.

Do you think Tiger Woods routinely steps up to the ball thinking, "I'm going to hook this one. It's going in the trees."???

Not a chance.

Now, there is a chance it may go in the trees, but that is not where his focus is. And that is why it usually ends up right.

Every top performer in every field of endeavor focuses constantly on what they should be doing right now to get their desired outcome.

To allow others to control your focus, to lose sight of your goals for seconds, then minutes, then hours will cause you to fall down constantly.

Control your focus and you will be in control of your emotions, your actions and your life.

Today's Winning Beliefs

-- I'm controlling my moods today
-- The only person who controls my focus is me
-- I'm doing my best today
-- No matter what I'm doing, I'm paying close attention

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