Nov 22, 2011

Worth it?

From Seth Godin:

Worth it?

That's a question you hear a lot. "Was it worth it?"
Not certain what either "it" refers to, but generally we're saying, "was the destination worth the journey? Was the effort worth the reward?"
The thing about effort is that effort is its own reward if you allow it to be.
So the answer can always be "yes" if you let it.

Nov 20, 2011

After you've done your best

From Seth Godin:

After you've done your best

(and it didn't work)
...then what do you do?
Slamming your six iron into the ground, yelling at yourself, cursing out your staff, second-guessing, berating bystanders—there are plenty of ways we demonstrate our frustration that our best didn't work this time.
But is it helpful?
Learning from a failure is critical. Connecting effort with failure at an emotional level is crippling. After all, we've already agreed you did your best.
Early in our careers, we're encouraged to avoid failure, and one way we do that is by building up a set of emotions around failure, emotions we try to avoid, and emotions that we associate with the effort of people who fail. It turns out that this is precisely the opposite of the approach of people who end up succeeding.
If you believe that righteous effort leads to the shame of personal failure, you'll seek to avoid righteous effort.
Successful people analytically figure out what didn't work and redefine what their best work will be in the future. And then they get back to work.
Let the guys at ESPN do the racket throwing.

Nov 15, 2011

The Journey: Why Am I Bothering?

The one or two of you who even bother to read this blog may have noticed that I've been off schedule the last few weeks.

The truth is I'm horribly discouraged. I've hit the gym HARD for the last month. I've been careful in what I'm eating. I feel like I'm putting 100% effort in. Yet I'm seeing NO, zero, none, nada, nyet results. I'm STUCK at 330 pounds.

My goal of being 299 by the end of the year is completely unattainable at this point. There's just no way I could make up that much lost time.

I'm use to effort in equaling results out. Work more hours, get more pay. Drive faster and get there sooner. Up until now in the Journey this has been truth. The harder I've worked the gym, the more weight loss. But this is no longer the case.

I would give up completely, but then I think of a friend of mine who is a commercial fisherman. He works hard. The thing is, no matter how much effort he puts in, sometimes the fish just aren't there. But if he didn't put in the hard work, then the fish could be there and he'd miss it. So, fish or no fish: You have to put in the work to take advantage of when the fish are there.

Therefore, I will continue to put in the time at the gym. At least I will know I'm doing my part, even if the desired results don't come.

Nov 9, 2011

Don't Be Common

I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man

It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.

I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept
citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to
fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the
challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of
fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for
a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend
to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to
think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations
and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.”

~By Dean Alfange
*Originally published in This Week Magazine.
Later reprinted in The Reader’s Digest, October 1952 and January 1954.

The Honorable Dean Alfange was an American statesman born December 2, 1899, in Constantinople
(now Istanbul). He was raised in upstate New York. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I and attended Hamilton College, graduating in the class of 1922. He attended Columbia University where he received his law degree and opened a practice in Manhattan. In 1942, Alfange was the American Labor Party candidate for governor of New York and a founder of the Liberal Party of New York. Dean Alfange was also Professor Emeritus at UMass Amherst and a leading figure in various pro-Zionist organizations. Between other actions, in November 1943, he appeared before the House of Representatives and addressed them on the rescue of the Jewish people of Europe. He died in Manhattan at the age of 91 on October 27, 1989.