Friday, January 30, 2015

Your Weekly Gameplan

This is Super Bowl Weekend?!! Are you serious?!!

Dang..and I'd planned on watching "The History of Mauve" on PBS. Well, maybe I can record it.

This game is going to be one of those tuff calls because I really like both coaches and a number of athletes on both teams. One of the predictions is 28-24, Seahawks, and I'll go with that. Watch for at least one trick play from each team.

The Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll has a cool weekly plan he uses during the season. This came from the Seahawks' website:
‘Tell the truth Monday’: Discuss what happened in the last game and be honest with yourselves. Watch highlight tape. (MC note: players come in the day after the game to checked for injuries and do rehab)
Tuesday: Off.
‘Compete Wednesday’: Coaches and players talk about all the different ways the team will compete and how they match up with their opponents. (MC note: constant competition is a key element of Carroll's coaching philosophy...any drills players participate in are highly competitive, it's a way to maintain their "edge.")
'Turnover Thursday’: A straightforward look at the importance of ball control and forcing turnovers. (MC note: In drills defensive players are trying to cause fumbles and offensive players are focusing on ball security, key skills)
‘No repeat Friday’: A light practice, which puts a priority on not making mistakes.
Saturday: Walkthrough.
Sunday: Game day.

I love this sort of plan. What if we all had a plan that was something like this? On specific days we'd concentrate on certain skills, goals, ideas or ambitions for at least a short period of time.

What if, on Monday, we spent a half-hour, first thing in the morning, thinking about what went right last week and how we want to do it again this week? And, maybe 15 minutes on what went wrong and how to not do it again?

What if the next day was Take'em to Lunch Tuesday? Every Tuesday you take someone to lunch to increase your network, get to know someone in your workplace better or reward someone for a job well-done.

Wednesday is New Work Day. Wednesday is the day we do a creativity exercise, work on a new project, stretch ourselves.

Throwback Thursday is the day we look back at something that worked in the past but for some reason we've gotten away from it. Why reinvent the wheel if we have dormant or forgotten skills and assets we can repurpose?

Finish It Friday! Yeah! Everyone loves the finish line! There is some idea or project we need to speed up or finish so today's the day we hit another gear instead of slooowwwwiiinnnnggg down so we can ease into the weekend. Tying a project up with a bow at the end of a Friday (or, better yet, at noon!) is a wonderfully positive way to end the week.

Finally, one more thought about the game. You've heard about Brady and Wilson and Sherman and Lynch. Here are four names you haven't heard every two minutes and these guys will play big parts in how this turns out. For the Seahawks: Kam Chancellor is a Seahawks strong safety who jumped OVER a center two plays in a row on field goals this season. Stunningly athletic. J.R. Sweezy is a former NC State defensive lineman who is now an offensive guard. He's 6'5", 295, can lead a running play and can knock the snot out of people. For the Patriots: Danny Amendola is a WR, not big (5"11" 195), but deceptively fast and good hands. Dont'a Hightower was a star LB at Alabama. Look up "snot knocking" in the dictionary and you'll see "see Alabama linebackers." The collision to watch for is Seahawks' running back Marshawn Lynch against Hightower.

Have a great weekend. Think about naming your days for a weekly plan. See you on Monday!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Red Bull and Reality

If you drink Red Bull you may be due $10 in cash or $15 worth of Red Bull products.

It seems that a class action suit was filed on behalf of customers who drank Red Bull and found that it DIDN'T REALLY GIVE THEM WINGS!

So, the disillusioned drinkers and the ambulance chasing lawyers who thought up this suit nailed the Red Bull company for some bucks.

Actually, I love meeting people who think something like "it will give you wings" is true...because they are children. Children's imaginations allow them to suspend belief and actually believe, "Yeah! If I put this towel on my back like a cape I can climb on top of the shed and when I jump off I'll fly!!" And yes, sometimes the outcomes aren't happy but the kids learn a lesson.

However, when a bunch of adults and lawyers get together and try to find a way to bilk a company out of millions of dollars on something this silly...well...

But, here's the other side of the issue. We all have things, people, thoughts that we believe give us good luck, hold us back, make us faster/stronger/bigger and that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you have a lucky charm, for lack of a better way to look at it, and it gives you the confidence to try...have at it.

Just don't try to sue someone if it doesn't really give you wings.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Monkeys In Sweaters

Recently saw a video of a monkey in a sweater. Someone had put one of those ridiculous Christmas sweaters on him and he was literally tearing his way out of it. Obviously, Bongo didn't appreciate the fashion statement.

Now, think about what you just read and the assumption I made.

While I'm sure that some of the folks in my past would try to make a strong argument that I have no problem understanding how monkeys think I can't honestly say that I don't know whether the monkey didn't like how the sweater looked or whether it itched or whether he simply prefered going au natural.

Which brings me to a point...when folks talk about animals looking "embarrassed" or "sad" or "happy," how do they know?

I heard a great phrase the other day: Anthropomorphic Conceit.

Anthropomorphism is when we humans ascribe human traits to animals or stuff (ex. robots). As humans we use a variety of terms to describe how we think animals feel in certain situations and the truth is that we don't...have...a...clue. And as for stuff, it's inanimate, it's just stuff.

It may be the height of prestige in the dog world to be a beagle wearing a kitten sweater and pushing a little grocery cart with a sombrero-wearing chihuahua in it on the David Letterman Show. All the barking in the neighborhood that night may be canines calling each other and saying, "Hey! Did you see Tommy and Lopez on Letterman?! They were killin' it! Why can't that be us?!!"

Let me stumble to my point here...We do the same thing with other people. We often believe we know how other people feel...but we don't, not really. We know how we might feel or have felt when we've experienced a similar situation, but we don't really know how THEY feel.

I hear people talking about retiring and some of them seem...mmmm...inordinately excited. My first thought is that they hate their jobs. But a lot of them don't, they love what they do. They are just excited about moving on to the next phase of life.

So, when you think  you know what someone is thinking or going through be careful about assuming you know what their thoughts and feelings are. Some of them feel exactly as you would/did...others are simply monkeys in sweaters.

Bundle up and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What's That Ball of Fire In the Sky?!!

A couple of days of good weather after all the cold rain we've had is a welcome change. Get outside and enjoy it!

But, let's be honest, a couple of days of good weather and we're back to taking it for granted.

Taking life for granted is a wonderfully human trait. If things are good for too long or bad for awhile we simply assume that this is the way life will be. We get comfortable, even with discomfort.

Last night I saw a wonderful video of Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining the meaning of life to a 6-year old. Tyson, an astrophysicist who is director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of the new version of the TV special, Cosmos, is--for my money--one of the smartest people of the planet.

His basic point was that finding the meaning of life is as simple as learning something new every day. He said that if you can, every day, get one step closer to learning everything you can learn, you'll have found the meaning of life.

And what, in the Wide, Wide World of Sports (Thank you, Slim Pickins in Blazing Saddles) does Tyson's advice have to do with being comfortable and taking things for granted?
If you learn something new everyday it's almost impossible to get too comfortable and take life for granted. You are continuously surprised, sometimes delighted and constantly feeling thankful for the opportunity to simply exist.

So, what have you already learned today? What will you learn? And no one wants to hear  sarcasm (I've learned not to read silly stuff about learning!).

Learn one new thing every day and your world changes!

(To see the video simply go to and check "Neil deGrasse Tyson Meaning of Life")