Game On.

“Game on.”

Those are the words Tim Tebow mouthed to the disappointed Coach Meyer and Coach Marotti from the University of Florida, after it was announced that the winner of the 2008 Heisman trophy was Sam Bradford, not Tebow.

I recently read this in the book “Through My Eyes,” an account of the trials and tribulations Tim Tebow faced throughout his life and his football career. There has been so much hype in the past couple years about this phenomenal athlete, much of it having to do with religious devotion. Tim Tebow is an inspiration, regardless of any religious affiliation you might have.

I have always looked up to athletes because of their ability to (quite literally) get hit, and have the stamina to get right back up, knowing they might get knocked down over and over again. Life isn’t easy. If you think it is, you’re probably not trying hard enough. Whenever I’m having a hard time with something, and the thought of quitting crosses my mind…. I just think to myself, “Are you crazy?! If you quit now, you get NOTHING out of all your hard work. At least get SOMETHING.”

After reading this book, I think I might just start saying “game on,” and look my challenges dead in the eye.  Can you imagine what would have happened if Tebow had quit after he didn’t win the Heisman in 2008 or 2009? Well, first of all, the nation wouldn’t have such a hunky quarterback to be raving about right now. And secondly, he wouldn’t have accomplished all of the things that we know him for. He started the Tim Tebow Foundation, he wrote Through My Eyes with Nathan Whitaker, and not to mention he helped take the Denver Broncos to the playoffs this past season. He also is speaking across the country, next stop Las Vegas, where I will be going to see him this weekend (Tim, if you’re reading this, which I’m sure you are, then how about a quick interview after you speak at Canyon Ridge? For blogging purposes, of course).

Okay, so I may not meet Tim Tebow, but nevertheless he is still an inspiration. Next time you think about giving up or quitting something, just think, at least I’m not getting sacked by a 300 pound linebacker right now.  I am almost positive this will make anything you are doing seem like cake!  I know for me, I am going to start looking at my obstacles as challenges, not stop signs. Keep truckin along, all this hard work WILL be worth it… if each of us makes it worth it.

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” – Tim Notke

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Don’t Let Shyness Be Your Downfall

Networking is the greatest tool you’ll ever use. But it’s not that easy for some of us to step out of our box and get comfortable with it. I am the queen of shy, and it takes a lot for me to open up to people especially in a small group setting. I can speak in front of hundreds or thousands of people, sure no problem! But put me with four or five other people, and I freak out. I didn’t even speak to people when I was a kid, I just whispered to my sister and had her relay all my genius insights (yes, I had genius insights at 6 years old).

When I got to high school, I joined some clubs and started to learn about the power of networking. I stepped way out of my comfort zone and started talking to people I didn’t know. In college, I’ve tried to get involved as much as possible. Joining Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity, was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have come into contact with more people from various locations, professions, etc. than I ever thought possible. I now have connections worldwide, what a great feeling that is.

Networking has never been so easy, especially with the expanded use of social media and the availability of more clubs and organizations for every interest (at one point there was even an organization for putting apples with golf clubs at my school, I shit you not).

To be successful in business, or whatever you’re doing, you have to suck it up and put yourself out there. Take it from the shy girl; it is much easier to expand your network by joining groups and organizations that appeal to you rather than trying to meet contacts just walking down the street (they’ll run from you, trust me). Joining these groups makes the introduction period much less awkward and a whole lot easier. Once you have connections, the more connections you get. Who knows, you might catch that big break you’ve been waiting for.

“Don’t be afraid to expand yourself, to step out of your comfort zone. That’s where the joy and the adventure lie.” -Herbie Hancock

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Work Hard, Play Hard

Unless you’re a professional athlete, the phrase is not “play hard, play hard,” so get to work!

I cannot stand people who have everything handed to them, in fact, I feel bad for them.

There is no better feeling in the world than accomplishing something after putting in every painful ounce of energy you have into it. I ran my first half marathon at the Bidwell Classic in Chico, CA, in 2009. I remember crossing that finish line like it was yesterday, running 13.1 miles non-stop, all because I told myself I would. There were so many times during the race, and even while training prior to, that I wanted to quit. I remember going for runs around my neighborhood and thinking to myself, why on earth would anyone invent a stupid half-marathon, let alone a FULL marathon?! And WHY am I participating?!

But I continued to run, every day. Why? Because once I got past the point in my run where I was gasping for air like a fish out of water, it was refreshing. That doesn’t make sense, let’s try that again. After the first mile where I was at my most out-of-breath state (damn near 9-1-1 status), I suddenly was able to breath, I fell into my groove. I guess that doesn’t make sense either, unless you’re a runner. But I’m getting off topic anyways.

The point is that once you work hard for something, the feeling of achievement you get is so much sweeter than something that is just handed to you. This isn’t just for physical activities, but in the workplace or in your personal life. Have you ever slaved over a paper or a work project for so long that you just want to give up on it? But you finish it, and even the slightest bit of recognition makes you feel like you are on cloud nine.

Don’t work for something because you have to, work for something because you want to. You know how they say nothing worth having is easy? I know they say this because it’s even on a picture of a kid with a cape (see below), so clearly it must be true. Unless you are referring to climbing Mt. Everest. I’m sure that’s worth it, and anyone who thinks that is hard is weak sauce (I’m kidding, don’t be offended if you’ve done it and almost died or something). In all seriousness, the things that are truly worth it in life won’t always be a walk in the park. But who cares? Work hard, and then bask in the glory of knowing you accomplished something great. Throw a party, eat a cookie, maybe go crazy and celebrate with a nap!

“By working hard, you get to play hard guilt-free” – Jim Rohn

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Okay So You’re Successful, But Are You Significant?

Everyone is always talking about success and how to achieve it. You set a goal, you accomplish that goal, and that’s a success, right? Sure it is… but at what point can you say you did something significant?

I don’t think there is any one person that doesn’t aim to be successful. However, it is often misconstrued as a huge feat, that people shed their blood, sweat, and tears to attain. Shoot, I consider it a success if I wake up on time each morning or make it through the day without tripping or running into something (those dang invisible walls).

Let’s face it, each person has countless chances to be successful in life, but it takes a special person to be significant. What are you going to do to make that happen? Just as there is with success, there are many different ways to define significance. What it all comes down to, however, is making a difference in your life or the lives of others.  Make a lasting impression on those around you; it’s not as hard as one might think. But how?! Well, of course, you can follow these steps:

  • Continue to set goals in your life, but make sure at least one of them is for something BIG. A lot of people I have talked to are opposed to setting “unattainable” goals, as they call them. Well I’m here to tell you to take the “un” out of “unattainable.” If you live your life thinking you can’t, then you’re not really living at all.
  • Go above and beyond what’s expected of you. Make yourself irreplaceable in whatever it is you are doing.
  • Strive for excellence. If you believe there are greater things out there for you, then there are. Don’t ever settle, but also realize that success won’t fall in your lap. You’ve got to work for it.
  • Don’t be a big sissy la-la (refer to my last blog for an explanation)

If your goal is to be successful in life, have fun hanging out in that boat (population: the whole world). Instead, make it your goal to be different, be significant, and your legacy will live on.

“Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value” – Albert Einstein

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Stop Being a Sissy La-La

How many of you know a constant complainer? You know who I’m talking about, the person who complains about everything under the sun. “My boss yelled at me, my job is terrible, I’m so tired I worked an entire 8 hour shift today, I failed my test, the sky is blue (what nerve!), and did I mention my life sucks?” You get the point.

The average inspirational blog might tell you to appreciate what’s good in life, and not dwell on the rest. It will tell you that things will get better, and bad days only lead to good days. That may all be true, but it won’t get you to stop complaining. We are all guilty of having the occasional day when we are grumpy, irritable, and just need to get some things off our chest. That’s healthy! We all need to vent once in a while, but there is a difference between the occasional venter and the constant complainer.

Here’s the deal, you need to stop being a wimp. There will be times in your life that your boss yells at you, or you have a bad day at work. Maybe you won’t land the client that you’ve been working your butt off to get for months. Maybe that test you studied for all night long (let’s be real, you probably pulled an all-nighter instead of studying beforehand), well maybe you studied all the wrong things. And once something goes wrong, EVERYTHING goes wrong. It is like the snowball effect of bad luck! Who knew that one person could have so much bad luck?!

I’ve learned in my experience, and I’m sure anyone will agree with me, that failure makes you better as long as you handle it in the right way. There are two options:

1) You can mope around all you want. Continue to be a sissy and let your boss or a bad day get the best of you (Hint: This is the wrong choice).

-or-

2) Learn from it. Be stronger than you ever thought you could be. Wipe your tears, get off your butt, and take the initiative to ensure that you’ll succeed next time. Don’t focus on what went wrong, concentrate on what you are going to do to make it better.

Imagine how much time you spend complaining about things in your life. Does it get you anywhere? If you put that time to use being proactive, your possibilities are endless.

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” –David Brinkley

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