When we don’t take time to reflect on our previous season, we miss opportunities to grow into new seasons that life affords us.
I’ve had this quote from Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man In The Arena” speech displayed in my office for years:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Mike McCarthy had a great leadership moment this week. The Green Bay Packers’ head coach often says that among his highest priorities is setting an optimal mind-set in the locker room. So on the heels of the team’s bitter and controversial loss to Seattle on Monday night, the coach’s charge when his players returned to work Wednesday was to rid them of any vestiges of victimhood.
“Life asks not merely what you can do; it asks how much can you endure and not be spoiled.” ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick
“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” ~ Rocky Balboa
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~ Maya Angelou
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff. It seems that Walt Disney wasn’t disheartened by the naysayers of his generation, he was simply fueled by them. What will your naysayers bring out in you today?
Coca-Cola is the most recognizable brand on the planet. The soft drink empire has survived two World Wars, one Cold War, one Great Depression, “Cola Wars,” and a marketing blunder of the century.
This past weekend, the fam pulled out the old DVD, Cool Runnings. My children and I love this classic wintry adventure of the original Jamaican bobsled team. Here are some lessons on dreams and leadership that I took away from this film:
I just finished reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. This book is an extraordinary account of the resiliency of the human spirit and power of redemption; from juvenile delinquency – to Olympic runner – to plane crash in the Pacific – to WWII POW in a Japanese prison camp – to torture survivor – to man of stout faith – to uncommon forgiveness for his torturer, Louie Zamperini’s story is mesmerizing and contagiously inspiring. A great pickup if you’re looking for a new read… and while you’re there, pick up my new book 13-Foot Coffins!
My son was taking Taekwondo when the remake of Karate Kid came out, so needless to say, we had to see it.
In China, where the movie was filmed, it is better known by the title: The Kung Fu Dream. The plot centers around a twelve-year-old boy named Dre, from Detroit, who moves to China with his mother and runs afoul with a group of bullies. The character, played by Jaden Smith, gets the tar beat out of him on the playground. Embarrassed and humiliated, everything in him wants to run and hide from his tormenter. He hates living in this unfamiliar place, and he cries out for his mother to take him back to America.
One of the greatest lessons we can learn from Joseph's life is that there will always be more opportunities to quit than there are opportunities to conquer. Our dreams are always filled with detours and surprises, setbacks and hardships. But we can be assured that if our dream comes from God, the dream holds us when we feel unable to hold it.