Kalpana_Chawla_Dare_Dream

Kalpana Chawla Dared To Dream

My wife and I were watching the SpaceX rocket launch last week and it reminded me of a post I wrote about Kalpana Chawla. Kalpana inspires me because she is an example of making dreams come true by her thoughts. She accomplished much in her short life. Today, millions of people are inspired because Kalpana Chawla dared to dream.

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I’ve always been interested in space travel. I watch every launch I can. I remember watching the first astronauts launch in the 60s and continue to watch the SpaceX launches. My first recollection of seeing Kalpana Chawla was when she was a member of mission STS-107 and was about to board the space shuttle Columbia on January 16, 2003. Kalpana stood out to me as the seven Columbia crew members were shown walking to their vehicles. She appeared too young and small to be an astronaut. How she carried herself with such confidence was what stood out to me.

Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla was born July 1, 1961, in Karnal, India. She always enjoyed flying and held many pilot licenses. She could fly about any airplane. Her family was middle class and she graduated from high school in 1976. After graduating from high school, she found herself as the only female in the aeronautics batch at Punjab University. Her parents resisted her career choice but nothing could stop Kalpana.

Kalpana Chawla dared to dream and always had big dreams. Her dreams were to travel beyond the blue yonder, fly into the heavens, and touch the stars someday. She became the first female Indian-born NASA astronaut. Kalpana wanted to show the world that dreams do come true with hard work and patience. She said, “You can achieve what you dream with strength, endurance, willpower, and confidence. She was 1 of 2000 applicants for a civilian scientist’s position on Columbia’s voyage.

Kalpana’s Thoughts Became Her Reality

When she was living in the dorms while studying for her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees, she had pictures of space shuttles taped to her walls. She didn’t think at the time she was putting them up that one day she would fly on one. When I read about this it didn’t surprise me because what you look at every day becomes your thoughts in your subconscious. Your thoughts turn into your reality.

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Kalpana is a great example that we can become anything we want to if we put our mind to it. She dreamed of flying to the stars, surrounded herself with pictures of the space shuttle, which became her thoughts. Her thoughts directed her actions and interactions became reality. She set goals to keep her on track and enjoyed the journey. Her thoughts on goals were, “When you are going for a goal, the journey is the best part.”

Heading Into Space

Kalpana’s first opportunity to travel beyond the blue yonder and fly into the heavens came when she was selected to be part of the crew on mission STS-87 in November 1997. She flew on the space shuttle Columbia as they completed 252 orbits of the earth in just over two weeks. In 2000, she was selected for her second voyage on Columbia as a mission specialist on STS-107. Because of many delays they didn’t launch until January 16, 2003. It was an ill-fated launch due to a piece of foam that broke off and damaged the heat tiles on the spacecraft wing.

On February 1, 2003, I was running on a treadmill at my gym and turned on the TV to watch Columbia land. They showed maps of the flight path Columbia would take to land at Kennedy Space Center. I began reading at the bottom of the screen that they had lost communication. The next images were from cameras in Texas and showed fiery streaks in the sky. I realized at that moment that Columbia had broken up in the crew had perished. It was a sad day for the world and particularly the country of India.

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Women’s Struggles In India

Kalpana Chawla had accomplished much while growing up in a male-dominated society and country. In the 1970s and 1980s, women in India were fighting battles against:

            – Dowry

            – Rape

            – Caste Crimes

            – Unjust Laws

            – Better Working Conditions

            – and more.

My admiration for Kalpana Chawla comes from the fact that she would not let anything stop her from her dreams. She had a definite purpose and persevered to achieve her dreams. For millions of young Indians, she was inspirational. Kalpana Chawla dared to dream. She gave them hope that they could dream and work hard to achieve those dreams.

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Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part V

This is another installment in my series Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part V. A few weeks ago I wrote about the inspirational story of Irene Sendler. Today I want to continue that theme of inspiring women in the World War II era and tell you the story of Sophie Scholl.

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Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part V

Sophie Scholl was born on May 9, 1921, in Germany. At the age of 12, she joined the League of German Girls as did most of her classmates. This displeased her father who was an ardent Nazi critic. Initially, she was very enthusiastic but eventually also became critical of the Nazis. Her brother Hans, at one time, eagerly participated in the Hitler Youth program became disillusioned as well. Hans was even arrested in 1937 for participating in the German Youth Movement. Seeing her brother arrested affected her deeply.

Disillusioned

After graduating from secondary school, she became a kindergarten teacher. She had hoped this would be recognized as an alternative service to the National Labor Service. Unfortunately for Sophie, it wasn’t. National Labor Service was a prerequisite to be admitted to the University. Therefore, Sophie served six months of auxiliary war service. The military-like regimen of the Labor Service caused her to change her initial views of National Socialism. She would eventually begin to practice passive resistance.

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Sophie Scholl

In 1942 she enrolled at the University of Munich and attended with her brother Hans. During the summer, Sophie, Hans, and their friends began to question and resist the principles and policies of the Nazi regime. They adopted passive resistance strategies that were being used by students in the United States fighting racial discrimination.

White Rose

The group called themselves, White Rose, and co-authored six Anti-Nazi Third Reich political resistance leaflets. These leaflets instructed Germans to passively resist the Nazis. During school breaks, Hans and some of his friends were conscripted into the military and sent to the eastern front. There, some of the group witnessed a group of naked Jews shot in a pit. They were horrified and it emboldened their efforts when they returned to school.

Sophie was an invaluable member of White Rose. As a female, her chances of being randomly stopped by the SS were much less. Between June 1942 and February 1943 they prepared and distributed the six leaflets. In January 1943, the White Rose, using hand-operated duplicating machines, produced, and distributed between 6000 to 9000 copies of their 5th leaflet, “Appeal to All Germans.”

Resist

Readers of the leaflets were urged to support the resistance movement in their struggle for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and protection of individuals from the arbitrary action of the criminal dictator state. The leaflets caused a sensation and the Gestapo initiated an intensive search for the publishers.

Arrest

On February 18, 1943, Hans and Sophie brought a suitcase full of leaflets to the University. They dropped stacks of leaflets in the hallways for the students to find when class let out. After dropping off the leaflets they discovered that some copies remained in the suitcase. Not wanting to waste a single leaflet Sophie grabbed the copies and ran up the stairs to the top floor of the building. There she flung the copies into the air over the railing.

Unfortunately, Sophie was observed by a custodian who supported the Nazis and notified the police. Hans and Sophie were taken into Gestapo custody. Eventually, the rest of the group was arrested, interrogated, and charged with treason. Sophie assumed full responsibility in an attempt to protect the other members of the White Rose.

Mock Trial

In the People’s Court on February 21, 1943, Sophie was recorded as saying:

“Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just do not dare express themselves as we did.”

No testimony was allowed for the defendants; this was their only defense. Sophie and Han’s defiance, in the face of certain death, gained them the admiration of many people.

Last Day

On February 22, 1943, Sophie, and Hans, along with their friend Christopher Probst, were adjudged guilty of treason and condemned to death by guillotine. A few hours later as she walked to her execution, still brave and defiant, she uttered her last words:

“Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go… What does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”

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Legacy

After her death, a copy of the sixth leaflet was smuggled out of Germany to the UK, where it was used by the Allied Forces. In mid-1943, they dropped millions of propaganda copies over Germany. The leaflet was now retitled, The Manifesto of the Students of Munich.

I admire Sophie, her brother, and their friends for having the courage to stand up for what is right. Knowing that if they were caught it would mean certain death, they were still willing to make the sacrifice. Their small part in resisting the tyranny of Hitler and his National Socialist Party contributed to Germany’s defeat. The symbolic value of what Sophie and the White Rose accomplished cannot be measured. It is because of her courage and sacrifice that I’m proud to include Sophie Scholl in this series of Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part V.

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Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part IV

This is a continuation of the series, Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part IV. I want to create a group of people who have different traits that I admire. Within this imaginary group, I would love to sit down and talk to each one of them. I added the inspirational Kalpana Chawla to this group in my post, Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part III.

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I began researching people from the World War II era. There are a lot of stories of heroic men but the heroic women of World War II are commonly forgotten. I did find stories about a few women and was going to include all of them in one post. Then I ran across a story about Irena Sendler and her story was so compelling that I want to dedicate this post to her memory.

Inspiring People Whom I Admire Part IV – Irena Sendler

She was born Irena Krzyzanowska on 2/15/1910 in Warsaw, Poland, and grew up in the town of Otwock, Poland. When the Nazis invaded Warsaw in 1939, she began feeding and sheltering Jews. After the Warsaw Ghetto was erected in 1940, she could no longer help the Jews that were isolated inside. The Warsaw Ghetto was the size of New York City’s Central Park and 450,000 Jewish people were forced into the area. Irena then began saving orphan children.

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Irena Sendler

Zegota

In order to enter the Warsaw Ghetto, Irena used papers as a Polish social worker she had gotten from a member of Zegota. Zegota was a Polish underground group that assisted Jewish people. Additionally, She also had papers from a worker of the Contagious Disease Department.

Irena and helpers made over 3000 false documents to help Jewish families before she joined Zegota. After joining, She eventually became in charge of the children’s division of Zegota. During the Nazi occupation, she rescued 2500 Jewish children in Poland. She made sure that every family she placed a child with, had to agree that they would return the child to their family after the war.

Methods Used

Irena and 10 others would enter the Warsaw Ghetto and smuggle out children using the following methods:

1. Using an ambulance and hiding a child underneath the stretcher.

2. Escaping through the Courthouse.

3. Using sewer pipes or other secret underground passages.

4. A trolley could carry a child in a sack, trunk, or suitcase.

5. They would have the child pretend to be sick or sometimes would actually be sick and it was legal to remove them via ambulance.

Sentenced To Death

Irena was arrested on October 20, 1943. She was taken to the notorious Piawiak Prison where she was questioned and tortured. Consequently, her legs and feet were fractured during these torture sessions. The Nazis sentenced her to death and she was to be shot.

Unbeknownst to her, Zegota had bribed the German executioner who helped her escape. After she escaped, the Germans loudly proclaimed her execution and put up posters all around Warsaw stating that she had been shot. Irena actually saw and read the posters. For the remainder of the war, she remained hidden.

Finding The Children

Irena was the only one who knew the location of the children she had saved. She had written down their names and locations on tissue paper and buried them in jars. After the war, she located and dug up each one. Afterward, she began the arduous task of finding the children and locating a living parent. Unfortunately, almost all the parents died while being interned at the Treblinka death camp.

Life In A Jar

In 1999, four students began looking for information on Irena Sendler as a National History Day Project. They wrote a play titled, “Life in a Jar,” and began performing it wherever they could. From this play sprung, “Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project” to get the word out of her heroic efforts. Her story was virtually unknown worldwide until they started performing the play. Even in her own country of Poland communism had buried her story.

On May 12, 2008, Irena Sendler died at the age of 98 in Warsaw Poland. Many of the children she rescued continue to tell her story. Her story was immortalized in the book, “Life in a Jar” by Jack Mayer. The book has been made into a film and the play continues to be performed today. There is even an Irena Sendler Exhibit in Fort Scott, Kansas. You can find more information on irenasendler.org.

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File – In this Monday, May 30, 2005 photo, Irena Sendler, right, a Polish woman who saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish children during World War II, meets with American students who created a play about her life, in Warsaw, Poland. The students’ teacher, Norman Conard, is being honored by the Polish government and San Francisco based Taube Philanthropies in Warsaw on Monday, June 11, 2018, for his role in making Sendler’s story known to the world. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

A Special Person

I am always moved by these courageous actions of people who lived during times of adversity. Their bravery and unselfish deeds by willingly risking their lives to save others are admirable. Irena Sendler was a special person.

Final Thoughts

Irena Sendler is an inspirational person. We should all have her bravery and compassion for others. I hope you enjoyed reading Inspiring People Whom I Admire – Part IV as much as I did writing it. If you did, click the like button. Leave a comment below, I love reading your comments. If you would like to join my team, click the subscribe button above and leave your email address. Don’t forget to follow my blog.

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Works Cited

“Facts about Irena.” Life in a Jar, 14 Jan. 2020, irenasendler.org/facts-about-irena/.

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It’s Not About Me, It’s About You

How do you survive when life is beating you down?

I was asked the other day why I started writing a blog and didn’t really have an answer to that question. I’m not in my 20s and I’m not just starting out in life. I’m very comfortable and don’t need any extra income that can be generated from writing a blog. Heck, I have never really enjoyed writing in my entire life. I loved my career and enjoyed the majority of it. I loved to be out on the street and participating in operations, but I hated writing reports. We had five days to get our reports in after an operation and my bosses were constantly hounding me to do my reports. Just the thought of all the hours it would take to compile my notes and write a passable report would fill me with dread. One of the reasons I loved being in the jungle was because we didn’t have to do reports.

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 I started to think about the question and realized that it will really wasn’t my decision. The thought was placed into me by a higher power. I really didn’t have a choice or did I? I could’ve ignored the thoughts but throughout my life I’ve realized when you’re led to do something by a higher power, do it. There are terrific benefits for doing it and it’s something you’re supposed to do. I could estimate that throughout my life I have listened to a higher power 90 percent of the time and made good decisions. At the same time, 10 percent of the time I ignored what I was being told and made bad decisions.

It all started after I heard a speech where someone said that you could make money online. This got my attention because, I like money, money is good and you can never have enough of it. I don’t ever want to stop earning money. There are so many great things I can do with money and so many people I can help. So after hearing that you can make money online, I began researching it and was told I needed to write a blog. At first I hesitated because I’m not a writer and who would read my stuff? There was one thought in my mind that would not go away, It’s not about me, it’s about you. It’s about you, the 7.8 billion people in the world. If somebody can take away just one thing from one of my blog posts and it changes their life, then everything I do is justified.

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You have so much to give the world. Each and every one of you were born with your gifts to the world. Everybody has something inside of them that can help someone else. I believe it’s your obligation to pass your gift to others. My gift is motivation and people have told me that I say the right things at the right time and have helped people. If anyone has ever told you that you are good at something, that is your gift. We must continue spreading our gifts and never quit. When things get tough and you’re going through a difficult time, you have to find a way to reach down and fight through because someone, somewhere needs your gift. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

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I will continue to talk to as many people as I can until my last breath. When things aren’t going well, I’ll keep going. When I’m talking and it seems like no one’s listening, I’ll keep talking. I’ll never quit, it’s just not in me. It’s not in you either. You might think so, but it’s not. When you think it is, get out of bed and go do it one more day. Do it the next day and the next until you’ve accomplished the mission. Everyone’s counting on you, so it’s your duty, your obligation to them to get it done. If you quit then you are letting down 7 .8 billion people. That’s a huge burden to have to live with the rest of your life. Fight with all your being and when you feel you have nothing left in you, get up and take another swing. Whatever you do, never stop and keep moving forward.

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Life is hard and it will hit you. It will take you to your knees. Anyone who has gone through life without any kind of struggles hasn’t lived. So when it hits you, hit back, keep hitting back, keep moving forward. As long as you’re moving forward you’re winning, it doesn’t matter what the score is. There’s too many people counting on you. It might hurt and it might be hard but you gotta keep moving forward. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

The warrior mentality, the ability to fight is in us all. It is there at birth. We are all fighters and a fighter is going to fight. They won’t quit until they’ve won or died. Nothing can stop them. Nothing can stop you. Once you know what you want, go out and get it. Don’t ever let anyone or anything stop you. You and only you are in control and determine whether you win or lose. You will have successes and you will have failures but you will never quit. You will fight and fight and fight until you win. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

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The 80/20 rule says that 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. I was one of the 20 percent. It was ingrained in me in the military to accomplish the mission, that was the most important thing. Whenever one of my bosses needed something difficult done, they called on me because I always accomplished the mission, no matter how hard. I wouldn’t quit. You have to accomplish your mission and failure is not an option. You have been given a mission, whatever it may be and it is your duty to do what it takes to accomplish that mission and never quit. I won’t ever quit on you. When you win, then I win. I can’t succeed until you do. Keep fighting! It’s not about you, it’s about them.

Have you ever had to overcome adversity? Leave a comment and share your tips/techniques for fighting through when life is beating you down.

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Sharing

I believe in the power of sharing. If I read a good blog that really speaks to me and I believe it will provide value to others, I will share it. I have linked four books that I believe have value. In order to change you, you first have to change the way you think. Leaders Are Readers!

The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant. These are short stories about Kobe’s experiences coupled with some fantastic photos. It shows that the little things can add up to greatness. I recently listened to an interview where Kobe said he would start his first workout at 4 AM to get ahead of its competition. His mental approach to the game is what made him great.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This is an oldie but goodie that is full of relevant life lessons. It is a book that you hear speaker after speaker refer to. Successful people all have the same mentality and know you have to change the way you think to be successful. Only one percent of people set goals.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson. I found this to be a sophisticated yet easy read. This book goes along with a lot of what I write about in my blog. What other people think about you doesn’t matter so you should stop getting stressed out about it. Focus all your energy on what really matters which is you and your goals.

Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals LEAD and WIN by Jocko Willink. A book for everyone that I found basic and clear about leadership, teamwork, and having the right mindset. It is full of great stories with useful and applicable lessons. Own every decision you make.

I also highly recommend checking out the Audible Membership from Amazon. I can download great books on the Audible app and listen to them with my AirPods while I go on my morning walks.  I use my AirPods every time I exercise. They don’t fall out and the sound is great. You can get any of these products simply by clicking on the links above. If you do purchase any products through my links, I’ll get a small commission from Amazon at no additional cost to you.

I appreciate every like, follow, comment and share. Keep’em coming.

Don’t Water the Street: Creating the Right Mindset

Don’t water the street: creating the right mindset. Success is based on work. If you’re not willing to do the work you’re probably not going to have very good results. It all begins with your mind though; you have a thought about something that you would like to accomplish. You start off with a dream about being wealthy or losing weight and having a different body. How about living in a mansion instead of your studio apartment that’s worse than the apartment you lived in at college? Now that you have this dream; How are you going to go about turning it into a reality? If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know that how is not really important. WHY is the most important part of the equation.

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Don’t Water The Streets

This is where your thoughts come in. If your mindset is right and you’re thinking positive thoughts, then HOW to obtain your dreams will come to you. You will see an ad, or maybe bump into an old friend and they will give you inspiration. You might even overhear someone talking and it gets your mind thinking. Don’t worry, if you are thinking positive thoughts, you will know it when it happens.

This business started because I listened to a podcast that was recommended to me by a friend I hadn’t seen in 35 years. I didn’t know what a podcast was! Now is the time to take your seats because here comes Story-time. I wake every morning very early, way before the sun rises and after enjoying a talk with my Lord and Savior and spending some time in meditation, I exercise.

Sprinklers

At that time of the morning, several lawn sprinklers turn on in my neighborhood. I have one neighbor whose sprinklers are mostly facing the road. He even has one sprinkler that shoots from halfway in his yard all the way to the other side of the street. This sucker doesn’t even oscillate, it’s just a steady stream of water in one place. It caught my attention because I have to divert my path completely across the street to keep from getting soaked. The only grass that receives any nourishment is a thin strip, maybe six inches wide.

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What do your DREAMS look like?
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A Lush Lawn

Watching this guy’s sprinklers water the street got me thinking that this is just like bad thoughts. You will only be able to accomplish your dreams by thinking positive thoughts. Dreams, like grass, need to be nourished and watered. If your irrigation system is adjusted correctly then most of the water lands on your yard and nourishes your lawn. The grass grows healthy and full, chokes out all the weeds, and you have this lush green lawn that’s the envy of the neighborhood.

Feed Your Dreams

If you water your dreams with positive thoughts then they will grow, flourish, and choke out those pesky “Doubt Demons”. On the other hand, if you’re watering the street your lawn suffers and nothing grows. Grass does not grow on asphalt. If you’re constantly giving into negative thoughts you might as well be watering the street because nothing is going to grow.

Begin a daily habit of affirmations. Write them down on an index card and carry them with you always. Read them first thing in the morning, several times. Throughout the day pull out your index card and read them over and over. You need to program your positive thoughts into your subconscious.

Adjust Your Thoughts

Just like you adjust your sprinklers to only water the grass, adjust your positive thoughts to water your dreams. They say you have to do something 10,000 times before you get really good at it. I’m no scientist but maybe that’s how long it takes before your subconscious mind takes over and you start doing and saying the right things without thinking about it.

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Good Times

Throughout my military and law enforcement career, we went through constant training. Whenever we would make an arrest or execute a search warrant, my actions were automatic. I don’t have a clear memory of what happened from the time after we arrived at the residence, up until the house was cleared or the person was in custody. In that time-space, I was operating with my subconscious mind and doing what I was trained to do without having to think about it with my conscious mind.

Operating In The Subconscious

One day my partner and I were taking a break at Starbucks and sitting outside when two people ran out of the store next to us. The owner ran out saying that he was robbed. My partner and I ran after them and after a little while, I realized I had my gun in my hand. I had no recollection of unholstering my weapon. The answer to your next question is, yes, we caught them. One of them became completely winded, gave up, and just laid down next to the street. The other one we found hiding under a house and wouldn’t come out, so we called out the K-9 unit. He crawled out and was completely cooperative once the dogs got there. Good times, good times.

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No More

Alright everybody, no more watering the street. Start your affirmations, repeat those things you want in your life until they come true. This is the point where a lot of people sabotage themselves because it doesn’t happen quickly enough for them. Keep in mind this isn’t McDonald’s and you can’t order a new lifestyle, drive up and pick it up at the little window.

Give Your Dreams Time To Grow

Dreams take time and we are not in control of when they come true. You can’t see the grass seedlings when they’re under the soil and it’s usually at the point where they’re about to break through the soil that you get frustrated. You begin thinking and saying they will never grow and point the sprinkler back at the street. A lot of people get frustrated when they don’t see results and turn to negative thoughts and words. If they’d only kept the positive thoughts for one more day, one more week, or one more year their life could be radically changed.

Success

 Do you have a time limit on your dreams? How long are you willing to wait to achieve the life that you want and deserve? Some people seem to have boatloads of success when they are children while others don’t have success until they are in their 60s and 70s. Some people graduate from college in three years, some in five or six (You can put me in the latter timeframe). Both of them still have the same diploma.

Success is success. If you’ve ever graduated from college, you might have put your dreams on hold for those four years. A lot of people take 4 plus years to get a college diploma but will give up on their dreams after a few months. If you create the right mindset and don’t put a time limit on it, the universe is at your fingertips and you can live your dream lifestyle.

I appreciate every like, follow, comment and share. Keep’em coming.

“This train is moving on, you can get on, you can get off, but the train keeps moving on! We are going to the top of the mountain!”

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Draft Day

Dreams come true!

Today is the first round of the NFL draft. It is a day that will see several young men’s lives change dramatically. I look forward to watching the NFL draft every year because you get to see their dreams come true as it happens. You see the emotions they go through as they get the phone call from the NFL team that is selecting them. You see the emotions of the families that are there with them. What you don’t see are the countless hours in the weight room, the infinite number of sprints they have run, or the endless hours they spent studying in the classroom. What you don’t see is the countless miles the families put on their cars driving their kids to practice, games, or camps. You don’t see the time the families might’ve had to put in working a second job to pay for equipment or fees. The families do all this to help their children achieve all their dreams.

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When their name is called and the tears flow, you know this is the culmination of a dream that they have had for so many years and worked so hard at. For most of these young men, their dream started when they were children lying in bed. They held onto the dream probably through many ups and downs, successes and failures, until tonight. Tonight their dreams become reality. These are dreams that most of these young men have and they learned to write them down several years ago. Recently, former NFL running back C. J. Spiller was elected to the Clemson University Hall of Fame. Spiller said he wasn’t surprised by this selection because he wrote down his goals and dreams as a seven-year-old in Florida. His mom keeps that same note and has it locked up in a room. He looked at that piece of paper every night and one of his dreams was he wanted to go off to college and leave that program as one of the best ever. I’m sure that the young men selected tonight will have a similar piece of paper with their goals and dreams written on it and their moms will keep it forever.

This makes me think about my life and how I arrived at where I am today. I don’t remember if I ever wrote anything down but I do remember that I used to read a lot. As a kid I was always reading books about adventure, space travels, and explorations. I was always fascinated with the military and read a lot of books about World War II. My favorite books though were mysteries by Alfred Hitchcock. I would spend hours reading these books and loved pouring into the investigation of solving these mysteries. My life up to this point has turned out just like the books that I used to read and the dreams I used to have. I was an officer in the U.S. Army, investigated and solved mysteries as a Special Agent with DEA, and had many adventures in the jungles of South America and on the streets of US cities. Not everything I dreamt about came true in my life though. I, like probably every other sports minded child did dream of one day playing in the NFL. That dream didn’t materialize….., maybe I should’ve written it down.

A vast majority of the men selected today will feel humbled, honored, and gracious when they hear their name called by the Commissioner. It is a pleasure to see them when they speak give thanks to God, their family, their coaches, and everyone who ever help them achieve this dream. Unfortunately, there are usually one or two who expected to be drafted earlier than they were and are unhappy. When you see them on camera they have a scowl on their face and you can tell that they are angry. Now, I’m sure that they think that they are the best player and feel slighted that so many teams passed them up, I can understand that. What I cannot understand is how they cannot feel gracious enough to put the other feelings aside. I’ve heard it said that less than one percent of all boys playing high school football will make it to the NFL. Just to have the talent to be in that small pool should make you one of the most thankful people alive.

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

When I see people who aren’t appreciative of what they have been given, I become more gracious for what I have. I have been given a wonderful, beautiful life, with a future full of unlimited possibilities. If you can’t be thankful for where you’re at right now in life, how do you expect God to reward you with a better life in the future? One major point that the ungrateful players forget is that no women will be selected tonight. There are women coaches and women referees in the NFL but no women players. I fully believe that soon there will be women players in the NFL. As the father of two daughters I can see that women can do anything they set their mind to. They just have to change their mindset and flush out all the negative things they have been told in the past.

Photo by John Torcasio on Unsplash

It’s going to be a great night for these young men and I can’t wait to watch it. It will be different because of the pandemic but will still be exciting. It will be the culmination of one dream and the beginning of another. They will be checking off one goal accomplished and writing down a list of new goals and dreams they can start working towards. How about you, have you written down your dreams and goals? Are you reading them everyday, several times a day? If not, today is a great day to start!

Sharing

I believe in the power of sharing. If I read a good blog that really speaks to me and I believe it will provide value to others then I will share it. I have linked four books that I believe have value. In order to change you, you first have to change the way you think. Leaders Are Readers!

The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant. These are short stories about Kobe’s experiences coupled with some fantastic photos. It shows that the little things can add up to greatness. I recently listened to an interview where Kobe said he would start his first workout at 4 AM to get ahead of its competition. His mental approach to the game is what made him great.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This is an oldie but goodie that is full of relevant life lessons. It is a book that you hear speaker after speaker refer to. Successful people all have the same mentality and know you have to change the way you think to be successful. Only one percent of people set goals.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson. I found this to be a sophisticated yet easy read. This book goes along with a lot of what I write about in my blog. What other people think about you doesn’t matter so you should stop getting stressed out about it. Focus all your energy on what really matters which is you and your goals.

Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals LEAD and WIN by Jocko Willink. A book for everyone that I found basic and clear about leadership, teamwork, and having the right mindset. It is full of great stories with useful and applicable lessons. Own every decision you make.

I also highly recommend checking out the Audible Membership from Amazon. I can download great books on the Audible app and listen to them with my AirPods while I go on my morning walks. You can get any of these products simply by clicking on the links above. If you do purchase any products through my links I’ll get a small commission from Amazon at no additional cost to you.

I appreciate every like, follow, comment and share. Keep’em coming.

Works Cited

Hood, David. “Hall of Famer: CJ Spiller Takes Wrong Call, Learns He Is in Hall of Fame.” TigerNet.com, TigerNet.com, 22 Apr. 2020, http://www.tigernet.com/story/Hall-of-Famer-CJ-Spiller-takes-wrong-call-learns-he-is-in-Hall-of-Fame-18749.

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