The Choice is Yours

The Choice Is Yours…

Many of you know that for the past 21 seasons I have officiated high school basketball in the Bay Area of California. It is a passion of pure love for me. I am proud to have been selected in 2002 and 2009 to work one of the State Finals games, which is the highest achievement for any official and the goal of all of us who wear the black and white shirt.

Back around my fifth season, I attended a playoff game to support the officials working that night, and later went with the crew and other officials to a local establishment to have a bite to eat, drink a beer and share that games highlights. Believe me our perspective of a game is quite different from that of players, coaches and fans.

This night, while seated next to an official who had worked a couple of championship games and is well respected among our peers…I asked him the question; what do I need to do to be a state championship game official. He thought for a moment, then said something to me that I never forgot; “Have you ever seen a state championship official with a beard?”

Now you might wonder why this was so profound. At the time, I sported a very neatly trimmed and well-maintained beard. Not the kind where remnants of today’s lunch was visible. I actually took great pride in my beard…being a guy from the Midwest; I annually grew a beard in winter to keep the face a bit warmer from the chilly winds of The Hawk.

So here I am now having to make a choice between two things I cherish. Yet, to get the place that I now know I want to achieve, I will have to give up a thing that I have embodied, even been identified with for years, in order to be happy. The rest, as it is said, is history.

How about you? What might you need to choose to leave behind in order to have what you say you want today? Bad eating habits from your childhood? Negative self-image from a failed relationship/marriage? Laziness? Procrastination? Poverty mentality? Take an honest inventory of what is keeping you from the life that you envision for yourself, and begin today to let go of the things that are keeping you from it.

I had the choice to make…and it became a fun thing to grow my beard AFTER basketball season, instead of during. My daughter, Meisha, lovingly calls it my Spring beard.

Holding onto the past has it’s place, but not if it holds you hostage. The Choice is Yours.


Easier Said Than Done…

Easier Said Than Done

This has to be one of the most confusing clichés I can think of. Imagine, if you will, saying to yourself, and possibly out loud for others to hear, that you are now going to lift your arm above your head…how long did that take? Now, lift your arm above your head.
Which took longer to accomplish? Unless you have the need to be non-compliant or are just mule stubborn, it took you longer to talk about it than to do it.

As many of our more successful businesspersons and spiritual leaders have discovered, and readily share with us through the media, we can do nothing in the physical realm without it first beginning as a thought in our mind. You don’t tell your heart to pump the blood throughout your body. Or tell your lungs to expand and contract hundreds of times each day. It just gets done.

So, I am here to suggest that we can get the important things done in our lives much easier than we say…and to prove it I am asking you to be my research assistant.

Here is what I ask of you:

1. Write down this evening right before bedtime three action items that you deem important to improve your life: i.e., lose 20 pounds, earn $100k, meet your soulmate, etc.

2. Under each of those items write down one new action that will move you toward bringing that into reality

3. Email those to me so that you have a witness and power partner to work with in seeing it through

4. We commit to reviewing the item(s) in 10 days

Now here is the part that will part your Red Sea…don’t talk about it to anyone. We are going to prove that your doing it is easier than talking about it. We will prove that our negative self-talk, and often the reinforcement from others, keeps us from doing the thing we really want to do. Will you help me prove this?

Maybe the Nike people really understood when they coined the phrase, “Just Do It!”


Which Way is Up?

Which Way is Up?

In the comedy film, Which Way is Up, Richard Pryor plays multiple roles and shows his comedic versatility. The role that was most memorable to me was the one of the migrant farm worker who aspires to create a better life for he and his family, but gets blinded by his own ambitions and greed when given the opportunity to be a manager. He loses his family, his friends and almost loses his life.

How often do we get lost on the road of life, at a juncture that we have prayed for, longed for, waited for…only to find out it isn’t all that we had imagined?

I am not much of a deep-water swimmer, but one thing I remembered from my lessons in Jamaica a few years ago, was if I got disoriented underwater, just follow the air bubbles. They always rise toward the surface. That is the way to the top.

The seeking of answers about life from a higher source, God, Universe, etc., can provide a constant focal point when, not if, we get confused in our life-journey. My desire this year is to keep that point-of-reference in my sight constantly, and not just when the storms of life slam me onto the shoreline.

Join me on this journey and share your success and challenges as we make a difference in our families, communities and country. It is our time. We know which way is up…


“If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It”

“If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It”

We all know that cliché, and are likely guilty at one time or another of trying to make something work that is just not going to function…the way that we want it to anymore.

We are now in the second week of this new year and, for most of us, still seeking to honor the resolutions that we have made. The BIG question I have for us is, are we willing to let go of a person, place or thing that is no longer needed in our lives? How can it be so clear to see that imbalance in others, yet is so difficult to fathom in our own circumstance?

Maybe it is the thing we must do as this year begins to take shape, and we desire for a new way of thinking, feeling and being…could it be the reason a surgeon is paid better than a general practitioner? They have to make the tougher choice. Instead of putting duct tape on a broken piece, let’s get rid of it. Cut it out. Pass it on.

So, today, let’s honestly reevaluate whether or not it is them that needs to be different, and be willing to see that it is us that needs to see the situation with open eyes.

Because that square peg is never going to fit into that round hole. NEVER!


All Things Being Equal…

All Things Being Equal

As you know from my blog posts in 2010, I have a penchant for picking apart clichés…and this is the leadoff batter for 2011.

So tell me dear sir or madam, what things are ever equal?

Someone in the work environment receives the same wage, but does more of the work than their counterpart.

One of the partners in a marriage/relationship is doing more to nurture and maintain balance…than the other person. Teddy Pendergrass may have made a popular song about a 50/50 love, but we all know better than that.

Even our children, who are reared in the same home, with the same parents and values, end up being quite different in many respects. So, where is this equal?

Finally, at my age I get it….it never is going to be equal. The ebb and flow, the yin and the yang, is always fluid. It shifts and grows where expansion is needed. There is always a low point that will need to be elevated. But it won’t be equal. It will just be raised.

If you are waiting on someone or something to be equal before you make your move…

Instead, do your part right now with all that you have at your disposal and watch as you begin to attract the people and resources you need to fulfill your assignment. And as you get closer to the finish line, you will see that someone is at the starting line where once you stood…and you will be the one to fill their cup from your reservoir.

Make this your year to wait no more for equality…