Thursday, February 26, 2015


See a need, fill a need!

Abraham Maslow wanted to understand what motivates people. He believed that people possess a set of motivation systems unrelated to rewards or unconscious desires.  Maslow (1943) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfill the next one, and so on.  The earliest and most widespread version of Maslow's (1943, 1954) hierarchy of needs includes five motivational needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.

This five stage model can be divided into basic (or deficiency) needs (e.g. physiological, safety, love, and esteem) and growth needs (self-actualization). The deficiency, or basic needs are said to motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the need to fulfil such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. For example, the longer a person goes without food the more hungry they will become. One must satisfy lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization.

Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization. Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by failure to meet lower level needs. Life experiences including divorce and loss of job may cause an individual to fluctuate between levels of the hierarchy.

Maslow noted only one in a hundred people become fully self-actualized because our society rewards motivation primarily based on esteem, love and other social needs.  In education, we must look to find connections for students to create an atmosphere that satisfies all levels of this hierarchy to unleash their full engagement and, therefore, their true potential.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


You cannot expect success to show up or to last without knowing your purpose in life.

If success did show up you would not recognize it without first knowing what your purpose is in your life. Before you look for success, start discovering your purpose. Find out why you are here. What is it that you have been created to do? What is it that you are good at? What just seems to come natural to you? Those are questions that will help you find your purpose. When you discover your purpose then success will follow. It probably won’t come immediately, but given time to work your process, it will come. Never stop living in your purpose zone. Stay there and you will make a difference in your life and others. When you are living out your purpose, the smallest things can seem exciting. Just going to be the mailbox can be the adventure of your life. If you want success in your life, then find your purpose and live there.

Have you found your true purpose in life?

Monday, February 23, 2015


A Champion is never going to stand up and draw attention to himself; he’s down at the end alone, focused and prepared.

When you are the greatest of the great you aren’t showing off. You aren’t all rah rah, but you are already preparing for the next play. There isn't time for all the theatrics. There are other people that have that responsibility. It’s not to say that you never show emotion, but only when you have finished the job. Then it’s not all the jumping around and screaming and hollering. You acknowledge that you have won and start preparing for the next level.  Being a Champion is not like being like everyone else. To be at that level requires you to stay intensely focused, staying cool, and doing work. It is your place to be the one who stays in the game and keeps others there too. I hear all the time, ‘I can’t do it, it’s too hard.’ Yeah, it’s going to be hard but you welcome it. You are relentless at what you do. Practice keeping your cool and focus in the heat of the battle. When others are getting all emotional, you are at your best and getting the job done. 

Are you focused in the midst of chaos?

Friday, February 20, 2015


Enhancing Motivation in Adolescents

For teachers and parents of young children, the goal should be to appropriately support the development of motivation so that there is a proper foundation for optimal educational growth.  Parents should be very cautions about the use of many extrinsic rewards, as this can severely interfere with the child's motivational development. Praise for an accomplishment is appropriate, but be sure that your child is doing a task because she is interested, not because she thinks it will bring praise from you. Difficulties arise when adults or others within the child's environment enforce external standards and replace the internal reward system with one that depends upon outside forces to supply all of the rewards (candy, money, excessive praise). Children then begin to feel successful only if someone else rewards them for accomplishments. They lose their intrinsic motivation and may only feel success when someone else judges them as successful. In such situations, children may not develop feelings of self-worth, and will judge their own value by someone else's standards. Your child should never need to ask, "Did I do well?" She should know and be confident in her own successes.

There are several strategies parents can use to help children remain more fully intrinsically motivated.

  • Provide an environment (through age appropriate toys, activities, etc.) that allows children to freely explore and to see the effect of their actions (i.e., toys that have visible or tangible changes when moved).
  • Allow children ample time when working to allow for persistence. When children are deeply involved with an activity, make sure that they can finish without interruption. Resist the natural urge to "help," and let the child know if, for example, we have to go to the grocery store in a few minutes.
  • Respond to children's needs in a consistent, predictable manner, but allow them to be as independent as possible. This does NOT mean ceding all control to your child. All children need clearly defined limits. Playtime, however, need not be structured and organized. Let your kid be a kid!
  • Provide many opportunities for children and adults to explore together and interact directly. It is important for both children and adults to be working together on an activity. This lets you observe, model, and encourage your child.
  • Provide situations that give children an acceptable challenge.  Activities that are slightly difficult for the child will be more motivating and provide for stronger feelings of success when accomplished. This may take some trial and error at first.
  • Give children opportunities to evaluate their own accomplishments. Rather than stating that you think they have done a good job, ask them what they think of their work. You'll never go wrong by asking the question, "What do YOU think?"
  • Do not use excessive rewards. They tend to undermine children's ability to value themselves. Praise and rewards should be based upon children's effort and persistence, rather than on the actual accomplishment.

The world through a child's eyes is an awesome place. Allow children to explore and discover their world. Around every corner is an experience just waiting to surprise and excite young growing minds; all they need is a small amount of direction and a large amount of freedom. It is not necessary to praise and reward children for their own actions as they attempt to control their environment. The feelings of accomplishment they gain from results of those actions will be reward enough. Providing excessive praise and rewards is unnecessary and can actually be harmful to children's motivation and desire to learn. Remember, the habits and attitudes toward learning that are formed in these early years set the mood for all future learning.

Brophy, Jere (1997). Motivating students to learn. Guilford. CT: McGraw-Hill. (ISBN: 0070081980).

Einon, D. (1999). Learning early. Checkmark Books. ISBN: 0816040141

Lew, A. &  Bettner, B. (1996) A parent's guide to understanding and motivating children. Sheffield, UK: Connexions Press. (ISBN: 0962484180).

Kohn, Alfie. (2001). Five reasons to stop saying "Good job." Young Children, 56, (5), 24-28.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


To Embrace Greatness, Embrace Failure

Here’s the deal: You're smart. You're creative. You know what you're doing. But you're scared as hell of failing and making mistakes. Maybe it’s because you've been so damned good at whatever you've done your whole life. Maybe it’s because you quit a good thing to pick up something risky. Maybe it’s because you're scared of what happens when you don’t fail. I get that. I do. I could write all day about how you need to embrace failure and mistakes before you can really unleash your creative potential, but who am I to tell you this? So I've enlisted the help of a few thousand years worth of creatives to help me out:

“If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward”.
-Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931), Encyclopaedia Britannica
“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit – I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”
-Ernest Hemingway
“To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.”
-Plutarch (46 AD – 120 AD)
“The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.”
-E. J. Phelps
“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.”
-Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
– Steve Jobs (1955 –2011 )
 “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
-Scott Adams (1957 – ), ‘The Dilbert Principle’

"If you don't make mistakes, you're not working hard enough problems. And that's a big mistake."
Frank Wilczek (1951- )

The bottom-line: I’d tell you to get over your fear of failure and mistakes, but it’s natural to feel that way. I’m asking you to understand that failure and mistakes are part and parcel of greatness. You can either let fear of failure and mistakes cripple you and keep you stuck, or you can join the rest of the successes throughout history and rack up a good tab of failures and mistakes while you're at it. Your call.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Teach the mind to teach the body.  

You can't commit to excellence until your mind is ready to take you there. Excellence is not a given for us. For you to have excellence you have to make it a mindset and a way of life. For you to have excellence in your life you will have to take responsibility for your actions. No more blaming your past, your parents, your weaknesses for where you are in life. For excellence to be your lifestyle you will have to break away from the normal, from average, from getting by. Excellence as a lifestyle will cause you to make changes in your thinking and your actions. You will have a paradigm shift toward excellence. We aren't created with that excellence mindset but it has to be a decision. Being mediocre, average, or just getting by is the lifestyle that is comfortable and the norm. Being excellent in your life is a conscious decision that you have to make and carry out. You were created with the ability for an excellent life but you have to do your part. You can have inner excellence in your life beginning today. Make the decision to do your best in everything you do, then go do just that. Excellence and integrity will take you way far in your destiny and purpose. You will never go wrong when you choose excellence. 

Are you ready to make inner excellence your lifestyle today?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Have patience

Are you in a hurry to get somewhere? Are you hurting your chances of getting there by being impatient? Are you being patient with your dreams or mistaking passivity for patience? Being patient is a necessity to a life of achievement because it is the nature of things and the law of time that you cannot immediately reap where you have sown. Anything worthwhile takes time to grow and mature. So your dreams too require this time of nurturing and growth. It is during this time, when the fruits of your labor may not be evident, that your patience is most required.

Have patience – don't just wait

There is a proverb that goes “all good things come to those who wait.” It is a well-known saying which holds a lot of truth. But, I have come to learn, it is a saying that is flawed, in that it is incomplete. Waiting alone is not enough. Good things do not come to those who wait. Good things come to those who wait, but who also actively do something about their situation whilst they are waiting. If waiting was all it took to have good things in life everyone could achieve their dreams because waiting is effortless. Good things rarely come effortlessly.

Have patience – passivity is not patience

Passivity is a habit that must never be confused with patience. In this country passivity is one of our biggest weaknesses. This manifests itself not only in personal lives without any real direction and conviction, but also in our politics, and our moral and ethical standards. Patience is not passively waiting for things to change. “That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.” So if you are simply being passive and patiently waiting for a brighter tomorrow you need to think twice about your strategy. Patience goes hand in hand with consistent action. It is easy to be patient when you are doing something about your situation because then you are in control and you are able to determine the progress made despite the seeming lack of tangible results.

Have patience – avoid procrastination and fear

Linked to passivity is procrastination and fear. George Jackson said “Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and its cowardice.” This is very true in that quite a few people actually fear doing something and hide in the assumption that they are being patient and simply waiting for the right time to come in order to do something. But, we all know, that procrastination is a thief of time. It should never be confused with being patient.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Transform by TRUTH

If you get to a place where your thoughts are concrete, simple, and focused, and you take deliberate action, then your thoughts become reality.  

Transforming something in your life whether it’s your attitude, mindset, financial situation or bringing change into a relationship can seem like an overwhelming task. But as the old saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The way you change your life is one thought at a time. Your thoughts set the direction of your life. If you need to change the direction you are headed, you simply need to change your thoughts in that area. When a thought comes to your mind that “you're never going to get well; this is your lot in life,” don't dwell on that. Don't sit around and have a pity party. No, immediately reject it and replace it with the truth. I encourage you to be aggressive in taking every single thought and making it stand in truth. Stay determined, stay focused and keep stating the truth because you can change your life, one thought at a time. 

Are you shaping your thoughts by the truth today?

Friday, February 13, 2015


Help someone else be a Champion and you win.

You aren't a Champion unless you are helping others become a Champion. Your purpose isn't about you; it’s about others. In order for you to be a Champion you have to be bringing others with you. A Champion will be a teacher/mentor/leader. To say it’s lonely at the top, means that you're not at the top; you're just alone. If you're at the top there will be others there will you. The one’s that brought you up and the one’s you are bringing up with you. A Champion isn't afraid to reach out and help others. A Champion will teach and show what they have learned along the way. It takes being secure in who you are to be a Champion. You're not worried about the others being better than you because of what you have taught them. It is your purpose to make them better because of what you have taught them. Your legacy as a Champion is that you helped others become a Champion. Look around you. Are there others making the way to the top with you? It is the mark of a Champion. 

Are you helping someone become a Champion today?

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Get started today. What are you waiting for?  

It’s great to make detailed plans, but you can't possibly figure out every detail in advance. Get going, keep going, with a clear destination always in mind, and you'll discover how to make your way there. Much of the value of any achievement comes from all the new things you learn along the way. So even if you're not sure you're ready to start, go ahead and start. 

Embrace experience as your teacher. Welcome the challenges that will strengthen every part of you.
Speculation, pondering and learning from others all have their place. At some point, though, you must put it all into practice and work your own way to the goal you have chosen. 

Make that point sooner rather than later. Give more of your life the benefit of your real-life experience. 

Demolish your doubts with action. Go ahead, get started, and enjoy discovering how great you can be.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Champions rarely congratulate you for doing your job; they expect it of you!

If you are a Champion, you don't hand out “you showed up” trophies. Relentless people expect you to do what you are supposed to do and to do it at your best. A Champion will not tolerate someone that takes plays off, doesn't try to make every sell, and doesn’t study their best for every test. Champion mindset is that if they are doing their absolute best every day; then you should too. It’s not about talent, it’s about the effort. It doesn't take talent to show up and be unstoppable. It’s a mental thing more than a physical thing. So there is no excuse for you or me not to show up every day and be the best at what we do. Being relentless regardless of your talent level. Stop looking for someone to tell you ‘good job’ when you do your job. You have Champion ability inside you. 

Today is your day to step up and be that Champion. Are you ready to dominate the day?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Train yourself for success...believe it to be so! 

I've always been a strong believer in that age-old saying, “What you believe, so you shall be.” One’s beliefs and thoughts about themselves and the world around them can dictate their steps and how they interact with and impact the world.

I was always taught growing up that it’s not about what someone says or does to you but what you think and do for yourself. Thus, if you believe you can do something, and you turn that belief into action, you will do it. 

True, there are some things many of us can’t yet fathom being possible or happening in our lives. But having a mindset that welcomes the unknown and laughs in the face of the “You can’ts” and “You won’ts” has gotten me a lot further in my career and life than one that embraces “That’s not possible.”

Monday, February 9, 2015


A PREDICTION: Sometime today you're going to get irritated.  

That’s a pretty safe prediction, isn't it?  

What’s not so predictable is how you're going to respond to that irritation. Are you going to focus on the PROBLEM or the POSSIBILITY???  

Here’s a positive story for you . . .  

A grain of sand finds its way inside the shell of an oyster. The intruder, though microscopic, is a source of irritation and pain to the soft body of the oyster. Unable to rid itself of the unwelcome pebble, the oyster seeks to reduce the irritation by coating it with layers of soft, iridescent mother-of-pearl material from its own shell. Over time, the oyster creates a beautiful pearl of great value.  

Today when you're irritated are you going to concentrate on the pain or the possibilities? Are you going to complain about your “pebble” or are you going to start making a pearl?  

Problems become possibilities.  
Weaknesses become strengths.  
Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs.  

Friday, February 6, 2015


Is 'Mind Over Matter' A Myth?

It’s difficult for some people to believe that they can change their circumstances to whatever they want. If you're like most people, you would believe that your current lot in life is the one you are stuck with. What exactly is meant by ‘mind over matter’?  We all have the capacity to master our own mind power. You just need to know how to do it.

Think about your current circumstances. You might be in a job you hate or struggling financially or worried about your relationship, or lack of it. Each of these aspects of your life are there as a result of your own choices. This means your mind created those circumstances for you. It’s hard to think about some of the negative things around you right now as being a result of ‘mind over matter’, but it’s true.

Now think about the things in your life you are happy for. You might be proud of your achievements, pleased with your home, happy with your relationship. Each of these circumstances are also a direct result of your mind’s power. After all, you made the choices that resulted in these things being in your life.

Now imagine what power you could have by changing your own thought processes and beliefs. Imagine saying to yourself regularly ‘I deserve a better job with much more money’. Say this to yourself firmly every time you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts. Your sub-conscious is listening and you will begin to reprogram it to accept these positive thoughts. No matter how much you disagree with that statement, just try it. Eventually, you will begin to believe it, quite like those negative thoughts that have been bombarding your mind all these years.  

Break free and use your power to be whatever you WANT to be; not what you feel you have to be!

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Creativity and genius is a human condition!

Consider that all human beings have within them the same essence of consciousness, and that the process of creativity and genius are attributes of human consciousness. Therefore, genius is a potential that lives within you and every other human being. Many people never get acquainted with this inner world of their personal genius. Help them get acquainted.

I’d like you to consider what may seem like a radical idea: Genius can show up in as many ways as there are human beings.  Classrooms are full of geniuses!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Lead By Action

We have been led to believe, over the years, that leaders are those who stride boldly, exude power and confidence, give orders and make decisions for others to carry out.  However, that’s old school.  The leader of today is the one who asks questions, listens carefully, plans diligently and then builds consensus among all those necessary for achieving the goals.  A leader does not try to do it by himself or herself.  A leader is a person who gets things done by helping others to help themselves.

The mark of true leaders is that they lead the action.  They are willing to go first.  They set the example and act as the role model.  They do what they expect others to do.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


As a leader, your most important weapon against pessimism (all too prevalent these days) is to transfer your optimism and vision to others. This inspires others to think and act in ways that drive results.  Leadership is a transfer of belief -- and great leaders inspire their teams to believe they can succeed. As a leader or manager, you are not just leading and managing people, but you are also leading and managing their beliefs. You must utilize every opportunity available to transfer your optimism! 
 If you are positive, I am positive you will be a Champion!

Monday, February 2, 2015


Who are you competing against?

It’s easy to be tempted to go through life competing with everyone around us when we see someone who’s more talented, better looking or has more gifts. Instead of running our race and being comfortable with who we are, oftentimes, we feel inferior and think, “I’ve got to catch up to them.” The problem with this unhealthy competition is that it’s a perpetuating cycle. There will always be someone ahead of us. But, it’s a very freeing thing when you realize, “I'm not competing with you. I don't have to have as big a house as my neighbor to feel good about myself. I don't have to keep up with my co-worker. I don't have to be a certain size. I don't have to live in a certain neighborhood.  I don't have to drive a certain car. No, I understand that I’m not in competition with my friend, my neighbor or my co-worker. Instead, I'm going to be the best me that I can possibly be.” Be the difference in the world that you were meant to be. Be the very best YOU that you can be.

You are a Champion and it’s time to be the Champion you were created to be.