Friday, July 31, 2009

Regina Brett is not 90, but she knows stuff!

On July 9th I received a viral e-mail. It was a good one, and I've let it sit in my queue waiting for an appropriate time to share. Before I post stuff, I usually check on its validity. This link provides an update on this urban legend.

The e-mail I got states that Regina Brett is a 90 something year old columnist for the Plain Dealer. This is all true, except for the age. Regina is in her early fifties. She wrote out this list of life's lessons when she was 45.

I thought her list was worth passing along. Here it is...

Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on
Cleveland, Ohio -- The Plain Dealer
Sunday May 28, 2006, 10:13 AM

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sports: A strong work ethic

The fifth reason I like sports is that they teach the importance of a strong work ethic.

In order to be successful in sports you have to show up, ready to practice, and ready to play. You need to follow the coach's instructions, even if you don't understand them. You can't quit, even when you might feel like it. If you do these things, your chances of success improve, and so does your team's.

I'm not saying that sports are the only place to develop a strong work ethic, but the days of paper routes, mowing the neighbor's lawn, or even babysitting may be gone. Chores at home help. First "real" jobs help. But sports provide a very motivating place to learn to work hard with your team.

Recently I started exchanging e-mails with a friend I dated in high school. Her grandparents owned a burger place where she worked sometimes. Later, after she married, her husband and her, along with some business partners, opened a small restaurant. In discussing with her what she looked for in an employee, she stated, "I'd be happy if the just showed up for work every day."

This tell me that many employees lack a strong work ethic. My friend would have been happy if they had a work ethic, let alone a strong one. A strong work ethic is valuable in sports and in life.

Many of the habits that a coach is looking for and trying to instill, are the same habits employers are looking for. Show up on time, be ready to contribute, maintain good levels of effort, be willing to learn and improve, get along with others: be a team player.

Although it's possible to play sports and not develop develop these characteristics, you have to work at it. You have to ignore your coaches, your team captains, and most of the stand-out athletes on your team. It can be done. You see it on teams and later on the job: they are the slackers. They didn't learn. They didn't want to.

Just because sports attempt to teach something, doesn't mean everyone will learn it.

But other athletes go beyond a strong work ethic: they excel. They stay after practice. They research and study the game. They watch movies. They ask questions. They don't give up, even when others do. They find a way to perform at optimum levels. They better themselves. They do better than expected. Sports afford them a training ground for developing life skills that will launch them into atmospheres of achievement unknown to many. Sports help them to develop into better people. (Not better than others, but better versions themselves.)

These are just some of the reasons I still play sports. Sports don't just provide benefits to the young, they provide the benefits to the young-at-heart. How young are you?