A High School Football Coach in Texas has been accused of bullying.  The accusation has not been made because of how he treated his players or non athletes at the school.  Instead, the complaint was filed from the parent of a player on a losing team.  I understand that parents are protective of their children, but at what point are we going to draw the line between looking out for and babying.    

Despite the fact that the accused coach, Tim Buchanan, pulled his starters, ordered kick returners to fair catch and had a running clock starting in the third quarter the score ended up being 91-0 in favor of Aledo High School over Western Hills.  If any readers want the exact details of what transpired, visit this link

I only have two comments on this head scratching incident.  First, should a mercy rule be instigated in High School Football?  Is a mercy rule actually more degrading than taking a beating for the full game?  

"Don't Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort" - Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban, most famous for being the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has a very interesting and probably extremely accurate take on what one should do with their life.  The entire article which can be found here, says basically that we all have a large number of passions.  What most of us have less of is the ability to put effort towards most of these interests.  His point is very simple, look at what you like and then see which things you are willing to give your all for.  If one of your passions meets this criteria, then that is what you should pursue.  

This makes a bunch of sense to me, yet leaves me with a lingering question.  Why are we willing to put effort towards things we do not have a passion for in the first place?  What I mean is most of us go to work, usually working for someone else and we are willing to put forth effort to do things that we may not even like at all.  Do we do this simply because we need a paycheck?  I suspect that is the answer for a large portion of people and there can be no denying that we all need money to live, I am not debating that.  I am also not saying anyone should quit their job.  I am just asking why don't most people use their free time to work on the things they love instead of watching TV or wasting time on the internet.  Are we scared of pursuing something of our own, too tired from a day of work or maybe its that most people do not have these thoughts.  It is a strange thing, the fact that we will slave away for others with tremendous effort but will not lift a finger to help ourselves.  Maybe we are just conditioned that way?  

I suppose for a good number of people the thought of working for themselves never arises and they do not have these crisis of identity.  For those of us that are dreamers and want to be in charge of our own destiny however, why do we not put all of our effort towards our passions instead of those of others?  Going back to the original point, maybe the question is not only one of effort versus passion, but also a case of misdirected effort?  

I am a multipotentialite.  Or at least I think I am.  I have always had many interests yet have been over-whelmed by all the various options before me.  It has always been hard for me to stay focused on one thing for large amounts of time, usually I learn what I want about a subject and move on.  As much as I hate the fact that our society labels every single thing, I must confess it is fascinating to see a tangible representation of how I feel.

A multipotentialite is according to Wikipedia, a person whose interests span multiple fields or areas, rather than being strong in just one.  On the contrary, those whose interests lie mostly within a single field are called "specialists."  On the surface this seems to be a positive way to exist, however, there are a large amount of negative aspects to being a multipotentialite.  Confusion, paralysis by analysis and lack of purpose are all common thoughts shared by people who have many interests.  In truth I should feel lucky that so many different things are available to me, yet it is almost impossible for me to "just pick one and go."  There is only one group of people that I have ever truly envied.  They are the lucky individuals who have always known what it is they want to do in life.  Maybe one day I will wake up and it will be obvious what my calling is.  Until then I have decided to simply go with the flow and pursue all of my interests.  

I have two problems with embracing my multipotentiality.  First, how does one choose a career path if their interests will always be changing?  Is it possible to somehow merge all of my interests and forge ahead in some kind of entrepreneurial way?  Is the a company that loves to hire people that like to change job titles and responsibilities every year or so?  Secondly, what if I think I like all of these different interests but in truth I just have not explored them enough to commit to or discard each of them?  Maybe I am simply liking the idea of my many interests and not the actual pursuit of them.

For now I am going to commit to putting effort and pursuing all of my interests.  When I find out where this leads me I will write more about this topic and by then maybe I will have chosen just one or two things....

What if everything we seek to acquire in regards to possessions, relationships, jobs and security is truly what keeps us from reaching our goals.  Is our reluctance to risk any of these things holding us back.  Some people work and strive for these things, some people simply fall into them, but either way is a person's progression limited by them?  Is the feeling of security and consistency so enticing that we change from dedicated and driven people with an entire world before them into drones destined to repeat the same activities for the rest of our lives?

I can only speak for myself, but as I look at my surroundings, I think that maybe I am not accomplishing my dreams because I am afraid to lose my house.  Maybe my girlfriend will break up with me if I spend the time I need to on my goals.  My job might take up too much of my time and leave me mentally or physically drained to the point where my own plans suffer.  I like my air conditioning and I like my car and my cable TV.  However, deep down I think I like my dreams even more.   I believe that is the major question that any dreamer must ask at some point.  What is more important, comfort and mediocrity or struggle and the pursuit of what you really want?  Maybe it is at the start of their journey where it might be time to leave the comforts of home, maybe it is towards the end when a final push is needed and everything they have ever worked for is at risk?  

There will come a time in your life when the question will be asked of you.  "Will you risk the comforts of your current existence for greater rewards or will you be content in your current standing, able to watch as your dreams fade away?"  What will your answer be?
Admittedly I am nothing more than a casual fan of tennis, however, today I learned about Venus Williams' crusade to get equal prize money for the female players at Wimbledon.  After reading the essay Ms. Williams wrote expressing her points and the outcome of doing so all I can say is well done.  Obviously this happened in 2006/2007 and I just learned of this story today, but I think it is worth revisiting and I also believe that people can be inspired from the past just as much as the present.  I have included the essay by Ms. Williams below.  Hopefully someone will read it and make a similar stand for their beliefs.  

I feel so strongly that Wimbledon's stance devalues the principle of meritocracy and diminishes the years of hard work that women on the tour have put into becoming professional tennis players.

I believe that athletes – especially female athletes in the world's leading sport for women – should serve as role models. The message I like to convey to women and girls across the globe is that there is no glass ceiling. My fear is that Wimbledon is loudly and clearly sending the opposite message....

Wimbledon has argued that women's tennis is worth less for a variety of reasons; it says, for example, that because men play a best of five sets game they work harder for their prize money.

This argument just doesn’t make sense; first of all, women players would be happy to play five sets matches in grand slam tournaments....

Secondly, tennis is unique in the world of professional sports. No other sport has men and women competing for a grand slam championship on the same stage, at the same time. So in the eyes of the general public the men's and women's games have the same value.

Third, ... we enjoy huge and equal celebrity and are paid for the value we deliver to broadcasters and spectators, not the amount of time we spend on the stage. And, for the record, the ladies’ final at Wimbledon in 2005 lasted 45 minutes longer than the men's....

Wimbledon has justified treating women as second class because we do more for the tournament. The argument goes that the top women – who are more likely also to play doubles matches than their male peers – earn more than the top men if you count singles, doubles and mixed doubles prize money. So the more we support the tournament, the more unequally we should be treated! But doubles and mixed doubles are separate events from the singles competition. Is Wimbledon suggesting that, if the top women withdrew from the doubles events, that then we would deserve equal prize money in singles? And how then does the All England Club explain why the pot of women's doubles prize money is nearly £130,000 smaller than the men's doubles prize money?

I intend to keep doing everything I can until Billie Jean's original dream of equality is made real. It's a shame that the name of the greatest tournament in tennis, an event that should be a positive symbol for the sport, is tarnished.

Venus Williams
The Times 


Total Recall - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Regardless of what people think of Arnold Schwarzenegger as an actor, politician or person, no one can deny that he has accomplished literally everything he has put his mind to.  His new autobiography gives an insightful look into what makes Arnold able to achieve his goals while also showing his own insecurities and flaws.  
I stumbled upon this video today from Elliott Hulse and I think the message that it provides is clear.  Do what you love regardless of what others may think.  
It seems that more and more advertisements are using the phrase "you deserve it" while trying to sell a product.  The very word deserve seems to have a meaning that has been lost to the people of our nation.  From Websters Dictionary, the meaning of deserve is "to be worthy of".   Let’s look very closely at this definition and how it relates to our society.  Basically a company creates a commercial that tells us that we are worthy of owning or paying for their product.  The product in question is usually some tangible thing such as a new pair of shoes or maybe even a luxury automobile.  I think by examining this marketing technique an alarming trend in our society is revealed and is shown to exemplify the attitudes of my generation.

In my mind being professed as being worthy by someone other than myself should be reserved to things such a recognition of service, acknowledgement of a good deed and maybe even elected into a sporting hall of fame.  A member of the military who receives the Medal of Honor has performed a self sacrificing deed in the face of danger with no regard to their own safety and they deserve to be acknowledged.  Buying a new video game simply because I worked forty hours this week does not equate to being deserving. True rewards are achieved by doing things that make people worthy of the honor.  Simply pulling out the credit card and performing retail therapy does not mean we deserve whatever we are buying.

My point to this is that all of us, me included have stopped trying to achieve great things that are rewarding on many different levels and have replaced it with simply buying a few minutes of happiness in the form of materialism.  There is nothing wrong with wanting the finer things in life; in fact we should strive for the financial stability that allows this.  However, this is just one area that our goals in life should benefit.  People need to also do things that they can be proud of regardless of the reward.  On a spiritual or emotional level we should strive for enlightenment instead of a quick high from buying the latest "thing".  This "I deserve it" attitude is just a microcosm of the current state of a culture that once prided itself on being innovators, achievers and people who could overcome adversity.

By taking an honest look at myself, I admit I have fallen into this trap.  I was content for years to work a decent job in order to make enough money to have the things people say I deserve.  It is as if my eyes have been opened.  I realized I have done nothing of note in my three decades of life.  I have not even remotely changed the world for the better, I have no legacy that will be remembered and I only have a few things that I have accomplished that I am truly proud of.  Instead of having a goal to accomplish these things I have been content to fit in my little niche, making middle class money and spending it on things to make myself happy.  The good thing about this introspection is I still have time to change.  Thirty is young and I can still make my mark and feel worthy of something more than the sum of my possessions.  I am not trying to change the world by ranting about our materialism, I simply hope a few people take a look at themselves and decide they do not like what they see and try to change for the better by striving for goals they once had.

My challenge to my readers is this, take an honest look at yourselves and decide if you are where you want to be.  If you are not, cast off the content "I deserve it" attitude that our current culture bombards us with and embrace the spirit of generations past.  Set goals that are beyond what society says are possible and strive for them.  Find out where you want to be in life and work towards it.

I have decided that I am not sure that I truly understand the definition of the words dedication and hard work.  Obviously, the meanings of those two concepts are easy to comprehend however; most people, myself included have no idea what it means to be dedicated or to work hard.  What got me pondering this line of thought are my daily interactions with people who complain about the situations they are in, people like myself.  I will save my thoughts about complaining for another day, but a common theme from these individuals is that they work hard and get nowhere.

The meaning of dedication as put forth by Webster's dictionary is "a self-sacrificing devotion to a cause".  To me this used to mean working towards something here and there while having a goal in mind.  I think most people probably feel they are dedicated to their work or their hobbies.  After some thought I think most of us mistake dedication for just showing up.  I have a friend who wishes to play golf professionally.  This is no easy undertaking, in fact it is probably one of the hardest things to accomplish in athletics simply because you do not have to be a super tall or super large physical specimen, almost any person with any body type can play and play well.  My friend used to think that practicing daily and playing here and there is dedication.  In truth he was just showing up.  Dedication would be devoting every spare moment possible to practice, saving money to play in events even if it meant not having that new iPhone or working a night shift to maximize the daylight hours.  That would be true dedication.  How many of you have a dream or goal, maybe writing a novel or learning to play the guitar?  How about learning a new language or getting a college degree?  I bet everyone has some kind of goal but I would bet almost no one is truly dedicated to it.  The easiest way to find out how dedicated you are is to simply ask yourself "what have I sacrificed and what discomforts have I endured in pursuit of my goal?"

Hard-work is another issue altogether.  It is simpler to understand than dedication but at the same time more difficult to master.  Hard-work is not getting up at 6:00 a.m. to go to the gym and do your workout.  It is getting up and going to the gym and pushing yourself to your limit on that day.  This analogy can be applied to everything in life I believe.  Maybe your job is in sales and today you are supposed to go see four of your current clients.  Doing that is work for sure but hard work would be visiting your four quickly and efficiently and maybe going out a finding a new client on the same day.  Everyone that I know personally who is successful in his/her field does not just work they work hard at their craft.  I admittedly do not.

The purpose of this rant is not to call anyone out or for me to try to sound superior because I count myself in the group of people who are deceiving themselves about their dedication and their hard-work.  I am simply trying to make more people aware of what it takes to be truly successful.  As for me, now that I have had my eyes opened a bit, I am going to see if I can be dedicated and work hard to meet my own goals so one day I can look myself in the mirror and reflect on my sacrifice and hopefully enjoy what my hard work has given me.



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