Friday, September 26, 2008

The Helix of LIFE...

Hi Bay-Bee!

We are wrapping up a record-setting month (September) and launching into another great month (October) as we prepare to just crush the fourth quarter. We owe it all to our great Ambassadors, people who are out there referring clients to us and speaking highly of us to others. We couldn't do it without them.

So my excuse is that I've been busy. :) But no excuses. There is no reason to miss a note to you for two weeks!

Luckily, in this case, no news is good news. You are still kicking and from all doctor appointments, healthy! Yeah! Keep up the good work in there.

We are over 10,000 hits and increasing weekly. You're popular Bay-Bee! :)

Today, let's talk about The Helix of LIFE. A Helix is a type of spiral. Everybody is made of DNA, the building blocks of life come in the shape of a double helix. To understand a helix, think of a Slinky (the toy). You start at one end and follow the Slinky and even though you are going in circles, you are still never going back to the tip, you are actually going to the other end. Look at the other end of the Slinky as Perfection and look at the starting point as Today. With all aspects of your life, you will start at Today. Today may mean a quality of poor, average, great, or even fantastic. Nevertheless, you are at Today.

The Helix of LIFE is how we step towards Success, Excellence, and Perfection in all that we do. Perfection is non-existent, but a vision to set our sights. LIFE is an acronym for Learning, Implementing, Failing, and Evaluating.

We first Learn what to do. Like walking for instance. You see others walking. You understand that you are supposed to be on two limbs and not four, like the dog. You get a coach (mom and/or dad) and the coach holds your hand. You Implement. You try to stand. You fall. You Fail. You rub your bottom and you Evaluate your results. Does the sore bum overcome the value of learning to walk? No. So you go through LIFE again.

Learn - last time it hurt your bottom to fall, don't want to take a step off-balance like that again.

Implement - take a step with Papa holding hands.

Fail - fall down again

Evaluate - Okay, this is definitely worth doing, but need to keep balance.

Finally, you walk.

The keys to The Helix of LIFE are four-fold:

1) First, you have to never stop learning. Ever. Less than 30% of adults read a book after college or high school. Most people get into a rut of getting up, going to work, doing the same duty over and over again, then going home, watching tv, eating dinner, going to bed. No learning takes place. A wise man once said that the Learners will inherit the earth while the learned are dealing with a world that no longer exists (paraphrasing and misquoting in words, but not meaning). Always continue to learn, to improve, and to strive for more.

Think of a spectrum, a line in front of you. Imagine a monkey on one end, to your left and a human on the other end, to your right. When you improve your brain and challenge your mind, you are becoming more human. Every day you rest on where you are, you take a step towards monkey. In your quest to become more human, keep challenging your brain.

2) Ideas are a dime a dozen, while implementation is priceless. Many read books, magazines, trade publications, and see others succeed, then never DO anything about it. That isn't necessarily "learning" per se, but it's a start. The next step is IMPLEMENTATION. DO something. Take ACTION. As Nike advertises, Just Do It! Put your fear, what-ifs, and excuses in a box over to the side called "So What" and make it happen.

3) Failing is part of LIFE. Failing is part of life. If you aren't failing, you aren't growing. When you attempt something, you'll never do it perfectly. Even if you just did it better than any human ever has on the planet, you will have room for improvement. Just realize and understand going in, that you aren't doing it to get it perfectly right from the beginning. You are doing it to improve. Failing is just part of the normal process.

4) Evaluate your results. Is spending time on this task worthwhile? Is it worth it to cold call businesses? Or is it a better use of time to do something else, like calling people you know to find out who they know that could use your services? Many people are becoming really good at things that aren't important. Take a step back to evaluate the task, your implementation, your improvement, and quite frankly, how this task aligns with your passions and life's goals. Is the reward for success worthy of your time and effort?

The Helix of LIFE will keep you in a state of continuous improvement. It mixes the humility of knowing that you aren't perfect with the confidence of being in control of your destiny. Eventually, your mistakes, your failures will be better than 99% of all your competitors' perfect days. And you'll be more human.

Learn, Implement, Fail, Evaluate (Repeat).
E (You, only better. :)
L (Today)

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Two months and counting...

Hi Bay-Bee;

Every 12th is a special day. Ever since March, when the calendar strikes 12 it has more significance than ever. With a due date of November 12, you have certainly heightened my awareness of a lot of things - especially the days of the month. We're looking at two months. 61 days (counting 30 for Sept and 31 for Oct). Whoo boy. :)

On the 12th of November (or thereabouts), we'll have a whole new life. What was the name of the book - Brave New World? It will be a brave new world. Priorities are going to change dramatically. YOU will be the center of my world while reading, business, writing, softball, fantasy football, BNI, speaking, etc. take a back seat - at least for a while.

It's interesting because mentally I am already preparing for this. This summer our softball team went 20-0 and we are a competitive team. I'm a competitive person, but there was something about this season that made it different than all the others. I never got outrageously upset. We certainly didn't play significantly better than in years past and I actually batted below .800 so there were times and reasons to get angry. But I never did. I did pound my bat in the ground once. I struck out once (called). I fouled out once. I haven't done those in years. I would have been FURIOUS at striking out on a called strike or fouling out. I had more COBs (long story, but it stands for Case of Beer) this year than the last four years combined. COBs are not good. I still didn't blow up. I didn't get super angry. It is like subconsciously I am being mentally prepared to re-focus my energies for Bay-Bee.

Second case in point, fantasy football. This has consumed me in the past. You should see my Excel file Draft Strategy Sheet from the last three years. Analyzed, re-analyzed, and over-analyzed as I drafted in three or 4 different leagues. This year? One league. Preparation for draft? Four hours tops. Passion rating: 3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being psycho. I've hovered around 8 or 9 in the past contemplating a Fantasy Football Magazine with brother (and your uncle) Rob. I have a domain name: I have the prerequisite e-mails to go with that domain name:, If I do something, I do it 110%. It's my makeup and my natural instinct, plus my learning over the years. This year, fantasy football doesn't have the zing it did in years past. I'm being mentally prepared for the world weighing 6 to 10 ounces.

I'm ready Bay-Bee. Yet, I'm really not. I don't know what to expect. I don't know how to change a diaper or hold you properly. Mentally, I'm there. I've come to terms that time is going to be dedicated to helping you succeed in life. Competence-wise, I'm an infant. I'll do my best. I'm a quick learner and when I'm passionate about something, I choose mastery as my goal. I will master fatherhood, if that is possible. If I screw up, it won't be because I wasn't trying and it wasn't getting my attention. No father is perfect. No child is perfect. It's what happens during the mistakes that will make our relationship fruitful and rewarding. Love you bubba. :)

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Friday, September 5, 2008

From Dumpster to Dominator, Dick "Night Train" Lane

Hi Bay-Bee,

Many have never heard of Dick "Night Train" Lane, but as the NFL season is upon us, I felt it was apropos to relate his story for Max. Born in Austin, Texas, Richard Lane was raised by Ella Lane. Ella had found Richard in a dumpster. Ella found Richard in a dumpster! He grew up in a loving environment and proceeded through school. After graduating high school and a year of community college, he enlisted in the Army. He spent four years there and even played on the Fort's football team. As a wide receiver, he had 18 TDs in one year against admittedly weak competition.

After the Army, he started working at an airline manufacturing factory. Every day, he would ride the bus to work. On the way to work, he would pass the training camp facility of the Los Angeles Rams (now the St. Louis Rams). He would do this daily. He would ride in his bus sometimes seeing the players working out and sometimes just gazing over the empty football field. He knew his passion was there. He knew he belonged there. He knew he had to get to work. So he showed up day after day at the airline plant, a dirty and monotonous place to work.

Then one day, Dick Lane decided to get off the bus. He showed up at the training facility for a tryout. I imagine the conversation went like this.

Dick Lane (you have to understand that he had a VERY DIFFICULT Texas/Louisiana accent): "I'm har ta play ball."

LA Ram official: "What?"

Dick Lane: "I'm har ta play ball."

LA Ram official: "You're here to play football?"

Dick Lane: "Yap."

LA Ram official: "You want to tryout? Okay, well, we're getting ready to get started. What position do you play?"

Dick Lane: "Racaver."

LA Ram official: "Receiver? Wide Receiver? Just so you know we have two of the best wide receivers in the league (future Hall-of-Famers Tom Fears and Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch). Still want to get out there?" (This would have been a great opportunity for Dick to exit semi-gracefully).

Dick Lane: "Shore."

So Dick practiced that day with the LA Rams. He practiced at wide receiver for half the practice until Coach Joe Stydahar decided to try him at defensive back defending wide receivers. In practice, he had the opportunity to defend against Fears and Hirsch. He started out getting beat repeatedly, but he was living his passion. He was playing a game he loved. He felt fortunate that he was getting dirty and grimy at football instead of getting dirty and grimy at the airplane factory.

In his rookie season (1952) he set an NFL single season record for interceptions with 14, which stands to this day. And he did it in 12 games! Today's seasons are 16 games (and could be 19 with a Super Bowl team) and nobody has even come close to touching his record. ESPN just listed Lane's rookie season as one of the Top 10 Greatest Seasons of All Time.

From 1954 to 1963, Lane made the All-Pro team 6 times and was selected to 7 Pro Bowls. He recorded 3 interceptions in all but 4 of his 14 NFL seasons. He was particularly noted as a hard hitter, who liked to tackle by the head and neck (a technique outlawed today). This tackle was sometimes called a Night Train Necktie.

Lane was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974. In 1969 he was named the best cornerback of the first fifty years of pro football. In 1999, he was ranked number 19 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, making him the highest-ranked defensive back.

An incredible story. Dick "Night Train" Lane went from being found in a dumpster to being one of the most dominant defensive players in history. But I go back to one moment for the lesson:

What if he didn't get off that bus?

Don't you think he would have lived a life of regret? What kind of fears do you think he had when he got off that bus? He knew he would probably lose his job and income at the airplane plant. As an African-American, he wouldn't get a second shot at the factory. He was walking away from that income, that security, and that stability and walking up to a risk, a chance, a long-shot. Not only that, but as a black man, jobs were hard to come by and he'd probably be without income for 6 months. But he did it. He overcame his fears to step into the unknown. Would you have done that?

Let me ask you: Would you rather overcome your fears or live a life of regret? Where are you struggling with fears when you know that conquering your fear would give you a better life? What are you holding onto that is preventing you from getting what you are really wanting?

There is a story of the research team in Africa who was trying to catch spider monkeys. There was a rampant upswing in the numbers of spider monkeys and they were causing a tremendous amount of trouble for the area's animal population, tribes, and water supply. The research team tried an assortment of a traps without luck. They tried bait, nets, and pits to no avail. The spider monkeys were just too smart, too quick, or too strategic. Then, a young researcher had an idea. The spider monkeys loved macadamia nuts. He took Coke bottles and put a macadamia nut in the bottom of it. He then secured the Coke bottle to a tree. It worked.

The spider monkeys would smell the nut and get curious. They would reach into the bottle and grab the nut. When they balled their hand into a fist to hold onto the nut, they couldn't get their hand out of the bottle. Researchers would find spider monkeys who had died with their fist inside the bottles. And all they had to do was what? All they had to do was LET GO. All they had to do was let go of the nut and they would have survived.

What do you need to let go of to live the life you've always imagined?

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)