Michael Phelps watched ‘Hoosiers’ for motivation

Just heard an awesome story on the NBC Olympic coverage.  Michael Phelps alternated between watching Olympic coverage and the movie Hoosiers for motivation last night, prior to his record-extending 23rd Olympic medal, and 19th gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro tonight.

Hoosiers has always been one of my favorite movies.  And growing up a Midwestern basketball player, in the heart of Illinois, with an entire family of Hoosiers and Indiana connections, it’s always been my favorite sports movie. Hands down.  I grew up as a kid with a framed Hoosiers movie poster on my wall. (My mom was a cheerleader for the 1975–76 Indiana Hoosiers basketball team, led by Bobby Knight, who went 32-0 and won the National Championship.)  My entire family went to IU (except for me).

Hoosiers has always been an inspirational movie for me. It goes without saying that it was pretty cool to hear that Phelps used it as motivation.  If you haven’t seen the classic from David Anspaugh and Angelo Pizzo, I highly recommend it.

Go Team USA.

Denzel Washington’s incredibly motivating commencement speech

I just came across this, literally, while copying the embed code from YouTube for my last post.  This is a great college commencement speech from Denzel Washington at Dillard University (had to Google it).

Great principles to live by.  In running a Google search to determine where this speech was given, I also came across  this great breakdown of the key takeaways of this speech on Huffington Post:

  1. Put God first: “Everything that I have is by the grace of God, understand that. It’s a gift. … I didn’t always stick with Him, but He stuck with me.”

  2. Fail big: “Don’t be afraid to fail big, to dream big, but remember, dreams without goals, are just dreams. And they ultimately fuel disappointment. … I try to give myself a goal every day, sometimes it’s just not to curse somebody out.”

  3. You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse: “I don’t care how much money you make, you can’t take it with you. … It’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with it.”

  4. While you’re on your knees in the morning, say thank you: “Say thank you in advance for what is already yours. … True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you sent beforehand that it’s already yours. … When you get it, reach back, pull someone else up. Each one, teach one. Don’t just aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.”

Here’s the speech:

I’m the one – Les Brown

Les Brown can deliver a motivational speech.  This dramatized version on YouTube is…dramatized.  But that doesn’t dilute the message.  Attitude, and the things you put into your mind can change everything, period.  If you are a little down, feeling stuck, feeling complacent, feeling stagnant, feeling unmotivated, feeling beaten, listen to this:

If you are looking for the speech itself (and you don’t miss the drama — shout out to the Cars.com commercial featuring my friend, John Ruby, who I won some Westwood Rec Center Basketball League championships with in LA, no big deal), then here is the incredible speech, without the music and editing:

People who know me may be wondering why I keep posting all of this.  Am I trying to be a motivational speaker?  Am I trying to gain fame?  Am I losing it? I’m just being true to myself, the person I know I am, and the person I’m striving to be.  This blog is a great place to build a collection of all of these great things I use to motivate myself.  I’ve come a long way.  I couldn’t have done it by myself.  I still have a long way to go, in my opinion, and I probably will never be satisfied.  But as long as I can share in some success and help just one person in this world, I will be happy.

Getting ready for Rio

Against all media warnings of a disastrous 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Zika, thieves targeting tourists, infrastructure not being ready, general corruption, general crime, general safety issues and half the PGA Tour dropping out of the games), I’ve decided to attend the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Despite all of the media reports, I booked my trip back in May and have, hesitantly, continued to plan for the trip.  My motivation for going is simple.  I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics, I’ve never been to Brazil (let alone South America), and I need an extended, international vacation.  I haven’t really taken a vacation in over 2.5 years in my current role.

I can’t really tell you why I’ve ignored all the media reports, but I have.  And, of course, I’ve been doing some research.  If you happen to be heading to Rio this month as well, here are a few resources I’ve found useful:

  1. Remember that Visa requirements have been suspended for this summer for U.S. Residents, so you do not need to obtain a Visa prior to travel.
  2. I found National Geographic’s “Rio de Janeiro Travel Basics,” simple but useful.
  3. TripAdvisor’s Rio de Janeiro Travel Guide
  4. CNN’s recent segment, Rio Olympic transportation slowly coming together
  5. Amazon Prime
    1. Mosquito Repellent Wipes
    2. Insect Repellent
    3. Power Adapter for Brazil
    4. Bug pants (Yup.)
  6. Common sense
  7. Prayer

Looking forward to the trip.  If you have any more advice for me, I’ll take it.

Now, here’s an incredible photo of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue:

Chris the Redeemer

Oracle buying NetSuite for $9.3 Billion

Well, this was interesting to wake up to (especially as a certified NetSuite ERP Consultant, myself)… Oracle is buying NetSuite for $9.3 Billion.  This should be interesting.

More about Oracle purchasing NetSuite…

Oracle buys enterprise cloud services company NetSuite for $9.3B

Oracle to Buy Cloud-Software Provider NetSuite for $9.3 Billion

Oracle plans to acquire NetSuite for $9.3 billion

Oracle Buys NetSuite

Why NetSuite Is Coming Home To Oracle In $9.3 Billion Acquisition

 

Heading to Chicago in the morning

Well, as a sit here on the heels of a Team Boom loss in a tough battle in the Tempe Rec League championship game, I am completely wired.  Which works to my advantage, at the moment, as I am packing for a trip to Chicago in the morning.  This will be my third year in a row heading to the Windy City for Lollapalooza weekend and a reunion with the friends I grew up with, and my second trip to Chicago this summer.  We aren’t actually going to the festival this weekend, but I’d recommend it, if you haven’t been.  We are getting a boat on Lake Michigan Saturday which should pretty sweet.

It was tough to lose in the championship tonight but things are good. Always excited about getting back to Chicago, when I can.  Still my favorite city in the world.  If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it (especially in the summer). There’s a reason Kanye West calls out “summertime Chi,” in particular, in the song “Good Life from his 2007 album, Graduation. (Kanye, I miss that soulful stuff, by the way, man.)

In fact, let’s close this post out with the video.   (Also, Chicago did not commission me to write this somewhat generic endorsement.  It’s just a great place, and felt like mentioning it.)

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Pursuit of Happyness – ‘Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something’

“Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something.”

“If you want something, go get it. Period.”

More on The Pursuit of Happyness:

The Pursuit of Happyness Life Lessons

The Pursuit of Happyness – Common Sense Media

Scottsdale Bible – A Kingdom Ethic

I’ve been able to attend Scottsdale Bible Church the last two Sundays. I always enjoy attending, when I can. The messages are solid. The campus is a blessing.

With everything going on in the world, and a seemingly endless streak of horrible, violent attacks, the two part sermon, “A Kingdom Ethic: An Introduction to the Beatitudes,” the last two Sundays, has been very timely for me, and I believe, quite frankly, for the world.

Led by Dr. Darryl DelHousaye, both parts (below) walk through the different ethics that people live by, how chaos can come to be in this world, and the Kingdom Ethic, for which a life devoted to God and service can help you find balance. (At least, that was the takeaway for me.  It also helped me reset my attitude after a series of frustrations had altered my temperament, as of late.  It’s a great message.  It helped me get back to what’s important. )

A Kingdom Ethic: An Introduction to the Beatitudes, Part 1 from Scottsdale Bible Church on Vimeo.

A Kingdom Ethic: An Introduction to the Beatitudes, Part 2 from Scottsdale Bible Church on Vimeo.

 

I recommend reading ‘Unbroken’

I recommend reading “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.  The movie is good, but it doesn’t do the book justice.  Even before I had what I would categorize as real pain, struggle and adversity, I would have recommended this book.  Now that I’ve been through a lot more in my life, I would strongly recommend it.

This book tells the true life story of Louis Zamperini–former Olympic distance runner, WWII veteran and all-around survivor. From surviving a plane crash and shark-infested waters for 47 days on a life raft, to surviving grueling conditions for years in Japanese POW camps during WWII, this is an amazing story of strength, perseverance, resilience and faith.

As Louie says, “If I can take it, I can make it.”  This is a solid mantra, that I try to remind myself of, from time to time, as well.

More on Unbroken:

8 Things You May Not Know About Louis Zamperini

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Zamperini’s War

After ‘Unbroken’: The remarkable story of Louis Zamperini’s faith