As I was getting ready to go to print in 2006 with my first book, Love Your Life and it Will Love You Back, my then assistant called USC to see if Coach Carroll would be interested in providing a blurb for the book. We got on the list for practice, where I gave Coach my manuscript and took a couple of pictures in case that was the only encounter I had with him. Well, what happened next was truly amazing.
He had traveled to Washington with his team and when he landed, he left me a message saying that the book left him in tears and he had to hide behind the seats because he couldn’t let football players see him cry.
During the next two seasons, I spoke to the team half a dozen times and one of the speeches landed on ESPN.
When he decided to jump to the NFL, I was sad to see him leave, but excited for him and his new opportunity. I try to get up to Seattle once a year to see my buddy Pete, and even send the players books.
When I was up there in November, I asked Mike Flood (the...
What happens when you get some of the best news of your professional life, but it gets trumped by some of the best news of your entire life…? Last Thursday—the 8th of January—was one of those days. I woke up and called my dad on his 69th birthday, checked my email and found out I’m going to be speaking to a thousand entrepreneurs this May in Orlando. It’s absolutely a dream come true because I will be sharing the stage with my mentor and good friend Larry Winget. Trust me, it gets better. What happened next is truly amazing. My wife was days from her anticipated due date. We had an appointment with the doctor. It was to be one of her last checkups and he said that she was almost ready to deliver—all she needed were the contractions. We picked up lunch on the way home and after we ate…the contractions started. She was in labor. She was in labor! We waited a couple of hours until they were five minutes apart, then we drove to the hospital...
My life is amazing.
2014 is another chapter in my journey, but I want more. I am willing to put in the hard work to make my dreams a reality. Here are a couple of highlights of 2014, in no particular order.
The year began with a house in escrow, because I needed something a little bigger as my family grew. Also, I was putting the finishing touches on my new book Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices. In April, I found out my wife was pregnant with our second child. I witnessed my boy Andrew take his first steps, and say the words Mama, Dada, and—of course—touchdown, which his Grandma taught him. I also had fun taking trips to Vegas, Seattle and Lake Tahoe. I watched friends get married and welcomed my first nephew Ezra into the world.
Years ago, I thought an amazing night was going out to the clubs and getting home no earlier than 3am, but now an amazing night is having a 7pm dinner with the people I love and getting slapped by my son Andrew as he’s laughing at Daddy.
We are coming upon the holidays and bombarded by what to buy and what to eat and who to hang out with. We also put our dreams and goals on hold during December while we eat a lot, drink a lot, and wear stupid sweaters. The last thing that we want to do during the holidays is think about our waistlines, our hopes, our dreams etc….
After all, isn’t that what January is for? On January 1st, when we are all hung over and bloated, we realize things need to change. We unpack our dreams, our goals, our desire to lose 10lbs…and we feel ashamed.
Holidays are all about reflection, good food, good drinks and having an excellent time. But this time of year should not be about excess or going into debt because you want to make other people happy.
The holidays are a great time to get a jump start on everybody else that waits until mid-January to set up the next year. I’m not implying that you should lock yourself in your house, not hang out with your friends, or not go...
This year was one of the best years of my life: I moved to a slightly bigger house. I found out that my wife Leslie and I are having our second child. I watched my other son Andrew take his first steps. I published another book. I even snuck in a couple of trips with the guys. I have so much to be thankful for. Here is a brief list. (I have been doing this ever since I blogged for the USC football team back when Pete Carroll was the coach.)
On Friday morning, I woke up early because I was going to give a speech at USC (which is always on honor). A film crew from Smile TV came to record my speech. On top of everything else, my baby sister Sanaz was getting ready to give birth to my nephew. I woke up at 5:30 in the morning, took a shower, and met my speaking partner, Chris. We drove down the Pacific Coast Highway, and cut across the 10 freeway into downtown L.A. When we arrived, I was greeted by the Smile TV crew and my former communication professor, Stacy Geck. (As Chris and I were getting mic’d up, we were cracking jokes about nothing in particular and I was wondering if our mics were on!) Then Jim Ellis, the Dean of the business school, walked in and introduced me to the class. When I was at USC, he was a marketing professor and we continued a fourteen-year relationship. It’s an honor to be invited as a guest speaker at USC, especially by Jim.
There was a time when I assumed that I could never...
Being amazing requires time, energy, money, love, inspiration, motivation, and many more resources. There are two types of resources: hard resources and soft resources.
Hard resources are quantifiable–they include time and money. Everybody has 24 hours in a day and a buck is a buck. They might have different meanings to different people, but they are tangible and quantifiable.
How you look at each resource is important to becoming amazing. Your relationship with time, money, knowledge, and other resources can propel you into an amazing life. When many high school students graduate, they have the choice of exchanging their time for money or investing their money and time into getting an education, which in the long run, will lead to an amazing life. Everybody has the choice every day to either just get by, keep up with the cycle, or invest their time, money, and energy into having an amazing life.
There are three types of activities you can perform with your resources. You...
If you observed at a waiter at a restaurant (where else you find a waiter? Well, I guess maybe a bar or sporting event…) and asked yourself what his or her job is, your answer would probably be that they take orders, get them to the kitchen, and bring food and drinks to the table. It’s a lot more than that. A competent waiter has to recommend items, take special requests, be friendly to customers, make sure the kitchen isn’t overwhelmed, anticipate when the customer needs a refill or to-go container and many more little activities—the list is endless. There a good waiters, there are bad waiters, and then…there are amazing waiters. In any job there are the good, the bad, and the amazing. The first step to being amazing takes understanding what that means. To be amazing requires the knowledge that there is a regimen of activities, which must be executed on a regular basis whether you’re having a good day, or a bad day, or you have a hangover....
I read about ten self-help articles every week.
Last week, I read an article by James Clear. He presented an idea that really hit home in my mind. He said instead of focusing on achieving your goals, focus on building a process. That was very insightful to me because long-term goals can be very far away. He gave an example of a coach who has a goal of winning a championship. Instead of focusing on said goal, he focused on the process of what he needs to do every day in order to achieve his goal. Even though he now focuses on the process, he’s more likely to win that championship. I love to speak. I love to publish books. I love to write. There are a lot of activities that I need to perform in order for me to achieve my goals. Some of them I like and some of them I dislike…and there are some parts of my job that are boring, like ordering postcards and other office supplies.
One of the mistakes that I made early in my career was...
On Sunday, I brought up my DVR and saw that I had an episode of 60 Minutes Sports recorded. My wife and son were taking a nap and the 49ers were destroying the Cowboys, so I decided to watch it.
The first story was about Peyton and Eli Manning, who were both coached by the same coach. Every year, they go back to David Cutliffe, who is now the head coach at Duke University. Cutliffe was Peyton’s QB coach at Tennessee and the head coach of Old Miss when Eli was QB there.
Every year before the NFL camps start, Eli and Peyton travel to Duke for a private tune-up, as the brothers call it. Watching it, you would think that both brothers were just beginning their careers.
There are two things that stand out in my mind. First, the fundamentals should never be ignored. The fundamentals are the keys to success! I have struggled with remembering and executing on the fundamentals all my career. It’s fun and exciting to get on stage, sell books in the back of the room, and give...