Michael Vick is Average
Michael Vick can do wonders on a football field, but don't think of him as an anomaly. He is just like you and me. Average.
How can that be? In the 2004 regular season, Vick led the Atlanta Falcons to an 11 and 5 record while passing for 2,313 yards. Perhaps most amazing of all, he ran for 902 yards with an average 7.5 yards per carry while the NFL's leading running back, Curtis Martin, averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Nothing average about that! Truly, Michael Vick is an extraordinarily talented, gifted, and capable athlete that shines brilliantly on the football field. You and I certainly can't compete with that.
Fortunately, we don't have to. That's the beauty of being average. On a scale of zero to ten, 5 is average. We're all given a different mix of strengths and abilities. While we might be a 0 in one area (like me on a football field), we're likely 10 in another area (like Michael Vick is on the football field). Or maybe we have two strong talents, one at an 8 and another at a 7. Zero, 8, and 7 averages out to ... 5. Average.
When we see Michael Vick on the football field, we really don't care what he can't do. I'm not going to imagine for a moment what his zeroes are, because it really doesn't matter. Michael has (1) discovered his key talents and (2) is applying them daily.
We, on the other hand, continually worry about "fixing" ourselves where we are below average. "I can't diagram a sentence." "I speak with an accent." "I can never remember where I put my glasses." So what? We'll never enjoy all we can from life if we spend our time working on the weaknesses. We need to find ways to tap into our strengths, to (1) identify our 8's, 9's, and 10's, and then (2) put them to work for us every day.
The Gallup pollsters have done research over decades that show top performers are not those that repair their weaknesses. Instead, top performers discover their strengths and then sharpen and polish them to make them even better. In the resulting 2001 book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, the authors Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton list 34 strengths that everyone enjoys in some combination.
Michael Vick has found at least one of his strengths, and it's a thrill for the rest of us to see him apply it. Whether he's unloading a bullet of a pass, executing a draw play, or dancing his way past an army of defenders, we're excited to watch. But what about us? We're meant to be more than just spectators in the game of life.
You are really great at something; have you found it yet? Alan Opdyke of Snellville, Georgia wins awards for breeding guppies. Bill Porter of Portland, Oregon became a top salesman despite his cerebral palsy. Michael Vick is lucky because he found -- with the help of coaches and friends -- something he is good at while relatively young. Yet late bloomers are all around us. Charles Hurme won the USTA National Senior Hard Court Tennis Championship when he was 90. Just because you haven't found your 10 yet doesn't mean you don't have it in you.
If you're still thinking I must be writing about someone besides you, that you have no talents and abilities above a 5, you're wrong. You're not inadequate, you're just chicken.
Maybe you're reluctant to try new things. Maybe you're afraid to get hurt, physically or emotionally. Maybe you're terrified to discover another thing you're not good at. What if Edison had chickened out after his 999th try at discovering how to make a light bulb?
Accept the fact that you're average and do something positive with it. Stop wasting time working on abilities at which you'll never be exceptional. Shift your efforts to trying things that interest you. Act on your curiosity and desire. Pay attention when people pay you a "Wow" compliment. Take a chance on yourself. Challenge yourself to find the excellence within you. Don't ever let anyone imply that you are "just" average. Find your strengths, and then have the courage to apply, hone, and polish them. Stand Out. Excel.
It's unlikely that we'll ever join Michael Vick in the huddle, but that doesn't mean we can't have a ball every day. We may all be average, but in some way we're also extraordinary as well. Find and apply your "extra."
© 2005 Paul Johnson. All rights reserved.
Note: This article is available for reprint at no charge. We only ask that you include our copyright notice in your reprint, along with the About the Author (byline) information we provide at the end of the article.
Paul Johnson of Panache and Systems LLC consults and speaks on business strategy for systematically boosting sales performance using Shortcuts to Yes?. Check out more salesforce development tips at http://panache-yes.com/tips.html
Call Paul direct in Atlanta, Georgia, USA at (770) 271-7719.
Labor That Works Miracles
(excerpted from The Challenge to Succeed series)
Create Your Own Self Esteem - Part 2
The good part of this story is that there is now hope to end and effectively reverse the effects of all negative emotions that we individually and collectively experience in our lives. Now we come back to the word reversal I spoke about earlier. The process of choosing to end and to reverse the effects of negative emotions is what I call having Esteem for the Self! By this I mean that as you engage the contents of this book from a sincere and real desire to accept what it has to offer you are choosing to "love" your Self. And loving the Self is really the same as having the highest form of Esteem for the Self, which is You.
Dreams and Desires, Wants and Wishes Journals
Have you ever dreamed of a new house? Have you ever wished for the perfect mate? What about wanting that job that you've always dreamed of? Have you wished for a perfect day?
Circles On The Water ? The Impact You Make On People?s Lives
When you were a child, or maybe even when you were older, did you ever toss a pebble into the water and watch the ripples that emanated from the point where it broke the surface? Or watched the effect of raindrops falling on a body of water? I have done these things and have since found myself pondering on this process, and just how much it can be compared to our lives.
Universal Thought System Language Keywords
Before we are able to use the Universal Thought System in a positive expansive manner, we must learn to use certain words in our language more effectively. The prime characteristic of the Universal Thought System is its consistency. It may not be used to manipulate. It may not be used to gain an advantage. It treats everyone equally. It eliminates the negative side of opposites. Why is this Universal Language so critical to our progress? In our thoughts and actions, we either seek idols or we seek truth. When we find the truth all our answers are provided. Truth contains all answers to every problem. Truth has always existed and will always exist. Our beliefs and feelings color our truth. They act as filters between our truth and our illusions.
Moment of Grace
The bedrock of the Christian faith is the good news about God's love. Christian teachings about who we are and about our relationship with our Lord and each other is rooted in the fact that God is love and that He loves His creatures. "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:16.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of June 30, 2003
Inspired For Women
One man can make a difference. I've been saying this and writing around this subject matter for over a decade now. It is not to the exclusion of women as I originally used the phrase in reference to mankind or society if you prefer. A decade ago, my pursuit of the quest to make a difference, to be involved, to inspire ended up taking a back seat. Survival in the moment and dealing with family and health issues took the front seat. Now, most of that is behind me and to a large degree it has been women who have made the difference in my growth and healing; unique powerful, loving, nurturing women.
Play a BIGGER role in life!
Did you ever think that you are not playing the role which you should play in your life?
Direct Answers - Column for the week of April 21, 2003
Challenge Your Problems
Life teaches us in peculiar ways. It knocks us down. It makes us struggle to get back up.
Coming To Your Senses, Again and Again!
When we talk about the Enchanted Self we are referring to positive states of mind and body that are unique to each of us. We are also referring to the process by which we tap into our Enchanted Self. (The name I have given to this delightful, happy, elevated part of us that knows how to have fun, feel alive and be joyful.) One step in the process is learning how to heighten and how to return to positive states of mind and body. Our memories always assist us.
The 5 Fortunes Within
What could be nearer to us than our own selves. What could be a greater fortune to discover than our own love. When you can accept yourself just as you are, with all your warts and wrinkles, with all those extra tucks of fat, with all those scars and blemishes, with all your broken promises and misadventures, then, and only then, can you begin to appreciate your own power, beauty, integrity, intelligence, and competence.
Remember when you were really young? It was an era of inconsequential innocence. Even at this age, your imagination was larger than large. Seemingly effortlessly, you concocted boldacious thoughts and dreams. You could pretty much imagine and then do anything you set out to do.
Adages for the New Age
The old familiar adages just don't do it for me any more. For instance, consider "the early bird gets the worm." In this age of freelancing, premature ejaculation and peaking too early in one's career (by age 24) a more appropriate adage might be "The early bird dies earlier."
Keeping Your Attitude Up When Circumstances Are Down
Everyone knows that a positive attitude is key to the successful life. But what happens when things go wrong? What happens when circumstances deal us a blow? We have a tendency to let our attitudes take the dive along with our state of affairs. Life deals us setbacks, both minor and major, on a regular basis, but if we are going to be successful, we need to know how to deal with them and keep our attitudes intact! We need practical tools to help us understand how we can go about keeping our attitude up, when the circumstances are down. Here are some thoughts to help us do so:
Reach Your Dreams
About fifteen years ago I was rummaging through some old boxes in my basement when I discovered a stack of poems that I had written during my childhood. As I began reading, I discovered a long-forgotten world ? one that sang with romance, adventure, and mystery. It was a world of princesses, heroes, and castles, where the princess was always rescued and the dragon always slain.
I feel rather foolish writing this letter, but I need help. I am a 67-year-old man living on social security. My wife and I divorced, but I never lost my love for her. One day we ran into each other and realized the magic is still there.
The Power Of A Dream - Success Always Start Off With A Dream
Back in the good old days of school, the teachers would often catch us for daydreaming in class and not paying attention. "Stop dreaming! Dreaming will get you nowhere," yelled the teacher. Is it really so? Does 'dreaming' really get you nowhere in life? The answer is 'Yes'...and 'No'. If you dream and you took massive action to achieve your dream, your dream could very well come true for you. However, if you dream and take no action, it remains just a powerless dream.
Lock In Your Legacy
You, my friend, are going to die.
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