THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO KEEP YOUR KIDS OFF DRUGS
Attend Church together as a family
Have your child participate in sports
Sit down for dinner at least three times a week as a family
“… is being your best when your best is needed.”
By Charles Swindoll
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what others think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remakable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.”
HELPING OTHERS WIN
A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry.
The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back — every one of them. One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will make it better.” Then all nine linked arms and walked together across the finish line.
Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story.
Why? Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
BIG ROCKS FIRST!
One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.
As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers, he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” He then pulled out a one-gallon, wide mouth Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. The he produces about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one by one, into the jar.
When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”
Everone in the class said, “Yes.” Than he said, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks.
Then he asked the group once more, “Is this jar full?” By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not,” one of them aswered.
“Good!” he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”
“No!” the class shouted. Once again, he said, “Good!” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in untill the jar was filled to the brim.
Then the expert in time management looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”
One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it.”
“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is this:
If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you will never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life? God, your children, your spouse, your loved ones, your friendships, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others, doing things that you love, time for yourself, or your health?” Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first, or you will never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (i.e. the gravel, the sand) then you will fill your life with little things you worry about that don’t really matter and you will never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big important stuff (the big rocks). So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: “What are the ‘big rocks’ in my life?” Then put those in your jar first.
A PIONEER IN TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
Montreal, 1976 – After severely breaking his knee during the floor exercise, Japan’s Shun Fujimoto ignored his injury as long as possible, know such news could shatter the confidence of his teammates. The injured gymnast continuted to the pommel horese routine, miraculously scoring a 9.5 out of 10. He then faced the rings, which would be his final event of the day. Shun performed extraordinarily, ignoring the inevitable consequences of dismounting from eight feet off the ground. Upon completion of his routine, he hurled himself into a beautifully executed, triple-somersault dismount. When his feet hi the floor, the pain sliced through him like a knife, but he kept his balance. Gritting his teeth, he raised his arms in a perfect finish before collapsing in agony. He was awarded a 9.7, the highest score he had ever recorded on the rings. After winning the closest gymnastics team competition in Olympic history, Shun received his gold medal, but only after insisting that he could make his own way to the podium.
WHO MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE?
Courtesy of Cadillac Jack International
Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Name half a dozen heroes who stories have inspired you.
Easier? The lesson?
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.
Pass this on to those people who have made a difference in your life…
THE ONLY WAY TO WIN
It takes a little courage
And a little self-control,
And some grim determination,
If you want to reach your goal.
It takes a deal of striving,
And a firm and stern-set chin,
No matter what the battle,
If you really want to win.
There’s no easy path to glory,
There’s no rosy road to fame.
Life, however we may view it,
Is no simple parlor game;
But its prizes call for fighting,
For endurance and for grit;
For a rugged disposition
And a don’t-kno-when-to-quit.
You must take a blow or give one,
you must risk and you must lose,
And expect that in the struggle,
You will suffer from the bruise.
But you justn’t wince or falter,
If a fight you once begin;
Be a man and face the battle–
That’s the only way to win.
THE MAKING OF A CHAMPION
A true story as told by Oscar Rowan, former All-Pro tight end with the Cleveland Browns
at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Summer Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
….. Is it worth working to be a champion? Maybe this story about a man from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania named Ron Burton can help you make up your mind.
Ron Burton, when he was in high school his freshman year, was the 46th man on a 45-man football squad, which means he didn’t suit up. He didn’t play at all. He was a little guy, about 5’6″ and 135 pounds, but he had a desire to play the game of football.
One day after practice, his coach called him over and talked to him. He said, “Ron I see something special in you that I don’t see in very many young men.” He said, “Ron, do you want to be a champion? Do you want to be the finest football player this High School has ever had? Do you want to be a high school Ali-American?” And here was this kid who wasn’t even suiting up saying, “yeah coach, yeah.” And his coach told him, “I want you to do exactly as I say; don’t ask any questions; just do what I say and in three years you will be a high school Ali-American.”
“From this day on, I don’t want you to ever eat another piece of junkfood. No more hamburgers, french fries, candy bars – get rid of all of it – eat good solid food; eat lots of protein and if you have to have desert, have ice cream.” He said, “Ron you will find that you will get stronger.” Ron said, “I can do that coach, that’s no problem.” His coach then replied, “Ron, from this day forward, I want you to get up at 5:30 in the morning, put two pairs of warm-ups on, put a towel around your neck so none of the heat will get out, put on a pair of combat boots, and I want you to run seven and one half miles. If you will do it, you will be a High School Ali-American.
For the next three years of Ron Burton’s life, that skinny little running back got up every morning of his life and he ran seven and one half miles. It didn’t matter if it rained or snowed; it didn’t matter if he was tired, sore, or sick – Ron Burton ran seven and one half miles. Some days that was all he could do; sometimes he ran and spent the rest of the day in bed. But Ron Burton never missed his morning run.
By the time Ron Burton was a senior in High School, he not only had made the traveling squad, added 50 pounds to his physique, and led the state of Pennsylvania in rushing; but he was named a First Team Ali-American halfback. He still holds every rushing record at Northwestern University and holds most of the rushing records for the New England Patriots. He played six years of professional football for the Patriots – never got injured one time, and never missed one football game.
lust last summer, Oscar Rowan visited Ron Burton and spent the night at his home. He is now 46 years old; he got up at 5:30 a.m., put on two pairs of warm-ups, put a towel around his neck, put on a pair of combat boots, and he ran seven and one half miles. Champion habits are hard to break and that is exactly what Ron Burton is and always will be… A CHAMPION.
ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE TO BE A CHAMPION?
QUOTES OF BEAR BRYANT
Football Coach, University of Alabama, from The Junction Boys
If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit – you will be a winner. The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards.
In a crisis, don’t hide behind anything or anybody. They’re going to find you anyway.
In life, you’ll have your back up against the wall many times. You might as well get used to it.
You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him to a heavy load.
Sacrifice. Work. Self-discipline. I teach these things, and my boys don’t forget them when they leave.
I can reach a kid who doesn’t have any ability as long as he doesn’t know it.
I don’t care how much talent a team has – if the boys don’t think tough, practice tough, and live tough, how can they play tough on Saturday?
The first time you quit, it’s hard. The second time, it gets easier. The third time, you don’t even have to think about it.
When you win, there’s glory enough for everybody. When you lose, there’s glory for none.
Winning isn’t imperative, but getting tougher in the fourth quarter is.
I’m just a simple plow hand from Arkansas, but I have learned over the years how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how to calm others down, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat, together, a team.
You have to be willing to out-condition your opponents.
Football changes and so do people.
The first thing a football coach needs when he’s starting out is a wife who’s willing to put up with a whole lot of neglect. The second thing is a five-year contract.
When you make a mistake, admit it; learn from it and don’t repeat it.
What matters… is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.
I’m known as a recruiter. Well, you’ve got to have chicken to make chicken salad.
When we have a good team, I know it’s because we have boys that come from good mamas and papas.
One man doesn’t make a team. It takes eleven.
If anything goes bad, l did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes real good, you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games.
Every time a player goes out there, at least twenty people have some amount of influence on him. His mother has more influence than anyone. I know because I played, and I loved my mama.
No coach has ever won a game by what he knows; it’s what his players know that counts.
I left Texas A&H because my school called me. Mama called, and when Mama calls, then you just have to come running.
To “let go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To “let go” is not a cut myself off; it’s the realization that I can’t control another.
To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another; it is to make the most of myself.
To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.
To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes but to allow others to affect their destinies.
To “let go” is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face reality.
To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept.
To “let go” is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.
To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To “let go” is to fear less, and love more.
ANOTHER WAY TO WIN
Kay Poe and Esther Kim have been best friends since they were seven years old. Among other things they have in common, the two young ladies from Houston both compete at the highest levels in taekwondo. How good are they? Esther and Kay advanced to the finals in the Women’s Olympic Flyweight division at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials on May 20 in Colorado Springs.
“I don’t think of her as just a friend. I think of her more as a sister,” Kay says. “We’ve grown up together, and we always push each other and help each other out the best we can training wise.” What a story was unfolding! Reporters and photographers were poised to record the outcome of so intense a competition between two girls who have been close for so long. But a sports story would soon be overshadowed by a far more important friendship story.
Kay had dislocated her left kneecap in her semi-final match of the round robin tournament. Though ranked number one in the world at her sport, it was questionable that she could compete against her best friend. She could barely stand, so it was a foregone conclusion that Esther would win, travel to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and represent the United States in the International competition these two had trained and worked toward for so long.
On the day of the match, Esther Kim shocked the crowd by forfeiting rather than defeat her friend in an unfair competition. In allowing the better taekwondo fighter to represent the United States in Sydney, she won a personal battle over ego and selfishness. Amidst frequent stories of cheating and taking unfair advantage in order to win at any price, Esther showed how to win by losing.
“Even though I didn’t have the gold medal around me,” said Esther, “for the first time in my life, I felt like a real champion.” Her generosity of spirit was honored with the Citizenship Through Sports Award and with an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2000 Olympic Games from the International Olympic Committee.
In the Bible, Paul wrote about giving up certain “rights” for the sake of people he loved (see 1 Corinthians 9:1-15). Parents do it all the time for their children. And occasionally friends make magnanimous gestures like Esther’s.
The next time you are inclined to bemoan the selfishness of the masses, recall this story of a twenty-year-old athlete’s largess. The next time you have the chance show magnanimity let it inspire you to rise to the level of her example.
IT’S ALL IN A STATE OF MIND
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you won’t
If you like to win, but don’t think you can,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, your lost;
For out in the world you’ll find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in a state of mind.
For many a game is lost
Before even a play is run,
And many a coward fails
Before even his work has begun.
Think big and your deeds will grow,
Think small and you’ll fall behind,
Think that you can and you will;
It’s all in a state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise;
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever take home the prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
More often than not, the man who wins
Is the fellow who thinks he can.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, when the funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile but you have to sigh, when care is pressing you down a bit – rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns. As everyone of us sometimes learns. And many a fellow turns about when he might have won had he stuck it out. Don’t give up though the pace seems slow – you may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and faltering man; often the struggler has given up when he might have captured the victor’s cup; and he learned too late when the night came down, how close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out – the silver tint of the clouds of doubt, and when you never can tell how close you are, it may be near when it seems afar; so stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit – it’s when things seem worst, you must not quit.
THE MAN IN THE GLASS
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass;
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life,
Is the one staring back from the glass.
Some people may think you a straight-shootin’ chum
And call you a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum –
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life
And get pats on your back as you pass.
BUT your final reward will be heartaches and tears –
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass !
IF THE SHOE FITS
Please don’t curse that boy down there;
He is my son, you see:
He’s only just a boy you know,
He means the world to me.
I did not raise my son, dear fan,
For you to call him names:
He may not be a super-star
And these are high school games.
So, please don’t knock those boys down there,
They do the best they can;
They’ve never tried to lose a game,
They’re boys, and you’re a man.
This game belongs to them, you see,
You’re really just a guest;
They do not need a fan that gripes,
They need the very best.
If you have nothing nice to say,
Please leave the boys alone,
And, if you’ve forgot your manners,
Why don’t you stay at home!
So, please don’t curse those boys down there,
Each one’s his parents’ son,
And win or lose or tie, you see,
To us, they’re number one!!!
RISE EACH TIME YOU FALL
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win the race
Or tie for first or if not that at least take a second place.
And parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their child
Each one hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they went, young hearts and hopes afire
To win and be the hero there was each runner’s desire.
And one runner in particular whose dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought, “my dad will be so proud!”
But as they speeded down the field across the shallow dip
The runner who thought to win lost his step and slipped
Trying hard to catch himself his hands flew out to brace
And mid the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
So down he fell and with him hope – he could not win it now.
Embarrassed, sad he only wished to disappear somehow;
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face
Which to the boy so clearly said “Get up and win the race.”
He quickly rose no damage done – to catch up and to win –
His mind went faster than his legs; he slipped and fell again
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race”
But in the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
That steady look which said again. “Get up and win the race.”
So up he jumped to try again – ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m trying to gain those yards”, he thought, “I’ve got to move real fast!”
Exerting everything he had he regained eight of ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He laid there silently – a tear dropped from his eye
There’s no sense running anymore, three strikes I’m out. Why Try?
The will to rise had disappeared; all hope had fled away.
So far behind, so error prone, a loser all the way.
“I’ve lost so what’s the use?” he thought, “I’ll have to live with my disgrace”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up!” an echo sounded low. “Get up and take your place.”
“With borrowed will get up” he said. “You haven’t lost at all.
For winning is no more than this: to rise each time you fall.”
So up he rose to run once more and now with new commit
He resolved that win or lose, at least he would not quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been
Still he gave it all he had and ran as though to win.
Three times he’d fallen, stumbling; three times he rose again
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner as he crossed the line first place
Head high and proud and happy – no falling, no disgrace,
But when the fallen youngster crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last, with head bowed low – unproud
You would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said, “you rose each time you fell.”
So when your life seems dark and hard, things difficult to face
May the memory of that little boy help you in your race.
For all of life is like a race, with ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
ON BEING A TEAM PLAYER
I’ve played in the NFL for a long time and in all that time I have learned one thing: There is no I in the word Team.
– Walter Payton
Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony