Posts Tagged ‘choosing your attitude’

Let’s Call it a Comeback

Posted Friday, February 10th, 2017 by

It’s been an impressive past 12 months in sports. Even if you are not much of a sports fan, you have to agree the comeback victories across the major sports has been stunning.

Let’s recap it real quick:

Down three games to one in the NBA Finals, Cleveland was heading home down, dejected, and out of gas. Or so everyone thought. After some soul searching, recommitment, and game plan changes, the Cavaliers pulled off a three-game win streak and won the championship.

The Chicago Cubs found themselves in a similar hole after four games. The Cleveland Indians, hoping to bring yet another world championship to Cuyahoga County, had a stranglehold on the trophy. It’s very, very rare for a team to come back from a 3-1 hole. Yet, with consistent effort and belief, the Cubs found a way and brought the trophy home.

Most recently, the New England Patriots completed the most improbable, incredible, and unforgettable comeback in the history of football. No team had come back to win a Super Bowl after being down 11 points or more. The Patriots were down 25 with just over 21 minutes remaining in the game. And yet, with persistent hope, laser focus, and lots of good decisions, the Patriots hosted the trophy.

Listen to Julian Edelman and Tom Brady throughout the game – they were leading their guys along. They never gave up! They reminded me of an interesting leadership quote I heard this week: Managers make excuses while leaders figure out how to get it done with the help of others. Listening to Tom and Julian, they are definitely leaders – regardless of how you feel about the team.

Listening to Tom and Julian, they are definitely leaders – regardless of how you feel about the team.

You Choose Your Adventure… and Attitude

In each of these cases above, things looked bleak. However, each team remained upbeat, supported one another and relied on their training and preparation. Sure, in each case, a little luck was needed. However, each team was prepared to take that little luck, that little opening, and make the most of it.

These teams got to practice choosing their attitude on the world’s largest stage. But, it doing so doesn’t require the bright lights and gloss of a world championship. Those teammates chose their attitude daily – when they were hurting through two-a-days, studying film for hours, and giving up a lot of opportunities to focus on their team goal.

We’ve seen lots of comebacks at Weequahic. When Hopi last won Tribals in 2012, they were down massively – way back in 4th place with a day to go. After an enormous effort and another Westerman miracle, they had pulled of an amazing comeback.

But, it’s not only teams that make massive comebacks, it’s individuals, too. We’ve had several campers who, if you asked them on their second day of camp, they were heading home and never coming back to camp. 

However, because of the amazing work of our staff, their supportive buddies at camp and parents at home, they not only conquered their fear of being away but wound up loving camp so much they crying while heading home! And, they were among the first to re-enroll for the next summer.

Show the courage to do the work. Pick the attitude that makes you most likely to succeed. Sure, you may need some luck but get ready for it to come your way. You just may have a championship comeback, too!

Have a great week. With GAC,

Three Steps to Joy

Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2011 by

As school lets out and families spend time together at the end of each year, we spend a lot of time wishing ‘Joy’ to one another.

It is a joyful occasion, is it not? Parents who work hard throughout the year take a few moments to relax and connect with their children. Kids are thrilled to be out of school for a few weeks and look forward to the celebration of their family’s holiday.  The tv is full of messages of good tidings and cheerful holiday music plays through most speakers.

All of these joyful tidings made me remember what a mentor once said about true joy. He told me about three major points concerning true joy that I’d like to share with you.

First, if you want to be joyful, surround yourself with joyful people.

That is one of reasons I love camp so much. At Weequahic, one of the defining themes of our staff interviews and training rests on joy – how much counselors have and how willing they  are to express it. The best staff members may not be the most talented singers, hockey teachers, or bunk cleaners. They are, however, always the most joyful.

So, how do you handle those ‘joy suckers’ around you? My friend suggested to be kind to them but just don’t hang out with them. Makes sense to me!

Secondly, true joy comes from devoting your life to something larger than your own personal happiness.

Tony and I were just talking the other day about our most memorable coaching experiences. Both involved helping a young person achieve a level of athletic competence they didn’t think possible. The look on their faces when they did something they never thought they could do was priceless. There was complete joy in their faces and manner. That was the best reward we could have received!

Our bunk counselors and campers see this every day at Weequahic. Bunks that truly come  together becomes an ‘us’ rather than a collection of ‘me’s.’ And that is when the magic really starts to happen.

By the way, did you know that those who devote themselves to their own personal happiness never truly find it? It will always remain out of reach.

Finally, he told me that joy will always be in spite of something else.

I love this point. Camp, as much as we would like to make it so, is never perfect. There will always be a few bugs, a meal that is not as good as mom’s, or an evening activity that is just not your favorite. However, if you are waiting for the conditions to change in your life for joy to arrive, you’ll wait a mighty long time.

Karl Barth said “Joy is a defiant ‘never the less!’ It’s not contingent on circumstances. If it is, we are all in trouble.”

Sure, we can be upset by something. However, this moment of sorrow should be temporary and our primary attitude should be that of gratitude and joy.

So, this holiday season, I wish you the happiness which comes from joyful friends and families, being a part of something larger than yourself, and the recognition that, despite the bumps in life, joy is an attitude you can choose to adopt daily.

Happy holidays, all!

Cole Kelly