What Story Are You Committed To?

What story are you committed to telling yourself?

You know, the one about why you are exactly where you are today.  Maybe a better ask is understanding the question,”How did I end up here?”

  • Whose fault is that?
  • Who do you have to thank?
  • What stands, or stood in your way?

I’d like to tell you a story about a guy I know

He grew up in a pretty small town, fewer than 5,000 people. A place many would consider the “middle of no where.” As if that wasn’t enough, he grew up across the street from a prison with 1,500+ criminal offenders. Not exactly the place you think about for the “perfect childhood”or the playground across the street.

His parents worked very hard. His Mom commuted about 40 minutes each way to work for the government. Its a job she started early in her 20’s and one she would retire doing 35+ years later. Imagine 30+ years of that commute. Every day. No easy outs.

His Dad was a school teacher. Not exactly raking in the Benjamins and splashing 100’s on the table during vacations. That said, for the first 10-12 years of this child’s life his dad worked 5-6 days a week to supplement his family’s income in addition to his career as a teacher.  Doing the math, his Dad worked 70 hours a week or more.

As he grew up he was a good student, but never a genius. Maybe a bit of a daydreamer, and more than anything he loved doodling during class.

He went off to college and eventually into the real world of working, but not before interning for nine months. Nine months of working (for free) and didn’t earn one penny of income while in school. What a bad break to not make a single dollar.

He started working the day after college graduation making $24,000/yr. Doesn’t sound like much…

I wonder what ever happened to him…with a story like this?

Maybe you’d like another version?

I grew up in small town (Anamosa, IA) in the middle of no where, across the street from a prison (Anamosa State Penitentiary). It’s a really beautiful structure if you ever get the chance to see it. It resembles a castle, or you could swear it was used as the backdrop in Shawshank Redemption. My parents live there to this day and we have 24/7 surveillance and security. Even a couple snipers. Pretty tough to beat, unless you’re the president.

My parents worked so hard to give my sister and I the childhood we had. We were so rich with opportunity. Anything we wanted to try, they made available as a result of their hard work and dedication. I’m sure we heard no from time to time, but I don’t remember it.

My Dad worked those two jobs for all those years because he was unreasonable in the pursuit of giving my Mom, my sister and I a life we could make the most of. He sold the drywall business when we got to be a little older and when he hit 55, he retired as well. What a dream come true!

My Mom worked for 35+ years and is also retired. She earned every bit of it. If she wasn’t working, she was shuffling one of us two kids around somewhere, and I can’t ever remember her complaining about it for a second. Even when we were brats (maybe too often).

I was never the smartest guy in school, and I’m still not, but I continue to learn. Most importantly I’m learning to ask better questions. I also continue to sketch and doodle because that’s partially what I do for a career. I think it’s safe to say that part will never leave me.

I’m extremely thankful for my internship experience having worked those nine months for free because that experience got me my first real job and that first adult paycheck. That’s when things got real and I really started learning what business and selling was really about. Looking back, I made every penny back, and then some.

Long story long. My story isn’t worthy of a 10 minute local news piece, but that’s not the point. The point is all about mindset. I will always be a guy from a small town, and I’m also not afraid to walk the streets of Manhattan to compete for opportunity.

Are you without?  Is life happening to you?

Or, are you Grateful?

ACTION ITEM: Everyone is living out the story they’re committed to this very moment. Your story —->Your Life

What’s happening in your life today, is a direct result of mindset, and the story you’re committed to.

Change your story, change the outcomes!

Is Colin Cowherd Right Hawkeye Fans?

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If you haven’t heard or seen it, here is a rant by the “somewhat” popular Colin Cowherd regarding the Iowa Hawkeyes and their 9-0 schedule.

You mad bro?

You think I’m mad? I’m a huge Hawkeye fan. I bleed black and gold and will support my Hawks through and through. I must be ready to shout through the roof at this idiot at his under-appreciation for Iowa football.

But I’m not.

Here’s the thing. In the first component of his argument…he’s right. Where are the “great” non-conference games? Historically they’re hard to find. So what. This is a problem I see with our society and it goes all the way to how we vote and who will be in the white house in 2016.

The fact is, I really like Colin Cowherd.

I like his often contrarian viewpoints and his ability to get under the skin of an issue without fear of who he may offend. Has this earned him many friends? I don’t know and I don’t care. I’m sure he has lots of friends. I’d share a beer or glass of wine with him because at least he’s interesting.

The point is, people, society, call it what you want, have to be able to hear an argument, reason with it, and at minimum understand it. Truly digest the point he’s making and not simply react like he’s bashing every Iowan in the face with an ugly stick (this is any stick with an Iowa State logo by the way). See what I did there. Jab jab.

Ferentz is a good guy. He’s a good coach. He also has a 9-0 football team who sits at #5 in the college football playoff rankings ready to pounce. A 9-0 football team with a schedule stronger than many others (to this point) in the season. This season. This year. We’re 9-0. Hopefully it continues.

Enjoy it! This doesn’t happen all the time in Iowa and we better damn embrace it.

Colin’s argument is history. He’s right. So what. Shrug it off.

Our argument is the here and now. Live it, and by all means Iowa football, win out so we can WEAR IT OUT as Hawk fans.

Then we’ll see that happens and what we’re really made of.

Point made Colin. We’ll take it from here.