As many of you know, having clever children is endlessly entertaining. My oldest son Casey decided to construct a "bad lip reading" version of one of my old talks. Then, like those Russian Matryoshka dolls that are stacked one inside another, he wrapped it in a succession of boxes until a huge one made up the outer shell. After tearing through layer after layer, the family was treated to the following (which, personally, I think may make more sense than did the original talk)! Enjoy!
I stumbled across this compilation of the entire 66 commercials of the famous "PC vs. Mac" days. To me, this is some of the cleverest marketing ever. Notice the subtlety with which the Mac guy wins these standoffs without appearing to be mean. Slamming a competitor this hard but making the audience laugh at the same time is a very difficult balance to strike. Well done. I also think it's a bit of a laugh the way the "PC"guy slighlty resembles Bill Gates, and the "Mac" guy Steve Jobs. This cannot be coincidence.
Of course, these are so funny because they ring with truth. Mac's are unarguably miles above the rest.
It's pretty sad, actually, that it's been so long between caption contests. In fact, I imagine all three of you readers out there actually FORGOT we had caption contests. This is possible to believe because I almost forgot that we had them!
To set things right, we will now reveal a new caption contest. But first: we must crown the winner of the last one.
After much deliberation, argumentation, and food throwing, the winner was chosen by our distinguished panel to be the following entry from Steve Tokarski:
In life, in business, or wherever, it is necessary to find sources of motivation to help maintain peak performance. My business partner and often co-author Orrin Woodward once said, "If you don't want to do something, no one can stop you!" Inertia is often hard to overcome, so we look for sources to get us moving. Motivation is the force we use to overcome our general desire to lay on the couch and have someone fan us and feed us grapes.
There are motivational speakers, motivational seminars, and reams of motivational books. Much of the information found in these sources is valuable and at least temporarily able to kick us in the fanny. Sometimes, though, these things can miss the mark. There are times when things that sound true on the surface fall apart upon further inspection.
One time I was at a business conference listening to a speaker on stage who had been a famous NFL football player. His talk wasn't really a talk, it was more like a well-rehearsed theatrical performance. Every line was memorized; every word delivered with just a little too much polish. It was obvious he'd given this exact talk a hundred times. Still, it was pretty good. But then he said something that left me wondering. "The key to success," he shouted with a pause for dramatic effect, "is to fall down ninety-nine times, and get up a hundred!" The crowd went wild. Children cried. Heart patients clutched their chests. Such beautiful words. Such wisdom. Such motivation.
Such bad math!
I chuckled to myself as I imagined how it was possible for someone to "get up" one more time than they'd fallen down!
There is another such phrase so common that nearly every one of us has said it at one time or another. It is in books. It can be heard in speeches. It has been said by well-intentioned advice givers everywhere. The phrase?
"It's never too late!"
But there is one certainty as reliable as taxes: there IS a time when it's too late. When you're dead, it's too late! Or when you've blown the important relationships in your life, it is probably too late. Or when you have destroyed your health, it's too late! There IS a too late!
Now, I understand, the phrase is meant to encourage people that even though they've wasted time, or even though they've failed in the past, or even though opportunities have passed by - that's no excuse for not taking the next positive step. Still, good intentions aside, the phrase is not true. One of the reasons so many people accomplish so little in life is they live as though they've got forever; they live as though it's never too late.
There are many other "motivational myths" out there. Can you think of some? If so, share them with the readers of this blog in the comment section. We need to be a little aware of the "truths" we are swallowing without critical consideration. Success in life, in relationships, in finances, in anything, requires action consistent with true principles. Learn the principles and steer clear of the myths.
Motivate yourself to get cranking now, because although there is a day when it will be too late, it might not be yet! And, if you should get knocked down, feel free to get up once for each time it happens. That should be sufficient.
This is the time of year when many people are sending out those online video and photo-montage Christmas cards (although I prefer the old fashioned snail-mail kind, with photos of the family). So, I thought it only appropriate to contribute a little something from my past year. What follows is a video compilation of some of my free time activities in 2012, including videography, photography, motorsports, and the like. I am a trained professional, by the way, so don't try these things at home. Happy New Year everybody! May you live life largely!
I was recently reminded that it's been a while since we've had a caption contest on this blog, and, not wanting to disappoint, I thought we'd take a break from the lofty literary heights to which we've recently ascended and take a moment for some fun. But first, we must announce the winner of the previous contest.
Congratulations goes to Todd Moser for the following caption to Contest 2012.8:
After another panic attack, a Walenda family counselor is called to talk down the lesser known Dudley Walenda from his riskiest attempt yet.
This lucky winner will be receiving a free, autographed copy of Orrin Woodward and my NY Times best seller, Launching a Leadership Revolution. Simply email us your mailing address (which will remain confidential, of course)!
And now, here's the new photo. What does this image say to you (notice the date)?
Tensions were running high, people were getting on each other's nerves, and no one seemed sure what to do next. The particulars of the situation were complex and unfamiliar, and most of the factors were beyond the control of those present. Some barked out in emotional bursts, while a few others retreated into their thoughts.
The above situation is actually nothing new for leaders. It could refer to the high pressure stakes in a business negotiation, the life-and-death decision making of military freedom fighters in an impossible situation, or a family intervention in the life of a loved one in trouble. None of these, or hundreds of other such challenges, are to be taken lightly.
However, sometimes making light of something heavy is exactly the correct strategy. The best of leaders know that there is a strange power in fun and a very real release in humor.
I will never forget one particular business situation in which the pressure was high and people were behaving peculiarly, showing the strains of the tension. One man, my friend and often co-author Orrin Woodward, took stock of the situation and did the least likely but most strategic thing: he cracked a joke! It was self-deprecating on his part, hilarious, and pertinent. We all laughed uproariously and felt better immediately. The fun had quickly re-centered us, given us proper perspective, and put us back into productive mindsets.
Never forget the power of fun. Everyone enjoys a good laugh, a nice bit of humor, and the ability to "cut up" once in a while. In a serious world with serious issues, don't forget to search for some levity. It just might be the heaviest and most important thing you can do!
As a way of illustrating this point, enjoy some of these random laugh-inducers that I've enjoyed.
It's time to break away from the deep, literary seriousness of this blog and have some fun. This version of the Presidential debate is more entertaining, and probably closer to the truth, than the actual event! Enjoy!