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Archive for Monday Morning Quarterback

Super Bowl: It’s Over

Fly, Eagles, Fly! The Super Bowl is over, and the playing field is level once again. It was a well-coached game between two top teams. Coaches gather trick plays from pro and college games over the years. Players practice these plays over and over again. The wait for the perfect time to use them is a test. But in the end, the old phrase “it all works out” proves true. These are the times that change the tide of a match. Both teams played their hearts out. And as in any competition, one team wins, and the other loses. After a period of rest, time to gear up for next year’s rivalries and challenges. To live unstuck.

Kareena Maxwell wrote in Friday’s 2/2/18 White Mountain Independent about Richard Blodgett, a man rebuilding his life. He, his girlfriend and his son live in Concho, and he is now living a peaceful, mindful life. It wasn’t always that way. He left a miserable childhood behind and had some problems with the law. But made a 180 degree turn when his son was born. Pioneering is in his blood, and he has dreams of a drone company in his future. Maxwell quoted him as saying: “I am grateful now for what I have.” He is living unstuck.

I have made those types of turns in my life. Stopped and assessed my life, then decided to take another path. To move in a different direction. To enjoy each day, challenges and all. To live unstuck.

How about you? Have you made that kind of change? Or are you in the middle of one now? I encourage you: live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving

Everyone is on an even course.

No one ahead. No one behind.

Everyone has hope.

—Anonymous

Keep Your Edge

The Super Bowl is rapidly approaching, with gala events and the hoopla involved. Big name entertainers will perform at half time and the commercials are usually mind bending. (My favorite is the Budweiser Clydesdales. Just sayin’). Two teams have competed throughout the season and are now coming down the home stretch. Players are hyped up but tired, for they have been working hard since summer. This is the ultimate accomplishment for this arena. Coaches are feverishly working out plays, practicing them in great secrecy. To be able to spring something totally different on the opposing team can mean the difference between a win or a loss. And it adds to the excitement of the game. Playing unstuck.

The Patriots are old hands at this venue, for this is the 9th time they have been to the Super Bowl. But this is uncharted territory for the Eagles. Philadelphia is listed as the underdog going into the competition. But that’s nothing new. At the beginning of the final push, they embraced the role. Some of the players wore dog masks after an early win, inspiring fans to get their own. The heads of German Shepherds and white poodles filled the stadium. The masks were bought out again last Sunday after routing Minnesota. Unstuck guerilla warfare.

How to keep their edge? The teams are at the top of their games. But how to stay sharp, be on top and win? That’s the question. One way is to disregard to hubbub and fanfare. You have practiced. You are prepared. Focus on the basics. On what you already know. Do your best. Think clearly. And work with your team. Live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving

If you stay ready, you don’t gotta get ready.

—James Brown, King of Soul

Steadfast

Three of the four quarterbacks competing for the NFL Super Bowl Title on February 4, 2018 are new to this arena. And these men have been traded, cut from teams and maligned in the past. But they have been steadfast in their desire to play in this game. They want a place at the table.

Blake Bortles of the Jacksonville Jaguars has been trash talked for a number of years. The speculation is you don’t know which Blake will show up: the star or the fellow that can’t pass his way out of a paper bag. Curiously, he turns a deaf ear to the negative comments coming his way. “Yeah, I hear what they’re saying. But hey . . . we’re going to the playoffs.” And he has to restrain members of his family (his dad, brother) from “going over to talk with that guy.” He’s living unstuck.

Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles got his brass ring on the NFL merry-go-round when Carson Wentz, starting quarterback was injured. Foles had been traded and cut from various teams but was steadfast in his goal to play, and play well. Going from the Eagles, traded to the St. Louis Rams, on to the Kansas City Chiefs then back to the Eagles. He steadfastly led his team to the first playoff victory in 9 seasons. He’s living unstuck.

Case Keenum has bounced around to the Houston Texans and the St. Louis Rams before signing on as a free agent with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017. He and the veteran, Tom Brady, share the same cool moves when under pressure. How the quarterback handles the mental stress with the game on the line is a quality that can’t be taught. In my opinion, it’s innate. Keenum is living unstuck.

How about you? Bounced around in life? Ready to take on a challenge as a backup? Are you steadfast in what you do? Focused on a purpose in life? Live unstuck. #Unstuck Living

Both villains and heroes need to have a steadfast belief in themselves.

—Jack Gleeson

Win or Go Home

The playoffs for the NFL Championship are in full swing. The word on the street is: win or go home. The Minnesota Vikings took on the New Orleans Saints yesterday to see who would advance to the next level. On a miracle 61-yard pass, Kase Keenan and the Vikings beat Drew Brees and the Saints in the last 30 seconds of the game. The winners continue to sharpen their skills and look toward this next weekend, where they compete against the powerful Philadelphia Eagles. The losers go home. They decompress, lick their wounds and begin to draw up plans for the next season. Depending on their focus and attitude, they can live unstuck. Or they can be mired in failure. Their choice.

Have you really wanted a raise? But got turned down? Looked for a promotion, but someone else got the slot? Were you gearing up for a move, but it didn’t work out? What’s your Plan B? Do you “win or go home”? Do you live up to your expectations and thrive in the new job? Or do your coast on your laurels? Do you choose to hone your talents and get the position on the next go-‘round? Do you fold up and sit at home, waiting for another opportunity to knock on your door? Do you remember: on the door to success, it says push and pull? Live unstuck. #Unstuck Living

Start where you are.

Use what you have.

Do what you can.

—Arthur Ashe

Excellence Should Be a Habit

Paul Chryst is the coach for the Wisconsin Badgers football team. He is known for his emotionless sideline demeanor, especially when compared to the billboard of head coaching characters in the Big Ten. What is particularly sobering is that as a program, Wisconsin will never stop being Wisconsin: sturdy, disciplined, homegrown and efficient. This coach follows the policy started by the prior coach, Barry Alvarez, and recruits for the team from within the state. Very unusual for a program that typically goes nationwide to court and develop prospects. And his motto? “Excellence should be a habit, not an accident.” End result? Chryst and the Badgers beat the Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl this last weekend. They lived unstuck.

I was considering his motto when out on my morning walk. It seems to fit with the theme of the new year when I take a look and rescript my place in my life, my world. New Year’s is the time where the world stands still, not for long, but for enough time for me to catch my breath and see where I want to go. While I’m doing that, I like the idea of developing the habit of excellence in what I take on. Whether it be a project, learning new techniques to help my clients or upping my game of physical activity, it’s time to focus on “doing things right.” Not to the extreme of “paralysis by analysis” but to the point where I can get better at the skills I’m developing. As the phrase goes, “you can’t fly with the eagles if you’re hanging with the turkeys.” That’s unstuck living at it’s best.

Want to fly with the eagles? Or hang with the turkeys? Live unstuck. #Unstuck Living

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.

—Ralph Marston

Underappreciated?

Feel underappreciated? Frank Gore should. He is a star running back for the Indianapolis Colts and is in the top 5 all-time rushing players. As a claim to fame, he has twelve 1,000 plus yard rushing seasons. At 33 years old, Gore already has 1,000 yards this year and is bound to surpass his own record. And all this, while playing on not-so-good teams the majority of his career. He was first drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, and struggled with a team that suffered numerous losing seasons. That is until Coach Jim Harbaugh stepped onto the scene. Gore helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012. Talk about an unstuck man!

According to his coaches and teammates, Frank doesn’t seem to age. His major qualities for success? Heart, vision, intuition and longevity. He is passionate about how he plays, about life. He has far-seeing vision both on and off the field. His intuition serves him well, for he creates spaces on the field . . . then flies through them. His longevity is legendary: he has played for 12 years and shows no signs of stopping or slowing down. As Frank says, “If you love this game, you’re gonna step up to the plate.”

What a role model! What’s interesting to me is he doesn’t allow the overall level of his team to dictate how well or how poorly he plays. He brings the same sterling quality onto the field each time he plays. Consistency is key, for he is running his own race. Frank doesn’t bother to check how his competitors are doing or how well another running back might be holding up through the season. He is challenging himself to do his best no matter the situation. He is living unstuck.

How about you? Time to make New Year’s goals is fast approaching. How would you like to challenge yourself? Be it large or small, you can compete against yourself . . . and win. Live unstuck!   #Unstuck Living

Quality is not an act; it’s a habit.

—Aristotle

Keep On Rolling

Professional athletes of any stripe have to keep in shape. From ping-pong aficionados to football players, from track stars to skiers, they all practice and work out, honing their skills for their best performance. Some are natural athletes, performing with ease. (Think Shaun White, snowboarding champ). While others work at it and endlessly rehearse until they smooth the skill. No matter the talent, they all live unstuck, focused on a goal.

And then there’s me, focused on walking my 10,000 steps a day to stay in my current wardrobe and ward off high cholesterol. And as the days grow shorter and seemingly darker and colder, it gets more difficult to roll out of bed to achieve this appointed goal. The Duff used to take the Big Walk, but due to age, has recently retired to the Shorter Morning Route to Relieve Himself. Once he is tucked in, I’m off.

If I time my walk just right, I am fortunate to meet up with Rhonda and Cassie. Now Duff used to take the Big Walk, but after certain distances, I would scoop him up to give him a break. My walking friends asked after Duff and I explained his situation. They probably suspected as much, for they had seen me carrying him at times. We also agreed he had the best of it: he was snug and cozy, fast asleep on the sofa. And we were not.

Before their walk on Friday, Cassie called Rhonda, asking, “Can I be the Duff today?” The response was without price. “No, you can’t stay home. And no, I can’t carry you.” And we all laughed. I’m still chuckling. The unspoken message: keep on rolling. Now that’s living unstuck.

Have you made a commitment to yourself, then found it difficult to follow through? Do friends and family help? Or hinder? Do you have a sense of humor about what you’re doing? Are you living unstuck? #Unstuck Living

Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.

—Gordon B. Hinkley