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My bride loves to go to the movies.
I would rather sit in my own chair, eat my own popcorn, drink my own Coke, and the whole evening costs $3.00. But not Tina. When I tell her I am going to take her to the movies at “the big movie theater”, she pants like a lizard on a hot rock.
One of her favorite movies of all time is “Remember the Titans”. Ok, I admit it, I love it too. It is the story of a football team (and really an entire community) that comes face to face with racial reconciliation when a “white high school” and a “black high school” are merged into one school.
Two of the leading characters in the movie are two of the star football players on the team: one white athlete (who is the captain of the team) and one black athlete (who is a total football beast).
As the football team prepares for their season during a weeklong, off-site training camp, the racial tension among the players is very intense. At the height of the unrest, the two stars are about to tear each other apart and, the white player is yelling at the black player about his bad attitude. The black player shouts back, “Attitude reflects leadership, CAPTAIN!”
It was a great moment in the movie and everyone in the audience was able to see how a leader can dramatically impact the whole atmosphere of a team (positively or negatively) by the attitude they bring to the table. Now, I define a leader as “anyone who has influence”…that’s you!
What attitude are you bringing…
…to your office?
…to your team?
…to your church?
…to your home?
Here is the great news…you are in total control of your attitude! Regardless of what is happening all around you – you still have total control over your attitude. Choose carefully. It makes a big difference.
For those of you who have been following my blog (hi, mom and dad), today, I thought I would share with you a recent blog posted by my daughter Lindsey. Lindsey is an amazing young woman who is quite a gifted communicator. She is a Junior in college, majoring in English, with an emphasis in writing.
I enjoyed her take on “change” and wanted to share it with you…enjoy!
How in the world did I get here? I thought as Elise dipped my head back into the sink. My hands death-gripped the sides of the chair as she shampooed my hair.
“Ok, I’m starting to see how it looks now!” Elise exclaimed gleefully. A few other cosmetologists-in-training peered down at me. “Big change” one murmured, “going from a 10 to a 2”. I didn’t know what “going from a 10 to 2” meant. It’s hairdresser language. But when I sat up from the sink and looked at my hair in the mirror I understood. I had just transformed from almost platinum blonde to espresso brunette.
After 20 happy years as a blonde, why would I decide to make such a drastic change (aside from the secret hope that I would somehow resemble a less-tan version of Megan Fox?) Why wash away what’s been working for me?
Change is always a little uncomfortable, whether it’s your hair, location, or job. It seems like human beings instinctively fall into ruts (or as most of us prefer to call them, habits and routines). Most ruts are helpful, like brushing your teeth every day, or making your column deadlines (a rut I almost swung out of this month!). There’s really one main problem with ruts—change inevitably finds it’s way into our ruts and forces us to blaze a new trail. We can resist change, avoid change, become paralyzed by change, or view change as the opportunity for adventure.
More than anything, change teaches us about ourselves. Since “going to the dark side”, I’ve really struggled deciding if I like my hair. I know you might be shocked , but I don’t resemble Megan Fox now any more than I resemble Conan O’Brian. By changing my hair, I was forced to get out of a few other ruts too. For example, the way I apply my make-up (I’ve looked like a ghost for almost a month, and the humidity is not helping). The colors that look good on me have changed a little bit too. I’m a brunette stuck with the closet of a blonde. Life is just different as a brunette. I can’t even blame all the stupid things I do on my hair color anymore, I actually have to take responsibility for my gullibility and lack of coordination! Then again, I’m forced to ask myself, is it the color of my hair that’s bugging me, or is it the fact that this decision forces me to get out of my comfort zone, out of my rut, and try something new? Will I view my hair as a kind of “cosmetic adventure”, trying new kinds of make-up and colors? Or will I view it a big, brown disaster and shave my head immediately? That decision, like change, reveals more about me than my hair color ever could.
So I’ll keep you posted.
Like so many other fathers on this little spinning ball in space, I suffer from a syndrome that has plagued man for centuries…my daughter has me wrapped around her little finger. When I look at her I see perfection – pure, unblemished perfection. Now, as her father, I realize that I am probably the only one who can see her through such unbiased and objective eyes so if others fail to see it, I can simply write them off as ignorant buffoons.
And, as my daughter’s 10th birthday approached, she inevitably desired that one gift that made all other gifts pale by comparison…a horse. Well, as you would guess, while I love her more than life itself, I do not have that tree (I have tried to plant it many times but it just won’t grow money). And, as you would also guess, she looked up at me with those sad, big blue eyes and, by golly, Daddy bought her a horse.
Her name was Yoo Hoo (the horse not my daughter) and it was love at first sight. Lindsey wanted to be a show jumper (this is where she competes in a huge arena filled with people and jumps over large walls, fences, and other obstructions that frightened her father to no end).
We got Lindsey an amazing trainer to help her learn how to compete in this sport (honestly, all I knew about horses was which end the food went in and which end it came out and to stay away from both ends). I was more than a little worried when “my baby” climbed up upon this 700 lb “wild beast”.
They trained for months with Lindsey progressing rapidly in her learning. She was a natural. Then one day her trainer, Jason, proclaimed her ready to compete and signed her up for a huge show. We had one week to get ready. Jason informed us that the week before a show was critical and that he wanted to work with Lindsey every afternoon with her completely dressed in her “competition outfit”.
We arrived for the first pre-competition practice and Yoo Hoo was nowhere to be seen. Jason said Yoo Hoo was ready but Lindsey was not. He proceeded to sit her on top of the fence that surrounded the riding area at the stable and they rode the course over and over in Lindsey’s mind. Jason taught her that she had to “see” herself succeeding, that she had to visualize herself flawlessly running the course: elbows in, thumbs up, heels down, change leads, lean into the jump. Time and time again they ran the course in Lindsey’s head.
The following Saturday I watched my girl win her first blue ribbon and learn a lifelong lesson on the importance and the power of vision. Rather than focus on the obstacles in the course she focused on getting over them. A good lesson for all of us as we face the obstacles in our course of life.