Category: What Lori’s Passionate About


Practice For Your Victory (Re-post)

This week marks the beginning of the NCAA tournament and March Madness. I thought it was appropriate to re-post this from 2016. It’s not just for basketball fans, but for anyone who loves an inspiring story of perseverance and dreams that come true!

It’s that time of the year again! College basketball tournament time, AKA “March Madness.”

Anyone who knows me well knows how passionate I am about college basketball and the madness of the NCAA tournament. Originally from North Carolina, college basketball and March Madness is in my blood.

My dad made it clear to me at a very young age that our household pulls for Carolina. When I was little, he bought me a UNC blue and white basketball and taught me how to play HORSE using our neighbor’s basketball goal. I’ve been a Tar Heel fan ever since.

When I was 8 years old, I remember rooting for the ’82 Carolina team in the NCAA championship game against Georgetown. That team included the great Michael Jordan. I was allowed to stay up late to watch Carolina beat Georgetown and be crowned the national champions.

A year later, I got to stay up late again to watch NC State (one of Carolina’s conference rivals) play in the ’83 championship game. That night, there was a bit of a shift in our household.

Doing the unthinkable, accomplishing the impossible

While we had always pulled for Carolina, my mother loved the coaching style of NC State’s Jim Valvano. She loved his enthusiasm and excitement. She loved how he wasn’t afraid to show emotion, unlike the even-keeled (which she called “boring”) coaches Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski.

Jimmy V’s enthusiasm and determination led an unlikely team to a national championship. The team was off to a bad start in the regular season, losing a total of 10 games. The only way they could even get to the NCAA tournament was to win the conference tournament, which seemed nearly impossible with their record.

Practice your victory

But Jimmy V was a big dreamer and a big believer in his dreams. He would schedule a practice every so often where his team would leave the basketballs on the ball rack, and instead grab a pair of scissors and practice cutting down the nets.

(For those of you who don’t know much about basketball, cutting down the nets is a celebratory ritual the winning team does when they’ve won a championship title.)

As the season went on, the NC State Wolfpack started improving their game, and were able to get past the previous year’s national champions, the UNC Tar Heels, to win the ACC tournament and make it to the national NCAA tournament. They got their first chance to cut down the nets!

Never give up

However, when they got to the national tournament, they weren’t expected to make it past the first round because they were the “Cinderella” team. They were one of the lowest-seeded teams in the tournament. One loss and they would be out. And they were up against some big giants.

But Jimmy V never gave up hope his team could win the whole thing. And guess what? They did! No other team has gone from such a low ranking to becoming the champions. Never before, and never since. NC State was such an underdog team. But they had so much heart, so much emotion, and so much enthusiasm.

On the night of the championship game, our household became Wolfpack fans. Everybody in North Carolina was so excited to see history being made, it didn’t matter if you were also a Duke or Carolina fan. That night, if you were a North Carolinian, you were an NC State fan.

I’ll never forget those last nail-biting seconds of the final game. When the winning basket was made, I remember my dad jumping out of his chair and raising his hands to the ceiling. I’ve never seen him look so tall!

I also remember seeing the now-famous scene of Jimmy V running around the court with unbridled emotion and excitement. And the Wolfpack got to do what they had practiced. They cut down those nets!

 
NCAA Tournament
Image courtesy of Unsplash

 

An inspiring example

This past weekend, my dad was visiting me from North Carolina and together we watched the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary of Jimmy V and his team accomplishing the impossible. I’ve personally seen the Survive and Advance documentary several times, and I always smile at Jimmy V’s passion for life and his love for his players, and I always cry when it shows his inspiring “Never Give Up” ESPY speech.

It was in this documentary where I first learned of the team practicing cutting down the nets. It was also in this documentary I first learned from the interview with Jimmy’s wife how he kept note cards of his goals in the inner pockets of his sports jackets. One said, “Win a national championship,” and one said, “Beat cancer.”

We know Jimmy V accomplished the first goal. And while we all know he didn’t beat his own personal battle with cancer, he is accomplishing his second goal through his Jimmy V Foundation he set up from his hospital room to help fund research to find a cure for cancer.

Cut down your nets

I share all this to remind you that life is short. Cancer cut both Jimmy V’s life and my mother’s life short. I also share this to ask you:

Are you living a life of passion and enthusiasm?

Are you putting your goals in writing?

Are you carrying them close to your heart?

Are you practicing for your own victories?

Are you practicing what it will be like and look like when you accomplish your goals and victories?

Those are pretty inspiring and powerful practices, especially when you see such an inspiring and powerful example of how those practices work.

If you’d like to watch the story of Jim Valvano and his ’83 Wolfpack team, you can watch Survive and Advance on YouTube. Even if you’re not a sports fan, I encourage you to watch it.

Jimmy V always said every day you should do three things:

  1. Laugh.
  2. Spend time in thought.
  3. Have your emotions moved to tears.

He said:

“If you laugh, think and cry in the same day, then you’ve had one heck of a day.” (Jim Valvano)

I guarantee the documentary will make you laugh, will make you cry, and will inspire you.

And if you’d like to set big goals for your own life, goals that lead to victory, join the paNASH mailing list to receive a complimentary Goal-Achievement Plan. Your practice for victory will lead to your victory.

Title photo source: http://southerntorch.com/area-champions-crowned-sub-regionals-set/

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Where Do You Want to Be at the End of 2017?

When you look back on 2016, were you happy with your efforts in the goals you had set for yourself a year ago? If not, what happened? What circumstances caused you to hit the pause button on your goals? It’s important to look back and consider these things because the good news is, it’s a new year and you get to have a do-over with your goals!

After you’ve looked back over the last year, it’s now time to look forward. The best way to successfully achieve your new year’s resolutions and goals for 2017 is to look ahead to the end of 2017. I challenge you to think about and visualize where you want to be at the end of the year.

Try to answer the following three questions:

What are 1-3 experiences you want to have in 2017?

Personally, I want to experience tiny living. I’m obsessed with home shows about tiny houses and wonder if I could actually live in such a space. Recently I found out about a place here in Tennessee where I can go and spend a few nights in a tiny house. Not only that, while there I’ll have the opportunity to go stand up paddle boarding and hiking, two of my passions!

What’s something you’ve always wanted to try? This could be the year to do it and develop a new passion.

What are 1-3 ways you want to get out of your comfort zone in 2017?

I want to challenge myself this year by going on my very first mission trip to Brazil. We’ll be traveling down the Amazon River on a small boat and sleeping in hammocks while making stops at small communities along the river. We’ll be helping with everything from construction and home visits to ministry.

I’ve been told by my church’s missions coordinator that if there was ever a mission trip to get you out of your comfort zone, this is the one! What’s something you could do this year that would challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone?

What are 1-3 goals you want to achieve in 2017?

My goal for my passion and career coaching business is to help even more people who currently feel stuck in their life or their work. I want to help provide direction on the next steps of their life and help them find a career that’s enjoyable and is a good fit for them.

What is something you’ve always wanted to achieve? Maybe it’s a personal goal, or maybe it’s a professional goal. It could even be a passion project, something you’ve always had a desire to do that’s outside the bounds of your normal work or life routine. Something that either feeds an interest or yours or gives back to society or accomplishes both!

I’m currently working on a passion project that combines my passion for writing, stand up paddling, and my love for God. It will also serve as a source of funding for my mission trip to Brazil.

When thinking about the questions above, be creative and don’t limit yourself. This year could be the year you look back and see just how exciting life can be!

What are your plans for 2017?

So let me ask you, what experiences do you have planned for 2017? I’d love to hear about them! Please share in the comment box below!

How to Find Joy in Your Work

You may be one of those lucky people who has a job that brings tremendous joy in your life. Most likely you’re one of many struggling to find joy in your work. While you may be temporarily stuck in what feels like a dead-end situation, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your own uniqueness to add some joy to the daily grind. By finding ways to put your own thumbprint on your work with your unique quirks and skills, you can not only make your work joyful for yourself, but also for others.

How Others Find Joy

My favorite example of this is the story I recently heard of a school janitor in New Hampshire. One of his duties is to vacuum the carpet in the classrooms. Everyone is familiar with how a vacuum leaves lines and tracks in carpet. Well, this janitor uses his artistic abilities to create various designs in the carpet with his vacuum cleaner. It gives him joy in his job to have this kind of creative outlet. In turn, the school children experience joy when they come in to their classroom each morning to find a new carpet mural.

vacuum

Photo by Angie Wyand

Another example is my favorite salesman of The Contributor. Shawn sells at the corner of Music Row and the round-about. Every holiday he dresses up in costume while he sells newspapers to fund his housing and his own T-shirt company.

the-grinch

One way I do this in my own company is by occasionally taking my clients out for a stand up paddleboard lesson. It brings me joy both to be out on the water and to teach someone something new. It brings my clients joy because it gets them out of their normal routine, clears their mind, and exposes them to a potential new hobby. They always comment on how relaxing and fun it is.

emily

paNASH client Emily U.

The Possible Results

Using your uniqueness to bring joy to your work and to others can open doors to an even better opportunity for several reasons. It can:

  1. Increase your positivity.
  2. Get you noticed in a good way.
  3. Make a difference in the lives of the people you serve in your work.
  4. Indirectly impact the bottom line of the company in a positive way.

All of these things make you a valued asset for both your current company and any other company you may be interested in working for, therefore likely resulting in a promotion, a pay raise, or a new job. Or, it could just simply brighten someone’s day.

How Can You Find Joy?

What’s a way you can (or already do) add your own thumbprint to make your work joyful? I REALLY LOVE stories like this and want to hear more so please, please, please share in the comment box below your own example or others’ examples you’ve witnessed.

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Thankfulness

I wanted to take this time to share my thankfulness and invite my readers to do the same in the comment box below. I am thankful for:

  • Work I love, am passionate about, and find joy and purpose in.
  • My clients, not only for the opportunity to teach them, but also for the lessons they teach me.
  • The gift of encouragement and the ability to encourage others.
  • A flexible schedule that allows me time to pursue my own personal passions outside of work.
  • My health – ever since I left a job working for someone else to start my own coaching business, I’ve been the healthiest I’ve ever been in my entire life.
  • My family and friends.
  • The beauty found in nature.
  • My sense of adventure and willingness to learn and try new things.
  • Opportunities to serve others.
  • Joy and peace.
  • A warm bed and a roof over my head.
  • And most of all, God, who is responsible for all of the above!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Please share in the comment box below!

Feeling trapped? 7 Possible Ways to Cope

A few weeks ago I took a mini-vacation down to my favorite area of Florida, Seagrove Beach on beautiful 30A. I was anxious to get my paddle board out on the beautiful emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but the beach’s warning flags told me I should re-think my plans. There was a purple flag indicating dangerous marine life, and a red flag indicating high hazards and strong currents. 

So, I improvised and took my board out on Eastern Lake, a rare coastal dune lake that runs under scenic highway 30A and eventually feeds into the ocean after a heavy rain or other inflow. Because it is a coastal dune lake, Eastern Lake is rather small. And since there hadn’t been a previous heavy rainfall to create an opening to the ocean, the sandy beach served as a barrier between the lake and the ocean.

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Feeling Trappedpicture1

I paddled from the beach end (the south end) where the salt water mixes with the fresh, to the marshy north end where I’m sure some alligators make their home. It was only about a mile and a half from the beach barrier to the marsh end of the lake. Needless to say, for someone who is used to paddling on rivers with an unlimited amount of distance available, I felt a bit trapped.

Unlike the ocean, I didn’t have a wide open space to explore, so all I could do was just keep paddling in one big circle around the perimeter of the lake. Despite all the beauty surrounding me and the change of scenery from my regular paddle route, the feeling of going around in circles made me frustrated. 

7 Possible Ways to Cope

I’ve thought about that day a lot since returning from my trip, feeling like there is some kind of lesson in it (and there probably is because there have been so many from my various paddling excursions). But what? As soon as I started writing this story, several possibilities came to mind:

  1. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want when we want it, so be patient.
  2. Make the best of your current situation.
  3. Just enjoy and be content with and grateful for the beauty of your current place/situation. Things will soon change for the better.
  4. Wait to make your move until conditions are more favorable.
  5. Pay attention to the warning flags.
  6. You’ll keep going in circles if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
  7. Don’t wait for an opportunity to come open. Make your own opportunity.

Can You Relate?

I’m still not sure which of the above lessons I was supposed to learn that day. But the experience of feeling blocked in or trapped is one I’ve felt more than once in my career, whether it was when I was trapped in a toxic office environment, or when I was restless because I was not working in my purpose.

Can you relate?

In two instances, I waited patiently for the conditions to be right to make my exit, and spent my time wisely planning my course of action for when the appropriate time arrived. In one instance, I stopped focusing on the warning flags and took a leap of faith.

I know which approach has worked best for me, but in general I can’t say for sure that either of those approaches is better than the other. And I can’t say that there’s one approach that fits everyone experiencing the same frustrations because everyone’s journey is different. What I can do is coach my clients on the approach that works best for them, their personal situation, and their unique goals and strengths. Which lesson from the list above speaks most to your current situation?

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