No DC... the President is Not Dead!!!...

I haven't done a blog in a while... but I figured this would be a great time for me to start again.

I've avoided a lot of topics over the past few weeks (such as Obama's take on health care, Kanye being a jerk, Serena being a jerk, etc), but I figured I'd talk about the Detroit Lions getting their first win in almost 2 years, against my team, the Washington Redskins.

The reason why I'm talking about this, is because it really has had an impact around this area, and the topics I usually hold dear to my heart (such as motivation, sports, heart, passion, etc). But, if you walk around the Washington area right now, you would have thought that President Obama died (as what I've said in a Facebook update earlier today, and hence the title of this blog).

As a very loyal Redskins fan who has loyally followed this team for about 2 decades, don't get me wrong, I was very upset by the loss. But, I think many people in this town are just overreacting over something they can not control. I understand the frustration with the current management, lackluster play, and 18 years without a Superbowl. But the unfavorable outcome of one football game that we have no hand in deciding is NOT gonna ruin your life.

Many people know that I love sports as much as the next guy and I probably follow it as obsessively, if not moreso, as my brother Angelico loves video games. And, those who know me would know that I love the teams that I follow. However, I wouldn't compare the Redskins losing as if I have lost a family member, or as if the president died. There are more things in life to be sad about than the Redskins losing a game to a team that hasn't won in almost 2 years. Believe me when I say, if the Redskins losing to the Lions is the worst thing that can happen to me this week... then consider me a lucky guy. The best thing I can do, is just say my opinions, make my peace, and move on with life, as well as hope the team will correct their mistakes and do better in the upcoming weeks... If not, so be it! Why lose my head over something I can't control???

As far as the Dallas Cowboy fans, bandwagon fans, the closet fans, and other anti-Redskins fans who will give fans of this team a hard time... you can't control them (and some of the idiotic things they may sometimes say), but you can control how you feel (and react) towards all of that. Remember... "It All Starts With You!" ;-)

I will say though, I have heard once, that pain is usually an ultimate motivator. Now that my favorite team has experienced a significant part of it this week by losing to a team like the Lions (and literally had their pride taken away from them), I just have to hope that it hurts enough for them to make something out of this and to hopefully turn this season around. And to bring back the quote by Napoleon hill...

"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit." -Napoleon Hill

So yeah DC, the President didn't die. Believe it or not, something good can come out of this, and all doesn't have to be bad in this town week. (Not to mention, the Washington Capitals season starts on Thursday).



8 years ago

I can't believe that it has been about 8 years since the horrible events of 9-11-01.

The events that day was one of those generation-defining periods, where everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news that the planes crashed in the World Trade Center twin towers. I can specifically remember where I was...

I was a sophomore in college, just coming back from my early 8:00 class which ended pretty early at a little over 8:30, and on my way to get some breakfast in the North Campus Dining Hall in the University of Maryland, before trying to either get some work done, or going back to sleep. I sat down, reading the Diamondback, eating my waffles, then all of a sudden, the TV switched to CNN coverage saying that a plane crashed on the World Trade Center. Then, a few minutes later, the second plane crashed, LIVE on the newsfeed. I was horrendously shocked!

Throughout the day, people around campus were shocked. Then, after hearing that the Pentagon was attacked (and wrongly hearing that the Capitol was attacked, which the United 93 flight that crashed in PA was intended for), I was tranced. I was worried about my brother (who was at Catholic University at the time, only a few miles from the Pentagon attack). Later that afternoon, when I went to my 2:30 PSYC 100 lecture, the professor had a lot of trouble teaching, and said that we must unite as a country.

But, if there's one great thing that came out of 9-11, is that this country united stronger than ever from the days of those events. I couldn't forget how many people wanted to immediately enlist in the army due to anger, pain, and pride after hearing the tragic events of that day (to kick some terrorist butt).

I actually wrote a "knee jerk" entry on the events of that day in my old website, on that same day. Feel free to check it out by
clicking here. You can really see the feelings I was feeling that day (like pain, anger, confusion, etc). Keep in mind I was also 8 years younger, and I didn't quite know how to really express myself at that time.

To close things out, yes, the events of 9-11-01 was unfortunate. But, it has truly made us stronger as a country, and we have gone a long way since then. But, as a country (as well as individuals), we should never forget that day, but at the same time, we must continue to progress and move forward.



Oh yeah... America still rocks...


Are You Ready for Some Football???

I sure am!!!

The NFL season officially kicks off tomorrow, and I am pretty excited about it. I just want to take a little time to offer some thoughts, and just make a few simple and non-serious predictions (for entertainment purposes of course)...

  • The top teams looking the most solid going into the season would be the Patriots, Ravens, and the Eagles. The Chargers should also be even better since they'll get "Light's Out" back.
  • The Bears, 49ers, and Jaguars could probably be the surprise teams this season.
  • The Cowboys and Giants aren't gonna be as great as some people are saying they will be.
  • Brett Favre will either make or break the Vikings
  • The Lions will NOT go 0-16.
  • Brett Favre will either be injured or not starting if the Vikings don't have a winning record by the bye week and/or if they don't beat the Packers. (They'd already have played the Packers twice and have a favorable first half schedule, with the exception of the Steelers).
  • Vick will be a valuable weapon in the Philly offense.
  • Regular Season... Best: Chargers, Worst: Buccaneers, Sleeper: 49ers (picking them to challenge for the NFC West)
  • Fantasy... Stud: Phillip Rivers, Dud: Tony Romo, Sleeper: Ray Rice
  • Superbowl matchup: Eagles vs. Ravens
As far as my Redskins are concerned, they are not as bad as most people are saying they are gonna be. They have a decent chance to go over 10 wins (but also a decent chance to lose 10, if not careful). Regardless, I don't think they will lose that much, considering the talent level. I am also predicting that their 5th-string WR Marko Mitchell could potentially be their version of Marques Colston, and could make it to the #2 WR spot by the end of the season. And, since I said the Cowboys and Giants may not be as good as people say they will be, I believe they have a decent chance to challenge in the division.

One reason why I really love football season, is that it provides the best drama out of all the sports, and provides great story telling, with several plot lines, characters, and coverage. And as a speaker, I can appreciate that kind of "art".

But, those are just a few thoughts. I am so pumped for this season. I love this time of the year!




Back from Spain...

I am writing this blog as I am in the air on the way back from Spain (but obviously, this entry isn't published on the blog until a little bit later). Anyway, I should take a little bit of time to let all you awesome readers know about my trip.

Spain is a very beautiful country. It is definitely a country that you have to experience with your own eyes. Let me just say it's definitely as great as any of the pictures I have seen in books. There are a lot of beautiful landscapes as you drive on the mountains and countryside, that you can just do absolutely nothing but appreciate. In fact, I probably must have gotten camera happy by taking tons of pictures just while riding in the car (a bunch of which I plan on posting on my
Facebook page, eventually). You wouldn't be able to tell how beautiful Spain it by flying over it (unlike my local home city of Washington, DC), but driving around it is an experience within itself (as I heard is true with the most of Europe, which hopefully I hope to explore sometime).

The reason I was in Spain though was to visit my uncle and his wife, whom I haven't seen since 2002 when he visited DC. He is the only one out of the 4 other siblings that grew up with my mom back when my grandmother died way back in their childhood, so he was really close to my mom. I went with my mother, my two brothers, my sister-in-law, and my niece and nephew. Of course, it was the first time he saw my brother's kids, so that was a treat for him. But, it was also such a treat for us, as we haven't seen him in more than 7 years, and he showed us around Spain.

We landed in Barcelona, but we stayed at a town called Vinaros (which is a few miles off Valencia, aka "Orange Country"). The hotel my brothers, sister-and-law, and I stayed in was more of a Hostel (Hostal Tereuel) and it was very nice, because it was family owned with a very nice family atmosphere. They treated us really well.

We were pretty much around the Eastern part of Spain during our whole trip, so we were pretty much right beside the Mediterranean the whole time. We spent a lot of time in the beach, where believe it or not, the water is actually blue (as opposed to brownish green here in most of Northeast/Mid-Atlantic US). We visited towns like PeƱiscola (there is a tild on top of the n if you didn't notice), Morella, and my favorite, Granada, where we visited the Alhambra and the Generalife garden (which was very beautiful). I also somewhat re-learned the Spanish language while there too.

It was also great spending time with my family. It's not often that my mom gets a vacation, and she definitely deserves this one, considering how hard she works. And my other relatives and the kids are definitely characters upon themselves. And though I kind of have sort of a "love-hate" relationship with all of my family (as you may know from reading
"It All Starts With You"), I still love 'em and definitely cherish the time with them, even when they figuratively drive me nuts (at one point of the trip, I got pretty annoyed with one of my brothers that I kinda told him off for being proud of being a jerk, but cooler heads prevailed and everything was good).

Of course, I had trouble with using my computer. Though I did have free wi-fi, I couldn't charge my computer because I didn't have a grounded converter (which I didn't get until today when we got back to Barcelona to fly back), but it was all for the better. I was on vacation on pretty much anything (I didn't bring my pushup bars, and didn't do more than 600 pushups/day while there). I will have a lot of e-mail to attend to, and a lot of stuff to do to get back. Since I had a good amount of Euro to left spend before flying back, I did spend a lot of it on Toblerone, and stuff from the airport. It's all good though.

Also, I do want to say, that I had done some productive reading, getting to read two books. "Guerilla Negotiation" by Conrad Levinson et.al and "Covert Persuasion" by Kevin Hogan. Both recommended reads, and both taught me a lot of stuff (as well as reminded me of some old ones). Both books also had a unique way of telling you some of the same things about knowing and reading the behavior of others. (May do a review for one or both books if I'm up to it).

But, now that vacation is over, definitely have to focus on the next few months to end the year, and the next months after to begin the year. These next 5-10 months are so crucial to my speaking career, that it will definitely tell me where I will be in the next 5-10 years, both in my career, and as a person. Hell, these next few months are so crucial, that I'm not doing my annual fantasy football tradition this year. I have a few conferences to expose myself, a lot of opportunities to network, and start booking several talks and close on product, all before the end of the year. And what comes after that, is even more crucial. Time to prove my doubters wrong, and continue do something that I always whole heartedly believe in... choose and shape your own destiny!

If being in Spain has continued to remind me of something, is to never take anything for granted, whether it be your family, time, time with family, and time with yourself to enjoy the world. Not to mention, it's good once in a while to clear your head and re-charge, from whatever you're doing. That way, you can get back to focus on what you need and have to do.

So, if you have a chance, I definitely recommend visiting Spain. It's very beautiful. Time to make focus, and make life even more beautiful!



(After getting back, the airline lost some of our luggage. But, at least we got home okay. BTW, this is the only sentence I didn't write in the plane).