Monthly Archives: September 2010

Dancing With The Stars – The Path To Excellence

Much to my surprise, a few seasons ago I started watching Dancing with The Stars on TV. Since then I have witnessed many “Stars” succeed on the Path To Excellence. Initially I watched it out of curiosity; “I wonder how foolish these people are going to look?” To my surprise it was entertaining and I continued to watch every week, and now I watch it quite consistently – which is saying a lot since my TV selections are usually limited to news shows and the History Channel. Looking back over the previous seasons, I have always had a favorite contestant. Usually it is obvious which one or two contestants are not going to last too long, but after that it, it gets interesting. It is often very impressive, and illustrative, to see which contestants improves, and how much, from one week to the next. What I have found is that every season there are one or two contestants who are horrible dancers and who I would have figured would not last to the final weeks – but they prove me wrong. Whether this can be attributed to the Professionals’ coaching ability, the competitive atmosphere or something else I am not sure, but it is truly amazing that some “knucklehead” guy or a woman who does not appear to have a graceful bone in her body, can improve so much and actually be a joy to watch. Additionally, the contestants in the final weeks typically seem to be genuinely “nice” – the ones with bad attitudes having been voted off. Whether it is a professional athlete with the “Bad Guy” reputation or a reality TV star who has never demonstrated any sense of etiquette or class, it is truly impressive to watch them “blossom” into a ballroom dancer with grace and musicality. They do more than learn “the right steps”, they develop a fundamental understanding of the art of ballroom dancing – perhaps the “Zen” of Ballroom. this puts them on the Path To Excellence. Some of the qualities the best contestants embody are courage (to try and dance,) confidence (they can pull it off,) perseverance (to overcome setbacks,) patience (to improve,) and the integrity to win.
The lesson for the rest of us: Many of us are so busy Doing, that we “Miss-The-Boat” when it comes to “attaining enlightenment” in life – the “Zen” of things. Whether it is working at our job, working to be a better parent and provider, or working to improve at a leisure activity – sometimes we need to take a breath, smell the flowers, or just enjoy that which we are doing. Like the best contestants on Dancing With The Stars, we need to find the Path To Excellence in life. We should strive to have the courage to try, the confidence to do it, the perseverance to overcome failure, the patience to persist until we improve, and the integrity to succeed.

Thanks for stopping by.

May You Be Healthy, Wealthy, and WISE

What Do The Heisman Trophy, & Political Primaries Have In Common?

Headlines from the past several weeks have included: 1) Reggie Bush forfeiting the Heisman Trophy after the revelation of his numerous NCAA violations, (which were at the root of an investigation that cost the University of Southern California heavy sanctions.) As of this writing, according to a Chris Dufresne article in Tuesday’s LA Times , Bush still has not offered up any apology. 2) In the little State of Rhode Island, one Primary Candidate for Lt. Governor, an under-funded, relative unknown, was soundly beaten by another under-funded, relative unknown Candidate. Only days after the Primary, the winner dropped out of the race and threw her support to an Independent Candidate for Lt. Governor. However, what is interesting is the silence from the Party officials in the state- it is deafening. 3) In the Great State of Alaska, the loser in a US Senate Primary is embarking on a “write-in” campaign for the General Election because she cannot believe that the people of Alaska don’t want her. 4) In Delaware, The First State, a relative unknown and long-shot, beat an entrenched, well-financed, expected victor who was deemed not to be true to his Party’s Platform. The loser, and many of his Party’s Leaders, have yet to support the Victor.
What do all of these “events” have in common? Duplicity, fraud, hypocrisy – The reader can decide which most aptly fits each. What is unfortunate is that these instances of deception and fraud are being perpetrated on a public that is “innocent”, and occurring in areas of our culture that one would, perhaps naively, think should be immune to such trickery. All too often, people today “pose” to be something they aren’t and with a “wink and a nod” those in power look the other way so the fraud can be perpetrated and those in power can retain their power.
According to the NCAA.org website, the Core Purpose of the NCAA “is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.” In spite of this, college football has become a Big Business; player’s Agents are virtual “King-Makers” and will do what they can to assure their own financial future by way of young athletes’ allegiance and fealty. How did we get from that Core Purpose to Reggie Bush having to forfeit the Heisman Trophy and USC receiving heavy sanctions? When did we exit the path of righteousness?
Public Service is all but absent from politics today; those that have political power, whether they are elected or not, are unwilling to relinquish it. Party name does not matter, once the “outsiders” gain power and are “insiders”, they do not want to relinquish it, even to their own Party. Which is why today, there are bigwigs in a major political party who are cannibalizing newcomers so they can retain their own grip on power. Ideology has nothing to do with what these bigwig politicians say or believe. Even when these newcomers are more closely aligned with the official Party Platform than the individuals they beat, if they are a perceived threat, they are attacked.
Is this what our Founding Fathers had in mind? Is this what we, the “regular people” want? Or, do we want to demand truthfulness, righteousness and honesty from our athletes, politicians, business and civic leaders? After all, Leadership by a good example is what makes Great Teams, Great Movements, Great Companies, Great Cultures and Great Nations.

Thanks for stopping by.

May You Be Healthy, Wealthy, and WISE