Sunday, December 18, 2016

Character Can Overcome Adversity

Over the last eight (8) plus years, it has been a very long, tedious, grueling, often frustrating and winding road for the USC Trojans Football program.  So many ups and downs, including but not limited to, multiple changes in coaches; coaching staff; crippling NCAA sanctions; reduction in scholarships and; the list goes on and on. For a historic program, full of heritage and legend, USC Trojans Football brings great memories of Coach Howard Jones, Coach John McKay and the various players, people and personalities surrounding the prestigious and elite USC Athletics program.  In addition, the incredible and amazing memories of the most awesome games, close finishes, and breathtaking feats.  Today’s global media has an excellent digital footprint for the public record on all of the above and it can be readily accessed from anywhere and anytime on 24/7 basis.

USC Coach Clay Helton
Beyond the hype, glitz, glamour, fame and fortune, many times it’s not what we just see on the outside which is only a resultant, but, the inherent and intrinsic “unseen” which actually determines what we think, speak and ultimately do in our daily lives which makes all of Life so precious.  Whether it is just walking on the USC campus, Howard Jones practice field or Heritage Hall, the awe inspiring sights, sounds, environment, atmosphere…it’s the power of the USC Trojans that radiates.  One can witness firsthand by seeing it in the eyes, the words, the feelings, the emotions, the pursuit of both academic and athletic excellence with the realization of the full utilization and potential of one’s own inherent and innate natural talents, skillsets and core competencies…always doing your best and leaving the rest.

USC Quarterback Sam Darnold
Just looking back at nearly the last one (1) decade, through the adversities, trials, tribulations, doubts, fears, and so on, USC Trojans Football is now back.  Even in late September 2016, there continued many doubts and words of despair.  What is it that made USC Trojans Football overcome and prevail? What is it that made them win every game while starting off with a three (3) loss record with losses to top-ranked Alabama, Stanford and Utah? It is just good coaching or just playing purely fundamentals of football?  These and many more questions which cannot be just answered from looking outward, but, inward.

USC All Purpose Offensive & Defensive Player Adoree Jackson
It has been said over time immemorial, all that we see is nothing but a reflection, reaction and resound of our inner being – that which cannot be defined, not described, but, is in each and everyone one of us, regardless of whatever we are on the outside or walk of life or where we came from.  Further, on overcoming adversity, a former great USC coach once said, it is not always about falling down in Life, but, getting up each and every time and never looking back.

Yes, it is true that No. 9 ranked USC Trojans Football earned their way and will play in the 103rd Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2017, “The Granddaddy of Them All” versus Big 10 Conference Champion No. 5 ranked Penn State which has also undergone its own journey of trials and tribulations. 
103rd Rose Bowl Game

Regardless of the outcome, it is not just about winning or loosing a college football bowl game which is an annual sports event.  There is something more, something that poets may write verses about, artists may paint about…the power of the human spirit to be inclusive, collective, collaborative, come together with total unity as one seamless cohesive group against all odds and to ultimately prevail.

USC Trojans Football, in its own way, is an example that end-of-the-day, “Character Can Overcome Adversity”. Fight On!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Today’s Millennials are Shining Stars

Over the last 2-3 decades, with the global dynamic convergence of the brick & mortar vs. the digital age, information, knowledge and business processes have also undergone major changes as well as transformation. Some attribute this to seismic shifts in global monetary policy, deflation vs. inflation, fiscal / financial / regulatory policy & framework, commercial market scenario, macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Accordingly, today’s key demographics and market segment is the dynamic Millennials generation. Much has been written and continues to be opined and commented on the Millennials. The past “industrial age” of prior generations gave way to the Baby Boomers generation. The recent “information age” of Gen Xers has further given way to the present and future “intelligent age”. While others view that Millennials want multiple options, experiences, selectivity, are lifestyle conscious, passionate about work and career choices, and sensitive to their purchasing power. In addition, Millennials are subject to being both identified and targeted by Omni-channel branding, marketing and sales.

As a volunteer mentor, globally, I have been very fortunate and extremely lucky to associate, guide and work with many Millennials right from high school to college and also on their various career and lifestyle paths. I have observed first-hand that today’s Millennials are actually “shining stars”. So many are, in their own individual and special dynamic way, creative, inspiring, innovative, entrepreneurial, and inventive. In addition, it is truly amazing to see that Millennials have also their own individual as well as inclusive and collective viewpoints and insights on self-empowerment, social responsibility, community service, sustainability and positive lifestyle (diet, rest, exercise, mindfulness, motivation and balance).

I have realized that it is very important, at times, to just listen, understand, appreciate and also learn from Millennials. They have their own uniqueness in their innate value system, inherent perception, knowledge, experiences, maturity and wisdom. Whatever the key catalysts and drivers may be, Millennials globally are day-by-day making a major positive impact and difference in various aspects of daily life.

More than anything, key is to further empower Millennials, as needed and as required, with effective mentoring, coaching and guidance while further assisting, supporting and enhancing them on their positive career and lifestyle choices and paths. In addition, counseling them to make prudent choices and decisions as well as creating the proper awareness and disseminating right information. Finally, providing the necessary tools and metrics for further developing their continuing education, advanced training, professional certification, skillset, areas of expertise, core competence, accomplishments and proven track-record.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Eric Liddell: A Role Model

There are just a few weeks away from the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil. Under the current global scenario and events, there is so much happening worldwide which may create seemingly unfathomable dark clouds over the many intangible aspects which provide an inspiring Vision, Mission and Purpose. In addition, at times like this, it is also very important to focus on the inherent positive traits, qualities and attributes which enable true goodwill, sustainability, social responsibility, and empowerment.

The sport of "Athletics" or Track & Field is also undergoing so many controversies, debates, battles, and issues. This core sport, which is one of the premier events of the Olympic Games, will once again be in the spotlight featuring athletes from various corners of the globe and walks-of-life on their journey to athletic glory. Some may break world records, some set Olympic records, some set national records, some with personal records, some with the personal satisfaction of just crossing the finish line, and, others with just the thrill of taking part in the competition.

At moments like this, there are many names, but, a name keeps standing-out over and over again from the pages of history; “Eric Liddell”. Historically, through various forms of modern media, it is well documented who Eric Liddell was, his accomplishments at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games and dedicated, selfless service and personal sacrifice in China.

Eric Liddell may not have had the “classic” running form of a world-class sprinter in the 100 Meters, 200 Meters or 400 Meters. In fact, it is said that he did not have the prerequisite “GAIT”, nor the biomechanics, nor the bioenergetics, nor the kinesiology of the elite world-record setting Olympic champions of his time. His training, for achieving world-class status, may not have been at par with internationally well accepted sports science, fitness and training standards.

There must be something which made Eric Liddell think, speak and do what he did. For his inspired deeds and accomplishments are indeed not paltry nor meager. In the classrooms he taught or on the stadium tracks he ran or elsewhere in his life, Eric Liddell was “A Role Model”. Speaking a kind word of hope or a kind gesture to a complete stranger or shaking the hand of his rivals and competitors in the locker room or at the starting line prior to each race; this was Eric Liddell.

Looking back, Eric Liddell was not just a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a teacher, a friend, nor a world-class athlete; for all these roles, duties and responsibilities were just an extension of the true innate personality of Eric Liddell. It has been said that the power of the human spirit emanates from deep within each and every one of us; which truly makes us “human”. Also, it has been said that it is not always what we are outside, but, what we really are inside for all is nothing, but, a reflection, reaction, resound of our inner being. So many more books, films, and other forms of media content may come in the future, but, the essence of Eric Liddell is truly what he was inside.