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English: Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs with another trophy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I watched the Manchester United versus Bayern Leverkusen Champions League match a couple of weeks ago and marveled at the Red Devils’ Ryan Giggs, who was to turn 40 later that week, as he pulled the strings in midfield in United’s 5-0 win.

I’m old enough to remember Giggs when he was still a teenager and his precocious talent burst onto the international football stage.  He had marvellous skill and a remarkable burst of speed, but no-one could have imagined that he would still be playing for the same club and at such a high level more than 20 years and 950+ games later.

As a sports fan, I’ve seen many brilliant talents, but it’s rare that they are able to turn that into such an extraordinary career.

I believe that everyone is a 10 at something, but again it’s not often that people turn their phenomenal potential into phenomenal results, so what can we learn from an amazing footballer like Ryan Giggs?

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steps (Photo credit: SFB579 :))

Every person that I’ve met is generally at one of the following steps:

“I have no idea what I’m good at.”

“I think I know what I’m good at, but I don’t know how to use my skills.”

“I know how my skills can be valuable, but I don’t have any real direction or purpose.”

“I have goals, but I don’t know where to start.”

“I’ve started, but I don’t seem to be making much progress.”

“I am honing my skills, but I now realise how much more there is to learn to become elite.”

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There’s a story of a farmer in Africa who heard of the abundance of diamonds that had been found across the continent.

In his enthusiasm, he sold his farm to pay for his search and ventured out to find his fortune.

For many years, he looked and looked, but never found the diamonds that he believed would make him the millions of dollars that he dreamed of.

Sadly, the farmer ended up broke and depressed, eventually taking his own life by drowning himself.

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Eruption of Stromboli (Isole Eolie/Italia), ca...

Image via Wikipedia

The recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland and Chile have caused havoc with flights across the world, with ash and smoke being spewed into the atmosphere in an impressive display of power.

According to volcanologists, volcanoes have three distinct stages.  These phases can also describe our current state.

So what are the three stages of volcanoes and which one are you?

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Richmond Football Club coach, Damien Hardwick, recently observed of his team, “Last year they hoped, now they are starting to believe they can win.”

What he’s saying is that they’ve turned hope into expectation which is a powerful transition to make for any organisation or individual. 

It means that they go into any challenge with a different mindset.  Instead of relying on external factors to go their way, they understand that if they perform to their best, they have a very good chance of winning.

Living in hope is a good thing.  It’s better than giving up altogether and complaining about the circumstances that have conspired against you.  Hope is optimistic and positive, positioning yourself to better identify and grasp opportunities that come your way.  But living with an expectation of success is a more powerful mindset that enables you to take charge of your life more effectively.

Some people would debate the difference, but let me ask you what’s more compelling: Read the rest of this entry »

Two students were asked to meet their teacher at the start of a track through the forest.

He gave them instructions to follow the path to its conclusion, in preparation for a test later in the week. 

The path had two sides, one side was clear and smooth, the other side had fallen logs and other obstacles in the way.

One student chose to avoid the obstacles, running around them and taking the easiest path to the end.  He felt clever as he dodged through without hindrance.

The second student chose to tackle the obstacles, battling through every challenge in his path.

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Goals are great, big goals are better.

Unfortunately, sometimes we stop short of dreaming too big.

We think that greatness is meant for others, but not us.

That doesn’t have to be the case.

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There are two kinds of failure.

There is the failure that takes place when you try something new and don’t quite get it right.  Or you take a risk to achieve great things and it doesn’t work out the first time.

And then there is the kind of Failure that takes place when you don’t try, don’t learn, don’t aspire, don’t work, don’t take risks and may I suggest, don’t live.  When you reflect back on your life and have nothing to show for it.

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These summer months are a good time for Karen and I to catch up on some DVD releases from the past 12 months.

One of those was the A-Team, the remake of the classic 80’s TV show that I used to watch every week back in the day.

Of course, the timeless quotes like, “I pity the fool!” and “I love it when a plan comes together” featured, but there was another line that really caught my attention.

“Over-kill is under-rated.”

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I’m sure that most of us had delusions of grandeur when we were kids.

Becoming an astronaut.

Breaking the world record for the 100m sprint.

Becoming the President of the United States or the Queen of England.

And then we grew up and became realists.

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