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Adams: 3 People Who Share the Power of Positive Attitudes

As we enter into 2015 I wanted to share 3 powerful stories on the importance of the positive attitude. For many years I was a positive attitude reporter in TV News, which allowed me to connect with people with remarkable attitudes. I have played these videos over the years to organizations because there are so many valuable lessons.

I call these my timeless treasures because the wisdom within them will go on and on. The first is of the most positive person I ever met and interviewed, Brett Eastburn.

No arms, no legs; no disabilities, no handicaps!

I once was told of a lady at a hospital whose positive attitude had impacted everyone there. I found her.

“When I am done with my work I look to see who I can help with their work.”

Then there was the time I was told that a man zipped around a downtown all day lifting up people. It took awhile to find him, but when I did he shared pearls of wisdom.

Based on audience reaction from over the years, here are 8 quotes from people I have interviewed or researched that have impacted people a great deal. These can be helpful for 2015:

“A positive attitude doesn’t mean you can do anything, but a positive attitude means you can do everything better than if you had a negative attitude.” – Zig Ziglar (I have used this many times in the ‘Stoke’ keynote and in ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing’ and it always resonates with audiences)

“You can celebrate life or you can suffer life and it has absolutely nothing to do with your circumstances.” – Sandra Herron (she said this during a guest Talk at my Church several years ago and it hit me like a baseball bat to the head)

“We are not born winners. We are not born losers. We are born choosers.” – heard this from another speaker at a Conference years ago and it has always stuck. Young people need to burn that quote in their head.

“If what you did yesterday seems important then you haven’t done anything today.” – Lou Holtz (I have interviewed Holtz dozens of times and that quote always stood out as a way to help and individual or organization resist complacency)

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to be better.” – Pat Riley (I had a one hour sit-down interview with Riley and that quote really lit a fire in me)

“You can look at it as a threat…or as a challenge.” – Jim Steen, Swimming College, Kenyon College (I think this is great to draw on in times of adversity, leading to a mental approach of rolling up your sleeves rather than retreating)

“Lock your jaw!” – Bill Mallory (Bill was a successful head football coach at Indiana University and often used this ‘old school’ approach before his team faced formidable opponents)

“Take Dead Aim” – Harvey Penick

In April of 1995, I was reporting from The Masters at famed Augusta National. An amazing thing happened that week.

Ben Crenshaw, a gifted but ‘past his prime’ golfer was given two chances of winning that week – slim and none. There were too many bigger, stronger, younger golfers. Crenshaw had won the tournament, but as a younger man. To add to it, his mentor and longtime coach Harvey Penick had died the week before the tournament. Crenshaw was emotional as he went from the funeral straight to The Masters.

Applying the ‘look at it as a threat or as a challenge’ Crenshaw channeled his emotion in a good way as a way to focus and honor his longtime friend. When I talk about the fire within, his was kindled. He didn’t go around going “rah rah and rrrgggh” but his fire was stoked.

Saying he had an ‘extra golf club in his bag’ (being the memory of Penick), Crenshaw stunned everyone by winning the 1995 Masters. Over four days and 72 holes he did not have one hole where he needed over two putts. I will never forget walking all eighteen holes of the final round that Sunday as the small but crafty Crenshaw beat the likes of Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson. I could not believe what I was seeing.

Penick had a saying, “Take Dead Aim,” that hits home when you think about really getting something accomplished. I love that expression. Over the years I have done ‘Stoke’ programs in Alaska for Educators and Corporate groups. In Fairbanks, I was given a tour of where the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Rifle Team practices and competes. It was very motivational as I learned that they are the best at what they do, period. In the past 20 years, they have been the National Champions in College Rifle Competition ten times and runner-up four times.

During the tour, the guide told me they are so dedicated to excellence that they train themselves to be as still as possible when it comes time to pull the trigger. No movement. No breathing. As they get older, they even train themselves to pull the trigger in between heart beats.

They take dead aim. They hit the dead center of the bullseye. They are the best at what they do.

And finally, from my new program on how the Miracle on Ice happened 35 winters ago and lessons from it…

“Don’t be common. The common person goes nowhere. Be uncommon.” – Herb Brooks

Charlie-Adams-e1378206959986-150x150Peak Performance speaker Charlie Adams is a 1980 grad of Lafayette High who is an Ole Miss alum. His new motivational keynote More Than a Miracle is a powerful description of the greatest moment in United Sports history. He shares how a group of college kids upset the best team in hockey history in Lake Placid in the winter of 1980, and galvanized America along the way.

“I literally had to choke back tears about 5 times during this Talk. Now I now feel as if I can do anything! ANYTHING!!” – Christopher Pataro, lawyer

“As powerful a motivational talk as I have heard in 40 years.” – Bob Bayliss, former tennis coach at Notre Dame and Navy

Charlie can be reached at charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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