Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It's the difference between waking up before dawn to get the job done and being lazy around the house all day. It's the crucial element in setting and attaining goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control.
Football coaches are some of the world’s best motivators. And they have to be because football is a violent, painful sport that requires extreme sacrifice and dedication. Coaching football means teaching a team to mature. Football is more than a strength and power game; it’s also mental. Beyond technique and football skills, football coaches must develop the mental strength in their team in every practice session.
Mental focus is what pushes good teams to be great teams. If you are not in the right mind set before you take on your opponent, then you're unprepared. Coaches know winning doesn’t happen by luck or accident, it is a result of quality preparation. Preparation is not easy—it is hard work and it takes motivation to get individuals to work hard to prepare correctly. The essence of coaching is to find a way to motivate individuals to get them to prepare well enough to win and all of us can learn from that.
This weekend I was able to watch my guy's quarterback son at a special QB/WR School sponsored by Hammonton High School in New Jersey. (see photos below) The dedication of the coaches in attendance was very evident. It was clear to see motivating students is one of the toughest jobs that coaches have in today’s high school and college athletic environments. There are so many forces influencing kids that if coaches are fortunate enough to get kids to participate in their sport, they may have a tough time keeping them involved and working hard.
The athletes of today are different than those of the past, and traditional methods of motivating these athletes must be modified. Athletes today will no longer blindly accept and follow the commands of their coaches. Student athletes want to know why. If a coach can effectively communicate why, he will be able to get the player to do he wants them to do. If the coach cannot give a good reason why, he will not be able to get his players to do what he wants.
The 25th annual Somers Point festival took place on Saturday, April 27. The daylong event has grown to now stretch over 14 blocks along historic Bay Avenue, and includes live music in four different locations, more than 120 crafters, and many people come from all around New Jersey to celebrate.
Bayfest began 25 years ago as an Earth Day celebration, and organizers still maintain that tradition by hosting environmental groups to help inform the public about topics including water conservation and recycling. Bayfest contributes to the city at large, with profits from the festival funding projects that enhance and benefit the city. Some of the past projects Bayfest has supported include improvements to the Bud Kern Field, the installation of a new playground on the public beach, new banners lining Historic Bay Avenue and donations to the Mainland Regional High School Commutation Arts Department.
Now let’s talk about the food. My guy and I did a crabcake sandwich review of all the vendors and we had to say hands down. CJ’s Corner Grill was the clear, undisputed winner.
One of the first things I loved about their crabcake sandwich was the presentation. In the hurried atmosphere of Bayfest, the grill chef knew how to make a crabcake that was appealing to the eyes. It was on a nice kaiser roll instead of the usually potato rolls many vendors were using. This crab cake had a nice crab smell to it, so it was so nice that what you wanted to devour it from the aroma alone. The crab meat contained within was sweet, with some taste of Old Bay and a little Dijon, I think. It had a subtle kick that made you want to take the next bite.
CJ’s crabcake was top shelf, with a decent amount of moisture to it. The cake was mostly crab, which had a really nice, robust flavor to it. The cake itself had lots of lumps of crab meat with only a few broken pieces mixed in. The binder had a great flavor to it, although it is just right amount to let you know it's there without overwhelming you. The crab meat was plentiful in each bite, which is the main reason I wanted this sandwich in the first place! The fresh tomatoes and lettuce added to the satisfaction of the sandwich, instead of taking away from it. I topped my sandwich with cocktail sauce and was happy with each bite.
I also got to try CJ's lobster bisque and it was the best I have ever had. It was full of lobster and the creamy sauce is extraordinary, definitely five star. It was quite yummy and buttery but definitely not on the salty side like some other vendors. It seemed to have just a touch of cayenne pepper and I’m not sure but I think I tasted just a hint of sherry. It was wonderful. You need to visit CJ’s Corner Grill whenever you’re in the Somers Point, NJ Area. (see their Facebook page for more information) It was a great surprise to discover this vendor during a wonderful Bayfest celebration.
Below are photos of the vendors I visited at Bayfest and the other crabcake sandwich joints that tied for second place.
After Earth Prompts Discussion on Estranged Father-Son Bonding and the Future of Earth
I’ve been looking forward to the latest Will Smith film. He’s great in sci-fi and to see him passing the ‘action star’ torch to his biological son is outstanding. The time has come and we’re all waiting to see how Jaden will make his father proud. (Yes, in my opinion his ‘The Karate Kid’ reboot was just a warm up.)
The film After Earth (originally known as 1000 A.E.) is a science-fiction thriller film starring real-life father and son Will and Jaden Smith as Cypher and Kitai Raige. Will also has the role of producer and co-writer. It is co-written, produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan and will be distributed by Columbia Pictures on May 31st.
The storyline, as stated by Columbia Pictures, reads, “One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind's new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai. When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai's craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.”
I’m particularly interested in the relationships between the father and the son. As a boy matures and grows into the person he is meant to be, there is greater opportunity for the father-son relationship to get a bit rocky. It’s even more stressing when the father and son don’t know each other very well. An estrangement between father and child affects not only the two involved, but the entire family.
A good father is critical to the optimal development and well-being of a child. Father’s role is more than that of economic provider, now it includes nurturing, caregiving, and emotional support in both obvious and subtle ways. Successful fatherhood correlates strongly with many attributes of children successfully growing up: Healthy child development. This includes physical and mental health habits, success in school, self-respect and self-esteem, respect for others and for appropriate authority, constructive social and peer activities, as well as the avoidance of substance abuse, delinquency, and other forms of high-risk behaviors.
It will be interesting to see how the Legendary General Cypher Raige and his son, Kitai connect when faced with their mortality. Please check out the trailer and make a point to see After Earth in theaters on May 31st.
Dealing with angry people can be extremely debilitating and exhausting. Without any doubt – anger brings an enormous amount of suffering. Here are a few strategies for dealing with difficult people, organized around what’s driving their anger: fear and need for control.
Disengage and don’t take it personally
Just as most animals attack out of self-defense, hunger or other biological needs, human anger also is goal-driven. Most people, even most violent individuals, don’t walk around the majority of the day attacking and abusing others. They lash out in spurts.
Remember threatening individuals commonly are overwhelmed and scared, so most bullies have deeply hurt and vulnerable cores.
Avoid Ego Battles and Flashbacks
Some people are willing to put their life on the line and injure another person physically or emotionally to protect their ego and restore their injured self-esteem. Inflated egos are most vulnerable to the slightest pokes and scratches, which is a common infliction of defensive and confrontational people.
Remember that ego injuries always have roots in events of the past. This is why most angry people, when they are arguing, will bring up past occasions. Therefore, at all costs, avoid discussing with them about who did what, when and why, and how it made them feel, but repeatedly ask how they propose solving this problem now.
Remember also that most angry people have a victim mentality. They perpetually believe the world owes them something and other people should fulfill their needs. What angry people are narrowly focused, entitled, and prone to listening only to themselves.
Choose Peace and Saneness
An angry person is always looking for a fight, through their escalation and unfair accusations, they are asking you to engage. So you need to be a cool-headed person. You can’t indulge them in any action. When they shout, you keep silent or speak softly. When they come close, you increase the distance. When they say a lot, you say nothing or very little. Some people think these actions will make them appear like a loser and a bully as the winner. This is contrary to what actually happens. You win by disengaging. You become untouchable and gain control by increasing emotional and physical space.
Imagine this situation: You are on the highway and the driver in front of you drives dangerously and erratically, swaying wildly sideways, speeding up and pressing the brakes, honking randomly. Should you catch up, open up your window and attempt a discussion on proper driving? No, you should shift lanes and drive away and demonstrating your intelligence and preference for safety. De-escalate the angry person in a similar manner, by exiting the scene emotionally or physically, not participating in their drama.
Defuse Them With Kindness
Raging people often are in dire need of empathy and calmness. A big part of their anger is driven by their belief or feeling that they’re always misunderstood. So, despite the obnoxious behavior, loud shouting, screeching voices, clenching fists, pointing fingers, red faces and all, most angry people have a sad message. Most likely they are trying to tell you that they are feeling hurt, ignored, disrespected, unappreciated and unloved.
Listening and responding to these needs calmly and emphatically can serve as the key to getting more cooperation from emotionally agitated people. Just offer some reflective listening, validating their concerns to an extent. Do not assign any blame or argue. Establish a basic premise for peace by appealing in some way to the healthier side of their personality by extending to them some sense of grace and validation.
Remember that everything people do or say is done to meet their needs or in support of something they value and they are doing the best they can. So the next time you start feeling tense and want to defend yourself or justify your position with an angry person, STOP and remember that other people's anger is always about them.
There is great concern and compassion for Amanda Bynes as we watch her life unfold. Unlike other celebrities who have a pattern of outrageous behavior for the purpose of getting attention, Amanda has always seemed to be one of the better behaved, more grounded child to 20 year old actors.
When my daughters were younger, in the 90s and early 2000s, Amanda was a big deal on Nickelodeon. And in my house we watched Nickelodeon all the time. She appeared in the popular pre-teen TV shows "All That" and "The Amanda Show," then on the WB’s "What I Like About You" as Jenny Garth's mischievous little sister. We watched her get named one of "25 Hottest Stars Under 25" in 2006 by "Teen People magazine" and be considered the fifth highest paid celebrity under 21 in 2007.
There’s was so much promise in this young actress that went on to make her film debut with "Big Fat Liar" in 2002. And you can see one of her movies on various children cable channels like "She’s the Man" (2006), “Hairspray” (2007), or the popular "Easy A" (2010). When you look at the body of her work she’s was meant to be a comedic powerhouse.
She has the acting ability and looks that her peers were once trying desperately to emulate. Now is supposed to be the time her fans would see her move into grittier movie roles that would push her as an actress. Like we’re seen done by Claire Danes, Dakota Fanning, Mila Kunis, Hayden Panettiere, Michelle Williams, and Christina Ricci.
I was looking forward to seeing if she would go to college and get an BFA in Acting, and taking some brief spots on Broadway to push herself to learn from the best. I wanted Oscar award-winning actors and directors to mentor her and help her take her spot in motion picture history but her career has stalled.
I’m not sure why Amanda has stopped acting and there’s too much media speculation online to decipher the truth. She stated herself in 2012 that she’s retired as an actor but it’s my hope is that she’ll sit down with someone she admires and tell her story. Not a newspaper reporter looking for fame but a person that has the integrity and the platform to do her story justice. She’s only 27 years old so she has her whole life in front of her. Didn’t we see Drew Barrymore and Kirsten Dunst turn their lives around after a few missteps?
If Bynes never makes another movie, her final film will be the 2010 Screen Gems comedy Easy A. The film received strong reviews and helped launch then-21-year-old Emma Stone's career. (It grossed $75 million worldwide.) I really want Amanda to know that there are many people that are waiting for her to rise like a phoenix, tell her story with integrity, and get back to her craft. I believe there are many great roles she’s meant to act in. Like any art, acting takes hard work and passion for the craft. The business can be grueling and almost always involves a lot of rejection but she is one actor that has become a household name.
I pray Amanda remembers any kind of life experience can benefit her acting talent as long as she can learn from it. Now, I know there's no substitute for work experience and training, but life experience adds the seasoning that makes better actors. So all performers need to pay attention to what’s happens in your life -- good and bad.
And if you're reading this Amanda, I hope you live your life fully, but not foolishly, with open eyes because it will make any role you play in the future richer and more real. I really hope you’ll return to acting, start learning from your craft again, and give back to the industry that supported you in the past. God Bless!
Did you know more than two thirds of women say they would be too scared to face the world without their makeup? And a staggering 91 percent of women would cancel a first date rather than turn up barefaced.
Now there are many reasons women choose to wear makeup, to enhance their natural beauty and be more physically alluring but did you know some women wear makeup because they want to look different from themselves.
For many women wearing makeup has the same feel as when men put on tailored suits; the wearer exudes a more confident persona. This helps them put their best foot forward and let's face it, the first thing a person usually notices is a woman's face. If it has been enhanced with skillfully applied makeup, a woman will have an instant boost of self-confidence.
Bare-faced and With Makeup
And some women wear makeup to hide or to cover something up. Like a night of poor sleep, camouflage blemishes, visible pores, uneven coloring, and even some scars. For some women, makeup is a mask to hide behind.
The truth is women have been told since we were teenagers that many of us only look better with makeup products layered on our skin, but a movement is starting. In March 2013, 1000 female students at Plano Senior High in Texas came to school bare-faced, scrubbed clean of all traces of makeup for International Women’s Day. (Learn about their Operation Beautiful right here.)
I believe the older I get, the less makeup I need. At age 42, I only wear tinted moisturizer, concealer (to hide my under-eye darkness), eye & eyebrow makeup and lip gloss. My whole process takes five minutes and I’m out the door. I’m not a maverick in showing the world my face without makeup (a herculean feat because you can see I need thicker eyebrows) but I’m a mother of two college-aged daughters and I feel it’s my duty to show them how to embrace their authentic selves. Let's Go Girls!!
So ladies, if you want to join me and take a photo for the world without makeup remember to exfoliate dead skin cells, hydrate your body (inside and out), get plenty of rest, then snap away.
If a photo posted to your Facebook or Twitter is too much then take baby steps and just let your skin breathe for a day and go about a normal day. (Not hiding in your home like a recluse.) And to my male readers, please be supportive because this is a very scary process for some women. I know many of you will be surprised to see your loved ones leaving the house without makeup but just remember all that war paint doesn't change the heart of woman you know. You were just use to seeing a 'dolled up' version of your girl. So let's continue the movement, shall we?
Ladies, be brave and let the world see the real you more often.
You’re more beautiful than you think.
Discover Your Life's Purpose Now
Now is a great time to find your purpose. When you know your purpose, it helps you jump out of bed in the morning. It helps you connect your work to the greater good. When you know your purpose, things feel right. Your get your thoughts, feelings, and actions all going in the same direction.
When you're aware of your purpose, you can make more impact on the world. Your purpose also keeps you grounded among the chaos. It’s your North Star. It guides and helps you adjust your sails to the winds. It gives you the strength to fight your good fights. When you fall off your path, it helps you get back and walk again. Perhaps, most importantly, your purpose helps you find your drive when you need it most.
Over the years as I have watched successful people, I have learned there's a common thread: They know why they’re here. Knowing their purpose in life gives them stability. And when others around them start abandoning their causes and jumping ship when life gets tough, these people use this assurance to steady the boat, to ride out the storm because they have a true North Star. It becomes an anchor in their life—a confidence based upon knowledge of purpose. Someone once said there are two great days in life—the day you are born and the day you discover why. And I think they were on to something.
There are two paths we can take to discover our purpose. The first is passion. Passion is a wonderful thing. It’s no secret that passionate people have a lot of energy. That’s why when you see successful people, they are loving what they’re doing and they’re doing what they love. They never run out of energy and they can’t wait to get going. If you find a person who has passion, you find a person who has energy. Conversely, if you find a person who lacks passion, normally they will lack energy.
The second path is discovering your strengths. In other words, what you’ve got to find out what you do well? What are your strengths? What are you talent, the uniqueness that sets me apart from everybody else?
Remember people will never want to pay for average. They never have, they never will. Being average has never helped anyone rise above the crowd. Average is average. Think about it for a moment. After you come home from a hard day’s work, you don’t look at your significant other and say, “Honey, we’ve worked hard today so let’s treat ourselves to dinner at an average restaurant.”
Average doesn’t make a difference in the world. Average is average. I don’t think success is a mystery. I think it’s tangible and achievable for everyone, but the secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda, by what you do today.
So take a moment and ask yourself, what's your purpose.
Today I had the honor of witnessing little Ms. Elena Francis get christened. It was wonderful to be a part of such a wonderful celebration. And after the beautiful youth-driven church service Elena was able to put on a pretty pink tutu and enjoy her 1st year birthday party.
Watching the festivities made it very clear, as life gets more fast paced, we find ourselves thinking “where has the time gone?”. Technological advancements are frees up our time so we can get more done daily but we simply just don’t have the time to take it all in.
When we are so focused on getting more done there is a tendency to overlook the small important moments of life. Slowing down allows us to see what we may have previously missed. We can really see those subtle details that make things beautiful. We gain a better appreciation and understanding when we consciously slow down.
Our kids are no different. They will never be as young or as little as they are right this minute. The number one rule to enjoying the kids in your life more: Slow down. Enjoy them, take them in. Children generally crave attention, and a way to enjoy them is to join them.
This means that instead of just giving them a movie to watch, view it with them. When your children are swimming, join them in the pool. Be creative in finding ways to enjoy your children, nieces, nephews, etc. Making cookies for them is nice, yet making cookies with them means more. Instead of just watching them play ball, try joining them. Playing games and reading to them are also very important ways to enjoy your children. Since the summer is quickly approaching, look for opportunities to join your children in doing things together.
Enjoying children requires effort. It is easier to constantly watch them and comment on their antics than it is to join them. Watching them can send the message to the child that they are objects for parent's enjoyment or that they are to be criticized by adults. Joining them sends the message, "you are important" and "you have value." Our children look to us for affirmation. It is up to the adults in their lives to choose if children are to be enjoyed.
Hi everyone, I normally don’t write on the weekend because it’s usually very nice outside and love spending that time with my guy and my family but something happened that I needed share so here goes.
I planned a wonderful surprise weekend for my guy because I’ll be going out of town soon to attend the Romance Slam Jam Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the darnest thing happened. His iPhone 4S started acting up on Friday. The phone would die, and then have several resurrections, and then die again.
He called me on my lunch break and told me the problem and I helped him locate an iPhone repair shop but they didn’t have the battery he needed in stock. So he placed an order for a new battery from Amazon. (We LOVE Amazon!) But as you can guess he has been miserable from the moment his precious the iPhone got sick.
The normal charming, witty, guy that I adore, transformed into a guy that was easily annoyed, frustrated, and irritably to the point that no one would want to be around him. His responses suddenly become out of proportion to the conversation we would be having and all because Apple didn’t make it easy to replace an iPhone battery.
Now, I know some women may think my guy is being a jerk and you’re right, but he’s a justifiable one this time. He relies on his cell phone so much, just like all of us do. He uses this iPhone for work, to keep tabs on his teenage son, and to be in constant touch with his ailing, elderly mother. It’s also a source of how we stay in touch when we’re apart; it’s his quick reference guide, his GPS, and his connection to the latest news when he’s on the go.
So as you can guess, the weekend plans are on halt until his iPhone gets fixed. He’s thankful that I gave him an iPad Mini for Christmas because it eases his discomfort a little but not his cantankerousness.
Now I know anger is a normal, healthy emotion that we all experience at times. And like any other emotion, anger exists on a continuum with varying degrees of severity, from minor annoyance, irritation or frustration, all the way up to fury or rage. I could see my great guy starting to transform like the Hulk last night so I think I’ll steer clear of his wrath until his precious iPhone is all better. (My honorary niece’s christening and birthday party is this weekend, Yay!)
I’ve learned it’s better to remove yourself from the situation when someone’s anger is reflective of an emotional experience or stressor, than to let them believe it’s okay to take their anger out on you. I promise you once the dust settles and the stressful situation is resolved, my great guy will return and we’ll both be laughing at the memory.
Now could someone, please tell Apple to make battery replacements easier for the people on the go? As for me, I'll stick with my BlackBerry. :)
South Beach, Book II in The Sheridan Series and Macy's contest promotion launches on April 24th
Soul Mate Publishing announced the e-book release date of SOUTH BEACH, Book II in The Sheridan Series for April 24, 2013.
In SOUTH BEACH, Laila Sheridan, a successful fashionista that attracts male interest with an effortless strut of her stiletto heels, has ended a rocky relationship with Malcolm Khalid, a captivating lothario with a passion for shirking adult responsibilities. She believes partying in glamorous South Beach with her former college roommates is the prescription for getting her swagger back.
When her vacation becomes a media circus that draws Malcolm back into her life and her handsome Psyche marketing colleague, Gray Ryley on the scene to tame her antics, Laila is determined make the men play by her rules.
Gray finds himself torn between anguish and ecstasy when another Lalia-sitting assignment is placed in his hands; he’s asked to hinder Malcolm’s advances and subdue the paparazzi, while wrestling with his smoldering desire to get Laila in his bed. Will this assignment cause him to disclose his feelings which may sever their friendship and jeopardize his career?
NORTH STAR, Book I in The Sheridan Series is in stores now (ebook and paperback formats) and a great SOUTH BEACH-inspired contest to win a $150 Macy’s Gift Card will began on the SOUTH BEACH launch date of April 24th.
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