Taking Risks; Meeting Opportunity

Recently I was talking to an online acquaintance regarding the process of making tough decisions. My question to you is why are you afraid to take the risks that will make you happy?

People are Safe

You know what will make you happy don’t you? So why aren’t you doing everything you can to do it? I’ve seen in my life that I need encouragement do try something different. When I saw the coaching position open I was hesitant to apply, why? I knew that I had the knowledge of the sport and a want to coach. I was afraid of change and rejection.

In my job search after college I applied to numerous jobs over a ten month period. I had one interview and one job offer, it’s the position I hold now. Rejection, even after a year of employment, was still fresh in my mind. I really wanted to hold on to the job I had, and not risk losing it, especially since it pays my bills. However, I figured out that it was possible for the jobs to complement one another and I wanted to do something else with my time.

“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”

– Leo F. Buscaglia

Breaking the Cycle

So how do you break the chain on a risk-less life? You take risks! Go do something you wouldn’t normally do. Apply for that dream job that you aren’t qualified for. The worst that anyone can say to you is “no thanks.” You might be afraid of rejection; but trust me, you’ll feel even more satisfied when you prove yourself wrong.

And one day, it will pay off. You will apply for the job and get it.

Tips to Succeed

If you want sure-fire ways to succeed in this, well send me the list too so we’ll both know. I do, however, have some tips of how to successfully take risks and feel rewarded.

  1. Start Small – Take small calculated risks to get warmed up to the big stuff. There’s no reason to over compensate for your lack of risk taking before.
  2. Be Confident – There’s nothing better than seeing someone who is confident in their skill sets. Believe in what you know and trust what you are doing. Do you think I knew anything about coaching going in? Nope, but I did have knowledge of the sport, how to do the technique and I was confident in relaying what I know to the group.
  3. Don’t Let Fear Guide You – If you are smart and confident about the risks you are taking and fear will no longer be a factor. Just make sure you aren’t stepping too far out of your comfort zone too fast or you might take steps backwards. Jumping too far ahead will ruin your risk taking abilities in the future.
So what are your thoughts? Why are you afraid to take risks? What tips would you add to people who are afraid to take risks? Input is always welcome and appreciated…

Law of the Lid

Recently I was given a copy of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and decided that I will partake in applying these laws to my life online.

My hope is that I can also urge you, my readers and friends, to also partake and keep me accountable for my goals, dreams and ambitions as I also help you.

Major Goals

List your major goals. No more than ten; no less than five.

  1. Become a Head Coach of a HS or Club Program
  2. Achieve Level 3 ASCA Certification or Higher
  3. Prove my self as knowledgeable in Leadership/Coaching
  4. Become a speaker on leadership and motivation for athletes/workers
  5. Get involved with post-college athletic groups, such as Master’s Swimming programs

Leadership Abilities

Assess your leadership ability.

  • Strengths – Legacy, Growth, Buy-In, The Picture, Empowerment, Inner Circle, Magnetism, Intuition, Respect, Solid Ground, and Addition. From what I gather, it goes along the same lines of other analysis that I have done. I’m attracted to people and people are generally attracted to me. Essentially, I am a people person. I like to network and talk, and can seemingly gain their trust through example.
  • Needs Work – Timing, Sacrifice, Priorities, Momentum, Victory, Navigation, Influence, the Lid. What this is telling me is that I have to do a better job of increasing my effectiveness as a leader and rate on a better scale. Not only that, but I also need the willingness to sacrifice my personal time and set better priorities for myself and my teams that I work with.
  • Weaknesses – Process. Upon the first completion of the analysis this is the only area that is a true weakness. The process at which I grow needs work. I’d like some help in how to develop a prices of personal growth that I can engage in and would like some classes, articles or books to help improve myself in this category.

Peer Rating

Finally, ask others to rate your leadership ability.

Wedding Planning…

As some of you may (or not) know Sarah and I are engaged. We have been for just over a week and we have been obviously talking about our wedding. Within the last week (or so) we’ve accomplished just a few different things.

  • Found the photographer
  • Found our Church and Pastor
  • Have the venue picked out for the reception (not the food yet)
  • Put our wedding bands in lay away (Thanks Shane Co.)
  • Found the possible dress and tux/suit colors
  • Found a place for invitations
  • Have friends helping us find flowers and a cake decorator
  • Setup a special surprise for our guests (you’ll just have to wait!)

Now, to some of you it may be a surprise that we’ve done all of this. However, what’s missing? Oh yea, could it possibly be the date of our wedding?

For whatever reason, it seems as though Sarah’s Medical School Program doesn’t want to work with us. While we have the ideal situation picked out, it’s hard to book anything without having a date.

Let’s just hope we get one soon.

Edit: As of 8/22/2011 at about 4pm this post isn’t nearly as relevant. Our date is now set!


Water Under the Pier

This image was captured while on vacation at Ft Myers Beach. Sarah and I were walking along the beach to this pier on our second to last morning and I decided to capture this as a Hand-Held HDR photo. All things considered, I really like the way it turned out. Not sure how I was able to capture the waves, but I’m glad that I did.

Water Under the Pier, by Gregory A McMullen

Water Under the Pier, by Gregory A McMullen


Finding Life’s Silver Lining

I did something out of the ordinary the other day. I saw something that caught my eye (and had my camera) and decided to stop on the side of the road and snap this beauty.

It’s a reminder to all of us to stop and take in the moments of our lives and find the best out of any situation.

Finding Life's Silver Lining by Gregory A McMullen

Every cloud has a silver lining....Reminding us to find the good in life...

This image is a 3 image HDR created with Photomatix. This photo was bracketed at +2, 0, -2 then merged together and tone mapped in Photomatix (Free version).


John Wooden on Character

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

This quote really resonates with me. As I was tweeting back and forth with a few friends, there was a sense of humility.

The reason this quote speaks to me so much is just that, you should have humility. Let other people tell you that you do a good job. Ask for that recommendation letter or LinkedIn recommendation.

Simple Workout Ideas

Everyone’s busy. How do you manage to get a workout in? Do you have an expensive gym membership? Do you just walk or run around your neighborhood? Or do you have trouble finding the motivation to do a workout?

Today, I’m going to give you just a few simple workout ideas using nothing but a resistance band, AKA Stretch Cords.

Resistance bands come in different lengths and resistance levels. The nice thing about using resistance bands is that you don’t have to worry about dropping something heavy on your foot, so this makes for a nice workout even when you are alone.

Find the Bands that work for You

Luckily for the consumer, some giant supermarket stores have a variety pack of Resistance bands. The package that I purchased a few years back included 2 short bands, 2 long and some weird ankle thing (I never have used it) and handles.

This is great because you get multiple resistances easily, and you can adjust between sets or between various exercises. If one band is too light, switch to the other. Still not what you want? Use both!

3 Simple Workouts

In these workouts make sure you are slow and controlled. The best part about using the band is that you can truly feel when you are out of control.

  • Bicep Curl – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart (SWA) on the band. Make sure the band is tight enough to give you resistance while standing straight. Loop the band by your feet and stand on it to adjust resistance.
  • Tricep Extension – Stand w/feet SWA and pull the band over your head. Extend your arms until they are straight. I recommend keeping the band BEHIND you. Also, make sure to keep your elbows in towards your head.
  • Figure 8’s – Start with your arms at your side. Again Feet are SWA. Make a figure 8 with your hand and arm. Your Palm should always be facing the way you are moving. This is very useful for people with Rotator Cuff problems.
  • Others – For more workout ideas with a Resistance band visit the Sports Injury Clinic website

All you have to do is couple this with some ab work and maybe a quick run and you’ve got a full body workout without ever having to go to the gym.

Now, these are some very simple workouts that you can do at home or even at the office for a short break. I wish you all the best and feel free to post any questions or comments below!