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Leaders vs Followers



Followers accept
Leaders question

Followers get along with everyone
Leaders challenge everyone

Followers give you respect
Leaders make you earn their respect

Followers take the main road
Leaders take the road less traveled

Followers are content
Leaders stay hungry

Followers are afraid to fail
Leaders know they will fail before they succeed

Followers are afraid of change
Leaders welcome change

Followers think
Leaders do

Followers make others follow
Leaders inspire other leaders

Followers follow
Leaders lead


Here’s to the Crazy Ones (Think Different campaign)

This is one of my favorite commercials of all time. It’s very inspiring and always moves me, no matter how many times I see it. I thought of it since i just talked about challenging the norms in my recent post “The Rebel Within“.

Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits.

The rebels.

The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They push the human race forward.

And while some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world…

Are the ones who do.

The Rebel Within


Often times, we are asked to conform, to fit in, to adjust ourselves, or to just go with the flow. For most of us, this would be a good idea. In fact, it would be the ideal situation that our parents had envisioned for us – to blend in. These parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or mentors raise each of us to follow orders, do as we’re told, respect elders and simply diminish our own inhibitions as not to make a scene. Little do these “grown-ups” know that they are actually asking us to give up so much more.

Our internal understanding of the world is slowly being shaped to simply do the accepted thing. Questioning the norm is found to be outlandish, crazy or even disrespectful.

The generation and culture I grew up in respected unity. They held highly the collective tranquility within the community. Don’t get me wrong, this structure is needed in many places for it to function. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this; unless of course, you’re a rebel like me.

Being a rebel has many derogatory connotations that come along with it. It suggests tattoos, piercings, weird hair cuts with even weirder colors,  a strong disregard for authority and of course, horrible fashion (yes, I had fallen victim to each of the mentioned “phases,” as my parents called it). On the other hand, I’m now telling you that we all need to listen to that rebel within us, if only for a moment!

You need to listen to your inner rebel because it’s that inner voice within us that will question the very existence of life. It’s that unbiased, unscrutinized, uninfected inner monologue that tells us all what is right and what is wrong. It’s what will make us stand up for what we believe in and turn us into a wolf amongst the sheep.

“Well behaved women rarely make history” ~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

We each lose our ability to think, to dream and to live our own lives the second we stop listening to our inner rebel. When we just follow the same unremarkable routines of those who have gone before us, we lose our power, our strength, our very selves.

Don’t get me wrong, we should still respect our elders, we should still listen to advice and we still need to have limitations to what we rebel againts. All I’m saying is that we each need to question everything that is thrown at us then formulate our own conclusions.

So dear moms and dads out there, when you tell your kids to blend in and to do as they’re told – please know that you’re asking them to give up on themselves.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.


10 Easy Ways to Know You’re Not a Leader

This is an old post that my good friend Josh Green shared with me some time ago. I find myself always looking back on this list to see what qualities I can improve on for myself or the people around me.

Tony Morgan from www.TonyMorganLive.com gives us 10 simple clues not on spotting good leaders, but spotting bad leaders.

Is there anything else you think we could add to this list?

10 Easy Ways to Know You’re Not a Leader

  1. You’re waiting on a bigger staff and more money to accomplish your vision.
  2. You think you need to be in charge to have influence.
  3. You’re content.
  4. You tend to foster division instead of generating a helpful dialogue.
  5. You think you need to say something to be heard.
  6. You find it easier to blame others for your circumstances than to take responsibility for solutions.
  7. It’s been some time since you said, “I messed up.”
  8. You’re driven by the task instead of the relationships and the vision.
  9. Your dreams are so small, people think they can be achieved.
  10. No one is following you.

The Cookie Thief

A woman was waiting at an airport one night
With several long hours before her flight
She hunted for a book in the airport shop
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see
That the man beside her as bold as could be
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene
She munched cookies and watched the clock
As this gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by
Thinking “If I wasn’t so nice I’d blacken his eye”
With each cookie she took he took one too
And when only one was left she wondered what he’d do
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh
He took the last cookie and broke it in half
He offered her half as he ate the other
She snatched it from him and thought “Oh brother
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude”
She had never known when she had been so galled
And sighed with relief when her flight was called
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat
Then sought her book which was almost complete
As she reached in her baggage she gasped with surprise
There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes
“If mine are here” she moaned with despair
“Then the others were his and he tried to share”
“Too late to apologize she realized with grief”
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief

By: Valerie Cox

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Cocky Sonofa…

Overconfidence?

Is there such a thing? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”
– Albert Einstein.

This quote has played a very big role in my own self esteem and can really be very positive, while being very egotistical and counter-productive at the same time.

I often reflect back to Bill Gates when he decided to drop out of Harvard in order to pursue his dreams. Imagine what his guidance councilor’s reaction to this was? I have so many different scenarios playing in my head, most of which involves the councilor calling Bill F-ing crazy, insane and absolutely idiotic, not necessarily in that order. Bill Gates, and anyone who walks the halls of Harvard, is pretty much guaranteed a six figure income right off the bat. Yet, Bill decided to take the chance, follow his own heart and do his own thing. Today, he is the most financially secure person in the world, to say the least.

But of course, we have to be realistic. We always hear about the amazing success stories but there are probably 10 (or more) failures for every victory. So how can one balance out between having our heads in the clouds but our feet on the ground?

Personally, I’ve always leaned toward taking the chance. Every mistake you make is one that you will learn from. Every mistake you make is one less mistake you will repeat.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one”
–Elbert Hubbard.

Yes this may sound too aggressive and outlandish, and yes it is so much easier said than done, especially when you consider having to invest your life savings into your new widget. But I’m not talking about gambling when the odds are stacked in the favor of the casino, no, not gambling, but taking calculated risks in life. There are ways to plan things out, to stack the odds in your favor.

The best way to point yourself in the right direction is to do EVERYTHING you can to ensure success. There are so many other factors that are out of your hands, and those are meant to be left alone. However, aspects that you can control should be researched, planned, understood, structured, studied, debated, marinated, contemplated, practiced, innovated, re-contemplated and any other buzzword you could think of! Oh, and do come up with a plans A, B, C and D.

So far, you need to have confidence and believe in yourself then do everything you can to head towards the right direction. What’s next? *Now what?* (*refer back to previous blog post.)

“Now”, you have to listen.

Listening is a virtue. It’s so easily said, so frequently misused and too often forgotten.

Overconfidence only happens, when one forgets to listen. When one tunes out everyone else and only hears what you want to hear. You don’t have to agree or disagree with anyone, but you have to listen.

How do you listen? Well you need to be patient with the people who give you advice, but be careful whose advice you take.

There’s one more really, really important thing I need to tell you, which would pretty much make everything I said make so much more sense… it is the key to balancing your confidence….. it is something that one of my greatest mentors had taught me…. Umm it goes something like….. ummmm….. I can’t really remember it….. ahhhhh I wasn’t really listening….

Philosophy of Life

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2″ in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. This time the students were sure and they responded with a unanimous “YES!”

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar — effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children. Things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.

The sand is everything else. The small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.

“Take care of the rocks first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”


Christmas is Overrated: Holiday Thoughts from a Scrooged Grinch

This was a post by a very good friend of mine a few years back. Just thought it was hella funny and really well written. So I wanted to share it with you guys in case you want to check it out.

***Warning, do not read if you have heart problems, are pregnant or are overly sensitive… =P

Christmas is a religious holiday. I have no desire to celebrate anything remotely related to support it. Growing up, I was never taught to believe in any fairytale or imaginative figures. Thus the thought of an overweight old man dressed in red flannel, shouts derogatory terms across the sky about women and distributes toys to undeserving little brats does not arouse me in any shape or form.

Nevertheless, being the accommodating person that I am, I concede and cooperate with the traditions instead of telling my true feelings to people’s faces. That’s the essence of being civil. If someone has the nerve to tell me that Chinese New Year is a meaningless holiday that promotes nothing but commercialism and compulsive spending, I will slap that bitch so hard there will be no tomorrow.

The funny thing is, I just spent the evening watching two things I can’t stand the most: fireworks and Christmas decorations.

The only description I got from my friend Ricky about this event was “there will be these sail boats with cool lights at Shelter Island.” I thought it would be a relaxing way to wrap up my Sunday, which I spent compulsively rearranging living room furniture.

“Yes!! We arrived just in time for the fireworks” was the first thing that came out of his mouth when we pulled up.

Fireworks? I hate fireworks. It is the ultimate ancient Chinese invention that is used for useless ephemeral human enjoyment at the expense of our dying planet. The only time one is ever justified to use fireworks is when you’re surrounded by hungry mountain lions while wearing underwear made out of beef jerky, and you cannot possibly attract any help by screaming “fire!”

The best part about the night was that the “lights on the sail boats” were actually “illuminated Christmas decorations”. Jingles were blasted so loudly they still resonate in my ears…after 7 hours.

Every boat pretty much looked the same. Why couldn’t people just be a little more creative. If I had a boat there I would have decorated it with the devil riding with Santa, or a giant hiny.

Ricky did not notice how painful it was for me to watch. I squirmed so much on my riverbank rock I was pretty sure I drilled a hole into it.

Ahh…I’m such a good friend…

Why 99% of New Year Resolutions Never Work!

new years resolution apple january 1 new life

Another year has come and gone. Once again, we look back at a year of triumphs and trials. We contemplate on what could have been, and what might have become. With the New Year fast approaching, we now turn our sights forward into a new 365 days of possibilities.

With that, the  first thing most of us do is set forth a new regiment for ourselves. We set our “New Year’s Resolution!” Nothing wrong with that, right…? WRONG! Let me tell you that time and again, I have seen friends, family and strangers set forth new year resolutions only to abandon them at the first glimpse of Avocado Cakes or Chocolate Covered Bacon, instant diet breakers!

Why do 99% of New Year Resolutions not work? Well, pretty simple, because it’s a promise with a future decree.

New Year Resolution get fit lose weight loose flab get abs get in shape top resolution

It’s always easy to say “tomorrow I will…” Tomorrow this, or tomorrow that. It’s the procrastinators’ cry. What happens when tomorrow actually comes? Well, these non-committed fiends simply push it off to another tomorrow. Sometimes, after realizing the immediacy of tomorrow, they then give themselves more time and say “next week.”

Tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. It will never work. If you want something changed, you have to change NOW. Not after some ill-conceived non-tangible date that just sounds nice like January 1.

There was a two-part study done where the participants had to come in and answer some questions, not knowing what the study was actually about. After day one of questions, the participants were asked what type of snack they wanted when they came back  for part two of the study. Their choices were Chocolate or Bananas. Not surprisingly, over 80% of the participants opted for the healthier option, the banana, and went on their merry way.

New Year's Resolutions top 10 Quit Smoking Cigarettes for next year

Come day two of the study, these same participants would be asked again if they still wanted the banana they originally asked for or if they wanted to change it to chocolates, and the results… a surprising 70% of the people that said they wanted Bananas changed their snack to chocolates!

What does this tell us? Well, that it’s always easy to look forward to a future date and think the best for ourselves. These participants, like us, look forward and say that we will quit smoking or start eating healthier or be nicer. Though in reality, once we’re faced with the imminent choice to smoke or not to smoke, right now, we often fall prey to our own lack of self-discipline.

So if you want something changed, don’t expect a New Year’s Resolution to be the resolve you were hoping for. A fancy kiss at the strike of the clock is probably all that the new year can really bring. Other than that, the change in you should start NOW.

As for me, what’s my non-new-year-but-do-it-now-resolution? Well, to write more… but I’ll start that tomorrow…

I Love My Grandma – thoughts after the flood

There are times that I still can’t believe we were hit by a storm and a flood so vicious, over 100,000 people’s lives have been flipped upside down. I don’t know what stroke of luck, fate, blessings or coincidence it is that my house happened to be in an area that does not flood at all. On a day that saw raging waters rising over 20 feet in mere minutes, the worst it got in my area were waters rising as high as my ankles.

Forgive me for being naïve to all this at first. I honestly didn’t even know how bad it got ’til after it was all said and done. I was disconnected from the world as a blackout had cut off all links to the outside world and the heavy rains kept me from stepping outside of my home. So as many cried, suffered and perished, I sat blissfully ignorant at my house, complaining about the blackout.

The stories I’m now reading are horrendous. I just read about an 18-year-old son who saved 30 other people before finally being swept away in the currents and losing his own life, as his mother cried away and called him “brave.” I just read about a father who says “I don’t mind losing my business even though I’ve had it for 33 years. I’m used to a hard life. I don’t mind losing the house. I’d gladly exchange these for the life of my daughter,” as he mourns for his 12-year-old. Furthermore, I’m now hearing more stories from friends who just now found their grandparents (alive thankfully) whom have been missing for the past two days (yes, even through all that, they consider themselves the lucky ones).

One sad story after another as I sit here, still shaken by the whole thing.

So now, I thought, instead of more sad stories, I’d like to share with you an inspiring tale about my grandmother and how strong a mother’s / grandmother’s love can be. I’m not one for mushy stories but in light of all this tragedy, I’m starting to again count my blessings.

I’ve always looked up to my mom. She is one of the strongest people in the world and I’ve always been in awe of how resilient she can be (thought I rarely tell her this). I think I finally realized where she gets her strength from after spending an afternoon with my Grandma.

During typhoon Ketsana’s (locally named Typhoon Ondoy) rampage, I had two separate conversations with my grandmother. One was at around 9pm and another at around 1am. Both times, I asked her how she was, and both times she answered, “I ok Whinsent,” in her funny Chinese / Filipino accent. Yes, she pronounces my name, Vincent, as “Whinsent.” I continued to ask how bad the rain was at her house in Cavite, both times again she answered that it was ok and that it was not bad at all. I also asked if there was a power outage at her place and both times, yet again, she answered that she was ok and that there was no power outage.

Fast forward to the next day, I drive out to her place in Cavite (which is about 2 hours away from my place, but I got lost so it took me 3 and a half) to pick her up and drive her to the airport. She’s about to begin her chemo-therapy in the US because of a possible cancer cell the doctors have found again. The first time she went through the chemo sessions, she lost a lot of weight and a lot of her strength. It’s something that really takes a toll on her. So before she started this next session for the newly found possible cancer, she decided to fly here to the Philippines to visit us, and then to Australia to visit her other kids and grandkids. I was taking her to the airport so she could fly to Australia.

As I arrive at her place, she starts to make fun of me for getting lost and being a cocky guy for saying I would find her place with no problem. She then does what every Chinese / Filipino grandparent does best, she feeds me.

“You hungy Whinsent?” she asked in her funny accent.

“No, I’m good,” I respond.

But of course, her job as a grandma would not be complete if she doesn’t feed me, so she went on to cook me some noodles and get me some soda.

“Whinsent! Whe you woking woking now?” she asked.

“Oh, I’m starting a business here, it’s an internet thing.” I say.

“Ooo, so you hab prenty prenty money?”

“No, actually, I’m just starting out, so I’ve invested all my money and not really making much yet.”

“Ah, kawawa ikaw (Filipino for “poor you”), here I gib you some money”

I then try to convince her that I don’t need money nor do I want to take any of her money, but I never seem to win those debates, so I then just take the money she’s giving me. I remember being younger and always asking my grandparents for money so I could buy candies or other sweets. I think she still likes giving me money cause it makes her feel like my grandma more than anything.

So I finish my bowl of noodles she made me and again, she did what all Chinese / Filipino grandparents do best, she tries to feed me again.

“You want we go get chicken and crab?” she asked.

I then laugh and tell her that I just ate, but she persists on getting me more food. Eventually, we decide to grab another bite after we drive closer to the airport. So we headed off to catch her flight, and grab another bite.

On the way there, we get caught in some terrible traffic. I chit chat with her a bit about life and other small things, until she tells me that the traffic we’re in is just as bad as when it was raining really hard. I, dazed and confused, asked her how she knew this if she was home that whole time…

She then tells me the real story of how her night was during the Typhoon Ketsana / Ondoy.

My grandma says that she was on her way home from Manila. She was riding a bus with my grandpa when it rained. Eventually, their bus had to stop because the floods in front of them were too deep for the bus to pass on. She was waiting in the bus from around 3pm to 6pm when she decided to take another bus, going back to Manila, and just stay with us instead. So she crossed the street to catch a bus going the other way, where traffic was still moving. She got on a bus and started heading towards my place. Eventually, that bus stopped too because they too had reached a point where the water was too deep for them to cross. Being relatively close to my place, she decided to walk. She didn’t mind it at first, until the flood waters started coming up as high as her chest. This is about the time that she decided to turn around and just wait. So from there, soaking wet from the flood and rain, she walks all the way back to where her first bus was still waiting. She ended up sleeping on the bus and not getting home ’til the next morning.

Somewhere in between her switching buses and walking through chest deep water, was her talking to me on the phone, saying: “I ok Whinsent,” … twice. She didn’t want me or my sibling to worry about her.

Still in shock about her story, we finally arrive at the airport. I kiss her goodbye and wish her a safe trip. She tells me that we should go eat again and I just smile.

I love my grandma. I’m thankful that I still get to tell her that.


P.S. – Prayers and positive thoughts to all the victims and everyone affected by the typhoon.

P.P.S. – Volunteers and donations still needed. Please follow this link to find more ways of helping out – http://www.wheninmanila.com/?p=291 or see this consolidated list of how you can help


“When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up.” – Les Brown

Morgan Stanley’s most popular research report by Matthew Robson

Morgan Stanley releases research paper titled “Media & Internet: How Teenagers Consume Media” that talks about why teens snub twitter, how they enjoy viral marketing and how they won’t spend for anything other than movie and concert tickets as entertainment. This could well be one of Morgan Stanley’s most popular and publicized papers of recent times.

Oh…. and did I mention that it was written by a 15-YEAR-OLD!!!!!!

Well, at least we know that this one 15 year old kid, Matthew Robson, probably won’t have problems finding a job when he  needs one…

Morgan Stanley Research Paper by Matthew Robson here


Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself:

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.

To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

The Rules of Being Human

I got this AMAZING quote from a site, www.CreativeGrowth.com

So here it is, without delaying any further …

You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.

You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a fulltime informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”

A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.

Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive there are lessons to be learned.

“There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”

Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

Your answers lie inside you. The answer to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

This will often be forgotten, only to be remembered again.

(Cherie Carter-Scott)


No Excuses

“Excuses are like assholes, we all have one, and they all stink!”

“I’m too weak

Too slow

Too big

I ate too much for breakfast

Got a headache

It’s rainin’

My dog is sick

I can’t right now

I’m not inspired

Makes me smell bad

I’m allergic to stuff

I’m fat

I’m thin

It’s too hot

I’m not right

I’ve got shin splints

Headache

I’m distracted

I’m exerting myself too much

I’d love to really but I can’t

Just can’t

My favorite show is on

I got a case of the Mondays

The Tuesdays

The Wednesdays

I don’t wanna do this

I want to do something else

After new years

Next week

Might make a mistake

I got homework

I feel bloated

I have gas

I got a hot date

My coach hates me

My mom won’t let me

I bruise easily

It’s too dark

It’s too cold

My blisters hurt

This is dangerous

Ughhhh

Sorry, I don’t have a bike

I didn’t get enough sleep

My tummy hurts

It’s not in my genes

I don’t want to look all tired now

I need a better coach

I don’t like getting tackled

I have a stomach ache

I’m not the athletic type

I don’t want to get sweaty

I have better things to do

I don’t wanna slow you down

Do I have to do this?

Soon as I get a promotion

I think I’ll sit this one out

AND MY FEET HURT!”

– Says Mike ‘Warhawk’ Scott as he slams two basketballs on the ground simultaneously revealing his prosthetic legs. Scott is a wheelchair basketball player, a NWBA star, a national champion, a tournament MVP and is currently playing for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. He was born with spina bifida.

And he doesn’t make excuses.

Now that we’ve stopped procrastinating (right?) and figured out what direction we want to head towards, we need to eliminate one vital element in order for us to reach nirvana – Excuses!

“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses” George Washington Carver

There are only two things that will happen when you have a task at hand. You either deliver, or you make excuses on why you can’t do it.

“Nothing is impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we had sufficient will, we should always have sufficient means. It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible” Francois La Rochefoucauld

Kerri Strug did not make excuses when she broke her ankle during her the Olympic Gymnastics competition. The US women were on the verge of an historic win in the team competition in Atlanta. Then the unthinkable happened: Dominique Moceanu, the youngest member of the team, fell on both of her vaults in the last event of the day.

With just a slim lead over the Russian team, it was essential that Kerri Strug, the final American gymnast to perform, nail her vault. But Strug fell too, injuring her ankle in the process. With just one more shot, Strug ignored her injury and ran down for another attempt, sticking her vault before crumpling to the floor in pain.

In doing so, she assured the American team its first Olympic team gold, and instantly became one of the most recognizable faces of the 1996 Games.

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results” -Art Turock

So what’s your excuse?

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