A Valuable Planning Tool For 2020 and Beyond

According to Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love, “there is considerable evidence to indicate that expectations of your future do, in fact, tend to create your future. People usually end up pretty much where they expect.

It seems reasonable then, to spend some time determining specific, worthwhile expectations that will make your life more meaningful. If you don’t have a written plan for your life, it may feel like you’re driving a car without having your hands on the wheel.

Are you a goal setter? Do you typically set goals at the first of the year? If not, why not?

Goals are not written in concrete and unchangeable terms but they do give you a starting point and a destination. The important thing is that you are in charge when working on your goals. It is the easiest way to put yourself in the driver’s seat of your life.

Your life has meaning only when you are working toward goals that you have decided on.

In order for your purpose in life to be fulfilled, you must set goals in multiple areas. Success is not just career or financial – family, physical and spiritual are equally important areas of achievement. They are part of the same whole, balanced person.

Any stage in life can be an exciting time with many opportunities, or a dreary time of confusion and entrapment. You may not be able to change your circumstances, but you can decide that the circumstances won’t dominate you. You do have choices.

There is something magical that happens when you write down your goals.

Here’s the framework for this entire process.

  • If we were meeting three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress?
  • What are the biggest dangers you’ll have to face and deal with in order to achieve that progress?
  • What are the biggest opportunities you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things?
  • What strengths will you need to reinforce and maximize, and what skills and resources will you need to develop that you don’t currently have in order to capture those opportunities?

Begin with the three-year goals and then work backward to what you need to do today to make deposits in what you want your life to be three years from now. Be specific, creating quantifiable benchmarks to track your deposits of success.”

2020 Goal Planning Guide

I’d like to offer you the opportunity to grab a free step-by-step 3-year planning guide compliments of  Dan Miller. Miller asks, “If nothing changed in your life over the next 3 years, would that be okay?”

You can also download Miller’s 2020 Goal Planning Guide at my website Wisdom-Matters by clicking on the “Free Resources” tab.

You can use his detailed guide for vision-casting and goal setting in what Miller calls “the 7 main aspects of life”.

As an added bonus, feel free to download a copy of Andy Stanley’s 20 Building Blocks for a Vision.

Lastly, no matter what stage in life you are, my prayer is the use of these tools will help put you on track to the future you’ve always dreamed of.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

How To Beat The Competition On Your Next Job Interview

Many job seekers are under the false impression that a slick resume is the key to securing that job they so badly want. It’s true your resume should be as attractive, truthful, and concise as possible without boring readers with a lot of unnecessary details.

However, make no mistake, your resume is just a tool designed to ignite enough interest to get your foot in the door for that all important job interview.

The interview process is where you must be ready to effectively sell yourself and put yourself in a position at the head of all the rest of your job-seeking competitors. The only way to do that is preparation, preparation, preparation!

I must confess I didn’t fully understand how important preparation for a job interview was, and what it meant to properly prepare for an interview, until I was preparing to interview for my last job at the age of 64! I firmly believe my preparation for that interview made all the difference in helping me rise above the rest of the pack.

In fact, and in retrospect, I realize now that I probably knocked myself out of several great job opportunities because I was not properly prepared for the interview process.

So what changed in my ability to properly prepare for a job interview? I ran across Dan Miller’s website, 48Days.com, and ordered his book 48 Days To The Work You Love.

Everything Miller wrote about in that book made so much sense to me that I committed to put it into practice when I decided to candidate for that last job I spoke of earlier, at the age of 64!

It made me realize that you’re never too old to compete for a job opportunity if you possess the skills and experience for that position and, more importantly, if you are properly prepared for the interview process.

I’m going to share some nuggets of wisdom from Dan Miller’s book, 48 Days To The Work You Love, hoping you too will find his wisdom as valuable as I did and want to learn more before seeking your next job opportunity.

Proper Preparation For A Job Interview

Dan Miller says, “The keys to successful interviewing are preparation, knowing what to expect, and practice.

Preparation is the single most important factor in successful interviews. Your preparation should involve 2 primary components: knowing yourself and knowing the company.”

Knowing Yourself

Millers states, “Critical to presenting yourself well and securing a position that will be meaningful and fulfilling is the process of self-assessment. You should be intimately familiar with your (1) skills and abilities, (2) personality tendencies, and (3) values, dreams, and passions.

Be prepared in this regard to answer the following questions in the interview (. . .these few are critical in thoroughly knowing yourself):

Tell me a little about yourself. This is a standard question in almost every interview. In some ways, it is probably the most important question in your interview, and you must prepare your answer well in advance.”

I must confess, I didn’t understand how important this question was and I know I lost out on at least one job opportunity I was really interested in! I actually would get angry when asked that question. I thought it was so stupid since they had my resume and could find out as much as they wanted about me! I totally didn’t get it!

Miller goes on to say, “The interviewer will expect you to have developed an answer for this question, and if you have not, you will appear ill-prepared, and the interview will be off to a very poor start.

Remember, your answer to any question should be no more than 2 minutes in length. On this particular one, you might spend 15 seconds on your personal background, 1 minute on your career highlights, a few seconds on your strongest professional achievements, and then conclude by explaining why you are looking for a new opportunity.

Ask yourself, ‘What can I contribute to this company?’ and let that guide your response. Regardless of the content of your answer, you should outline the answer to this question on paper then practice it many times until you can repeat it concisely.

What are 3 of your strengths? If you cannot clearly identify and describe your strengths, how do you expect an interviewer to pull them out in the brief encounter of an interview?

Tell me about a weakness and what you have done to work on it. Don’t play ignorant or modestly claim perfection. Be prepared to talk about something you struggle with. At the same time, stay positive in regard to what you have done to improve.

What skills do you possess that have prepared you for this job? Obviously, you need to have researched the company and the job, or you will be unprepared for this question.

What are your short and long-term goals? Talk about personal goals as well as business goals. Companies today are looking for balanced individuals who are interested in things other than work.”

Knowing The Company

Miller states, “Knowledge of the company or organization, its products and services, its standing in the community, and the key individuals involved is essential.

In addition, you should obtain information about the company’s annual growth rate, annual sales, number of employees, location of the company headquarters, and it’s major changes such as buyouts or mergers and industry trends.

The information you have, which will lead to questions you can ask, can easily tip the scales in your favor during the interview.

Make sure you are ready with 4 to 5 questions. Even if the interviewer has answered everything you need to know, it will make you appear more interested and more knowledgeable if you ask a few questions.”

In his book, Dan Miller offers 21 questions you may be asked by an interviewer, questions you need to have a 1 to 2 minute answer prepared in advance.

It’s a process well worth committing to if you want to shine above the competition. It may seem like a daunting task at first but it will help you really take a serious assessment of yourself in a number of very beneficial ways.

Miller also offers 21 questions you can choose from to ask the interviewer.

I can honestly attest to the fact that 48 Days To The Work You Love totally prepared me with the information and confidence I needed to shine above my competition at the age of 64 and win the job doing the work I knew I would love!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!































































































25 Business Skills To Master Now!

In today’s competitive work environment, if you want to stand out as a job applicant or an employee competing for a promotion, there are certain skills you must bring to the table to impress employers.

The following information written by a staff writer for Get Motivated Workbook will help you take an inventory of your current skill set. You’ll be able to access your current strengths as well as the areas where you may need some work.

In the article, Randall S. Hansen states, “Whether you’re seeking your first job, a new opportunity, or a promotion within your current company, the business skills you need to master are the same.

Beyond evaluating job-specific requirements, employers look for ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills’ in a candidate seeking a position or promotion.”

Stay ahead of the curve in your career by brushing up on each of these 25 vital skills.

Hard Skills

  1. Communication: Vitally important in business, successful communication includes concise writing, careful listening and effective speaking—all of which will be evaluated in your resume and interviews.
  2. Analytical: This skill begins with the ability to see the big picture, to assess a situation, gather information and seek multiple perspectives, and then to apply sound judgement.
  3. Computer/Technical: If you don’t possess solid computer skills, get them, or be left behind.
  4. Adaptive: As employers downsize and combine jobs, they are focusing on efficiency. Show your value by demonstrating a willingness to learn new skills and assume additional responsibilities.
  5. Interpersonal: The workplace is all about people. If you’re an alpha male or female, tone it down. Learn to understand and accept different personalities.
  6. Leadership/Management: Whether you’ve progressed to a management position yet or not, your leadership skills are important because they demonstrate initiative. “Don’t wait to be told to do a job or take on a responsibility,” advises Shelly Field, author of The Unofficial Guide to Hot Careers. A willingness to take the lead or solve a problem will get you noticed, she says.
  7. Multicultural Sensitivity: As the workplace grows more diverse every day, show you can get along with people from different backgrounds. Multicultural sensitivity has become an employability hot button.
  8. Planning/Organization: Demonstrate your ability to take a task from beginning to end and finish it on time.
  9. Problem Solving: Creative problem-solving is important at all levels of any organization. Document your best examples for your next interview.
  10. Teamwork: Valuable employees are team players committed to the organization’s goals, says Laura Berman Fortgang, author of Living Your Best Life.

Soft Skills

  1. Loyalty: Managers facing staff cuts, with no reduction in workload, are keenly aware of who’s with them and who’s not.
  2. Integrity: As corporate scandals rock news headlines, it’s not surprising that integrity tops the list of personal values employers are seeking in employees.
  3. Flexibility: Become a star player by demonstrating a willingness to leave your comfort zone.
  4. Dedication: By showing care for your work and concern for your company, you will be valued for your commitment and for the example you set.
  5. Reliability: Prove you can be counted on, so you won’t be easily counted out when the chips are down.
  6. Positive Attitude: Particularly when times are tough, your positive attitude will boost morale for everyone, and make you an essential member of the team.
  7. Professionalism: A code of conduct and a sign of maturity, professionalism covers a host of behaviors, from being fair and responsible to never being petty.
  8. Self-confidence: If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
  9. Willingness to Learn: Jobs are constantly evolving, so demonstrate that you can too, no matter your age or level of experience.
  10. Ability to Work Independently: A counterpart to teamwork, being a self-starter who performs well with minimal demands on a supervisor’s time will distinguish you in today’s competitive job arena.
  11. Respect for Others: Every person you interact with during your workday, from the CEO to the receptionist, gives you an opportunity to demonstrate respect, which others will reflect back on you.
  12. Patience: Wrapped up in our own immediate needs, it’s easy to forget those of others. Show respect by being patient.
  13. Be a Good Listener: Listening is a sign of respect and patience for others.
  14. Willingness to Conduct Research: Go the extra mile to learn all you can, and then question what you learn. Just because something comes up on Google doesn’t make it true!
  15. Time Management: The more effectively you manage your time, the better you will become at meeting your goals and those of your company.

A lot of wisdom here for how to be fully prepared to excel in today’s workplace environment!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!




A Broken Heart vs. A Proud Heart

Below is a sermon message I heard years ago which offers some very interesting wisdom.

Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite (repentant/changed) heart. These, O God, You will not despise.”

The truth is everyone of us has had proud moments in our lives; graduating from high school or college, securing that first good paying job, etc. And maybe many of you reading this have experienced a time in your life when you’ve felt completely broken and hopeless!

It’s important to note that the “proud people” referenced below are people who have taken their pride to unhealthy levels. See if you can relate to one side or the other, or both!

Proud people focus on the failure of others. Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.

Proud people are self-righteous; have a critical, fault-finding spirit; look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope, but their own with a telescope. Broken people are compassionate; can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven; esteem all others better than themselves.

Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit. Broken people have a dependent spirit; recognize their need for others.

Proud people have to prove that they are right. Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.

Proud people claim rights; have a demanding spirit. Broken people yield their rights; have a meek spirit, not a weak spirit.

Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation. Broken people are self-denying.

Proud people desire to be served. Broken people are motivated to serve others.

Proud people desire to be a success. Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others a success.

Proud people desire self-advancement. Broken people desire to promote others.

Proud people feel confident in how much they know. Broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.

Proud people are self-conscious. Broken people are not concerned with self at all.

Proud people keep others at arms’ length. Broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and to risks of loving intimately.

Proud people are quick to blame others. Broken people accept personal responsibility and can see when they are wrong in a situation.

Proud people are defensive when criticized. Broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit.

Proud people are concerned with being respectable, what others think; work to protect their own image and reputation. Broken people are concerned with being real; what they care about and what matters to them is not what others think, but what God knows; are willing to die to their own reputation.

Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual needs. Broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others.

Proud people want to be sure that no one finds out when they have sinned; instinct is to cover up. Broken people don’t care who knows or who finds out; are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose.

Proud people have a hard time saying, “I was wrong; will you forgive me?” Broken people are quick to admit failure and to seek forgiveness when necessary.

Proud people are remorseful over their sin, sorry that they got caught. Broken people are genuinely repentant over their sin, which is evidenced in the fact that they forsake that sin.

Proud people wait for the other to come and ask forgiveness when there is a misunderstanding or conflict in relationships. Broken people take the initiative to be reconciled when there is a misunderstanding or a conflict in relationships.

Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor. Broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for mercy.

Proud people are blind to their true heart condition and don’t think they have anything to repent of. Broken people realize they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance.

Proud people don’t think they need revival and are sure that everyone else does. Broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God.

If you are a God-fearing individual, then the message is clear. God is pleased with a person who recognizes his/her sinful nature and brokenness, and who sincerely desires a change of heart and mind. A heart and mind willing to flee from all kinds of evil and hold fast to what is good.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!



What It Takes To Be A Winner – Part 10 – Conclusion

In The Winners Manual, written by coach Jim Tressel during his tenure as head coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes, he has identified ten fundamentals essential for winners. Applying these fundamentals can put us on track to becoming a winner no matter what we do in life and no matter what life throws our way.

This week we’ll briefly review the final fundamental and the resources coach Tressel has used to shape his character as well as his coaching staff and most importantly, his players.


Hope . . . is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. – Vaclav Havel, Disturbing The Peace

Live in your hopes and not in your fears. – Johnny Majors

There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow. – Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924)

Coach Tressel believes, “There are times in the game of life when it will seem as if thing are not going very well. There are times when life departs from our familiar script and throws us something we had no idea was coming. It’s tempting in those circumstances to lose faith in ourselves, in the people around us, and even in God. But if we’ve been planting the seeds of hope in our hearts, we’ll be able to overcome the problems of life and use them not only to make ourselves stronger but also to produce something good for for ourselves and those we love.”

Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn’t permanent. – Jean Kerr

Coach T. goes on to say, “When we possess the hope and belief that ultimately we’re going to be successful in our journeys, there’s not much of what comes our way on a daily basis that we can’t handle. When we see negative events as stepping-stones and have hope that our problems can actually propel us toward our goals rather than hinder us, then we are, of all people, truly blessed. If I could pass along one virtue to all of our players—and to every reader of this version of the Winners Manual—it would be the virtue of hope.

Life is a series of ups and downs, peaks and valleys, wins and losses. When the bad times come, and they inevitably will, the seeds we’ve been sown in our lives—what we believe in and hang on to and what we know is true and right—will help us maintain the hope that whatever stands before us is not permanent but only a temporary obstacle.”

The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope. – Norman Cousins

Learning is discovering that something is possible. – Fritz Perls

Coach T. adds, “Knowledge is a wonderful thing. But learning means we take that raw knowledge and put it to work. When we learn and mature in knowledge, something takes place inside us that opens us up to a world of new possibilities.

As we go through phases of our lives, we all need the kind of hope that puts  faith to work. It’s sometimes easier to doubt ourselves and not move forward. Others will question the goals of the group, their roles in the group, or their direction in life.”

Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier. – Author Unknown

Coach T. goes on to say, “The type of hope I want to instill in my players is proactive and is bases on reality, not on fantasy or wishful thinking. It’s not the kind of hope a person might have when buying a lottery ticket with the last of the grocery money. Instead, it’s a constant belief in the work that’s already been done, the planning that’s in place, and the potential that lies ahead.

The quotation by Andrew Fuller—‘Hope is one of the principal springs that keeps mankind in motion’—tells me that if I choose, I can be a carrier of hope. Leaders do that. They take hope with them and pass it on to others. We have to make sure that in everything we do, we exemplify hope with our lives—especially on those days when things aren’t going well. Others should be able to look at our live and see the guiding light of hope within us that turns into outward action. It’s important for others to see that there’s a different way to live.

When people are devoid of hope, they’re vulnerable to the traps of naysayers who think things can’t be done and look at the world through negative lenses. A person who hopes says, ‘Sure, there are problems; yes, there are obstacles; but the future is bright—and with hard work, we can accomplish some great things.

I have great hopes that the end result of your reading this book will be a boost in the direction of the adventure, the confident search for a rewarding life. The power is not in my words or in the principles we’ve discovered; the power is in the opportunity you have to reflect on your life and evaluate your own purpose and goals. I’ve often said of our goal sheets that it’s the thought process they provoke that makes the difference.

Moving forward and gaining confidence in our search for true success will be a lifelong endeavor. If we begin when you’re young, we’ll be able to see the changes we consciously make over the years, and we’ll be better equipped to evaluate our progress. But even if we’re not so young anymore, we can begin today to develop our purpose and set our goals for the years still to come.”

Hope is an adventure, a going forward, a confident search for a rewarding life. – Karl Menninger

Focus on a hopeful future, not on self-pity . . .self-pity is a trap that leads to deep depression. – Rosemarie Rossetti

If there were not hope, the heart would break. – Ancrene Wisse (CA. 1250)

Hope is one of those things in life you cannot do without. – Leroy Douglas

I know the plans I have for you . . . They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Coach Tressel ends this chapter on HOPE by saying, “If we can grasp the power of hope and then give that hope to those around us, we will see great things happen in our lives and in the lives of people we touch.”

All I can add to that is AMEN!

This concludes the lengthy review of The Winners Manual , but I hope you’ll agree,  it is a book filled with tons of wisdom for living life with purpose and striving for excellence in all we do, no matter what we choose to do in life.

It is an excellent book to recommend to your children and grandchildren whether they are active in sports or not. This book is filled with a lot of great life lessons and wisdom you can pass on to those you love and care about!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters.

What It Takes To Be A Winner – Part 9

First, a Short Story

On Labor Day my wife and I began our vacation by heading for Charlotte, NC. We stayed there a couple of days and met for lunch and dinner with dear friends we were blessed to know during our six years there. On September 5th we headed for Pawley’s Island, SC, which is about twenty miles south of Myrtle Beach, where a condo we rented for a week awaited us.


This vacation was our gift to each other celebrating our 48th wedding anniversary. WOW, how time flies when your still having fun with your best friend and high school sweetheart!

By the grace of God, we had beautiful sunny rain-free weather the entire time! A few days before we were scheduled to leave we began hearing the weather reports concerning hurricane Florence. We decided to eat the cost of our last day at the beach and leave a day early hoping to get a head start on vacationers heading out to beat the approaching hurricane which was labeled a CAT 4 storm heading straight for Myrtle Beach!

Before heading out of town, we stopped at a favorite new inter-coastal restaurant for lunch. Our server announced that all meals were half-price compliments of hurricane Florence and that they would be closing early that day for the rest of the week.


As we were enjoying our delicious half-priced lunch, I got a phone call. It was the resort we were staying at announcing all visitors had to evacuate immediately. I told her we were already on our way out. She surprised us by saying the resort would still honor our entire stay by not charging us for our last night there even though it was our decision to leave a day early! Blessings come in all sorts of different unexpected ways!

We slowly made our way out of Pawley’s Island, along with many others, and headed northwest to our daughter’s home in Lexington, SC. It took about an hour longer but we were very thankful to be out of harm’s way. We enjoyed a few days with our daughter and her family before heading back home to Boardman, OH.

Needless to say, it’s good to be home, and our daughter and her family have been thankfully spared from the horrible ravages of hurricane Florence! Other areas in North and South Carolina were not as fortunate and we continue to pray for God’s grace and mercy upon all those still facing an unknown future!

In The Winners Manual, written by coach Jim Tressel during his tenure as head coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes, he has identified ten fundamentals essential for winners. Applying these fundamentals can put us on track to becoming a winner no matter what we do in life and no matter what life throws our way.

This week we’ll briefly review the next fundamental and the resources coach Tressel has used to shape his character as well as his coaching staff and most importantly, his players.


Try to forget yourself in the service of others. For when we think too much of ourselves and our own interests, we easily become despondent. But when we work for others, our efforts return to bless us. – Sidney Powell

Unity is the great need of the hour, and if we are united we can get many of the things that we not only desire but which we justly deserve. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Together Everyone Achieves More

The nicest thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side. – Margaret Carty

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a process; working together is success. – Henry Ford

Coach Tressel reminds us, “If we really desire success, if we want the inner satisfaction and peace that come from knowing we did all we could for the group, then we’ll begin looking at the teams we’re part of in a healthy way.

This is absolutely one of the most difficult things to do in today’s society. We are fragmented and individualistic. Our personal computers and iPods and TV screens isolate us in our own little worlds.”

Either we’re pulling together or we’re pulling apart. There’s really no in-between. – Kobi Yamada

A man became lost while driving through the country. As he tried to read a map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Thought he wasn't injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. Seeing a farmhouse just down the road, the man walked over to ask for help.
"Warwick can get you out of the ditch," the farmer said, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the haggard mule, and then looked back at the farmer, who just stood there nodding. "Yep, old Warwick can do the job."
The man figured he had nothing to lose, so the two men and Warwick made their way back to the ditch.
After the farmer hitched the old mule to the car, he snapped the reins and shouted, "Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!" With very little effort, the lone mule pulled the car from the ditch.
The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, "Why did you call out all those other names before you called Warwick?"
The farmer grinned and said, "Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he's part of a team, he doesn't mind pulling."

When your organization operates like a strong family, you can’t be knocked out by one punch. – Mike Krzyzewski

There is no delight in owning anything unshared. – Seneca

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. – Proverbs 17:17

Teamwork is a constant balancing act between self-interest and group interest. – Susan M. Campbell

I’ll continue to mention each week that The Winners Manual is an excellent book to recommend to your children and grandchildren whether they are active in sports or not. This book is filled with a lot of great life lessons and wisdom you can pass on to those you love and care about!

See you next week for the conclusion of The Winners Manual, and more Wisdom Matters from coach Jim Tressel.

What It Takes To Be A Winner – Part 8

In The Winners Manual, written by coach Jim Tressel during his tenure as head coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes, he has identified ten fundamentals essential for winners. Applying these fundamentals can put us on track to becoming a winner no matter what we do in life and no matter what life throws our way.

This week we’ll briefly review the next fundamental and the resources coach Tressel has used to shape his character as well as his coaching staff and most importantly, his players.


When in doubt, tell the truth. – Mark Twain

Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right. – Proverbs 20:11

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation: for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company. – George Washington

Coach Tressel states, “The definitions of right and wrong keep shifting, and the line is fluid. Many people have no objective standard for judging what “right” is. So discussing what it means to “do right,” and working through it and practicing it, become welcome disciplines for our players. It helps them define their own terms of right and wrong.”

I must say here that if I didn’t know coach Tressel was a strong Christian man, I would have to totally disagree with his last sentence above, “It helps them define their own terms of right and wrong.” However, I know that coach T. takes every opportunity possible to share biblical principles with his staff and players. In this case, once God’s principles of right and wrong are presented to the players, they are free to accept or reject them. In my opinion, rejecting God’s commands and principles for what is right and what is  wrong is not a wise choice for anyone!

Coach T. says, “Nobody wants to be talked to like a child. But, we know that, like children, young adults can forget about the importance of being responsible and doing right. In one impetuous moment, they can lose all they’ve worked so hard to achieve. So we tell them, ‘We know you already know this, but we want to remind you.’ We want them to know how to distinguish wrong from right, bad from good, and better from best.”

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour. – Japanese Proverb

There is no pillow so  soft as a clear conscience. – French Proverb

Coach T. goes on to say, “I like to use the word conscience instead of character because it takes the focus off of our opinion and puts it on the actions of the other person. The book of Proverbs says, ‘Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline’ (1:7). Reverence for God, a conscious desire not to disappoint him, is where it all begins.”

I strongly believe coach Tressel would fully agree with Pastor Andy Stanley’s definition of character and use it right along with Proverbs 1:7—“Character is the will to do what is right, as God defines right, regardless of personal cost.”

Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone expects of you. Never excuse yourself. – Henry Ward Beecher

There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you. – John Wooden

Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Manners are like the zero in arithmetic: they may not be much in themselves, but they are capable of adding a great deal to the value of everything else. – Dame Freya Madeleine Stark (1893-1993)

Coach Tressel says, “We encourage our players to exercise responsibility and right living by having class. Class is the way you carry yourself; it’s not a socioeconomic designation. It’s not about how much money you make or don’t make. It’s not a way to pigeonhole people. Class is a way of life—a way of acting with confidence and style that reflects well on you and your team. It’s having the freedom to do anything you want but choosing the right path.”

It takes less time to do the right thing than to explain why you did it wrong. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct. – Thomas Carlyle


Class is respect for others. It is a deep and genuine respect for every human being, regardless of their status in life.
Class is having manners. It is always saying "thank you" and "please". It is complimenting people for any and every task well done.
Class is treating every other person as you would want them to treat you in a similar situation.
Class never makes excuses for one's own shortcomings, but it always helps others bounce back from their mistakes.
Class never brags or boasts about one's own accomplishments, and it never tears down or diminishes the achievements of another person.
Class does not depend on money, status, success, or ancestry. The wealthy aristocrat may not even know the meaning of the word, yet the poorest man in town may radiate class in everything he does. 
If you have class, everyone will know it, and you will have self-respect. If you are without class---good luck, because no matter what you accomplish, it will never have meaning.

Coach Tressel ends this chapter saying, “And when you think about it, that’s what the fear of God is. I don’t ever want to disappoint God. I want him to be happy about the way I’m living my life, and I accomplish that with my commitment to finding out what “doing right” is and then doing it.”

I’ll continue to mention each week that The Winners Manual is an excellent book to recommend to your children and grandchildren whether they are active in sports or not. This book is filled with a lot of great life lessons and wisdom you can pass on to those you love and care about!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters from coach Jim Tressel.






















































































































































































































































































































What It Takes To Be A Winner – Part 7

In The Winners Manual, written by coach Jim Tressel during his tenure as head coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes, he has identified ten fundamentals essential for winners. Applying these fundamentals can put us on track to becoming a winner no matter what we do in life and no matter what life throws our way.

This week we’ll briefly review the next fundamental and the resources coach Tressel has used to shape his character as well as his coaching staff and most importantly, his players.


Be kind to one another, because most of us are fighting a hard battle. – Ian Maclaren

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others? – Martin Luther King Jr.

Concern for man and his fate must form the chief interest of all technical endeavors . . . . Never forget that in the midst of your diagrams and equations. – Albert Einstein

Coach Tressel says, “If we focus solely on winning and set aside the loving care of individuals, we place our team and ourselves at a disadvantage . . . As human beings, we were not made only to achieve things.

True winners in the game of life will not look merely at goals and achievements. True winners who are part of a winning team will care more about the people beside them in the trenches than they will about the trophy at the end of the journey. True winners will have compassion for their teammates and desire the good of others as well as their own.”

Love cures all people—both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. – Dr. Karl Menninger

True love will find an outlet in service. – Billy Graham

Coach T. believes, “Commitment is the key to every relationship. Whatever team you’re on, whether it’s a marriage, a family, a work team, or a sports team, in order to achieve whatever goals you’ve set, you must be bound together by a love that exhibits itself in extreme commitment and the laying down of one’s life for the common good.

The failure to commit ourselves is evident in so many aspects of our society. People want to be “cool” rather than committed. They want to be esteemed and lifted up. But you can’t focus on being cool if you want to be a champion. You have to be willing to cry. You have to be willing to love. You have to be willing to commit.”

All I ask is that you play better than you are. – Doc Spurgeon

When you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself. – Author Unknown

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. – Ann Landers

Coach T. reminds us, “Love is not something we can turn on and off at will; it has to be ingrained in our being. It’s a vital ingredient in a winner’s game plan. And, like every other fundamental, it has to be worked on every day. The people around us will know if what we’re expressing is genuine or not. Love must be a lifestyle.”

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. – Amy Carmichael

I’ll continue to mention each week that The Winners Manual is an excellent book to recommend to your children and grandchildren whether they are active in sports or not. This book is filled with a lot of great life lessons and wisdom you can pass on to those you love and care about!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters from coach Jim Tressel.

What It Takes To Be A Winner – Part 6

In The Winners Manual, written by coach Jim Tressel during his tenure as head coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes, he has identified ten fundamentals essential for winners. Applying these fundamentals can put us on track to becoming a winner no matter what we do in life and no matter what life throws our way.

This week we’ll briefly review the next fundamental and the resources coach Tressel has used to shape his character as well as his coaching staff and most importantly, his players.


I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health, that I might do great things. I was given infirmity, that I might do better things. I asked for riches, that I might be happy. I was given poverty, that I might be wise. I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness, that I might feel the need for God. I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life. I was given life, that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing I asked for—but everything I had hoped for; Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among men, most richly blessed! – Author Unknown (often attributed to an unknown confederate soldier)

With champions, success is never unexpected; it’s a natural result that comes from continuous, unselfish, unrelenting determination to win; never letting down, never letting outside influences into the game. – Harvey Mackay

Dear brothers and sisters, when trouble comes your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. – James 1:2-4

Great character is the cumulative result when great pain and great disappointment intersect in a man (or woman) with a teachable spirit. – Jim Tressel

Coach Tressel explains, “Adversity comes to us all—it’s only a matter of when. The real question is not whether we’ll face adversity but how we will respond to it when it comes. If our attitude is one that embraces learning and growing, we’ll treat adversity as a stepping-stone to the success we desire, rather than see it as an insurmountable obstacle. But if we have a negative attitude and become defensive at the first hint of criticism or begin to blame others for our mistakes, we’ll miss the opportunity to develop into the types of people we want to be.”

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius

There is no education like adversity. – Benjamin Disraeli

Success is  a lousy teacher. It makes smart people think they can’t lose. – Bill Gates

Coach T. says, “Success does things to you that adversity doesn’t. It adds more things to your plate . . . But for everything that success adds to your schedule, it takes something else away. Whether it’s from your exercise time, your spiritual time, your family time, or your students’ academic time, success takes away time and can distract you from your goals and plans.

It’s interesting that adversity has the opposite effect. When you meet with adversity, you can often find yourself alone . . . No one’s interested in your opinion about success. You don’t have people clamoring for your time, so you have more time to yourself.

My point is that whether you have success or failure, you have a challenge ahead of you . . . You have to adjust, whether the ball bounces your way or not. Everything that happens during the course of your journey is part of life, and you have to adjust.”

There is no strength where there is no struggle. – Jim Tressel

Coach T. goes on to remind us, “Sometimes, even if we believe our steps are ordered, we don’t see a purpose in the pain we’re going through at the moment . . . In every phase of life, you’re going to face opposition.

In every phase of life . . . there will be good pressure and bad pressures on your life. You have to learn how to handle those and respond well. If you’re aware of the pressures, if you’re present and are able to think through what you did wrong (identify), you can also figure out how to do it right (improve), and then practice the right steps to improve (implement). If you follow this three-step process—identify, improve, and implement—you’ll not only ‘cope’ with adversity, but you’ll also move forward stronger and with more passion toward your goals.”

Face adversity promptly and without flinching, and you will reduce its impact. Never run from anything and never quit. – Winston Churchill

In attacking adversity, only a positive attitude, alertness, and regrouping to basics can launch a comeback. – Pat Riley

The toughest thing about being a success is that you’ve got to keep being a success. – Irving Berlin

Coach Tressel ends this chapter by admitting, “I have learned more from losses than I’ve ever learned from wins, but you can learn good life lessons from both. Don’t let adversity or success derail your goals and dreams. Let them propel you forward.”

I’ll continue to mention each week that The Winners Manual is an excellent book to recommend to your children and grandchildren whether they are active in sports or not. This book is filled with a lot of great life lessons and wisdom you can pass on to those you love and care about!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters from coach Jim Tressel.


What It Takes To Be A Winner – Part 5

In The Winners Manual, written by coach Jim Tressel during his tenure as head coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes, he has identified ten fundamentals essential for winners. Applying these fundamentals can put us on track to becoming a winner no matter what we do in life and no matter what life throws our way.

This week we’ll briefly review the next fundamental and the resources coach Tressel has used to shape his character as well as his coaching staff and most importantly, his players.


Whenever you start—give it your best. The opportunities are there to be anything you want to be. But wanting to be someone isn’t enough; dreaming about it isn’t enough; thinking about it isn’t enough. You’ve got to study for it, work for it, fight for it with all your heart and soul, because nobody is going to hand it to you. – General Colin Powell

Success doesn’t come to you . . . you go to it. – Marva Collins

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. – Colossians 3:23

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over it you just sit there. – Will Rogers

Coach Tressel reminds us, “It’s important to understand that work is not who you are; it’s what you do. Many people get that backwards and think their lives are defined by what they accomplish or by what position they hold . . . No matter what endeavor you pursue in life, if you want to succeed, you’re going to have to work at it.

Some guys with a lot of natural talent come into our program at Ohio State and are blown away by the amount of study football takes. These are guys who were always the best players in youth football and in high school, and some have leaned on their talent to make up for any deficiencies in their fundamentals or work ethic. At the collegiate level, and certainly at the professional level, you can’t get away with that. It takes a lot of work, a lot of conditioning, lots of repetitions each day, and then building on the knowledge you’ve gained until you get to a certain level of proficiency. And after you get to that point, it takes even more work to stay there.”

Whether in sports or in a work environment, the wisdom above applies equally as well. It takes hard work and “continuous improvement” to stay on top of our game!

Coaches and players can say anything they want, but if they don’t back it up with performance and hard work, the talking doesn’t mean a thing. – Michael Jordan

Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it. – Stephen King

Success is the intersection where dreams and hard work meet. – Jim Tressel

Whatever you do, don’t do it halfway. – Bob Beamon

Coach Tressel shares the following story told to the players “the night before the most challenging day of preseason: the running test.

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning, the lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, you’d better be running!”

Coach T. also says, “On the journey to success, after we’ve made all our preparations—the goals and blueprints and dreams—the next step is to work toward those goals. To do that, we need two qualities that are vital to our work: persistence and toughness.”


Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent (all powerful). – Calvin Coolidge

Passion makes every detail important. – G. K. Chesterton

Coach T. reminds us that, “Persistence is a quality possessed by people who want to achieve. If they have a passionate desire to succeed, the goal becomes much more important than the obstacles thrown in their way. They realize that a single event, failure, or circumstance does not define them.”

Whatever you do, do it passionately. Failure is an event, not a person. Every obstacle presents an opportunity . . . IF you’re looking for it. Relax! You only fail when you quit. – Jim Tressel

One man with courage makes a majority. – Andrew Jackson

You never plow a field by turning it over in your mind. – Irish Proverb


Everyone has a plan until they are hit. – Evander Holyfield

Coach T. believes, “True toughness comes from courageous actions and applies to every aspect of the game of life. We have to be tough enough to make good decisions—decisions we know are right, even in situations where the right thing may not be the most popular choice. This type of toughness may very well be the hardest thing for young athletes today.”

I would add that the “type of toughness” coach Tressel is referring to above may very well be the hardest kind of toughness for any person to practice these days, young or old. A wrong five-second decision can lead to a lifetime of regrets!

Coach T. goes on to say, “Often, the most difficult challenges in life are situations that we can’t explain. When life really punches you in the gut, you find out how much toughness and courage you truly possess.”

Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work. – Thomas Edison

I’ll continue to mention each week that The Winners Manual is an excellent book to recommend to your children and grandchildren whether they are active in sports or not. This book is filled with a lot of great life lessons and wisdom you can pass on to those you love and care about!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters from coach Jim Tressel.