Time to delete the word “No”

By David Tepera, December 27, 2017

One of the first words almost every toddler learns is, “No.” Of course, because of kids’ curiosity, they are told “No” constantly due to safety and mischievous concerns. So, at an early age, the power of “No” is pounded into our brains.

Now, let’s take out all the negative, uncomfortable and dangerous concerns accompanied with “No,” which is important in those situations.

On the flip side, people who use the word “No” have power. These people feel they can stop you or at least deter you from accomplishing something.

Today’s lesson is about you overcoming the power of “No.” We’ve all heard of countless athletes accomplishing incredible feats because someone told them they couldn’t do it.

Michael Jordon has been very vocal about his high school basketball coach cutting him from the team in 10th grade.

During his Hall of Fame induction speech, he mentioned every person who told him “No” throughout his career. I believe we all know how that ended.

I feel every one of us have or had someone tell us we couldn’t succeed at something. We’ve been told “you’re too stupid, too fat, too old, too ugly, too broke or laughed at for our dumb ideas.”

Yes, those are harsh words, but it’s part of reality that keeps people down.

It took time and experience into my adulthood to figure out those people don’t want you to succeed because they are failures and have given up on life. Your success will make them feel worse about themselves.

Think about it. It makes a lot of sense.

Remember, it’s your life and your destiny to rise up and kick No’s butt. Yes, you’ll get knocked down, but jump back up and throw a knockout punch, and shout “Yes, I did it.”

Let’s take today to brush off the dust from being down for so long. It’s time to delete the word “No,” and to rise up, stick your chest out, put on your mug face to go win back life.

Roll with the changes

By David Tepera, December 20, 2017

In all sports, a team must adjust throughout the game. You can be losing, but if you make the proper adjustments, you can get back on top before it’s too late.

There have been situations where a team stayed with the same game plan, and the other team out-coached them in the second half. Also, holding back and making conservative adjustments can come back and bite you.

I actually made this mistake when coaching high school soccer. One particular year, our team wasn’t that strong compared to the district. We scored early against a dominant team and were up on the scoreboard. I put our strongest players on defense hoping to keep the opponent from scoring. But, what happened? My team was unable to score, so the opponent ended up beating us by one goal. I had to apologize to my players for not believing in their ability.

I promise, that coaching mistake never happened again.

The lesson learned, even in life, we must roll with the changes and keep adjusting, or we’ll get left behind.

As we all know, technology is constantly evolving and it’s difficult to keep up. Us old fogeys lose touch with the real world due to our old-school ways. I’m fortunate to have teenage children who help set up iPads, iPhones and social media.

I’m constantly searching for new ideas and leads, so keeping up with technology allows me to find success.

What about you? Do you feel you’re stuck in the same old occupation because you’re behind with society? One of the fastest growing job opportunities is in the IT industry. Almost all area colleges offer night classes. Did you know that there’s a shortage of welders? You can make a lot of money, even six figures!

Also, it’s easy for all of us to dwell on bad decisions from our past. Don’t let these negative experiences hold you back. We all make mistakes, so you have to keep moving forward and roll with the changes. I decided long ago to not let things I can’t control — control me.

Now, this year is almost over and will be considered our past. Let the remainder of the year be your ramp to leap over into the new year with a fresh start of conquering life. Make the adjustments necessary, roll with the changes and let 2018 be your championship run.

Put me in coach

By David Tepera, December 13, 2017

A common phrase most of us have heard through the years in reference to sports is “put me in, coach.” The true meaning of this phrase represents athletes that are so hyped up that they’re practically begging the coach to put them back in the game.

This type of enthusiastic athlete can be rare, but every coach loves them. Depending on the circumstances of why these players are on the sidelines, you have to respect their passion and desire to succeed.

As a former high school coach through the 1990s, I had a few elite players whose athletic ability made a difference on the outcome of each game. Of course, there were instances that sidelined them until the athletic trainer or I allowed them to return to the game.

They were like a locked up bull breaking out of a cage. These players went full speed — taking no prisoners. Their passion to win was overwhelming which spilled over onto teammates.

Notice, I didn’t reference any particular sport because I witnessed this passion in multiple sports, which included young men and women. If you’ve been reading my column long enough, you’d remember my story of three girls making my boys JV soccer team and were starters.

Now, this attitude of “put me in, coach” is in all of us. We all have passion brewing inside of us to accomplish specific goals. When you really want something bad enough, it takes over your total mental being. You’re like that caged bull ready to succeed with every ounce of energy and each inch of your body. Nothing can stop you because you’re on a mission to win a championship.

When’s the last time you went to work and were hyped to tackle every project or work order? Do you ever surprise your family on the weekend, have the car packed and ready to create lasting memories at the beach?

How about a candlelight dinner ready for wifey or hubby? You’ve made their special meal, along with a personalized card letting them know how much you appreciate their love and support. You might get to take that candle to the bedroom. Wink-wink!

Now, let today take over your creative mind and passionately pursue your day with a “put me in, coach” attitude. I promise, your life will be meaningful, plus impact those around you.

Love it while it’s here

By David Tepera, December 6, 2017

There’s no secret, most people still reflect on the glory years of high school. For those who competed in sports, typically high school was your heyday. If you had a winning season or not, you were probably in the best shape of your life and created lasting memories and friends.

But now, you’re just an old fogey like me, missing the good old days and wishing you could relive them again. At that time, you didn’t realize how much you loved the game until it was gone.

Even recently, you were probably involved in other uplifting experiences, but now they’ve come to an end. You might be a little disappointed and depressed because you didn’t really take in the moment while it was happening. It never crossed your mind that all good things really do come to an end.

Over the past several years, I’ve been attending quite a few funerals celebrating people’s lives. It’s common that everyone closest to the deceased wished they’d spent more time with them.

We all do get caught up in routines with our busy lives. Most days are filled with work and weekends loaded with kid activities.

I know it’s hard to think about it, but sometimes we must recognize that we will lose people close to us. You’ve been putting off spending time with grandparents, parents and other relatives.

Believe me, I completely understand. I’ve been a single parent for more than 12 years and venturing out of our routine has been most challenging. I don’t visit others as frequently as I should. I recognize the disappointment within myself for not taking a step back from my schedule to spend time with people who unconditionally love me.

Sorry, I’m really not trying to be a downer today, but just hoping to make you slow down and go love and hug those people who miss you.

I’m sure most of us have already experienced losing someone we’d like to just sit and talk, laugh and cry, eat a meal, have a drink and just enjoy the moment with again.

So, maybe today, you can take a step back and reach out to those special people while you can. I guarantee a new memory will be made that’ll be cherished forever.

Remember, you once loved the game and now it’s over, but it’s not too late to reach out and love your family. Sometimes, all it takes is a phone call.

What color do you see?

By David Tepera, November 29, 2017

In the game of football, besides special teams, you’re either on offense or defense. As complicated as the game may seem, it’s really just black and white.

Offensive players’ goals are to take the ball down the field to score a touchdown. The defensive players’ goals are to tackle the ball carrier to keep the opponent from scoring.

I was recently in a debated discussion with someone who only could see this world in black and white. They’ve somehow let others dictate their emotions, and you’re either on their side or perceived as the enemy.

Even though we disagreed, I pointed out the beauty and passion this person possessed. I only suggested, “if you could use that same passion towards beauty and color, your life will explode in goodness.”

Let me ask you, “how do you see life?” Do you only see black and white, good or evil, or do you recognize color and beauty each of us hold?

How do you treat people? Is it with hatred and negativity or with kindness and love?

I’ve had multiple conversations with people in power positions who are having difficulty with their employees. My first question about their leadership is, “do you put your workers down or lift them up?”

There’s not one person on this planet who doesn’t enjoy the words of encouragement, especially coming from someone special.

How do you respond to your children? Are you caught up only yelling at them for wrong decisions, or do you give praise for all the good deeds?

Remember the classic movie Wizard of Oz? The movie starts off in black and white because the characters are living in gloom and despair on a poor farm, plus a storm is brewing.

But, as soon as Dorothy and Toto land on Oz, brilliant colors are displayed. Do you remember the joyous feeling that came over you as all the explosion of vivacious colors rush into your eyesight? It’s at this moment you followed the yellow brick road with Dorothy and became one of the characters.

Now, why don’t we all see the beauty each of us possess? When’s the last time you shook hands with a total stranger and gave them a compliment?

It’s time we all throw away black and white to enjoy the beautiful colors that surround us. We need it. Don’t you agree?