Basic Needs

I often think about Creativity and how to obtain it. Or more like will it into existence from the doldrums of everyday life. See in my line of work, I am paid to be “creative”. But yet, I rarely find “creativity” when I’m chained to my office with a revolving door of staff, meetings, problems, etc. Like a hamster on a wheel, it’s tough to see the trees when you are in the forest.

I usually do my best work when I’ve been inspired. Sometimes, this comes from a break from the grind, or time alone to reflect/think but often it just comes from experience. From seeing something new. From getting out there and doing something. anything.

I could probably write a book on why I think taking care of yourself is the most important thing anyone can do for your job, your family, your friends etc. but i’m sure there are tons out there.

When I want to be inspired, the best thing I can do is go do something inspiring. Get out of my comfort zone. Do something different. Personally, this is why I like to travel and literally see the world but there are ways to do this that don’t require a passport.

Recently, inspired by our owner, the Lightning have pledged to do 4,000 community hours in the Tampa Bay area. That means about 25 hours for each staff member. Getting out and about gives you a new perspective. Often helping others, makes me realize how good I have it. It’s inspiring. It’s been a humbling experience b/c I often feel like it’s me that’s getting the true reward when I volunteer.

I ran across this quote today:
You’ve got to have something to eat and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body’s sermon on how to behave. -Billie Holiday, jazz singer and songwriter (1915-1959)

Isn’t that the truth?

It reminded me of a lesson I learned in Africa. See, I was privileged enough to go with World Vision  (PS – if you want to really make a difference, sponsor a child, you help their entire community) on a trip to see the work they are doing. The most amazing thing to me was here I was in a place that I considered “sheer and utter poverty” and almost everyone we met seemed truly JOYOUS. One of the workers there told us that the goal of World Vision is to teach them how to provide for themselves. So rather than give someone food, give them a goat that will feed them. Educate them. Teach them how to provide for themselves.

Pretty simple stuff actually. And it applies to a lot of areas.

So, what does providing basic needs in Africa or shelter to people locally have to do with my creativity? The same thing it does for you. If you are stuck in a rut, it’s most likely your own fault. Don’t do the same thing everyday and expect a different result. Get your basic needs (whatever they are) met so you can be a contributing member of your staff, your family, your community whatever!

There are a million ways to be inspired. Go find one today!.

Why Cheer?

I had an epiphany this weekend.

It happened Friday night in the middle of the FSU/Stanford game.

Well, to be exact it happened during the 4th inning. See, up to that point it was 0-0. Between lack of action, the fact it was Friday night after a long week and impending weather, I was tired. And just kind of there waiting for the team to make something happen.

But, during the 4th period one of the Animals from Section B started rallying the crowd with a variety of songs. And guess what? It worked. Not for me, not right away. See, I was still tired. But others (better fans) got into it. Soon, the whole stadium was rocking, even my tired self. Frankly, NOLES Nation was the LOUDEST I’ve heard at Dick Howser. It was an amazing experience.

And the Stanford team got rattled. Plain and simple, R-A-T-T-L-E-D. Their pitcher, Appel does not get rattled often and we took him for 17 runs. Well, actually we took about 5 of their various pitchers for 17 runs b/c Appel got pulled. And we won big.

My point is this. The crowd changed the game on Friday night.

Now, you might not believe me. But, I was there and I watched the crowd ignite the team and change the game. I’ve worked in sports for over 15 years. And I’ve seen crowds work their magic and get in the oppositions head. Crowds = Game Changers.

It’s the main reason our entire marketing campaign for the Tampa Bay Lightning has been Be The Thunder. Fans can and do make a difference.

Here’s my favorite story of the night:

As he stood on second base during a wild fourth inning Friday night, Florida State junior Devon Travis felt a tap on his shoulder and then fielded a question from one of Stanford’s infielders.

“Is it like this every night?” the Cardinal player asked. ‘There’s not a program out west that I’ve ever seen like this,’” Travis recalled. “And I said, ‘We’re blessed.’”

Now, that’s cool. I think every sports team needs their own version of the Animals of Section B (and alot of them have them) And honestly, it works best when the team recognizes the fans for their work. Which all of FSU did Friday night. Like with this tweet here.

Devon Travis@DeVoTrAv

Without our fans tonight, the game doesn’t end up the way it did. Loudest I’ve ever heard Howser. Thank y’all do much. #ONE

However, this isn’t just for team sports. I think cheering works for individuals. I’ve run a few races now and I always write my name on my running bib b/c when I do random people will cheer for me. And everytime I think about quitting, someone will yell out “Go Lynn, you can do it” or “almost there Lynn” and I keep going.

Cheering makes a difference.

So, what if we took this to the small accomplishments. What if we cheered for children making good grades? Or someone at work making a big sale? I guess my point is. Don’t let life pass you by as you watch. Stand up and cheer for something. Be an active participant b/c it really does make a difference.