Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Can You Handle The Pain?

Short term pain must come before the long term success arrives. The 1% have learned this is a fact, and will do whatever it takes to battle through these moments. Rather than feeling sorry for themselves, they work even harder. Instead of quitting, they make a conscious decision to do more. This short term pain is what separates the good from the elite.

Tiger Woods' career has been all about sacrificing the short term, in order to achieve more in the future. He's never been afraid of struggling through today's pain, because he's mastered this process. Everyone from media to the public has labeled him finished during these difficult two years. He's about to prove everyone wrong!

      Michael Jordan is the best of all time, mainly because he'd never settle for mediocrity. He went from the sophomore who was cut from his high school team, to the all time greatest. He used this short term "failure" as fuel to become the best. If his NBA teammates didn't subscribe to this mindset, they were going to hear about it ... and FEEL it. He was known to fight players in practice if they gave less than 100% effort.

In the beginning of Roger Federer's career, he was mentally weak, succumbing to the pressure. He fought through the short term struggles, and learned to dominate. I'd say he won the mental battle.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What's Your Answer?

When you close your eyes and stare into the future... 

What do you see?

Complaining Is Not An Option

It's all about our mindset. How we perceive our challenges will always determine our future! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Time For Thanks...

I am thankful.

I am humbled.

This is the first Thanksgiving weekend without my grandma. She will be missed, but thought of every second. Thank you, grandma.

Thank you, God, universe, karma, and every other force that isn't fully understood. I'm grateful for the gifts you have given me, but especially for the doors you have closed.

Thank you to my gorgeous wife and angelic daughter. You both are the inspiration and motivation behind everything I do.

I am thankful.

I am humbled.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lose Your Excuses

I talked to a student tonight, who I'm lucky enough to call my friend. He's going through some very difficult times -- tougher than I've ever seen up close. Not one time, has he ever used his situation as an excuse. He only talks about why he'll succeed, when it will happen, and how he's going to make it happen. He admits losing sleep, but always uses that loss as fuel for his eventual achievements. He's as tough as they come, and fights with every last punch. I'll definitely be sharing his entire success story with you in the future. 

"You'll only succeed when you want it as bad as you want to breathe..."

-Eric Thomas (the hip hop preacher) 

Lose your excuses

Monday, November 21, 2011

Never Say Never

You don't need to be an athlete to know who Tiger Woods is, and the "situation" he created for himself in the last couple of years. When the bottom dropped out from underneath him, everyone (including myself) instantly became judge and jury. I was as quick as the next person to throw him under the bus, judging his personal life and decisions he made. It took some time, but I eventually jumped down off of my soapbox, viewing him as the golfer I grew to love and regularly used as a positive example. His personal life is just that - personal! I won't teach my daughter to emulate his off-course lifestyle, but I will absolutely help her understand the importance of his work ethic.

During this down-time for Tiger, I continued to Tweet, blog, and preach his eventual comeback to anyone who would listen. I contended that he became the best we'd ever seen, primarily due to his unmatched self belief and relentless practice habits. As long as his passion existed, these strengths would also still live inside him. My positive Tiger opinions were definitely in the minority, leaving me open to the naysayers' hammer-drop ... and it was being dropped regularly.

"He's finished. He'll never win again. He looks like he's never played before. You're crazy to think he'll ever make it back..."

They were correct. He did look awful! And if this was a normal human being with average mental toughness and an unwillingness to sacrifice, I would've agreed with the majority. This was Tiger freaking Woods, however. He changed his swing three times while he was dominating the world of golf, because he always believed it could improve. Obviously, it's valid to aruge that he shouldn't have changed anything if wasn't broken, but Tiger doesn't think like 99% of the population. He believes that it's never good enough, and won't ever settle for less. As we've seen, he'll go through these holding patterns until he finds a better way, but as he's proven time after time, he always finds that better way. The last couple weeks in Austrailia have shown us that he's on his way back, and will undoubtedly be a force to reckon with again.

Ignore his personal life decisions, but put a microscope up to his work ethic and ability to continuously find a way to believe in himself. A year ago, while playing the worst golf of his life, he was asked who he thought was the best player in the world. He stared at the interviewer, paused, took a deep breathe, cocked his head to the right, and didn't say a word, as his body language said it all. His non-answer said, "Me!"

When you look at your reflection, do you see belief or reasons why it can't happen?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Impossible What?

Self limiting beliefs are the only things holding you back. Impossible is what YOU say...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Up To You...

Doubt. Fear. Pain. Hesitation. Negativity. Can't. Won't. Why should I. Too tired. Too tough. Too much work. Failure

Love it. Opportunity. Fearlessness. Decide. I will. No one can stop me. Practice. What sleep. Destination. Goal. Success. Definite Action. Now ... right now

You choose

1% Mindset!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ray Lewis Mentions The 1%

Ray admits he was never the biggest, fastest, or strongest ... but no one would ever out-work him. He's one of the best linebackers in NFL history, all created from effort!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Talk To Me

Dear you,

I'm still here, waiting - it's been awhile. You used to call on me all the time, but have recently stopped. Why? Every time you talk to me, I help. Each time you write, I give you everything you asked for. Yeah, sometimes it takes longer than you want, but I always come through. You used to be more patient, maybe?

Talk to me.

Remember when you were younger, and you shared me with all your friends and family members? What's changed? Who told you to stop? At night, the last thing you did before falling asleep was call on me. In the morning, you couldn't wait to write me, and often tell your Facebook friends about our relationship. Now that Twitter is a big part of your life, you'll tweet about me, but not often enough. Why?

I made a promise to you a long time ago, that anytime you were serious about me, I'd give you what you wanted. If you proved your passion and discipline, I'd guarantee your success. Has fear of failure lessened our conversations? Has someone told you I was full of crap, or I couldn't fulfill my promise? Tell those naysayers to kiss my ...

I'm yours to have, but you first must commit to me. What do you want from me? Why haven't you made the decision to take me? Don't worry about being greedy or immersed in the process of creating more of me, it's what your life is all about. Talk about me, write about me, and make yourself accountable for reaching me. Tell the world that you expect nothing less than making me live with you full-time.

Let the negative people in your life disappear. Actually, the more of me you see on a regular basis, the quicker they'll go away on their own. They hate me, because they've never committed to having a relationship with me. Let them talk about us. You become focused on taking as much of me as you want. Understand the naysayers are jealous, and can't imagine risking what it takes to build me. They live to tear you down. The last thing these people want is for you and I to create a long lasting relationship.

Call on me at night. Write to me in the morning. Talk to me.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Your Future

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just Play!

Children play effortlessly, rarely over-thinking the situation. Notice how automatic Luke is during his putts. There's no reason why we all can't find that child inside again.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

She Had No Idea What It Did To Me

Last week, I wrote about a defining moment I had in 7th grade, where my dad gave me a spirited lecture on my lack of effort. This specific moment immediately changed my perspective on the control I had to change outcomes. Today, I want to share an experience I had at an early age that also affected my entire life. This one, unfortunately, had a negative influence on me ... one I never shook.

Remember, what you say to kids can have a life changing affect on them, good and bad.

It's third grade, my best friend, Shane and I hand in our math quiz to the teacher, Mrs. Soviezcek. I'm excited, because I thought I did well, and can't wait to get praised for my work. Soon after we handed it in, she gave it back to us with a grade on top of the page. I don't remember the exact grade I received, but I'll never forget what she told me as she handed it to me:

"You didn't do well on this quiz, but it's o.k., because math isn't for you. Shane is really good at math, but your strength is writing. You're a very good writer, but you're not good at math. Some things come naturally to all of us. Math just isn't natural for you."

Those words are burned into my brain, as if she said them to me yesterday. When I read them back, I find it impossible that a teacher ... a third grade teacher, especially, would say that to a student, but she did. Before this moment, I remember enjoying math, and looking forward to figuring out the answers. After these harsh words, I forever linked negativity and weakness to every math class I took.

"Math isn't for you."

Is it a coincidence I remember her name? I don't remember many of my teachers before high school, but I'll never forget Mrs. Soviezcek's name. She unknowingly linked such a negative emotion into my subconscious, I became exactly what she told me I'd become - an 'A' student in English, and below average in math.

I'm not blaming her for every bad grade I received in math, because I had a choice to study more, but the strength of emotion she created at such an early age absolutely had an affect. I was in third grade, looking for self esteem and confidence, and she was my teacher who was supposed be helping me in those areas. When you're that young, adults are all-knowing. Everything they say "must" be true, right? Wrong!

We must be very aware of what we're telling our children. Our self-limitations mustn't influence their possibilities. Our words can change the path they choose to walk. Choose those words carefully!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You!

I apologize for not having this up all day. I'm going to keep it posted throughout the entire weekend.

Veterans, thank you for all your sacrifice. I have deep respect for everything you do for us. I don't take my freedom for granted, as I know it wasn't handed to me ... it was fought for, and protected ... by you, our veterans!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Everything I Do Is Normal

David Blaine is one of top illusionists in the world. He's famous for his televised street magic, blowing people's minds with his slight-of-hand. But unlike other top magicians, he has also committed his life to pushing his body past normal limitations. He's studies the power of the mind, and continues to test it's ability to overcome extreme situations. 

Where most say impossible, he says probable. He's another example of taking "realistic," and destroying it into a millions pieces. He understands realistic and possible is what we say it is. 

"I think that everything I do is actually normal, and I think what's interesting about what I do is that if you take the competitiveness out of it, we're all capable of doing the same things. If I asked you to stand in one spot for 35 hours or a certain length of time, you could do it. I think the reason people come up with alternative methods of how it's done is because if they accept I can do it, they have also got to accept that they are able to do it. People haven't even begun to tap into the potential of what the mind is possible of doing. I think everything I do is normal, not paranormal. It's using the power of the mind to achieve whatever we can endure."

-David Blaine

He buried himself alive for one week in 6' plexiglass

Spent 7 days submerged in water, and attempted to hold breath for the last 9 minutes while handcuffed. He made it over 7 minutes before having to be rescued

Stood for 35 hours, 90' in the air on a beam 22" across

44 days suspended in a box over London, with nothing but water

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Take The Charge

There's a moment in all of our lives that define who we become. I've been lucky enough to have a few of those moments, but one in particular shaped me, growing up.

7th grade, Dos Pueblos High School gym, Saturday morning:

It's late in the fourth quarter, we're winning by one point, and Todd Ewing, my rival, is flying down court on a fast break. The only thing between him and the basket is my defensive skills. He faked left, went right, but I was quicker. I remained on balance, waiting for him near the hoop. He was headed directly at me, full speed ahead. If he scores, they take the lead with little time left on the clock. As he got closer, now moving even faster, I hesitated. He actually looked a little out of control. I remember thinking, "Crap, how am I going to stop him?!" This hesitation was all he needed. Instead of jumping in front of him and taking the charge, I let him go to the basket, untouched, scoring the go-ahead layup.

The crowd went crazy, but all I could hear was my dad yelling at me from the sidelines. "Take the charge! How could you let him go by without any effort?! Take the charge!" My dad wasn't the unathletic father that didn't have a clue. He knew exactly what he was talking about. He excelled in all the major sports, including basketball. He was a fighter on the court when he played, and there was no way he was going to allow me to be any different. At that specific moment of my life, as I let Todd casually dribble by me, and score an easy layup, it was no longer about basketball. In my dad's eyes, this was about effort, toughness, and a mindset that wouldn't settle for less.

I'll never forget the drive home. He preached like never before. He wasn't spitting fire, telling me how useless I was. Rather, it was simply a disciplined reminder that we, in life, and on the court, never allow an opponent to "score" without a fight. "Make them earn it," ringed in my ear. This 15 minute speech was titled, "Your last name is Gingrich, and don't ever forget it." Gingrich was synonymous with fight, tough, and fearless. His son was going to learn how being fearless would affect the rest of his life ... and dad was going to teach him on this car ride home.

That moment changed my basketball career forever. Prior to that game, I was the All-Star point guard, averaging 22 points. Post "You're a Gingrich" speech, I became the toughest, defensive stopper on the court. I still got my points, but I also took pride in stopping the opposition's best scorer. I quickly learned that effort was always in my control, and could be a determining factor in the outcome of every game. My scoring fluctuated, but my determination, passion, and effort never would.

As I developed my teaching style, this 7th grade layup, and my dad's willingness to show me some tough love, became my base. Never again, would anyone dribble by me without a fight, on or off the court. My 1% philosophy was born on that day!

Settling for less is failure. Take the charge.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Become The 1% ... Now!

Your thoughts dictate belief 

Belief in yourself creates an unstoppable workhorse & risk taker

Risk often ... fail often ... succeed

Monday, November 7, 2011

He's Already Lived It

Before any goal can be reached, it must first be realized, mentally. You must see and feel, with unwavering belief, that it will take shape. Eric Magidson is on a mission to make a dream come true. I'm proud to call him a student, but he is also a friend! He'll do whatever it takes to attain his goals. This is what he sees, and has decided will happen in the future:

My Vision for The 2012 Nationwide Boise Open

It is 6:00am, I just woke up from a really great sleep and have stepped out of my hotel room to welcome the day and assess the weather.  The clear sky and rising sun indicate that this will be an average September day in Boise, Idaho. However, as far as I am concerned, today will be everything but typical. As I breathe in the morning air, I feel anxious and a bit nervous, but I have prepared for this day and the moments that are yet to come. At the same time, I recognize that these current emotions are confirmation that all my hard work for the past 12 months has been worth it.  You see, today is my day! No matter the results, I have once again proven that I can truly commit and practice with all the intensity, dedication, and belief it takes to truly succeed.

In an instant, I gain a huge sense of confidence by reviewing my work from the past year. I have been able to effectively balance family, full-time work, and all the requirements my team of coaches have set forth to prepare me for today. These coaches definitely put in much more time than the billable hours I have been able to afford. But their dedication has led to countless hours spend on body, mind and swing instruction in preparation to meet my goal. I am quickly reminded of the:

• late night gym sessions, after a full day of work.
• stolen moments doing intense cardio, pushup and sit-up/crunch routines behind the closed door of my office
• countless rounds spent practicing my pre-shot routine and learning to accept that occasional bad shot
• thousands of words written in my blog as a means to discover my mental weaknesses and document their transformation into strengths
• tens of thousands of balls hit during all four seasons (even shoveling snow from the hitting mat when needed)
• short-game and putting sessions that only ended when the range went black.
I again get a bit emotional when I think about all the time, commitment, dedication and sacrifice my supporters have invested, and how Thank You will never be enough. There is no pressure from them however, somehow no matter my performance, today will be reward enough.

The fact is the day has begun and it’s time to GET IT ON! As I head back into the hotel, I am focused on nothing but the present. The nerves are still with me but I accept them as just a reminder, to myself, of how important my goal is to me. These feelings may be with me all day but will NOT affect the outcome. I am in control.  As I meet up with my caddie and best friend, Justin Thayer, for a healthy breakfast he asks me how I am feeling. He’s not asking as a question but to let me once again reiterate to myself what he already knows. I am prepared for today, I am confident, and I have the game it takes to compete at this level. Once finished with breakfast, I head into the musty hotel gym to fully stretch and do a bit of cardio to get my heart pumping.  This is not the time to shortcut any part of my routine. I have practiced this day in my mind and during previous rounds of golf, so that I am comfortable in the moment.

As we head to the course, I get a final call from Coach Dayne, my mental coach.  He reminds me that the work has been done; I am prepared, to have fun, and go through my pre-shot routine on every shot.  He can sense I have just one more question, ok the final ‘one more question’ before we make it to the course. I have had just ‘one more question’ for a week now. So I ask it. “What happens if I exceed the goal of shooting 72 and actually have to play on Thursday?” He responds quickly, “We will have that conversation after your round but that has nothing to do with today.” Go through your routine!

Justin and I reach the course and surprisingly a sense of calm and intense focus comes over me. As we make our way to the registration table, I realize my first advantage over the competition. I am not here to make a living or get on tour. I just have to shoot a 72 today to reach my goal.  Justin gets the pin sheet and local rules; we make a few notes in our yardage books, and then head to the putting green.

This is the first time I notice that some of my family and friends have come to support me. I get a few hugs and good luck wishes but quickly excuse myself to the job at hand. I drink in the positives of my supporters and remind myself that they are not here to judge the outcome just be involved in the process. As I step onto the green and smell the fresh cut grass, I have entered my favorite place, my world on the putting green. The world where nothing exists but the ball, myself and the hole.  Justin throws me a couple of balls and I begin with a short putting drill to instill alignment and increase my confidence. With every putt, I hear that lovely sound as each ball drops one after another into the hole.  Justin and I share a private joke about the flat stick as I continue to move further back with each putt, producing more of the same.

We head to the driving range and squeeze in, to claim our space to warm up. Although I notice the other players, my focus has not decreased. I complete a few key stretches and shoulder warm-ups, as the breeze carries forth a unique scent that I have associated with Hillcrest Country Club, from my previous visits over the past few months. It relaxes me and reminds me of the last time I stood on this range, and the successful round that followed. Today will be a good day. I begin my warm-up routine by dialing in a steady tempo through a few dozen swings that are not hindered by the requirement to connect perfectly to a ball. As I work through the bag, my swing is confident, the balls go where expected, and my focus remains steadfast. Toward the end of warm-up, I execute my pre-shot routine and mental strategy while hitting various shots that I will need to accomplish throughout the day. All of which builds additional self-confidence that I will take to the course.

Justin throws me one last ball and asks to see a preview of the drive I will hit off the first tee.  I again go through my focused routine; I tee up the ball and step behind it in line with my intended trajectory. I take a deep relaxing breath, and imagine the shot.  The vision begins with the ball leaving the clubface; I sense the feeling and hear the sound of a perfectly struck ball. As the ball raises into the air it begins to turn slightly right to left, a perfect draw. The ball finally begins its descent from well above the trees as it heads toward the exact piece of grass I had chosen as its landing spot. It lands and rolls out - a bit further then I had envisioned - that must have been the adrenaline.  I open my eyes and initiate the script I have practiced and believed a thousand times before.  I will ACCEPT (this shot). I feel the calming sense of acceptance. I will TRUST (myself, my abilities and my swing). I feel the assurance that comes with trusting oneself. I will COMMIT (to attacking the shot, the whole shot)! I am excited like a kid opening a present knowing that what is inside is exactly what he wants (yes I peeked!).  I inhale one more deep relaxing breath, confirm my alignment, and step beside the ball. I take my posture, make a couple of very deliberate, short, tempo based practice swings and step in to execute my vision. Before the ball even reaches the pinnacle of flight Justin simply says, “Ya just like that!”

We head back to putting green to keep my mind busy, in an effort to not allow it to question prior outcomes or consider the future.  Again laughter ensues as I tell Justin that my mental cue to stay in the present has been hearing Ben Crane say, “I am speaking to you from the now in the middle of the now.”  Once again I confirm the speed of the greens and focus on my putting routine as we wait for our tee time. After what seems like just seconds, Justin picks up the bag and says, “Let’s go have some fun.”  I eat my favorite protein bar as we walk with a deliberate and consistent pace to the first tee.  I am conscious of what is going on around me but not focused on my surroundings.  All the work is done, my mind is prepared, my routine is solid, and I am confident. Today is my day! Today, I will demonstrate the result of committing, practicing and living my goal. I AM 1%.

Side note: I got a bit emotional as I wrote this and each time I re-read it. Emotions filled my heart, and I can only image what my competitors or naysayers might think as I admit these facts. Let them think I am soft, let them think I am emotional; let them form the wrong impression. This is the vision of my goal and frankly, I will completely and utterly crush their theories when I succeed in accomplishing it.  

-Eric Magidson

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What's Your Perception Of Reality?

"When you grow up, you're tend to get told the world is the way it is, and you're life is just to live inside the world, trying not to bash into the walls too much..."

"Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you, that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. You can change it ... you can influence it ... and build your own things that other people can use. If you just learn that, you'll never be the same again."

 -Steve Jobs

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

He Definitely Decided

In my last post, I linked a radio interview I did, where I talked about Luke Donald's back nine success in his last event, securing the #1 spot on the PGA Tour. I believe he made a conscious decision on the 10th tee box to take his game to another level, knowing he needed an incredible nine hole stretch to win. It was this decision that propelled his game past the field. He was more intent on making it happen, then he was focused on being afraid to fail.

I've received a few emails, asking how one decision can elevate a player's game so quickly. This is what I talk about all the time -- this is how the elite, 1% separate from the field. For the first time since Tiger Wood's downfall, someone "Tigered" the field. Luke had to win, or finish in solo second, in order to stay #1 on Tour. He knew this goal was in trouble after an average front nine on Sunday, and was left with no other choice but to record a "career back nine."

On the 10th tee, I believe he had a conversation with himself: "This is it! I need to find a way to focus more intensely than I ever have. I will take my game to another level... right now!"

Obviously, those weren't his exact words, but I have no doubt that he looked at himself from the inside-out, and made a conscious decision to find greatness! I don't believe in coincidental success, where somehow it just happens. Luke put in the hours, physically and mentally, and made committed decisions to attain his goals. On the back nine of this specific tournament, he simply intensified those decisions.

I work with a player on the Northwestern team, who was lucky enough to have Luke show him his golf log book. It was filled with the tiniest details of his goals, progress, and improvements needed. He logs every day, and because of this attention to detail, it's no coincidence that Luke shined under the massive pressure.

Don't sit and wait for success to find you ... make it happen. Decide that it absolutely WILL take shape. Create a fearless attitude that won't settle for average. Become the 1%.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

These Are My Opinions...

In a recent interview with Danielle Tucker (http://radiogolfclub.com), here were my thoughts on Luke Donald, Dustin Johnson, why there isn't one player dominating the PGA Tour, and of course... my Tiger Woods prediction!

My segment starts at 35:33.