By Robert Kanaat
#1 — Gratitude
Gratitude offers us a platform for fulfillment. It’s easy to want things that we don’t have. In our consumption-driven society, we are always lusting after that shiny new object. But true fulfillment resides in appreciating what you have in the here and now rather than basing your happiness or fulfillment on the attainment of things.
With what we see on television or the Internet in the lives that the rich and famous lead, it’s hard to have gratitude for the small amount of things we might have. But, when you look at the other end of the spectrum, there are people living in complete squalor, under the guise of oppressive regimes, or simply in a state of lack without the basic necessities for life. For that reason, we must appreciate what we have.
Take a moment to count your blessings, so to speak. Rather than thinking about what you want, appreciate what you have. Write it down, in fact. When you write it down, it sends a powerful signal to the subconscious mind. Don’t leave it in the realm of abstract thought. Spend a few minutes every single day doing this and turn it into a daily habit.
What you’ll come to realize over time is that you’ll feel much more fulfilled when you appreciate the things you have. If you’ve ever had something really bad happen to you and wondered why you didn’t appreciate a certain thing before, then you’ll understand where I’m coming from. What we have can be easily taken away in the blink of an eye. So appreciate it today — right now.
This also has very much to do with the element of focus. When you focus on the things that you’re grateful for rather than the things that you’re upset or angry about, your mind has a better chance to push forward towards your dreams through a humble approach that’s steeped in abundance rather than a state of lack. It provides the mental clarity to achieve all your dreams.
#2 — Balance
While pushing towards our goals, it’s easy to lose any sense of balance. Things just seem to fall to the wayside when we’re goal oriented. And, even when we’re not goal oriented, and we allow bad habits to do their slow-creep, the important things in life seem to fail to get our attention.
Whether it’s bad habits that are holding you back, or big goals that are pushing you forward, losing balance is quite easy. Things like family and friends seem to lose our attention when this happens. But there’s absolutely no way to feel fulfilled in life without a sense of balance.
Think about the things that once made you happy in life, and ask yourself why you’re not doing those things anymore. These things don’t have to cost money. I’m talking about taking a walk along a beach during the sunset or having a cup of coffee with a good friend and chatting about your day or your experiences.
If you’re a creative person and you’ve lost that sense of passion for the arts, then you need to reconnect with your creativity. Balance is an important pathway to fulfillment and we often allow things to go forgotten when we’re either too focused on our goals, or immersed in one of life’s many distractions.
Make a list of the things that you love doing but haven’t done in ages. Then, decide, right now, on a schedule where you can make time for those pursuits. Even if you feel like you don’t have the time in your schedule, find 15 minutes where you can do just that. That’s all it takes — just 15 minutes.
#3 — Contribution
There’s a deep and utter sense of fulfillment that comes along with contributing to others. I’m not talking about having to donate money; I’m talking about donating your time, a resource far more precious than money. We can always make more money, but there’s only a limited amount of time that we each have in this world.
In fact, numerous studies have confirmed that money does not buy happiness. However, money, when used to help others, leads to the most fulfillment in life. If you want to feel more fulfilled in life, contribute something to someone else. Use your expertise to help others out there. Not only does this create good karmic energy, but it makes you feel better, internally speaking. It puts your mind at ease knowing that you helped someone else out there who might not have been able to help themselves.
Pick up a good cause and donate your time to it. Whether it’s Habitat for Humanity, The Red Cross, or any other local organization around you, contact them and find out how you can contribute your time. Also, you could always head down to your local homeless or aid shelter to put in some time there as well.
Tony Robbins once said, “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.” It’s also a great way to instill an element of gratitude in your life. When you help and contribute to others, you learn to appreciate what you have rather than what you don’t have or what you want to have.
Like any other behavior, contribution can become habitual. Eventually, over time, your mind can seek out ways to help those around you and you’ll constantly be looking for ways you can give to others in the world. Again, it’s not about money. If you can afford to donate money, great. But donating money is a bit more self-removed. Donate your time, and it will really put you in touch with what you have to be grateful for and fill your heart with fulfillment at the same time.
#4 — Forgiveness
I once battled with an inability to forgive others. As a stubborn person, I often found it hard to see where I was wrong. And if someone crossed me, it was hard for me to go back and forgive them. But the problem with that, or so I found, was that it’s more difficult to live in a state of anger and hate than it is to live in a state of love and forgiveness.
When you refuse to forgive others for things that have happened in the past, it’s one of the surest ways to living the opposite of a fulfilled life. You spend all your mental and emotional energy focused on the anger and hate that you simply forget about the good things that used to exist in that relationship.
Focus is a very powerful thing. It’s the mind’s eye, leading you down the path that you choose to go down. As I said, like attracts like. So, rather than focus your energy on being angry or upset at someone, simply forgive them. I know it’s hard at times, and your forgiveness doesn’t even necessitate a phone call; just a short message saying you forgive that person.
If you don’t want to communicate with them, write it out on a piece of paper and simply save it somewhere. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would have done in their situation. Try to find some good out of whatever happened, no matter how small it might be.
#5 — Persistence
Last, but certainly not least, and one of the surest pathways to living a more fulfilled life, is the art of persistence. I once wrote a book on this very topic, so I believe wholeheartedly in staying persistent. Even in the face of negativity and people trying to hold you back, you can be more fulfilled in whatever you do, as long as you don’t give up.
By Jeff Haefner
Every year, thousands of high school and junior college basketball players compete to get one of the few basketball scholarships that are awarded each year. Here are some basketball tips on how to increase your chances of being selected to receive one of those coveted positions.
Talent and Ability
First and foremost, you have to maximize your basketball skill. Every day you are not getting better, someone else is getting better than you. You have to work and work to become the best player you can be. Work on your skills, be in condition and get stronger.
The jump from high school to college is a big jump. Players are bigger, stronger and more experienced. The game is longer, faster and more physical than anything you have experienced so far in your career. Don’t fall into the trap that you are doing enough to get yourself ready. Without exception, when new college players report for their first workouts they are surprised at how different it is compared to high school. Work to be ready.
The Value of Summer Basketball
Basketball recruiting has changed drastically over the last 15 years. Rules that colleges have to abide by have become more restrictive. The pressure to get commitments from players has resulted in players deciding earlier and earlier on what schools they are going to attend. It is no longer sufficient to be a good player with your high school team. Your senior year in high school has almost become irrelevant! Colleges need to identify prospects earlier and earlier in their career. Coaches now go to places where they can identify and evaluate multiple prospects at one time. The places for that have become AAU tournaments and high profile “recruiting summer camps.”
AAU (or Amateur Athletic Union) is an organization that sponsors amateur sporting events. In basketball, they sponsor spring, summer and fall tournaments in multiple age groups. The age brackets are usually 19 & under, 17 & under, 15 & under, etc. The advantage of that system is that you can play up a bracket to get in better competition (a 15 year old can play in a 17 & U tournament but a 17 year cannot play in a 15 & U tournament). The tournaments are usually played during “live” college recruiting periods so college recruiters heavily attend them. If you can find an AAU basketball team in your area and it is an appropriate age bracket it would be well worth your effort to join the program.
High profile “recruiting camps” are basketball camps that are held during the summer that attract high-level players, which in turn, attract college recruiters. Most of these are private camps, not camps owned by universities, colleges or high schools. They usually offer excellent instruction and very competitive games. Call a couple of colleges and find out what camps they attend to evaluate prospects and make plans to attend.
Summer basketball has become the most significant aspect of recruiting. At no other time can a college coach go to one spot and evaluate 300-400 players at one time. If you want to get one of those scholarships, you have to be where the coaches are.
Don’t wait for a college to find you, go find them. If there are schools that you are interested in, contact them early, and let them know of your interest. Visit the campus, invite the coach to come and see you play. Have your high school coach contact the schools you are interested in. Be sure they have the information they need to evaluate you. Things like game schedules, summer schedules, etc. should be sent to all schools you are interested in. Return all questionnaires and comply with all the requirements that they have for acceptance to school.
Take Care of Your Schoolwork
Believe it or not, college coaches want athletes with good grades! Players in college are “student-athletes.” They attend class, write papers, and do research. Coaches really don’t like to take chances on academic risks. Get good grades; take your standardized tests (SATs, ACTs) as early and as often as possible. Unless you are truly a great player, coaches will not wait for you.
To get a scholarship, you have to register for the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. This is the organization that will evaluate your grades to determine whether or not you are eligible to play. Even if you are in junior college, they will go back to your high school grades to determine your eligibility (there are different rules for “qualifiers” and “non-qualifiers” coming out of high school and junior college). Take care of your registration as early as possible.
There used to be a saying, “if you can play, they will find you.” That is NOT true any more!! Being able to play is not enough, now. You have to be out where the coaches can find you.
For more basketball players tips, check out our free ebooks and resources on this site…
#1 Lack of trust
The most fundamental pillar of a functioning team is trust. If there is a lack of trust within a team, then it is impossible to have a well-performing team.
But if you, as a team member, trust your team, then you don´t have a problem to admit a mistake, when you made one. People in a trusting team admit weaknesses.
They also ask for help, if they need it. If you don´t trust your team members, then you probably are also not going to ask them for help. And you may end-up with wasting a lot of time on a simple task, which you might have solved easily with just a little bit of help from another team member.
In trusting teams the team members also look forward to meetings and other opportunities to work as a group. And this is great for a healthy team.
#2 Fear of conflict
The second level of team dysfunction is fear of conflict – for example if team members are afraid to openly express their opinion, because it might end-up in a serious conflict.
Healthy conflicts are very important, because they help the team to progress and improve. It is better to have healthy conflicts instead of artificial harmony in a team.
But on the other side, in the worst cases the conflicts can also end-up in mean personal attacks. Therefore the key is to have an environment, which is somewhere in between artificial harmony and mean personal attacks.
#3 Lack of commitment
The third level of team dysfunctions is lack of commitment. True commitment is about getting buy-in when all the team members don´t agree.
For example, if the team manager takes team-related decisions without discussing it in the team, then people might not agree with that – there is a lack of commitment for the decision.
On the other hand, if the topic is discussed within the team, everything is clarified and assumptions are removed, then it is easier to come to a common decision, which everybody supports.
An indicator of teams with lack of commitment is revisiting the same topics over and over again.
#4 Avoidance of accountability
The fourth level of team dysfunctions is avoidance of accountability.
Accountability is the willingness of team members to remind each other when they are not living up to whatever standards have been agreed upon by the group.
For example, if a team member constantly arrives late at the office and nobody in the team feels responsible to tell him, then at a certain point other team members will start to do the same thing. They will think “Why should I bother to be there earlier, if it is more convenient for me and nobody complains from the group when I´m late?” This lowers of course the standards of the group.
On the other hand, if the team constantly reminds each other about the agreed standards, only then the team is able to keep this standards.
#5 Inattention to results
The fifth and last level of team dysfunctions is inattention to results.
This dysfunction is caused by team members focusing on their personal success over their teams success – instead they should put the success of the team over their personal ego.
The team should be focusing on delivering measurable results – this helps to keep focusing on the success of the project and avoids distractions. Have an open discussion with your team to avoid these 5 key dysfunctions.
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A.B.C is a community based initiative, designed to develop our children and young adults mentally, physically, and spiritually. Our programs combine educational and recreational activities, which provide positive alternatives to gangs, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and other issue that plague our societ