The Constellation Learning Newsletter
is here and with it the desire to hibernate. Most of us are
used to bundling up and making our way through windswept streets,
with head down to ward off the weather.
Reminds me of a little ditty I
like: Two men looked out from behind prison bars; one saw
mud, the other saw stars. Perspective determines focus.
The truly great focus on
the stars. Which is why I’ll be welcoming author and
Karmic Astrologer Linda Brady as my premier guest
on October 16th at noon eastern time on Voice America's Seventh
Wave Network www.7thWaveNetwork.com.
See the announcement below for more details.
Monthly Message ~
greatest thing a man can do in this world is to make the most
possible out of the stuff that has been given him.
This is success, and there is no other.”
-- Orison Swett Marden,
Founder of Success Magazine
one of my heroes take his final bow at the U.S. Open Tennis
Tournament last month.
Andre Agassi, after a lifetime of world-class
tennis and twenty-one consecutive appearances on what he considered
his “home court” in New York, left it—and
the game he loved—with class and dignity.
At thirty-six years of age he had become,
as John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors before him, an elder statesman
in a sport that caters to the young. He had announced his
retirement months ago. Everyone watching knew this was the
end—no matter how it ended—of a brilliant career.
After two rounds of superior tennis (his
first two matches both went to five sets) and with numerous
cortisone shots to his spine after each—an excruciating
short-term remedy to an inoperable disc problem in his lower
back—Andre defied the odds by not only completing
the two matches, but by winning them against much
younger players who grew up idolizing him.
During his third and final match and wracked
by pain, Andre would still not quit. Grimacing, he played
out the match. His character demanded it and his practiced
principles propelled him forward—to finish what he started,
to give his very best shot, and to leave a legacy of authentic
commitment in action. But on that day his efforts weren’t
enough and he lost in four sets.
eight minutes the crowd stood and cheered. For eight minutes
Agassi sat in his court-side chair and took it in, tears falling
freely down his face; he neither swept the moment aside to
be felt in private nor succumbed to the seduction of making
the display too maudlin. The commentators stayed quiet and
let the moment speak for itself. His final encore bow moved
me deeply and I cried along with him.
Having played some competitive tennis in
my day I have a deep appreciation for Andre’s gritty
play and mental toughness. He had an ability to rise above
his circumstances, the score, or his physical pain. As any
athlete knows, the brain will over-ride the body every time,
either helping or hampering one’s efforts.
Agassi wasn’t the best player ever,
though his return of serve was acknowledged as the best in
the game. He won only eight glam Slam events to Sampras’
fourteen. But Agassi gave something a lot of other really
good players didn’t—or wouldn’t. Maybe they
couldn’t. Andre gave himself. Agassi was all
about the process, as he called it, and he gave his heart,
mind and soul to the pursuit of perfecting his own evolution—within
the game of tennis. He let spectators in; in a word, he was
real. When we rooted for Andre we were really rooting for
ourselves—the bigger, brighter side of our individual
possibility coins, the side courageous enough to “be
Author L. E. Blaze said, “A man's greatness
is not estimated by the size of his body or of his purse;
a man's greatness is estimated by his influence, not over
the votes and empty cheers of a changing and passing crowd,
but by his abiding, inspiring influence.”
Andre Agassi demonstrated what purpose,
passion and persistence look like; quite an abiding, inspiring
- Think in Questions
Greatness arises from a soil of inquisitiveness
and awareness. It blooms in one’s responses to self-generated
questions. Questions rooted in purpose bring fruitful
answers to trying events. For example, “How can
I make a contribution to this meeting?” will produce
a different set of behaviours than “How can I look
good/get noticed/feel OK about myself in this meeting?”
“Why” questions are especially effective at
soliciting “higher purpose” kinds of responses.
- Think Long Term
Expediency may be demanded in our work-worlds, but that
doesn’t mean we can’t exercise integrity. If
we always respond with what we think will “get us
the order” then we’ll leave a limited legacy.
What will matter to you ten years from now is more important
than what will matter to you ten minutes from now. Higher
purpose responses are more likely to build long-term legacies
that you’ll be proud of.
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