Constitutionally Right

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Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Thursday, June 14, 2012

High Performance and Good Values - A Match Made In Heaven - PhillyBurbs.com

I’ve noticed (over the years) a correlation between good values and good performance. This phenomenon seems true in sports, academia, professional life and family. Of course, one must first define “good values”, but that’s an easy one. All manner of “good values” might fall under the general umbrella of “honesty”. Honesty, though, can be tough because it begins with being honest with the one that’s the most difficult to be honest with - yourself. The foundation of good values was poured by my karate instructor, William Hodgkiss, who recently lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. He taught by example that anything’s possible and that hard work over time is usually what’s required to accomplish anything worthwhile. He was very critical of those who repelled hard work as if it were something bad and demonstrated that hard work was, in fact, quite a good thing. I was ridiculously fortunate to spend a few years of college wrestling learning first-hand what’s required for the highest levels of achievement. The most consistent highest performers had a lot in common. There were the good performers and the highest performers. Many, if not all, of the highest performers were really nice guys, very humble, helped others to achieve their goals, outstanding students in the classroom and had a strong faith in God. They had everything well balanced, in good perspective and never seemed stressed out. I didn’t have the mental capacity at the time to really get it, but started to notice that something was up and I wanted in. I decided that the best way to continue to refine myself was to become a US Marine right after college and I couldn’t have been more right as I picked up right where leaving off. The first jaw-dropping experience was a few weeks into Officer Candidate School where one of my peers got dropped for doing 24 sit-ups when asked to do 25. It was at the start of the 45 minute Endurance Course which was sort of like a massive obstacle course through the woods. There were Instructors observing everywhere and another also left from falling off of an obstacle in the middle of the course and didn’t go back to try to complete it thinking that no one was watching. We learned that integrity is especially important when no one’s looking and that important tasks need to be completed without excuse. Another example was a leadership exam where we had to navigate to different checkpoints within certain timeframes. I was in charge of my group and one of us got a knee injury. I disregarded the task and had the entire group move along at the speed of the injured member. I failed the test so miserably that my Company staff held a sort of hearing with me as the defendant. My excuse was the injured member, but I still didn’t get to the checkpoint at the right time (therefore having no excuse). I should have created a secure area for the one guy, completed the exercise and then came back to retrieve him. Excuses would then seem contrary to good results; and I’ve found that to be more true than not. Over the course of that training, subsequent training and then 4 years of service revealed that the top performers in the Marine Corps shared the same qualities as the top performers elsewhere. To this day the most meaningful religious service that I’ve yet experienced was in a small room on a particularly tough day. Lots of strong faith in there from some of the toughest, most intelligent people I’ve ever known. The examples keep coming. I could go on and on and on, but honesty, humility and hard work is the consistent theme throughout. You will make your own definition of good values, but the results are clear. Since this is a political blog I’d be neglectful if I didn’t point out that our current leaders out there do not have good values and the results are consistently predictable. And since we elect them I’d say that the problem is us and not them. We’ve become a nation of very poor values. Just being honest.

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