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"ON BEING PRESENT"

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We had a fascinating speaker at our Executive Roundtable II this week, Chuck Nelson, currently serving as the CEO of the Washington Athletic Club.

In our decades of meeting monthly, we have had countless speakers, both women and men, and Chuck was one of the best. Chuck has had a blessed life, his opinion, shared by those present.

All American place kicker at the University of Washington, professional NFL kicker, pioneer in the Boeing Classic Golf Tournament, which has raised millions of dollars by hosting a tournament featuring some of the greatest golfers in the world, successful broadcaster and now CEO of one of the best City Athletic Clubs in the world.

One of the questions we asked Chuck, “Yes, you were All American at the University of Washington which means you were the best Collegiate kicker in America that year, and you were a place kicker for three different NFL teams, there were 28 teams then, which meant you were close to or one of the 28 best place kickers in the world.”

“Assuming you were, or nearly the best at what you did, how did you deal with the nerves, or the stress of going out plying your skill in front of a million or more viewers with the outcome of the game, dependent on your success at times?”

He smiled and said, “When they call for “place kicker” and you go out and do what you have done for years.” He added, “You are so focused on what you are going to do, that there is no room for stress.” I added, “What if we all could stay focused to that extent with our spouse, our job, our career and remain present in our work, golf, children and just be present, here and now, how wonderful.” He trained himself to be present, successfully.

It changed our thinking for so many who heard him that day.

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"NICE TO SEE YOU?"

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I was involved with a man recently, and after a brief discussion, as I walked away, I was so aware of how pleasant, how grateful I was that we had a couple of moments together.

How aware I am, how some people make an effort to enrich your life, with a smile, a greeting or how well they are doing at that moment.

In contrast, as the old cliché goes, “He brightens up a room, when he leaves it.”

I think of an old and dear friend I was on a board with. I hadn’t seen him in years when I bumped into him, he wanted to share his inner most feeling of that particular group.

We had not talked at all for years, when we had a brief encounter, he lit into me. I didn’t respond, I smiled and said, “I haven’t seen you in a year and a half and you chastised and criticized me for ten minutes about the organization and how they treated an employee.”

I explained that I was no longer on their board, but, I was familiar with that experience with that particular employee.

I explained that I had no opinion on whether the supervisor was justified in correcting that employee or not.

The episode was over, in the past, why chastise a friend of 45 years because he was available, even though he was no longer involved.

What a reminder to treat others with love and dignity. If I must connect with someone, in my mind, make certain I have the authority, responsibility or if it fits into my job description. If not, best to let it go.

This need to catch a speaker, a clerk, a public figure doing something wrong; is best left unspoken! Rather than be a whiny, little rascal, it would be better to realize it is not against the law to have an unspoken thought.

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