Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Bore no More

A very smart person once told us that the best thing you can wish someone is EXCITEMENT!  It could be excitement with loved ones, excitement within a given career, or that daily excitement that catches you by surprise when you least expect it---we all need some form of excitement. Simply put, excitement in all facets of life is what makes life worth living! 
Each person is different in what they consider to be truly thrilling.  Many people seek excitement through extreme events such as skydiving; many have no interest at all in those events!  Others may find building a relationship or growing closer to God to be enlightening and exciting at the same time!  There’s no set answer for everyone—it’s an individualistic belief (or judged on an personal level). 
Both of us have found that our most exhilarating experiences occur when our heart rates are up and the adrenaline button is at a max.  This typically involves forcing ourselves out of our comfort zone and trying something new.  Exciting moments often have a way of creating a lasting impression. We believe that trying something new not only provides a compilation of our best memories but can also serve as a learning experience about an unfamiliar subject.  Regardless of what provides that spark of excitement for you, we encourage you to seek the special thrills of life… may you find happiness in your pursuit! 
We promise to always listen to these words of wisdom!

Monday, December 20, 2010

BE YOURSELF …everyone else is already taken

“BE YOURSELF” …everyone else is already taken (thanks Janelle)! There is so much truth to this small but mighty quote. We just had to take it one step further. Have you ever considered what you are the best at, or put in other words……… what you do better than anyone else? It’s an interesting question, isn’t it!?!   Do you have the answer?
Maybe you really don’t know what you are the best at….and we challenge you to find out! Take it to the streets, ask around.  Ask your friends, ask your colleagues, ask your teammates for their input!  Maybe it’s something simple like your attention to detail.  It could be the way you captivate a room the minute you make an entrance.  Or perhaps it is your ability to make others feel special and loved.  What you are the best at doesn’t have to equal a scientific equation or break barriers…it can be simple! But it has to be unique to you.
Once you’ve figured out what you do better than anyone else, it’s a piece of cake. This is where it get’s fun! So you’ve discovered or confirmed your strengths …now what?  We say put it to good use. Make it even better!  Link your special talent to opportunities in the real world. This might mean volunteering at a local nursing home, coaching, or even taking strides to further enhance your talent. You have this great talent…embrace it!
Have the courage and strength to know and use your best skills and abilities. Get excited about your next opportunity to dazzle with delight. We think its okay to show off every once in a while.  Be great at what you can be great at.  Nobody can be perfect at everything.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Name of the Game...Defense

Everyone together….. DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE! DEEEE-FENSE! Defense in terms of athletics typically takes the backseat to anything accomplished offensively. The “DEFENSE” chant is usually the most recognition that defensive players will ever receive during any given game. The vast majority of ESPN's sports highlights focus on the best offensive plays on a given day. Unfortunately, defense is perceived by many as a thankless task that leaves the defender fatigued and feeling as though their contributions were un-noticed and minimal. The person getting the headlines scores the most points, knocks in the most runs or scores the winning goal. While both (offense and defense) are keys to winning, we believe it takes a special person to master the art of defense.  It is a person who is willing to expend time and energy to pursue a part of the game that is not viewed to be as glamorous but is a necessary ingredient for success.

Although defense is perceived by many to be a thankless task, thankfully, there are still people out there who do appreciate the defensive prowess of an athlete or a team, and we certainly applaud those who do! The motto we grew up with in Olympia High School softball was “Defense wins Championships!” In fact, that motto has spurred 3 State Championships for the softball team; all of which were saved by crucial plays on defense and clutch performances within the pitching circle.

There are enough awards which are based upon offensive numbers.......... from the Heisman Trophy to the MLB’s MVP award.  On the other side, there is the Gold Glove defensive award in baseball as well but it is not quite as highly publicized or esteemed.  While we can identify with both sides of the coin, one truth in athletics is that defense rarely slumps. You can always have an off night shooting or a lengthy hitless streak but defense is fairly constant. Great defense always has the ability to keep you in the game. Even if you’re facing an excellent pitcher and can’t score many runs you will always be in the game provided you play defense.  In basketball, a game can be kept close simply by the tenacity and effectiveness of a team's defense.  If you can keep the other team from scoring the worst you can finish is in a tie!

So we are here to say just in case you were wondering… Cheers from the biggest fans of DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE! DEEEEE-FENSE!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Competing for Playing Time

Bill Belichick, the highly successful New England Patriots head coach, has a rare philosophy on playing time.  In essence, if you don’t practice or play well you earn a quick ticket to ride the pine and somebody else takes your place.  We use the term ‘rare’ to describe coach Belichick’s philosophy, because many coaches, in sports, pick the starters and stay with them for an entire season.
We all know there are instances when the starting lineup should not be changed.  But, for non-starters a permanent starting lineup can be extremely frustrating.  In our opinion, it doesn’t do the starters any favors either. Sports are the essence of competition and performing under pressure is an understood part of that.  There are many motivators in the athletic world that can bring out the best in athletes.  One of the most powerful beliefs is that if you practice hard and improve your skills, you will be rewarded with playing time.  In too many cases, what an athlete achieves in practice or on the field doesn’t open the door. 
As a non-starter, you may have out played a starting teammate in practice or have watched them continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. Doesn’t it make you wonder, “Why won’t coach put me in there and let me prove that I can compete for a starting position?”  Some coaches will tell you that they don’t want to ruin a player’s confidence or mess with the team’s chemistry. However, putting a starting player on the bench occasionally, not only motivates the non-starters to feel like they can COMPETE for a position, it also prevents the starting athletes from becoming too complacent.
We can both recall instances where it was difficult to break into the starting lineup and starters felt they were entitled to their position. As a result, practices were never as intense as what they could have been and our game results showed much of the same. Never the less, the virtues of hard work and the value of competition bring out the best in people and allow them to reach heights they ordinarily may not have risen to!   

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ohhh Yehhhh! It's FUNKY Friday

We couldn't help but get a kick out of these kids (Future Funk) dancing to old school music. On top of being adorable they are super talented.  We hope you can find their energy & excitement to be contagious heading into this weekend! Click, enjoy and you should even try to emulate some of their moves with your friends. On second yourself the embarassment and just click & enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Seize MY moment…TIME TO OWN IT!

As you know our blog posts are a combined effort by Tiff and Nik (HENCE THE NAME). Today, however, will be a Tiff featured blog. BIG YAWN, I KNOW!

I promise I’ll try to keep it as short, sweet and to the point as I possibly can!

Anyone who knows me probably would say that I’m not someone who takes a lot of chances. In general I do play it safe but I can recall 2 times in my life where I can honestly say that I took a risk. The first risk I can remember taking was in my 4th grade English class. I decided to flip “the bird” to my teacher Mrs. Frank (sorry Mrs. Frank—it was not deserved by any means; I just had strong dislike for your Daily Oral Language lesson plan). Thankfully, Mrs. Frank was too consumed with commas and semi-colons to take notice-WHEW! The second risk was taken during my last at bat of my collegiate softball career. I decided I was going to swing as hard as I possibly could at a 2-2 pitch. Fortunately, I was blessed with a double to left-center against Missouri State.

What these risky moments both had in common was an element of fear. Maybe it was a fear of getting in trouble, fear of not helping my team, fear of the unknown or simply the fear of failure itself! I knew in my heart and realized it was a risk I wanted to take---so I took action! No that does not mean we should go around flipping the bird to anyone we choose, but it means that taking a calculated risk can produce a reward. So what’s the point?

December 1, 2010 (TODAY!) marks the 3rd risk that I have decided to take. Remember what I said about taking action to overcome fear? The steps I have completed thus far are as follows:

1) Officially resigned from a phenomenal/reputable company
2) Continued research/coursework dealing with Social Work/Community Service (as someone who has volunteered since the age of 15 this is something I would like to incorporate daily)
3) Met with a Lawyer to discuss a specialized product line to be sold
4) Taking action (creating a business plan) to market and sell the product line…

I will be keeping everyone informed on this exciting journey--I'm finally ready to own my destiny. I also appreciate all of support received up to this point (TEAM RHODES you’re the best)! A special big thanks to Mom, Dad, Nik, Jill, Brad, Kristin, Erin, Annette, Aly, Josie, Neena, Tosha & Norma!