In prison Clarett encouraged a fellow inmate, Orlando Payne, giving him hope, and sharing his books (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People; Rich Dad, Poor Dad, etc.). He encouraged Payne to read the dictionary. “Every day, Maurice taught me to never let my past dictate my future.”
My Take-away: We are creatures of habit. We take what is before us. But we have the freedom to make changes, though some may be very hard. Bono and Edge echo this them in “Rise Above” from Spiderman: Turn off the Dark. A corollary is that over time we may change incrementally and fail to recognize how we have changed. As Crosby, Stills, and Nash once sang, “Don't let the past, remind us of what we are not now.”
SI also tells the story of Clarett and Matt Overton. Both played for the Omaha Nighthawks of the now defunct United Football League. Overton was cut by the Nighthawks. According to SI, Clarett “offered Overton his couch and a daily workout partner for as long as he wanted them.” Today Overton plays for the Indianapolis Colts: “Maurice never let me quit. Sometimes I’d slack off –- not encouraged, not motivated—and he’d ask me, ‘Where do you want to go?’”
My Take-away: Setting goals can be motivational. As I wrote in an earlier blog, the difference in many aspects of life and careers is goal setting. Do you have goals? Do you know where you would like to be in a year, 5 years, 10 years? Do you have plans to get there? What do you need to do this year? This month? This week? Today? Do you have your goals in writing, typed on your computer, visible on your smartphone? Are they specific? Are they measurable? Are they achievable? At least once a year I set aside time to revisit my goals in various aspects of my work and life. I have a written list and have done this for many years. In my opinion a major key to personal and organizational success at all levels is goal setting. Where do you want to go?
Image of Denali in the clouds. © John Ballard, 2013. All rights reserved.