Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bill Russell - World MVP


At 6' 9" tall, Bill Russell might have been considered undersized compared to Wilt Chamberlain, the premier big man of his time who towered over Russell at 7' 1".  Height certainly matters in basketball, but I believe heart is much more important, as Bill Russell proved again and again during his career. 
Bill was the ultimate team player and he had no desire to win the statistical battle -- he just wanted to win the game.  He didn't have to play better than Wilt; he just had to make Chamberlain play at a lower level than normal.
Are there other people that are smarter, faster or more powerful than you?
Don't let your lack of specific abilities stop you from obtaining your goals.  A great work ethic and determination has put many people in the hall of fame of life, ahead of other people who possessed greater skills!

Bill wasn't recruited heavily from high school and finally went to the University of San Francisco, whose team had never achieved national success before Russell.  He led that team to two NCAA championships in his junior and senior years.
From there he played in the Olympics and helped win the gold medal for the United States in basketball.  He was captain of this gold medal team.  Bill Russell was so talented that if he hadn't been on the basketball team he probably could have medaled in the high jump.
After the Olympics, Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics part-way through the season.  At this point Boston had never won anything, but through Bill's tremendous will to win, the Celtics won the NBA Championship 11 times out of the next 13 years including that first year; Bill Russell acted as player coach the last two seasons.
Bill Russell was certainly a gifted athlete, but his will to win was legendary.  I've heard Tommy Heinsohn, Celtic Hall of Famer, say that Russell had such a desire to win and he was so anxious to win that he threw up before almost every big game.  If the team heard Bill throwing up, they knew they would okay that night.
With two NCAA Championships, an Olympic gold medal, and 11 NBA  Championships, Bill Russell is, I believe, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) that ever existed in basketball.  Bill's attitude was unbelievable and he had to not only overcome other basketball players, but also overcome something much harder.


Bill Russell faced an America where racism always seemed to raise its ugly head.  In his junior year of college he probably was the best basketball player in the universe, yet he wasn't named Player of the Year in northern California.  One time, he and his African-American teammates were not allowed in a hotel in Oklahoma City during a 1954 All College Tournament and had to camp out at a college dorm in the area.
Although his racism problems didn't stop when he went to Boston, I believe that it got better as the years went on.  Bill Russell was on a team that started five African-American players for the first time in NBA history.  He was also the first African-American coach in the NBA.  In 2010, President Obama awarded Bill Russell the Medal of Freedom -- the highest award allowed for civilians in the United States.
What kind of problems do you face in your life?  Don't let these problems hold you back.  Don't let other people hold you back.  Use Bill Russell as a model and overcome these problems with your Attitude!
Attitude is everything!
Think about it.  Would you want to hire someone who is always complaining about everything or would you rather hire someone who always takes the glass "half full" attitude?
I know that no matter how much attitude I have, I will never be able to dunk a basketball.  But, I can be a great teammate if I put the effort into practicing, into playing defense and into studying the plays.
You, too, might have some problems in your life, but you can make yourself a much better employee with the right attitude.
Attitude is everything!

excerpt from Conquer the Losing attitude of Job Hunters

Professor Tom Laurie

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Emmett Love and my Dad!

My Dad passed away 20 years ago this past summer and my memories of him are starting to get frayed around the edges.  I do remember that he was a very heroic guy who loved other heroes!
Like many from his generation he went to sign up for WW II.  When rejected by the Army for flat feet he eventually enlisted in the Army Air Corps and ended up as a waist gunner in a photographic B-29 Superfortress  in the South Pacific.
On the morning of August 6th, 1945 he and his crew took off from the island of Guam to make a photographic damage assessment over Japan.  The crew picked this mission to bring along a real-to-real recorder in order to record their in-plane conversations to send home to the folks.
Little did they know that on this same morning the Enola Gay took off from the same island for their rendezvous with the city of Hiroshima.  In a typical military SNAFU, my Dad's airplane was never meant to take off that eventful day.  Once they found out, the decision was made to let them go; they couldn't very well get on the radios and recall them telling them they were dropping the big one today!
 My Dad's crew members were speaking very professional knowing that they were being recorded. "Pilot to Bombardier.  Roger Pilot, this is the Bombardier."  Then the bomb "Little Boy" reached its target and it looked like a star had exploded.   "Roger Bombardier, this is the pilot.  How far ... What the fudge is that?"  Only they didn't use the word fudge.
The crew members of the Enola gay commanded by Paul Tibbets were dressed in radiation suits with leaded goggles to protect them from the blast.  My Dad's crew members were wearing their usual T-shirts and sun glasses.
After they returned to base they were severely debriefed and their real-to-real recording was confiscated.  No one knows to this day where that recording is; probably in some warehouse in Washington next to the Arc of the Covenant!
What a hero, but if you could ask him today, he would say he was born 60 years too late; he really wanted to be a cowboy.  He would have been a regular at the Lucky Spur in Dodge City, he would have fallen in love with Gentry and he would have backed Emmett Love up whenever he needed it.
How do I know this, well as a child I watched every John Wayne western ever made with my Dad, not to mention every episode of Bonanza and Gun Smoke at least 2-3 times.  My Dad loved the allure of the Wild West and I know he would have loved to have been a bronco-buster back then.  I can picture my Dad escorting a wagon train or going into a saloon for a drink, a game of stud poker or some other pleasures.
If my Dad was still alive he would have devoured every word of "Follow the Stone" and "Don't Poke the Bear" and then would have moved on to all the Donavan Creed novels. 
How do I know he would have loved Donovan Creed?  Well, there was that time he decided to live in the attic for 6 months!
I can't write intriguing stories like John Locke can.  But, I am a professor and I do like to help people.  So,  I write books to help people. 
Would my Dad have been proud of me?  You decide!

Professor Tom Laurie

Friday, August 26, 2011

High School Reunion Blues!

Have you ever regretted doing something before you even did it?
Well, I have!
I volunteered to be on my 40th high school reunion planning committee and realized right away that most all the meetings were two hours away on nights I worked.
Finally, for the last meeting, I got the night off and plugged the destination, 3 Cove St., into my trusty GPS.  As I started weaving my way through some country short cuts my GPS kept asking for a right turn.  I wasn't worried as the GPS never knows the short cuts that I do and I was sure when I got to the main road everything would straighten out.
Not so!
As I headed south on the highway, the GPS kept suggesting a right turn?
Maybe the GPS new a secret way that would miss all the traffic and swing me in behind my destination.
I bit and turned right!
When the GPS dropped me off on the other side of the state I knew I was in big trouble.  I unplugged the GPS, put the sun in my rear view window, and headed east.
The meeting had already started.
When I hit my home town I still didn't know where Cove St. was and evidently neither did any of the Hispanic  convenience store workers I tried to communicate with.
Then I realized that I had another GPS in my pocket - my Android.  I managed not to crash as I navigated towards Cove St. holding my phone in one hand and the wheel in the other.  I found my destination and guess where it was?
Wait for it!
On the cove!
I was almost an hour late but at least I got there after all the work was done and in time for drinks!
A few weeks later my wife and I went to my reunion.
My first impression as I walked through the door of my 40th high school reunion was, "Who in heck invited all these old people to my reunion?"
Evidently, I didn't take a close look in the mirror before I left that night!
You might say that I had been preparing for this reunion for a year and a half or you might just say I had made a bunch of healthier lifestyle choices.  Heck, I even wrote a book touting the power of attitude when losing weight!
 Once I caught my breath, I looked around at the mass of humanity surrounding me.  Instead of classmates, all I could see were potential heart attacks, strokes and knee replacements.
If you know me at all, you know that it is hard for me to keep quite.  I wanted to go up to my overweight classmates, grab them, shake them and tell them how they were ruining their lives; at least, I wanted to give them a business card pointing them to my web site.
Fortunately, my wife knows when I get "that look" that she better do something quickly or I will embarrass myself and possibly her.  She grabbed me and gave me one of her looks and I knew I had better behave myself.
So, all I did that night was enjoy myself and catch up with my friends!
Now, I am left only with writing this blog; hoping some of those people of my graduating class who really need to make some healthier choices see it!
Could my book have made the difference to my classmates?  You decide.

Professor Tom Laurie

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bad Day?

What do you do if you have a bad day while dieting?
You probably feel lousy, not only for the bad stuff you put into your body, but because you broke a promise to yourself.  You will feel better when you start eating better.  Put your broken promise behind you.
First, you must realize that you are not the first person to have a bad day on your diet.  Second, you need to get back on your diet and start exercising.  Take small steps to get back on track.
You can do it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Need Dessert?

If you don't plan desserts during your diet, you will eventually eat a not so flattering dessert.  Here is one of my favorites I learned from my friend Jill.  Core, peel and half  a medium apple.  Take two pieces of fillo dough and spray with spray butter to soften.  Sprinkle cinnamon and your favorite artificial sweetener on the fillo dough.  Wrap each apple half in the dough.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Yum yum!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

3 Reasons Why Exercise is Bad for Your Diet!

1.  Exercise sometimes gives you a false sense of being on track on your diet.  Wow, that was an amazing twenty minute walk I just went on - I think I can afford to eat that Snickers bar now!
2.   If you increase your metabolism significantly through exercise then you might be in a dieting pickle if you have to stop.  Injuries do happen and every year I can remember we do have a NH winter!
3.  Too much exercise at one time  can starting eating away at your muscles rather than just your fat.  This is never a good thing!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Diet Marathon verses Diet Sprint

If you only need to lose a few pounds to fit into that special outfit for the wedding you will be attending, then dieting can be a sprint.  Unfortunately, most of us usually gain that sprinting weight loss back rather quickly .
A part of gaining that Losing Attitude towards dieting means you have to realize that you are in a diet marathon!  This is true especially if you have a large amount of weight you need to lose.  I think that a good goal to have would be to plan to lose 1 - 1 1/2 pounds per week during your diet.  Of course, at the beginning you will lose more per week and as you approach your goal you will lose less per week.
So, lace up those mental running shoes, put on your Losing Attitude running gear and have your vision set on the finish line!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are you "In it to win it"?

Randy on American Idol understands that attitude is all important when competing for the top spot in Idol.   Attitude is so important in all aspects of our lives.
In dieting, I believe that attitude is so important that I wrote a book about it, The Losing Attitude for Dieters!  Have you done everything to make your diet successful?
Are you "in it to win it?"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Healthy Marketing Ploys

People want to eat healthy.  So, if you sell a candy that is almost pure sugar, you advertise it as “Zero Trans Fat”.  If you are selling pasta and cheese and pepperoni, you sell it as a salad.  Maybe you sell your candy as fruit chews – sounds much better!
The best way to not fall for any of these marketing ploys is to read the labels.  Does the “Reduced Fat” version even have fewer calories than the “Regular” version?  Just because it has the word “Healthy” in the label doesn’t mean it really is healthy – buyers beware!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Those first 8 pounds

It is amazing how, when you first start a diet, you lose eight pounds in that first week!  But then, you stay even, lose only a small amount or even gain weight in the second week.  What's going on?
Well, you didn't really lose eight pounds of fat in that first week.  Most of your weight loss was in water weight .  That's why many diets tell you to limit your soda intake and your salt intake - they want you to lose those eight pounds and think their diet it really great!.
The problem of course is what happens if you have a moderate or bad week?  Well, of course those water loss eight pounds come back on just as fast as they came off.
Knowing this is a step towards gaining that Losing Attitude.  Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Salmonella Contamination

It is obvious that fourteen year old baggers at grocery stores have never had salmonella!  If they had, they would be much more careful how they bag your raw chicken.
I had been running a high fever, so high that I had been hospitalized.  I was miserable, and then the aspirin would lower my fever and I would feel better - then my fever would rise again.
I  remember when the doctor came in and told me he had good news and bad news.  He said the good news was that they had figured out what I had - salmonella.  The bad news was that the cure was to not bring down my fever with aspirin - to let it burn itself out!
Be very careful with your raw chicken.  Clean your hands and counters with hot soapy water.  Many commercial places use bleach on their counters.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What is the fastest weight loss you can achieve?

What if you didn't eat anything?  what if you fasted?  How much weight could you actually lose?
A 200lb woman burns about 2400 calories a day with normal activity.  If she could fast a week then she would only burn  16,800 calories or a little under 5 pounds.  That's right, even if you could go without food for a week, you wouldn't even lose five pounds - you probably would be so hungry that you would gain it all back right away.
 On a 1500 calorie diet, much more reasonable,  she would burn 6300 calories for the week and could lose 1.8 pounds.  Of course, as she loses weight, she burns less calories during the day.
Losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint!  Pick a great diet, get your attitude on right and get started.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Does Vitamin D really help?

Recent news articles link low vitamin D levels with obesity in children and just about any ailment the body has every contracted.  It makes sense that kids aren't getting outside enough and their vitamin D levels are lower.
Vitamin D is now being prescribed to help breast cancer, skin ailments, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and autoimmune diseases.  Does it really work?
My doctor prescribed that I start taking Vitamin D for high  cholesterol, so I started taking 2000 units of D3 every day.  The book is still out on my cholesterol, but the 8-9 migraines that I used to get every month like clockwork were suddenly reduced to maybe 1-2.  Nice side effect!
I say, try it out in the recommended dosages prescribed by your doctor and see where it will take you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Does Everybody Hate Artificial Sweeteners?

If you read some blogs or diet books you might think that artificial sweeteners are the biggest threat to your health out there.  It's very popular to get on the ' artificial sweeteners are dangerous' bandwagon.
Think about it for a minute.  Soda companies have very deep pockets, and if artificial sweeteners were really that dangerous to your health, wouldn't every other add on TV be something like:
"This is Steve Smith, Esquire.  Have you or anyone you know lost a loved one because they drank too much diet soda?  I know I drank too much and I am dead.  One of my associates would be happy to make you rich if only you would call 555-1212."
Why don't we see these ads?  Maybe artificial sweeteners aren't really that bad for you.  Maybe that is why there are no studies out there with hard proof.
I will continue to be happy there are artificial sweeteners out there!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Do you have a holiday diet plan?

Everyone has a plan - until they get punched in the face. - Mike Tyson, Boxer
Have you ever gotten up the day after a major holiday and felt like you got punched in the face because you ate too much the day before?  I know I have.
Having a plan for these family gatherings can be essential to keeping that losing attitude and staying on your diet.  Not having a plan can sometimes be surrender!
What plan can help you not eat too much on a holiday?
·         Make sure you exercise first thing in the morning
·         Don’t arrive too early
·         Eat an apple just before arriving at the gathering
·         Drink too much water before you arrive
·         Stay away from the Hors d'Ĺ“uvres
·         Fill your dinner plate with vegetables
·         Have a set time when you plan to leave
·         Have a healthy evening meal planned for when you get home
No one wants to feel like they have been punched in the face.  Have a holiday diet paln!