Embrace the enneagram. Honor the “weirdness” in each other. In our home, my wife and I use the enneagram to figure out how others want to be interacted with. The enneagram breaks personalities into nine categories. It shows how each person relates to the other eight numbers. It also gives insight into each number on how they behave when they’re feeling stressed or feeling secure. Having this information allows you to identify if you are functioning in a healthy space, and if not, it shows how to move back to your center. The enneagram is almost like a cheat code for relationships. There are free online tests to find out what number you are.
Start each day honoring your physical body. I wake up at 5 a.m. each day. I don’t like it, but I do it so I have time for myself. I start every day by moving my body and some form of meditation. My schedule as a Realtor is very unpredictable, and I know if I don’t budget time in the morning for self-care, there is a really good chance that it won’t happen. I know that is the only time in my day that I have 100% ownership of – and I need to utilize it to take care of myself so I can be the best version of me for others.
Outwork people every single day. When I was growing up and playing sports, the only thing my dad cared about was effort. The sacks, tackles, hits or strikeouts didn’t matter. At the end of the day, it was all about the effort. If I’m giving my all at home or at work, good things will happen. They might not happen right then, but if you continue to give your best, over time the wins will start coming your way.
Don’t focus on the destination; enjoy the journey. I never had aspirations of playing in the NFL. The only goal I ever had was to be the best I could possibly be at whatever level I was currently playing. With that mentality, I was able to succeed and advance to the next level. If the end game was only the NFL, the odds of success were pretty low. By concentrating on the next step, and not the end result, I was able to stay present and appreciate the small victories along the way.
The more you do, the more it costs to replace you. When I played football, I operated with this mentality without knowing it. Most players don’t like to be on special teams and view them as beneath them, but I would volunteer for every special teams unit I could. I was only viewing it through my football lens of helping the team any way I could, but retrospectively, I was providing value by doing the job of two or three players. The more value you provide, then the harder you become to replace.
Find your passion. We stress this to our kids daily. In today’s world, it is easier than ever to explore what makes you tick. When you find it, don’t let go. Immerse yourself in it and find a way to monetize it. Our kids are sick of hearing this from my wife and me: If you’re doing what you love, it isn’t work.
Be transparent. I have never been good with head games. I don’t like to live my life that way. It requires too much effort and detracts from what we are really trying to accomplish. I prefer to wear my emotions on my sleeve, and I don’t hide my intention. Transparency with those you trust, within your team at home or work, is a must.
Join a team. I think everyone growing up should either be involved in team sports or group activities. We need to get out of our comfort zone and learn how to interact with people who are different from us at an early age. For me, it was team sports and being in the locker room. I was exposed to so many more backgrounds and cultures. It makes for an easier transition to a work environment where people from every race, creed and culture come together for a common goal.
Take time to make people smile. It’s such an easy thing to do that can change someone’s entire day. It usually doesn’t cost you anything either. Hold a door open. Pay a compliment. Buy someone a cup of coffee in line behind you. You don’t know what people are going through. It’s crazy to me the number of times when I’m feeling low that someone shoots me a text or calls when I need it most. When it’s put on your heart that someone could use a pick-me-up, listen to it. Make the call.
Get some buckets. I pretty much eat the same thing every day. It keeps me from making poor food choices. In our refrigerator, we always have a “meat bucket” with a cooked protein in it, a lot of defrosted vegetables and a source of carbs of either rice, potatoes or fruits. We can grab a container and add our protein, veggies, carbs and any sauce that we want. Sometimes it’s spaghetti sauce, peanut sauce, salsa, homemade ranch, whatever. Operating this way saves money and time.
Read the profiles of this year's honorees.