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Six siblings from Washington D.C. started a company called Jr. Flips. They flip older houses and remodel them. This helps the community and it also puts money in their wallets. On their first two homes, they made more than $250,000. They have moved on to their third house now.  The youngest girl, Alianna, age 8, said, “We are not like other kids because we are not watching TV or playing video games. We are busy doing our business in Jr. Flips.”

The siblings started this business after they ran into Oprah Winfrey at a restaurant. They asked her for advice and she said, “Give back, work hard and never give up.”  Fulfilling this directive, the Jr. Flips crew went on the Steve Harvey Show and gave $3,000 of their profits to the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation.

Kids Who Flip Homes Steve Harvey Show-Jr Flip Kids - YouTube

Joe’s Perspective: First off, I love their motto, “Nailed It.” I also love their initiative and their drive. To learn more about them, go to http://juniorflips.com/. For me, this story shows that at any age and at any stage, anybody can just go after it. Remember, society tells you young people that you should go to school, do your homework, join an extra-curricular activity and stay out of trouble. But, that’s just the minimum expectation. Why not raise the bar? Why wait until your an adult to make a difference? Use your brain and your abilities. Start a business. Find your passion. These young people will each have enough money to pay for their own education.  They might have enough money to bypass college.  I seriously hope that these young entrepreneurs inspire you to be more, do more and become more. Life is there for the taking.  As Steve Harvey says, “You have to find the courage to jump,” – https://www.characterandleadership.com/every-successful-person-jumped/ If you put your heart and your head into it, nothing can stop you.

Your Turn: If you were to start a business, what would it be? What is stopping you from going after it now?

The post Young Entrepreneurs “Nailed It” with their Business appeared first on Character and Leadership.

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Jake Maser was a junior on the Bound Brook High School baseball team in New Jersey. It was a typical game. Jake got a hit and was on first base. One of his teammates hit the ball and Jake rounded second. As he was coming into third base, his third base coach, Jon Suk, provided the “slide sign.” Jake slid into third base. Unfortunately, Jake rolled his ankle. Jake’s injury required surgery.

Jake’s father decided to sue the coach and the Bound Brook Board of Education for “negligently” and “carelessly” supervision of the youth in their care. The case was dismissed on the grounds that the case did not meet a “wreckless” standard. However, on appeal, a New Jersey appellate court has reversed the lower court’s decision. The case will be heard in the next couple of months.

Baseball player sues coach for telling him to slide - YouTube

Joe’s Perspective: Wow! Seriously! We have come to this? A player gets hurt during a routine play on the athletic field and sues for damages. Coaches make judgment calls during every game based on increasing the chances of winning. If this is the precedent, coaches will have to worry about every decision in a game. Football coaches might begin signaling fair catch for fear that the returner might get hurt. Track coaches might not ask runners to “kick” at the end of a race because a runner might pull a hamstring. Basketball coaches might not allow players to set up for a charge. This might sound insane, but so is questioning a baseball coach for asking a player to slide into a base.

Think of the affect this type of case could have on coaches. How many parents will want to volunteer their time to become a coach, knowing that they could get sued by some parent? Think of how this might affect youth sports and high school sports? Come on New Jersey, do the right thing here!

Your Turn: What is your opinion of this case and the implications for coaches and youth sports?

The post Baseball Player Sues Coach for Making Him Slide appeared first on Character and Leadership.

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Last week a man was spotted on a bridge overpass above busy Interstate 696, just outside of Detroit, Michigan. The man was having family problems and didn’t think his life was worth living anymore. The man’s plan was to jump off the overpass into oncoming traffic to commit suicide. Police were immediately called and they diverted all traffic, except 13 willing truck drivers.  These drivers positioned their trucks so that if the man jumped, he would land on the top of a truck, not on the cement below.  Meanwhile, the police sent in specialized officers to talk him out of his plan. After four hours, the police and the truckers were successful.  The man walked off the bridge and into a counseling center to receive help and support.

Trucks line up to help stop suicide attempt on Michigan freeway - YouTube

Joe’s Perspective: 1 life. Police devoted valuable resources to save 1 life. Traffic was diverted and an entire interstate was shut down to save 1 life. Truckers, on their way to fulfill a shipment, agreed to assist in this effort to save 1 life. In total, over 25 complete strangers came together to help 1 person in his most desperate time of need. What a powerful statement. A man with no hope saw all these strangers come together to say, “You’re life is worth it.”

One of my college internships was to work on a suicide prevention hotline. In an 8 hour shift, I would usually receive 5-8 calls from a conservative county in west Michigan. To my knowledge, none of these individuals ever committed suicide. They really just wanted to know that someone cared. I listened mostly.  I was empathic and supportive. We formulated plans to help and put in place a support team.  This story reminds me once again the power that each of us has to change lives. Sometimes just a simple gesture, a smile or a word of encouragement can go a long way. It’s difficult to know the impact that 1 act of kindness will have on a fellow human being in need.

Your Turn: When you notice someone who is hurting or sad, what can you do to help turn things around?

The post Police & Truckers Come Together To Save a Life #Caring appeared first on Character and Leadership.

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Tim Tebow is a Heisman Trophy quarterback who led the University of Florida to two national championships. He played a few seasons in the NFL, but his career did not go quite as planned. He was cut in 2012 and several comebacks did not work out. In 2016 Tebow announced his desire to become a professional baseball player despite not playing the sport since junior year in high school. He has had moderate success and has been promoted several times, now playing double AA ball for the New York Mets organization.

In the 2018 Spring Break training camp, a reporter asked Tebow if he thinks about the pressure to make his mark in baseball.  His response is something I have seldom heard from a professional athlete. Please watch.

Tim Tebow Puts Life and Sports in Perspective - YouTube

Tebow’s Response: “At the end of the day, I know that’s not why I am here. It’s not my biggest purpose. It’s not my biggest calling. It’s now how I want to be known in my life. It’s not as a football player or a baseball player… I want my life to be so much more than that. I want to be known as someone who brought faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. That is something that is a life calling for me and it’s so much bigger than sports.” 

Joe’s Perspective: Tim Tebow is a Christian and his beliefs guide his life. He is not driven by fame or success. It’s never about him. His life calling is to help others. He has started several foundations. Not only does he raise money, but he devotes his time. He flies to third-world countries to offer his help. Whether you are a religious person or not, we should look to him as a positive role model. In my opinion, Tim Tebow should be applauded from the highest mountain with a megaphone.

Your Turn: Everyone is always asking young people what they want to do when they grown up. My question is, do you have a greater life purpose or calling? If so, what is it? If not, why not?

The post Bringing faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need #Character appeared first on Character and Leadership.

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That’s right, 29 of the 32 1st round draft picks in the 2018 NFL draft were multi-sport athletes in high school. Fourteen (44%) were 3-sport athletes.  One of the athletes was a 4-sport athlete. But, you say, that must be an anomaly. Nope. Thirty of 32 in 2017 and 28 of 31 in 2016 were multiple sport athletes in high school. These athletes ran track, played basketball, wrestled, played baseball and played La Cross. Of the three who didn’t play multiple sports, one was a nationally-ranked tennis player prior to high school. He only gave up the sport because tennis and football were both played in the fall.

If you think this phenomenon is only true in football, think again. 19 of the 20 female soccer players on the U.S. National team in 2010 played multiple sports in high school.

Joe’s Perspective: This should, once-and-for-all, debunk the insane myth that a high school athlete has to specialize in one sport. This is crazy talk, loony-bin mentality. 98% of you high school athletes will not receive an athletic scholarship to play a sport in college. So, for almost all of you, athletics is merely a way to teach competitiveness, confidence, teamwork, perseverance, desire… Athletics is also supposed to be fun. My advice is simple. If a coach tells you that you have to specialize or asks you to give up other sports, run. Play as many sports as you desire. A team sport like soccer will teach you something very different than an individual sport like wrestling. Finally, if your dream is to play in the NFL, play another sport besides football!

Your Turn: In light of this information, what will you tell a coach who asks you to specialize?

The post 29 of 32 1st Round NFL Draft Picks Were Multi-Sport Athletes appeared first on Character and Leadership.

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In a recent Ted talk, research by Julianne Holt-Lunstad at Brigham Young University was highlighted. This research looks at the variables that have the greatest impact on longevity. In your mind, try to guess what variables had the strongest correlation with living longer. I guessed that too and I was wrong. The number 2 predictor is “close relationships”, that is having at least one person in your life that you can count on when life gets difficult. The number 1 predictors is “social integration”, which means the close and not-so-close relationships with people in your life.

The Strongest Predictor of How Long You’ll Live - YouTube

Joe’s Perspective: How many of you know the name of your UPS delivery person or the name of your mail person? Do you know the name of the secretary at your school or the cashier at the local grocery store or the waitress at your favorite restaurant? Can you tell me one interesting fact about their lives or know anything about their families? When is the last time that you introduced yourself or had a genuine conversation with a relative stranger at the post office or the cafeteria? If you are thinking, why would I, that is a direct reflection of your character. If you don’t think you need to be bothered by such small details, this says a lot about your general attitude, which will probably follow you throughout your life.  And, if you don’t care about the day-to-day people in your life, you will probably not be “socially integrated”, which is the number 1 predictor of longevity. Fascinating, huh?

I think this study shows us is that it all comes back to relationships. In this era where we are consumed by screens and data, it is very important that we take the time to invest in relationships. We need to invest in family and friendships. We also need to make small investments in the everyday people that we encounter.  I believe that if you can make the day of the person who sells you a fountain drink (call them by name, smile and genuinely thank them for their time), that energy will be returned to you ten-fold. I believe this study shows that the more you give, the more you receive.

Your Turn: As a general rule, how can you make a more concerted effort to positive impact the day-to-day people you encounter in your life?

The post How to Live to be 100 #Relationships appeared first on Character and Leadership.

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The Boston Marathon took place on Monday. Of the 119 years of this great race, 2018 was one of the coldest on record. The temperature was in the mid-30’s, a steady head-wind of 20 mph, pouring rain and a windchill factor of 20 degrees. This is not the type of weather you want to be outside in, let alone run 26.2 miles.

Des Linden was running in the elite pack of women. She was hurting and cold. Her teeth were chattering. Her muscles were not responding. At about the 6 mile mark, she turned to fellow American competitor, Shalane Flanagan, and said, “Today’s not my day. If there’s anything I can do to help you out, let me know because I might drop out.” At the 12-mile mark, Flanagan did need Linden. Flanagan dropped from the lead pack to take a pit stop in a porta-poty. Linden hung back with her and waited for Flanagan to emerge. Linden then willingly sacrificed herself for Flanigan by allowing Flanigan to draft off her as they surged back to the lead pack.

As the race progressed, Linden stayed in it, mile after mile. She thought that maybe another American would need her help. At the 19-mile mark, Linden found herself in 3rd place. Many of the elite runners had quit or faded. Linden began to understand that everyone was feeling exactly like she did. She made a move and easily took second. A little while later, she surged for the lead. At the 20-mile mark, she had a three second lead that continued to grow.

Des Linden became the first American to win the Women’s race at Boston since 1985. She won by over four minutes. Not bad for someone who said, “This is not going to be my day.”

Desiree Linden is first American woman to win Boston Marathon in 33 years - YouTube

Joe’s Perspective #1 – Keep on Keeping on: What a great metaphor for life. Some days the weather is not what we want. Still, you begin the race. We all have doubts along the way. Some days we don’t feel like it’s going to be our day. Still, you compete. We all have pain. We hurt. It’s never easy. Still, you persevere. Sometimes we have to barter with ourselves, focus on the very next step, keep running and just never quit. And that, my friends, is how you win the race. You just keep on, keeping on.

Joe’s Perspective #2 – It Helps to be Other-Oriented: After the race, Flanigan was interviewed. She was asked about her conversation with Linden at the 6 mile mark. Her response was very astute, “Maybe her (Linden) mind shift made it possible for her to have a better race. She was just self-serving to other people and maybe that just elevated her performance. She wasn’t invested in herself anymore and that just lightened the mood for her.” Maybe in this “me-oriented, I’m going to get mine” culture, it is a good idea to think of others first. Maybe this lesson translates well to life too.

Your Turn: After reading/watching this story, explain how this example can benefit you?

The post “Today’s Not My Day” appeared first on Character and Leadership.

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Two months ago, a former student broke into Stoneman Douglas High School with his high-powered gun and killed 17 individuals. In my lifetime, I have witnessed many similar school shootings. Up until this latest shooting, I have never seen children organize to effect change. I have seen many adult groups do so, but not the survivors of such shootings.

The survivors of Stoneman Douglas High School were understandably sad…devastated…outraged. Instead of turning inward, they spoke out. They organized. They inspired. They led.

'Fix it!' - Florida shooting survivors meet Donald Trump and urge him to change gun laws | ITV News - YouTube

Joe’s Perspective: Please understand. You don’t have to agree with this view on gun control. Many don’t. My point is that these young people believed in their cause and organized to create change. They met with politicians, spoke to the media and orchestrated a national walk out for students who shared similar beliefs. How cool is that? Politicians have debated this issue for decades and changed very little. These “kids” were tired of talk. They believed change should occur and acted. For that, I applaud them.

If you believe in something strongly, don’t just sit around and hope for change. You have to be the change. What most people don’t remember is that thousands of children helped create change in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was the children who knelt down in front of those fire hoses. It was children who stood up for their future.  For the first time in 50 years, I saw children do the same thing for their future.

Your Turn: What is your opinion about the students from around the country who walked out of school to march for what they believe?

The post Turning Tragedy into Change appeared first on Character and Leadership.

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Character and Leadership by Joe Hoedel, Ph.d. - 2M ago

La triste realidad de Nuestra situación actual (Adictos al Smartphone) - YouTube

Joe’s Perspective: I really have no words.

Your Turn: What are your thoughts and/or feelings on this depiction of our society?

The post So Sad…So True appeared first on Character and Leadership.

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In the history of the NCAA Tournament, no #1 seed had every lost their opening game to the #16 seed. So, Virginia, the overall #1 seed in the tournament had reason to feel confident going into their opening match against UMBC. However, UMBC beat them and beat them convincingly. It was a 20-point beat down. It was truly March Madness at its best. Every fan was so excited to see David beat Goliath… except, of course, for Virginia and Virginia fans.

To Virginia, the defeat was crushing. They had just won the ACC Tournament and were projected by most as a certain Final Four Team. However,Tony Bennett, their head coach, stood at the podium and praised the play of UMBC.

UVA's Bennett on loss: 'Good basketball knows no divisions, no limits' - YouTube

Joe’s Perspective: This is the prototype of how you should behave after a devastating loss. Bennett did not blame the officials or talk negatively about his players. He gave all the credit to UMBC. He praised their coaching staff and players. He acknowledged that his team was thoroughly outplayed. “That’s life,” he said. And, it is. I guarantee that if you play sports, you will win some big game and lose some big games. You will win some that you are not supposed to win and lose some that you are not supposed to win. Games are not won on paper. Sometimes the underdog plays with less tension, with more heart or simply makes more shots. That’s life. And, after the tough loss, you have to handle it with class. Tony Bennett did that.

Your Turn: What did you think of this loss and Coach Bennett’s post-game press conference?

The post You Win with Class and You Lose with Class appeared first on Character and Leadership.

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