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Finding Positive Influence

I was at a meeting the other day and got to meet and talk to Dan O'Brien, the Gold Medal Decathlon winner of 1996.  He had a fascinating story about getting there.  Any of you remember the Dan and Dave Promotion that Reebok put on for the 1992 Olympics?  They spent $25 million dollars on that campaign and it was one of the first major sports marketing efforts. Their pictures on tv adds were everywhere.  Well, neither of these men had qualified for the 92 Olympics yet and I guess it was just assumed that they would make it.  Well Dave made the team and Dan missed. Dan was dropped like a hot potato and was persona non grata after that.  Not to say that He went into a tail spin. Imagine all the expectations that were on him.  His story is about the road back to the Olympics after being nationally embarrassed.  He talked about not just setting goals, but focusing on them and surrounding yourself with positive people with the same goals.  He needed to distance himself from people who were not a positive influence and how difficult it is to find positive people.  How setbacks make you stronger and improve your focus unless you let your past define your future.  Lessons that really apply to all our lives, whether it is business, or family, or anything else that is important to you.  So I immediately went to the gym to practice basketball, as I know the suns need a lot of help this year and I am just the person who can bring them back into contention.  OK I am being facetious, but you know what I mean.  The knees just aren’t what they used to be. Now Dan is a track coach at ASU and lives here in the valley.  

Well off for a Guinness and chicken wings to write down my goals and think positively.  I find Guinness helps me write.  


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  Mike Bowowski

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