Be The Change

On January 20, 2017, in Spartanology, The Pass It On Podcast, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman
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This morning, I was talking with our amazing student team about the history that was made today. Most are deeply troubled about the state of our nation, although I suspect a couple may quietly be ok with what’s happening. I told them about my own memory of this date 46 years ago.

I was about their age and Richard Nixon had just been elected, to the horror of many of us in my progressive home town of Ann Arbor. While we all know how that story ended (and how long it took us to get there), my point was that it was at on that day that I realized that I had to become the change I wanted to see in my world.

Yup, I smelled my share of tear gas, marched, protested, wrote letters and met with my elected representatives. But there was a deeper change that ultimately forged an iron resolve to take responsibility for causing my own effects in life.

That moment made me the person I am today.

May the events of this past year be a reminder that each of us can be relentless, positive change agents. It’s within our power to alleviate the suffering of others. And we CAN change history, if we are willing to commit to doing the hard, often painful, necessary work to make it so.. and to convince others to follow in our footsteps.

Looking around that room at the smart young people I’ve come to know and admire, I have great hope for our future. I also have high expectations that we’ll all do our share of the heavy lifting to make good things happen and work to inspire those who cross our path to join us in the journey.

Change won’t happen any other way.

 

What I Learned on the Farm

On January 15, 2017, in Monday Motivator, The Pass It On Podcast, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman
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“When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.” Daniel Webster

My first radio job involved reading commodity prices on our local radio station. I was just 14 and did not yet have a driver’s license. So every morning as the sun rose over Washtenaw County, I rode my green Schwinn 10 speed down the long expanse of Liberty street to the studios of WPAG in downtown Ann Arbor. I was the first one in the building, fired up the transmitter and dialed up our Farm Director, a legend named Howard Heath.

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You’re Always On Probation

On January 8, 2017, in Monday Motivator, The Pass It On Podcast, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman

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“Excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude” ~Ralph Marston

On January 1, I began my 8th year as Head Servant for the MSU Alumni Association. One of my radio buddies quipped that, after all that time, “you must be off of probation.”

Anything but. I’m always on probation.

It’s been a mindset that has driven my work ethic from the time I got my first gig as a dishwasher at Ann Arbor’s Lurie Terrace at age 13. My radio years certainly reinforced the fact that job security is a myth and adding value on the extra mile is the best career insurance policy.

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The Best Revenge

On December 18, 2016, in Monday Motivator, The Pass It On Podcast, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman

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“Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury.” ~Edwin Hubbel Chapin

In the course of human events, we are all destined to endure times when things don’t go our way. How we react to it will tell the world much about our character.

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Safe Places & Sucking It Up

On November 28, 2016, in Monday Motivator, The Pass It On Podcast, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman

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“Face your unpleasant current realities head on, but never lose faith that you will prevail” ~Adm. James B. Stockdale

Learn how to be happy right now!The death of a loved one, an unexpected health diagnosis, losing a job, a breakup, moving to a new community, an election outcome; All of these things can kick us way outside of our comfort zones.

You may already know the feelings: fear, anger, uncertainty, betrayal, sadness, even shame. In these spaces, sleep can be elusive. We’re more easily drawn to tension relieving activities, alcohol and drugs, anything to distract us from the now. We can feel helpless, unsure of where to go, who to talk to, what to do.

What do you do when your world is turned upside down?

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Vote!

On November 7, 2016, in The Spartan Life, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman

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“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

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You get what you accept

On November 5, 2016, in Monday Motivator, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman

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“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” ~ Denis Waitley

The quickest way to get blown out of my social media stream is to talk about politics or religion. Not because I’m not interested in other points of view. It’s because I know that people are quick to proffer their opinions, but won’t really do anything about them.

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Humility

On October 23, 2016, in Monday Motivator, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman
“True merit is like a river: The deeper it is, the less noise it makes.” – Edward Frederick Halifax

We are on the cusp of another renewal of the Michigan State / Michigan rivalry. I always use this event as a reminder to think about the importance of humility.

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By Scott Westerman
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“You are today where your thoughts brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” ~James Allen

“You’ll get there a lot faster if you recruit some accountability buddies!”~Yours Truly

Oh how hard it is to turn thoughts into actions. Earl Nightingale’s famous maxim, “We become what we think about,” is one of the great philosophical truths of the age. But in some cases, turning thoughts into actions can be a challenge, especially if those actions require us to step outside our comfort zone and expose ourselves to discomfort.

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Building Mental Toughness

On October 2, 2016, in The Pass It On Podcast, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman
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What is the single greatest factor that can help you face any challenge and take major steps in the direction of any goal? Mental toughness. But what is it? And how can we integrate it into our daily life?

Former Navy Seal, Mark Divine, writes that mental toughness is a skill set that can be learned. In his book Unbeatable Mind: Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level, Mark breaks it down into four ideas, micro-goals, breathing, positivity, and visualization.[1] Let’s explore each in turn.

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