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Archive for November, 2009

A movie to stoke the fire within you

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend, among many other things, provides an opportunity to waddle out from the table and watch a movie. I don’t go to the Movie Theater often. When I do, it is usually to watch something inspirational. Earlier this week I saw “The Blind Side” with my two oldest children.

I give it a “Thumbs Up” as Siskel and Ebert used to do. I highly suggest you try to see it. You will come out of it reinvigorated and feeling like you spent time watching a quality film with a good message. The opening weekend box office was better than expected for this film, which means people are talking about its’ impact.

The movie stars Sandra Bullock. Like many of you, I have seen a lot of her movies. In my opinion, this is her best acting performance (my gosh, I am starting to sound like a movie critic writer…). Her performance is deserving of Academy Award consideration. This is a far cry from “Speed” or “Miss Congeniality.” She plays Leigh Anne Tuohy. Talk about having a fire within! Leigh Anne Tuohy has it, and Bullock was dead-on portraying it! To top it off, she played a southern woman and didn’t try to force a southern accent, which is usually disaster for Hollywood actors. Being from the South, I have often literally cringed as actors tried to manufacture a southern accent.

The Blind Side tells the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home in Memphis. His mother suffered an addiction to crack cocaine, which impacted his education. He repeated both first grade and second grade, and attended eleven different schools during his first nine years as a student. He had no real home and wandered around night to night. At 6′3″ and 350 pounds, he was quite the sight wandering around. One night Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy and their two children saw him walking alongside the road in short sleeves and cold weather, and took him in for the night and beyond. The Tuohy’s are a well-to-do white family that help him reach his incredible potential. At the same time, Oher leads them to learn more about themselves. When you see where Oher started and where he is today, you will be stoked. The pictures at the end of the movie have a powerful impact.

Okay, that paragraph REALLY sounded like a movie review.

Tim McGraw does a really nice job playing Sean Tuohy, Leigh Anne’s husband. Ironically, when I was in High School in the late 1970’s in Oxford, Mississippi, I watched Sean Tuohy play basketball for Ole Miss. He was a very good player out of Newman HS in New Orleans (the alma mater of Peyton and Eli Manning). He married Leigh Anne, a cheerleader for Ole Miss, and went on to own about 80 Taco Bell/KFC franchises. That led to the “well-to-do” status.

Over the last few years, I had heard about Michael Oher and the Tuohy’s. A best-selling book was written about the story, and then the movie came out. We made a point to be there as soon as it was released, and came away inspired. The Theater was packed, which is a sign a good buzz had come out that this was indeed a quality film worth shelling out $8.

This isn’t a rah rah sports movie, but a compelling true life story of the fire within a woman, and what it did to help a young man reach his potential in life.

Staying on fire takes a daily effort. One way to do it is watching this new film sometime over the next few days. I promise you that you will come away stoked! If you see it, let me know how it stoked the fire within you.

Just don’t go after eating a heavy Thanksgiving meal. Full stomach plus dark theater leads to ZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Charlie Adams

It is amazing what can be done with an On Fire Attitude!

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Over the weekend, Stanford University crushed mighty Southern Cal 55-21. 55 points are the most ever given up by Southern Cal.

The leader of Stanford is head coach Jim Harbaugh, a man with fire.

Read what he said when he was introduced as Stanford Head Football Coach in 2006:

“I vow I will attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”

The headline of the article read: “Harbaugh On Fire with Enthusiasm.”

He took over a program with the toughest academic requirements in major college football, and he has them ranked in the Top 15 in America.
He made no excuses. Instead, he brought a fire. In my observations from having interviewed over 4000 peak performers, I have found time and time again that the biggest factor in success is having the fire within. As Jim Harbaugh has shown at Stanford, amazing things can happen when it is stoked.

What are you as an individual and as an organization doing today to kindle the fire within you?

I challenge you to take the approach Jim Harbaugh did when he accepted the challenge of leading Stanford Football:

“I vow I will attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”


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