By Dr. Laura Hills, President, Blue Pencil Institute, www.bluepencilinstitute.com
My beloved Rutgers University is limping along these days, doing its best to clean up the mess caused by the outrageous behavior of recently-fired basketball coach Mike Rice. I am troubled. And I say this both as an alumnus of this fine university, and as the parent of a child who is a student there right now. I question how Mr. Rice’s behavior was permitted at an institution of higher learning. And I am saddened as I contemplate yet another person in a position of authority who has misused that power. From what I can tell, Mr. Rice had a fantastic coaching opportunity that many would envy. But he blew it, and he did so completely through his own fault. Mr. Rice’s poor self-control has cost him his job and has undoubtedly hurt the students he worked with and the people in his life who care about him. I can’t help but think: Why was Mike Rice his own worst enemy?
Blue Pencil Power Question™: What do you do to sabotage yourself and your goals?
We all aspire to accomplishing great things in our lives. But long-term goals require long-term commitment and sacrifice. We must delay gratification, stay in control, and often do the hard thing because doing so will ultimately get us where we want to be. Certainly, we can act in the moment to satisfy our anger, ambition, greed, vanity, ego, or lust. But giving in to our urges can and often does sabotage us so that we will never achieve our bigger goals.
It is a great relief to lash out when we’re upset. But we are more than our urges. We live for today but we must also live for tomorrow, because there will always be one. As we think about our behaviors and our goals, each of us needs to focus on what we need to do right now and every day – and what we must not do — so that we can live our values and our dreams and be a person others can respect.