While the music is being played

Standard

Expectations can be tough. I love this video talking about the ride of life and that we need to enjoy the journey. Finding out what you love to do with your time is a rare thing for people, mostly because we’ve been conditioned to get to the end. My brother is an educator and talking to him about the expectations we put on ourselves from the start of being educated is quite the funny thing.

Mattofact: It is a musical thing. If you have expectations on you, make sure they are your own.

Are you in the arena?

Standard

Are you on the crowd everytime? Why arena are you in? Surely you’re not a spectator when it comes to everything.

Teddy had it right, in the end it’s not the critic who matters. It’s the warrior that is in the arena, the one doing the work, the one sweating it out – that’s the one that matters. This quote is about our great republic, to give I context, but we all can identify.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt quotes (American 26th US President (1901-09), 1858-1919)

Mattofact: If you want something great, you have to risk something great.

Conan O’Brien Has His Last TONIGHT SHOW Appearance TONIGHT

Standard

Tonight is the last night for Conan O’Brien on the TONIGHT SHOW. His guests are going to be Who would have thought he would have had such a short run. I never really cared about the late night war too much. I remember Letterman had a fiasco with his network and enjoyed the snide remarks he always made about Les Moonves.  I have never chosen sides in the late war, although I’d flip around and catch some of their shows from time to time. However, that’s changed now. I’m with Conan. He’s a funny guy, but more importantly he has a commitment to the brand he believed he would have time to add value to. I’ll post his letter addressed to “People of the world” at the end here. It’s funny but really lays out his passion for something he believed in. Funny that he had less than a year of episodes to do what Johnny Carson did in 30 years, or Leno had a chance to do in 17 years. He’s walking with $33 mill, $12 mill for his staff, and a lot of support from Fox throughout the whole thing these past few weeks. I’m with team Conan now. Tune in tonight on NBC for the end of what we all know as “The Tonight Show” at 11:35 pm /10:35c.  He has some killer guests on the Tonight Show tonight with Tom Hanks and Will Ferrell. It’s going to be a great ending to a short run.  After the Olympics are over at the end of February, it sounds like Leno will resume his spot and take the Tonight Show name back, and drop “The Jay Leno Show”.   Also read Conan’s letter below, it’s hilarious. This along with the fact that Conan put the Tonight Show for sale on Craigslist among other antics make him the funniest man to hold the Tonight Show title, ever. Let me also note, this is yet another thing that TMZ broke to us, not the rich stuffy old board-room network news rooms.

Letter from Conan:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show.

Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.

Yours, Conan

How do you inspire people?

Standard

How do you inspire people? Here are three easy steps as demonstrated from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On August 28, 1963 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed a group of 250,000 from the base of the Lincoln memorial. He delivered a sermon, which was separated by three distinct parts – and it is a formula to follow for your inspiring comments to others.

  1. Explain why you need someone to act now, and why it is important for them to react to your speech.
  2. Tell them what goals you have for them, what they need to accomplish exactly.
  3. Help them envision the great possibility that lies ahead if they rise to the level of excellence you have called them to.

In explaining the absolute horror of the US social climate of racial injustice, he tackled the first two keys in inspiring people that “now is the time” and then delivering goals in his “we can never be satisfied” section.  Finally, he does what few great speakers and pastors do… he explained the great reward that lies ahead if we actually react to his call when he delivers the final “I have a dream” ending this great speech is known for.

Let me say this is a great speech. It is a speech with great delivery, content and structure… that we can learn a lot from.  But, it pales in comparison to the life the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King lived.  What life are you living? What are you passionate about and how do you inspire others to greatness?

Martin Luther King Jr.

“I have A Dream Speech”

August 28, 1963

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.

Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check – a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Other notes on this speech:

-3 books were studied and quoted for this speech. The Bible, Gettysburg Address, and the Declaration of Independence.

-It was delivered 100 years AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation delivered from Abraham Lincoln, and this speech was delivered at the base of the Lincoln memorial.

-A year after this speech, Dr. King was the youngest person ever given the Nobel Peace Prize.

-Dr. King was murdered 5 years after this speech on April 4, 1968.

-Martin Luther King Jr. day was established as a national holiday 23 years after this speech.