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LovePrints is featured on the 107th episode of The Success Chronicles with Chip Baker. Check out the full episode here.
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Life lessons. Life Management Tribe.
Love Out Loud
Love in action.
Action in love.
Start from the heart.
LovePrints is the simple idea of adding love whenever and wherever we can. To love out loud. In adding love, we cover those we care in love so that nothing else can stick Each action of love, all love in action.
As a coach, I asked my teams to reach down into their hearts and generate smiles in the places they live. The teams would purposefully go into the schools, neighborhoods, classrooms, hallways, and their own homes with the simple idea of creating smiles wherever they were. Whether it was holding a door open for someone, taking care of an errand for someone else, a kind word for a teammate or even a stranger, these players would generate smiles each day. Some would take over a chore at home that someone else would normally do, or they would learn to do something that someone normally would do for them. They would assist the teachers, help out the custodial staff, or they would go and cheer for a team that they normally wouldn’t support. Each player would write a letter to someone they cared about, and they would share this with their teammates.
For my birthday this year, I do not want gifts. What I am asking is that you simply add love. SHARE YOUR SMILE!
For one day, simply take a picture of you with your Sunday’s best smile, and share it. Post it. Text it. Make it your profile picture, or simply make a post on social media with your smile and the words #smilesproject or #addlove or #loveprints . It wont cost a thing, and wont take up much time. I am smiling at the idea of all the smiles. That is what smiles do. That is what smiles are for. To be shared.
Remember that action without love does not accomplish anything good, and love without action does not accomplish enough, but together, they can accomplish anything.
Feel free to share this. Every birthday party needs more smiles. I hope that the day is filled with love and in that, smiles. Here’s to your smile, and mine.
Each year, I am asked what I want for my birthday. As I head towards another trip around the sun, I have found that the answer is simple. The one thing anyone wants more of is love. Love around me. Love by me. Love in its purest form. Love in its grandest form. LOVE.
In order to ask for love, I must be willing to act in it first. I must be willing to call for it with my own. I can offer love in silence, but since love is good, it is to be shared. I want to give love, receive love, and be love.
For the next 30 days, I will act in love. Only in love. I will be the example of love in action. Putting it in the air will help hold me to it. If you want to join me, please do. I wont dare ask for 30 days of you. I will ask for one day. One day. 24 hours. One day of choosing love over everything else. Love of others, and of ourselves. If you choose to add love, please share it. Let love be LOUD for one day. Maybe in that day, we can only hear and see the best in us. Love is the best in us.
Love in action. Action in love. Love out loud.
LovePrints. From bat boys to men.
When done properly, LovePrints is a mutual exchange of the good in us to another. It is a conscious choice to be active for the better in us. When done properly, everyone is forward on their path, and they are headed up from where they are. In this case, I got to witness the growth of a former bat boy, to an amazing young man.
As a coach and as a man, I wish that I could be everywhere at once. Its just not possible. I have young people all over the globe who are having special events and ceremonies. In spirit, I am at each one, cheering at the top of my lungs. I stand for them in celebration, and I rejoice in their successes. I really wish that I could be at them all. They are all wonderful stories. I thought I would share this one.
I did get to attend one such graduation, and as they are all special, I find myself reflecting once they are over. This family is special. The Walsh family is spectacular in how openly loving they are. Intelligent, brilliant in spirit, worldly, and still familiar. They are joyful and good. Special is the word that most often comes to mind.
I met the young Master Walsh as a bat boy for a high school team in Virginia. When he came to introduce himself to me, he had this smile on his face that let me know that everything I had read about him in the letter of reference was true. He was bright, athletic, and he loved the game of baseball. An odd thing happens when adults are around those type of young people. The adult grows. I had simple tasks for myself as a coach, and the top of them is to keep the young peoples smiles bright. Don’t screw it up. Add to. Love him. Pretty simple.
He was my worker bee. He was on top of the drills, he participated in the practices, he was a wonderful addition during games, and he paid attention to what I said and did. For a coach, the part about paying attention is big. I need to make sure that my actions are good for him. Do they make him better? Do they help him? Is it good?
I never got to coach him as a varsity player. We both moved from Virginia to Texas, and as fate would have it, the same community. He attended a public school while I coached at a private one, but we stayed in touch. I got to hear about his task of making new friends in a college sized public school, his decisions on playing ball or singing, his eyes toward college and everything that came to mind.
He had an issue with his transfer from Virginia, and the 4.0 GPA system in Virginia created problems in the 5.0 Texas GPA system, so he had some serious work to do to reach academics levels to go where he wanted for college. We talked about the process and his struggles, which to me were landmarks and successes. He would come and walk with me. Those walks let me know that no matter what was put in front of him, his family had prepared him for it. He was going to be fine. He was going to be exceptional. He already was.
I was invited to attend his graduation with his family, and I felt extremely proud watching the evening move along. My bat boy had become a man. He had found a way to excel. He had found a way to shine. Let me tell you this, in a night of stars, his shine was as bright as any other. I got to listen to his family, and I certainly have a great understanding of how this happens. Great families make great people. Great people make great families. This is true for the Walsh family.
Congratulations, to you and your graduates, no matter where they are graduating from. Well done., parents. Well done, students. Well done, teachers. Well done, coaches.
Congratulations, Mr. Walsh. The University of Texas will be better because you will be there. They can’t be ready for you, because you are ready for them. Go and be epic. I will be here, cheering.
Just don’t lock your keys in the car. Mom can’t be there in ten minutes.
Thank you for your LovePrints. I expect to see them all over Austin, Texas.
Love in action. Action in love. One act at a time. One person at a time.
What is the answer? What will make things better? What will pull us together?
As a coach, as a man, as a speaker, as a mentor, I get to make things better than I found them. I am tasked with standing as the lead energy source in a classroom, a locker room, an auditorium, or a boardroom. I get to set the standard for words in the air, actions of the masses, directions for the day, and for the orders in play. That is a daunting task no matter who you are or what you do. I don’t mind. I look forward to it. I am given a microphone so that whatever I say is amplified. It needs to fill the room. My voice must fill the room. I know what is needed in each of those rooms.
Every family, every business, every boss, every student, every athlete, and every listener that I speak to is its own community. Its their own vacuum. What I put into the vacuum will occupy it, and if done well, will take it over. I must be careful what energy and message I put into the air. It is powerful. It will gain life and multiply. I must choose one thing as the ultimate thing in my words. What else would I put in the air than this?
I understand that whatever I put into the room will not only occupy the room, but it will cover the people in the room. Whatever it is will leave the room and be taken into other rooms, buildings, and beings. What I release into the room will cover the closest ones, the next ones, and so on. I can choose wisely what I cover the closest one with, because I know it will reach others. That is its purpose. I can choose fear. I can choose hate. I choose not to choose either. I choose love.
How does fear and hate take over a company? A relationship? A team? A community? A school? A home? It requires air and action to do so. It requires acceptance as a norm. It requires repetitive noise. It requires acknowledgement by several connected, empowered people as an option.
How does love take ownership over a person? A relationship? A house? A community? A company? A team? A school? It requires air and action to do so. It requires acceptance as the norm. It requires repetitive noise. It requires acknowledgement by several connected, empowered people as the only option.
Look at us all. What is the norm? What is the accepted and required habit? What have we deemed the only option? There should only be one answer.
I choose to stand in love. I choose to action in love. I choose to love out loud. I choose to do so daily. When chaos happens, slow down, and love. When fear or hate shows up in a hurry, slow it down, and love. When a crossroad is met, act in the direction of love. When there is a question of what to do, how to do it, why we do it, the answer is the same.
Go with love.
Why do we coach?
In every coaching interview that I have ever given or been on, the question has come up in some way or another. Why do you coach? There have been as many answers as interviews, and while some good answers are given, some bad ones are given as well. There might not be a perfect answer, but the coach should have some idea of why they want the job. They should have some idea of why they will succeed at the job. If they don’t know why they want to job, it is unlikely that they know how to be successful at it.
I can’t speak for all coaches. I won’t speak for all coaches. I know why I coach, and there are several reasons. There are some jobs that have winning games as the focus, and there are some that place character as the priority. Some coaching positions are at schools or with teams that don’t care about academics, and some that are faith based. There is a constant for me. I only seek coaching jobs where the focus is known and honored. This is important.
Coaching is love. Coaching is caring. Coaching is teaching. Coaching is support. Coaching is being present. Coaching is being prepared. For me, the first thing is important thing I need to know is why. Why do you need me? Why should I coach with/for you? Why?
I coach out of service. It is an easier space to work in if service is the top priority. I can’t coach and think of myself first. I need to be excited about building something. I need to feel like I am not really working. I need to feel like I’m adding. I need to feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself. I need to know that todays work is a part of the greater process, and that my input is a part of a greater plan. I need to consider those young people I am coaching more than I consider myself. I need to think of them first. Always.
The ability to see the greater version of people is a gift. I can see past flaws and weaknesses. Those are correctable. Those are temporary. It is a blessing to be able to see a diamond when it’s just coal. The diamond is simply waiting for a change of environment to recreate itself in its greater form. It requires pressure and friction, and it requires someone to dust it off and place it in a perfect setting to shine.
I learned long ago that when I coach from this place, everything else that can be a focus is easy. When I remember them first, I take care of the small details. I prepare better. I plan better. I adjust better. I correct better. I teach better. I applaud louder. I love stronger.
When a coaching position opens, ask what the job is. Is it winning? Ask questions. What is winning? What is acceptable standards for winning? What is success? What is the task each day?
I coach to serve. I coach to teach. I coach to remove mistakes. I coach to strengthen. I coach to learn. I coach to share. I coach to win. I coach to love.
The question is, why do you coach?
If I was going to measure my time on this planet, I would hope to be measured by the amount of love I left while I was here. Did I leave each thing more covered in love than I found it? Did I attempt to action in love? Did I make things better? Was I present in my interactions? Did I leave a lasting print of love on the people I meet? Did I love?
The questions are simple. You know the answer when asked. The speaking engagements that I have been honored to speak at have all been opportunities to love more, in word and in action, than ever before. These events put me in a circle of people who may or may not know me. It is my task to add smiles, add hugs, and ultimately, add love. It is my job to close the space in the room. I find that it is easier to do so if I am adding love to that space. It is a labor of love. It is amazing to get into a space and attempt to fill that space with more love, no matter who the people are.. It can be exhausting sharing the energy of any mass of people, but when the energy is love, it is the greatest form of energy. It is the best form of energy. It fills the room the most authentically. It also lasts longer. Love travels well.
Speeches are love out loud. Each time I grab a microphone or take a stage, I feel like I have a responsibility to add happiness. To add love. Each event is an action in love. Each one is love in action. I may not reach everyone, but the ones that I do reach are left better than I found them. That is what love is for.
These photos are from the Unity Day event at the Altria Theater in Richmond. I was invited to give the keynote speech to a room of a thousand people, and I must say that I received more smiles and hugs after the event than any other event I have ever spoken at (because I had access to the people afterwards). It is powerful to put love into the air and watch it take over a space and the people in it. I understand the chemical reaction that performers get in front of a crowd of people. It is a rush, and it changes you for the better.
To have that chemical be love based is the highest level of happiness. A room filled with love and good is a vacuum of that same love. I look forward to the next room filled with love. There is no space that love cannot fill. I will be there, adding love. I hope to see you there!
Thank you, Virginia Department of Transportation for allowing me to add love to your employee’s day. They certainly added love to my day.