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Rebel Training

SparkPeopleHello from Sparkguy

Hello SparkFriends!

I'm excited about this week's message. This is such a fun message that I'm splitting it into two parts -- part 1 this week and part 2 next week.

Here is the background that led to this message: my 14yo son is interested in eventually becoming a filmmaker. He continues learning several types of video editing and production software on his own. He also just started his first entrepreneurial adventure selling some items on eBay after doing a bunch of research about this.

He started telling me some of the details of eBay features and I said, "yes, we had similar features when we built eBay's largest competitor in the early days before they acquired our company." I got the, "wow, that is too cool!" look from him. Which felt great since now that he's a teenager it's much harder to elicit that look than when he was 5 :).

I told him that I'm very proud that he is working to become a "rebel." By this I mean that he is now working outside the "normal system" to reach his goals. I said I'd love to help him with "rebel training" to help him reach these goals.

Today I put together part of his rebel training and went over it with him. Suddenly it hit me and I yelled to him, "I'm going to make this my weekly email!"

I even like calling this "rebel training" for all of you because I think what we do at SparkPeople is help people rebel against so much of what is ingrained into normal culture today with the cultural acceptance of unhealthy food choices, sedentary lifestyles, and more. If you are a Star Wars fan, there is also a fun element of the Rebels like Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia working to defeat Darth Vader and the Evil Empire :). I know, that sounds a little nerdy, but this type of visualization that we're on an important mission really can help us reach goals!

As I thought about this training for my son, I wondered if I could boil it down to a few simple and memorable elements.

I did this with my youngest son (11yo) who is passionate about playing flag football. For years now when we play catch, I ask him for his 3 catching rules and he says for the 1,000th time, "1) Reach out for the ball; 2) See the ball hit my fingers; 3) Believe that I will catch every ball." (This doesn't include some other catching mechanics he learned that are more ingrained.) Any time he has a few drops where I can tell it's from one of these items, I stop and have him repeat the 3 rules. This almost always immediately corrects the flaw. After years of doing this, he is now ridiculously good at catching a football. Sometimes it's fun being a coach!

I'll finish this week by sharing the first of the 3 Rebel Rules I put together for my 14yo -- with a focus on being productive to reach all types of goals:

1) Get stuff done

This is the essential base for being a successful rebel. I see many people somewhat float through life making it through each day (sometimes complaining a lot) instead of having a relentless focus on getting things done. This training point involves skills including:
  • Believing in yourself and your ability to complete many types of projects
  • Goal-setting and time management
  • A willingness to learn new things
  • A strong work ethic (one of the best gifts I learned from my mom)
Look for Rules #2 and #3 next week! How do you like this concept of 3 Simple Rules for Rebel Training? Let me know your thoughts or read comments from other members in this blog.

Here are a couple of fun comments on the blog so far:

DIANEDOESSMILES I pretty much have always "lived outside the box". I credit my Mom in that SHE ALSO did. She had told me and kept repeating it "being a woman means you HAVE ANY CHOICE to do what you want. You do NOT need a man to make you happy. If you choose to have one who respects and loves you, that's great, but YOU ARE A WORTHY Woman if not." Yes, my Mom was a strong person. I THANK her for these lessons, more by the show than words.

BILLDREW4 I have always been outside the box. I was a nontraditional college student going to college after serving in the Navy. I joined the Navy Reserve my senior year in high school.

I started my professional career as a librarian and college professor at 35 years old after getting my master's. I battle constantly in all social media forums and in my work against stereotypes of those over 60 being technologically challenged. My generation invented the tech! I am now proving a 67 year old overweight male can get physically fit and lose weight.


Chris "SparkGuy" Downie


Chris (SparkGuy)

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