Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Melissa Sapio and Robert Perrine. A special Happy Birthday to you both!

So yesterday was the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. There were 293 spellers from all over the country, ages 9-15. Speller 250 was Gabriela Diaz, of Corpus Christi, Texas, who practices spelling while jumping on her trampoline.

One of my favorite words is humuhumunukunukuapuaa.

While watching the spelling bee, I noticed the focus of some of the spellers, and the nerves of others. I noticed techniques, from asking specific questions about the word to writing it on their hand with their finger. This was competition in the true sense of the word, just like sports, music, school and work. These young men and women were there to win.

Kavya Shivashankar, Speller 110 was the eventual winner. Was she born to win the spelling bee?

No, she was trained to win the spelling bee. Even the judges, after a someone would correctly spell a word, said, “He/she has certainly put in the time.”

It’s not about talent. It’s about hard work. Hard work and the right strategy.

The problem is, nobody wants to put in the work. Everybody wants to be an overnight success. Do you know how long it takes to become an overnight success? Ten years!

Me? I like to think that I work hard. I work hard on become a better coach, player, speaker and person. I work hard promoting my book and blog. But I make sure I have fun too. I try to stay balanced.

I put in the time, but I also make time for things I enjoy doing, like eating good food.

I guess you could use a spelling bee word to describe me – lickerish, one who likes eating.

Work hard, have fun…every day.

Thanks for reading.

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