Sleeveless in December? Seriously?

 In Article, Personal Growth

Sleeveless in December? Seriously? Written by Paul M. Neuberger, your event speaker.

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
Albert Camus

If you’ve ever attended a late December football game in Green Bay, Wis., chances are you might have experienced three-plus hours of the “depth of winter.”

The Lambeau Field bleachers are covered in ice. Beverages (yes, including beer) turn to slush. The crowd is speckled with blaze orange, as many fans opt for time-tested, reliably-warm deer hunting apparel.

For true blue (green and gold?) Packers fans, it’s almost a rite of passage. “I might be nuts to sit in numbing cold,” they say “… but I’m having fun … really!”

Yet, down on the field, countless players expose their bare arms to the frigid air for the entire game. They play sleeveless. Maybe it’s a macho thing. Or a show-off thing. It just can’t be comfortable.

You, sitting in the stands bundled in multiple layers, find this incomprehensible.

A warmer state of mind

In interviews afterward, most players echo variations of the same theme: “Cold is just a state of mind.” They block it out. They focus on something else. They don’t dwell on what, for most people, would be an overriding negative of their work environment.

No doubt: The cold is a reality. It’s inescapable. Still, the players perceive that it doesn’t matter. Because perception is reality to the human mind, they carry on as if it’s a 70-degree early-season contest.

Think there’s a lesson here for all of us? You bet.

How we approach daily life – our perception – is our reality. This holds true for our personal and professional lives.

True, it’s not easy blocking out the negative thoughts that continually bang on our mental doors. Yet, let them in, and they become like a malignant growth: deep rooted, entrenched and hard to remove.

It goes downhill. Your perception, i.e. reality, chills. You can become a pessimist, wondering “what will go wrong next?” Or, worse, a bully, tearing others down to make yourself feel better.

You don’t want to be that person … right?

What’s on your schedule?

Of course, being the positive person I am, a motivational speaker who thrives on helping others create their personal successes during keynote presentations, I’m not here to lecture on the dangers of negativity. I will, however, provide a viable tool to improve your perception – and thus your reality – just by a slight turn of phrase.

Let’s start here: What’s on your schedule tomorrow that you’re not too excited about?

Do you have to go to work? Have to take your car in for service? Have to fit in some grocery shopping? Have to visit your mother?

You’ll notice a commonality: All these perceived undesirable activities are prefaced by “have to.” Herein lies the rub.

Thinking or stating that you “have to” do something is always negative. There’s no way around it.

The essence of “have to” is that you’re an unwilling participant, forced to go against your will. The “have to” mentality is a victimizing trap.

Yet, most people carry this mindset. They’re not dumb or wrongheaded. They’ve just never learned a positive alternative.

One exists … and it’s astonishing in its simplicity.

In two weeks, I’ll offer an alternative take that will change your reality … by changing your perception. It will feel like a personal insight from an inspirational speaker. This tweak to a “have to” mindset will open your eyes to previously-hidden opportunities for happiness and personal well-being.

Its potential to warm your heart, life and career is overwhelming. You might even grasp the perspective of a bare-armed football player shutting out the biting cold.

Is “have to” holding you back – probably without even realizing it? Stick around, because a 180-degree perception shift is around the corner. You’ll get to see the world through a different lens – kind of like sitting on your comfy couch watching a football game, instead of somewhere else.

(Paul M. Neuberger is President of The Starr Group, Founder/CEO of The Cold Call Coach, and a globe-trotting inspirational keynote speaker. Don’t miss his three-part webinar series, Paul’s Emergency Sales Kit, filled with timely instruction and advice for salespeople during a challenging period. Or, for an even deeper dive, try Cold Call University. Contact Paul at 414-313-8338 or via e-mail at or

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