Loralyn Mears, PhD
Monday Motivation: cheating is not a solution
This blog was originally published on March 18, 2019 at https://gritdaily.com/monday-motivation-cheating/
This is for those of you who slog through your Monday mornings.
If you lament the end of the weekend and dread returning to the office, you may need our Monday Motivation quick tips. Grit Daily offers an avenue to connect with others like you. We’re here to help get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Motivation Monday.
CHEATERS AND LIARS HARM OTHERS AND THEMSELVES
The topic of lying is a heavy way to start a week, particularly as the theme for a Monday Motivation column. But fret not! For those of us that have faith in humanity, there is always something positive. If you embrace a strong work ethic and believe that you can better yourself without cheating, we have a feel-good story here today.
We are going to talk about Coach Bob Germano, a New Jersey man that has dedicated his life to paying it forward. As a softball coach, he helps young girls improve their game. But what he really does is provide hands-on lessons in accountability and responsibility. He prepares his young athletes for life in the real world. Coach Bob teaches them about the benefits of practice, discipline, and teamwork. And, of course, he teaches them how to throw, catch and hit better, too.
But first, let’s knock out the heavy stuff.
AN EPIC WEEK OF LIES
It’s been quite the week. The headlines regarding the snowballing college admissions cheating scandal have been hard to miss. The FBI named, charged and arrested over 50 celebrities, coaches and ivy league university administrators. Last week, rapper R. Kelly ranted and melted down in front of a poised Gayle King. He attempted to convince us of his innocence while all of us collectively held our breath.
Both ABC and HBO are now airing independent documentaries on one of the biggest liars of all time. The story is a cautionary tale of how one Silicon Valley entrepreneur (Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos) cheated investors out of nearly half a billion dollars. And, I would be remiss if I forgot to mention that we live in an era of fake news.
EVERYONE LIES. PERIOD.
Studies show that we all lie, however, some of us tilt to “little white lies” whereas others tilt to psychopathic masters of deception. We’re wired by our desire to fit in and to be a part of a community. For some, that means exaggerating to give the illusion that we should be part of the same club. Experts estimate that we are lied to at least 10 times per day. Some experts say as many as 200 times per day. The fact that Pamela Meyer’s TEDtalk on “lie-spotting” has been viewed more than 22 million times gives credence to the idea that lying is truly a “thing.”
AS INDIVIDUALS, WE HAVE A FEW POSSIBLE PATHS:
1 We can choose to work harder, work smarter and apply ourselves to do more, be more
2 We can get better at spotting liars and cheaters
3 We can choose to lie and cheat
Since this is a column about Monday motivation and inspiration, we are not going to discuss all possible paths. Instead, we’re going to focus on Option 1, provide some insights on Option 2 and pretty much skip right over Option 3.
WHY GOOD OLD-FASHIONED HARD WORK PAYS OFF IN THE LONG RUN
On the surface, cheating and lying seem like the way to go. People fudge their resumes to get that coveted interview. Dieters chow down on burgers and fries then sneakily lift their leg off the scale. They cheat to make that wretched number of pounds be a little less when they weigh-in at the program they paid big bucks to join. It’s human nature. But we’re only cheating ourselves. At some point, the gig is up. Liars and cheaters eventually get caught.
TIPS TO DEAL WITH CHEATERS AND LIARS
People are going to lie to us so deceit is inevitable. Most of those lies will be harmless like “of course you look good in that outfit.” But some of the lies are going to be challenging to deal with so here are a few tips to manage the confrontation as best as you can.
Use “I” and “me” statements to express how their lying makes you feel.
Initiating a conversation with a liar to confront him or her about the mistruths is extremely difficult for most people. Get prepared for the discussion by having your facts straight. Try to remain calm. Don’t point fingers. Instead, describe how the rumored lies are affecting you emotionally and how the lies have eroded your trust. This is one of those rare times that you need to make the discussion all about you, how you feel and how you hope the lie isn’t true. Give the liar a chance to explain their behavior. Then, make a rational decision as to whether or not their behavior is forgivable.
Listen for formal and distancing language.
When people are trying to prove their innocence, they tend to speak formally. They distantly reference “that girl” or “that man” instead of using more personal pronouns. Their words lack intimate references and the use of first names or nicknames.
Deceptive people tend to look you in the eye a little too long and don’t move their upper bodies.
If it feels like the liar is boring holes through your head in an uncomfortable stare-down, then you can be pretty confident that s/he is lying. Is the liar’s upper body frozen in a rigid stance? That’s another indication that a lie has been told. If this person repeatedly exhibits the tell-tale signs of a liar, get ready for a change. Once the lies become harmful to your well-being, consider distancing yourself and minimizing your interaction.
There can be no “true” victory without integrity, hard work and a passion for the game of softball! ~Coach Bob
WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVATIONAL STORY?
Do you know someone that gives their all? Do know people who freely donate their time and themselves to helping others? Yet they never brag about it? That’s Coach Bob Germano.
He is a bastion of humanity and a breath of fresh air. Frustrated by the political machinations, restrictive policies and inability of all the Northern Valley boroughs to collaborate in a competitive softball league, Bob privately built his own. Armed with the philosophy of the value of paying it forward, Bob routinely offers free clinics and coaching because of his love for the game.
Why? Because Coach Bob gets it. It’s that simple. Bob played competitive baseball as a youth and had to learn a tough lesson at age 22. At that young age, his father, who was also his coach, mentor, and family business owner, passed away. Bob had big shoes to fill but he jumped in. Head first. He embraced all those roles as the new patriarch to keep his little sister moving forward with the game, and with life.
With two daughters of his own, Coach Bob understands that it’s important for young girls to feel like they are a part of something. And, if they apply themselves, they will see results. Moreover, by working together, those results will be amplified. He fosters a culture of diversity and inclusion. Through positive reinforcement, he motivates his young athletes to give their all. He does so regardless of their ability and skill level when they first hit the field. He makes them better by holding them accountable to themselves and to each other.
SPORTS ARE HIGHLY BENEFICIAL TO KIDS, TEENS & PARENTS
As a trend-spotter and market analyst, I’ve been quietly observing why interest in some sports, particularly softball, has been dwindling. Case in point, four years ago, there were five teams with full rosters competing in the league. Today, the teams are fewer with no players to spare: if someone fails to show up, the team must be play short-handed or possibly forfeit. Is it Snapchat? Maybe the game needs to be reformed? Maybe it could be shortened to 3-4 innings or 60 minutes because we’re an ADHD society that has lost the ability to focus for more than 5 seconds?
Why don’t parents encourage their daughters to get exercise? Or to interact in-person with their peers? Why not encourage them to join a team to share in the pride of improving as individuals as well as together? I personally don’t get it. Sports offer our kids and teens a vehicle to channel their energy, stay out of trouble and learn about themselves. For those who don’t participate, it’s clearly a missed opportunity.
Don’t let your daughters miss out! The Renegades are a softball team geared for all girls, at all ability levels, aged 8-14. The Vipers are more competitive and designed for girls aged 10-18 who want to improve their game to play at the high school or college varsity level. To learn more, check out the Vipers’ website here.