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Finding Success – There Is No Alternative to Hard Work

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We naturally tend to look for the easy way out and follow the path of least resistance when attempting to achieve our goals. Paying the price and following due process seems to be a real pain. If we had our way, we would love to receive the prize without paying the price. Slogans like “Do not work hard, work smart” sound like music in our ears. We hope we can achieve the desired result by doing little or no work. Many have taken this to mean that there is a lazy way to achieve success. If you tried these short cuts before, you know that nothing can be further from the truth. There is no lazy route to the top. For sure, effort can be wasted if not applied intelligently. Working smart should be the norm. Hard work comes into play within the context of working smart. Without hard work, you cannot go far.

Becoming the very best in whatever field of endeavour requires a lot of hard work. It is estimated that it takes 10,000 hours of hard work to get to the top of any field. You simply have to pay your dues. The best in any field are the hardest working folks with very strong work ethics. They come in a little earlier, work a little harder and close a little later. They do not hang with the crowd and their performance is at the top level. The best athletes in the world work harder than their peers. They show up first at the practice pitch and usually stay behind practicing long after their colleagues have left to go catch some fun in town.

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work” – Stephen King

“It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It is the will to prepare to win that matters” – Paul Bryant

Hard work separates the men from the boys. It takes a tremendous amount of self discipline to work hard in a focussed manner until one attains expertise in any field or achieves a significant goal. Hard work also involves focus on personal growth, development and continuous improvement. Study and continuous learning is hard work. It takes hard work and discipline to finish one good book a week if you have a day job and also mind your business after hours. Often we know what we need to do to advance to the next level, but lack the discipline and hard work ethic to do it now. We leave for tomorrow stuff we could do today as procrastinators concerned. We console ourselves that we will cross the bridge when we get to it. Rather than prepare for tomorrow today, we lull ourselves into mediocrity by thinking that tomorrow will take care of itself. It does not work that way. The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.

We have to work hard smartly. We have to commit to doing what it takes to attain the skill level we desire or achieve the goal we aim for. In an increasingly competitive world, talent is no longer the differentiator but hard work is. Given the same skill level, if you practice when your opponent is doing something else, by the time both of you meet, it is easy to guess who will get the upper hand. Work hard, work smart, work harder, do whatever it takes to achieve your goal. There is no alternative to hard work. Folks that peddle easy solutions through books they sell worked hard to write and market those books. They are the ones that will get rich quick, if they find enough gullible folks to buy their story. You end up with the book while they end up with the money. Short cuts are often the longer route to your destination. By the time you find out that it does not work, you would have wasted valuable time, energy and resources. Principles are no respecter of persons. It is possible to find an easier way to accomplish a task, but there is no alternative to hard work when it comes to sustainable success.

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Greyhound Racing: What The Coloured Jackets Mean

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The typical greyhound race in the UK consists of six dogs. Each dog is identified by the coloured jacket it wears for the race. The colour signifies its starting position – in other words the trap number it races from – and helps you to identify the dogs as they are racing. The colours are standard so it helps to become familiar with them for your night at the greyhounds. Let’s take a run through them.

The red jacked is always worn by the dog starting from trap one. This is the starting position closest to the inside rail. Such animals generally have a preference for running along the inside of the track and are known to race goers as “railers.” A railer typically requires a good burst of early speed to hold its position in to the first corner and not get baulked by the opposition.

The blue jacket is always worn by the dog starting from trap two. This trap is also generally favoured by railers with such dogs seeking to get over to the rail in front of the greyhound in trap one.

The white jacket is always worn by the animal starting from trap three and the black jacket is always worn by the greyhound staring from trip four. Such starting positions are generally favoured by greyhounds who have a natural preference for running along the middle of the track as signified by the (M) notation next to their name in the race card.

The orange jacket is always worn by the greyhound starting from trap five and the black and white striped jacket by the greyhound starting from trap six. Such staring positions are generally favoured by greyhounds who have a natural preference for running towards the wide outside of the track as signified by the (W) notation next to their name in the race card. A potential advantage of wide running is that the frequent first turn scrimmaging can be avoided.

Trap position does make a difference and should be taken in to account when looking for betting opportunities. A greyhound running out of position can be harmful to its chances though usually for graded races trap preference is taken in to account by the racing manager and a wide runner will not be placed in to an inside trap and vice-versa.

This is to avoid trouble in running. For example if a greyhound which is normally a wide runner was to be placed in trap one its natural instinct would be to seek the outside rail and move right out of the traps. This could cause interference with other dogs in the race.

It can be a fun night out and need not break the bank as entry is not expensive. Many race goers like to enjoy a meal as they watch the racing from the comfort of the restaurant. A few minutes familiarising yourself with the different coloured jackets, the starting position and if your chosen greyhound has a noted preference for trap position can aid your enjoyment when going for a night at the greyhound racing.

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How Do YOU Measure Success

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It was in January of 1962 when Barnsley P. Wentworth III told his father that he wasn’t going to be a doctor: he was going to be a clown. Without hesitating his father replied, “Then you will never amount to anything. Consider yourself a failure.” That was the moment Barnsley P. Wentworth III fell from his father’s grace, changed his name to Juggles, and became a clown. It was his greatest joy. It was his greatest passion. And he never made more than $50 a job.

It was a hot afternoon in July and Juggles was driving back to his hotel after working all day at a county fair, when he took a wrong turn into a trailer park and saw the mailbox covered in balloons – the calling card of a child’s birthday party. He sat there for a moment, looked at his watch, shook his head, sighed, and grinned from ear to ear as he put his rubber nose back on and jumped out of the car. He saw a little red head peeking through the flowered sheet curtain followed by piercing squeals as the door burst open and children rushed at him like excited puppies finding food. He would never forget that sound or the shocked look on the mother’s face as she whispered thank you and started to believe again. Or the sheer adoration on the birthday boy’s face as Juggles signed his cast and he solemnly vowed to never wash his arm again as he hugged Juggles’ striped leg and that moment was branded into his memory as he whispered thank you and started to believe again.

Juggles never stopped being a clown. Day in and day out. It stayed his dream and remained his passion. Even when his hair fell out and he was too weak to honk his nose – even from his bed, when what little fans that were left had to come to him. It was March of 1998 when Juggles died, wearing a big red nose and a contented smile. He never made more than $50 a job.

How do you measure success?

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When Do Interns Have to Be Paid? Revised FLSA Test May Create New Unpaid Internship Opportunities

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Did you know that the Department of Labor recently changed the test used to determine whether interns are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)? Though mostly overlooked, this development may significantly affect the manner in which employers provide internship opportunities. It may also encourage other employers to start their own internship programs.

In January 2018, the Department of Labor clarified that going forward, a “primary beneficiary” test will be used to determine whether interns are employees of “for profit” employers under the FLSA. Why is this a big deal? The FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements generally apply to employees, not interns.

Educators and employers alike agree that individuals can benefit greatly from properly designed unpaid internship programs. Unfortunately, since interns are not entitled to compensation under the FLSA, they may be exploited by employers who use their free labor without providing with an appreciable benefit in education or experience. The DOL began issuing informal guidance to prevent this kind of abuse in the late 1960s.

In 2010, the DOL published a 6-factor test to distinguish between interns that don’t need to be paid under the FLSA and employees that do. One factor in particular proved to be a nearly insurmountable obstacle. “The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.”

Since all six factors had to apply, many believed this test was too rigid, including some federal appellate courts. These courts instead opted to apply a “primary beneficiary” test that:

  • focuses on what interns receive in exchange for their work;
  • gives courts the flexibility to examine the economic reality of the intern/employer relationship; and
  • acknowledges the uniqueness of internships in that interns agree to perform work in exchange for educational or vocational benefits.

In January 2018, the DOL essentially adopted this “primary beneficiary” test to eliminate unnecessary confusion and provide increased flexibility to holistically analyze internships on a case-by-case basis. This test includes seven factors to consider when determining whether an intern is actually an employee under the FLSA.

  1. Expectation of Compensation. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee-and vice versa.
  2. Training. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
  3. Education. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. Academics. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. Duration. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. Displacement. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  7. Promise of Employment. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.

Unlike the rigid six-factor test, the primary beneficiary test is intended to be flexible. No single factor is determinative and additional factors may also be considered on a case-by-case basis when appropriate.

The FLSA’s “internship exclusion” was quite narrow under the old six-factor test. Whether this changes under the new primary beneficiary test remains to be seen. Nevertheless, employers should proceed cautiously when evaluating and determining whether someone can be treated as intern under the FLSA, rather than an employee.

The risk of employment-related claims goes up whenever laws and regulations change. Employment Practices Liability Insurance, which may include limited wage and hour coverage, can protect employers in the event of an inadvertent violation.

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