Mark Danger Powers

Lesson From A Giant

I got to thinking recently, after hearing about Sean Ogle meeting the 7UP guy, actor Orlando Jones. [Drummers reading might also recognize Jones from his role as Dr. Lee, in the movie Drumline]

Sean’s story, and the lessons he took from that encounter, made me reminisce about the night I partied at the Hollywood Hills home of San Francisco Giants starting pitcher, Barry Zito! One can’t help but snoop around a bit in a house like that. There were the rooftop lap pool and hottub, the in-the-wall iPod dock that pumps tunes into every room, the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Los Angeles (complete with remote controlled electric blinds), the pimped out master bedroom and one Major League Baseball award after another. But what made the biggest impression on me? The small, unassuming office/workout room downstairs . . .

If I could add one lesson to Sean’s list of things to be learned from guys like Orlando and Barry, it’d be this:

Believe In Yourself

I say that because, in most cases, ain’t nobody gonna do it for you. The walls, desk and gear in Zito’s little workroom were covered with notes, large and small, reminding himself what things he should be doing, why he was doing them, and that he was indeed capable of doing them. The one that stuck with me the most was simply:

You can’t stop a guy with that kind of confidence. That level of intent. That focus.

Many of us recognize how detrimental putting ourselves down can be and, therefore, may attempt to avoid that. But how often do we really go the opposite direction and pump ourselves up? A little positive self-talk can go a long way.


Remember those Mad Libs books from when you were a kid? Let’s do one, Barry Zito style . . .

If the above doesn’t exactly fit your current situation or needs, I bet you still get the idea. Make your own blanks, fill ’em in, post this all over, read it everyday and start believing it. Who knows what could happen!

What does your Mad Lib say?
Share with us in a comment below!

(photo by Evan Courtney)


  1. Oh, excellent! I’ve been working on this, trying to find the balance between letting go of self-deprecation and not wanting to brag. It goes along with Chris Guillebeau’s question of what great thing I have to offer the world (I paraphrase). Not sharing your gifts, not being the best you can be, denies both yourself and the world of what you have to offer.

    I don’t think I’m the best editor in the world, but I am really good at what I do. It makes me really happy to help people get their message across clearly and help them look good in writing.

    • It denies both yourself and the world . . .” You’re so very right, Kaari. If you are living a life worth writing about (or creating, as Guillebeau says, a compelling story) than it’s also important to share how you’ve accomplished that and encourage others to do the same!

  2. Woo! Awesome inspiration boost today Mark!

    People feel uncomfortable complimenting themselves, but it’s absolutely essential. You’ve gotta recognize just how rad you are and view yourself as being now exactly what you want to become. You’re already that person- it’s inside. Mindset is everything.
    Great post!

    • Thanks, Emilie! Visualizing what you want to become can be extremely powerful. ‘Tis the way of the “multipotentialite.” 🙂

  3. This is awesome Mark! Okay, here it goes, time for some self lovin pats on the back because I know that I am way too hard on myself and need to do this more!

    I am already |the most motivated| |soon to be brilliant & artistic web designer| so long as I |stay positive and inspired|

    I LOVE madlibs! I used to did these when I was a kid in elementary school and I think my friends and I had too much fun with the adult versions later in life haha.
    This is a great exercise because its fun. Its too easy to beat ourselves up when really we’ve come so much farther than could ever image.

    • Way to go, Lauren- you own it, girl! It is easy to be too hard on ourselves, especially in creative career fields, where we’re putting our work out there for others to see/judge/criticize. But keep those words posted where you’ll see them (perhaps on the dashboard in the car?) . . . and I can’t wait to see what the most motivated, brilliant & artistic web designer has in-store!

  4. Great post. Why? Because it’s a reminder of just how powerful simple confidence can be. Internal validation is so much more powerful than seeking external approval.

    It’s amazing how the things we tell ourselves affect the way we choose to spend our time and energy.

  5. Great post Mark! I really try to live this way! I learned long ago that positivity is POWERFUL!

    Nicely done. Keep them coming!!!!

  6. I LOVE the Mad Lib idea! I’ve sorta already started writing little notes to myself and it’s helped a lot. I totally need to write more, and the Mad Lib thing is the perfect addition. You never know when you’ll need that confidence boost and these are great reminders of how great we all are.


  1. Tweets that mention Lesson From A Giant -- - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Powers, Sean Ogle. Sean Ogle said: Inspiring post from @markpowers Lesson…

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