Posts filed under Blogs

Persist. Never Quit.


As educators, we have goals for our schools, students and ourselves. Having a goal costs us nothing, but seeing the goal to completion will always cost something. How then do we accomplish our goal knowing there is a price we must pay for wanting to accomplish something worthwhile? Persistence.

Persistence is determination that refuses to be sidetracked.
Persistence is constant endurance.
Persist. Endure. Two verbs that are essential for every educator who wants to positively impact their students. Teaching is not easy. Low pay. Unruly students. Countless hours of grading and planning. Incompetent supervisors. Indifferent parents. All these and more challenges are to be expected in education. So, if this is what the game entails, how can you ensure that you come out victorious in the end? Again, persistence.

You have to be determined to accomplish your goals even in the midst of trials.
You have to endure the weariness and sometimes mundane tasks that come with being an educator.
You must persist even if your work does not seem to be making a difference.

Truth is, your work can make a great impact. Every day that you give a 100% effort to your school and students makes a difference. Every time that you shake off negativity, remember why you chose the field of education, and plow forward will help you in leaving a positive imprint. You may not always see the end result of your work, but just because you don’t see it, that doesn’t mean what you do is insignificant.

If a teacher wouldn’t have told a student, who only saw himself as “educable mentally retarded,” that someone else’s opinion of him did not have to become his reality, the world may have never had one of its most preeminent motivational speakers in Les Brown.
If a teacher wouldn’t have helped a young girl, who experienced physical and emotional abuse, find her own voice, the world might have never known the powerful poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
If a teacher wouldn’t have helped a shy, nerdy boy, named Bill Gates, find his own strengths and encourage his curiosity for learning, we may have not been able to experience Microsoft and all its benefits.

Being an educator can be tough, but my hope is that your mission to positively impact the lives of those you serve be stronger than any obstacle you face.

Persist. Never quit. Your school needs your gifts, ideas and talents. Your school needs you.

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Posted on October 24, 2018 and filed under Blogs, Education.

End of Year Perspective


As we near the end of 2017, I’m sure many of you are counting down to the New Year. For many, a new year symbolizes a fresh start. For others, a new year represents another chance to do things differently.

Scroll through social media and you’ll find some posts filled with anticipation: “2018 Will Be My Best Year Ever!,” and other posts loaded with regret: “This year has been awful! I can’t wait for this year to end!”

I don’t know where you fall on that spectrum. However, I do know that waiting for a new year to do things differently won’t change a thing. Just like waiting for Christmas Break, won’t solve all your problems. Even the gift you hope to receive from your significant other won’t do the trick. 

Why? Because change begins with you, and happiness does too.

We overlook the many blessings of yesterday and today waiting and wishing for a better tomorrow.  I understand the concept of hope. However, I also comprehend the power of perspective.

Could things be better? Definitely!

Are their choices that I regret making? No doubt!

Yet, I know that if I exert all my energy on not being where I want to be, and not having what I want, I will fail to realize the great things I do have. 

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.
— Alphonse Karr

Perspective is our approach to the things that we experience in life.  My hope for you is that you don’t forsake the good because you chose to focus only on the bad.

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You Have The Power!


Poverty stricken homes.
Violent neighborhoods
Teenage pregnancies.
High dropout rates.
A community without hope.

Do any of the above descriptors resonate with you in relation to the students you teach? As educators embark, or in some cases, continue with the first weeks of a new school year, two types of emotions are usually invoked. One is of excitement, while the other is that of indifference.

Excitement because a brand-new school year brings new opportunities for teachers to make a difference in the lives of students. Additionally, for some, there’s the thrill of implementing that new classroom decorating theme found on Pinterest. You know who you are!

However, for others, there’s indifference. A lack of interest and concern. Simply, an “I don’t care” attitude. There are myriad reasons for this feeling, some of which may include; heavy workloads and demands that seem to increase each academic year, lack of parent involvement, and challenging student behavior.

I don’t know where you stand. My guess because you are reading this is that you want what’s best for students, and although you know the school year will have its shares of ups and downs, you are committed to a cause that’s bigger than you. For you, the statement, “It’s about doing what’s best for the kids,” really is genuine.

Recently, I watched a video which highlighted the impact made by Dr. Tiffany Anderson in the Jennings School District. You can watch the 6-minute clip below. I want to emphasize on this statement from Dr. Anderson:

“Zip code should not determine the quality of education.”

Your students may not be raised in safe and loving homes that assert the importance of education, both inside and outside of school. Their reality could be going home to grim and dreary neighborhoods. Therefore, some of them will enter your schools with anxiety, anger, and apathy. You can’t control that.

What you can control is the quality of education that you provide them during the hours of the day that they are with you.

What you can do is exalt their minds and open them up to endless opportunities.

What you can take charge of is raising the expectations you have for them.  

Their social class, parents’ level of education, or race/ethnicity should not determine the level of expectations you have for them.

All students are capable of excelling in life. Some students just need that person who is willing to help them discover their hidden potential and show them the strength that lies within them.

You have the power to make a positive impact. Regardless of trials and challenges that you will face this school year, you can make a difference!

Believing in you,

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Teacher Appreciation 2017

We are human turnstiles. People come into and out of our lives virtually every day, but only a select few remain with us for an extended period of time. And only a certain number will truly impact our lives.

As human beings, we can endure the lack of many things. But loneliness, the absence of connections with other people, can be extremely difficult to bear.

See, we were created for relationships. Our interactions with others teach, shape and guide us. We need other people in our lives because no matter how passionate we may be about our own personal goals and aspirations, there will come moments when our enthusiasm begins to dwindle, when we get tired, and when we stop dreaming.

There will be times when it will be absolutely necessary for us to have people encourage us and rekindle the fire within us. These individuals who do so are our true heroes and those we can count on through thick and thin knowing that they stand with us and join in our struggles so we do not have to fight alone.

The irony is that we are not always appreciative of the countless sacrifices and unconditional love that these people bestow upon us. Our forgetfulness is not intentional, but it definitely is good to be reminded that we are appreciated.

Perhaps as a teacher, you are the hero I have described. The one who helps students find peace in troubling times, and bolsters their faith when doubts and insecurities fall upon them. However, you may not always receive any acknowledgment or recognition.

So, today, allow me to express my appreciation to you for:

  • Helping students believe in themselves, when they could not see anything in them worth believing in.

  • Seeing potential and greatness in students, when parts of society see helpless and hopeless individuals.

  • The many acts of kindness that you do for students, not to be recognized, but simply because you deeply care about them.

  • The many hours you spend planning, preparing and coming up with creative ways to reach and teach your students.

  • Simply being there for students when others choose to walk away.

You are making a difference!

Thank you for your impact!

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Do What The Great Ones Do

As a speaker and writer, I do my best to learn what makes the “great ones”—orators and authors of the world renown—great. I study their speaking and writing styles, their word choices and use of language, their presentation skills and means of grabbing and maintaining the attention of their audiences. More than anything else, however, I study their lives, specifically the obstacles and trials these men and women had to overcome on their paths to success. What I glean from my examinations I integrate into my own life because, if there is one common thread of human character that links the past, present, and future, it is our ability to persevere.

JK Rowling's most famous book series.

JK Rowling's most famous book series.

As evidence of this, consider the example of a poor, single mother who once lived on welfare. Divorced and jobless, she had been diagnosed with depression and had even contemplated suicide. Then, while taking a train trip one day, she had an idea for a novel. She worked on her book in local cafes while her baby took naps in the stroller. Once her manuscript was finished, she submitted it for publication; it was rejected countless of times before a publishing house finally accepted it. This woman’s birth name was Joanne Murray, but today people the world over know her as JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.

In a commencement speech at Harvard, Rowling mentioned something about failure that I believe is very relevant for us to truly understand and grasp what perseverance means.

She said, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Rowling did not allow her difficulties to keep her mired in poverty, but rather endured them and, as a result, became the world’s first female billionaire author. She is literally living the “rags to riches” fairy tale, all because she chose to persevere rather than surrender.

Struggles in life are unavoidable. As surely as the sun will rise, they will come. Some may batter us so badly that we will want to give up on everything we have planned, but that does not mean we must allow them to steal our hope. We can instead choose to see our trials simply as steps we must take along the path to greatness.

Remember this: You always have a choice; persevere or surrender? The great ones; leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, students, artists, etc. know that greatness comes because they choose not to give up on their mission. 

What will you choose today?

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Be Extraordinary!

I’m thinking of doing this…

I’m planning to do that…

Tomorrow, I will…

Next month, I might…

Ordinary people think about taking action and claiming brighter futures but go no further; extraordinary people go the extra mile and actually act upon those thoughts. Which type of person are you?

Do you have things you want to accomplish in your life? Do you have aspirations you know will take time and energy to see fulfilled? Do you have dreams you long to see come true? None of these things will happen on their own.

A new month is upon us. The average person will waste the hours and minutes they will be given. They’ll be content being ordinary. However, you were not destined to be average or ordinary. You were created to be extraordinary.

If you have desires that still remain unrealized, you cannot allow fear, doubt, or laziness to steal even one more second from you. Instead, set your goals, determine the steps you will need to take in order to reach them, and get to work.

Time is the only thing of value that we really own.
Treat it like the gift that it is.

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Keep Standing!

Challenges exist for a reason...
and that reason is not to keep you from what you want to achieve. They exist to reveal how much you want something, to determine whether or not you want it badly enough to endure whatever it takes to earn it.

I understand that this will not be easy. I have certainly had days when I woke up and, even though the sun had risen and shone through my window, I could not see it because the shadow cast by the difficulties I was facing loomed far too largely.

In those moments, life seemed bleak, and my vision for the future was blurred.  Amidst those temporary lapses, however, my belief that the grandest things lay just on the other side of my tribulations, urged me to hold stand by my purpose.

What great things will you accomplish if you just hold on tight to your dreams?
Whose life will you impact today if you truly grasp the great opportunity that is in front of you?
How will you impact those around you knowing that you are here for a greater purpose? 

Don't let your mission in life be derailed by failure, criticism or discouragement.
Stand by your purpose.

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The Biggest Failure

            January 31, 2017 marked exactly three years since I took one of the biggest leaps of faith ever in my life. With that one decision, I let go of stability, comfort, and the only career path I had known for thirteen years. I chose to walk away when many people and even myself knew that there were many more years left for me to impact the lives of students, lead teachers, and move up the educational ladder. However, in my heart, I knew there was more for me.

            Some say ambition can be lethal because it causes people to dream big, take risks, and be different from the status quo. I can agree with that assessment, but for me, ambition is more.

            Ambition is tied to a person’s passion.

            You know that desire that wakes you up in the morning ready to take on the world. Passion; that fire that can’t be quenched by mediocrity and simply living life going through the motions.

            There are many people who live life simply going through the motions, and it’s a shame, because is that truly living? Many people entered the New Year a month ago with the expectation that 2017 would be better. Why? Was it simply because we ushered in a new year and closed the book on 2016?

            A new year means nothing if you enter it with the same mentality. What is a new year going to do for you if you still think the same way and in turn act the same way? Our beliefs determine our actions. Therefore,

            If you believe your life can’t get better, it won’t.

            If you believe you can’t make a difference, you won’t.

            If you believe your students can’t learn, they won’t…and it’s not because they are incapable of doing so. Rather, it is because your negative belief in them keeps you from giving your best. You can’t control them, but you can control you. But, again, why would we give our best when nothing good is going to come out of it, right?

            I don’t want to fail, so why try?

            I don’t want to look stupid, so why give it a shot?

            I don’t want to be laughed at, so why risk?

            I must admit that I have wrestled with the same thoughts. It hasn’t been easy for me going from getting a steady paycheck to making sure I close a deal to make certain I have the necessary means to provide for my family. I don’t say that for you to feel sorry for me. I say that because I know what it is to enter a new year thinking that a new year itself is going to make things different. It doesn’t. You make things different.

            As I finished 2016, I finished it with the mindset that I will get continue to get better. I will continue to risk, dream big, work hard, and try. Why? Because my ambition, my passion drives me to make a difference. Therefore, I will continue committed to that path.

Some of the Plano Senior High School students.

Some of the Plano Senior High School students.

            See, if I had given up and not tried, I would have never had the fortune to serve the youth and youth leaders of the Western Shoshone tribe in Nevada.

            I would have never had the chance to serve the educators of Pearsall ISD and challenge them to see the greatness not only in their students, but also in themselves, because they truly matter.

            I would have never had the opportunity to serve 200 plus students at Plano High School by sharing my heart, and hearing their cries and needs for hope in a future that sometimes seems uncertain to them.

            You can make a difference today right where you are at in your job, your community, and family. Stop worrying about whether it's going to fail or not.

Do the best you with what you are given and share the light inside of you.

            If you fail, you get back up. Some would say that I’ve failed since I left my position as a school administrator because I don’t have the leadership title anymore, the income I used to have, I’m not on T.V., and social media doesn’t really know who I am yet. But that’s far from the truth because the biggest failure in life is knowing there is a longing inside of you, but never having the courage to pursue it.

The biggest failure in life is simply not trying.

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Win Their Trust

Some of you are a couple of weeks into another school year. Has the excitement of a new school year already vanished? Are you counting down the days to Thanksgiving break?

Perhaps the answer to the above questions is a resounding “Yes.” If that’s the case, is it fair for me to assume that the reason why you may be feeling a bit dejected is because the students have switched gears on you?

No longer are they the sweet, quiet kids. Now, they are testing you and your limits. Now, the lesson you worked hours and hours on during the weekend creates little to zero engagement with them. To top that off, maybe your calendar is filled with deadlines from administration of paperwork that must be completed ASAP. It’s no wonder, right about now you’re probably feeling down.

I feel your pain. I’ve been there.

Maybe you don’t work in a school environment at all, but you’re experiencing discouragement because your business isn’t taking off the way you envisioned it to.

Trust me. I understand.

Regardless of where you find yourself, allow me to offer you two pieces of advice.

1.     Don’t quit.  Yes, it sounds elementary, but perseverance is a quality we love to claim we have until we find ourselves facing a huge obstacle that reveals to us otherwise. However, any successful person succeeded not because he or she always did the right thing. Rather, it was because he or she stayed committed to their purpose. Countless times they failed, but they always rose back up.
2.     Win Their Trust.  Realize that the people you are trying to influence will not listen to you or give you the time of day, until they are able to trust you. The relationship you have with the people you are serving matters. It matters because it influences the results you are getting and will continue to receive.

In a study conducted by Mensah and Atta (2015), teachers expressed that a supportive relationship with students was one key factor that inspired the students to succeed.  So, continue to get to know your students. Value them. Not just when it’s convenient either.

For those in business, the relationships you build are also vital to your success. Get to know your potential clients. Treat them with respect. Provide them value. Build trust.

Remember, any person will work with you and for you when they trust you, and that the strongest of all relationships is always built on trust.

3 Ways to Win Trust

1.     Do what you say you are going to do.
2.    Your communication both verbal and nonverbal matter.  Choose both words and actions carefully.
3.     Value every single person you are serving, whether they treat you fairly, do the right, or not.

Here’s to you staying Mission Driven and creating a legacy that makes an impact!

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Stand In The Gap

Two Mondays ago on a flight to San Francisco, I started a conversation with a lady sitting next to me.  We small talked at first, but then the conversation transitioned to what we both did for a living. To my surprise, she told me that she was the financial account manager for a couple of music groups that ranged from Def Leppard to Digital Underground, which is a reason I was in awe because I grew up listening to those two artists. Even now, I may get into an 80’s rock mood and blast “Pour Some Sugar on Me” through my car’s stereo.

She was also surprised when I told her what I did for a living: keynote speaker and college professor.  I am guessing it was due to the fact that I do not fit the stereotypical look of a college professor and probably not one of a keynote speaker either: Cubs World Series snapback, jeans, a Notorious B.I.G. t-shirt, and Air Jordans. Regardless of the reason of why she was surprised, one thing has stayed with me from our conversation and it is this:

“We need more people like you to speak to our youth,” she said emphatically after wondering why in the world I was going to Concord, California and not staying in San Francisco for business. Little did she know, the youth are my business, and as I continued telling her how the event was organized, how the high school activities director found me on YouTube, and how this is more than a job for me, she could immediately tell: empowering youth is my purpose.

I have thought a lot about what she said. “We need more people like you to speak to our youth.” The reason is because her statement is absolutely true. Our young people are going through difficult times, dealing with a wide range of issues from racism, to worries about the recent presidential election, to the cost of higher education. Additionally, they are facing personal troubles that range from self-esteem concerns, to family drama, to peer pressure, bullying, and to even wondering:

“Is my life even worth living?”
“Is my life worth the challenges I am facing?”
“Is my life worth the pain and loneliness that I feel and that no one else may have no idea about?”

The answer to those questions is: Absolutely, it is! Young people may not see their life is worth living because a majority of them have tunnel vision, meaning they cannot see past tomorrow due to their limited point of view.

The challenges they face. The pain and loneliness they experience. They think these temporary feelings and situations are here to stay, and that they are the only ones who have ever experienced struggles, which we know is not the case. However, if they continue with this train of thought, it can lead them to make decisions that five to ten years from now, they may regret. So, how will our young people know that they CAN press forward in life and that their life has worth?

“You can made a difference.”

We all have a story, and I firmly believe that everyone, including you, is in a position to impact the lives of those around us. Students, co-workers, siblings, peers, you can make a difference in their lives. How? By sharing your story of how you overcame your challenges.

One of the greatest treasures we all have is our life story. There is reassurance when you reveal to others that life may not always turn out the way we plan it to. Yet, that fact does not mean that our lives are not capable of accomplishing great things. And it sure does not mean that our lives are not worth living.

Our young people need us. Maybe, you won’t fly to another city to share your story. Truth be told, you don’t have to. Right where you are today, you can be a beacon of hope to a young person. You can be the bridge that takes them from failure to success. You can stand in the gap for them. You can make a difference.

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Posted on December 12, 2016 and filed under Blogs, Education, Leadership.

Success Journey Continues in Guatemala!


I'm back! Both to Guatemala and on my blog! It's been months since I have blogged, and in the upcoming weeks I will be sharing the reasons why I took a writing sabbatical.

However, I am glad to say that I am currently in Guatemala right now. In a few hours, I will begin conducting a two day leadership workshop for police officers from Guatemala and other Central American countries.  

It's truly an honor for me to be here because my dad is from Guatemala, so this country is my roots. I arrived yesterday and one of the first things I wanted to do was eat a Guatemalan tamale. 

And you better believe I got one! There's no shame to my game...I love food. If you are ever in Guatemala City, you have to check out Kacao. Not only do they have tamales, but they also have Guatemalan enchiladas, which are totally different from Mexican enchiladas.

Day 1 here in Guatemala was my preparation day. I watched a little NFL football with Spanish announcers, which added to the excitement of the games. I met with the training staff, and then I had some school work to do, as I am currently working on attaining a Doctoral degree!

Today, the real fun starts. Today, I get to impart my wisdom and knowledge to leaders committed to working with young people and making a difference in their community. Who would have thought that I would be here? I sure didn't, but I am glad to say, I am here!

Here's my nugget of wisdom to you: Don't EVER let anyone tell you that you can't fulfill your dream. Ever.

Connect with me on social media! I'd love to hear from you!

Give. Don't Hold Back.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frank

I can still see my daughter’s face as I waved goodbye to her. Her expression of pride and joy is one that I will never forget.

I honestly believe this was the first time I saw that expression on her face directed towards me. I didn’t think I did much. I merely took time out of my day to read to her and her classmates.

Yet, to her, it was more than that. It was daddy giving her what no Elsa or Anna doll could ever give her. My time. She may not always express it, but I know that’s what matters the most. That I give of myself to her.

That’s what matters in life. That we give of ourselves.

Why should we hold back? Life is too short to live with regret.

Why should we wait until tomorrow? Life does not promise us the rising of a new day.

Everyone has something to give. However, not everyone gives because they fail to see the value in doing so.

Truth is: our life matters not because of what we get or have, but because of what we give.

If you don't have any idea what your personal life purpose is, realize this universal purpose:  We all have a talent, gift, and our time, that if given and shared, can help someone in this world.

Our path will undoubtedly get clearer as we bring light to someone else. So, give. Don’t hold back today because you are needed.

What can you give today to someone without expecting anything back that will make his or her day brighter?

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A.C. Cristales is a motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and author.  He has been working with students, educators, parents and youth workers for more than 15 years.

Posted on December 18, 2014 and filed under Blogs.

Keep Smiling Your Way To Success!

There’s a Spanish proverb that says, “El hombre propone. Dios dispone.” Simply translated: We as humans make plans, but ultimately it is God who determines and places in order what actually happens in our lives.

Another familiar saying is, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” I am not trying to make God out to be some sort of cruel deity. Nor am I implying that we shouldn’t make plans.

On the contrary, I know that in order to successfully achieve a goal or fulfill a dream, you must have a plan of action. No purpose is ever achieved without a plan that isn’t actually carried out.

Yet, the reality of life is sometimes things don’t go as planned. Many things can happen and often they do, but does that mean that whatever difficulty you encounter will ultimately stop you from achieving your goal?

If you face challenge after challenge, does that mean you are not qualified to go after your dream?

If your business ventures have failed, does that mean you won’t ever succeed?

If your situation doesn’t look promising, does that mean that the tides will never turn for you?

What you believe during difficult times determines what type of life you lead. If  challenges convince you that you aren’t any good and that nothing good will ever happen to you, then you’ll quit on yourself and your dreams as soon as life gets hard.

If your failures lead you to believe that you won’t be successful, then you won’t succeed.

If you believe the storms in your life won’t ever stop, then the tides won’t ever turn for you.

Your belief is important because you are what you believe. My question to you then is: Can you smile? Can you stay positive when things don’t go as planned? Can you keep believing in yourself and in your dream when the temporary circumstances of life tell you that you shouldn’t?

It’s all temporary. Successes and failures are. Trials and triumphs are. No circumstance will last forever. We cannot control what happens to us. We can only control what happens in us. We choose how we react to what happens in our lives.

It’s easy to smile when things are going well. It’s a breeze to continue going after your dream when all the doors are opening  for you.

But, can you smile when you’re getting rejected and feeling dejected? Can you continue to pursue your dream when no one seems to believe in it, except you?

You can. I am here to tell you that nothing can take away your smile for there is always something to be grateful for. I am here to tell you that the only person that can keep you from your dream is you.

Don’t sabotage your dream because something didn’t go right. Keep pursuing your dream. If you have to, re-adjust your plan. And definitely keep smiling.


What is one thing you can smile about that will help you stay focused on achieving your goal? Share with me in the comments below.

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A.C. Cristales is a motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and author.  He has been working with students, educators, parents and youth workers for more than 15 years. 

Posted on December 10, 2014 and filed under Blogs.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Success: It's Possible! Outwork the Competition

Principle 2: Outwork The Competition

Welcome to Part Two of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Success: It’s Possible blog series. Be sure to read Part one if you haven’t done so.

To recap part one: I recently read an article about Dwayne Johnson that detailed his rise to stardom. What immediately stood out was that Johnson did not allow his failures to derail him from success.

He went from being cut from a semi-professional football team and having to go back home with his tail tucked between his legs to being one of the most recognizable faces on the planet.

I found four success principles that Johnson follows.

Principle One: Do What Successful People Do

Principle Two: Outwork The Competition

What sets Johnson apart? Ask any of his directors, producers or cast mates and they will tell you, it’s his work ethic.

One of his former producers said, “I’ve been in meetings where certain actors’ names come up and there’s a hesitation to cast them, because they don’t ‘work for the movie.’ They’ll show up at the press junket, but they don’t put in the effort after it films. Given the choice of two actors equally right for the part, the studio places the value on someone who will go out and tease the film.”

Johnson is well known for promoting his movies and projects across his social media accounts. With every tweet and Instagram post, he creates an instant buzz for his projects.

It’s his enthusiasm and belief in his projects that sets Johnson apart from other actors. Some entertainers may say they believe in their new movie. Johnson’s actions prove it.

Johnson does what other actors won’t do, and that works in his favor because as the producer said, the studios value the person who will tease (do work) for the film.

When you do what your competition is hesitant to do, you are more likely to come out on top. Even little things you think may not make a difference do.

People value hard work. They also value when you go above and beyond, and place importance to details, even the smallest. That’s what separates the ordinary from extraordinary. 

“If you want to be creative in your company, your career, your life, all it takes is one easy step…the extra one. When you encounter a familiar plan, you just ask one question: What else could we do?” –Dale Dauten

Don’t be afraid to take the extra step because to succeed: you will have to do more than you may want, more than you think you are capable of, and more than your competition.

It is the people who do what others don’t do that reap the rewards those others can only dream and wish for.

There are many people chasing after the same prize. What can you do today that will separate you from others? What chance can you take that others may be afraid to take?

 Success. It's possible. You only have to outwork the competition.


Share with me your what you will do today to outwork the competition and be sure to check out Parts 3 and 4.

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A.C. Cristales is a motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and author.  He has been working with students, educators, parents and youth workers for more than 15 years. 

Posted on November 18, 2014 and filed under Blogs.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson: Success. It's Possible! Just Bring It!

Principle 1: Do What Successful People Do

Picture this scene. You get fired from your job. The bills pile up. No one is hiring.

What do you do?

Imagine your only option being to go back home. You make the call and your parents arrive to help you move back to their place. While in your mom’s car, you reach into your pocket to find all you have is a five-dollar bill.

How do you feel?

Ashamed. Defeated. Embarrassed.

This is not how you pictured your life to turn out. Yet, sometimes things happen that completely change the trajectory of our life.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson found himself in a similar situation. Unable to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL, he tried his luck in the CFL (Canadian Football League). However, after two months, he was cut from the league. His only option was to fly from Canada to Florida, and call his father to pick him up and bring him home.

Back home, he emptied his pocket and all he had were seven bucks.

To think that someone who only had seven dollars to their name would one day be the top grossing actor of 2013 seems unfathomable. But realize this: success is possible.

Johnson was recently interviewed by Fortune Magazine, and in that article, I found four reasons why he is successful.

When you find yourself in a pit, you only have two options: Stay in and die. Or get out and live.

Johnson didn’t stay down. He got out of his pit, worked hard and succeeded by:

Doing What Successful People Do

When Johnson was fifteen, his family was evicted from their apartment. Seeing his mother crying because she couldn’t afford to pay the rent, gave him a reason to make sure she never experienced that embarrassment again.

Johnson wasn’t a perfect fifteen-year-old kid either. He got into trouble. Yet, his mother’s suffering was a spark that made him decide he would become successful.

So, what did he do? He did what his heroes Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone did. He built his body. Eventually, his transformation and newfound focus led him to a football scholarship to the University of Miami.

Success leaves clues. If you want to succeed, model those who have already succeeded.

There is no need to reinvent the formula. Study what successful people do. Learn their habits. Discover what drives them. After doing so, apply it to your life.

There’s no point in gaining information if you are not going to do anything with it.  Education isn’t merely about learning information and facts. Education is actually derived from a Latin root word that means, “to draw out from within.”  Therefore, education is really about applying what you have learned.

It’s time to execute instead of making excuses.

It’s time to do instead of just wishing.

It’s time to become instead of simply dreaming.

What can you practice from someone you admire that will help you on your journey of success? Share with me in the comments below.

Be sure to check out Part Two of the series, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson: Success. It's Possible!

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A.C. Cristales is a motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and author.  He has been working with students, educators, parents and youth workers for more than 15 years. 

Posted on November 14, 2014 and filed under Blogs.