The Gaines Group

Where is the fire in the belly attitude that this country is built on?

Where is the fire in the belly attitude that this country is built on?

As I watched the middle school girls basketball game yesterday, it hit me. From the first quarter on, they looked tired. It must have been a particularly hard day of school. They played well, but there was no fire, no emotion. As I watch sports I see that fire in some college games. There is a fire in the belly attitude with the fans and teams – they want a win and they play hard to get there. When the team does not win, they are deflated, spent, physically tired.

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I do not see this in professional athletics. It seems more important to celebrate the individual effort by the individual after every play. So what you made a catch – did it change the game or did it just fill time? This individual celebration in professional athletics seems to have taken over the fire in the belly attitude that makes this country the greatest place in the world to live. I don’t think we have lost it as a country, but is certainly seems we are losing it. It certainly seems that we are focused more on the individual celebration than building a brighter future for everyone.

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My father taught me to work hard and to treat every job as if my reputation depended on it. BECAUSE IT DOES. When I started my first job at 12 years old delivering papers, my parents helped me understand how to run a business, but put it on my shoulders to do the work. With every job I have had since I have treated it like my own business and put forth the best effort possible each day. Did I fail to achieve my potential? Many times. However, the failures were used as a learning opportunity, they were not just blown off as if they did not matter. This is the fire in the belly attitude that this country is built on. The true American spirit is hard work, support for each other, pride, and empathy for others. NOT GREED. The fire in the belly attitude is not about making money, it is about making the future better for you AND your family, friends, community, and country.

As I look around my community, I see the drive to be better, the  fire in the belly attitude in some great leaders. They are working hard to improve our community. These leaders are are bankers, non-profit CEOs, videographers, administrative executives, web experts, insurance salespeople…. They are the people working to make our community better. They have drive and passion. They don’t stop to celebrate every catch, they take the burden on their shoulders and move this community forward and celebrate winning as a community.

VBK 10 under 40

My desire as a father is to pass this fire in the belly attitude on to my children. As an employer, I want to pass it on to my employees. As a community member, I want to pass it on to everyone.