MELVIN’ S MONTHLY MOMENTS
LESSONS IN GREATNESS
Studying the Success of March Madness Teams
Every year when March Madness comes along, I think about what it is that makes teams achieve greatness. The players and their coaches have to work so hard to get to the level of play the championship games require, and I wonder, what creates that greatness? UCLA coach John Wooden has led his team to NCAA championship victory 10 times, which is more than any other coach. There have to be at least a hundred quotes from him on the internet, and I’ve read all of them. Wooden once said, “There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind , and one of the most important is faith , which cannot be acquired without prayer .” I love that quote. Ultimately, I think peace of mind is what everybody seeks. Incorporating faith and prayer into your life is the surest pathway to peace of mind, and without peace of mind, you’ve lost the battle before it has begun. Dean Smith, who coached North Carolina to 11 Final Fours and two national championships, once said, “If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.” I think those are some real words of wisdom. The only things that are matters of life and death are your family and your health. Beyond that, taking things too seriously will only make things worse. If the lights in a house selling for $500,000 are left on by a showing agent, it’s not that big a deal, and it’s not worth getting worked up about. If we close on a house one day later than we’d planned to close, again, it’s not the end of the world. You have to save your intensity for those times in life when you really need it. Stressing about the little things will only leave you less effective when push really comes to shove. Another hugely successful basketball coach was Adolph Rupp, who coached Kentucky to four NCAA championship victories. Rupp once said, “I wouldn’t give one iota to make a trip from the cradle to the grave unless I could live in a competitive world .” I couldn’t agree more with Rupp. If you really want to embrace life, be competitive. Don’t focus on beating somebody else; focus on beating yourself. Don’t just drift. If you’re going to live in this world, live as somebody who is steadily improving. At LIST Birmingham, we take improvement seriously.
Finally, Mike Krzyzewski has coached Duke’s team to five NCAA championship victories. Krzyzewski said, “The person who has inspired me my whole life is my mom because she taught me commitment . She sacrificed .” I think that’s an interesting choice considering Coach K is a West Point graduate and was an Army officer for five years. He also played and coached for Bobby Knight. But, in his entire life, the person who inspired him the most was his mom. Commitment and sacrifice ! These two simple words embody the secret to the most successful active college basketball coach in the country. These four teams were not chosen by accident. They are the four teams with the most Final Four Appearances and the most National Championships. But what I really like about them is they all have BLUE logos. Reaching the top of any game, whether we’re talking basketball or real estate, takes a lot of commitment to success and discipline. This year, as you watch the games during March Madness, don’t forget that every single example of greatness you see on the court or coaching from the sidelines built their success with hard work and discipline.
Best wishes to everyone, and I hope your bracket wins!
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YOUR GUIDE TO SPRING- GREENING
3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make When You Declutter
It takes a special kind of person to enjoy spring-cleaning. For most of us, the satisfaction of a clean house doesn’t quite outweigh the hours of scrubbing, sorting, and slogging through heaps of unnecessary stuff. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to start your spring-cleaning, try flipping the paradigm: Instead of spring-cleaning, think of what you’re doing as spring -greening, andmake some eco-friendly swaps along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 1. Swap your plastic spray bottles for bulk or DIY cleaning products. According to a Statista report, in 2019, the household cleaners market was worth more than $31 billion, and it’s continuously growing. You can save money on cleaning supplies by taking the green route. When your current stock runs out, try buying bulk cleaners or making your own. Both options will save plastic because you can reuse your bottles, and they can help you avoid the harmful chemicals found in most cleaners. Visit UnderATinRoof.com and read the blog post “Zero Waste Cleaning Supplies + Recipes” to get started. 2. Explore alternative laundry detergents. If you’re used to using a plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. This spring, try exploring greener alternatives like plant-based bulk laundry powder (Molly’s Suds is an excellent source). Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try adding all-natural cleaners like soap nuts or English ivy to your laundry loads. For more on the former, search “soap nuts” on 1MillionWomen.com, and read up on ivy detergent at Permacrafters.com/English-Ivy-Laundry-Detergent.
On March 8, 1971, all eyes were on the world of boxing as people watched what would become known as“The Fight of the Century.”It was one of the most anticipatedmatchups the sport had ever arranged: Current heavyweight champion Joe Frazier and former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali were finally facing off, the first time two undefeated boxers would fight each other for the heavyweight title. Spectators were hungry for a battle. Both fighters held rightful claims to the title of world heavyweight champion. Ali won it in 1964 and successfully defended it for several years, but he was stripped of the title during a legal battle over his induction into the U.S. armed forces. In his absence from the sport, Frazier earned two championship belts through major knockout fights. But when Ali settled his court case and came to reclaim his title, Frazier wasn’t ready to give it up easily. Ringside seats for the fight sold for today’s equivalent of over $1,000. Millions watched the broadcast in over 50 countries around the world, and Madison Square Garden sold out to a crowd of 20,455 spectators. The fighters possessed polar opposite tactics, backgrounds, and social impacts, but when it came to skill, they were evenly matched. The fight captivated the nation. As Sports Illustrated put it at the time, “The thrust of this fight on the public consciousness is incalculable. It has been a ceaseless whir that seems to have grown in decibel with each new soliloquy by Ali, with each dead calm promise by Frazier.” THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY HOW A BATTLE OF BOXERS CAPTIVATED THE WORLD The fight exceeded all expectations with a fully engrossing 15 rounds. For the first quarter of the match, it seemed Ali would best his opponent, but Frazier came back with fury. Even though Ali continued to rise to his feet round after round, Frazier emerged victorious by the slimmest of margins, dealing Ali his first professional loss ever. The landmark event highlighted an unforgettable night of skillful prowess like the world had never seen. Even though the title fight was only the beginning of the rivalry between the two boxers, the matchup rightfully took its place as one of the greatest fights in the history of the sport.
3. Say goodbye to paper towels. Paper towels are a mainstay in American homes, but do we really need them
when a good old-fashioned rag can do the job? According to the Ocean Conservancy, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are tossed in the U.S. each year! This spring, quit paper towels and keep a stash of dish rags under the sink to do your dirty work. When you’re cleaning out your closet, you can even cut up old T-shirts and add them to your rag stash! If you’re brave, try giving up tissues, too — an old- school hanky does the trick.
If you’ve made all three of these swaps, don’t stop there! To continue your green journey, visit any of the blogs mentioned above
and start browsing.
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GIVING BACK TO LOCAL COMPANIES On National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day
March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, which is huge for small businesses everywhere. Mom-and-pop businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy; Small Business Trends reports that mom-and-pop businesses account for 64% of gross domestic product (GDP) and generate 78% of all new jobs. Furthermore, no matter what turns the economy takes, small-business owners are less likely to lay off their employees than big corporations. Mom-and-pop businesses support all communities, and you can support them by celebrating this unofficial holiday! Shopping locally has a massive impact on your community. Local businesses return three times the amount of money to the local economy than larger corporations do. With that big of a returned investment, your community can support even more small businesses that generate a wealth of jobs and keep the cycle going. In addition to the economic boost, products from small businesses are usually higher quality, which makes them a better value for your dollar. Take this day to shop for birthday and holiday gifts for your loved ones that will bring them great joy and last a lifetime. Give your local economy a boost!
on Facebook or take a picture for Instagram, be sure to tag the business and use relevant hashtags so your friends, family, and everyone else in your community can shop there, too. Writing reviews on Google Reviews and Yelp helps establish validity for the company. When another potential customer looks for reviews, they know they’re getting quality products and services from a well-established pillar of the community. The local businesses that are active on social media may post deals and sales for that day only, so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to follow all your favorite businesses!
Get social and spread the word!
While small businesses utilize every form of marketing available, social media is essential for their success and growth. After shopping at your favorite mom-and- pop business, share that experience on your social media! When you write a post
PESTO CHICKEN WITH BLISTERED TOMATOES
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by CookingLight.com
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a 1-inch thickness Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup whole-wheat panko 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 6 tbsp spinach pesto 2 cups cherry tomatoes 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 1 tsp red wine vinegar
In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to pan. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then remove pan fromheat. In a bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter. Spread pesto over chicken and top with pankomixture. Broil chicken for 2 minutes on high heat until browned. In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat.
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3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Add tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Season tomatomixture with salt and pepper, and add red wine vinegar.
Solution on Page 4
10. Serve tomatoes with broiled chicken.
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Celebrating March Madness With a Lesson in Greatness Boxing’s Greatest Battle 3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make During Spring-Cleaning Celebrating National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day Pesto Chicken With Blistered Tomatoes
Would You Like Some Pi?
ANOTHER SLICE OF PI(E) The Sweetest Ways to Celebrate Pi Day
Learn to Recite Pi Pi has fascinated mathematicians for centuries because it’s an irrational number, meaning the digits go on forever. If you want to try your hand at memorizing some of the numbers, here are the first 50 decimal digits of pi (with spaces, so they’re easier to remember!).
Break out your calculators and grab your
aprons because it’s almost Pi Day! This holiday has gained popularity among mathematicians and bakers alike — two groups that rarely overlap.
Pi Day is March 14, which when written numerically is 3/14, the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi. Pi is special because it’s used to calculate the circumference of a circle. This might not sound like a big deal, but pi is used in engineering, construction, GPS, motors, power
3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510
To make things simple, we often round pi up to 3.14, but many people have challenged themselves to memorize and recite as many digits as possible. In the Guinness Book of World Records, the record is currently held by Rajveer Meena, who recited pi to the 70,000th digit on March 21, 2015. And he did it all while blindfolded! Eat Some Pie Another popular way to enjoy Pi Day is to bake and eat pie. This dessert is perfect because it’s both a homophone (same pronunciation as “pi” but with a different spelling and meaning) and a circle. Challenge your friends to a pie-baking contest, or buy your favorite pie from the store and have a pie- eating contest. And, while this may be a controversial stance, we believe pizza pie deserves a place in Pi Day celebrations, too.
generation, and even television! If we hadn’t calculated pi, none of these achievements would be possible. Pi is pretty important, and it’s definitely worth celebrating! Here are two
ways you can get in on the fun.
Here’s to Pi Day: the tastiest, nerdiest holiday of the year!
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