Take your radio to work day!

Old beige vintage retro style radio receiver isolated on white bWe make assumptions about how and to whom we matter in the world. Those will stem from our own beliefs and perspective of the contributions we make.

And yet, sometimes what is most impacting about our life isn’t readily visible to us. We will not always know where we are making the most profound difference.

You see each of us is a miracle. Each of us comes into this life with our own soul print and we make a difference everyday. Even when we aren’t really conscious of it.

Let me tell you a story that brings this vividly to life. In the 1950’s, there were two men that worked in a factory in northern Ohio. One of them worked the afternoon shift and the other the night shift. They did not know each other. Yet their lives would intersect and create profound change.

The young man working second shift had just finished his tour of duty as a Marine during the Korean War. He and his bride had moved from West Virginia to Ohio in search of better opportunities. He often worked the night shift in addition to his regular hours for extra income. One night he was doing just that when he was assigned to a machine next to the other man in our story. Bear in mind that this was not mentally taxing work. In fact boredom was something they continuously contended with, each in their own way.

That night, over the humming of the machines our young Marine heard a very distinctive voice talking about all of his possibilities and how to reach all of those goals he had set for himself simply by changing his thoughts. It was as if this man was speaking directly to him. And so he went in search of the source and found the other man listening to a portable radio. The man speaking on the radio was Earl Nightingale. It was a life changing moment.

Immediately our young Marine was determined! He decided to take on an extra job instead of just extra shifts in order to earn enough money to buy his own portable radio. He had discovered his mentor even before he knew what a mentor was and did not want to miss a single opportunity to hear more! That encounter changed his life. That extra job? It was working as an attendant and mechanic at a local gas station. What happened? Ultimately, he didn’t just show up because he worked there as a mechanic. In time, he showed up because he owned the business.

I doubt that the other man in the story if asked would tell us that the most important thing he did that day was take his radio to work. He wouldn’t say that he changed lives just listening to his radio. But for that young Marine, undoubtedly that was the case. It set his life on a different course. And as a result, it did the same for mine. That young marine was my Dad.

Throughout my life what I learned most from him beyond the values of faith and family was the miracle of personal leadership and development. He defied all of the odds. He surpassed every expectation. A deeply spiritual man, he did it all with a quiet grace and humility that remains a part of his legacy. There was never a time that he was not reading or later listening to recordings and tapes. In fact, I still have his books and some of those early recordings! From that late night shift in the factory until his death, my Dad continued to live a life that celebrated learning and growth each and every day.

My Dad. He never lost sight of who he was. He never lost his vision of who he could become. And he never stopped growing into that man. He lived that legacy every day of his life. As a result, other lives were changed. And his legacy lives on in those lives. Including mine.

Thank you, Dad for always showing us not only who you were but who we could be. Thank you for being a living example of how to become that person more every day. And thank you to the gentleman that was part of God’s plan for our lives and brought his radio to work so all of this would begin!

In memory and honor of my Dad, Happy Father’s Day to all my readers! Always remember, as Earl Nightingale taught my Dad and he ultimately taught me:

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”

Live today like you want tomorrow to be.

Live well.

Abracadabra: What will you create?

CreateRecently I was privileged to hear David Bayer, author of Mind Hack and creator of The Powerful Living Experience speak at a conference I was attending.

He asserts that we begin to understand our true potential when we recognize that at their core, our beliefs are nothing more than decisions.

Whenever we want to change our mindset or belief about something, particularly ourselves, it’s not complicated. It just means we must make a different decision.

Think about that for a moment. It’s an incredibly powerful concept.

Since hearing him speak I’ve been thinking about new decisions that I want to make about myself and my life as I move into the next season. A word came to mind that has always fascinated me because of its origin: Abracadabra. A magician’s word. A word used to conjure up an experience of delight and wonder. Isn’t that what we all want from our lives?

Where does the word originate? An ancient language and phrase avra kehdabra, which means “I will create as I speak”.

Just imagine! We can speak new decisions into existence. Those decisions in turn create a new perspective and reality. It is what makes our words so powerful.

What will we create as we speak?

What magic, delight and wonder will we bring to life for ourselves and our world?

What is our personal abracadabra?

We must choose wisely! And then get ready for magic!

Begin with the end in mind. Decide today what you want tomorrow to be.  Then live that. Create that. Live well.

 

Let us give thanks…

Blessed

For the beauty and abundance of the earth,

For family near and far,

For friends old and new,

For the gift of each new day,

For the chance to make a difference,

Let us give thanks.

There are so many blessings for which I am thankful. Being able to be a part of your life is one of them. Thank you for sharing the journey.

Live today like you want tomorrow to be. Live well.

 

Which do you create? A probing question from Picasso.

Resilience is demonstrated by what we create from our experiences in life. And with that, what we create has everything to do with our perspective. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.”  This is particularly true when we touch on what we create. Perhaps you don’t even see yourself as someone who “creates” but I can assure you that you are. Each of us is a creative and we all have an innate need to create. It goes well beyond what we might think of as creative for art, music, writing, etc. Even within those disciplines, the basics already exist. It is what we make of them that becomes our creation.

A teacher creates a learning experience. A mother (or father) creates a home. A musician creates a performance. A photographer creates an image. A writer creates a story or message. A leader creates a team. Each takes something and through their own unique application transforms it into something else.

But there is more to this that merits consideration. Here is a thought provoking insight from Picasso that transcends the original application intended beyond art:

Balloon_Sun_Creative“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

No matter what we create, the transformation can either deliver brilliance or diminish the light. We each have that choice. We each have that power.

This is also true of our lives. We can allow our brilliance to diminish to that yellow spot.  Or through curiosity, creativity and intelligence we can  transform our lives into bright shining suns of endless possibilities.

The real insight is that in both cases, it is not about resources, talent or skill.  It is about perspective and choice.  What do you see?  What do you create?

Live (Create!) today what you want to tomorrow to be.

From Here to There to Anywhere: Living in Resilience

A great deal of my work focuses on exploring possibilities. Quite often, we have the drive and desire and certainly the commitment.  But we lack the plan.

We explore the possibilities so that we can craft the plan.

Focusing on what is truly possible is perhaps one of the most important things we all do in order to live our lives as fully as possible.

Remarkable stories abound of people that defy the odds and go on an incredible journey beyond any boundaries that were imagined.  For all of us, because of the velocity of change in the world today, the skill of being able to fluidly go from here to there is what will in fact take us anywhere we wish to go. This is the true meaning of resilience.

One such story is British author, the late Dick Francis.  Because his later in life season showcased his skill as a superb storyteller, it would be easy to overlook how he came to that place in his journey.

I discovered him many years ago. I was a young single Mom that loved a great story and he certainly delivered. He authored 40+ books and I proudly have them all in my personal library, including those that he began co-authoring with his son, Felix before his death. His stories were full of rich characters, intriguing plots and breath-taking endings, each meticuloulsy researched by he and his wife, Mary. You felt as if you were being taken on a private journey with him through every story.

What bears notice is that this was in fact his second career. His first was as a horseman. A renowned and gifted jockey, he was lauded in those circles for many years.

What brought him from horses to stories? Life. Injuries, age, family – all the things that happen. So how did he do it? All of his stories were set in the world he knew so well. The world of horse-racing. The people, the places, the horses. Those pictures he painted literally came off the pages. But inter-laced were new things. New places. New characters. And always intrigue.

He had always loved a story. He transported himself from the horses to his next place in life through story-telling. It is a wonderful example of how resilience serves us as we migrate through life.

When we go from here to there, we take who we are and what we know. We use it in a different way but it remains with us. There is a comfort in that.  By approaching life from this perspective, we can literally go anywhere.

The video shared below is a clip from the Memorial Service that honored him.  Listen well and hear his story.  Then live your own adventure.  The possibilities are endless.

Live today like you want tomorrow to be. Live well.