On the Wonders of Opportunity

In a recent blog post, John Maxwell speaks to great leaders about discovering the opportunities life offers. He quotes Albert Einstein, “In the middle of the difficulty lies opportunity.” Maxwell focuses on Einstein’s placement of where opportunity is found. It is not at the beginning, nor at the end. It is in the middle. “Opportunity,” he suggests, “is often disguised as problems, barriers, obstacles and difficulties.” It is only when we confront them that we begin to realize the opportunities they present. The search for their resolution opens our minds to explorations of new possibilities. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.”

Yet, there is a world of opportunities beyond those so generously offered by difficult situations. They abound in every facet of your life, from moments of absolute joy and happiness to moments of sadness, from moments of decision challenges to the enchantment of dreams. “The door of opportunity will open only when you decide to step outside the door of your comfort zone,” Kylie Francis counsels us. Milton Berle’s words encourage us to push further, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

May you see every experience in your magnificent life’s journey as an opportunity to grow, learn, create, contribute and be value-added in all who you are and all that you do… for yourself and those whom you serve. Choose not to wait for opportunity. Look at each moment and ask: what opportunity does this situation offer to take it to a level undreamed? Continue to truly live every beautiful moment of your life.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Excitement and Joy of Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars,” wrote Henry Ford. It is the magical elixir that ignites your passion, brings you energy and enthusiasm and strengthens your will and commitment to move from plans to actions. Robert Foster Bennett writes, “Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” It is your sustaining power to great achievement.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Gordon Parks calls it “the electricity of life.” To get it and sustain it, he says, “You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.” On your magnificent life’s journey, may you hear always the whisper of Samuel Ullman’s words, “Years may wrinkle the skin – but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” May your enthusiasm make your hopes rise to the stars as you achieve dreams undreamed… and more… so much more. Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Growth… the Gift of Positivity

Thomas Paine wrote, “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.” His message reminds great leaders of the power their positivity brings to living through times of adversity. It is a beautiful armament that transforms stress into strength, and opens the door widely to growth through positivity and reflection.

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, and it sparks extraordinary results,” wrote Wade Boggs. May your positive attitude continue to serve you in pushing beyond your perceived limits, and open your eyes to new possibilities and dreams undreamed. Let its radiance be an inspiration to those whom you touch and serve as they witness your smile through times of difficulty. May you remember Malcolm Forbes’ words of counsel, “One of the ceaseless wonders of the world: a smile,” … a beautiful gift to ourselves and those around us.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Reflecting Back and Living Forward

As 2021 began, there were the promises and excitement that filled the hearts and souls of great leaders. It was another year of exciting growth, magnificent achievements and the realization of their dreams and our life’s purpose. Once again, great leaders now pause to reflect on the realities of this year’s journey and learn from them. They remember Henry David Thoreau’s words: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

They see the fruits of their labor: their successes and achievements flowing from their commitment to their vision and purpose; their contributions to the growth of those they serve in business, community and family; their own professional and personal growth and the changes that took them to a higher level of performance excellence.

They reflect also on unexpected realities, professional and personal that touched them during the year – joyous surprises (people or events that enriched their life) and sadnesses (changes in economic situation, the loss of a loved one, the impact of a pandemic). What learnings and growth opportunities did they present? In all this, they lived life to its fullest, capturing every magnificent moment. Their life reflects the words of Socrates: “To be is to do.”

2022 will be another magnificent year – one filled with excitement, joy, extraordinary possibilities for growth and achievements and opportunities for your eyes to be opened more broadly to more richly understand and enjoy the beauty and love people and life offer. The best is yet to come… and it will. It will because great leaders choose it to be. May you continue, my very dear friends, to be more than you ever dreamed… and more… so much more. Remember Thoreau’s gentle reminder: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”

The year ahead has 12 months, 52 weeks, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, and 31, 536,000 seconds. What will success look like at the end of your 2022 journey? May it be that you embraced every moment of life with passion, purpose, love, giving, and serving. In your being and joyous optimism, may you continue to “meet with success unexpected in common hours.”

Have a beautiful day, a magnificent week and a Happy New Year!!! Again, our best is yet to come! Life is so very good!

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Peace and Love to You and Yours

It is that wonderful time of year again when the holiday spirit fills our mind and heart, and gently moves us, for the moment, away from the hectic pace of our lives and the world we experience now. Yes, this year is different given the challenges impacting the world and our lives. Yet, despite this, may we choose to see and live beyond these temporary constraints and enjoy the spirit of this special time. Let us pause and step back for a moment to reflect on the meaning and spirit of the season. Let us remember the joys and happiness it brings that we may again share it with others, while also making it so very special and memorable for those celebrating it for the first time. May our mindset be strongly intentional on making this Holiday Season our best one yet for ourselves, our families and friends and those whom we touch and serve. May we all hear those beautiful words from the song, Believe, from the movie, The Polar Express, sung by Josh Groban: “Believe in what you feel inside, And give your dreams the wings to fly, You have everything you need If you just believe.” Yes, we have everything we need… if we just believe.

The world around us contributes gently to the joy of the season: stores are wonderfully decorated; holiday music streams from videos and iPhones; home decorations appear. Our world is transformed around us to one of festivity and joyful tranquility. It is a time of peace. As Norman Vincent Peale, minister and author, once said, it is as though the holiday season “waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” Yes, it is a time of “joy to the world.”

Memories fill us. We remember the joys of our youth and the people who were and are integral parts of our lives and happiness. There is sadness in remembrance of those we loved who are no longer with us. This gentle memory of them, however, is our lasting gift to them, and theirs to us. It is our way of saying to them: “I love you forever and will never forget you… never.” We embrace those around us and share with each other a very special gift of love. Hamilton Wright Mabie, essayist, captured this wonderful spirit of the season: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

Let us enjoy and take great learning from this magnificent and beautiful time. Let us all be embraced in this conspiracy of love. As Eva Logue writes, may you be as a candle which “makes no noise at all, but slowly gives itself away.” May this be your greatest gift to others and yourself – that in quiet reflection, you see with brilliant clarity the happiness and joy in the endless possibilities that life offers to which you will aspire.

May we pause in gratitude for all that we have, for what others have given us – our family, friends, those whom we serve, our God – and remember fervently that ours is the joy of giving, serving and caring. These are our greatest gifts. Let us join together every moment of our lives in a beautiful and magnificent “conspiracy of love.” Life is so very precious. Capture and embrace it with passion, joy, exuberance and love.

May you and yours have a joyous and beautiful Holiday Season, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and may this New Year be the best yet – for you, your loved ones and the many people whom you touch and serve.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

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The Heart of Great Leadership Is Love

Robert Clancy writes, “Great leaders may be found at the top of a mountain looking back upon their challenges, but the greatest leaders are often found at the foot of that mountain still helping others reach the summit.” Leading with love means it is not about the leader, it is always about people. It is about selflessly and unconditionally serving them: believing in them that they come to see the greatness in themselves; caring, respecting and valuing them for their beautiful uniqueness in all that they are and do; being there for them when they need someone.

Peter Drucker said, “Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.” John Maxwell adds to this writing, “Needless to say, you can love people without leading them, but you cannot lead people without loving them.” May you live your leadership greatness knowing always that love is the answer. Love is the heart of great leadership. May your love be that beautiful inspiration and motivation in someone’s life that they become more than they ever dreamed they could be… and more… so much more.

Have a beautiful and wondrous day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Value of Being Challenged

Henry Ford said, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” His words speak to the importance of challenges, difficulties, problems and complications to the great leaders’ growth in achieving the heights of their dreams and ambitions. These are the opportunities that allow you to stretch your wings to move forward. They teach you to maneuver and find new paths on your journey ahead. They test your courage and willingness to change. They teach you resilience. They enable you to find wisdom in the learnings enjoyed in their resolution. They are the magical keys that open your mind, heart and soul to your greatest potential.

It is said that we don’t grow when things are easy. Seneca wrote, “Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” May you face your life’s challenges and obstacles with confidence, positivity and excitement knowing that they are the beautiful stepping-stones to achieving your life’s purpose and meaning. As Ralph Waldo Emerson counsels, “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” May you take off into the winds and fly higher than you ever dreamed. Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Joys of Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

In a discussion with a friend, Jillian Swogier, about key learnings on the great leader’s career journey, there was passion and excitement in her voice when she spoke of the joy of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. It means, she said, daring to try new things because you believe that there is always a better way. It means not sticking or settling with something because the alternative is a challenge. It’s being comfortable with consistently breaking perceived personal and professional boundaries to be and do more.

She shared a quote from Katie Couric that captured this, “Be fearless. Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees. Get out of your comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable. The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades, bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested. And have the courage to accept that you’re not perfect… nothing is and no one is, and that’s okay.”

The ‘why’, Swogier explained, is simple, “If you don’t search and find that comfort with the uncomfortable, you will never grow and know that of which you are truly capable.” Kristin Armstrong’s words beautifully capture Swogier’s sentiment, “I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back and make more room in the areas between I can and I can’t.”

May you get out of that comfort zone and take the road less traveled, and enjoy the excitement of pushing your limits and finding and being more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Joy of the Every Moment

Writing about the importance of each of life’s moments, Eckhart Tolle says, “Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time, but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time – past and future – the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

He adds deeper meaning to his words writing, “Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.” The Dalai Lama writes, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.” Each Now moment is a precious singularity, one to be embraced and lived with intentionality and passion. This uniqueness is captured beautifully by Leonardo da Vinci, “In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with the present time.”

May you live, maximize, treasure and enjoy each beautiful and precious Now moment understanding that it is, as Thích Nhât Hanh says, “the doorway to all moments.” Hold closely Wayne Dyer’s counsel, “Present-moment living, getting in touch with your now, is at the heart of effective living. When you think about it, there really is no other moment you can live. Now is all there is, and the future is just another present moment to live when it arrives.” With a joyous realization of its profound significance, may you live each Now moment passionately, boldly daringly and courageously. As Horace tells us, “Carpe diem”. Life goes by so quickly. May you live each and every moment to its fullest that at end of days you may say, “I truly lived every day of my life.

Have a beautiful day, a magnificent week and a joyous and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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On Life’s Journey

Confucius said, “Roads were made for journeys, not destinations.” His words are a gentle reminder to great leaders that each day of life is but another beautiful step on their mgnificent journey in achieving their life’s purpose and meaning. There will be bumps, cracks and obstacles along the way, yet also, moments of extraordinary joy, learning and beauty. The roads may take unexpected turns onto new paths which will be life-changing in their possibilities for growth, development, renewal and, sometimes, redirection. As Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

May you leave no path untaken. Take the roads less traveled and make your own. Live your life’s journey to its fullest enjoying each day’s gifts and joys, as you remember the words of an unknown author, “The best view comes after the hardest climb.”

May you make your journey an extraordinary exploration of life’s opportunities and its undiscovered possibilities and riches that your feet may bless the ground and leave your footprints that others may follow. Each morning, may you quietly say, “The rest of my life will be the best of my life… my best is yet to come.” Choose to make your life a daring adventure.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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