On Living a Life of ‘What Can Be’… the Joy of Imagination

Robert F. Kennedy said, “Some people look at things as they are and ask, ‘Why?  I dream things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?’” His words capture the essence of imagination. It is the magical key that allows you to open your eyes, mind and heart to new possibilities as you daringly step beyond your own self-imposed limits or those of others  of life’s opportunities. You boldly move from the world of the ‘as is’ to something new, more exciting, more relevant and more filled with future options, a world of ‘what can be.’

Albert Einstein wrote, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there will ever be to know and understand.” He said, also, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” His words suggest that step beyond – from knowing what we know to exploring dreams undreamed.

May your mindset be one of continuing exploration and searching, be it in your professional or personal life and relationships, those casual activities you do every day, as you look for new possibilities and opportunities. And with great boldness and daring, ask ‘Why not?’, and move from a place of ‘as is’ to that of ‘what can be.’ May you live passionately, caringly and confidently the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, and live the life you have imagined.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On Being Prepared

In his recent Minute with Maxwell blog post, Opportunity, John Maxwell speaks about intentional preparedness for the many opportunities that life presents. He quotes words from his mentor, John Wooden, who told him, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” He said that Coach Wooden was telling him that we don’t know or see the coming opportunities ahead, so when it comes “it’s too late to prepare.” Knowing this, Wooden was saying that if you grow every day, discover and actualize your incredible gifts, continually fine-tune and push your skills, talents and knowledge, when those opportunities do come, you will be prepared and have a better chance of succeeding.

Maxwell brought reality to the message relating a conversation he had with Jack Nicklaus about his career successes He asked Nicklaus that if he had a four foot putt to win the tournament, would he be nervous. Nicholas said, “John, I really didn’t because I prepared.  I practiced that four foot putt a thousand times, so that when I get ready to putt, it’s kind of like I’ve done this before.” What Nicklaus was doing was that he knew some day, some place in a tournament, he would have this four foot putt to win the tournament. If he practiced that, day-in and day-out, he would be ready.

Maxwell’s message to great leaders is, “Don’t wait for the opportunity to come to you, work for the opportunity so when it comes, you can do something good about it.” Denzel Washington said, “Luck is when opportunity comes along and you are prepared for it.” May you prepare yourself for the world of opportunities that lie ahead, and make them all holes-in-one.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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I Wish You Enough

Best wishes! Wishing you a bright and colorful future in which all your dreams come true… all the best! Words and wishes for the best in people’s lives. They are our expressions of our greatest hopes for joy, happiness and success for those whom we touch and serve. We use the word ‘best’ to push the boundaries to the extreme because we care that much.

Yet, there is another wish whose wording is less formidable, but, perhaps, even more powerful in its gifts. The wish is, “I wish you enough…”. Its magic is found in its expression of opposites and the balance it brings. A friend shared with me a story that captures this thought. It took place at an airport between a mother and daughter who were sharing last moments together before the daughter’s departure.

A mother and daughter are in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, “I love you and I wish you enough”.
The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom”.
They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where a woman was seated. The woman could see she wanted and needed to cry. She tried not to intrude on her privacy, but the mother welcomed her in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”.
“Yes, I have,” the woman replied. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?”.
“I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is – the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.
“When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough’.” the woman said. “May I ask what that means?”.
She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone”. She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. “When we said, ‘I wish you enough’, we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward the woman, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun, even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
She then began to cry and walked away.

The story’s message reminds great leaders of the great value found in the tension of opposites and the power that ‘enough’ has in bringing balance to them. That ‘enough’ is that magical reminder of the gifts you have already achieved, their beautiful value and inestimable worth. We don’t need the world, we just need enough to achieve our purpose and meaning in life. May you remember always Maya Angelou’s words, “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

To you, my very dear friends, I WISH YOU ENOUGH… always! Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Should You Live Your Resume… or Your Eulogy?

David Brooks, in his TED Talk, Should You Live Your Resume… or Your Eulogy?, poses a profound question of focus to great leaders about how they choose to live their life – the powerful question of what they do and why they do it. He introduces his discussion saying:

“So I’ve been thinking about the difference between the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the ones you put on your résumé, which are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that get mentioned in the eulogy, which are deeper: who are you, in your depth, what is the nature of your relationships, are you bold, loving, dependable, consistent? And most of us, including me, would say that the eulogy virtues are the more important of the virtues. But at least, in my case, are they the ones that I think about the most? And the answer is no”.

He shares the thoughts from Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik who, in his book, The Lonely Man Of Faith, describes what he calls the two sides of our nature – Adam I and Adam II. Brooks writes:

“Adam I is the worldly, ambitious, external side of our nature. He wants to build, create, create companies, create innovation. Adam II is the humble side of our nature. Adam II wants not only to do good but to be good, to live in a way internally that honors God, creation and our possibilities. Adam I wants to conquer the world. Adam II wants to hear a calling and obey the world. Adam I savors accomplishment. Adam II savors inner consistency and strength. Adam I asks how things work. Adam II asks why we’re here. Adam I’s motto is “success.” Adam II’s motto is “love, redemption and return.”

Brooks refers to these two virtues as being in confrontation. I suggest, however, that in the great leaders’ lives, it is more of a balancing of both virtues, and that each can be lived fully. Adam II provides the foundational balance, the internal self and character in guiding the well-lived life of Adam I. Adam II is the model of the great servant leader. The question, however, in this balancing is: Should you live for your resume… or your eulogy? Which resume will you choose to guide your life? Will the answer be “success”? Or will it be “love”? I humbly entreat you to consider love. A life of love will bring success beyond your wildest dreams. Love first, and success will follow. May your life, eulogy and legacy be one of love. As England Dan and John Ford Coley sing, “Love is the answer.” Make your song one to be remembered.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Joy of Growing Together

Michael Jordan said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence championships.” His powerful words are a gentle reminder to great leaders of the importance of teamwork in achieving success. It is about maximizing, with and through others, our unique and beautiful gifts in a sharing of our collective strengths. This joyous diversity of perspectives, ideas and insights add depth and richness to communal thought. What to one is self-evident may be to another a life-changing discernment.

Ken Blanchard said, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Our journey is a magnificent mosaic of collaborations and partnerships of helping and serving each other to find and achieve our greatest potential. It is one of mutual growth, learning and exploration beyond our own worldviews. It is pushing our boundaries and being vulnerable to open our eyes to new possibilities as we see through the eyes of others.

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” wrote Henry Ford. May you play many games on many teams and win magnificent championships throughout your life’s journey holding closely the words of Gloria Arroyo, “The power of one, if fearless and focused, is formidable, but the power of many working together is better.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Joy of Getting Back Up

Some of the great leaders’ greatest life learnings and successes come from falls and stumbles they face along the way. It is in those instances that they find new challenges and opportunities to push and stretch their perceived limits and see life differently. They make new adjustments to their mindset, alter accordingly and move forward more aware and better prepared for their next steps. From this, their strength of character also grows as they get back up again with even greater perseverance and passion to continue their magnificent journey.

Confucius tells great leaders, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” Vince Lombardi said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” May you be fearless in moments of falling, always knowing that those times are not the end of a journey, but only stepping stones to greater success and learning. Fall down. Get up. The best is yet to come… and it will because you choose it to be so.

Have a beautiful day, a Happy Easter and Passover and a magnificent week!!!

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On Unconditional Love

In his daily Minute with MaxwellLove Someone, Regardless, John Maxwell speaks about the joy and power of unconditional love as the source of influence and inspiration in the lives of great leaders. He tells the story of his mother’s unconditional love for him. It gave to him, he says, the freedom to express himself as she accepted him for who he was. It also gave him a sense of self-worth and value as he “wasn’t  judged upon what I did, but loved because of who he was.”

Brian Tracy writes: “The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.” Our selfless giving of unconditional love, Maxwell says, tells someone: “I will always be in your corner. You look around any time, I’m not leaving. I’m right there.. to love you, care for you, help you, believe in you and bring you back. I will always be in your corner.” It is a magical gift that will change the lives of those whom you serve, and yours also. In return, they will give you an even more precious gift, the gift of their trust and belief in you. Be in someone’s corner today… and every day. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Weathering the Storms

Life is a constant challenge. It’s full of unexpected detours that no one but you can navigate.” said Sheryl Crow. Dolly Parton wrote, “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Life’s beautiful journey is sometimes interrupted by unexpected happenings that challenge the very core of our happiness, plans and dreams. We are tested, seemingly, to our limit by the pain, disruption and impact they may bring. Rationally and emotionally we struggle for balance to find a solution. Yet, may we pause for a moment and reflect on what we have already learned from our life’s journey.

Throughout our life, we have experienced similar challenges, perhaps not of the same magnitude or content, yet alike in their impact. Having lived through them, we think of how we approached them, what we learned and how we navigated them. Among the evidence, we will find answers to how we will successfully address new happenings. We will see confirmations of who we are: values-driven, resilient, passionate, compassionate, purposeful, caring, deliberate, ceaseless (among others). We will rediscover that we have what it takes to, once again, get us through another of life’s unexpected happenings.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I learned this… that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” May the wise counsel of Winnie the Pooh inspire you during challenging times, “You are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think.” Assuredly, you will find your rainbow. Your best is yet to come!

Have a beautiful day, a happy first full day of Spring and a magnificent week!!!

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On Your Purpose

In a recent blog post, John Maxwell speaks about finding your life’s purpose. He says that many people come to him with the question, how do I find my life’s purpose. His reply is, “If you want to discover your purpose, two things: what are you passionate about and what are you good at?”.  Your passion and love of what you do can sometimes lead you to your purpose, but what you are good at,  “your giftedness”,  will always lead you to your purpose.

You have been given infinite gifts, and you are unique in this entire universe in those gifts. Your journey is one of joyous and exciting discovery to find them in each moment, each minute, each day helping you to understand who you are in your magnificent journey of becoming… of finding and living your purpose. It is all there already inside of you. Find them through others in their beautifully diverse views of the world, their unique gifts. Find them in pushing your boundaries and taking daring and bold challenges. Find them in quiet moments of reflection.

Buddha wrote, “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” May you hear Oprah Winfrey’s words quietly echo in your ears as a gentle reminder on your magnificent journey, “There is no greater gift that you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.”

Have a beautiful day, a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Magic of the Countdown

Zig Ziglar speaks to great leaders about commitment writing, “Most people who fail in their dream fail, not from lack of ability, but from lack of commitment.” Commitment transforms your hopes and promises into realities. In his blog post, The Magic of the Countdown, Seth Godin shares his thoughts of the metaphorical excitement that accompanies the great leader’s act of commitment.

Thea von Harbou invented the countdown. 10, 9, 8… It works. It focuses the attention of everyone involved and ensures that we’re truly alert for what’s going to happen next. It helps that the numbers go down, not up (because up might never end). And …

It focuses the attention of everyone involved and ensures that we’re truly alert for what’s going to happen next.
It helps that the numbers go down, not up (because up might never end). And it helps that as we get closer to lift-off, tension goes up, not down.
But what really matters is this: There’s a commitment.
When we get to zero, we’re actually going to do this.
The commitment has to happen before the countdown can.

Jean-Paul Sartre writes, “Commitment is an act, not a word.” May your commitment to your life’s purpose and goals be unrelenting and filled with passion, excitement and enthusiasm that transform your dreams into blissful realities. With great positivity and joy, choose to be on the playing field every precious moment of your life. Commit to realizing the greatness and beauty that is you that, at end of days, you can loudly and proudly say, “No regrets! I have lived my life to its fullest. I have truly lived every day of my life.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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