Great Quote on Life’s Purpose

I could take all kinds of time and energy to say it in my own words, or I could just say, “What he said” –

“If you are breathing, you are still alive. If you are alive, then you are still here, physically, on this planet. If you are still here, then you have not completed what you were put on earth to do. If you have not completed what you were put on earth to do…that means your very purpose has not yet been fulfilled. If your purpose has not yet been fulfilled, then the most important part of your life has not yet been lived. And if the most important part of your life has not yet been lived…(then there is your proof of hope). If the most important part of your life is ahead of you, then, even during the worst times, one can be assured that there is more laughter ahead, more success to look forward to, more children to teach and help, more friends to touch and influence. There is proof of hope….for more.” -Andy Andrews

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What Will They Say When You Go?

It’s one of those things you can’t keep from happening; people talking about you when your number is called. An important thing to remember, though, is the fact that you have an awful lot of control NOW over what they will say THEN.

Legacy

Hopefully, my father is pleased with what I had to say about him after he left us a year ago today:

“I am a paid speaker, but don’t have high expectations today.  Today I’m being paid with love, I suppose.

Thank you all for being here today.  We are all very humbled at the number of people who are here.

I want you all to know why we’re here.  Well, I guess it’s kind of obvious why were here…but why we’re here-here….like in these woods, here.

A little over two months ago, we helped bury Ella Newmiller, a sweet little girl very close to our family, right over there.  It was an incredible day that really moved everyone who was here.  When I described the day to my dad, he was really moved.  I had told him how we were asked to wear pink shirts that day and, when he asked me what I wanted for my birthday a few days later, I told him that I knew I was going to be giving a lot of speeches that included the story of that day so I would need at least one more pink shirt.  Well, here’s the pink shirt!  I guess it’s no surprise that I ended up exchanging the striped one he bought me for this plaid one – here I am wearing the perfect shirt….a pink one to honor Ella and a plaid one to honor dad.

On Monday, when dad was in the hospital, we had the opportunity to discuss his wishes and his will.  We did not know that he was going to pass, but the doctor had come in and had a very frank conversation with us about the fact that this was really serious and that it was very possible that it could happen, so the door was open to us having some of those tough conversations.  At one point I said, pretty assumptively, “You want to be cremated – where do you want to be buried?”  Much to our surprise he said, “Ella.  The way Ella was buried – I want that.  The natural burial.”

Ella’s life and passing has already influenced me to write and speak….and now she has shown my father the way to his final resting place.  Ella’s parents had the kindness and fortitude to come here today – thank you.

Have you ever used humor to brighten someone’s day because you could tell they could use it?

Have you ever given a complete stranger a hug because you saw they were upset?

Have you ever helped an old lady with her groceries?

I did all of those things…..THIS WEEK……..because of my dad.  He did those things all the time and I’m thankful he passed those gifts on to me.

The last thing I said to him on Sunday night, while he was still with us, was “I love you.”  The last thing I said to him on Monday morning, after he was gone, was “Thank you for being my dad.”

We are all better for knowing my dad. “

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A Note to Know-It-Alls

If you know it all, why are you listening?

If you know it all, why are you watching?

If you know it all, why are you reading?

If you know it all, why aren’t you speaking?

If you know it all, share.

Those words came to me as I read feedback from a recent talk I gave at a university. Along with many kind words for which I am thankful, these words jumped off the page – “Had heard everything before.”

Exactly!  That’s why I was in front of the audience.

I believe anyone who feels like they’ve heard it all before has every right – perhaps even a responsibility – to get in front of an audience and share how they heard it. The one set of ears (or 64 out of 65 sets of ears, in my case) who may not have heard it all before deserves to hear how you heard it. They deserve to hear your stories, your perspective.

Stand up and speak. Go write your book. You may know it all about what you know all about – the world needs to hear it.

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WRAL “Good Things” Interview with Bill Leslie

Really pleased with how this interview and piece turned out. Seeing as I’m pushing it when I say I’m 5’7″ tall, the fact that what aired is very short is fitting.  Enjoy!

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Helping Young Adults

I recorded an interview for a news segment called “Good Things” for WRAL-TV last week. (UPDATE – here is a link to the interview) – I pitched them on the idea that the message from my second book, entitled “The Second Day,” may be helpful to young adults – young adults who may be suffering. I suffered mightily in high school and the Newtown, CT shootings motivated me to do my little part to try to help by way of doing this interview (to air later this week).

An interesting thing happened on the way to the end of the interview — I found myself highlighting good stuff other people had done. There I was, with the opportunity to “pitch my book” and I’m pretty sure I spent more time talking about sites like begoodtopeople.com and my dear friend Michael J. Chase who started “The Kindness Center.”

Some may say I missed an opportunity…I wouldn’t.

You see, the epiphany I had after trying to take my own life twice in my teenage years was that I can serve others. Life is bigger than just little old me. I have a purpose for being here and it is founded in my ability to help others achieve. I truly believe that young adults who feel they have no worth can be saved simply by a nudge – a nudge toward others they can serve. I call that their “second day.”

Adults – press the space bar and help the young adults in your life go from inaction to action with serving others. It may just save a life, or 26.

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Use the Spacebar – A Perspective on Fixing the Violence Problem in America

Have a look at your keyboard. See the big, long key at the bottom? At first glance, you may think it holds less importance because it doesn’t have any letters or symbols on it like the other keys. I beg to differ.

Image

The pressing of that long key creates a space. And when that space is put into the word ‘inaction’ it takes on an awful lot of significance.

Inaction vs. in action

That one space represents the change from complacency to doing.

The blogosphere and social media have lit up since the massacre in Newtown, CT. We all have the ability to express our opinion in America and we are doing so with passion that is fueled by anger, fear and disgust.

No one is right.

We all are.

No one has the answer.

We all do.

Since we all have differing opinions about the cause of horrific events like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary, I propose we do this:  Pick your cause. Choose your solution. Find your angle. Then, go do something to help with fixing THAT. You may opt to learn as much as you can about mental illness; how to identify it and what to do to help someone suffering from it. You may research the many organizations that exist to fight school violence. You may examine gun control perspectives.

Once you’ve done that, use your platform and educate us. Let your knowledge and information ooze out with your passion behind it. Tell us why, and why not.

When I posted an abbreviated version of this message as my Facebook status, I received the following comment, “Maybe people should interact with people with a mental illness instead of shunning them away!!!” This comment alone helped ME identify what I will be learning more about and sharing with you – mental illness. Why did that comment hit me between the eyes and inspire me to go from inaction to being in action? It was written by someone suffering from bi-polar disorder and a severe learning disability.

My sister.

She claims that her comment was not directed at me. Whether it was or wasn’t, it’s going to help me hit the spacebar. I’ll start here .

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Christmas Ideas – The “Lovecat” Way

One of the most influential people in my life has been renowned author and speaker, Tim Sanders. In his book, “Love is the Killer App” he talks about living life as a “lovecat.” It’s an iteration of the Golden Rule that suggests we allow love into our business life – and life in general.  Tim contends that sharing knowledge you’ve gained with others is a great place to start in our quest to becoming a lovecat.

Being that it’s Christmas time, I thought I would share some knowledge…and support some of my friends at the same time. I’m fortunate to know quite a few folks who have written some pretty great books. Here is a list and a brief description of each. Hopefully one of these books will be just the right fit for that special someone on your list!

killer app

Love is the Killer App – (Tim Sanders)

This NY Times Bestseller is a must read, especially for business folks who do anything even close to networking. Tim teaches a refreshing approach to business relationships. I’ve used it and it has changed my life, will be part of my legacy and has had a positive affect on my reputation.

am i being kindam i being kind (Michael J. Chase)

How many of us dream of dropping everything and going after “that thing” in life that we feel called to do? Michael did it…and has changed the world in a positive way for all of us. Michael is the founder of “The Kindness Center” and gave us this incredible roadmap for how to do good in this world. His story is incredible and his message is clear. Any and all can benefit from this easy, fun and refreshing read.

sharefish taleA Sharefish Tale (Oie Osterkamp)

A wonderful children’s book based on a concept Oie introduced us to in his first book, “Being a Sharefish in a Selfish World.”  One of the most genuine and sincere people I’ve ever met teaches our children how to be kind and how to share in this beautifully written book with Disney-quality illustrations. My kids love the story, as well as the fact that all proceeds go to Oie’s non-profit that supports a village in Honduras – www.sharefish.org

37 what37 What Were They Thinking Moments in Marketing (Olalah Njenga)

This is one of the books you don’t want to be featured in…but need to read! Olalah is an expert in the field of marketing and is a well-known marketing strategist. Her very direct – yet humorous – style of writing serves us well as we learn about what not to do in various business settings.

radically-transparent

Radically Transparent (Andy Beal)

A big book with a big idea – pay attention to your reputation online! Andy has distinguished himself as one of the foremost experts in the fields of SEO, online marketing and reputation management. This book is a fantastic guide for business owners, executives and anyone else who has a lot to lose if the web turns against them. Andy has created a top shelf site at www.trackur.com that competes with the likes of Google Alerts.

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