Friday, September 26, 2014

Celebrate Your Life!

A couple of months before my 50th birthday, I had a chance to see Barbra Streisand in concert. I can’t tell you what a thrill it was. Seeing my mentor in concert was a dream come true. A bigger  dream would’ve been to have a meal with her; get her thoughts on spirituality, and thank her for being (albeit far away) my mentor. Alas, that didn’t happen. But that dream got me thinking about gratitude and inspiration.

As the months clicked closer to my 50th birthday, I thought long and hard how I wanted to celebrate it. Did I want a BIG party? Yeah, that would’ve been nice but that would’ve only been 1 moment. Did I want to travel? No, not really. When it came down to the nitty-gritty; I wanted to do something that I would really remember. It was then, that I decided to take the ENTIRE year to celebrate my life. I decided to have private 1-1 celebrations with people who inspired me. 

Once I had the idea, I wondered whether it would take off. I mean, that is a whole year. Would I have/find enough people to have those celebrations? I started with a list of people who had touched my life in the past, and in the present. As I compiled the list, I noticed qualities or behaviors that were specific to each person. Some people were kind, some wise, some mentors. The list exploded! I was still on the bubble with this idea. I really didn’t know how to approach it, until 1 day I visited my alma mater, St. Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. I visited the education department and on that day were 2 professors who helped guide me to finish my master’s thesis. I respected both of them and I believed they needed to hear how they impacted life. I went up to each of them and simply asked, “Will you come out and celebrate with me? Both said, “yes” but never asked why. We coordinated dates and VOILA, my idea took flight. When I met with them individually, I shared my birthday intention and then shared why I wanted to celebrate.

I can’t tell you how these 2 celebrations changed my life. Telling them “thank you for your inspiration” was the best moment (for them and for me).

In total, I had 25 celebrations with so many people. Was it emotional? YES! Was it personally fulfilling? YES! Would I do it again? You bet!

Want to do something grandiose and FUN? Spend a year celebrating your life with people who inspire you. (You can do it for any birthday!)You will remember it forever!

Question for you: What is stopping you from celebrating your life?

Focus: Communication, intimacy, spirit, friendship, fun

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cant's and Cans

Watch Your Can'ts and Cans

If you would have some worth while plans,
You've got to watch your can'ts and cans.
You can't aim low and then rise high,
You can't succeed if you don't try.
You can't go wrong and come out right,
You can't love sin and walk in the light.
You can't throw time and means away,
And live sublime from day to day.

You can't be great if you'll be good.
And do God's will as all men should.
You can ascend life's upward road,
Although you bear a heavy load.

You can be honest, truthful clean,
By turning from the low and mean.
You can uplift the souls of men,
By words and deeds, or by your pen,

So watch your can'ts and watch your cans,
And watch your walks and watch your stands.
And watch the way you talk and act,
And do not take the false for fact.
And watch the things that mar or make,
For life is great to every man,
Who lives to do the best he can.

--- Anonymous

As your day progresses, remember that your life goes in the direction that you aim it. Are you aiming high with cans or low with cant's?

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Leadership And You (Part 18)

People with tunnel vision are locked into one way of thinking and are likely to miss the right road. It's because they've closed their minds to any new options. We need the help of those who can enlarge our vision and broaden our perspective. Seek out the advice of those who know you, and have a wealth of experience. Build a network of advisers. Then be open to new ideas and be willing to weigh their suggestions carefully. Your plans will be stronger and more likely to succeed.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014


Being raised Catholic, we didn’t hear any stories about people who triumphed over adversity as a result of their faith in God. Catholic  school was all about religion and following rules.

I don’t think I noticed anything about faith in God (and that being the key to a better life) until I worked at a public aid hospital. For over a year, I did out patient rehab (speech therapy) with people. The majority of them were African American. Time and again, I heard their personal stories of adversity -- rape, drugs, prison. You name it, I heard it. A common belief for ALL of them was that “God would provide.” When they talked about God and his ability to help them, you KNEW they believed it. No matter the level of difficulty. God  would get them through it. Since the majority of my patients were black, I thought this was a black thing -- something exclusive to their race. There was something about their belief in God that I wanted to tap into. I just didn’t know how. This experience of blacks and their  deep faith in God, stayed with me for years.

Fast forward a  couple of years. I’m reacquainted with a colleague I worked with in the past. Our conversation turned to spirituality and faith. I told her my observations. She laughed and said, “Bob, this isn’t exclusive to black people. ALL people have this.” “No, I don’t know any other race that believes this as strongly as black people. You are black, help me understand.”

Being raised Baptist, she was privileged to hearing the stories or testimonies of people (in her church) who were helped by God. Many of these stories told of the miracles that God did for them. Since she had heard these stories since she was a little girl; they became an integral part of her life; thus increasing and solidifying her faith in God. “So hearing these stories ALL the time helped you understand faith and God?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied.

It’s only been recent that I understood what she meant. Hearing the true, heartfelt stories of people who have received God’s miracles are the best way to understand the POWER OF GOD and what he can do. I believe the best way to encourage anyone is to share your God-stories. I encourage you to do it any time you can.

Question for you: Have you been inspired by a person’s God-story? W hat did it do for you?

Focus: Communication, God, spirit

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stop To Think

There are 2 ways to get through your busy day -- 1) Stop thinking, or 2) Stop to think. Many people choose #1. They fill their day with non-stop activity. On one level; they define themselves that way. On another level; they don't want to be alone (or with themselves).

The BEST way to get through your day is to choose #2. When you give yourself time to stop and think;  you give your brain the space it needs to "regroup" and make better decisions that enhance you emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. Make time to stop and think; watch what happens!

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