Did you know, “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
Erma Bombeck called it and added, “Any man who watches three football games in a row should be declared legally dead.” Welcome to Thanksgiving—a day filled with food, football and a hopefully a side of gratitude.
May I have your attention please? Please, can I have your attention for a brief moment? In a world of digital distractions, brief is sometimes not even long enough for someone to read a headline. Today, the ability to get and maintain focus is waning and it is robbing you.
Our inability to focus and concentrate on important relationships and goals is a critical! It may be the primary obstacle to creating and sustaining meaningful personal and professional impact.
What are the five greatest days of your life? If you are a parent—with few exceptions—your list will most certainly include the day you welcomed a child into the world. Welcoming a child into the world is woven together with amazing, magical and scary.
A day engrained in your memory and brought back to life every time you think about the flood of emotions that swept over you the first time you held your son or daughter.
As I walked up, I could see she was fighting back tears. A well of emotion rising up after hearing a message of encouragement. “I can’t remember the last time I felt truly encouraged—thank you,” she said. She wasn’t alone—not today or any day.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want in life is to find someone who will make us do what we can.” Life is breathed into the “can” we can do by the right person, with the right word, at the right moment, delivering an essential truth in a loving and gracious way.
Encouragement is a simple word with powerful potential. Encouragement improves relationships and raises performance. Encouragement is the coming along side of someone and instilling in them the courage to act when they are stuck.
Two good friends sit down to have lunch and start talking about their work. One of the men expresses concern that his boss never encourages him and maybe he should look for another job. He asks his friend what he thinks he should do.
The context of a great question can sometimes elicit a simple response. I asked my friend, “What time is it?” My friend quickly looked at his watch and responded with the time of day. I smiled and replied, “Not what is the time of day, but what is your time in life?” Leo Tolstoy said, “There is only one time that is important–now! It is the most important time because it is the only time we have any power over.”
My question was really curiosity about the direction of his hope and ambition. Kyle Idleman in his book Not a Fan tells a story about a young girl who was killed in a car accident. Brittany was only 17 years old when she died. Shortly before the accident, Brittany had opened a checking account. When her father went to the bank to close the account he noticed she had only written one check—Compassion International to sponsor a child.
Words are powerful. What we say and how we say it can make a powerful impact on the people we love and lead—even on the people we may only experience in a passing moment.
Benjamin Zander is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and author of The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life. Zander says, “The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful.”
It all began with a hug. A hug is ageless and communicates like few things can. Do you realize that when we are young we get used to hearing people tell us we need more experience. After gaining the experience and learning the tough lessons that come with that experience it is not unusual to be told your time has passed. The fact is neither is true.
The truth is no one has your unique place in the world to positively impact the people you love, teams you lead and the causes that stir your heart. The venue may change, your audience might be different but creating and sustaining impact has nothing to do with whether we are young or old.
I want to make Christmas count. Looking at all the preparation that goes into Christmas, we all want Christmas to count.
Are you ready? To make Christmas count we have to get ready. We scurry around to put the finishing touches on our Christmas and holiday preparations—a little shopping and meal preparation. Maybe gathering in the kitchen for holiday baking. All to deliver the what we think will be the perfect celebration.
This year will be no different—there is plenty of preparation yet to be done. But this year is different—recent events gave me reason to pause. I paused to consider if I was doing my job—really doing my job. When I share with you why I am asking this question you’ll understand why I am writing today.
In the fall of 1967 a young Air Force Sergeant receives his new orders. He arrives home to share the news he will soon be leaving for Vietnam. His young wife is only 29. His kids are eleven, eight, and four. Thinking through future scenarios he wants to assure the safety and security of his young family.
He buys a house they can call home, and enjoys moving them in. They celebrate the house, but the homecoming will have to wait.