Thursday, August 26, 2010

Are You Going to Give Up or Get Up?

What an awakening question. Everyone has ‘things’ that come along and knock us off our rocker. The real question is “Are you going to give up or get up?”

In December of 1980 I awakened to discover that a third of my back yard was missing. It had washed down into the ravine behind my home here in Seattle. I had no clue at that moment as to what to do. I wondered if my home was safe from sliding off into the same ravine, however, the bigger question was, “what do I do next and how much will it cost?” Of course I wanted to bury my head in the pillows and not surface for a few months, but I had to face reality. I chose to “get up” and do what I could to remedy my situation.

Here are some solutions for us to use when the wind gets knocked out of our sails.
1. Get a right perspective. What actually happened? What can you do about it? What will it cost to correct the situation? What is beyond your control?
2. Seek out the right people. Who can help you? Who will give you good advice? Who can point you in the right direction? Who do you trust?
3. Plot out a reasonable time line. “Reasonable” is the key word here. How long do you realistically think it will take to correct your dilemma?
4. What can I possibly learn from this situation? There are lessons in everything in life. We need to assess and process to help us gain a new perspective.
5. Remember, this too shall pass.

In the September 2010 issue of Success Magazine, John Maxwell said “It may not be your fault for being down, but it is your fault for not getting up.”

So, it’s time to respond.

Are You Going to Give Up or Get Up?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Living Without Regrets

If you could live your life over, what would you do differently?
Most elderly people, when asked this question, responded this way.
“If I could live my life over, I would have taken more chances.”


I love that!

Do you know what they are really saying? My music is still in me and I wish I would have gotten it all out.

One of the great tragedies of life is to reach the end of our days with our unfulfilled dreams still burning inside us.

There is a man that you and I know about who faced a few challenges in his day. Listen to this:
-He had ten or more failures before becoming one of our more memorable men in history.
-He ran for numerous political offices, and lost.
-His fiancé died.
-He started two businesses and they both failed.

But in 1860, the man who signed his name A. Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States. I believe Abraham Lincoln was saying to us today, “I lived my life without regrets."

When I lived in Waco, Texas I had the good fortune to meet a multi-millionaire by the name of Paul J. Meyer. Some of you may have known of Paul and perhaps have listened to his motivational recordings.

Paul said that he started over 130 companies in his lifetime, and 65% of those failed.

65% Failure Rate

Yet he kept going. Paul lived his life without regret.

Lance Armstrong was diagnoised with testicular cancer in October 1996. In February 1997 he was pronounced healthy from this cancer.

Lance Armstrong didn’t give up. He was determined to live a life without regrets. He still saw himself riding his bicycle and winning races. He has won seven Tour De France bicycle race. And he is still riding. He is getting his music out.

May I sing you a song?
“Do you remember those famous men
Who had to fall to rise again
They pick themselves up,
Dust themselves off
And start all over again.”

What deeply buried dreams, passions, longings, reside in your heart?

Dream you dreams; give them feet and wings!

Live your life without regrets.

What is your passion? What makes your heart beat faster?

I’m living my passion. I’m writing and speaking, offering hope, encouragement and inspiration one word at a time. I receive some amazing comments from my readers and that really inflates my sails. After each kind note I receive I am motivated to write more words that build people up.

What dreams beat in your heart? What do you want to do more than anything else in the world?

Don’t die with your music still in you.

There once was a master violin virtuoso who had to sell his expertly crafted violin. After selling it to the pawnshop he vowed to one day buy back that very violin.

Time passed. He saved his money until one day he went to the pawn shop to purchase back his violin, only to find that it has been sold to a collector to be placed in a shadowbox and hung on a wall.

The virtuoso paid a visit to the collector and pleaded with him to sell him back his violin. The collector refused. In desperation, the virtuoso asked if he could at least play his violin one last time before it became a part of this man’s collection, never to produce another note.

The collector agreed. The virtuoso tuned the strings and played a lovely melody. As the sounds of this instrument filled the room, the collector’s heart was softened and he agreed to sell the violin to the master musician. How could he deprive the world of the lovely sounds being produced from this finely crafted instrument? He could not let this violin sit in silence.

Don’t you sit in silence! Don’t let the world pass you by.

Live your life without regrets.

                   Write your books.
                                              Sing your songs.
                                                                       Build your dreams.

Get your music out.

Go and live your life without regrets.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Act In Spite of Fear

There are all kinds of fears that plague a person. If we listened to our fears, some days we would probably never get out of bed.

There’s the fear of poor health
The fear of having an accident
The fear of the sky falling
The fear of an economic collapse

Experts say the fear of public speaking is the number one fear of all.

And there is the fear of fear itself, I suppose.

In every instance of fear that we face, we just need to do it! We need to act in spite of fear.

Denis Waitley, highly successful speaker and writer says, “FEAR stands for ...

That’s what it all boils down to.

So, what is it that we fear exactly?

I remember anticipating going to college while in high school. I looked at my brother’s college year books from past years and dreamed of the day I would set foot on campus.

When the day finally arrived I made the fifty mile trip, un-packed my stuff, then lay down on the bed in my dorm room. I felt this awful sense of fear and aloneness. I was afraid of getting out and enjoying and exploring my new territory.

Will people like me and accept me?
Will I make a fool of myself?

I wanted to be Mr. Cool, Mr. Big Man on Campus.
But what if I failed?

Finally I had to face my fears, pull myself up off that bed and plant one foot in front of the other and begin the journey for which I had longed. I had to get out there and meet people and begin making friends. All it took was that first step. But I had to face my fears and just go do it. I’m so thankful I did just that.

For most of my adult life I’ve had this desire to write, but fear kept me from attempting it, and if I did attempt some things, fear kept me from showing them to anyone.

Before I had my first magazine article published in 1979, I almost abandoned it because of fear. I’m so glad I persisted.  I received a check for $22 for that first article. Wow! I was rich … for a day.

I’ve sung solos when I’ve been afraid.
I’ve given speeches when I faced fear.
I’ve been on job interviews when I’ve faced fear.
I’ve done lots of stuff in the face of fear. And I made it through all of them. I’m still standing.
I’ve grown and learned from every situation in which I’ve faced my fears.

And I am alive!

Some wise person once said, “Face your fears and the death of fear is certain.”

What fears do you face?
What is the worst that could happen if you faced your fear and did it anyway?
What is the best that could happen?

Those are really the only two questions that matter when it comes to facing our fears, aren’t they?

Let me encourage you ...

Act In Spite Of Your Fears!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I once had it said to me, “You’re an accident waiting to happen.” Ouch. That hurt. I could have chosen to dwell on that comment and let it color the rest of my life, but at some point I made the conscious choice to move beyond those words and realize the reality that I was and am better than that comment and I wasn’t going to give it a foothold in my life any longer.

Les Brown, internationally recognized motivational speaker, once said, “Someone’s opinion of you does not have to be your reality.”

Thank God this is true.

But how often do we ruminate on past words that someone has offered in judgment on our lives and we have accepted those words as truth?

We don’t have to look very far to find people who will rain on our parade. Parents, siblings, in-laws, co-workers, and many others sometimes seem willing and ready to take aim at our lives, our conduct, and our situations and offer judgments, pronouncements and opinions of what is wrong and what to do to fix our situation.

But what is the truth?

What is reality?

Maybe you have failed.
The reality is that you are not a failure.

Maybe you have made a mistake.
The reality is that your whole life is not a mistake.

Maybe you have had one or two bad relationships.
The reality is that you are still capable of reinventing your relationships, improving them and learning from your past mistakes.

Maybe you have been miscast into a job that didn’t show your best skill set.
The reality is that there is a job, a work that is perfectly suited for you. Go find it.

From this day forward…
-I will live an examined life.
-I will take counsel with those who have my best interests at heart.
-I will evaluate and improve my life every day.
-I will learn from every situation.
-I will read books that will enlarge me.
-I will learn the difference between reality and the opinion of others.

From this day forward, I will live the best “me” that I can. I will accept my good points, improve my weak points, and live my own reality.