Tag Archives: family

How to Create More Mind-Blowing Moments and Memories

A great article…..

How to Create More Mind-Blowing Moments and Memories

Ask your parents or older loved ones questions……now!

I lost my parents both in 2009.

I wish I had asked them so many things before they died. Simple things like what they were doing when JFK was shot. What they thought about the Civil Rights Movement. What was their first Pirate game like? Steeler game?

Also deeper questions like; advice for facing challenges in life, in business, in relationships. How did they keep going when finances were hard? Did they have a mentor? What did the mentor do or say that helped? Helpful books they read?

Certainly I wanted to hear more about their childhood, life, and family. They told me many stories but I didn’t always listen like I should have…..I would ask them more about my grandparents and relatives…..

I suggest that YOU take time, in the next 30 days, and ask your parents, grandparents, or older loved ones in your life – ask them about life! Do it now!

I didn’t know my parents would die that soon, certainly not within 5 weeks of one another. I also know of other families that ‘lose’ loved ones to Alzheimer’s and other mental challenges where the body is here but the memories are gone.

I hope your loved ones live long and healthy lives.

But I Challenge you to ask them some questions now.

—-

Credit: Brendon Burchard created his own list and that list inspired this list. This list below was created by Mark Evans. Want to give credit to Brendan for the inspiration.

TIP: I recommend that you hire a professional videographer to help you create a high-quality video that will be cherished and watched over and over. If too expensive, maybe get a friend that won’t be as emotional.

You can record this in any of the following ways:

  • Be there in person (I would love to do this but I’d start crying on the first questions. Truthfully not everyone is like this of course.)
  • If you’re far away from this person, call in on a speaker phone and ask the questions while they are being interviewed.
  • Or, have the videographer ask the questions and when they finish recording the answers, they can edit you asking the questions. (This is what I did)

Also, you should always have the person you’re interviewing re ask the question. Example:

YOU: “Where were you born and where did you grow up?”
THEM: “Where was I born and where did I grow up? [and then the answer]

Questions
1. State your name.
2. Tell me the date and year you were born.
3. Where were you born and where did you grow up?
4. Describe what your life was like growing up.
5. Tell me about your parents.
6.What do you remember most about your mother?
7. What do you remember most about your father?
8. How did your parents meet?
9. If they had a message to share with their grandchildren, what would it be?
10. What are your fondest memories of your childhood?
11. What are your fondest memories of your teenage years?
12. Tell me about how you met your spouse. (Where did you meet? How did you meet? How did you know they were the one you wanted to marry?)
13. How would you describe your spouse?
14. Tell me about your career. (How did you choose that career? What made you successful at it?)
15. Tell me about some of the best times in your life.
16. Tell me about some of the most difficult times in your life.
17. What helped you get through the difficult times?
18. What events in your life do you think most shaped your life?
19. How did having children change your life?
20. Tell me about what life was like when you had each child. (Repeat this question for every child the person had.)
21. How would you describe the life you lived?
22. What do you want to be remembered for?
23. What are your fondest memories in life, overall?
24. What are you most proud of in life?
25. If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do differently?
26. If you could make any change to the world, what would it be?
27. What message would you like to share with your family?
28. What things do you want me to pursue in the future on your behalf to keep your legacy living?

Interview Those You Love (Before They’re Gone)

Several years ago I lost both parents within 5 weeks of each other.

Among other things, I had a bunch of things I always wanted to ask them Things like, where were they when the landed on the moon? When Kennedy was shot? How did you overcome your business challenges? What did you fear most as a parent? How did you overcome your heartattack and get back into the workforce? What would you do differently as a parent?

….and many many more things. I wanted to ask them about their school experience more, other relatives, family details, etc.

Then recently I came upon this, and I wanted to share, I think it is something we never thinks about but we should.….

http://brendonburchard.tumblr.com/post/98560312858/interview-your-loved-ones-before-theyre-gone

From Brendon Burchard….

Full Transcript:

How do you honor people?

If you have loved ones who you’ve lost or you have people in your life right now who you just admire greatly, who are helping you out, who are influencing you in positive ways, how do you honor people?

In our society, especially in the Western culture it’s so much about giving them gifts, pay increases or sending them stuff.

But I actually want to talk about a different way that you can honor people that a lot of people from our audience who know this story always find meaningful. I think it would be so phenomenal an experience for your family members and for you in the future.

Maybe you know the story and maybe you don’t, but in 2009 on Mother’s Day, my dad was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He’d been a pretty healthy guy, played racquetball and went bowling all the time, played golf and he was happy and healthy. But he woke up on Mother’s Day and he was walking down the hall of the house and my mom saw him drifting a little bit and said, ”What’s wrong with you?” He said, “I’m out of balance and it hurts here on my side.”

They went to the doctor and the doctor said that’s weird your spleen seems to be enlarged and they did a bunch of tests and found out he had acute myeloid leukemia.

It’s the kind of leukemia you definitely don’t want. You don’t want either, but that one is the one that tends to take people’s lives quickly. Dad went through a couple rounds of chemo and unfortunately they weren’t helping. They wanted to put him on a course of the third treatment but it was clear it wasn’t going to work, that would decimate his body, and he made the choice to go home and be at our house with Hospice care until the disease took him.

So, from diagnosis to death we had 59 days with dad and that was it.

I feel very lucky for those times. I had an amazing relationship with my dad as did my family. I love him so much and it was something that’s taken this many years to shoot a video about, because I used to not be able to control any of my emotions and I didn’t speak about it that much on stages for a long time, because it was such a huge emotional toll.

One thing I was happy about that I was able to do during that time is when we knew it was bad and that we might lose him, I happened to be away traveling… I was teaching a seminar to a few hundred people and he called to let me know the second course of chemo hadn’t worked and they didn’t know how long he would have. They were constantly saying, “You have a week left, a week, ten days, three days.” It just took his body so fast because what happens is the stem cells aren’t creating the white cells correctly and the white cells start hampering the body’s ability to function. They’re mutated with leukemia and it takes over your entire body just that fast.

I didn’t know if I would get to see him again or if I could get out there fast enough, so I asked him, “Dad, can I call you and interview you? I want to ask you some questions and record it.” He was in the hospital and just recovering having gone through the chemo and he said sure. I just didn’t know if I would get there fast enough. I called him back and used a free conference calling line, which you can Google and find that allows you to record. I called him and recorded it.

I asked him 30 questions or so about life and I’ve posted the link to those questions [click here to get the interview guide] and I’ve formatted it in a way where you could ask anyone in your life these questions. It’s just about getting to hear them talk about what’s important in their life.

  • What did they learn when they were young in adolescence?
  • How did their mother or father influence them?
  • What did they learn from their parents?
  • What did their grandparents want them to carry on?
  • What do they want you to know after they’re gone?
  • What do they want your brothers or sisters to know after they’re gone?
  • What values do they want to teach?
  • What do they want you to remember when the times are dark?

Just advice from this person that you love.

It was my dad, and he gave unbelievable advice. I would say from everything I own in my life now, this is the most treasured thing I have is this recording of Dad, just him talking about life.

It took me a long time to be able to listen to. If I listen to it, I completely get emotional about it, but at the same time I find it empowering and inspiring and it connects me back to him. It’s meaningful to me, too, because while you’re watching me on video now or listening to me in whatever format, in growing up, my dad, his generation just didn’t have any video. I don’t have that much existing video of my father at all outside a wedding, so this is one of the few remaining recordings I have of him.

It was a two-three hour conversation that really inspired me. One of the things he said in there is the reason I’m shooting this video. I asked him what he wanted his kids to always remember and we were talking a lot about it and he just said a few things, these seven things he was always telling us in some way or another throughout our lives and he was demonstrating. He’d say them, but he kind of strung them together in this thought and I keep returning to it over and over again. His seven legacy statements for us were:

  • Be yourself
  • Be honest
  • Do your best
  • Take care of your family
  • Treat people with respect
  • Be a good citizen
  • Follow your dreams

Those seven things, which were really his values and who he was in so many ways, and he said a lot of amazing things during the interview, but those things I carry with me and I’ve perpetuated over and over. I’d tell his message to all of my audiences. I’ve shared that on a quote card on my Facebook pagebefore and it literally got 40k likes in a week. I don’t know how many times it’s been shared now, but literally hundreds of thousands of times been seen by millions of people and it stunned me.

It reminded me that one of the best ways that we can honor somebody is to carry forth their values but not just to communicate them, not to just live them or have them, but to share with other people.

Maybe you had a grandparent who inspired you and you should tell people about that grandparent and what they told you about life and how to live a good life.

I think there isn’t a lot of conversation, amazingly, in our culture broadly and at an individual level about what it takes to live a good life.

People don’t talk about that as much anymore. Personal growth in terms of an industry seems to be declining, because now people can just get something for any time and everything is so immediate, less people reading books and that genre, less people engaging it seems like.

I’m blessed to have so much of a wave in this area of personal development with this YouTube show being so successful and my Facebook thing taking off and email list exploding over the past couple years. I can share with you that what makes those things meaningful is trying to share meaningful advice with people, meaningful insights and I think you can do that.

I think there have been people who have inspired you and the more you tell their story and tell people explicitly and directly, this is what they taught me the more we carry forth the legacy of those before us for future generations, the more we become standard bearers of what a good life is because if no one’s talking about it and if no one is communicating values as much anymore, we start to lose that.

And I think what’s happened is generation after generation has failed to hold the line of high standards in humanity.

We’re getting more and more lackadaisical with “anything is okay” and celebrating idiots on television, angry people or the smart bitter comment that jabs at somebody versus talking about what it takes to be a good person.

What does it take to live the ideal life? Obviously I’ve dedicated my life to that. This whole thing is about living your charged life. What would that feel like?One of the things to live a fully charged life is to honor the people in your life. I encourage you to interview them and completely steal my interview form and call someone you love and interview them. I think you’ll be surprised at some of the things you’ll learn and some of the tidbits they’ll give you, you can remind yourself. I carry them around in my wallet. I think about these things because they give a guidepost of behavior everyday to live up to, to live into your highest self; to live into those ideals and values.

There are lots of ways to honor someone. If they’re still with you, sometimes it can be as simple as calling them, taking them out to lunch, sitting them down, looking them directly in the eye and saying,

“I just wanted to spend a few minutes with you sharing how you’ve impacted my life. I just want to spend a few minutes with you telling you why you made such a difference for me. I want to share with you the values and maybe you never told me but I just see them in you, there’s something… Your strength and positivity or, your hope or your belief in me. You might not know it but it carried me through days that I didn’t think I could make it through. What you have told me I’m going to carry forth. What you help me do I’m going to help more people do.”

It’s in that perpetuation of goodness that we hold the line of the best that is in humanity, and I encourage you to do that.

It can be as simple as writing a letter to someone and professing to them, this is why I love you, care for you and admire you.

It can be as simple as shooting a video and sending it to them saying, “Hey, I just wanted you to know the impact that you’re making and I’m going to carry it forward.”

The number one way to honor someone is to carry their voice and values forward everyday through your behavior and explicitly through stories and advice and guidance of other people.

I think that’s the ultimate way to honor people, more than the fanfare of a fancy gift or if you have a great employee and giving them a raise, but to really celebrate somebody’s words and their noble character and what they have to share with other people, that is a magical way to make a difference, to perpetuate the goodness in humanity and to celebrate and honor someone who’s made a difference in your life.

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Like this episode? Please share it with others. Let’s inspire others to live a fully charged life. The interview guide referenced in this video can be downloaded free here.

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Feel free to share:

Being rich is all about having the right habits

Being rich is all about having the right habits. That’s the message from Tom Corley, who spent five years observing how rich and poor people lived, worked, and even slept. Then, Corley wrote about his research in a book called “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”

Here’s what he found:

First: Be an early bird. Because among people making six-figures a year, about half wake up at least three hours before they have to be at work. Then, Corley says they use that extra morning time to focus on self-improvement like reading and exercising, because those things help them be more productive at work.
Another daily habit that can make you rich:Don’t gossip. According to Corley’s research, wealthy people are a whopping 14 times less likely to say they spread gossip, compared to people earning less than $30,000 a year.


Also: Spend less time using the Internet. Corley says most people who struggle with money spend at least an hour a day surfing the Web, or watching TV. But rich people are HALF as likely to go online every day. Instead, they spend that extra hour connecting with others in the “real world,” doing things like networking, socializing, and volunteering.


Another helpful habit: Make more “to-do” lists. Because wealthy people say they cross off 70% percent of the tasks on their to-do list every day – including short-term and long-term goals, meaning, rich people love getting stuff done.


Finally: According to the book, wealthy people are calorie counters. They generally limit alcoholic consumption, keep their junk food snacks to less than 300 calories per day, and weigh less. And it makes sense that successful people would weight less, 75% of executives in a recent survey said that being overweight is a “serious career impediment.” Overweight people are 3,000 times more likely to get passed over for a promotion. And fair or not, overweight applicants get turned down for jobs more than any other group.

http://www.tesh.com

Survive the Unthinkable,

 

I am always on the lookout for good books.

I try not to ‘over-recommend’ either, but here is a great one….Survive the Unthinkable,

 

…here is some background…..you may know someone in a situation that this may be relevant…..

Violence against women remains one of the most common human rights abuses in the world. Women ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war, and traffic accidents combined.

Rape and attempted rape are very much silent assassins. Only 16 percent of rape victims actually report an incident to the police, which means that the statistics we have about rape in the United States barely reflect the grim reality. The World Health Organization has found that domestic and sexual violence affects 30 to 60 percent of women in most countries. And the majority of offenses are committed by someone the victim knows or at least recognizes.

Perhaps the most disturbing truth is that the rape perpetrator will probably victimize seven to nine women before he’s jailed.

In our increasingly violent collective, women must often yield to an incessant voice that warns: Be careful where you walk. Be careful where you park. Be careful where you go. Be careful what you wear. Be careful what you say.

The unnerving posture of gender violence is what prompted me to seek out the best self-defense instructor I could find for the women I care about in my life — who just happens to be the author of the book you’re holding in your hands right now.

Tim Larkin’s Survive the Unthinkable relays a message of empowerment, not panic. It’s the key that can unlock your personal power as a woman.

With many things in life, the truth is often nearly 180 degrees from what your imagination might suggest. The principles and methods that Tim Larkin shares in this critical book are perfect examples of this:

  • Women need NOT be vulnerable to attack, and they already have the tools necessary to avoid violence or protect themselves in those rare instances where avoidance isn’t possible.

  • Even the most violent sociopaths are incredibly vulnerable once you know the psychology of what drives their behavior.

  • The people who are most effective at “self-defense” typically have no formal training.

Being able to protect yourself doesn’t require muscle, fancy techniques, or months of practice at the martial arts studio. All that you need to live confidently and joyfully is knowledge and the willingness to apply it.

As a woman, you have people who depend on you — perhaps your partner, children, siblings, friends. Please consider the ability to defend yourself a responsibility, not a luxury, in much the same way that you might exercise, wear your seatbelt, or get regular medical checkups.

This book presents imperative components that ensure peace of mind, which ultimately allows us to find fulfillment in our daily life. The emotional edge my friend Tim Larkin presents helps to create a better life through key adjustments to our perception, psychology, and awareness. You can trust, as I do, that Tim Larkin’s teachings are the most effective, thoroughly tested, and reliable way to ensure your safety, confidence, and self-assurance, which will in turn enable you to effectively cooperate with others, operate at optimal productivity, and get the most enjoyment out of every day of your life.

www.timlarkin.com

Approximately   1.9 million women are physically assaulted annually in the United   States alone. In his New York Times bestselling book Survive the Unthinkable, Tim Larkin empowers women to   understand that surviving a potential attack isn’t about being   physically bigger, faster, or stronger; it’s about knowing how to   self-protect, not self-defend. – See more at: http://www.timlarkin.com/book.php#more

(Foreward by Tony Robbins)

Feel Important !

i-am-important

When you’re with a group of people, how do you want to feel?
Think about it….whether it is at work or socially…..

….in most cases people want to feel important (among other things)!

When someone in your past has treated you as an important person, or someone listens to you and your thoughts, or you’re a client and they treat you like a VIP – you feel important and that feels good.

Maybe you have a friend, a teacher, a mentor – someone that truly thinks you are important and they treat you that way.

You feel pretty good right?

You feel like you’re special, like you can do things and you have more confidence.

Do you make or let others feel important?

I know a gentleman, I don’t get a chance to see him much anymore, but he always made me feel special. He listened to me and I could tell he valued what I said.

I know that he was much smarter than I was and I probably didn’t have much new to say or much to add to his knowledge on things, but he never acted that way.

I had the chance to see him out in public somewhere – a group of us had to go to the supermarket to buy food for an activity.

It was amazing, he asked a clerk where something was and he made that clerk feel special! The guy left smiling and had a spring in his step!

Later at the cashier, he made her feel special, too! She smiled to herself and looked happy doing her job.

I wish I noticed more what he said – it wasn’t much….it was a few passing words, a smile, a question or two perhaps – but the ‘special’ part was no more than 2 minutes – probably 1 minute.

Some people are born with the gift, like he was, but we all can develop it.

Think of ways that you can make others feel special each day.

At work – your boss, co-workers, your clients, your support team, etc.

At home – your spouse, your children, neighbors

In life – friends, mentors, protégés, community members

It doesn’t matter what your job or career is – whether you’re in sales, teaching, medicine, art – making others feel important will help you and help them – and help you accomplish your mission – whatever that is.

Here’s a set of good Questions of Power:

  1. How can I make others feel important each day?
  2. What things can I say or to make others feel important?
  3. What makes me feel important?
  4. Why do I feel important?

Everyone  has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.’  Never forget this message when working with people. – Mary Kay  Ash
Thanks!
www.onewebstrategy.com

Father’s Day

Father’s Day

First, Happy Father’s Day!

I lost my dad in 2009. He was a great dad.

Growing up, many of my friends liked him because he joked around, remembered their names, and was friendly. I was sometimes embarrassed by my dad then and thought he talked too much. Now that I’m a father, I strive to be like him. I am sometimes a bit silly with my daughters’ friends and I like to play jokes on them. I try to smile a lot like my father did. I’m sure my daughters get embarrassed by me now and then, but that’s OK.

I had the opportunity to work with my dad in a family business. We also traveled together on business trips. Looking back, I really feel fortunate for having done this with him. I gained so much. Years later having worked in many other business environments with many other managers, I know that my dad was giving, gracious, helpful and good boss. In life and in business, my dad gave me some guidance but also gave independence so that I would learn on my own, even if it meant having failures or mistakes come my way. He made his own mistakes and took risk, and he shared many of those lessons with me.

I look back and shake my head at those times I was embarrassed by him, times that I was impatient or angry at him. I used to feel sorry for myself because everyone always asked about my dad and not about me. My ego got in the way. I often felt that his ‘shoes were hard to fill’ and I felt inadequate in his shadow.

Today I just miss having him around.

The other day I saw someone cutting down a tree with a chainsaw. The saw dust, sound and smell triggered a moment when my father and I were cutting down a tree one hot summer day, years ago. The saw dust was sticking to our sweaty arms and we were moving the logs and branches around. I think we polished the evening off with a cold, refreshing iced tea and a nice walk with our dog Greta down the road we lived on, which was lined by large Scotch Pine trees. There was a gentle whisper as the warm summer breeze blew through the pine branches.  I was glad that I was in the moment then. I try to be in the moment now with my own daughters; you never know what or which memory will stick with you.

If your dad is still around, tell him how you really feel and share a good memory with him, then go create a new one with him.

If your dad is gone, give thanks and share a good memory with someone else, and then go create a new one with someone you care about.

Best regards,

Jim

Dad taught me everything I know. Unfortunately, he didn’t teach me everything he knows.
Al Unser

To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter.
Euripides

It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.
Anne Sexton

My Story, Chapter 4

inspire

Continued…..

….so that fall I returned to college a new person….really I felt like a man for the first time ever. As I mentioned, people treated me differently. I had a new confidence and self-respect. I can tell you that my relationships, grades, and life were affected.

I went to the fitness center 4 or 5 times a week. I ate better. I worked in the office and carried a 90% load of schoolwork. My grades improved greatly. My professors noticed my change. I began to think differently.

My parents now went to Florida from January to April. They bought a small place there and had a great time – they deserved it. My dad played volleyball 4 or 5 days a week and softball once or twice a week. My mother and father rode there bikes around the park most of the day and they socialized. They looked and acted years younger.

Besides some basic challenges, the year went on well. My father had a minor set back the next year but recovered quickly. I continued to run the business mostly on my own, using my dad as a valuable consultant. I would bounce ideas and situations off of him and we’d work together. My father and I did travel together to some larger clients, some tradeshows and other business. I got to spend time with him as a boss, partner and for the first time friend. It was a great time and I am forever grateful for that time. As time went on, I began to inject more of my own ideas and personality into the business. I had much to learn.

The next year of college came and I continued to maintain the balance of work, school, and social life. I began to enjoy the bit of extra money that I started to gather. Life was good.

I began to really taste independence. When I say that, I mean it in a few ways….I tasted what it was like to earn money, to save money, and to invest it. I saw my money grow in my investments, so I understood the passive nature of investing.

By the nature of our business, we set up dealers, home centers, and distributors. They sold our products. We earned commission. That was pretty cool. We earned money whether we were golfing, driving, sleeping or whatever. Sure we had to offer support, service and coordinate deliveries….and yes set up new dealers, but it was cool when I understood that there was a recurring revenue of sorts happening there.

The other part of independence was that we were living one about 30 acres – about 10 acres of fields in front of the home and office, and the balance behind us in beautiful woods. There was a small hillside on the on side of the property so that we were in a nice little valley. Not far in the woods, we had a creek. You could sit in the office in mid-summer and open the windows to a great cool breeze. You could hear birds sing, hear the bubbling creek, and look out and see deer.

If you wanted to take a walk, go fishing, it was all possible. There was an independence so that we were not tied to a city building, hampered by a commute and traffic. We weren’t tied to one employer. We had the freedom of recurring income. The independence that all people experience when they first reach a certain level of income was there. Life was good.

Later in my life I got away from many of these things. I worked in the city and had a very long commute. I worked for controlling employers. I would spend years longing to get back to that independence – the feeling that I controlled my own life. I lost the recurring revenue and the almost passive nature of the income.  For many years, sometimes on purpose, sometimes because of circumstances around me, I lost independence. I can tell you this, it is much better, in so many ways, to be as independent as possible. I’ve had it and in some ways, I lost it.

As with any life event, I learned lessons. Among others, I learned the WORDS TO LIVE BY: Independence. Being free to act on your own, free to live where you want. I encourage you, define what independence means to you and what types of it are important to you.

—-

I really grew over a few years. I learned a lot. I took some risks. I made some mistakes. I had successes.

One of the companies was about 90% of our income. We were independent but when you looked at the finances of our business, we were very dependent on one company. It wasn’t by design but because that company had such a diverse nature of products and because of how the territory simply developed, we were tied to them.

One spring we got news that this company hired a new set of sales managers. We got the call that one was coming to our area and we had to set up some visits. We approached it with a great attitude but he was pretty tough to deal with. Even though he knew nothing of the industry, he came across as egotistical, typically interrupted people, and was not a pleasant guy to spend the guy with…..

….he came into town a few times that summer and he’d typically tick off clients wherever he visited. We’d ask for help solving problems but he never solved one of them. He often was late for appointments and was disrespectful to me and my father. Then one day he asked us to meet him somewhere far. So we got up at 5am, drove to see this guy and we got fired.

That year, that company let go of any and every representative like us across the country and they went with some in-house salaried people. (Within 12 months that company also let go that sales manager!) Things change. You must adapt!.

So we drove all the way home on that beautiful summer day. I could tell that my dad was very upset that suddenly the business had lost 90% of its cashflow and the legacy he wanted to leave was not going to be the same. We tried to enjoy the day and we discussed the exit strategy….we also began to think about what the next step would be………

….continued….

Simple Stuff

It’s part of nature’s built-in checks and balances, that while there may be times when you think you can’t even help yourself, precisely in such moments there will always be someone else nearby… you can help, instead.
Which, I think you know, is actually one of the fastest ways to help yourself. I hope that helps, The Universe (Mike Dooley http://www.tut.com)

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Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

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Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go. Mother Teresa

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I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. Maya Angelou

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When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous. Wayne Dyer

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Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving. Erma Bombeck

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http://www.onewebstrategy.com

..

My Story, Chapter 1

Storybook_Cover1

When I started blogging I told stories about myself – moreso than I have recently. Many people reacted well to that.

I received good feedback. Recently a few of you have asked that I return to that sort of thing.

At the same time I wanted to put my story, or at least part of it, out there. My goal is to share my mistakes, successes and the lessons that I learned. Plus if you see me and how I go through some challenges I’ve had, maybe you will be encouraged through your challenges.

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Starting the story is often the toughest part, right?

Do I start telling you about when I thought I might go bankrupt? Do I tell you how great I felt when my daughters were born? When I was promoted in different jobs? When I was self-employed – the freedom, excitement, pride, fear, anxiety? Or do I start talking about “the year” when I was unemployed and we lost 5 family members, they passed-away?

I thought about the many challenges that I’ve faced as an adult – probably similar to things you’ve faced….. I chose to start when I first felt “baptism by fire”, as it was referred to by a family friend.

OK, picture a 20 year old young male. I had been a pretty shy person in grade school, even high school. During my freshmen year at college I was still pretty shy but started to come out of my shell. Now, during my sophomore year, I decided to be a social butterfly. I got a fake ID, I went out, I dated, I had fun. I got to know lots of people at college and at other spots. Lots of road trips were involved. I had my first Spring Break trip to Daytona Beach. Wow, I enjoyed life for a few months. I had lots of fun.

However, you could safely say that I didn’t put much effort into studies and my grades fell hard that year. It was May, school was out, and my parents knew I didn’t do well and although the report card didn’t come home yet, I knew that it wasn’t going to be pretty.

Now, step back for a moment…..My father operated a sales agency in the kitchen cabinet and woodworkers’ industry. He was formerly a cabinetmaker who had a heart attack at age 45. So he became a self-employed sales rep to the same industry. At this time, he was about 58. He was successful, did well and had a nice addition on our home for the home office. I never knew anything of an empty stomach, empty refrigerator, empty pantry or old clothes. However, I didn’t get the name brands and I didn’t live like a rich kid.

Since school let out, I said that I’d take a week off then start working for my dad that summer. (Somehow I thought that I needed a week’s vacation from all the partying at college before I could work.) So I ‘chilled’ for about a week, listening to Ice, Ice, Baby (Vanilla Ice); Blame it on the Rain (Milli Vanilli); Janie’s Got a Gun (Aerosmith); Epic (Faith No More); Without You (Motley Crue); Blaze Of Glory (Jon Bon Jovi), and my favorite of that period, Pink Floyd. Some sweet tunes. I look back, man was I immature.

Monday came and it was time to work. I put in my first day with my dad….. I woke up, didn’t shower, put on the baseball cap and coasted through the day. My mom made us both a big lunch, about 1 hour long; it was going to be a sweet summer. After dinner it was time to cut the grass. We lived on about 30-some acres, about 10 was grass. I think I cut most of it that night on the tractor. My dad was using the push mower to trim around the house and tight spots. I noticed he had a tough time starting it – it was a pull-start – and he was getting frustrated.

Later I finished up, it was getting dark and I came into the house. My mother was out in town running errands. My father was laying in bed – it was perhaps 9pm. He never laid in bed that early – especially with his ‘work clothes’ on. I asked him what happened. He thought that he pulled a muscle starting the mower – his lower left side hurt.

Of course I did the right thing – I went immediately to my room and put on Pink Floyd. My mother came home very soon after, saw him, checked him out and called the ambulance. He was having another heart-attack, she said.

She asked me to go stand by him and talk to him. I did. What was I to say? I tried to joke about something but I could see he was in pain. I told him to try and relax. Easy for me to say.  I recall that he got up at one point or so with dry heaves and other symptoms. It was scarey. This was a serious downer dude.

The ambulance was taking a long time to get to the house. It was before the 911 emergency services named and mapped the roads. Long before GPS. Our address was RD#3 Box 280F. Not much help finding the home.

Through their radio and the dispatcher, they called our house looking for better directions. They went to our neighor’s house about 1/4 mile away. He walked the ambulance back….yes, I said he WALKED the ambulance back to the house.

I recall seeing in the dusk a man walking back our private road – and behind him was an ambulance. I couldn’t believe it….my father was having a heart attack and the ambulance was literally coming to our home at a walker’s pace. It finally arrived, they went upstairs. They came down with my dad on the gurney and they couldn’t get him past our decorative wagon wheels on either side of the sidewalk.

My dad had put these old wagon wheels he found from the old farm on our property there years early. They were in the theme of my parents’ home, I suppose. On this day, they were barriers to my dad’s medical services, perhaps to saving his life. The ambulance guys were gently trying to move the wheels and delicately trying to push them aside. I recall telling one to step back and I kicked it hard, then watched it fall out of the way.

My mom left to go to the hospital. She asked me to stay, wrap up the home and not come into the hospital until the next morning. She called from the hospital later that night and repeated her wish for me to stay there at home as it would be a long week and she needed me fresh. She gave me a list of clothes and items to bring in the next day.

I hung up and noticed that my hands were shaking. I began to tremble all over my body. What the hell was going on? Two weeks ago I was hangin’ with my buds and a few cold brews. One week ago I was chillin’ in my room. Now my dad was possibly dying? A heart attack – again?

I remember suddenly noticing how beautiful the night was outside. I sat out on our screened porch on that early summer’s night. We lived on the edge of the woods and the noises from the trees comforted me. I heard animals, birds, bugs settle in for the night. I heard the quiet noise from Mill Creek. I was alone but didn’t feel loneliness. I couldn’t calm down though…I kept shaking.

I went inside and tried to watch TV but couldn’t do so. I still was trembling. For the first time that I could recall, I went into my parents’ cabinet and got a shot of whiskey, just one, and took it. It calmed me enough that I went to bed and slept.

Continued……………

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