Tag Archives: parents

Frey Freyday -Control/Connection

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Control – [kuh n-trohl] – to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate;

Connect – [kuhnekt] – to associate mentally or emotionally

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Maya Angelou

The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you. Tony Robbins

I’m very happy with my life. I am what I am. I don’t worry about anything that I can’t control. That’s a really good lesson in life. Tom Watson

The world is so unpredictable. Things happen suddenly, unexpectedly. We want to feel we are in control of our own existence. In some ways we are, in some ways we’re not. We are ruled by the forces of chance and coincidence. Paul Auster

Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success. Paul J. Meyer

The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection. Robin S. Sharma

Live-tweeting your bikini wax is not vulnerability. Nor is posting a blow-by-blow of your divorce . That’s an attempt to hot-wire connection. But you can’t cheat real connection. It’s built up slowly. It’s about trust and time. Brene Brown

People are so fearful about opening themselves up. All you want to do is to be able to connect with other people. When you connect with other people, you connect with something in yourself. It makes you feel happy. And yet it’s so scary – it makes people feel vulnerable and unsafe. Toni Collette

I think any new technology that helps connect and create social cohesion is great. But at the end of the day, you and I are analog creatures. We have to take ‘oohs and aahs’ and convert them to 0s and 1s and then convert them back to ‘oohs and aahs.’ Narratives that work in social networks are the exchange of stories that are told well. Peter Guber

A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities and people that were somehow absent before the change. Earl Nightingale

I like to control everything, and you cannot control everything. You have to at some point say, ‘I let go and I’m going to let the cards fall where they fall… For a control freak, it’s hard. Naomi Campbell

WORDS TO LIVE BY:

CONTROL and CONNECT

We humans like to control things – our ego believes that we can and should control anything. When we are fearful or when we come from a place of scarcity, we like to control. Control gives us a false sense of security.

Connection is what humans are really about when we’re in our best state of mind. We connect to others, we connect to nature, we connect to our creative self. We can connect with work, happiness, grief, struggle, triumph and loss. For those that believe, we can be inspired and connected to God, the Universe or the Source. We connect better when we come from a place of certainty, calm, and abundance. (In this case abundance isn’t referring to monetary or materialistic abundance – here abundance means an abundance of love, creativity, family, friends, and the connection to all of these.)

Often parents take the role of controlling their children or their child’s life. At first, when they are you, this is often needed. But as they get older, all parties might do better if the parent tried to connect more with the child and control less. A worried parent will try to control their child or the situation, which can stifle the child, hamper the opportunity to grow, and even hinder the parent/child relationship. By taking time to connect with a child (at any age) instead of trying to control, more intimacy is built, more insight, trust, and understanding comes about.
Men and women both have male and female archetypes. For instance, when a father is nurturing to his child, he may be coming more from the female archetype, more from connection. When a mother tries to control the child or the child’s situation, she is coming more from the male archetype and less from connection.

Control in any relationship; parent/child, husband/wife, etc. typically leads to less intimacy and the relationship growth slows.One human shouldn’t and really can’t control another in a healthy relationship. There may be situations where a mother is being more controlling and she isn’t connecting enough. This is typically a male archetype which can also make her less attractive to the opposite sex. Her attempt to control can push others away. Likewise, a male without any control can have the same result. There has to be a balance of sorts for each sex, there has to be the appropriate amount of control and connection.
As I stated before, our egos give us a sense that we can control life. We rarely do. Planning certainly helps and planning can feed creativity and opportunity, but control cannot. Planning a life or a situation or planning together for a strong relationship is wise but ultimately after the planning is done, we must let go and have faith.

Similarly, planning and giving gentle guidance to a child is helpful and nurturing yet we also must trust in our child and trust in the world and we must let go. Knees will get skinned. Bones may even break. Hearts will break. Mistakes will happen. Yet our guidance along the way will kick in and the child will learn and succeed.

Similarly, in our own lives, we may skin our proverbial knees and make mistakes – and we should all realize by now that we really can’t control much. The ego is wrong. Judgement is wrong. Let’s let go of the fear and have faith. Let’s connect with our world, our loved ones and ourselves and let good things come our way.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

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?

Frey Freyday (Re-tooled): Parents

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

UPDATE: I took time over the holidays to reflect and retool. Hopefully Freydays were missed and hopefully you now welcome the return:

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

I dedicate this first Frey Freyday/Word To Live By to my parents, Jim and Joan………..

par·ent (pâr′ənt, păr′-) -Parents can be any couple (or individual) that gives birth, adopts, acts as a guardian or otherwise raises a child. It takes almost no effort or care to be a father or mother. It takes lots of love, care, and attention to be a Mom or Dad. A parent provides unconditional love, guidance, listening, nurturing, protection, education, support, morals, values, resilience, commitment, leadership, humor, and ideas. Just like the child, the parent learns along the way too, they do their best. One of the hardest things for a parent to do is also the best thing a parent can do (eventually) and that’s give a child the gift of independence and eventually ‘let go’ and have faith in their child.

[Note: children will never really know what the love for a child is like until they are a parent]

——

One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to have parents to call mom and dad. -Jim DeMint

At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents. -Jane D. Hull


Respect your parents. What they tell you is true. Hard work, dedication and faith will get you anything. Imagination will drive itself. You can get anything you want, but you have to have faith behind all your ideas. Stick to your goals and have an undying faith. -Russell Simmons


How true Daddy’s words were when he said: all children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. -Anne Frank


Children learn to smile from their parents.-Shinichi Suzuki

The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.-Benjamin Spock


We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.-Henry Ward Beecher


If at first you don’t succeed, blame your parents.-Marcelene Cox

When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.- Rodney Dangerfield

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:

STOP that argument in its tracks

From time to time I like to pass along other good websites or blogs, etc. that are really good stuff.

This is from Robbins-Madanes Training (Tony Robbins and Chloe Madanes) http://robbinsmadanescoachtraining.com/?p=1464

I highly recommend that you take time to read it and watch the video(s)…….

It starts here…..

Have you ever been in an argument with someone where you realize, “Wow. This might be the end of our relationship!” It could be a tough conversation with a friend about hurt feelings that could end the friendship and make you enemies. It might be a business negotiation where instead becoming partners you become competitors. It could be a conversation with your spouse that could lead to a decision that you regret forever. These are dangerous minutes, right? Well, conversations like this we call “high stakes conversations.” If you win, you win it all. If you lose, you lose it all. The stakes are high. So how do you turn it around?

Today let’s explore one simple strategy called the Outcome Strategy.

You see, the problem with high stakes conversations is that two speakers tend to get stuck in an emotional opposition to each other. In other words: the more you take your position, the more I disagree with you and take the opposite position, and vica versa. When you get opposed to each other like this, you start reacting to me and the emotional dynamics of our conversation rather than the actual outcome you want. Instead of being proactive – and thinking creatively about what’s best for everyone, the conversation plays out as if only one of you can win this game. Now, what’s wrong with getting stuck in an opposition is that any two people having a high-stakes conversation are likely to have a lot in common: a relationship, a history, and shared objectives. When you get stuck in an opposition, you stop reacting to what’s good and only react to what you see as bad – the other person’s disagreements, opposition, disrespect. That’s what’s so dangerous – you’re likely to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The Outcome Strategy is there to stop that pattern, see past the opposition, align with each other, and find creative solutions for your outcomes. The strategy has three basic parts:

1. ASK TO UNDERSTAND. Simply tell the person, “I really want to understand you,  your experience, and what you want. Please tell me what is most important to you right now.” In other words, you’re asking to understand their outcome. Most conflicts are triggered by a specific emotion -when the other person doesn’t feel you will look after their interests. When you become a great listener, this changes fast. The thing they’re upset about could be a policy decision, it could be that they want to feel respected, it could mean they sick of deadlines not being met. At bottom, what is upsetting them is the feeling that you are not willing to help them. Listen, listen, listen. Align with them so that you’re helping them get what they need.

2. ASK HOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN – AND OFFER HELP. Pretty common-sense, right? When we rally for something, when we push for something to happen, we usually have a vision – an expectation, an idea, a preconception, a bias – on how it should happen or will happen. You need to understand the other person’s vision in very concrete terms. So just say, “What’s important to you is important to me, and I want you (and us) to have this outcome. How are you thinking it’s going to take place? What has to happen? What do you need? What’s the sequence of steps we need to take?” Don’t ask this in a challenging way. Instead, think of yourself as rolling up your sleeves, going side-by-side with the other person, saying, “OK, where do we start?” If you can, take notes and get the sequence of action steps to get to the outcome. Remember: if this is a high-stakes conversation, the upset was caused by the feeling that you’re not looking after your friend… so counter that by committing now to some steps and turn that around. Write your commitments down on paper. This sends a strong signal that you are cooperating and that the argument is over. Once the person understands that you are on their side and that you will help, you also have an opportunity to offer solutions that get you to the outcome more quickly.

3. RAISE THE COMMON INTENT. Now, once the person feels you understand their outcome and how they want to get it, once they feel you are no longer opposed to them, raise the intent. Here’s how this works. When we get into a high stakes argument, it usually devolves to you vs. me. Now that’s a restricted kind of “survival mode” thinking that kicks in when we get into a personal conflict. Now that you’ve aligned with the other person, share a broader intention – of helping you, helping me, of helping those around us, and helping in the long term. When you raise the common intent and widening the circle of people who will get benefits, you have the opportunity also to introduce action steps that may help more people or bring the outcome on more quickly and effectively.

SOUND SIMPLE? The Outcome Strategy sounds simple because it makes a lot of sense intellectually. It’s actually a fundamental skill of problem solving that is useful in just about every high-stakes conversation you’ll encounter. So let’s take a real-world example. The day is September 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks in New York. Tony Robbins had been giving a workshop in Hawaii for 2,000 people from over 30 countries, 50 of whom had just lost friends, family, or businesses in the World Trade Center attacks. The group was incredibly upset, and there had already been outbreaks of arguments and fights. Tony stepped onstage and was guiding the group through a process of emotional mastery to deal with the fact of the event… when a young Pakistani man stood up to exclaim that he felt sympathy with the terrorists. So there you have it: a high-stakes conversation. One man with a minority point of view in the group, speaking in a highly charged, raw way about something that has upset everyone, while others in the room were having to be restrained from attacking him. How does Tony deal with this intelligently? The Outcome Conversation. It’s only 15 minutes long – but it transformed everything.

(there is a video at http://robbinsmadanescoachtraining.com/?p=1464 that I can’t copy here)

How did the Outcome Conversation work with Asad? Let’s review.

1. Tony asked Asad to share how he feels and why, so that Tony can grasp is point of view. Understanding Asad is Tony’s path to mastering the situation. He listens non-judgmentally, thanks Asad for explaining himself, and acknowledges his point of view completely. He also says over and over: “I haven’t had your experience, so I have zero judgment. This is just my opinion. If you want to tell me I’m full of it, I’m totally OK with that, because I’m not you.” This tells Asad that he’s justified in his emotions and that he has been heard and understood.

2. Tony asks Asad “How do you expect this will happen?” In this case, how is the terrorist attack supposed to further the Muslim cause? At this point, the conversation shifted. Asad realized that his position doesn’t make sense… violence would not lead the west to understand, it would just lead to more violence in the cycle. Tony gives Asad a non-judgmental space to figure this out himself. Once Asad realizes that it doesn’t make sense, he’s open to help.

3. Tony raises Asad’s intent. Asad is thinking big – he’s thinking about the Muslim cause and the plight of Iraqis torn by the war, so Tony meets him there and raises his intent even higher: how can we impact the people Asad loves in the most effective way? By condoning violence, or by making violence unacceptable? When Asad accepts this higher intent, he also accepts the responsibilities of being a leader – of seeing how his behavior will impact hundreds and/or thousands.

As a result, a conversation that could have been dangerous or disappointing ended up bringing everyone in the room to a higher level of intent, understanding, compassion, and intelligent action. Asad clarified his outcome and achieved it on that day – and as a result, he became a crusader for tolerance and greater understanding.

After this conversation, Tony invited Asad onstage, along with Bernie, a Jewish man from New York who had stood up to challenge Asad. Tony guided the two through a process of Indirect Negotiation. By the end of the evening, the two men had each had breakthroughs, embraced, and started an organization for religious tolerance. Today Asad continues to work as a crusader for peace. Here is his talk at a TED conference in Karachi, Pakistan.

The 2 pound dog with really big angel wings

Besides onewebstrategy.com, this blog, I also sometimes write – or have my daughters contribute to, another blog about our dog (http://yorkiebichon.wordpress.com/) – it was originally created to be a fun, upbeat, simple little blog about how little things can make a big difference. It was created to entertain, enlighten and help us all remember the importance of laughter, family, friends, and fun. It was something that my daughters could read, that they could write about and contribute to, and they could have a little fun with – and I could have a little fun with… This blog posting is a little bit of a downer, sorry, but needs to be said…..

Hi, this is Daisy’s male human. I am the only male human in her home. Daisy and I wrestle and play more than the others at home.

Heck, I’m a Forty-something male, married with children, and here I am writing about a 2 pound dog named Daisy. Real manly. Are you serious? Yep.

If you have followed the blog for a while, or read the ABOUT page, you’ll know that the blog is based on how (and I realize that it may sound silly) Daisy made a big difference in my family’s life, in my life, during a tough year. Like many Americans, I became unemployed for the first time ever in 2009. I was making some nice money and it went away. Then my wife’s sweet grandmother passed away. Then my dad passed away. 5 weeks later my mother passed away. We lost my wife’s uncle and her other grandmother that year too. We bought Daisy that summer. A little, feisty, fun Yorkie-Bichon.

Daisy brought the family some much needed joy, fun, and distraction that year, and continued to do so.

She often wanted to play, and for 2 pounds, she got into it. Like many dogs, she would always greet you with all sorts of enthusiasm when you came home. She did silly things that made us laugh. She would offer a lick almost anytime you wanted it. More that anything, she loved to cuddle. Being only 2 pounds, should could cuddle in an armpit, on your lap, in one arm, on your shoulder (like a parrot?), and other small places. She had spunk. She always thought that she could jump up anywhere, and would try and try. I think that she believed she could do anything – or that she was bigger and badder than she really was.

One thing that she did for me, and I hardly told anyone, was kinda sweet. I was really depressed one day. I was thinking about the loss of my parents, my unemployment, and my responsibilities as a husband and dad. A tear came down my cheek. Daisy was across the room in her bed but suddenly came running over, jumped up on the couch, and up to my face, and licked the tear off, wagging her tail, and then licking me all over. This happened another tough day too when she was in a completely different room. Somehow she must have sensed it or whatever. She came running in and cheered me up.

She cheered us all up that year, and ever since. In some ways, Daisy represents recovery and renewal for us. She helped us remember that life goes on. Through her unconditional love, we were reminded how we share that love with one another; our family and our friends. We admired her style, her spunk and her enthusiasm – she had a big heart for a little dog. Most dogs help us to be more aware and ‘in the moment’ – to enjoy the present.

We remembered that sometimes the most important thing is a roof over your head, a nice warm bed, food, and people that love you. Those fancy toys don’t really mean that much…..

As you may have noticed, I am speaking of Daisy in the past tense.

This week, Daisy awoke one morning, energetic, wagging her tail, licking us, and full of excitement as usual. Later in the day she became lethargic and slowly went down hill. One Wednesday, Daisy, approx. 2 pounds and 3 years old passed away peacefully.

My first thought was that we, as a family, (or me) still need Daisy to cheer us up….that we still needed her excitement in the morning and when we got home…her presence around the house, in our arms and on our laps.

Then I immediately felt something else. Daisy came to us when we needed cheering up. She did a great job and showed lots of love to the family. We laughed a lot because of her entertainment. Now Daisy is gone and I feel like maybe someone or something is telling us we don’t need her anymore, that we’re ok on our own now – and maybe some other family needs Daisy to cheer them up. Maybe she’s with them now. I may sound weird to some but her passing helped me finally conclude my grief for the sudden loss of both of my parents years ago.

I never thought I’d write a blog about a dog when I was over 40. It sounds kind of silly, actually. Then again, I am consistently, pleasantly surprised by people, life, the universe and all things that come my way lately. I think this blog is not really about just a dog, its about the love and laughter of a family, the playfulness and fund we find in life, of our hopes and happiness –  our pets can represent that sometimes. We personalize them and sometimes ‘impose’ human traits that really aren’t there sure. I am grateful for all of the people in my life. I am grateful for Daisy and all of the pets I’ve had through life.

UPDATE: I posted the above about one day after Daisy passed. In that short of time, we have received some much support from friends, and even some strangers. We received 2 handmade posters, multiple cards from our friends and from classmates of both daughters, our daughters received so much support from their school, we all received supportive texts and Skypes, my wife received many supportive Facebook messages, and people gave us brownies, chocolates, scones and a potted Gerber Daisy plant. School teachers gave hugs. The world is pretty cool. There are some really nice people out there. We have some really great friends. Thanks for all of the nice thoughts. Right back at ya!

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