One Hundred Years from Now

I saw an inspirational sign over the weekend. It said…

I saw an inspirational sign over the weekend.  It said:

One Hundred Years from now it will not matter what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had, nor what my clothes were like, but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child. 

All of us are children, some just older than others.  We each have the capacity to inspire, and to be inspired.  We each have the capacity to challenge, and to be challenged.  We certainly have the capacity to teach, and to be taught.  

Our openness to both sides of the equation is what’s most important.

What Are You Saying?

When talking to your friends, family, employees, or anyone else, do you use encouraging words, or discouraging words?

When talking to your friends, family, employees, or anyone else, do you use encouraging words, or discouraging words?

The words and tone you choose matter.  They reflect, and impact, your attitude.  Your words are the window into your perspective on the world.

Choose discouraging words, and you actively create a discouraging environment for those around you.

Choose encouraging words, use encouraging questions, and guess what…you create an encouraging environment.

The power to create an encouraging environment, an encouraging attitude, is in your hands everyday.

Here’s an exercise for you.  Seek out three people to encourage today.  Encourage them with your words, your questions, and your actions.  Show them that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.  Be appreciative of their unique efforts and skills.  Actively consider how to help them be more successful in achieving their goals.  Repeat this exercise everyday.

Does this exercise make you uncomfortable?  If so, maybe you should be the first person you seek out to encourage.

Everything Looks Easy…

Everything looks easy (from the grandstands)…


A pro golfer smacks a 325 yard drive off the tee.  He has modified his swing perfectly so the ball draws to follow the dog-leg turn in the fairway at about the 225-yard mark.  He bends over and picks up the tee, strolling casually away as if this is just a routine shot.  For him, it is routine.

A pitcher throws a ball 98 miles per hour, straight down the middle for a strike, and follows that up with an 80 mile per hour change-up with the exact same throwing motion…fooling the batter with both pitches.

A Cirque de Soleil performer soars through the air upside-down, holding on with one hand to what appears to be a satin sheet hanging down from above.  The soaring routine lasts 7-10 minutes, and the entire time the performer is merely hanging onto the satin sheet.

A freestyle motocrosser performs a no-handed back-flip across an 80 foot jump and lands it effortlessly.

A figure skater performs a jump combination that includes a triple spin in the air, followed by another triple spin in the opposite direction…landing flawlessly.

A general contractor and his crew convert an empty lot into a custom-built home, complete with custom landscaping, in less than 180 days.

A CEO gives an inspiring talk to 500 employees gathered in an auditorium.  There are also 25,000 others watching remotely on the web.  Every word is clear, precise, and each employee connects with the CEO’s message.

The audience only sees the final product.  They don’t see the countless hours (often, years) of dedication, practice, and failures that have made the difficult look easy.

Where are you spending your time?  In the grandstands where everything looks easy?  Or, in the game where commitment, and a willingness to fail on the way to success, are the price of admission?

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