Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Fall has arrived and we can all welcome the temperature change that this season brings. In just a matter of months 2013 will be history and I can only ask where did the year go. It seems like just yesterday, that we were embracing the new year. If you know me you know that it really doesn't take much for my mind to get to racing. For the last couple of days there have been some conversations and some things I've experienced that really made me say Hmmmmm. Somehow or another, actions and intentions have stuck in my head as I have developed some very deep thoughts on the subject. Take some time and think about this, "Why is it that you do what you do?" How do people view your intentions? How do people view your actions? Do you know how you lose your audience when your intentions and actions differ? “Good intentions are at least, the seed of good actions; and every one ought to sow them, and leave It to the soil and the seasons whether He or any other gather they fruit” William Temple “The more you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions, the more credibility you will have." Brian Koslow “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny." What is it that you said that you were going do but haven't yet? The intentions are there, but what is keeping you from taking action? Do you believe your intentions are self-serving? Or are they to serve others? “For an athlete to function properly, he must be intent. There has to be a definite purpose and goal if you are to progress. If you are not intent about what you are doing, you aren't able to resist the temptation to do something else that might be more fun at the moment." John Wooden “I never worry about action, but only about inaction." Winston Churchill “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe Maybe you are like myself and life has taught you to be a little skeptical about people based on your past experiences. Am I the only one that has thoughts in the back of their mind when the phone rings or someone randomly stops in to say hello? I am really starting to think that I am not the only person that questions every little thing that people do as so many people are so self serving that it makes you want to distance yourself from them. Don't get me wrong, I do understand that you have to be self serving to a point because at the end of the day you have to lookout for yourself. “The man who is intent on making the most of his opportunities is too busy to bother about luck.” B. C. Forbes “Before speaking, consider the interpretation of your words as well as their intent.” Andrew Alden “A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent." William Blake Believe it or not based on your purpose in life you can still be self serving and impact other people's lives positively. Self serving isn't always a bad thing as think of this example of your purpose in life is helping others and you create opportunities to give back and do things that make you feel good. When it's all said and done no person will be judged on his intentions, but our actions will be how we will be remembered. How does life look for you when your intentions and actions correspond with one another? How does life look for others when your intentions and actions match? “Let your intentions be good - embodied in good thoughts, cheerful words, and unselfish deeds - and the world will be to you a bright and happy place in which to work and play and serve" Grenville Kleiser “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.” Erma Bombeck Look around and see who you have surrounded yourself with. Does your circle reflect the life that you are ready live? Are the people you have around you the right ones to check your intentions? Your actions?? “Sometimes the people whom we've know for only a short amount of time have a bigger impact on us than those we've known forever." “A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally." Oscar Wilde This is the only life that you will ever be given, so go out and live it the best way you know how. Take chances and live with no regrets as it is your time as it always has been. Live life, be phenomenal, and remember #positivemovementsforwardalways. And I ask you again, "Why is it that you do what you do?" Maybe your answer is a little clearer now.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Thursday Morning Thoughts on Being at the Intersection of Anticipation, Preparation, and Determination 9/19/13
So this weekend was pretty amazing as this is truly one of my favorite times of the year. Cooler temperatures are ahead as well as football is starting to heat up. I can honestly say that both my Crimson Tide and Arizona Cardinals definitely gave me a reason to smile as they both were victorious. If you know anything about me there's nothing that I look forward to more than football season and football food. You should have known that I was going to work food in there one way or another. It's by no surprise that hearing all the hype and commentary before, during, and after the highly anticipated Alabama Vs Texas A&M football game put a few thoughts in my mind that had me in deep thought for awhile. Not really sure if I have connected all the pieces in my life right now that lead me to think about life at the intersection of anticipation, preparation, and determination. What are you anticipating? What are you prepared for? Why are you determined? “Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing; when we have made it, the next wish is to change again. The world is not yet exhausted; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw be" Samuel Johnson “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” “Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe." Gail Devers Believe it or not the concepts are probably intertwined in many aspects of our lives if we take a step back and look at things. Was it worth the anticipation? Were you prepared for it? How determined were you to see things through? “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race" Calvin Coolidge “Luck is a crossroad where preparation and opportunity meet” “Our and our behaviour are always in anticipation of a response. It is therefore fear-based." Deepak Chopra Let's be honest, we all have the same amount of time in any given day, but how are you using your time? What is it that separates you from some of the most successful people in the world? Were they more prepared? “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” “If your're not practicing, somebody else is, somewhere, and he'll be ready to take your job."Brooks Robinson “An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing." Samuel Smiles Sometimes in life I have found that we have anticipated things that we may have been ill prepared for, but for one reason or another we remained determined to have those things. Maybe it worked out or maybe it didn't, but you can't say that there wasn't an opportunity to experience something that you could learn from. Do you ever think that maybe we focus so much on what didn't happen that we lose sight of what actually did? What does being at the intersection of anticipation, preparation, and determination mean to now? What have you realized or what are you starting to realize? “Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences." Norman Cousins “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else." Albert Einstein “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity." Henry Hartman Stop and take a moment to appreciate this moment for what it actually is, cause no matter how bad you want to see it again you won't. Live life and enjoy every moment. I can't tell you enough to enjoy time you have with your family, friends, and those you care about as life is truly too short. I say this as I ask you to send prayers up for my friend Tammy and her family with the recent passing of her sister.
Saturday Evening Thoughts on the Intersection of Your Wants, Your Needs, and Your Willingness 9/7/13
The week of Labor Day always ends up being one of the longest shortest weeks of the year as we begin the transition from summer to fall. It's yet another great time to put things in perspective as we prepare to end the 3rd quarter of the year and prepare for the last push of 2014. I don't know about you, but I have to ask the question about where has the year gone. Regardless, of where it has gone I can tell you that I am still more than ready to enjoy the balance of 2013. Doesn't really take much these days to get my mind racing in a few directions and maybe I'm about to drop something that really makes you think. Have you ever thought about where you are this very minute? Do you even realize that maybe 20 years ago you made some decisions that ultimately contributed to arriving at this very place? Digest that for a minute and just think about what has transpired over the course of your life. What is it that you want? In your personal life? In your career? Within your family? “What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things.” “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein “Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.” Dr. Robert Anthony What is it that you need? Personally? Professionally? Spiritually? Within your family? Financially? “When we think of failure; Failure will be ours. If we remain undecided; Nothing will ever change. All we need to do is want to achieve something great and then simply to do it. Never think of failure For what we think, will come about.” Maharishi Mahesh “I don't want to earn my living; I want to live.” Oscar Wilde “Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.” Wayne Dyer What are you unwilling to do? What are you willing to do? What do you wish that you were willing to do, but for one reason or another aren't able to? What's stopping you? “Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment.” Mark Twain “You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need” Rolling Stones “The gift of friendship... a willingness to listen... a pair of helping hands... a whisper from the heart. That someone cares and understands.” Is there somewhere that you would like to be? Then why not get there?? Life is all about taking advantage of moments and the opportunities that are there for you. It's up to you to make the decision that you will embrace what's in front of you. Live a life that is free of regret and no wondering 20 years from now what if or what could have been. It has always been your choice and only yours to live a phenomenal life, so what’s really stopping you. Enjoy the things that you love, love the people you enjoy, and do it all with a smile on your face. Positive thoughts breed positive actions and #positivemovementsforward will take you where you need to be. When you arrive at the intersection of your wants, your needs, and your willingness, you should be prepared to get to the next level. “What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.” Leo Buscaglia
Saturday, September 7, 2013
firstname.lastname@example.org Woke up this past Saturday morning and did what I needed to do in order to be strong for the people that needed me. This was definitely a Saturday filled with an abundance of love and hope as we attended the Homegoing Celebration for my Aunt Gail. I was moved to tears several times, and they weren't tears of sadness, but tears of joy that I was able to spend a part of my life with someone who was so loved. I can honestly say that I was blessed to call her my aunt. Hearing from her church members, former classmates, friends, and co-workers was just a reminder of the impact that her life had on others. I was touched by the words and also the act of kindness from the Lanier High School Class of 1970 who honored my aunt with a resolution as at least 20 of her classmates were present. After hearing reflections about my aunt and words from the pulpit, there were some things that stuck with me and got my thoughts going. 1). So what do you do when the thing that you fear most happens? Often times we have fear about certain things for one reason or another, but are we prepared after the thing we fear happens? Was the fear because we are unsure of how we should or will proceed? Our faith should provide us the necessary strength to embrace things and move forward. We can't forget that He wouldn't put more on us than we could bear. “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” Fulton Oursler “Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” 2) In times of loss and sadness, where is your faith? This should be the time when we have the strongest faith, but often times we don't. 3) What a man says is not what he/she is measured by, but the fruits that they bear. This statement and ensuing words really had me in deep thought reflecting upon my own life. What type of fruit am I bearing? Good fruit? Bad fruit? How will I be remembered when the breath of life is gone from my body? “Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold -- but so does a hard-boiled egg.” “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” James D Miles “I admire men of character, and I judge character not by how men deal with their superiors, but mostly how they deal with their subordinates, and that, to me, is where you find out what the character of a man is” Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf 4) What does friendship mean to you? I ask this question as one of my aunt's closest friends got up to speak about her and their friendship over the years. Thinking in this day and age that some often lose sight of how important friendships are to carrying us through the ups and downs of life. I know that for me I truly care a lot about those that I have chosen to call friend. Over the several weeks, I have been reminded about who my friends are and that they truly are there for me and my family. Constantly encouraged and supported through it all I know that my friends are a reflection of me. “A true friend is one who knows all about you and likes you anyway.” Christi Mary Warner “A friend is someone who helps you up when you're down, and if they can't, they lay down beside you and listen.” “Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert Camus With every second that we live, we are reminded about how we should enjoy every moment as we are not guaranteed the next. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed with those that you care about and love. I challenge you to live the phenomenal life that was destined for you. Are you up for it? Remember positive thoughts breed positive actions and keeping #positivemovementsforward at the forefront of every thing that you do will take you to the next level in many areas of your life.
Monday, August 12, 2013
On the tail end of another weekend and preparing to embrace another week. The weather wasn't as bad as it normally was here in the Valley and I almost enjoyed it, but my mind was elsewhere. When life happens it does and there's nothing you can do but roll with it. At any given moment you can choose to be an optimist or a pessimist as those are really your two only choices when dealing with anything. Even prior to Friday, there were quite a few thoughts floating around my head about a lot of things but I reeled them in a little as the word/concept of perfect stuck in my head. Tell me what you know about perfection. What does it mean to be perfect? What does perfect mean to you? Let me tell you what I was thinking initially based on conversations I have had with people about the perfect man/woman. Honestly, there is no such thing as a perfect person as we all have imperfections. As we learn about the imperfections in ourselves and in others it is possible to find a man/woman that is the perfect complement to the person that we are. If we are mature enough in the mind to see that we have already built a solid foundation to a successful relationship. “We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly” Sam Keen “We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.” Tom Robbins I often hear people talk about doing something when things are right or the situation is perfect. That time is not in the future, but is in the very moment that the opportunity presents itself to think about making a move. Time waits for no man, and tomorrow is not promised so why is it that we don't believe that things aren't perfect in this moment? How much better can things get? Right now, you are alive, you are breathing, with sound mind and body, so why not take action to put you closer to where you want to be. There's no more perfect a moment than right now, because believe or not things couldn't be more perfect. “When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky” Buddha “Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” Anthony Robbins Just as we are all unique in our own ways, our perspectives afford us an opportunity to see what is perfect in different ways. What are some things that you can think of that we all see as perfect no matter what? “A hug is the perfect gift; one size fits all, and nobody minds if you exchange it.” What about you seems to be perfect? If there is one thing that should be perfect, it should be your faith. Doesn't matter what you have faith in, but that should be one area that you have a belief that your faith in whatever is perfect. “The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings” James Matthew Barrie My thoughts were probably all across the board, but surely there was something here that may have made you take a deeper look at something you have experienced, are experiencing, or plan to experience in the future. My life isn't perfect and surely a large majority of my decisions haven't been perfect, but they have been perfect for the life that I am destined to live. As you move forward in this new week and prepare to get closer to living the life that is perfect for you and your family, I ask that you reach out to your family, friends, and loved ones as often as you can. No man or woman knows the day nor the hour when you won't be able to pick up the phone, send a text, or reach out to let someone know you care. I ask a small favor that you send up prayers for my family and extended family as we deal with the terminal illness of a loved one. Next couple of days are going to be rough and we are going to need the strength. Only thing that I know for certain right now that every thing that you want or need can be perfect for you if you: Live life, Be phenomenal, and remember #Positivemovementsforward always. “Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect.” Benny Hill “''Now'' is the operative word. Everything you put in your way is just a method of putting off the hour when you could actually be doing your dream. You don't need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating.” Barbara Sher
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Seems like just a short time ago it was July 1st and I can only ask where did the month of July go. Here we are staring right in the face of a new month and that much closer to closing out 2013. A mere 5 months remain and hopefully you are on track to hit all your goals for the year. Today was a great day for me as I started it in one of the best ways imaginable talking to my mother sometime around 4 am considering we are still nine hours apart. I don't know about you, but when I talk to my mother it seems like I don't have a care in the world. Must be something about being the 1st born child and knowing that she is always there for her baby boy.(Yup, I will always be my mother's baby boy) Over the last several months, I have been having a lot of good conversation with my family, friends, and extended family about what it means to be there for one another. Without question, life happens and in the midst of our living there are opportunities for us to be there or not there. There are a ton of different directions that I could take as I think about getting there, being there, and staying there that deal with so many aspects of our lives. Relationships? Career? Are you there yet? Where is there? Why do you want to be there? Where is it that you are striving to be? Who is there for you? Who are you there for? Why have you decided to be there? What does it look like to be there? Kind of interesting how I ended up asking myself these questions after making what appeared to be a simple phone call to wish Deacon Alvin Battle a happy birthday this morning. Here I was calling to celebrate his day, and he is asking me questions about what I am doing and why I was still holding back on sharing my talents with the world. Deacon Battle also left me with this nugget to think on; "Sometimes the blessed tend to be more selfish than selfless." Funny how even when you aren't around people, thoughts of you keep a presence in their lives. The same is probably true of you when people aren't around you. I am blessed in the fact that I know even when I don't believe I need someone that they are always there for me. It's a great feeling when you know that not if you need someone, but when you need someone they are there for you. Look around and ask yourself do you really know what's there? Are you appreciating the place where you are? Are you appreciating the people that are there with you? As you prepare for the weekend ahead, I can only challenge you to live life and be phenomenal. In everything that you do, don't forget the #PositiveMovementsForward lifestyle. “I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it” Albert Einstein “Somewhere there is someone that dreams of your smile, and finds in your presence that life is worthwhile, so when you are lonely remember it’s true, someone somewhere is thinking of you.” “For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.” Ivan Panin “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart...pursue those.” Michael Nolan “Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there.” John Kotter “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” Beverly Sills “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” Denis Waitley “To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.” Jim Valvano
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Another good week and I know for certain that I'm beyond blessed for many different reasons. The people that I have surrounded myself with continue to validate more and more what my purpose in life seems to be. I am truly humbled by what I appear to be called in the direction of. Life gives us all confirmation and reminders every minute of every day, but it takes the right mindset to see it at times. Not sending out the PQOD for two days was something I didn't think anyone would really notice, but boy was I wrong. I must say that yesterday afternoon I received an email from a young man named SJ and these were his words: "Nick, Lemme get some quotes man.. They still keep me on my feet man..." That message reminded me that I can't slack because I've fostered something over the last several years that has become a part of a lot of people's lives. I guess I forget that even this small thing does make a difference more than I realize. I guess timing is everything considering that there have been a few thoughts on my brain the last couple of days, and my interaction yesterday cemented that I was on the right path with my thinking. Not sure how I arrived here this week, but I started to wonder about what I might be leaving with people after every interaction. Or even what people were leaving me? I know a lot of us think about the impressions that we make on people and the impressions they make on us, but what about what we leave with people or what they leave with us. May take a little bit of thought to transition to this as we have been conditioned for so long to deal with impressions. As we mature we begin to think in terms of value for everything that we do, so it only makes sense to think of the value of every interaction. Are you following where I am headed it. In every aspect of our lives beyond an impression, we are leaving something behind with every action. Are you leaving something good/bad? Are you leaving something of value? Maybe even when we leave something behind still puts us in growth mode because we have learned to get by without something. Who knows, not leaving something behind is something that could be hindering us from getting to the next level. Is there something that you aren't quite ready to leave? Think about your career? Relationships? Your life period? I know that as I thought about these things how much clarity I received about what I have been prepared to leave in this life. I do know that most of the time I leave people with the thought of there is a reason why our paths crossed. A lot of times the reasons are confirmed at a later date, but nonetheless there is value seen in the interactions. Life is too short and I am thankful that I have learned to take full advantage of everything here. I strive to live so that there is mutual benefit for all of my relationships. While we all have different things to give/receive in this life, I trust that over time we are leaving the necessary things with the right people. So again, I ask what are you leaving with the world? What have you left As you prepare to start a new week and embrace new opportunities, I can only ask as always that you live life and be phenomenal. “Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house... let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness.” Mother Teresa “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.” James Michener “You never really leave a place or person you love, part of them you take with you ,leaving a part of yourself behind.” “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” Marian Wright Edelman “Traveling is not just seeing the new; it is also leaving behind. Not just opening doors; also closing them behind you, never to return. But the place you have left forever is always there for you to see whenever you shut your eyes.” Jan Myrdal “False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine but leaving us when we cross into the shade.” Christian Nevell Bovee “The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us.” G.K. Chesterton “Every person has the power to make others happy. Some do it simply by entering a room -- others by leaving the room. Some individuals leave trails of gloom; others, trails of joy. Some leave trails of hate and bitterness; others, trails of love and harmony. Some leave trails of cynicism and pessimism; others trails of faith and optimism. Some leave trails of criticism and resignation; others trails of gratitude and hope. What kind of trails do you leave?” William Arthur Ward