Join the Seven-day Positivity Challenge!

Every Monday for the last several years I’ve sent out the Monday Motivational Memo (“MMM)”. It’s designed to help you move forward with whatever is holding you back and always offers some small piece of advice.

For the first time in the several hundred MMMs that I’ve sent out, I’m changing the format.

I’m asking YOU to spread a very positive message.

Please join me in making this go viral. The details are below.

My friend, mentor, and Zumba instructor, Greg Parnell, inspired me with this idea. He posted on my Facebook page, three items for which he was grateful and then he challenged me to do the same for seven days.

I accepted this, and I thought

“With all the negativity in the world right now, wouldn’t it a great way to remind us of what’s going well?”

Thank you so much.

What am I asking you to do?

[Read more...]

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Verbs Versus Nouns

Language evolves; it’s a living entity.

websters-dictionary

As example, in the 1700s, what was a “butt-plate?”

If you thought it to be the 18th century version of shape wear or something on which you placed your “pratts” (buttocks), you’d be completely wrong. Rather, it was the metal plate at the “butt end” of a musket, used to protect the wood and possibly make the butt a better weapon unto itself.

Moving into the late 1800s, “seven miles behind the moon,” had nothing to do with astronomy. Rather, it was a way of saying someone was “crazy,” or “out there.”

We needn’t look too far into the past to see this evolution.

In our lifetimes alone, the use of words has drastically changed. I’m probably the only person on the planet who still uses the term “righteously bitchen.” Yet when I was a teen, that manifestation was about as common as platform shoes and aviator glasses. Now it’s heard as often as we see pet rocks.

This year, the latest additions to Webster’s dictionary included “crowdfunding,” “selfie,” and “fracking;” three terms that would have made its users seem seven miles behind the moon in the very recent past. [Read more...]

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99 Years Old and Looking Back

I have to swallow hard when I refer to the song, “100 Years” by Vladimir John Ondrasik III, known by his stage name, “Five for Fighting,” as an “oldie.”


I mean, after all, a song released in 2003 should not fall in that category; it’s a description meant for The Everly Brothers or The Beach Boys. Nonetheless, if the Earth Shoe fits…

Sorry, I got distracted… back to the issue at hand…

“100 Years” is an amazingly powerful song.

If you don’t have it cued up on your iTunes playlist right now, let me sum it up. Each of us gets 100 years to live, and during that period we go through various stages. The poignant lingering lyrics guide us through those times, beginning at 15 (“There’s still time for you…”) and progressing all the way to 99 (“Time for just another moment…”). So poignant are the words that there’s a webpage to discuss the interpretation. (I don’t make any commission on its purchase nor am I affiliated with Mr. Ondrasik, but it’s worth your time to check out the song.)

My interpretation is that each of us given the gift of one century, which passes in the “blink of an eye.”

So, imagine you live exactly, to the day, 100 years. (In my case, that would mean I exit on September 28, 2054.) Take it to your last day and then back it off to one day before you’re gone; see yourself at 99 years, 364 days old. By sunset tomorrow, you will be no more; you have gathered all the knowledge and wisdom possible in this lifetime. You are completed.

Now suppose that 99-year-old-You could send a message back to the Current-You, right here, right now, reading these words.

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The Ceremony

wedding-invitation

From its dawn through the mid-twentieth century, 90 percent of all gloves sold in the United States were manufactured in Gloversville, New York; making it one of the most appropriately named cities on the continent.

Originally known as “Stump City” because of all the trees that had been cut down it was incorporated in 1890. Having spent three weeks there, I can tell you firsthand that the sidewalks have probably not been repaired since that date. In many places, taking a walk was akin to scaling miniature cement mountains, circumventing canyons, crevices, and summits that substituted for a walkway.

Yet, it surpassed Augusta, Maine’s sidewalks, which were non-existent.

Trying to navigate the roadway to the shopping center, a distance of about one half mile, was analogous to open field running in a war zone. One scouts oncoming traffic waiting for a break, upon a clear patch, dash hurriedly down the road to the next safe haven, pause again for traffic, and repeat the process. (If more communities had decent sidewalks, it sure would help solve our obesity problem. However, that’s another topic.)

In the previous 94 days, I traveled 18,594.6 miles (give or take), from Anchorage to Augusta, Rutland to Redding.

While on the road, I visited a 20-foot tall chocolate fountain in Alaska. I resisted the urge to climb in, but succumbed to sampling real honest-to-goodness Vermont-made maple syrup while in Burlington. If you have not this pleasure, imagine the taste of a warm sunrise lightly brushed with natural honey gliding over your tongue, evaporating into airy nothingness.

Although mostly work-related, my journeys were book-ended by highly personal, deeply emotional events.

[Read more...]

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