Fully Committed

April 14, 2010

My Dad giving me a hand

Today is my Dad’s birthday.  I wish you could all meet my dad.  I know that you would be better for it.  He has a special way of connecting with people—they love him from the start.  I have to say, looking back, with as unbiased view as I possibly can, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love him

There are so many qualities that I admire in him.  He’s kind and loving.  He’s positive and optimistic.  He’s both successful and humble. But, one of the characteristics that has helped me the most, is his ability to be fully committed.

He has absolutely no idea how to go half speed.  It’s either full blast, or full stop.  What’s amazing though, is that of all the people I’ve met in my life who have this ability, I’ve never met one that applies it to every facet of their life the way my father does.  Whether at work, in the community, in our church, or at home he gives everything he does everything he has.

Of all the stories I love to tell about my dad, the one that exemplifies this unique part of his character the most, has to do with a bet.

Anyone who has ever spent any time trying to make his or her living selling life insurance knows that to be successful at it takes nearly every moment you can spare.  In doing this, you find a unique camaraderie with your colleagues.  For, many times you find they can be the best motivators on your journey to succeed.  For my dad, one of those people was Ron Nelson.

They had been working together for some time when they both wanted to step up their game.  In order to find the success they were seeking, they decided to make a bet—one that would motivate them both to do better.

They decided that for one month they would see who could get to the office the earliest.  This would allow themselves more time to prepare and prospect and there fore more success. Who ever arrived at the office before the other for the most days in the month, would win the wager.

The way they tell it, my dad started off strong and never looked back.  Ron once told me that every day he would set his alarm clock to go off a little earlier, and every day he would pull into the parking lot only to see my dad had already arrived.

According to Ron, there came a point when, tired of getting up so early, and tired of losing, he came up with a plan.

Late one night after we had gone to bed, he came over to our house, popped the hood of my dad’s car and removed the distributor cap.  Now, my dad has a number of talents and gifts, but, when it comes to things of a mechanically nature, he’s sunk.  Seriously…give the man the finest tools in the world and he still couldn’t fix his way out of a wet paper sack.

Ron knew this, and with the distributor cap removed, he went home sure that the tide of the contest was about to turn.

The next morning, Ron was up early and headed to the office.  He pulled into the parking lot and just as he’d assumed, my dad’s car was nowhere to be found.  Basking in his win he headed into the building.  As he made his way to his office, he passed my dad’s office, and to his utter surprise, there sat my dad drenching in his own sweat.

My dad had run the nearly 5 miles in his suit.

When he woke up that morning and found that his car wouldn’t start, I’m sure he popped the hood, hoping for divine intervention.  But not knowing what to look for, he missed seeing the distributor cap that was missing.

Most people would have simply taken a pass, found a mechanic and lived to fight another day. But that’s not how my dad is wired.  He’s fully committed.  When he found that the car was out of commission, he didn’t look for excuses, he looked for a way to get the job done.

I wonder how our lives would be different, if we took the same fully committed approach.  If we replaced our excuses for successes, and chose to be dedicated to every decision we made.

I know my life would be better.  Too many times, it’s too easy to take the easy way out.  When real happiness and true self worth comes in being willing to get where we’re going no matter what—even if it means we have to leave the car and run.

I love my dad, and maybe this post is just for me.  Maybe I’m the only one who feels they could be better of they approached life with more of an “all in” attitude.

If so, that’s OK.  What I do know, is that today, in honor of that man I love and admire so much, I’m going to recommit myself to my goals and dreams.  I’m going to work harder to give my all to everything I choose to do.

If you think it’d do you some good as well—join me.  Let’s find happiness and success in being fully committed.

Jh-

Happy Birthday Dad.


A Little Laughter – United Breaks Guitars

April 12, 2010

Speaking for a living has taken me all over the world.  I love seeing all the unique places and wonderful people.  The only problem is I have to go through the airports of the world to do it.

I guess it’s not so much the airport as the way that airport treats my one piece of critical baggage–my wheelchair.

It’s always scary to get off the plane to see what condition I am going to find my chair in. (For those who wonder how I travel on an airplane, see below.)

I’ve had it come off the plane with too many pieces and not enough pieces.  It’s come bent frames, bent wheels, bent backs and lost batteries (to name a few)–and when it does, I “get” to deal with the people in baggage claim because their people treated my $20,000.00 wheelchair like a $2.00 rag doll.

Then, after waiting in line, and processing my claim it still goes on.  Kinda like the time when Delta lost my chair, and after going through all the paperwork, they told me that I couldn’t take the Delta wheelchair with me. I spent literally 15 plus minutes trying to explain to the Delta rep. that I wasn’t real effective without any wheelchair at all. (At one point I wondered if I was going to have to crawl to the hotel on my elbows!)  But, in the end, just like everything else, things eventually work out and you move on to the next adventure.

However, all this experience made me appreciate Dave Carroll’s plight even more.  The trilogy below gave me a good laugh. It’s a healthy piece of the lighter side. If you don’t have the time, you don’t have to watch all three. The first is great all on it’s own.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Jh-

PS.  When I get on a plane, they “gate check” my wheelchair, and I drive my chair right up to the entrance of the plane.  Once there, the airlines provide a couple of guys (hopefully guys–I’ve had two women over 50 show up before, and to say it was interesting is an understatement) to lift me from my chair onto a little “aisle chair”.  It’s called an aisle chair because it’s thin enough to travel up and down the aisles on an airplane. (See….the guys at the airlines figured that one out.)  Once on the aisle chair, they take my through the plane and lift me into a regular seat on the plane.

Jh-


A Little Laughter – Charlie Bit Me!

April 5, 2010

When Harry and his younger brother Charlie, were being videotaped sitting in a chair when the fateful bite happened, his parents were simply trying to let his grandparents in California see a little piece of their Grandkiddies lives.

Who knew it would grow into the most watched video on YouTube, and net the family hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But, whether you’ve seen it before, or you’re a first-timer, hopefully these two little boys will net you a little chuckle. (The best part is Charlie’s little giggle at the end.)

The video was so big, it spawned other entertaining creativity.  The one below is my favorite.

Enjoy!

Jh-


A Little Laughter – Declaration of Independence

March 29, 2010

The past few weeks there’s been a lot of talk about The Declaration of Independence, and what the founding fathers had in mind when they signed it.

Here’s Stan Freberg, and his humerous take on how it all got started.

Enjoy!


Jh-


A Little Laughter – Cake

March 22, 2010

If you’ve read my blog before, you know the importance I feel laughter plays in our ability to deal with change and live happy lives. (For more on this click here)  It’s amazing the impact humor can have in our quest for a joyful journey.  Just like a little sunshine on a gloomy day laughter can make dreary times bright.

In an effort to spread some more humor around, each monday people can come here to find some gut-bustin’ audio, side splittin’ video, or knee-slappin’ bit of written word.

I hope you’ll come regularly to get a giggle. I encourage you to listen, watch or read it, even if you’ve heard, seen, or read it before.  ‘Cause everyone can always use a little laughter.

…And starting us off, Jim Gaffigan talking about Cake.

Jh-


Notable Quotables

March 16, 2010

For those of you who know me, have heard me, or have read my blogs, you know how I feel about positive affirmation.  When a person is working on having a positive mindset, few things help them get there like a good positive reminders, and when it comes to positive reminders, few work as well as a good positive quotes.

With this in mind, Kolette helped me design 8 new cards that have positive quote on them for 8 great subjects.  We rolled them out at a recent presentation, and they went over like gangbusters.

Here’s a look a the cards.  If you think they might help you, go on over to the store (or click here) and pick up a pack.  You can use them as a motivator by placing them in places where you’ll see them, frame ones you like, or frame one and change it every month.  They even make great gifts.

The packs go for $5.00 a piece, plus $1.50 S&H.  I think you’ll agree that the quotes are moving, and Ko’s design is flawless.  I hope you enjoy them.

Jh-

Quotes:

Positive Attitude: The greatest weapon in the fight to be happy is a Positive Mental Attitude.

Drive: Any dream can be your destination; Just pick a direction and go.

Gratitude: There’s not enough room in the human heart for depression and gratitude at the same time.

Creativity: When you take the best of what you have and combine it with all that you can dream – That’s creativity.

Laughter: Few problems in the world can’t be cured by a moment of laughter.

Service: The kindest gift ever given of man, was a kind word and an open hand.

Cooperation: The more you wonder at the good in others, the less you wonder about the good in yourself.

Persistence: Be better today than you were yesterday, and better tomorrow than you were today.


Sometimes Pain is a Good Thing

March 11, 2010

Out of nowhere, I heard what sounded like a shotgun going off just next to my left ear.  Before I knew it, my 1/2 ton Ford Van went careening across all three lanes of traffic going south, continued through the median, and proceeded to fly into the on-coming traffic.  Then, everything went dark.

I don’t know how long I was out on that November day in late 1997, but the next thing I knew, I awoke to an EMT asking me a barrage of questions, like,

“What’s your name?’
“Where do you live?”
“Do you know your phone number?”
“Are you married?”
“What’s your Social Security Number?”

As I did my best, to answer the questions, I tried to figure out where I was, and what had happened.  The first thing I noticed was that my view was filled with a blue sky dotted by puffy white clouds.

“Wasn’t I just in my car?” I thought to myself.

Then, as I stared to wonder if the whole accident hadn’t simply been a big dream, the pain kicked in.

Now, 100% sure that this was more nightmare than dream, and all too real, I noticed my van’s radio antenna.  This seemed odd, for I knew that was the antenna was on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Then, I realized the enormity of what had happened—I was hanging half in, and half out of the passenger side of the van (which was the opposite side of the van from where I’d started out.)

My face was covered in blood, and as the paramedics on the scene began to employ the Jaws of Life, a whole new fear enveloped me.

Petrified, I wondered, “What if I have broken my neck again?” and “What if that break would take away more movement?”

I was pretty sure that at least one of my wrists were broken, but that was the least of my worries, and so with all the courage I could muster, I started moving my wrists up and down.

Tears streamed down my face.  One of the EMT’s saw the tears and my moving wrists, and told me that it wouldn’t hurt so bad if I would keep my wrists stable,

What he didn’t know, was that the tears weren’t from the pain, instead, they were from an overwhelming sense of joy.  Based on what I knew about my spinal cord injury, I was pretty sure that moving my wrists meant I had not lost any additional movement—that of all the injuries that happened in the wreck, I hadn’t done any more damage to my spinal cord.

That day, pain was a good thing.

The adage has proved itself in the years that have followed.  It is pain that reminds us of our blessings. It is pain that teaches us things like humility, and diligence.  It’s pain that gives us character, and pain that helps us love what we have along with what we’ve had the opportunity to have.  It is pain that often glues us together.

Pain isn’t ever fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.  In fact it is often just the thing that reminds of all that is wonderful.

Yes, I’m quite sure that sometimes pain is a good thing.

Jh-


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