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.



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.

Hey Coach!

November 18, 2009

This past week I had the chance to attend a fund raiser for The Christmas Box House, a great charity started by Richard Paul Evans—the New York Times Bestselling author of 16 titles including his first “The Christmas Box.”

After the event, He took some time to give me some great advice on my upcoming book, and it reminded me of a lesson I learned in my early days of little league football.

Throughout my entire Little League career, I was known as the kid who asked a question about nearly everything.  I wanted to make sure I understood every aspect of everything I was a part of—and everything I wasn’t a part of.

This was something the coaches were able to deal with, because they could always send me out onto the field.

Then, amidst my third year, I had an injury to my leg, and was sidelined.  I knew that I was still part of the team and therefore, continued to show up to practice.  But, unable to do anything but fill up the equipment bag, I stood by my coaches from the beginning of practice to its end.

With nowhere for me to go, my coaches were stuck and had to listen to me ask questions like, “Hey Coach, why do you have the safety line up there,” or, “Hey Coach, why don’t you fake the handoff then,” or, “Hey Coach, why do you only have three down linemen on that play,” and the like, all through practice.

Finally, unable to take another minute of my mini inquisition, my coach pulled the whole team in close and yelled out so everyone was clear, “If Hall asks one more question, EVERYBODY RUNS!”

My teammates looked at me to make sure I understood that none of them wanted extra laps, and practice continued.

Coach’s plan worked.  My questions stopped and the Coach got the silence he was looking for.  But, in the midst of his moratorium, I learned something I hadn’t considered myself.  If I took a minute and thought things out for myself, I could figure out many of the answers I was looking for.

It was easier to ask the coach, for he always had the answer and it didn’t require any work on my part.  After a few days of no questions, the coach allowed my inquiries as long as I had tried to figure the answer out for myself first.

Twenty-five plus years later, I’ve found the same principle applies.  I have questions and doubts and I often look around for a person, article or book to spoon-feed me the answer.  Those resources often play the role of helpmate, but I also find that if I just take the time to think things through, and trust in myself, I can find the right answer all on my own.

Trust yourself, trust your gut, you know more than you think.  Believe in you.  You have more to offer than you give yourself credit.  Use your resources wisely, but go with what you think is right and quit asking the proverbial, “Hey Coach!”


Believe: Live & In Color

September 1, 2009

A cut from one of my presentations that has always been one of my favorites. Tell me what you think.



Brand-New White Tennis Shoes + Winner

April 24, 2009

First, Congrats to Rose who wins a copy of my DVD for her comment about her enabler.

As I look back now I realize that the magic wasn’t in the shoes. It was in my belief in the shoes that allowed me to run faster.

386390_blogI can still remember today what it felt like to be a kid with a pair of brand-new white tennis shoes. It seemed like every year, sometime around the beginning of school, my mom would take me out and buy me a new pair of tennis shoes. The salesman would always ask me if I wanted to wear them out of the store or carry them out in a box. This seemed like a foolish question to me. I wondered, “Who wouldn’t want to wear a brand-new pair of tennis shoes?”

As soon as we are out of the store and in the parking lot on the way to the car, the magic began. With my first chance to run in those new white shoes I would sprint to the car, watching my feet the entire way, and marvel at how much faster I could run in those new shoes.

The next couple days were always filled with more of the same. No matter where I was at, whether at the park, in my backyard, on the street to my friends house or in the playground at school, I would run; and no matter where I was running I always kept my eyes fixed on my shoes, blown away at how fast my feet were moving.

I knew I was running faster. I could tell. It always took less time to get from place to place and I was more dominant in foot races with my friends. I remember sometimes thinking my speed had increased so much that the wind was actually blowing through hair (which because it was the 70’s was beautifully feathered due of the comb I always kept in the back pocket of my Hash jeans).

Then invariably, as the days and weeks would pass the bright white of my shoes would begin to dull. They would scuff and stain. They would become tarnished and dirty. As the new shoes became the same color as my old shoes, my new speed would go and my old speed would return.

What changed?

I’m pretty sure that those new shoes by themselves didn’t do anything to increase my speed. But, know I ran faster. Maybe not substantially faster, but faster. When I would watch my feet moving back and forth, those white tennis shoes made it look like they were moving faster. Because I believed my feet were moving at a faster rate, my speed increased as well. Not because of the strength of the shoes themselves, but because of the power of my belief in those shoes.

As soon as the white was gone so too was my belief in my newfound speed. With no more belief in my new shoes there was no more new speed to be had.

As I look back now I realize that the magic wasn’t in the shoes. It was in my belief in the shoes. Those brand-new white tennis shoes allowed me to believe that I could run faster, and because I believed, it was so.

We need to fill our lives with brand-new white tennis shoes. We need to surround ourselves with things that help us believe we can be better, stronger, faster. That we can do more and be more. That the good were doing today can become better or best tomorrow.

For some people a motivating quote can be their new tennis shoes. For others, properly set goals put in a prominent place can be the bright white that allows them to believe. There are those who find it easier to believe in themselves when they have a list of their talents that they can review regularly. And, there are those whose family photo gives them the belief that they can be more.

What helps you believe in your potential doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that, like my new tennis shoes, you look at them often reminding yourself of how fast and far you can go. For everyone knows you run faster with brand-new white tennis shoes.



February 9, 2009


Once I returned back home following my diving accident one of the matters of business most important to me was going back to school. I broke my neck in July of 1986. But, due to a three-month stay in the hospital I didn’t return home until mid-October. This meant that the first semester of my sophomore year in high school career was nearly half over.

Graduating with my class was very important to me. I had grown up in Boise my whole life and had been with most of these kids since kindergarten. I did not want my hospital stay to keep me from finishing what I started with my friends. In order to make that happen, I had to get back to school ASAP.

I was able to convince my doctors to allow me to go back to two periods of class each day. In order to make this happen this meant my good mother would have to get me ready, drive me to school, wait for my first hour of school to end, return me home to take a nap so I would have the strength to do my therapy, drive me to therapy, wait for me to finish that therapy, return me to school for my second hour of class and finally take me home once class was over. There are some people in our lives whom we can never repay–in my life one of those people is my mother.

With transportation worked out and the blessing of the administration given I proceeded to pick the two classes I would attend. I picked choir and a religion class (it is clear that although graduation was important to me, like most teenagers my social needs trumped my educational needs). Each class allowed me to fill a requirement and get closer to graduation–all without having to dissect a frog or use a slide rule.

As I continue to work in therapy my body continued to get stronger. The strength allowed me to pick up even more classes at the semester break. This presented a new problem. My choir and religion class didn’t require a lot of books. However, now my new schedule necessitated all kinds of textbooks.

Since I couldn’t use a locker I had to figure out another option. I located a local shop that made bags (for any former Boisean it was called “Burts Bags”) and asked them to make me a giant backpack that would hang off the back of my wheelchair. They did, and it was enormous. But it did its job and I had a portable locker.

The problem was, I couldn’t get the books out of my backpack. This meant I required help in each of my classes. Being a 15-year-old boy, I figured that if I needed to set by somebody who could help me, it might as well be a girl somebody. I also reasoned that if it had to be a girl somebody, it might as well be a cute “girl somebody.” So, on one specific winter day during my sophomore year I entered one of my classes and true to form sat next to the cutest “girl somebody” I could find. Her name was Nicole.

Nicole and I had been friends for some time and as usual, on this day, she was willing to help me get my books out of my backpack.

In the middle of class my leg began to have a muscle spasm. Now this can look like any number of different things. It can be mild, where my foot will begin to tap on my foot rest as if I’m keeping time to music that only I can hear. It can be fairly violent where my leg shoots out, straight in front of me, and wildly shakes about, (this happened to me one time in the waiting room of a restaurant and I tripped and 85-year-old man–but that’s a different story altogether) or, it can look like anything in between.

On this day in the middle of class my muscle spasm was of the mild variety. As a result of reflex and completely out of my control, my foot began to tap on my foot rest. This is something that happens with some regularity. Without thinking much of it, I continued to try and look as though I was paying attention to the teacher.

Nicole looked down and saw my foot moving on my foot rest. When she did, her eyes got as big as softballs, she jumped out of her seat, threw her arms in the air and screamed, “He’s healed!”

The teacher and the rest of the class looked back to see my leg moving and almost in unison screamed, “He’s healed!” It was at this point when madness erupted. It seemed as though everyone in the class was up on their feet, doing the dance of healing, smiling and laughing and hugging each other. I couldn’t believe it. Someone had been healed! Not realizing that they were talking about me I joined in the festivities myself–jealous of whoever had been healed.

Then, it dawned on me that I was the person they were talking about. Quietly, I pulled Nicole aside and told her that I wasn’t healed and that what she was seeing was nothing more than a spasm or a reflex.

Her face began to turn the deep shade of red. Embarrassed, she told the class that I wasn’t healed. It felt like they all turned around together and looked at me in complete disappointment as if to say, “Thanks a lot. We were singing, dancing and having a good time for nothing.”

I remember thinking, “I’m sorry. Next time, give me a little notice and I’ll try to be healed.”

Even though everyone was disappointed a miracle hadn’t occurred, it wasn’t long until we were all smiling and laughing about what happened. I remember still smiling and laughing as I drove home from school that day. But, when I pulled into my driveway a curious thing happened. I began to think about what might have come to be if I had believed the same way Nicole did.

As one might imagine, the kids in my class hoped, wished and even prayed that I would be healed. From the day my accident happened, my friends believed that I could be healed. On that day, Nicole was tired of just believing and ready to act. At the littlest evidence she was ready to act. When she saw my foot move the strength of her belief caused her to jump up and shout, “He’s healed.” If on that day I believed with the same passion, who’s to say she wouldn’t have been right.

Amazing things happen when we believe. But miracles come to fruition when we then act on those beliefs. I have seen and been a part of things others believe to be impossible because I have acted on my beliefs. Believing gives us strength. When we act on our beliefs we gain power–the power to enable the miraculous to come to pass. It is important that we believe. But, we truly begin to achieve when, like Nicole did that day, we act on our beliefs.

I know that as I continue to act on my belief that I will walk someday, that the day will come when I will stand from my chair, hold it over my head, throw it as far as I can, and run until I drop. With the same surety that I know that, I know that the difficulties and struggles that lay in wait in your lives will fall when you believe and act.

So let’s believe. Let’s believe with our hearts and souls. Let’s believe with every ounce of who we are. But then, let’s do a little more. Acting on our beliefs allows miracles to happen.


Stand Him Up and Let Him Go

November 20, 2008

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When I was a young man my parents were dedicated to having our family have one evening every week that we would spend together. We could play games, go to movies, enjoy the park, learn dinner etiquette, or do anything else as long as we were together. For us, that night was Monday night. You can imagine then the struggle my parents had trying to come up with some new activity every week that would entertain five different children from the ages of six to sixteen.

One of the ways they put together activities that they knew we would like was to ask us for our suggestions. Often my dad would put the question to us just after dinner on Sunday. He set it up perfectly. He would ask us for an idea for the following night’s family activity and if we didn’t provide one, we didn’t get dessert. Now I don’t care if you’re six or sixteen everyone wants dessert.

I will never forget one such night during the year following my diving accident. My dad informed us that he was going to go around the table and ask us what we wanted to do the following evening. That night he decided to go from oldest to youngest. Being the oldest, he turned to me and asked for my input. I gave it to him and when I did my mom placed my dessert in front of me. I was excited about this.

My father then turned to my sister is just younger than I, asked her the same question, and with her response she too received her dessert. The pattern continued until my dad reached my youngest brother Nathan. Nate was just six and so probably didn’t get listened to as much as he should have been in the first place. Add to that the fact that we were all seriously dedicated to our desserts, the only people really paying attention to Nathan’s response were my parents.

My dad asked Nate, “What should we do for tomorrow night’s family activity?” Nathan looked at him with a surety that only a six-year-old can possess and replied, “I want to teach Jason how to walk.”

You’d think that a statement like that would get my attention. But I was focused on y food so my mom’s dessert kept my full attention. My mom and dad however, were listening to Nathan’s every word. “How are we going to do that?” my dad questioned. Completely and totally sure of himself Nathan replied, “We’ll stand him up, and let him go.”

This got my attention. My dessert couldn’t hold my interest any longer. I began to imagine my head getting the kitchen linoleum floor. Concerned I said, “Well Nathan, what if I fall?” To which he replied, “We’ll stand you up and do it again.”

By this point, the entire family was listening to Nathan’s idea for Monday night’s family activity. We all chuckled at the thought eventually decided on one of the other ideas and went to bed.

That night as I laid in bed I began to think about what Nathan had said.  I had been in a wheelchair for less than a year. You might only imagine the pleas, wishes, and prayers that were offered up by my family in hopes that my condition would be reversed. There was nothing that any member of my family wanted more than for me to walk.

Nathan however was tired of hoping and ready to act. He didn’t want to just wish anymore. He wanted to do. He wanted to actively pursue this grand desire.

We must follow Nathan’s example and act. Nathan believed that I could walk again. But he also knew (the way only a six-year-old could) that believing wouldn’t be enough. He had to act on his beliefs

When there are things that we want in our lives we have to do more than just wish them to be, for no matter how hard we try to wish things into our lives, wishing alone won’t make them so. We have to marry action to our hope. When we put hope and action together we get real power. This power enables us to make broad sweeping changes in our lives for the better.

Besides, who’s to say that, if that night I had had the courage and willingness to act that Nathan did, he wouldn’t have been right.