Category Archives: Uncategorized

Everyone Should be Excellent

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? So this is what we’ve chosen to do with out life.”

—Steve Jobs

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Every one, every activity and task we do, should be excellent.  Don’t take an endeavor lightly: 

  • Either you are building a company or watching TV.
  • Having family dinner with your friends or eating a powerbar in the car. 
  • Writing a book or reading a gossip magazine.
  • Organizing your home or letting the compost pile up. 
  • Giving the postman a smile, or ignoring her.  
 
Everything COUNTS.  Every one of your activities can reflect excellence!

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Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco—my own “home sweet home”. He was the co-founder and CEO of Apple and was incredibly influential in the technology sector, revolutionizing how we interact with technology and computers. Although Jobs started his adulthood with little direction, he soon discovered that he could be truly excellent in the field of technology and business. After traveling the world and working for Atari, Steve Jobs founded Apple Computers with Steve Wozniak. The duo created a product and business model that allowed the average American to have access to a computer. Tragically, Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 at 56 years old. He has left us with a legacy of hard work, creativity, and dedication to one’s goals. 

Patrick Henry: “Find the Peace so Sweet that You will Purchase it”

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”
 
We all know Give me Liberty, or Give Me Death.” But what Patrick Henry’s rousing call points to is that our nation had to face either being killed and put down, in slavery and under the helm of another country…. or pay the price of being free.
 
We paid the price.  He did. Our forefathers, foremothers and forechildren all gave their lives… and so we have our own life today, in a beautiful and free country. 
 
What liberty will you fight for? What is so “dear and sweet” to you– that you must preserve for your future children?  
 
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Born in 1736, Patrick Henry became governor of Virginia and an American leader in the struggle for freedom. He also served in the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress. This quote came from a speech he gave in 1775 that appealed for citizens’ rights to bear arms. Patrick Henry dedicated his life to securing total freedom for the American people. He was instrumental in the adoption of the Bill of Rights so that individuals’ rights across America would be protected so that future generations would know freedom. 

Whistle from the Loquat Tree

WHISTLE FROM THE LOQUAT TREE

She was running around underneath the loquat tree, searching, searching. She could hear the sound and she knew he was nearby. But where was he? She looked underneath the bushes by the side door; she ran by the bedroom window, but when she scampered across the lawn to the black walnut tree, the whistle would call her back. She had gone too far, and knew to return.

Whistle, whistle. Ever so softly. It was comforting, familiar. Dad could whistle from his mouth without puckering his mouth into an “o.” No one knew how to whistle like him, and certainly the kids at school didn’t because they only knew the “o” way. It was out of the side of his mouth and was not too strong but always the same, sure tone.

Around and around she still couldn’t find him! Under every bush, behind every tree… and finally she heard a voice, “Look up.” And there he was, standing near the uppermost parts of the branches of her beloved loquat tree, looking down lovingly, laughingly, at his seven year old daughter. She sensed a flooding of relief, at last of knowing where he was. And boy was he smart, she thought. She had never thought to look up…

And that’s how I think of you now, Dad. You’re watching over me. You’re smiling and watching me grow and learn and strive…. and when I seem to get off track a little bit, or confused, or even downcast, or get a little too far out near the black walnut tree, I hear your whistle in my mind. I look up. I can see you smiling. “You’re doing O.K.”

Thanks, Dad, for watching over me. You have given me the inspiration to pursue…

I hope I make it to the top of the loquat tree. I bet the views are marvelous up there. It’s a lot easier to see up there, isn’t it? You climbed the tree and you know what it is like. But Dad, I don’t feel as if I have even started climbing yet! I’m still running around on the ground trying to decide which tree to climb. That’s the hardest decision! But I know when I do start climbing it will be very natural for me, I think…. I hope I follow your way. Not your career, but the way you pursued your career, and life. I do hope I see your view someday. But really, I know too to enjoy swinging upside down on that extended branch, eating up my loquats with abandon, realizing the climb, is, the joy. I know it’s beautiful up there. It’s also beautiful to swing….

3-10-93

addition 4-29-94, Manhattan Beach, LA

“Charming is the Word for Alcoholics” – Fulton Oursler (1940)

Rarely do I send out parts of a full article, but here is a good example of seeing great qualities in someone who is struggling.  No matter what someone seems to be tied up in, they have so much good in their minds and hearts. Find the good amidst the challenge!

“Charming is the Word for Alcoholics” By Fulton Oursler 

Down at the very bottom of the social scale of AA society are the pariahs, the untouchables, and the outcasts, all known by one excoriating epithet-relatives.

Such is my considered opinion. As a journalist it has been my fortune to meet many of the people who are considered charming. I number among my friends stars, and lesser lights of stage and cinema; writers are my daily diet. I know the ladies and gentleman of both political parties; I have been entertained in the White House. I have broken bread with kings and ministers and ambassadors and I say after that catalog, which could be extended, that I would prefer an evening with my AA friends to any person or group of persons I have indicated.

I ask myself why I consider so charming these alcoholic caterpillars who have found their butterfly wings in Alcoholics Anonymous. There are more reasons than one, but I can name a few.

They are imaginative, and that helps to make them alcoholics. Some of them drank to flog their ambition on to greater efforts. The AA people are what they are, and they were what they were, because they are sensitive, imaginative, possessed of a sense of humor…

And they are possessed of a sense of universal truth. That is often a new thing in their hearts. The fact that this at-one-meant with God’s universe had never been awakened in them is sometimes the reason why they drank. The fact that it was at last awakened is almost always the reason why they were restored to the good and simple ways of life. Stand with them when the meeting is over, and listen while they say the “Our Father.”  They have found a power greater than themselves which they diligently serve. And that gives them a charm that never was elsewhere on land or sea. It makes you know that God, Himself, is really charming, because the AA people reflect His mercy and His forgiveness.

Liberty Magazine© – 1940

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Charles Fulton Oursler (January 22, 1893 – May 24, 1952) was an American journalist, playwright, editor and writer. Oursler grew up in Baltimore, the poor son of a city transit worker. His childhood passions were reading and stage magic. While still in his teens, he got a reporter’s job for the Baltimore American and married Rose Karger. They had two children, but the marriage ended in divorce.

He was Supervising Editor of the various magazines and newspapers published by Bernarr MacFadden from 1921-41. Macfadden urged him to drop the “Charles” from his name. He became editor of “Liberty” after Macfadden acquired it in 1931. Oursler left MacFadden Publications shortly after Bernarr MacFadden was ousted from the company and Ourler’s tenure with the company was continuous from 1921-41, except for a brief period following the success of “The Spider” (1928). In 1925, Oursler married Grace Perkins, who was a former actress, prodigious contributor to the Macfadden magazines. Several of her novels were made into films

Writing as Anthony Abbot, he was a notable author of mysteries and detective fiction. His well known works are “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, “The Greatest Book Ever Written”, “A Skeptic in the Holy Land”, and “The Spider”.

Source: Wikipedia

May Your Work Bring Just and Lasting Peace

President Lincoln advised us… “Whatever work you are devoted to….may it bring just and lasting peace.”

Our respected President Abraham Lincoln brought this to light in his 1865  Inaugural Address. What a calling for each of us to think, as we go about our work each day, how it can bring “just and lasting peace.”  And I think work here is not just our professional work, but any task to which we are devoting ourselves.  Any project, endeavor, activity — from raising a child to decorating a Valentine’s Day wreath — can have kindness, justice and peace as a necessary ingredient to our performing of it.

President Lincoln says something instrumental here: As we strive for our goal, it should be peace brought between each one of us, and then also with all countries.  The point here is that gentle justice, no matter how small, and a caring, kind sense of peacefulness in all our interactions, bring that sense of worldwide peace. And it must start with ourselves, our conversations, our actions between each person we meet. That’s a great calling for us in living rightly every day!

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) served as the 16th President of the United States. Lincoln led the United States through the American Civil War and in so doing, preserved the Union, ended slavery, strengthened the national government. He promoted rapid modernization of the economy through banks, canals, railroads and tariffs to encourage the building of factories. He is admired for his commitment to national unity, equal rights, liberty, and democracy in America. 

The second child of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Lincoln,  Abraham was self-educated, and became a country lawyer, a Whig Party leader, Illinois state legislator during the 1830s, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives during the 1840s. Married to Mary Todd in 1842, he was an affectionate husband and father of four children.

Bio Source: Wikipedia: Abraham_Lincoln

Bring Back Old School Leadership: Vince Lombardi, NFL Hall of Fame Coach from the 1960s

I love Vince Lombardi.  A deeply religious man, he was strict, compassionate, strategic, in that measure.  From reading his leadership, he seems 2/3 firmness, 1/3 compassion. And that led his team to be a winning team.  Not just in the score, but in how they played together.
 
They were taught to play their best.  At every practice. It was not about the game.  Lombardi knew that not just practice, but “perfect practice” would lead to success during game time.  He knew their individual best, melded together, would lead to the group’s best. 
 
From an article on some of his top leadership principles: 

“Winning is a Habit”

A famous Lombardi quote is “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” Lombardi used practice time to instill qualities of commitment and preparedness, insisting players show up dressed out and ready to go at least 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled practice time, on what came to be known as “Lombardi Time.” During practice, Lombardi looked for strengths and weaknesses in each player, giving constant feedback. He knew that the habit of winning comes from good habits instilled on the practice field.

“People Who Work Together Will Win”

Lombardi knew that his team was only as strong as its weakest link. His philosophy on team-building was, “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Lombardi did not brook disrespect or intolerance among his players, and he stood behind each of them. In 1965, when Lionel Aldridge, a black defensive end, wanted to marry his Caucasian wife, Vickie, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle came to Green Bay to try to stop the marriage. In defense of Aldridge, Lombardi told him, “My team is who my team is, and nobody can tell me what I can and cannot do.”

“You’ve Got to Play With Your Heart”

Long before academics linked psychology with sports, Lombardi understood it. He knew how to get the most out of each player by treating them as human individuals first and football players second. Lombardi took the time to figure out what made each player tick, then used that knowledge to motivate and get the most out of him. Knowing their coach cared about them on a personal level inspired each player to play with all his heart.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/347999-vince-lombardi-practice/#ixzz2QbHQegYP

Let’s practice Lombardi Leadership today.  Encourage the best of each individual you see, including yourself.  Provide excellent guidance, and, a kind heart.  Understand that leads to amazing group results, and a lot of team joy on the way to your goal!

 As the son of an Italian immigrant, Vince Lombardi was raised in a strict Catholic household. In 1928, at the age of 15, Lombardi entered the Cathedral College of Immaculate Conception to study for the priesthood. Deciding on a different career path two years later, Lombardi transferred to St. Francis Preparatory and starred as fullback on the football team.  Over the years, Lombardi became a legendary football coach. He coached for Fordham University, Westpoint, the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins and, most famously, the Green Bay Packers. During his five years with the Giants, Lombardi helped lead the Giants to five winning seasons, culminating with the league championship in 1956.   He was also an early proponent of equal rights during the era of the Civil Rights Movement.  He has sometimes been described as the greatest coach in football history.