Tag Archives: family

Today Matters — by John Maxwell

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Team, today matters.  Inspirational Leader John Maxwell outlines our pathway to success:

Today Matters. 12 Daily Disciplines to Guarantee Success

 Choose and display the right attitude

Determine and act on important priorities

Know and follow healthy guidelines

Communicate with and care for your family

Practice and develop good thinking

Make and keep proper commitments

Make and properly manage your money

Deepen and live out your spiritual faith

Initiate and invest in solid personal relationships

Plan for and model being generosity

Seek out and embrace personal improvements

Today matters, team.  We don’t take a day for granted. Live it with meaning, purpose and joy.
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John C. Maxwell is an American author and leadership expert. His books–especially the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, have sold millions of copies and have even landed him on the New York Time’s Bestseller List. Born in 1947 to an evangelical family in Garden City, Michigan, Maxwell was exposed to a religious lifestyle from a young age. He served as a senior pastor at Skyline Church for 14 years, but in 1995, he decided to devote his efforts full-time to writing and speaking. It was then that Maxwell began to think deeply about leadership.
He founded INJOY, Maximum Impact, the John Maxwell Team, ISS, and EQUIP. EQUIP is an international leadership development organization that works to develop leaders; in fact, it is involved with leaders from over 80 nations. Its mission is to “see effective leaders fulfill the Great Commission in every nation,” the Great Commission being a tenet of Christianity about the instructions of Jesus Christ. Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international organizations, and even the United States Military Academy about effective leadership strategies. Notably, he was one of the 25 authors named to Amazon’s 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame. In 2014, he was Inc. Magazine’s #1 leadership and management expert in the world.
 
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Why Certain People Are In Your Life

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These words have been inspiring to me, and I am glad to share them with you.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.  They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.  They may seem like a godsend, and they are.  They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.  Sometimes they die.  Sometimes they walk away.  Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.  What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.  The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.  They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.  They may teach you something you have never done.  They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.  Believe it!  It is real!  But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.  Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person (any way); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.  It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.

Author Unknown

“Home is a Great Gift on Earth – Especially For Farmers”

Home is the dearest spot on earth for many of us. Home is peace; home is comfort filled with memories, meals, and meaningful times.

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For many farmers who travel here from countries south of the border, their jobs are the most important elements of their lives. And sadly, they left family members back home in Mexico, El Salvador, or Guatemala.
But they have to come. The wages they can make here in a day is the same as what they make in a week in Mexico. They can send the money back home and support their children. So when the farming season is over, they can go back and be with their families.
But everyone needs a home here, now. That’s why some owners of the farms put together a self-funded collaborative to provide beds for the farmers. The farmers have to get up early in the morning, such as 3 or 4, and are then provided a home cooked meal available from 4 to 6. They then head out to their workday and then have their own special bed when they return home.
What’s so important about this? The farmers love it. They queue up every year to try to get one of the available beds. While there aren’t enough, it’s a step in the right direction.
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I laud these farm owners who are coming together to help provide a home, meals and respite for their workers. They are watching out for them, caring for them, just as we want to be watched out and cared for. They help them beyond simply offering a job.
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Home is the dearest spot on earth. May we provide a bed, a meal, a shoulder, and a listening ear to all who need it. Can you find someone you can do this for, today?

The Classic Pamela Positive: Philanthropy at the Dry Cleaners

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Get inspired by an audio version of this blog!

I’ve shared before about philanthropy as “the love of people,” as a daily practice.

One day I had a pivotal experience that helped me be a better ‘daily philanthropist.’  Each day, I make a ‘to do’ list. The list might range from contacting a corporate client, to running an errand at the dry cleaners. Checking off these items certainly gave me a nice sense of satisfaction!

During this day, I found myself particularly busy. I rushed into the dry cleaners. I swooped in to pick up my clothes and left a bundle of clothes on the counter. “There!” I told myself triumphantly. “I fit in the dry cleaners before a meeting. I have gotten one more item off my list!” Accomplishment, I thought; and yet I didn’t feel it.

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What I realized is that the dry cleaners wasn’t an errand.

No, it was not a ‘to-do.’

It was an opportunity to love.

Life is not about lists. We aren’t programmed to just get things done. Instead, each activity, each to-do, each task, is actually an experience of loving. This is especially true because each experience usually means interacting with someone else. And when we do this in a calm, present, joyful way, that’s living. And it’s also the true spirit of philanthropy. Loving and being present with others, with mankind.

As one great thinker wrote, a person “… is a marvel, a miracle in the universe… With selfless love, he inscribes on the heart of humanity and transcribes on the page of reality the living, palpable presence – the might and majesty! – of all goodness. He lives for all mankind.”*

Rushing in and out of the dry cleaners, I had missed a valuable opportunity. What I needed to do was connect with my dry cleaners, know them by name, greet them warmly, and sincerely ask how they are doing. Now I know how Hao is doing, and we have a great relationship of warmth and kindness.  I look forward to our visits.

Writing a check is only one type of philanthropy. I’ve found that it exists at the dry cleaners, and pretty much anywhere we want.  Where does it exist for you?

*Mary Baker Eddy

The Classic Pamela Positive: When You’re at the Table, You’re Open and Your Defenses Are Down

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“People want that gathering together. The table is magical. When you’re at the table, you’re open and your defenses are down.” – Lidia Bastianich, host of PBS “Lidia’s Italy”

Mealtimes seem to be a time of the past. We eat in our cars and desks or even holding a powerbar walking out the door… and yet Lidia points out how we can find deep caring and nourishment at the table.  It’s not just sharing food, but also sharing of our hearts and feelings.  It’s a time to be a sounding board and to have sounding boards…from people who truly care about you.  It’s a time to relax, and yet also profound as some of the most important issues in your life may come out in a casual way.

Don’t miss this time with your loved ones.  “The table is magical.”  Or I might add  “The people at the table are magical.”

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (born on February 21, 1947, in Pula, Croatia–then a part of Italy), is an American chef, television host, author, and restaurateur.  Specializing in Italian and Italian-American cuisine, Lidia has been a regular contributor to public television cooking show lineups since 1998. In 2011, she launched her fourth TV series Lidia’s Italy in America. She also owns several Italian restaurants in the U.S. in partnership with her daughter Tanya Bastianich Manuali and her son, Joe Bastianich, including Felidia (founded with her ex-husband, Felice), Del Posto, Esca, and Becco in Manhattan; Lidia’s Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Lidia’s Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bio Source: Wikipedia

The Classic Pamela Positive: Celebrate True Wealth

Wealth is a state of mind and life. We tend to associate poverty with money. But poverty can be mental, emotional or spiritual poverty. I am often struck by this in my travel and volunteering in developing nations. Often, the divorce rates are low. Families not only stay together, but also spend time together. They gather food from the fields together, cook together and share meals together.

Contrast us: 15 minute family dinners if we are lucky. Fast-food and food distanced from its natural base. We eat alone; we eat in our cars. Divorces are easier to get, and in our mind it can be easier to allow those thoughts in as a possibility, rather than work through critical issues. So we lose the connection to family. We lose the connection to the local farm. We can lose the connection to long-term commitment.

We lose our greatest asset in natural wealth: relationships. Relationships with ourselves, our families, the earth. This wealth creates happy, balanced, productive, lower stress lifestyles, because we are connected in the way we are meant to be.

Further, we often pass by our heritage and where we come from. In many emerging nations, and especially in the continent of Africa, we see tribes value their connection to their heritage as primary importance even above their nationality. There is a deep-rooted connection to rituals and history which keeps people grounded in who they are, and the deeper, long-term meaning of being a part of a larger community in their lives.

Poverty is about money, at times. It has to be addressed as people should have the opportunity to live productive lives and make choices about what they would like to devote their lives to. Poverty is also about our well-being. Often when we get beyond “money poverty,” we forget “well-being poverty,” and get trapped in a go-go-go consumer culture.

I hope we can celebrate the healthy wealth that is accessible to us all in positive, committed relationships with ourselves, one another, our families, our earth, our communities and our heritage. How wonderful this is available to us all.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Love Many, Trust a Few, And Always Paddle Your Own Canoe”

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“Love Many, Trust a Few, And Always Paddle Your Own Canoe”
–Terri, from Coudersport, PA, as seen on Dark Chocolate Dove Wrapper

Terri has it right. What a joy to enjoy dark chocolate, which I love, with a truly inspired quote.

Life affords us so many ways to love, and how important we keep doing so. At the same time, we have to be careful, and so Trust, or entrusting ourselves to others, perhaps must be a bit more rare.  I wish it weren’t so… however, everyone is on their pathway of personal growth. So we must honor them, honor ourselves: We should always love, but not necessarily entrust to others.

As far as paddling one’s own canoe. As my Oma says, “You’d better put a little elbow grease into that.” She was always ensuring she had pulled her weight. In fact, when I went over to Oma’s for a sleepover as a young child, even at the age of 8 or 9, our fun together — was working together. We scrubbed the kitchen floor on hands and knees, sharpened pencils, and wrote up a list for the freezer so she knew what was in there. She taught me to care about being clean, ordered and organized, which made her home special. She made it fun. I loved working with my Oma.

Terri, we thank you for a quote which has delighted us all!