Tag Archives: goals

The Classic Pamela Positive: Olympic Trainer and Nike Co-Founder Bill Bowerman Tells Us, It’s Already Inside

 

Everything you need is already inside. Just do it.

– Bill Bowerman

 

 

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I love Bill Bowerman’s quote, as he speaks to the potential and belief in each one of us… We should always strive to be our best and to believe in ourselves, even if we don’t always achieve our immediate goal. The importance is in the process and our motives.

 

We should treat ourselves and others with the utmost care, meaning, “We believe!” The alternative is costly to our health, to what we can achieve, and to what the world will miss…

 

What I love is that Bill Bowerman translated this belief across many areas — personal values, sports training and business. Believing isn’t relegated to any sector!

 

 


 

 

Bill Bowerman was a track and field coach for the University of Oregon. Born in Portland, Oregon, Bowerman was raised in Fossil, Oregon by his mother after his parents split. In his childhood, he was part of the school band and the football team. He received his B.A. from the University of Oregon, where he studied journalism and played football. He also served in the military as a Major in the army during World War II. In his 24-year career he trained 31 Olympic athletes, twelve American record holders, 51 All-Americans and 24 NCAA champions. One year he won 4 NCAA titles. In 1964 he became the co-founder of Nike. He and his wife Barbara were high school sweethearts, married for more than 60 years and they had two children together. 

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make the Most of the Abilities We Have” – Jim Abbott

 

“Never allow the circumstances of your life to become an excuse. People will allow you to do it. But I believe we have a personal obligation to make the most of the abilities we have.”

– Jim Abbott

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Jim Abbott is a former Major League baseball pitcher, who played despite having been born without a right hand. He played for teams including the California Angels, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. In 1993, Abbott threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, and in 1988 pitched the final game to win the United States an unofficial gold medal in the Summer Olympics. Throughout his career, teams tried to exploit the fact that Abbott played with one hand, but their tactics were never effective. Today, Abbott works as a motivational speaker, living in California with his wife, two children and their dog. His parents still live in Michigan, where he grew up. Abbott and his family take the summer off each year to stay at the lake and visit with family and friends.

Rough: A Social Entrepreneur’s Journey

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I’ve often spoken about my journey in finding my calling. I am so fortunate to love what I do, every day.  And with that gift, I want to vigorously help others.   I am passionate about serving UniversalGiving every day, helping people connect with quality ways to give and volunteer all across the world.

I am equally passionate about helping others find something they love to do.  It lights up your life. You become the best, most sincere, intelligent, fun, and delightful person if you can engage with your calling.

People hear me speak with joy and clarity about my calling, yet they think my life to social entrepreneurship was easy.

It was the “Rough” of my life.  It was excruciating. I fought to find work I loved to greet every day.  There were some really, really low times, over many years.  In fact, I don’t like to talk about it, because I enjoy focusing on the positive.

So “Rough” is in response to many people’s request:

“Pamela, tell me what it was like. I don’t know where to start. I need encouragement.

“Can you help me?  I need to know I can make it…”

or

“Pamela,  you had it easy.  I wish I could have found my calling as you did!  You’re so lucky.”

I write this for all aspiring social entrepreneurs. Persevere in getting to know yourself and carve out your pathway.  You will find it. Even if takes years. It’s worth it.

Just as we should love who we marry, we should love what we do.  I’m still working on that first one. So for all you moms who crave meaning, and come to me dying for a purpose, I have that purpose, and I also will be grateful to find what you have too: precious family and children. We deserve both, and we can help each other.

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If you hear me speak or read my writing, I focus on the positive. It’s imperative to be a solid, move-forward-and-make-it-happen entrepreneur, and a happy person. I am grateful for all the good Life has opened up unto me, in conjunction with the human effort and striving I put forth.

But if you need to know my journey, so that you know it is possible for you, I will share. Here is where my story started. But my vision of social entrepreneurship didn’t manifest itself until 14 years later. And I am still working on my next vision of serving… stay tuned.  Team, we don’t stop growing, ever.

An Entrepreneur’s Journey

There are people who are bootstrapping on a vision. And there are people who don’t yet have a vision. Both are in a glorious battle.

One is striving to achieve and live their vision, to build a new way of doing things in the world. The other, I think, is in more pain because they haven’t yet found that calling.  At least the former, despite formidable pressures to launch, fundraise, hire the right people, (fire the others who need to be the right people elsewhere), fight legal battles, meet payroll, is in love. They like their day to day.

I can’t emphasize how important this is. If you dread each day, feel dead in your skills, and unappreciated, it starts to wear off everywhere else. It impacts your whole life.

Build towards vision, positive growth, enthusiasm every day. This is what you must do. Equally important is who you surround yourself with. You are building your future right now. No, it is not off two years from now, or 20. Your future is everything you put your thought and energy into, right now. And right now, and now, and…now.

ROUGH: Try

So you have to keep trying.

I leave four jobs in two years out of college. I am in sales for a company for one year.  I am out of work for a year. All my friends are on a track, on track: MBA, Doctor, Lawyer.  I feel embarrassed. I am from a smart school, with smart colleagues, and I don’t feel like I am living a smart life.

I pick up any jobs I can, while still trying to pursue a love-of-my-life calling.

I work for a man who wanted an executive assistant but says I don’t deserve to be paid. He says I’m too green. I work for the experience anyway.

I work as a step aerobics instructor. I am hired and pushed out as a waitress by a frustrated restaurant-owner in Venice Beach.  I always wanted to serve others, but my hands shook while I carried the plates.  I volunteer with alcoholic men in Skid Row, helping them with life skills. I interview to sell insurance. I do real estate research for an independent couple, a marketing brochure for a nonprofit. I do all I can to provide for myself and try to make it.

Still, all the while, I was learning more about our international world, understanding social entrepreneurship and helping pave the way. I studied The Economist, read about the world, prayed, cried and asked for my life to be used.  On my knees I prayed and cried for it. The drive was that strong, as was the depression in not finding it. Ask my roommate at the time – who is now UniversalGiving’s COO. She saw it all, and it was excruciating.

I see an idea.  I get inspired and do the full business plan for a Gift Basket company that would give back to nonprofits, early CSR before I know it. I sneak into a manufacturer’s conference for Gift Basket vendors of 1000 people, to find out all the suppliers of foods and gifts. I prepared inventory, storage, a marketing plan, and first customers.

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And then…

I had to give up.

It just didn’t feel right.  I just wasn’t prepared to do this on my own. I needed a partner.

I was devastated.   I had started… another non-starter in my life.

I called my Dad and let him know I was abandoning the Gift Basket business plan. What would I do next, he asked?

I thought…..I might like PR.  That’s the thing…you often just don’t know.

You have to try, and believe all the things that don’t work are gearing you exactly into what does work.  Don’t worry.  Keep going.  Keep trying.  Learn.

I tried to get into PR. I was told I didn’t have any experience. I was told I didn’t have an internship on my resume.

So I went — and got experience, for ten days. I got into Chiatt Day, and beat out college teens for an unpaid internship. After a week-plus, I put it on my resume, and was then able to get a job with a PR agency because I had ‘experience.’

I entered data for them. I was praised with the company record of stuffing the most press kits. I was so mind-tired, so exhausted by not using my mind, that I had to run up and down the stairwell to stay sane.

I went from sales, to being out of work for a year, to odd jobs, to a 10-day internship at Chiatt Day, to 8 months at a PR firm, into a Masters in broadcast journalism.  I hopped and hopped.

Then I met Peter Samuelson, and he helped change my life course. He was doing it, and he really lived.

ROUGH: Your Calling

How Do You Get There Once You Know What It Is?

Just because you have a calling doesn’t mean there is an easy way to get there.

At the age of twelve, I was struck with an early vision. In my post “To Be of Service,” I speak about witnessing poverty in Mexico with my father, and how that changed my life. It set me on a pathway to service and ultimately entrepreneurship.  However, the challenges to get there, and to understand my unique path as a social entrepreneur, were many.

I had always been very entrepreneurial. I loved to create little businesses. For some, there is a time when we move from being an entrepreneur, to being a social entrepreneur.  Peter Samuelson, film director and founder of Starlight Children’s Foundation, encapsulated that pivotal moment for me.   I first met Peter through the Leadership Institute, started by management leader Warren Bennis at USC Business School. Here’s how Peter sparked me on my path.

While the thread in my life was about helping, I was having a hard time finding an outlet. At the time, I was in graduate school, heading into broadcast journalism with the goal of changing the tenor of media news.  I wanted to see a world where we could emphasize positive developments in our world.

It’s not that we ignore the tough situations, but the murder rate is not always going up. There are places it has gone down.  Positive solutions helped get us there. Why not cover that news?

If you focus only on the negative, you’ll stay there.  Move into the new world you envision.  But news directors told me it wasn’t possible. “We operate off of eye candy, what will bring the most viewers. What you’re proposing doesn’t drive eyeballs, Pamela.”

So I was feeling blocked again. Four “careers” in four years. Now what do I do?

Peter got up and spoke about “entrepreneurial philanthropy” or “social entrepreneurship.”  “We need to make a difference in a strategic, business-like way, while serving our communities!” he proclaimed.  He essentially galvanized us with his relentless passion. I’ve never seen anyone speak like that.

My heart dropped. Tears filled my eyes. At that point I was going through my mid-life crisis at age 25. And in an instant, I knew what I wanted to do.  I wanted to be a social entrepreneur. Peter brought my vision of how I wanted to serve – with compassion and business principles – to life.

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The relief, the joy, the glory…to know… that I was made to be a social entrepreneur.

I left the Leadership Conference and ran to a payphone (yes, a payphone) and called my Dad, “Dad, Dad, I know what I want to do!” I excitedly explained. He listened with joy and support as he always does.  “That’s great, honey!  And…how…do you get paid?”

Rough.

Social entrepreneurship was not a developed concept — let alone a field. There were NO:

social entrepreneurship blogs or books

social entrepreneurship job listings

social entrepreneurship events, certificates, programs, classes…

or  degrees….

or conferences.

Or thought leaders.  Or experienced social entrepreneurs, proven track records, or just any example.

Now try explaining to everyone you want to be a social entrepreneur.

“You mean a social worker?”

“What’s a social engineer?”

“Oh cool!  Wait, what do they do?”

“Oh… well, good luck with that.”

It was lonely.

What was the next step?

While still excruciating, that year I found the right people and the right idea. VolunteerMatch came into being. It was a ‘lucky’ confluence of the Web (I love scale), do-gooderism, and providing a solution to people finding quick, accessible efficient ways to volunteer. Even then, it still wasn’t my full calling, because it wasn’t global. While grateful, I had more work to do to find my true purpose.

So while I was struck with a wonderful devotion in life, it took years to manifest it. Four to reach VolunteerMatch. And then for my true calling, international, through UniversalGivingthat would take ten.

Ten years.

What you have to remember is, every passionless dead-end is still a precious part of your process.

You must commit to serving and helping others in your current situation, even when you don’t want to be there.

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In so doing, you commit to good values and build your strength. You also meet helpful people. You meet people you can help.

You learn many valuable skills. In my case, sales, PR, broadcast communications, international on the side.  All of those experiences came back into play in my effective governing of UniversalGiving.

This fight to find what I love to do, enabled me to go through my midlife crisis 25 years earlier than most. I am clear, pure and passionate about what I do and the meaning in my life. It has led me to fight for others, so they can have this too.  I am almost equally passionate about UniversalGiving, as I am about helping people find their pathway in life.

I wake up in love to live each day.  I know what it means to me, and I don’t take it for granted. Every day I get to help others, with my heart and with my mind, for the community and in business. That is what I get to do with a wonderful team. Every day.

So my efforts to serve certainly started with poverty, but now extend into striving to be a great social entrepreneurship leader; and to be available for anyone who would like to talk about their pathway. I hope to serve not just my industry and global social entrepreneurship, but also the entering leaders, to help them.  One of the greatest joys has not just been being a social entrepreneur, but also helping pave for others, for our social entrepreneurship industry.

ROUGH: Continue Giving

In my final notes to all of you who wish so sincerely for this meaning…

Please, don’t give up.

DO NOT give up.

The joy you will find is lovely, fruitful, fulfilling. It is life-giving to yourself and others. It will build you in ways you will never imagine, and bring the right people into your life. And it might be much simpler for you. If so, cherish it.  We all receive our challenges in life, in different ways.

Mine wasn’t an easy journey, but it was filled with joy despite the challenges. Making it big is not about money.  I am “wealthy” because of the joy-filled, purposeful life that I lead. I am alive, not just because I breathe. I am alive because I truly live.  I hope I can help others become “rich,” too.

From Rough to Joy.

Dear reader, I hope this helped you. It wasn’t easy for me to write, but I did it.

Love, Pamela

The Classic Pamela Positive: Celebrate the Beauty of Balance!

 

Were all here to help each other, and part of that is supporting balance. And one of the ways we can do this is to encourage your team to share their goals outside of work. In so doing, this will help your organizations mission, too.

 

 

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Its important to have outside lives and interests. You have to begin by recognizing those first for yourself.  Your team will see you modeling this balance and how it makes you a whole, fully giving person.

 

 

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Why do we try to encourage our team to have outside interests, and to share their goals? We know UniversalGiving cant be everything for everyone (even me). Balance helps keep people energized and refreshed. They maintain strong critical thinking skills and positive energy. Your team also feels they can be transparent about what their goals are.

 

 

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As CEO, I love to hear about the other interests.  How can we help further them? One person wants to be a writer. Another wants to go into aerospace. If I know this, perhaps someday I can help them.

 

 

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I can watch out for a person or introduction that might be beneficial. Or even in a small way, I can find a helpful article in my daily journey of reading.

So first, were all here to help each other; thats the first, right motive.  Yet it will amaze you how much it energizes your organization, and propels your vision forward.  

 

 

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You commit to the entire person, and they will also trust and commit to you, giving their all when they are working.  Most importantly, it honors the other person holistically, just as you would want to be honored.

 

 

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The Classic Pamela Positive: Is America’s Banyan Tree the Conference Room?

 

This is Part Two of a Two-Part series on the Bayan tree. You can read Part One here.

 

 

It is interesting how in America and in many places across the world, most of our meetings take place in walled, sterile conference rooms. Chairs are uniformly around the table. The walls are usually plastered with notices about the companys achievements. Pens and pads are available so we can write and record and get our business done.”Gosh darn it,” I can hear the executives say, “in this room we’re going to get to the solution, get down to business, and ‘make it happen.’

 

 

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Yet what if we looked at doing all of our business, or even holding all of our meetings, under a banyan tree? This return to nature might help conversations flow more easily.

 

 

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Perhaps this atmosphere would allow us to be more authentic. If we are surrounded by nature’s occasional stirring winds, visionary clouds floating across the sky, and brilliant beckoning sun, would we not also settle into a more authentic course of conversation?Could it lead to more natural, comfortable (and no less impactful, but rather more so) solutions? Within this reframing context of nature, we can discuss our goals and hopes and plans and perhaps achieve even greater goals.

 

 

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Here’s a thought… We can replace the pen, paper and busy scribbling of notes, with more eye contact. We supplant the flurried white board scrawls with more thoughtful listening. What a profound impact this has to have on any business relationship, business decision, and especially, with any personal matter. 

Until we can “Unconference Room” your meeting space, perhaps we can imagine all of our conversations thoughtfully taking place under a Banyan tree. A place where comfort, understanding, and right relationships result under its strong, rooted and peaceful presence.

 

 


 

 

The banyan tree originally received its name from the merchants who gathered beneath it to do business; in the Gujarati language, banyameans merchant/grocer.” Western visitors to India observed the merchants meeting beneath the tree, and the name evolved to refer to the tree itself. The banyan trees are given great symbolism in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Banyan trees can grow to cover hundreds of feet, and live for over a thousand years.

The Classic Pamela Positive: 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.

 

 

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President Lincoln says something instrumental here: As we strive for our goal, it should be peace brought between each one 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

The Classic Pamela Positive: “I Have Learned Over The Years The Three Gs: Gratitude, God, Go Forward”

 

“I have learned over the years the Three Gs: be Grateful, Go to God and Go forward!”     

 -Grey T. Full

 

Dear Living and Giving Reader,

Let’s delve into this today, and see what it looks like! We can’t miss with being grateful, and let’s start there.

 

 

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Be Grateful.

This can be big things like the wonderful relationship with your parents, your husband or your sweet kitten who is a solace for you at night. Or, it might be “thank you for this nice flight”, “thank you for the peaceful drive”, “thank you that the sun is shining.”

The important thing is to find something. Everyone can find something for which to be grateful. If you need help, call me and we can go through your life and find the good. You’ll be amazed at the list!

 

 

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Go to God.   

 

There is a power. There is a power watching over the world, watching over you, and helping move things forward.

You are not alone. Someone watches over you and loves you! Believe it now. Invest in Him/Her now, so that your life is supported by this Loving Strength and Wisdom.

Go Forward!  

 

With Gratitude and God on your side, you need to Go Forward. Take that next step.

 

 

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You will get closer to your destiny and closer to your goals. Most importantly, you’ll get closer to the loves of your life, whether it’s finding a loving job, a loving husband or wife, or a peaceful neighborhood. You should be living in

Love in all facets of your life.

 

“I have learned over the years the Three Gs: be Grateful, Go to God and Go forward!”

 

 -Grey T. Full

 

You can do this today. You can do this every day.

 

 

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Build a habit of

Gratitude, God and Going Forward.

I’m Grateful For You and Looking Forward to Hearing About Your Progress!

Pamela

 

Citations:
Fig. 1: Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash
Fig. 2: Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash
Fig. 4: Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash