Tag Archives: passion

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make Each Day Your Masterpiece.” – John Wooden

 

“Make each day your masterpiece.”

— John Wooden

 

 

 

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Unmatched. That’s what Coach John Wooden is asking us to be.

To live a life unmatched each day — which is a masterpiece — means living according to your values.

When I usually think about a gargantuan goal, I think of something more along the lines of an Olympian. Yet it doesn’t always mean running (or winning) a marathon.

It is being your own masterpiece. That means today, you live with kindness in all the minute interactions you might have. It’s not just about doing your best, yet also treating others your best.  You, your being and presence, are the kind masterpiece that positively affects the world.

From living your masterpiece as an individual, and on this basis of values — only then can you paint another masterpiece. Pick a passion… be it gardening, being an excellent bookkeeper, being elected to office, writing a short story, exploring the best hikes and appreciating nature… And step by step, create excellence. Get inducted into your own hall of fame.

But remember, the greatest hall of fame is… treating others your best.

 

 


 

 

John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) was an American basketball coach. He was a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (inducted in 1973). He was the first person ever enshrined in both categories. His ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college basketball coach.  He was married to Nellie Riley for 53 years, and they had two children.  After Nellie’s death, John had a monthly ritual until his own death 25 years later, of visiting her grave and writing her a love letter.

 

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: 5 Steps To Live & Work With Meaning

 

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

 

Howard Thurman

 

This is very true.

Often I hear people say, “Oh, I wish I did something meaningful like you do, helping the world.” Working in philanthropy is a wonderful way to serve. But social workers, teachers or philanthropists don’t corner the market on meaning. If you want to create meaning and a core purpose at your company, here are the top five inspiring — and practical — steps.

 

  1. START WITH YOU

Your company cannot have a core purpose if you don’t know your own. It’s that simple. Follow what your deepest inner voice tells you — not what society says.

Not the “I must be an investment banker; I should be a consultant.”  And definitely not “I will do something good for the world, and then go ‘get a real job.’”

You are created for a purpose. Your company has to see that purpose in you. It’s not just a product, but all your drive, passion and energy at the forefront, every day.

 

 

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  1. DEFINE THE VALUES AND ACTIVITIES AROUND YOUR PURPOSE

What is it you most value?

Pick the one value and one service, and start there.  Don’t make it complicated. We are not talking about an Executive Summary.  Whether you are starting out or have been in business for 10 years, this is a superb exercise. Start with your passion, or get back to your passion.

 

 

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If this is difficult, take some time. Retreat centers, walks on the beach and sitting in a forest simplify your thinking.  Take nothing but a pad and paper to write down what inspires you, both in a) how you take action and b) what type of service. Don’t think, just let it pour forth naturally, whether it is an essay or a few inspired words.

A) How you take action/What is natural to you

  • Enthusiasm
  • Mobilizing people
  • Closing deals
  • Negotiating
  • Bringing consensus
  • Strategizing
  • Exploring new frontiers
  • Building sure and steady
  • Creating a boutique firm
  • Scaling
  • Excellence in client service…

There is no limit.

B) Types of service — here are a few examples that may fit your situation:

  • Service and a beauty salon
  • Technology and apps that make people efficient
  • Health and organic foods
  • Eco-friendly and better composting techniques
  • Efficiency and a better search engine
  • Purer dry cleaning services
  • Marketing/promoting others

If you can’t do this, your team can’t work to their potential.

They can’t see your focus or drive.  They will be B players; and you are not a B player.

Take the time to solidify your A-player status. Sometimes we get off track, and now you can get back on.

 

 

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  1. BUILD (OR REBUILD) A PRACTICAL, INSPIRING BUSINESS

So, what does this look like? It depends on your interests and passions. Here are a few examples.

Create a haven. It may be that you have a passion and talent for interior design. Help make people’s homes special. We all need a haven: a place to welcome others, and ourselves.  Build a company around that.

Inspire confidence with your numbers. Perhaps you love numbers. Provide order to your clients’ finances.  What would I do without my bank? Where would I put, record, manage the deposits of donations for UniversalGiving? We need a trustworthy expert.  Let it be you.

Mobilize People Through Sports.  You are an athlete at heart. If you are a player, play that game with integrity and enthusiasm, with the greatest sportsmanship. You will be a model for everyone watching, your colleagues, the audience, the referees and any children present.

 

 

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If you are a coach, your guidance and words can impact hundreds of people — and for their entire lifetime.

If you run a sports shop, you can sell the best equipment.  Search diligently to find the products that will help people succeed.

 

  1. WRITE A CORE PURPOSE STATEMENT

Come up with your core purpose statement.  Use an inspiring verb or adjective and clear action. Here are a few examples:

  • “We sell the top soccer balls, with enthusiasm for the sport.”
  • “We create life-changing apps that save you time.”
  • “We are calm anchors with our cloud service, ensuring your data is safe and secure.”
  • “We create the most professional dry cleaning, making you feel like the President.”
  • “We protect your company as you face cyber-terrorism in your backyard and across the world.”

Put it up on your wall with your values. Talk about it and reference it in meetings.  It’s more verbal, casual, and easy than a mission and vision statement.

Live it.

Speak it.

 

 

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Use it in conversations: with your team, with clients and to yourself when you wake up every day.

It should roll off your tongue, and soon everyone will speak about it naturally.

 

  1. GO BACK TO YOURSELF

Your company has a core purpose because you do.  Serve by following your passion. Don’t do what you think you should do — do what you are created to do.  You will find all types of people needing your inspiration and services, in ways you’ve never imagined.

 

 


 

 

Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, an award-winning nonprofit that connects volunteers and donors with quality service opportunities. She is a winner of the Jefferson Award (the Nobel Prize in Community Service) and has been invited to three Social Innovation events at the White House. She also writes Living and Giving, a blog with the mission of “Inspiring Leaders to Live with Excellence and Love.”

Connect with Pamela
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The Classic Pamela Positive: “We Were Born to Succeed, Not to Fail.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

“We were born to succeed, not to fail.”

– Henry David Thoreau

 

 

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That is our life purpose. To follow our calling in our own specially designed way. And so we will succeed, because the measurement is solely on how you uniquely pursue your talents, goals and qualities. Everyone has a different picture of success, his or her own beautiful expression.

 

I Love Your Expression,

Pamela

 

 


 

 

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was an author, philosopher, poet, abolitionist, and naturalist. He grew up in Massachusetts and he went on to attend Harvard College. After college, he opened a grammar school with his brother in Concord, Massachusetts. During this time, he met Ralph Waldo Emerson who introduced him to other writers and encouraged him to publish his thoughts. He is the author of Walden, which is a philosophical argument for simple living and preservation of natural environment.  He also had other important writings on natural history, environmentalism and civil disobedience.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “I want the whole person.” – D. J. DePree, founder of Herman Miller

 

“Henry Ford said, “bring us your hands, and you can leave everything else at home.”  D.J. rejected that idea and said completely the opposite: “I want all of you here.  I want the whole person.”

J. Kermit Campbell, Former CEO of Herman Miller

 

 

Self

 

 

Campbell continues, “If I can have 5,000 or 6,000 people who are passionate about what they do…solving problems and finding solutions to our customers’ problems, I’m going to be much better off than if I leave that to 10% of that population, who tell the other people what to do.  It’s like a sports team: you can have one or two guys who play well, but if you can get 50 guys on a team all playing at a very high level, you’re very tough to beat.  That’s always been our philosophy.”

 

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J. DePree (1891–1990) began work as a clerk for the Michigan Star Furniture Company. In 1914 he married Nellie Miller; they had seven children. In 1923, D. J. bought the Michigan Star Furniture Company with help from a loan from his father-in-law.  D. J. renamed the company “Herman Miller” in his honor. D. J. was CEO until 1961; after he stepped down, his two sons took over management of the company. D. J. was also lay pastor of Ventura Baptist Church for eleven years.

The Classic Pamela Positive: If We Center Down… What Is the Vital Part That Remains?

 

“… If we center down… and live in that holy Silence, which is dearer than life, and take our life program into the silent places of the heart, with complete openness, ready to do, ready to renounce according to His leading, then many of the things we are doing lose their vitality for us.”

 

– Thomas R. Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, Section: The Simplification of Life

 

 

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What is absolutely vital in your life today? Are you truly called to be doing what you’re doing… or is it simply your agenda? Align your purpose with a divine motive…

 

 

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Thomas R. Kelly (1893-1941) was a Quaker educator and writer, with a focus on mysticism.  He graduated from Wilmington College, and studied at Hartford Theological Seminary with an interest in being a missionary.  During World War I, he joined the YMCA to work with the troops, and worked with German prisoners of war.  His pacifist position eventually lost him this position.  He returned to Hartford to complete his training, and married Lael Macy.  In the 1920s, Kelly and his wife went to Germany, where they were significant in founding a Quaker community.  He returned to Germany in 1938 to encourage Quakers living under Hitler.  Kelly taught at a number of universities throughout the 1930s.  His collection of writing, “A Testament of Devotion”, was published posthumously by a colleague.

Want to Volunteer? Three Things To Ask

How do you pick the right volunteer experience for you? It’s important to be diligent in your choice of organizations when volunteering. Ask yourself the following questions to determine which experience best fits your goals.

  1. What cause is important to you?

Identify your greatest passions. What is a problem you want to solve? Who are people you want to connect with? If you don’t have answers to those questions, don’t worry. Sometimes you know, and sometimes not! That’s where you just have to try, learn more about the cause, and see if it engages your mind and emotions.

This is why volunteering is so great. You can always try it, commit for a reasonable time, and then try something different. Start with an area about which you are curious, such as education, the environment, or health care. Interested in animal conservation? Volunteer with Pandas International to assist conservationists in caring for pandas. That raises another point: You can use volunteering to explore another part of the world. Working with Globe Aware in Peru, for example, will allow you to engage in a way much beyond that of a tourist.

  1. What is the organization like?

The nonprofit sector continues to grow, with new organizations popping up daily. Understanding the organizational structure is critical to a positive volunteer experience. Would you like to work in a larger organization that might have more resources but is more rigid? Or a smaller, entrepreneurial organization that has less fiscal support but multiple opportunities to serve?

You also need to consider the leadership structure. Are they friendly, open, willing to give you opportunities? Do you see yourself enjoying your day working with them? If you answer yes, then most likely you will have a positive relationship. They will want to see you grow and develop, and you will want to help them. It’s a “win-win” for everyone. Try to meet with the leader or volunteer manager prior to starting to ensure it’s a good fit.

  1. How much time can you dedicate?

Be realistic about the amount of time you can spend volunteering. Often, volunteers comment that they benefit from investing a lot of time becoming a part of the “nonprofit family.” You can learn the ins and outs of the organization and gain greater expertise.

However, you may have time only to help on weekends every now and then. That’s great, too. It’s just a different kind of experience. Volunteering one time to help a soup kitchen pack meals for families for the holidays is a good example. You’ve helped fill a need, and your heart is filled, too!

You’ve got a heart to give. Now, take the time to think about how you want to volunteer. By being thoughtful, you’ll use your time well and get the most out of your experience. (It also helps the nonprofit!) No matter what, you’ll be a better person. And the world will be better, too.

Visit Duke University’s website where Pamela can answer your questions on social innovations and nonprofits here! 

“Love is a spirit all compact of fire, Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.” – William Shakespeare

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“Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.”
– William Shakespeare

Please enjoy an audio version of this blog!

 

Love is gentle and soft.

Yet Love is also filled with fire, energy, excitement and hope! Continue reading