Tag Archives: self growth

The Classic Pamela Positive: “You Must Pass Your Days In Song. Let Your Whole Life Be A Song.” – Sai Baba

 

 

“You must pass your days in song. Let your whole life be a song.”

– Sai Baba

 

Having a low day? Feeling a little drum. Then, pick up a song, fast or sweet, kind or slow. Let it move your heart with goodness to flow throughout the day.

 

Don’t be held back by that tiny annoyance… or that insecurity. Or the office gossip, or your feeling lonely. Your life is a song! So start singing, even if quietly to yourself. Your heart will lift.

 

 

anthony-delanoix-15928-unsplash (1).jpg

 

 

We should learn. Sai Baba was a meditative doer of good in the late 19th century. His home was home at the edge of the Babul forest in Central India. There, he meditated and soul searched, more and more, while he was winding his way through the forest. He settled upon an abandoned mosque which became a sort of home. He opened his home and accepted all. He meditated, advised, and cherished all people. Hindi, Muslim and people who didn’t even know what they believed became welcomed visitors. His whole goal was the transformation of people into realizing their spiritual selves. He held dances, meditations, and talks. He helped people as he wanted them to be free, just as he found freedom. He was free from materialism, because his life was a song.

 

 

fotografia-ges-636998-unsplash (1)

 

 

Let your life be a song. Don’t get weighed down by a sneer, a petty person or small inconvenience. Do a dance, do a song. You can even perform it quietly in your heart.

 

Let your life be a song, and you will be free.

 

Singing,

Pamela

 

 


 

 

sai baba (1)

 

The early life of Sai Baba is still cloaked in mystery. It is believed that Baba was born somewhere between 1838 and 1842 CE in a place called Pathri in Marathwada in Central India. Some believers use September 28, 1835 as an official birth date. When he was about 16 years of age, Sai Baba arrived at Shirdi. At Shirdi, Baba stayed on the outskirts of the village in Babul forest and used to mediate under a neem tree for long hours. Some villagers considered him mad, but others revered the saintly figure and gave him food for sustenance.

 

After wandering in the thorny woods for a long time, Baba moved to a dilapidated mosque, which he referred to as “Dwarkarmai” (named after the abode of Krishna, Dwarka). This mosque became the abode of Sai Baba till his last day. Here, he received pilgrims of both Hindu and Islamic persuasion. The abode of Sai Baba, Dwarkamai, was open to all, irrespective of religion, caste and creed. Sai Baba was at ease with both Hindu scriptures and Muslim texts. He used to sing the songs of Kabir and dance with ‘fakirs’. Baba was the lord of the common man and through his simple life, he worked for the spiritual metamorphosis and liberation of all human beings. Sai Baba is said to have attained ‘mahasamadhi’—the conscious departure from his living body—on October 15, 1918. Before his death, he said, “Do not think I am dead and gone. You will hear me from my Samadhi and I shall guide you.”

 

 

Citations:
Fig. 1: Photo by Anthony Delanoix on Unsplash
Fig. 2: Photo by Fotografia.ges on Unsplash

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

 

“Make each day your masterpiece.”

— John Wooden

 

 

 

woman-591576_1280

 

 

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.

 

 

Rough: A Social Entrepreneur’s Journey

mountaineer-56693_640

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.

pamela family

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.

man-407232_640

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.

Priority- After school program for kids in Nicaragua - cropped

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.

rsz_friends-holding-hands-images-holding-hands copy

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: Make Criticism Yield to You

 

“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself;

he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.”

 

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

 

runner-555074_640

 

 

No matter how hard it is, we have to face challenging feedback and take some step of action. It’s not easy… but the more we do it, the more we become accustomed to it. To being honest with ourselves… and to overcoming the challenge.

 

We grow, we excel, and we move on, up and over it.

 

With that honesty, as Goethe states, the criticism “will gradually yield to him.”

 

 


 

 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, and natural philosopher, best known for his two-part poetic drama Faust, which he started around the age of twenty-three and didn’t finish till shortly before his death sixty years later. He is considered one of the greatest contributors of the German Romantic period. At the age of sixteen, in 1765, Goethe went to Leipzig University to study law as his father wished, though he also gained much recognition from the Rococo poems and lyric he wrote during this period. In 1766, he fell in love with Anne Catharina Schoenkopf (1746-1810) and wrote his joyfully exuberant collection of poems Annette.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe now rests in the Fürstengruft or “Royal Tomb” in the “Historic Cemetery” in Wiemar where his dear friend Schiller is also laid to rest. In honour of these two famous German men of letters, a statue of Goethe and Schiller now stands at the German National Theatre in Munich. UNESCO’S “Memory of the World” list includes the handwritten works of Goethe preserved by the Goethe-Schiller-Archive.

Bio Source: The Literature Network

The Classic Pamela Positive: Why You Should Sit By An Older Man

 

Now that might sound funny, but the other day I felt called to sit by an older man.

We were at a community gathering, celebrating an organist for all her church music. 

She had performed beautifully over many years and she was a lovely person. We had contributed goodies and a potluck, and a celebratory cake. People were laughing, chatting and sharing memories. It was a wonderful sense of togetherness, that we often miss in our social media society.

 

 

huy-phan-100866-unsplash (1).jpg

 

 

But on the couch was an older man. He didn’t look down, he didn’t look up, he was just sitting there. I asked a friend who he was.

 

“He’s the father of one of our members here, and he’s blind.”

 

I thought what that must feel like.

He’s in a sea of people and conversation….and no one’s talking to him…..

yet he hears everything.

It must be a big loud jumble… but nothing specifically directed towards him…… My heart went out to him.

 

 

rhand-mccoy-621732-unsplash (1).jpg

 

 

I went right away over to the couch and sat down with him. I held his hand and said,

 

“I’m Pamela! Who are you? Are you having a nice day?”

 

His eyes perked up and he continued to look ahead. His face crinkled with a smile. He proceeded to tell me, with very joyous terms, about who he was, his life, and fascinating stories of history. He remembered the time when the Korean War was mentioned in school as well as when World War II was being announced. What prolific, historical events to be a youngster and to hear this global and national news. So monumental, so devastating.

 

 

toa-heftiba-703628-unsplash (1) (1).jpg

 

 

He had many fascinating stories to tell about his childhood, about the importance of his aunt, his mom’s sister, and how devoted she was to church and community.

I listened, listened, listened.

We had such a joyous time.

Having our quiet time of sharing, amidst a joyous gathering.

In our lives, that’s all that really needs to be done is to listen, listen, listen, listen with love, listen with your heart.

Everyone has a story. Everyone has a story to tell. And so we listen.

 

 

alex-holyoake-370400-unsplash (1).jpg

 

 

What yours? If you want your story to be heard, if you want to be known… then take some time to listen. Take time to listen to someone else’s story. You will learn; they will love you for it. You both will be enriched and, in this case, a blind man’s eyes opened my blind eyes.

I want to hear your story,

Pamela

 

 


Citations:
Fig. 1: Photo by Huy Phan on Unsplash
Fig. 2: Photo by Rhand Mccoy on Unsplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Fig. 4: Photo by Alex Holyoake on Unsplash
Fig. 5: Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

 

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

 

“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.

 

 

heart

 

 

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.

 

 

david-boca-794671-unsplash.jpg

 

 

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

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Life Is 10% What Happens To You And 90% How You React To It.”- Charles R. Swindoll

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

– Charles R. Swindol

 

 

inspiring 1 (1).jpg

 

 

So your roommate left. The head of your soccer team left. Your husband left. Your children left for college. Your dog left and wandered away from home.

 

Those are events……. You aren’t responsible for them.

 

But… you are responsible for how you respond. Not even react – but respond… with

 

grace, 

 

love, 

 

and poise.

 

 

marvin-meyer-672583-unsplash (1).jpg

 

 

There is an answer.

 

And the answer is not “why?”

 

It is not about complaint.

 

And it’s not about smashing rackets.

 

There is a peaceful, calm solution to what Life throws at you.

 

 

nick-dunlap-747322-unsplash (1)

 

 

You’ll find it, and respond with a positive solution.

 

That’s the only way,

 

Pamela

 

 


 

 

Charles Rozell Swindoll was born on October 18, 1934, in El Campo in Wharton County, Texas. After graduating from high school, Swindoll then fulfilled his military service obligation with the United States Marine Corps, first in San Francisco, then on the Japanese island of Okinawa. After his honorable discharge in 1959, he attended Dallas Theological Seminary, where he graduated with three major honors and magna cum laude four years later. Swindoll was ordained into the ministry in 1963 and served in Dallas, he has since held senior pastorates. He has since received four honorary doctorate degrees from varying universities in honor of his dedication and contribution to ministry work. In July 1994, Swindoll became the president of the Dallas Theological Seminary and now serves as its chancellor. He is the author of more than 70 books, most of which are based on his research and preparation for sermons preached each Sunday.

 

On June 18, 1955, Swindoll married Cynthia Ann Parker, who used to be the pianist at a Baptist Church in Galena Park, Texas. Together, the couple has four children, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. In 1998 Swindoll founded Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco. The church first held services at Collin County Community College (now Collin College), then moved to its permanent home on Legendary Drive. The congregation grew rapidly from a few hundred members to several thousand in the first few years and this growth has necessitated major expansion of the current facility. He’s been honored in numerous ways including Clergyman of the Year in 1988 and second most influential Christian preacher in 2009.  Many of the pastors at Stonebriar are graduates of Dallas Theological Seminary, and the church is known for its missionary work in India and in other countries.

 

 

Citations:
Fig. 1: Photo by Simon Davis/DFID
Fig. 2: Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Nick Dunlap on Unsplash