Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010-22 - The Story of Big Jim…

I looked out my second storey office window and knew exactly why. I could hear the sounds throughout the morning. This crew of 4 men and 3 bucket trucks stringing power lines along the new poles they had been planting in the front and back yards of my neighbourhood the past few weeks.
Often during this time, I would be working on my laptop on the front porch and watched this professional team work in total synchronicity, moving from pole to pole in planned sequence. What was of extreme interest to me was the foreman of this well-oiled machine.
You could tell his crew really liked and had great respect for him. Although this was far from your typical 'lean on your shovel' squad, they still joked while working at a well-managed pace. Boss-man, was always doing something to speed things along, be it picking up refuse or spooling wire. In fact, while they were in the process of connecting my power, guess who was pruning the overgrown pine tree branches in my backyard to make it easier for his boys?
It was at this point that I brought my high-wire friends a sampling of my special blend coffee (I prepared this, just prior to 'lights out'), reserved usually for special company. Setting a tray down on the patio table, I engaged 'Jim' in conversation and remarked how much I enjoyed watching them work and how much it reminded me of my great production team when I owned a dry-cleaning business. Another well-oiled, and fun to run machine.
His sun-hardened face beamed with pride as he began telling me about what a great group of guys he had and how they were the most productive crew in this large company.
No wonder!
Our conversation was not a long one. Jim had to get his boys back to the matter at hand, and that was to get my power back. But it served to make me think that here was a man who loved what he does, made a positive impact on those around him and earned the sincere respect of those under, and, above him. I could only surmise that Jim also had a great family life.
Why do I tell this story? Simple. It's a simple story of real success! No, Jim is not famous. Probably never will be. Nor is he rich as I could tell, or any of those things that people usually associate with the term 'success.' If this man won the lottery today I'd bet the farm he'd be planting poles and stringing wire and having fun with his crew the very next week. He is, judging by my brief encounter with him, a simple man who possesses one of the true keys of success: He loves what he does!
~ Rick Beneteau
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“Yes. I had 3 choices, and I chose what I loved, even though the other careers would have made me 2-3 times more money. I am happy for the choice I made.”
Author Unknown
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2010-21 - Steps To Happiness…

Everybody knows: You can't be all things to all people. You can't do all things at once. You can't do all things equally well. You can't do all things better than everyone else. Your humanity is showing just like everyone else's.
So: You have to find out who you are, and be that. You have to decide what comes first, and do that. You have to discover your strengths, and use them. You have to learn not to compete with others, Because no one else is in the contest of being you.
Then: You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness. You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions. You will have learned to live with your limitations. You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due. And you'll be a most vital mortal.
Dare to believe: That you are a wonderful, unique person. That you are a once-in-all-history event. That it's more than a right, it's your duty, to be who you are. That life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish. And you'll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.
~ Author Unknown
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“Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.”
Author Unknown
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2010-20 - Hang in There…

I remember Navy boot camp like it was yesterday. It was clearly my second day from what I was wearing. I was walking single file with my unit down a hall and a sailor, who was about to graduate, passed us.
He must have noticed my expression. It without a doubt said, 'I am tired, intimidated, scared and hungry.' You can't talk when walking in formation, therefore he whispered out of the side of his mouth as we passed...'Hang in there...you can do it.'
I turned to look at his face, but all I saw was the back of his head. Every night before I drifted off to sleep I replayed those words. I will never know that sailor's name. He will never know how it turned my attitude around 180 degrees. He will never know that years later I still remember the electricity of encouragement that shot through my body.
I knew that the only reason he knew what I was feeling is that because he had been where I was and felt how I felt. He had made it and wanted me to know that I could as well. I was eternally grateful.
Then it was my turn. On my graduation day I walked into a storage facility and saw three sailors leaning up against the wall. They were new and scared, intimidated, tired and hungry. I walked over to them and whispered, 'Hang in there...you can do it.' Within a second tears filled the eyes of the female sailor and one of the males clenched his first and gave me a million thanks with his eyes.
As I walked away I had goose bumps. I knew that my words would be motivation for the rest of the day and fuel every night to keep them focused on their goal of graduation when they wanted to quit. I hope they passed on the encouragement to another sailor before they graduated... and I know they did.
~ Ron White
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“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Bonnie Jean Wasmund
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

2010-19 - Bringing out the best in you…

Some people bring out the best in you in a way that you might never have fully realized on your own. My mom, Ruby Lloyd Wilson, was one of those people.
Most people called her Doll. My father died when I was nine months old, making her a single mother and a widow at the age of eighteen. While I was growing up, there were times when we had so little money that we had to live on a few pounds of dried butter beans for a week at a time. While food was scarce, my mother’s love and devotion were abundant. Each night, she sat me on her lap and spoke the words that would change my life, ‘Kemmons, you are destined for greatness and you can do anything in life if you’re willing to work hard enough to get it.’
At fourteen, I was hit by a car and the doctors said I would never walk again. My mother took a leave of absence from her job at a meat packing plant and moved into my hospital room to care for me. Every day, she spoke to me in her gentle, loving voice, reassuring me that no matter what those doctors said, I could walk again if I wanted to badly enough. She drove that message so deep into my heart that I finally believed her. A year later, I returned to school-walking on my own.
Over the years, I experienced varying levels of business success. But the real turning point occurred on a vacation I took with my wife and five kids in 1951. I was frustrated at the second-rate accommodations available for families and was furious that they charged an extra $2 for each child. That was too expensive for the average American family, and I was determined to offer them an alternative. I told my wife that I was going to open a motel for families with a brand name people could trust that never charged extra for children. I figured about 400 nationwide motels would be the right number so that each one would be with a day’s drive of about 150 miles. There were plenty of doubters who predicted failure because there wasn’t anything remotely similar to this concept at that time.
Not surprisingly, Doll was one of my strongest supporters and among the first to pitch in. She worked behind the desk and even designed the room d├ęcor for the first hundred hotels. As in any business, we experienced enormous challenges. For years, we paid our employees Christmas bonuses with promissory notes because cash was short. But with my mother’s words deeply embedded in my soul, I never doubted we would prevail. Fifteen years later, we had the largest hotel system in the world, with one of the most recognizable name in the business.
~ Cynthia Kersey (Adapted from Unstoppable)
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“You may not have started out life in the best of circumstances. But if you can find a mission in life worth working for and believe in yourself, nothing can stop you from achieving success.”
Author Unknown
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