”Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!” I write the days perspective every day. I have for nearly 5 years now. Sometimes I come across something that is sent to me that I just have to share. Consider this day’s perspective. It was sent to me by my Mother-in-law.
The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip.
You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them and you’ll get the point.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4 Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies..
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials..
the most money… or the most awards.
They simply are the ones who care the most
”Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!” Have an excellent day.
Be afraid. Sometimes be very, very afraid. The world looks upon those who have achieved great results, be it in business or health or family or public service and see them as being special. “They must be the chosen ones” we all imagine, going back to our safe environment of mediocrity. I have had the great fortune over a long career both in broadcasting and now working in personal development to meet a great many of these people and here’s what I can tell you. They are not special. Not at all. They are average ordinary people just like you and I. If there is one thing I can point to it’s that they took on challenges many shy away from. My wife left a career as a successful chiropractor to enter nutrition. She’s now one of the top nutritionists and writers in the country. My brother-in-law Dan Shulman walked away from a sure thing in a career as an actuarial scientist and now is the top sports broadcaster in the world. A past acquaintance stepped out of the shadows of living in the projects in a single family home to become deputy prime minister. A young basketball player pushed aside the tears after being cut from his high-school team to go on to become the legend we now know as Michael Jordan. Here’s what all of these people did, if there is magic to it. They faced down the fear. Fear of failure. Fear of ridicule. Fear of the unknown and went after what their hearts beat for. Make no mistake. It was not a cake walk. There were days and weeks and likely years that they were challenged again and again by the fear but they pushed through. Here’s what all of this means I guess. It’s something that’s necessary for us all to go through if we hope to end up where we are deserving of being. It’s good for all of us from time to time to be afraid. Sometimes be very, very afraid. Have an excellent day
Why Do Dreams Die? We all have dreams. We all have hopes and aspirations, passions and thoughts. Some blossom into brilliant reality while others wither and die before ever taking form. Many of us look upon the success of others and lives lived with passion and purpose, success and triumph and wonder why for them and not for me? There is a very real reason. It all stems from the philosophy we take into the process. All dreams and goals begin as a simple thought. Emotion is the next step in the process that takes over and pushes us to take the first step. That first step is what transcends thought into the beginning of physical reality. What truly creates success lies however is the continuation of activity, moving with purpose in the necessary direction to see it through. It is what stops this continuous action that steals away our dreams. The simple truth to the process is to understand that we don’t get to know. We don’t get to know how it is going to happen. We don’t get to know how and when opportunities will present. We don’t get to know the time-line. When I started my career in radio in 1983, part time at $4.25 per hour I had no way of knowing how it was going to happen. All I knew was what I wanted and just kept moving towards it one day at a time. That simple process took me to the number one radio station in the country. Think of it this way. Do you know who the next person is that is going to call you? Who the next e-mail will come from? When and where the next opportunity will arise from? Of course not. We don’t get to know. If I told you I heard on the radio that the weather man said that there was going to be a major thunderstorm two months from now what would you think? How could he possibly know that, right? So therein lies the truth. If we can’t predict where our next phone call or e-mail or opportunity will come from how could we possibly be able to predict when our goals and dreams will happen? Putting a false estimate of next year or next Thursday makes as much sense as predicting the weather months from now. It is the accepting of this simple truth that will allow for it to happen. Not only for some but for all. Adopt this philosophy “I don’t know how and I don’t get to know when but I absolutely know and believe it will happen”. If you do, one day others will look upon your life and wonder how it was possible for you. I can’t tell you when it will happen, but I do know this. It will. Have an excellent day.
The wisdom of a chalkboard. This journey of life can be extremely complicated and then at times it can be incredibly simple. All the actions and interactions, the thoughts and challenges, the triumphs and tears that go into any persons life creates a complex canvas where the brushstrokes are difficult to actually see. Direction is key and it can often become blurred. Purpose sadly eludes the masses. Desire becomes mired in doubt and indecision. Often times what we need is just a starting point. If you are lost in a desert being pointed in the direction of water can save your life. I happened across one of these starting points the other day and the simplicity of it made me smile. I arrived at a session to present to a group and was about to set up my presentation. This was in a boardroom with a pull down screen. The screen was up and as I was about to reach up and pull it down I noticed a line written at the top of the chalkboard. The words were, “Attitude is everything”. I stood staring at the words for a moment and the power of that lesson came to me. ”That’s it” I thought. That’s so much of what this is about. There is the starting point for anyone lost in the desert. That is a focal point we can begin to work on. It’s true right? Attitude really is everything. Our attitude is the filter through which all information enters our sub-conscious mind. It tells us that this challenge was a lesson not a roadblock. Attitude breathes kindness and gratitude and most importantly the framing of our attitude is absolutely linked to belief. Belief is the conduit to all that comes into our lives. So it is simple sometimes. We don’t have to complicate life any more than necessary. Know this then. Next time you feel overwhelmed by life perhaps consider the wisdom of a chalkboard. Have an excellent day.
“Protect their dreams”. As parents we are gifted with and challenged by great responsibility. The opportunity to nurture and love and protect a human being from birth is fascinating and scary at the same time. We don’t always get it right. The wrongs over the years of being a parent could fill the pages of an encyclopedia. There are things we can do right and opportunities we have to make a great impact. I have heard it said by myself and most other parents around me, “My kids are going to have it better growing up than I did”. Fair statement and a worthy goal but for most the directive is focused on the financial and material. No question it’s important for a child to have a good home and clothes and food but there is I believe something much greater that we can give our children while they are in our charge. Belief. If we can help them along the way to believe in themselves they will be equipped with more than most to face the world. On the way to I started to talk to him about doing what he loved. “You know Jonah, the most important thing I want you to know is that when you get big you should do what you love. Just find what you love to do and do that”. I told him. “And if you work hard and do all your work in school one day when you are big you can have ANYTHING you want”. “Anything?” he asked. “Yes, you can” I told him. “What would you like to have when you get big?” “Oh, when I get big I’m going to buy the CN tower” he said. “And you and mommy and Faith can come and live with me”. I looked in the rear-view mirror and his smile lit up the backseat. I saw that he could see it. His mind was beginning to visualize his potential. For all reading this today, remind me in twenty years or so and I’ll try and get you a friends and family rate for the CN tower. I expect his dreams will morph and change over the coming days and years but I now know this. My job is the keeper of the flame from this day on. As a parent few things are as important as being the one charged with protecting their dream. Have an excellent day.
Expand your horizons. Jim Rohn once said “You may not be able to do all there is to do but you should find out all there is to do”. There would appear to be a great limitation that fences us all in to what we believe is possible. The greatest nemesis being our own mind and the thoughts that permeate from it. The reality is that there is so much more that we all could accomplish, become, experience and affect. We live in one home, inhabit one community, work at one company, have a limited circle of friends and are impacted in most cases by one culture. If you want to understand what’s possible take a look over the next hill and see what’s there. Driving back from a session today I heard an announcer mention a country I had never heard of before. It is called Vanuatu. A tiny island country in the South Pacific. Population 211,000. I looked it up among the list of countries that inhabit this planet. There are a total of 257! Many I know nothing about but are home to millions of people on the far reaching corners of the world. This simple new piece of information made me feel small and limited and wide eyed. “If so much is out there that I was ignorant how much more am I capable of?” I thought. Think about just how much you don’t think about. If we are unaware of opportunities or possibilities or even geography think about what will remain out of sight throughout our lives. Do this then. Find out not only what’s “out there” in the world but also “in here”. All that you have inside of you. Truth is, it will be much more than you could imagine. To become more one of the great places to begin is to expand your horizons. Have an excellent day.
The world is at your door. I had to stop by the grocery store on the way home and noticed how many products come from places other than here. Produce from the US and Mexico and beyond. Canned good from the Orient. Newspapers in many languages from the four corners of the globe. What a great place to live. What opportunities we have that surround us everyday that we may not even take notice of.
Canada has often been called a melting pot. What it truly has become is a magnet. A magnet for products. A magnet for ideas. A magnet for services and concepts and a marketplace that calls on the entire nation to serve their needs. What it takes to succeed in life is ideas and materials and a marketplace to provide our own goods and services to. Where you are at this very moment in time provides for just that. Absolutely everything that you need to have and do and become anything you could imagine in life. The only place then that there may be lack in our lives is in our minds. I recall during my days in radio doing many shows on this country, career opportunities and the potential that was offered. It always fascinated me that those who called the show who came to this country recently saw nothing but opportunity. Many who were born here saw mostly obstacles. Interesting perspective of exactly the same country. Know this then. We do not lack the tools to have anything we desire in life. We only lack the belief. If you don’t believe me look outside. The world is at your door. Have an excellent day.
“Of course, donkeys”. Ask yourself this question. “How many times have I worried and stressed and feared over something in life and it never came to pass?” Now that I have asked a question that applies to absolutely everyone, here is the truth. Fear of the unknown is one of the great thieves of life. Fear and stress steal away moments and opportunity. Health and vitality. Productivity and enjoyment. The fears we have, if viewed from a short distance can melt away under examination when compared to reality. I have an app on my I-phone called “Cool facts“. While waiting for an appointment I was flipping through it. Great facts like “Butterflies taste with their feet”. See, and you thought reading this perspective would be a waste of time. Anyway, flipping through it one fact did catch my eye because it relates to a fear my wife has. It is a fear shared by tens of thousands of others. Fear of flying. Here was the other fact that I found. “More people are killed by donkey’s every year than die in plane crashes”. This may be one of the most important facts I have ever come across that puts the fear of flying into perspective. The truth is that after so many personal examples in our own lives that we go through where our fears are never realized, we should at some point realize how unlikely the feared outcome is and just sit back and enjoy the drive. With that said, I should tell you that my secret fear now is that the next time we fly we are not seated next to a donkey with a window seat. Have an excellent day.
Now you see them, now you don’t. I can say with full confidence that for every one of us opportunity exists everywhere. That’s why they call this “the land of opportunity”. Just outside of our door, down the street, across town, in another province or on the internet they are there if you look. Opportunities. Opportunities to meet new friends, to earn new clients, to discover new ideas and learn new skills. Opportunity is the seed of the oak tree. Without opportunity nothing grows. I also know that on some days they are hard to see. On the days when we work and toil and try and don’t find. Those are the days when opportunity may seem elusive and unkind. I thought about this early this morning sitting in my hot tub on the back deck. It’s my one great luxury of life and I use it every morning and every night before bed. Looking up this morning I took note that I couldn’t see them. They were right there and now they were gone. The stars. Looking up in this exact spot last night I saw them all. Orion’s Belt, Cassiopeia, The Milky Way; the billions of starts that light up the night sky. A show of light that has been going on for billions and billions of years. It struck me this morning looking up that opportunity is like the stars. Sometimes they are so visible you feel like you could reach out and touch them. Other times you can’t see them at all. Here’s what I know. They are there. They are always there. Just because a cloud gets in the way from time to time does not mean that they are there. As Jim Rohn once said, “What happens, happens to us all. It’s what we do with what happens that determines the people we become”. Know this. The opportunities are there for us all. “Now you see them, now you don’t”. Have an excellent day.
“The yin and yang of life”. I have told the story often of the jellybeans of life. As the story goes we are all given a huge jar of red jellybeans the day we are born. Each day we get to take one out but don’t have any idea what’s inside because they are all red and all look exactly the same. The sad reality is that far too many people toss them away as there’s no way of knowing what’s inside. “I’ll find out tomorrow” they say, not realizing what was inside of that jellybean is now lost forever. Waking up this morning like all others I had no way of knowing. By noon I learned that the ACL reconstruction surgery I had almost a year ago may have gone wrong and it may require further surgery. Looks like getting back to playing squash next month is not in the cards now. By dinnertime I also learned that I was confirmed to speak at the most prestigious event of my career to date. This was a jellybean I could never have called. Here’s the lesson I guess. Just as life has its ups and downs so do our days. Important then I guess to not write off the day just because it gets off to a bad start. At noon, we still have half of a jellybean left. Days can be like that. It’s just the yin and yang of life. Have an excellent day.