by Peter Comrie
Here at Full Spectrum Leadership we are diligently on the lookout for examples of leadership and commitment that reflect the courage and values we believe must be present to make a significant change in our world.
When Hilde Back sponsored a young, rural Kenyan student, she thought nothing of it. She certainly never expected to hear from him, but years later she does. Now a Harvard graduate and a Human Rights Lawyer for the United Nations, Chris Mburu decides to find the stranger that changed his life. Inspired by her generosity, he starts a scholarship program of his own and names it for his former benefactor.
Using a strong narrative, the film interweaves seemingly separate lives into a cohesive whole. With clarity and grace, A SMALL ACT, bears witness to the ripple effect a single action can create.
Here's a sample I believe you will appreciate.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Posted by Rob McBride
All we really want in life is to be happy! As stunning as this astounding discovery may seem, what is not quite as obvious is how to attain this worthy ideal.
Everything we do is related in some way, shape or form to our search for happiness. The mate we choose, the job we select, our desire to have children or not and the people we choose to be around. Along the way these decisions frequently seem to be errors in judgment and instead of bringing us happiness, instead they bring anxiety and anguish.
What happened? Did we really make a mistake or some other dynamic taking control? It is not "things" or "people" who make us "unhappy," rather our perception of what is happening. Notwithstanding, there are three things which can lead us to be happier regardless of the circumstances. We can all do our best to internalize the following characteristics.
HEALTH: It's much easier for someone in good physical shape to be happy. While it is possible for an unhealthy person to be happy, physical well-being makes it much easier. When we eat well and exercise regularly, our energy and drive instantly change for the positive. To achieve our goals and desires, it's fundamental we have the resources necessary. While some of these things are "beyond" our control, many are "within" our control. Taking care of our body as if it were a sacred temple rather than a wrecked ruin gives us vitality, strength and enthusiasm to achieve all we desire.
WEALTH: If we have the option to choose between being "wealthy" or "poor," it is obvious we would choose prosperity. Let's look at different types of wealth. To the chagrin of many, material wealth is important. Anyone who says money is not important hasn't been to the supermarket lately. We need money and other kinds of material wealth to fully enjoy this marvelous journey we call life. Equally important is inner wealth and this type of prosperity has no limits. In this instant, we can all become "wealthier" by simply giving thanks for all we have rather than lamenting what we don't have. Prosperity is measured as much by the number of zero's in our bank account as by the richness of our emotional bank account.
WISDOM: People who are wise have problems like anyone else. What sets them apart from the rest is their ability to see the world from a different perspective. Beginning with our very first breath, challenge lurks around every corner. Those who see obstacles as a norm are able to flow and grow. Those who continually strive to know more about our world and themselves discover quickly it is a never ending search. What we do not know will always be greater than what we know. Yet the power and value of a single idea has no limit. When we are willing to continually grow, life turns into an adventure to enjoy rather than a chore to endure.
Being happy is a decision, not an obligation. When we are Healthy, Wealthy and Wise, happiness becomes the rule rather than the exception.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Posted by Jim Smith Jr.
Going through life’s challenges and you don’t see a way out? Take out your life “Etch A Sketch” shake it up, then design a new way out! ~Jim Smith, Jr.
It’s Your Choice
Have you heard these sayings before?
• “You’ll keep getting what you’re getting as long as you keep doing what you’re doing!”
• “The insanity principle is doing the same thing but expecting different results!”
• “If nothing changes, nothing changes!”
These statements all pertain to personal power reinventing oneself and change. More importantly, they all pertain to choice. You have to choose to change YOU.
Throughout my life, from childhood through college, corporate career to business owner, wedding day to divorce court, I’ve encountered people who were in situations they loathed but, for whatever reason, chose not to change how they responded to or viewed the situation. In most instances, the situation or circumstances never changed and neither did the people because most of them kept expecting the circumstances to change. We have to be the change.
Would you agree that most people want to live happily and fulfilled? Then what’s the fly in the ointment? I suggest it’s our mindset. How often do you smile? Is something always on your mind? Lighten up! We get old because we stop having fun. We need to live more, love more and laugh more. The negative circumstances that hold your thoughts and dreams hostage are just that – circumstances.
I know how to be unhappy, to complain, to stress and to cry. From relationships to professional endeavors, I’ve let negative circumstances keep me up at night. I’ve wasted time, energy and minutes on my cell phone. I chose not to do that anymore and you can to!
I just had a phenomenal Easter. This celebration is incredible anyway, just for what it represents, but this Easter had an unusual twist. In addition to the Smith family’s typical protocol of going to church, spending time with the family eating, talking and TV — for the first time, we pulled out the Wii game. My mother and mother-in-law simultaneously, in a tone I’m sure my neighbors heard, pronounced they weren’t going to play! Their excuses ranged from “too old,” “bad back,” and “I don’t play games” to “I don’t know how to play.”
Three hours later, with everyone else reduced to cheering spectators, these two self-proclaimed “Hot Mamas” were bowling like professionals on the circuit just because they made a different choice.
It’s not too late! Make a list of the things you’re going to make a different, conscious choice. Choose:
• Wow … over worry
• YES … over I don’t think so
• Having an incredible evening … over having to be heard
• Being happy … over being right
• Now … over eventually
• I will … over I can or I can’t
• Family … over work
• Touch … over TV
• Smiles … over stress
• It’s up to me… over it’s your fault
• Rest … over rushing
• Prayer … over pushing
It’s not rocket science. Make the choice whatever gets the most energy… gets the greater result. It’s up to you!
Jim is a highly sought-after trainer and power speaker, as well as the president and CEO of JIMPACT Enterprises, Inc.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Posted by Dr. Philip Humbert
A central theme of many personal development and goal-setting programs is the importance of building your life around your core values. Every really effective goal-setting program I've seen begins with the question, "What's important to you?"
But having said that and given due respect to the importance of knowing my major values in life, I confess that I've never been very clear about it for myself. It seems clear and obvious and wonderful to start with the Big Picture. What are the key values and major results you want in life? What are the things you believe, the things you (literally) stake your life on?
Get clear about these Big Pieces, then break them down into goals and tasks that can be implemented. Then, of course, you have to actually do the daily work, but we all work hard anyway and it certainly makes more sense to work on things that are important (and lead to important results) rather than doing meaningless work to earn a paycheck. This is all fairly obvious, right?!
The logic is clear to me. But here's the thing - my brain prefers a more concrete way of looking at things, rather than the "philosophical" method of value-clarification. I'm brilliant about practical solutions to specific problems. For myself and in coaching others, strategies, tactics and solutions to challenges like avoiding debt, building a business, getting closer as a family or retiring early, all seem clear and straight-forward to me. I can do that. It makes sense. It's fun and (most important) it gets results.
But, ask my WHY these things are important and too often I fall back on the solipsism from Amelia Earhart, "I want to do it because I want to do it."
And, in a sense, that may be all the answer we really need. After all, why is freedom vital to one person, while success is a key value for another? Why is integrity a primary value for some, while generosity, peace of mind or health are more important for others? These are deeply personal things.
If clarifying your values, purpose or vision seems vitally important to you, then invest whatever time, energy and work is required to clarify them! Working hard on a project when you have reservations about its importance is really tough! Why would anyone work hard on something they doubt will have significance beyond Friday's paycheck? Don't spend your life that way! Decide what's of first importance, and do that!
Ask yourself, What are my top values? What's important to me? What do I believe? What has meaning and significance for me, and are these things reflected in my goals and my daily work?
Many people have discovered that once they answer these vital questions about their core values, everything else falls into place. Suddenly goal-setting and daily priorities are easy! They have more energy, more enthusiasm and power because their work has meaning and purpose. If this is you, then I encourage you to do whatever it takes‚ read, journal, attend seminars or retreats, meditate, pray or get coaching, whatever it takes to find the answers.
But some of us seem to be wired differently. There's something confusing or vague, idealistic or other-worldly about this focus on values. We just want to get the job done. We won't violate the law, our ethics or morals, but defining our core values distracts us and delays getting the job done. We want a task with clearly defined results that seems important or interesting or challenging to us ("I want to do it because I want to do it") and we'll get on with it.
Whichever way you are "put together" is fine! Accept, honor, and be yourself! If a clear statement of your core values is important to you, take time to do that work! Define your values and do it first, no matter what it takes! But if you are what I call an "engineer," accept that. Define the goal, make sure you are motivated, and get to work. Define the tasks, set your course, and go for it.
As Joseph Campbell famously said, the key is to "follow your bliss." Organize your life and your work in the way that makes sense, that works for you and gets the results you want. As long as you do it fairly, ethically and legally, to me that looks a lot like success! Go for it!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Posted by Daryl Wizelman
Giving without the expectation of getting anything in return can lead to amazing personal fulfillment and rich rewards. If we are willing to give away what we have both from an intellectual perspective and an emotional perspective, we are often rewarded in so many ways.
Let me begin by talking about the business side. If I am abundant and willing to share what I know (ideas, processes, procedures, etc.) even with my closest competitor, I win. I win in knowing I have assisted others. I win in knowing that I am helping my industry grow and prosper. I win because I can then encourage the business owners I have shared with to share with others.
On the personal side, we have all learned many lessons through missteps we have made in our life's journey. We have the opportunity to share and teach our family, friends and co-workers our painful lessons in an attempt to mitigate their pain from future missteps. If we share our story through honesty, transparency and vulnerability, we can enlighten others with lessons that we have learned and prevent them from having to experience that same pain. It may not work in one hundred percent of the cases as some people still need to touch the flame to understand the pain. But it is well worth the effort.
An example of giving without expectation is in the beloved film Charlie and The Chocolate Factory when Charlie Bucket returns the sacred gobstopper to Willy Wonka. Charlie expects nothing in return and yet Wonka gives him everything he has ever dreamed of and more.
Another example is the idea of "freemium." This concept is manifested by us giving a portion of the product and/or service we offer for FREE with no expectation of reward. Here are the questions we must ask ourselves. How can we best serve our family, co-workers, friends and clients? What can we give to them that can potentially improve their lives? Is it advice? Is it the gift of listening? Is it a handwritten card? Is it a check-in call? Is it our product or service for free?
If we all give without the expectation of getting anything in return, we further a movement of making the world a happier and more productive place. I encourage everyone to be abundant and give away what they know so that others' lives are improved. Encourage those you have been abundant with to share what they have learned with others. Pay it forward one person at a time until the movement is a way of life and not the exception to the rule. I believe the benefit we derive from our giving will far exceed our expectations both emotionally and financially.
Give with no expectations.
Daryl is a speaker, consultant and the author of Heart Leader A Personal Journey to the Heart of Business & Life.
Friday, November 12, 2010
by Peter Comrie
In honor of World Kindness Day on Nov 13th, we offer this video by Humanity Healing Network that takes you on an enchanted journey through the teachings of kindness.
This is a NONSECTARIAN message. It is for ALL people of ALL races, creeds, colors, and faiths. Everyone.
Peace, love, compassion, respect, kindness, dignity, safety, tolerance, divinity, spirituality, and the right to spiritual freedom are the rights and privileges of ALL beings. Pay attention. Read the quotes and their authors. This message is for ALL. Simply open your mind and your heart to this possibility. KINDNESS IS FOR ALL.
With a soundtrack by Enya, mesmerizing photos and wide ranging quotes from an Arabian proverb to Mother Teresa to Marianne Williamson, this photo essay aims to give you a multi-media experience of its lead question:
What does it really mean to be kind?
Have an outstanding weekend.
I appreciate you.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Posted by Chuck Gallozzi
The purpose of life is a life of purpose
The purpose of life, then, is to lead a life of purpose and its meaning is to give life meaning. But what is meant by purpose and meaning? They simply mean the "big picture," vision, chief aim, or core values that all other goals are subordinate to. For example, our PURPOSE might be to leave the world a better place than the way we found it, or to make everyone we meet happier. Either of these purposes would be noble and achievable. How can we help create a better world or make others happier? Wouldn't you agree that one way is by refusing to steal, criticize, intimidate, gossip, or argue? Another way would be to treat others with kindness, generosity, honesty, and respect. Our goal should be not merely to be good, but to be good for something. To have value that we offer to the world. Our PURPOSE is the path we follow; it's a broad paintbrush that colors all areas of our life. When all personal goals (career, family, etc.) are aligned with our PURPOSE, we will be authentic beings with integrity.
Despite the importance of PURPOSE, many of us are still floundering, drifting in an unknown direction. Why's that? One reason is fear. We're afraid to state our target because we may miss it. To avoid failure, we avoid having a purpose. But that strategy makes as much sense as an ostrich "hiding" from its enemies by burying its head in the sand. If we don't stand for something, we may fall for anything. What is the purpose of living if we don't have something to live for?
Those who lead empty lives sometimes turn to bigotry and hatred for solace. So we need to be careful to choose a PURPOSE that will help us to grow, help our potential unfold, and help us transcend our present limitations. Our potential is staggering. We are co-creators of the universe. God has made us partners in creation. He created the universe. We created music. He created the world. We created the pyramids. He created life. We created language that allows us to reflect on life.
Considering our unique position in the universe, our PURPOSE should be equally unique. It should be bigger than life. Since we are only as strong as our PURPOSE, it should be courageous and uplifting. Buddha offers some advice: "Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it." Charles Mayes also makes a good point: "Make sure the thing you're living for is worth dying for."
The Benefits of Living a Life of Purpose
1. Growth. The Indian philosopher, Patanjali, explains: "When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."
2. Peace. We are at peace when we know our role and contribute to life. Our contribution is a way of thanking life for life.
3. Power. Our PURPOSE will strengthen all of our other goals by binding them with a common purpose.
4. Coping. Our PURPOSE will help us overcome challenges and bear pain.
5. Happiness. To travel in life without direction is to be lost and unhappy. To know where you are going is to have meaning and happiness.
6. Self-esteem. When we have a PURPOSE, we have value. When we do good, we feel good, and we are good.
7. Transcendence. William James explains: "The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it."
8. Meaning. Our PURPOSE makes us useful for others and the world, thereby giving our life meaning.
9. Spirituality. When we are aligned with a noble PURPOSE, we are aligned with God; when we lose sight of our purpose, we lose sight of God.
A life of PURPOSE is not without effort. But we must ask ourselves, "Which is the better rosebush, that with the fewest thorns or that with the finest roses?" Toil, pain, and sweat are the birthplace of greatness. Let's not spend time; let's use it; use it to make a difference. If we make a difference to the world, won't we also make a difference to ourselves? If the world is happy that we are here, won't we feel the same way? Perhaps this is why Zig Ziglar offers the following advice: "Don't become a wandering generality. Be a meaningful specific."
Monday, November 1, 2010
Posted by Terry Torok
We are not here on earth to see through each other,
we are here to see each other through.
What if we had some kind of unlimited energy? Some kind of fuel, when you use it, more comes right back to you; a natural abundance... and free, no money attached, no politics, free to children, free to their children, free to take care, take care of the rooted, the crawlers, the flyers, all life, our life.
What if, this was? We're hurling through space together, same planet, same direction, same place, free to be-- sorry, it's another call, another voice saying "nothing is free". Or is this just what we have believed?
Here's a thought: what if we all had this everlasting free, natural wealth? You are not what you have; you are not your car, you are not your house, you are not your stuff. You are who you are.
The individual story, every little experience builds your character. You can turn a loss into a gain. It's your story, you write each page, every day, every moment. You are the path you've taken, you are the path you are on. You are every unique experience that you've known and will come to know. You are far greater than the sum of your spectacular parts. Thank you for this amazing gift. It's right there inside. You are who you are, your kindness, your truth, your ability to make a single moment mean as much for others as it does for you. You overcame a lot of fear to get here.
What if you were much more than fine? What if today you hold this cool treasure map, and so it is, big treasure located at the junction of two eternities, right at the crossroads. One belongs to the past, the other to the future. And now belongs to you. That junction is the moment, exactly like this one. You discover the treasure where you stand right in the moment, with strength, peace, with power.
It is your moment, it is your present; a treasure overflowing with natural wealth, discovered along the path of life, not at the end of the trail. The map is drawn, life unfolds, the present is here in your hands. So what if you mattered more? Just think. Corporations cannot think, governments cannot think, only the individual can think. This is your strength.
So what if you knew truth? What if you knew truth well enough to know everybody holds their own. When you share your truth as you understand it, you hold respect for other individual truths. This is your strength, your voice, your wholeness of being. This is natural wealth, a field to travel comfortably at 66,000 miles per hour/106,000+ kilometers per hour, the top down, sun on your face, travelling together; a joy ride on a big ball around the sun, plenty of space, just limited on time.
So take care, this call is for you...
Terry is the founder of Live From Earth. In the most recent years, Terry has been on-location, quietly experiencing and filming peace projects and humanitarian efforts in Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the world. Having spent time with UN Ambassadors and World Summits and a volunteer with ONE.org, the United Nations and Building with Books, the most rewarding experiences were small, hands-on projects with schools and students and ideas that add up to models of success to connect donors and student with a world of peaceful possibilities.