I’ve always loved my birthday, especially because it falls on New Year’s Eve. Friends used to tell me that it must have been rough to have my birthday so close to Christmas.
It’s great. I still receive cool presents, everyone celebrates on my day, and I’m very fiscally dated. PLUS…our family gives a birthday week, so I can use it over a two year period!
It’s also a great time to reflect on the past year and count our blessings. We are all fortunate to live in a country where we are allowed to state our views freely, to be able to make a living doing what we want, and to raise our families free from oppression.
Who could ask for better gifts than that?
Happy New Year!
Mother Teresa said, “We are not called to do great things. We are called to do little things with great love.”
That favorite quote of mine came to mind this morning at my Rotary meeting. During our “Happy Bucks” segment, a fellow Rotarian (Tom) told the story of an employee (Steve) of his who had lost valuable memorabilia from his high school basketball days.
It seems that during our recent flooding, water got in his basement and ruined a video album that included memorable clips from his playing career.Tom went on to recount that somehow word got out and a fellow Rotarian named Michele took action. She had been a cheerleader at the time and also had a copy of this album, so she graciously gave Steve her copy, feeling that it was more valuable to him. Tom’s “happy buck” was in recognition of this kind act. Michele also received a small cake as a gift of gratitude as Tom works for a grocery store!
Here is a wonderful example of a “little thing” done with great love. These small acts of charity may not seem significant in the big picture, but I believe in the grand scheme of things, they are simply huge. It makes you wonder what would happen if we all strive to do more “little things” with great love in 2008. My guess is our corner of the world, and maybe the world itself, will be much improved for it.
Happy New Year!
Do you remember the last time you took a test? For me, it was six weeks ago for a class in the Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designation program. If you’re like me, studying isn’t the first thing you love to do. For this class, it was torture.
It was all about the subject I liked least in school – math. OK, I’ll be honest…I hated math. This class was 2 1/2 days of probability, statistics, and analysis. Even though I actually found the concepts interesting, taking a test on them was another thing. I don’t recall studying this hard for a test since college.
Yesterday, I received news that I passed! Needless to say, I was ecstatic. I did not want to take that class over.
As I look back on my testing strategy, one thing was very helpful. I knew how many points I needed to pass; this was a Pass/Fail only. I also knew where my strengths in the subject were from my intense studying. When the test came, I carefully read each problem and answered them to the best of my ability at that moment. If I needed to come back later, I did. There were some questions that I really had problems with…and knew I would. I left those until the end, and in one case, couldn’t even answer the question. I decided to leave that one and concentrate on making the most points out of the ones I knew.
Is this a metaphor for business? How many of you have ever tried to stretch yourself into areas that you weren’t very good at, while not perfecting the areas you were strong at? I know I’ve been guilty of this. In an effort to be all things to all people, I unwisely tried to be and do too much. Like a points based Pass/Fail test, you need to find where your strengths lie and make the most out of those. Leave your weaknesses behind and let those who are experts in that field tackle them. You may find that you are more successful AND have more time.
P.S. Are you perfecting your speaking skills? Now is the perfect time to improve your confidence and skill. After all, we all have to talk, right? There is less than 2 weeks left for my Birthday Special on my Panic to Power Boot Camp in March. To learn more and to register, click here…
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to perform on stage at a small festival in Tacoma called, The Dickens Festival, named after the famous author Charles Dickens. Leading up to the event, I actually dreaded going. It was an hour trip each way to give a 5 minute Tall Tale in front of a small audience for free. I was feeling sorry that I accepted.
When I got to this small bookstore in Tacoma, I noticed how energized the area was. I watched a talented magician and wonderful dancers perform before me. Then, my friends Bob Ingram and Wes and Amy Peper showed up, as they were also on the ticket. By the time it came for me to go up, I was jazzed. Bottom line – I’m looking forward to next year!
The moral of the story – My friend and mentor Darren LaCroix always talks about “Stage Time”. From a professional standpoint, it was a great chance to get on stage and practice. My audience laughed and seemed to enjoy themselves, so hopefully I added value to their day. If you are a speaker of any kind, whether its Toastmasters or speaking to service clubs, take advantage of all the “Stage Time” you can get. Not only will it make you a better presenter, but you may have fun at the same time!
P.S. My birthday special for my Panic to Power boot camp in March is quickly approaching its deadline…only 2 weeks! Go to my store to learn more and register!