Sit Up and Take Notice

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Most of my friends make fun of me because I like Country Western music. But that hasn’t changed my mind. The messages I hear in those songs are some of the most powerful words I have ever heard. They touch my heart and make me sit up and take notice.

Like the one by Tim McGraw titled Live Like You Were Dying. This song played over the speakers as I was walking through the airport and it made me stop in my tracks. In my hurried and sometimes scattered life, I actually stopped, stood still and listened to the words. Tears came to my eyes when I heard the line: “What I’d do if I could do it all again.”

It actually made me think of my father. Maybe it’s because Father’s Day just passed, or maybe it’s because I never stopped missing him. Whatever the reason, I thought of how I’d spend more time with my Dad if he were still here with me. I’d listen to his stories a little more closely and cherish the times we laughed together. I would ask for his advice – and maybe this time I’d even listen to him.  I know it sounds like a cliché, but I would do just about anything to feel his arms around me one more time. It would be the most sincere hug I have ever known because now, with more years of experience behind me, I would know how to truly FEEL it.

So on those hectic days when I feel like I just can’t add one more item to my list of things to do, I play Tim McGraw’s song and ask myself: “What I’d do if I could do it all again.”

And just in case you’d like to listen:


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When You Need a Life Preserver…

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

It’s raining, it’s cold, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon than going to the movies. I chose to see Rocketman, the life story of Elton John, and I was not disappointed. I was especially moved by something Elton John says at the end of the movie. It goes something like this:

“I spent so long trying to keep something I never really had in the first place.”

Wow – this could refer to so many things. We could be searching for:

  • The love and approval of a parent
  • Being accepted by someone you love – or maybe just like
  • Learning how to respect and believe in yourself

And the list goes on…

So how do you let go? How do you find the strength within yourself to live your life without needing the approval of others? In Elton John’s case, he found refuge in drugs and alcohol, and it nearly killed him. So where can we turn to find a safer solution?

For me, it was having someone I could talk to; someone who would not judge me or try to change me. Someone who was just there for me. And as I look back I realize that it may not be the same person throughout the years.

When I was very young, it was my brother, Dennis, who helped me keep my sanity through a crazy childhood. Recently, it’s my husband, Jack, who thinks I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. And in between, there have been so many others who have stopped to listen, lend a helping hand and pull me up when I felt like I was drowning. So many others that believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself.

Look around – they are there for you, too. Sometimes, though, we are so caught up in our own mess that we don’t see them; we don’t hear them calling out to us. Just stop! Listen!! And grab onto that hand that is reaching out to help you.

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Is it the Journey or the Destination?

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said: “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” As I think about those words, I have to respectfully disagree – at least for some occasions. Let me give you an example.

Recently, I traveled to Australia. It took 35 consecutive hours to get there (nope, that’s not a typo), I stood in endless lines and missed two flight connections. Yet, once I reached my destination, it was all worth it. I stayed in a small town called Fremantle which was absolutely gorgeous. In this case, was the journey magical – hell no! Was the destination worth all the aggravation? Absolutely!!!

And now that I think of it, this can also be applied to my current everyday life. Are things going good for me right now? You betca. Was the journey to get here a breeze – not even close. Yet, if I hadn’t survived that bumpy ride in my life, I would never be where I am today. Another case of the destination outshining the journey.

So, I guess you never know. Sometimes there is a pot of gold at the end of all the searching and turmoil and confusion. Other times it’s the journey that brings all the brightness and sunshine. Maybe it’s best to try and find the good in both the journey and the destination.  If nothing else, it will help you keep your sanity!

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