Look for the Good

Professional Speaker-Positive Attitude-Personal Development

Some days I wake up and I feel like I’m in an episode of The Twilight Zone. I watch the news and see people dressed in full medical gowns, wearing face masks and gloves, and I think this must be happening in another country far from here. Then I look out the window and realize – it’s happening right here in my own back yard.

How do we train our mind, our soul, to get through the day? How do we find a way to keep our sanity?

For me, I have to make a conscious choice to LOOK FOR THE GOOD.

That’s why I’m watching the funny videos now. Not only because they make me laugh, but because someone actually cared enough to take the time to help make someone else’s day a little easier. I see the photo of the man holding up a homemade sign for the health care providers at the emergency room, thanking them for saving his wife’s life, and tears run down my cheek.

I find my strength in others. Those, who in this time of unbelievable chaos and stress, find enough love in themselves to reach out to someone else who is struggling more than they are. And I am amazed and awed by the human spirit. It is only through the strength of others that I am able to get through my day. My level of gratitude will never be the same.

 

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
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Reduce Stress AND Help Others? How???

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

What can teach you new skills, reduce stress and keep you mentally stimulated, yet only 25% of Americans partake in it???  Hmmmmm, now that I think of it, there can be several answers to that question, but the one I’m referring to is Volunteering.

Yep – volunteer work can have enormous benefits to you, your family and your community.  The right match can help you find friends, learn new skills, combat depression and even advance your career.  Yet with our busy lives, few of us follow through and actually do it.  But volunteering doesn’t have to involve long-term commitment or take a huge chunk out of your day.

Just yesterday I was invited to teach two classes, only 45 minutes each, to high school students who were selected to partake in a program called PEOPLE (Precollege Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence).   Coming from low-income families, these students are the first in their families to potentially attend college.  This program helps prepare them to apply and be successfully admitted to the University of Wisconsin in Madison, helping them build study skills and explore their career interests.   

Working with 24 students gave me a sense of accomplishment, knowing that I helped make their life a little easier; a little brighter. 

That’s what volunteer work does.  Not only does it help those who need a hand to pull them through the darkness, but it also gives us a sense of worth – knowing that we truly made a difference in someone else’s life.

So, if you only have an hour here and there, and you just can’t make a long term commitment, try one of these links to volunteer for any amount of time you can spare.  You choose.  Do you want to work with children, older folks, animals, plants???  Do you have just one evening, a full day, or longer???  No matter what you decide, the rewards are endless

Volunteer Match: https://www.volunteermatch.org 

One Brick: https://www.onebrick.org/

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
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It’s Time to Give Back

Professional Speaker-Positive Attitude-Personal Development

Do you volunteer?

I have found that whenever I take time to help others, asking for nothing in return, some unexpected and amazing things happen.

For instance, several years ago I volunteered for a group called Chicago Greeters, obviously located in Chicago.  They offered free tours to anyone visiting the city and matched them with a knowledgeable tour guide – that was me.  It’s an amazing service: http://chicagogreeter.com/.  If you are ever visiting Chicago, I highly recommend it.

Well, during the two years I volunteered there, on one day, and one day only, I worked with a young woman and we became instant friends.  Now, ten years later, we still remain very close.  Her friendship was worth any amount of money I could have been paid.  And as the commercial says – our friendship is PRICELESS!

Another great experience I had was with an organization called H.O.M.E. (Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly) also located in Chicago: https://www.homeseniors.org/.  They asked me to help a 90 year old woman who was depressed and she needed someone to keep her company.  They asked me to read to her, play a game with her or simply visit and keep her company.  I spent three years with Geri Franklin before she passed away, and in the time we spent together, she shared with me a love and wisdom that has literally changed my life.

So now I have moved to a new city.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found a place to volunteer and I’m getting antsy.  It’s time – time to give back and make a difference in someone else’s life.

So that’s why I’m asking you – do you volunteer?  What experiences have you found to be the most valuable?  What organizations would you recommend?   What are your stories of volunteering?  I’d love to know.

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