October 27, 2009

The Difference

READY8 “No one is good at everything, but everyone is good at something.” ~ Author Unknown

AIM8 Have you ever realized that something you did, no matter how small, really made a difference in the life of someone else? How did it make you feel? Making a difference is so simple and, remarkably, super easy. Many times we place such a high emphasis on what we feel really makes a difference in a situation or in a person’s life, that we miss the simple blessings along the way.
Take a moment to watch this short video. It was originally sent by the president of my husband’s company to his managers. What a powerful message to share with his trusted employees. The video truly inspired me to look for simple ways to make a difference in my everyday life. I hope it inspires you too!

FIRE!8 Make a conscious effort to make a difference today. Smile at someone who needs a smile. Return a grocery cart for an elderly person in the parking lot. Offer to babysit for a friend to give her a much-needed break. Whatever you choose to do today, do it with a sincere heart and you will know you are making a difference.

Be Excellent!

October 20, 2009

Titles or Testimonies

READY8 “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” ~ Pericles

AIM8 There was a time in my life that my friends and I would tease each other that “The one who dies with the most titles wins!” We were constantly surrounded by people who were earning college degrees, becoming important professionals in society, winning awards within their organizations or serving on various committees at their churches. Some people were actually seeking titles to make themselves feel and appear more important…even though they would never admit it.
We all acquire titles as we journey through life. We can get titles from work, school, organizations, church and everyday life. Eventually each one of us will pass away. When your time arrives, what do you want the message on your tombstone to say? Do you want all those important titles listed because they defined who you were? Or would you rather have people simply remember you for what you did and how you personally affected them?
Life is short; too short for placing unnecessary value in the simple letters we list behind our names. What matters most is what you do while you are “the title.” If you are a professional, how do you treat your customers and clients? If you are a volunteer, how do you interact with the people you are helping? Even if you don’t have special letters behind your name…how will people remember you? What is your testimony?

FIRE!8 Take a personal inventory of your life. Do your titles really define who you want to be? Make a commitment today to live your life so that the conversations about you (even at your funeral) are positive and uplifting because you made a difference.

Be Excellent!

October 15, 2009

Seasons Change

READY8 “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

AIM8 It is autumn! The leaves are turning brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow, but they will soon be replaced with lifeless brown leaves and empty branches. Each new season brings changes in nature, changes in the weather and changes in the activities we plan.

Just as in nature, our life seasons change, too. Unfortunately, there isn’t a calendar to let us know when those seasons change, but we can sure feel it when they do! Are you feeling joy and excitement as the result of a positive experience? Are you feeling sad and depressed because you are dealing with a difficult situation? Are friends, work situations or living arrangements changing, or even shifting slightly? Or maybe you’re basking happily in the middle of a season - enjoy!

Like nature, our life seasons will change too. Whatever you are struggling with or rejoicing about, God is right there, ready to lift you up and give you strength or celebrate with you! At the right time, you will enter a new season a stronger, better person. Just as April showers bring May flowers, you, too, will see the rewards from enduring your season… in due time.

FIRE!8 Do you know someone who is experiencing a change in season right now? Stop! Pick up the phone and call them just to say you are thinking about them and you want to know how they are doing. Your phone call may be exactly what they need to keep pressing on. (And the few minutes’ sacrifice in your schedule will make a huge difference in their day.)

Be Excellent!

October 6, 2009

Appreciating Life

READY8 “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy

AIM8 Being a parent is a rewarding job. However, it definitely comes with its daily challenges. It seems that everybody needs something, needs someone or needs to go somewhere. It is so easy to get lost or caught up in the craziness of keeping the family on track that it’s hard to find quiet time to spend alone in an attempt to retain your sanity.
The good news is that while your children are young and life is zooming by – you can truly find joy in every hectic moment. Pause for a second while you are taking your turn driving the car full of football players to practice in order to appreciate healthy kids who can run and jump and enjoy team sports. While you are dusting the furniture or sweeping up crumbs from under the kitchen table, again, be grateful for the blessing of a safe, warm home for your family and food for your nourishment. Your family responds to your words and actions. We need to show them that we recognize those moments of joy in our everyday, ordinary routines and activities.
So as you prepare to go to bed tonight, and every night, be thankful for the energy and strength to have survived one more crazy, joy-filled day!

FIRE8 Take 30 seconds to write down people or things you appreciate. During dinner (or breakfast), talk with your family about who or what they appreciate and share your list with them.

Be Excellent!