Today is a day to remember! The experience underscores for me the importance of maintaining an open mind to new perspectives and new ideas.
Now, how can you possibly sum up a learning experience that’s been arranged by one of the greatest teachers alive today - John Maxwell himself? Well, let me give it a shot. If you’re not familiar with John Maxwell or are not a part of the John Maxwell Team, you should certainly check it out.
There we were, standing on one of the peaks of the Golan Heights, the territory of northern Israel bordering Lebanon and Syria. To say there is an eerie feel to the land would be a vast understatement. As we drove in jeeps on dirt roads, deeply rutted and lined by barbed wire fences warning of the minefields right beyond, I looked around and just took it in.
The energy...Tenuous. Paranoid. Fragile.
Such an atmosphere filled the space. We were “safe”, certainly. They wouldn’t take a group of tourists to a currently active...
We were walking through the streets of Rome. It was about 8am in the morning, and the city was just waking up. I was there with a couple of good friends and this was one of my few and far-between holiday trips where I can actually get some time away from work to wind down and rejuvenate.
Don’t get me wrong here. I really do love my work. It is my passion – what I get to do for the John Maxwell Team and Empowered Living. I feel so fortunate to be able to do work that is in alignment with the purpose that God has placed within me – to be an agent of change in this world and to help others discover the infinite potential with which each one of us has been gifted.
But having some down time is good for everyone.
So, we were in Rome, my two friends and I, and we were wandering through the city streets as the shops were opening and as the many street vendors of Rome were setting up their carts and stalls. We were approaching one such vendor, and his cart was piled high...
She was a worrier.
She worried about her kids. She worried about her husband. She worried about her parents. She worried about her grandchildren. She worried about her work. She worried about money. She worried about the upcoming social functions. She worried about the political climate. She worried about her and her family’s safety. She worried. About this. About that. About many, many things.
The interesting thing is, the vast majority of things about which she worried never came to pass.
Let me back up here a moment. The last couple weeks, I’ve sent you some messages about Stella. If Stella was still alive, she would have just turned 98 years old last week. She passed away the week before that.
Stella is a woman who has had a tremendous impact on my life. I remember when I first met her, probably about 15 years ago, and I remember sharing with her a little bit about myself, my upbringing, my family, my story… One of those details is that my mom was never a true...
Quite frankly, this last week has been a difficult one. A week ago from yesterday, a special woman, who has been more of a mother to me than my own mother ever was, passed from this world to the next. My sweet Stella!
Some of you received the email from me a few months ago when Stella was in the hospital, and others of you might have seen the post I made in tribute to her life on my Facebook page in the wee hours of Saturday morning last week, as I was grieving the loss of this beloved and incredible woman.
Let me tell you a little more about her, because there are some great lessons that I believe we can all glean from Stella’s life, and that I believe she would want us to learn and apply in our own lives in order to live more fully and more freely.
If Stella was still living, she would have turned 98 years old yesterday. Just think of that. Almost a century of time passed on this earth. She lived almost double what I have currently lived. It’s kind of crazy to think...
I have a story for you today. Honestly, this is one of the most incredible stories I have ever heard that illustrates the essence of the human spirit, seeking life and freedom and fullness and expression.
This story is about a good friend of mine, someone I have known now for a few years, and just this week, I asked him if I could share his story with you. Because I don’t think it’s possible for a single person to hear this story and imagine this story and not be impacted.
The other thing about this story is, it really puts an exclamation mark on the end of this statement: I have nothing to complain about!
Let me introduce you to Gerson Calderon!
I’m going to share with you the big picture of Gerson’s life. There are plenty of details that I could include, but for the sake of time, let me try and summarize for you what I believe are the most impactful pieces of his story.
If you have met Gerson since I’ve known him, in the last 3 years, you would never...
Have you ever made a decision, one that you know deep down in your heart is the right one, and yet you still second guess yourself?
You're going to start healthy living and release that last 20lbs, but your spouse isn't very supportive. You decide to cancel a social engagement because you need to take some time out for yourself after a tough week, and your friend gives you a hard time. You know an employee isn't working out in your company but you dread the inevitable conversation. You're actually not sure if this is the right job / apartment / training / restaurant / <insert one of the million decisions you make every day in here> for you.
There's this strange assumption that if a decision ends up hurting others, offending someone or just generally causes friction... that the validity of the DECISION is in question.
The fact is there's no such thing as a bad decision. Just like there are no good decisions.
Think about it.. all we are doing is making our...
I am a big fan of stopping… and breathing… allowing your heart rate to slow down a bit… relaxing your shoulders… softening your brow and jaw… and again, breathing.
There is so much going on all around us all the time. There’s always something more to do. There’s always someone else to tend to. There’s always some place you need to go next. But do you ever pause and rest and allow yourself to simply be? To be present in the moment? To allow the fears and worries of tomorrow to wash away, even just for a time?
It’s so important to give your body and your mind and your spirit the time and space to rest and heal.
I’ve gotten better at this, I think. Sometimes, in the rush of the moment, I wonder if I really have, but truthfully, I know I am in a better place in my life than I have ever been. Most mornings (when I’m not on the road), I get to wake up next to the ocean, in a beautiful home, with the peaceful sound of...
I have been reflecting on the idea of community this week. In our Empowerment Mentoring Tribe, we held a “Let’s Get To Know Each Other” Facebook Live and Sharing Call this week, and I got to spend 3 hours talking to people from all around the world, hearing about what’s going on in their lives, what their goals are, what challenges they’re facing… so many interesting and incredible people in this community.
As I think on this, a famous quote that comes to mind is the one by Eric Hoffer:
“No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are.”
It was so good to hear people talking about themselves in a genuine and authentic way! Isn’t it true that, by and large, we are programmed that it is wrong or bad to...
Up and down… and up and down… and up and down… and up and down… Over. And over. And over again. Stair-climbing is a beast. But I’ve also heard it is one of the most efficient and effective ways to burn calories and to keep your cardio health strong.
But it sucks. And it hurts. And it’s onerous. And every day when I wake up, it’s back on my list of things I have to do. Every. Single. Day.
I just wish I could do a power session of steps for an hour or two, and that would be it for at least a week. C’mon that’s not too much to ask is it?
Apparently, it is. That’s just not how it works.
About 4 or 5 years ago now, I was 65lbs overweight. I was not taking care of my health; my diet was terrible; I wasn’t exercising; and my energy was low. I was FAR from thriving. When it came to my health, I was really just squeaking by, just surviving. And that’s not how you want to live, is it? At least it...
I want to share with you a story. This is a story of triumph and accomplishment. It is a story of humility and servant leadership. It is a story of taking the next step toward the impossible.
Let me preface this story by sharing a very wise and aware statement that was made by our Teaching Partner in Romania, Daniela Nica, when she was speaking on stage at our Live Empowerment Mentoring Workshop last month.
Daniela was sharing a piece of her own story, and she said something incredibly profound, which was this: “The way you do the impossible is you take the first possible step in front of you.”
And this thought captures the essence of the story I’m about to share with you. This is a story about my dear friend, Alice Givens. Alice is a very active member of the Empowerment Mentoring community, and someone that I want to honor and celebrate for who she is and all that she brings to the table. I have had the privilege of working with Alice closely over the past couple...