The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Archive for October, 2015

Helping hooves…

My company recently completed Global Impact Week.  Helping a friend; a colleague; or even a perfect stranger feels rewarding, doesn’t it?  Doing good makes us feel good, yes?

However, I suppose in our highly competitive, “dog eat dog world” it’s easy to be self-focused.  I mean what we do each day to meet our obligations is difficult.  When we get home from work, we’re often tired from the day’s trials and tribulations, true?

For me, at the end of my day I always look forward to the comfort of my sun room; looking out to my corral and my little herd of horses; a pleasant chat with my wife; a cocktail; dinner.  My after-work routine helps me unwind.  What’s your after-work routine?

If yours is like mine, then we share a common problem – you see my routine is all about me.  A better man would do more; a better man would call his brother; Facebook his children; participate in volunteer opportunities in his community; be less self-focused; be more in tune with where needs are needed:

In every community, there is work to be done.

In every nation, there are wounds to heal.

In every heart, there is the power to do it.

Marianne Williamson

“…the power to do it.”  If not me, who?  If not now, when?  But how do I get motivated to do more?  Could I follow the lead of my dog?  (As our favorite Unknown Sage suggests):

Lord, help me be the man my dog thinks I am.


She seems to have an unlimited amount of energy; she’s always ready to greet me when I come home; she’s always happy to see me.  Like a lot of people I could use a little help in being more helpful.  And I think we would all agree that being helpful – doing good – is the right thing to do:

Do all the good you can.

By all the means you can.

In all the ways you can.

In all the places you can.

At all the times you can.

To all the people you can.

As long as you can.

John Wesley

When I receive encouragement, it encourages me to be encouraging.  When someone does good by me, I’m energized to do good for others.  Encouragement; energy; and even a helping hand (or helping hooves as seen in this Budweiser commercial) helps us help others, don’t you agree?

Horses and puppies are motivational, yes?  For me they are a joyous reminder of how joyful it feels to help others feel joy.  It makes me wonder what good I have done today; whether I was the man today my dog thinks I am.

But is this daily reminder to be never-ending?

Here’s a test to find out whether or not your mission on earth is finished:

If you’re alive, it isn’t.

Richard Bach

So here’s to all of the good all of us can do for all of those who could use it.  Here’s to applying the peace and the power a positive perspective can provide to help us help others.

And when we’re a little tired at the end of the day and need a little motivation to generate a little energy; to do a little more good before calling it a day; if our dog, or our herd, or even draft horse videos don’t do the trick, let’s form-up with family or phone a friend.  We’ll feel all the better for it and enjoy a good night’s sleep, too!


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Like many of you, I occasionally indulge myself with self-reflective thoughts about my life; my career; my accomplishments; my legacy.  Like many of you, I have accomplished some remarkable things.  And like many of you, I have much more to do while I am still able to do it.

Yes, there are those among us that will go to any means to achieve greatness.  And yes, we live among boasters; pretenders; cheaters; and shady characters – all sharing an obsession of individual achievement.  Even when it means stepping on those below to raise themselves up.  Unfortunately, this is so commonplace today; it is no longer very remarkable.

And yet, there have been many, many remarkable people that have left a much more positive legacy.     Recently, one such remarkable person passed away.  An examination of the accomplishments he achieved in his profession would stimulate envy in any of us.

Yet, the most remarkable thing this great person accomplished has nothing to do with his job.  In fact, when we think about it the source of his most long-lasting fame it has quite an unremarkable origin.  He definitely accomplished what B.C. Forbes said:

Use life to provide something that outlasts it.

Permit me to offer this remarkable summary courtesy of Wikipedia.

He lived 90 years.  He quit school after the eighth grade. He was a baseball player – but not just any baseball player.  He made it all the way to the Major Leagues; but he didn’t just “make it there”.  He was an 18-time All-Star and 10-time World Series champion as a player.  He is one of only five players to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times.  Widely regarded as one of the greatest players at his position in baseball history, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

But he accomplished even more.  He was one of seven managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series. As a player, coach, or manager, he appeared in 21 World Series and won 13 of them.  In 1972, his team retired his uniform number 8.  He is honored with a plaque in Monument Park and was named to the MLB All-Century Team in a vote by fans in 1999.

Remarkably, he had a cartoon character named after him (and a string of camp grounds across the country to boot).  Yet, we know him more for a totally different aspect of life and his legacy.  And that part of his legacy continues to inspire – including our favorite, Unknown Sage:

No sense in being pessimistic.  It wouldn’t work anyway.

You hear his words and phrases often – you might even use some of them yourself:

You can observe a lot just by watching.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it. 


If you don’t know where you’re going, when you get there, you’ll be lost.

Yes, during his career he was widely regarded as the greatest catcher of all time.  But his time was before my time so I really didn’t see his greatness as a player.  Yet his legacy rises above his career accomplishments and really has nothing to do with baseball.

No, it was his humility; his sense of humor (intended or unintended); his image of a common man (physically he stood 5’7”) that we will remember as long as we can remember.  Lawrence Peter Berra, aka Yogi Berra, led a remarkable life and left a remarkable legacy indeed.

May we all be so lucky.


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High School Sweethearts…

Posted Oct 7 2015 by in True North with 4 Comments

Fall; October; football; high school; Homecoming – do you remember your first high school sweetheart?  High school is a very special and memorable time for teenagers; it certainly was for me.  And I always enjoyed the autumn season when I was in high school – Homecoming; Halloween; dating; parties (most chaperoned, some not).

Forty five years ago, this very time of the year, I asked the prettiest girl in my high school out on a first date.  I guess it went well enough because here we are forty five years later and I’m still awe-struck by the glow of her beauty.

I hope you enjoy this opening to Chapter XII True North, of my book, The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective © as much I enjoyed writing it:

Dedicated to… a crisp night in October; with a slight breeze blowing through bare trees – waiting for the coming winter.   Close your eyes.  Can you smell remnants of autumn leaves burning?  

To winning the homecoming football game.  To being carefree. To a Saturday night party at the teenager’s house whose parents are away.  Can you hear the kids having fun in the kitchen; the basement; and the backyard, all to the beat of the Rolling Stones? 

To couches, blue jeans and sweaters.  To the floor lamp reflecting on her blond hair making it shimmer with silvery streaks of light.  To the nervous small talk of a teenage boy in the presence of a varsity cheerleader.  To the patience of the teenage girl sitting on the couch with the captain of the varsity basketball team.  Can you remember when you could actually hear your heart throbbing? 

To throw pillows, which come in handy when the small talk runs out – what else can a young boy do?  And to playful pillow fights; which lead to gentle wrestling and ultimately to that first kiss. Remember how delicate she felt in your arms – the hint of her perfume – the taste of her lips? 

To first dates – dinner and a movie.  To the movie Catch 22 and the Oriental Theatre in downtown Chicago.  To dating the prettiest girl in your high school; to falling in love; to asking her father’s permission for her hand in marriage.  Were you ever so nervous? 

To the tears welling up in my eyes even as I write this short memoire.  To all those emotions; all the happiness; all those hopes and all those dreams; some fulfilled, some yet to be; and all that I can remember today as if it just happened yesterday – that I will remember everyday, as long as I live.  How can someone be so lucky? 

To 1970 – and that Saturday night in October in Elmhurst where I kissed Debbie for the very first time.  And to the friend’s house whose parents were out – to their couch, their floor lamp, to their throw pillows; and to the Rolling Stones music.  Can you imagine being so young, so infatuated, and so in love?  I still am.


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