I often reflect on the unexpected positive life-influences which flowed from my early adversity in foster homes. These experiences strengthened my capacity for perseverance since survival was my early life focus. That conversion from “survival” to “perseverance” became a major boulder in the mountain of my business career.
I am frequently asked how I balanced my life as the CEO of a major company and a father of five active children. My answer is this: CHOOSE TO BE 100% AT WHATEVER YOUR ORBIT MIGHT BE AT THE MOMENT. When at business, be 100% at your business. Once you open the door to your home, be 100% a Dad. My kids saw me leave my home and return home every day carrying a brief case. They never saw me open that briefcase at home. In fact, for a long time they thought I sold briefcases!!!
That is my formula. Be present at whatever you are doing at the moment. It carries the comfort of not being a source of strain or stress when one is actively choosing to be 100% at the moment.
Rather than muscles of steel, or the ability to leap over tall building in a single bound, most of the champions in life are individuals whose strength is their kindness and compassion for the well-being of others.
CLIMBING THE LADDER
I am also asked how to climb up the ladder and get to the next rung? My answer is, shine where you are potted right now. Put your energy into being the best you can be wherever you are.
One casualty of growing up in foster homes with constant moves is the lack of ongoing friendships. As a child I hungered for them. In fact, I can recall inventing imaginary friends to avoid the constant loneliness. Now, as an adult, I treasure my pals. Truth is, I love my friends and seek out opportunities to spend time alone with them and let them know how central each one is in my life journey. I have a pal group I have hiked with for 25 years. We also go ‘water walking’ together often. Our time together is golden for each of us. The absence of friends in my childhood causes my adult pals to be mountain tops for me.
So too, the absence of family growing up invited me to make my five children a central focus. They are the lit candles in the cathedral of my life.
Whether I am working on a new book, writing an entry for my blog, or taking the stage during a speaking engagement, I see myself as a messenger of hope, here to remind readers like yourself how valuable you are – and how learning to listen and follow the quiet whispers of your heart will help you identify and achieve your joy path in life.
Another question I’m often asked is how I define success. My answer may surprise you. I define success as “life impact.” Not material. Perhaps, not even memorable. Yet, my definition is constant. Success is how one cares about and implements the special opportunities to “impact’ the lives of others by demonstrating significant interest in their well being. In my view, this represents the most enduring imprimatur for one’s life impact legacy.
As a college teacher, I witnessed the impact confidence enhancing “tools” had on hundreds of adult students. By converting my CD’s to MP3’s and print books to eBooks, I hope to share these tools globally and help more people cultivate a greater sense of confidence and purpose.
It was a great privilege to become a university professor, a professional speaker and an author. Every one of these unplanned professional opportunities shared the single same ingredient of WORDS. I discovered that words can be the marrow for people who are waiting for directional signals in their lives.
You too can impact others through the power of your words. When that impact is nurturing and supportive, both parties benefit. Just as light dispels darkness, a little encouragement goes a long way.