A great speaker, Joe Sabah, says that you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. This is a profound observation and applies regardless of your field of endeavor. It brings to mind the story of one skinny, sickly young man who truly was the “97-pound weakling” when he was in high school. He wore thick glasses, arch supports and a shoulder brace. His self-image was so poor and his concern about his appearance so great that he dropped out of school. His future did not look good.
Then one day he attended a health lecture. He was inspired by what he heard and became convinced that there was something he could do about his poor physical condition. He wanted his future to be better than his past, so he started to exercise for hours every day. He also dramatically changed his eating habits. As a cumulative result of these actions, he slowly changed his appearance, his self-image and his future. By now you’ve probably guessed that I’m talking about Jack LaLanne.
In 1936 he opened one of the first health studios in America because he wanted to share with others the benefits he was enjoying. He went door-to-door in Oakland, California, promoting his new exercise business. At nearly eight decades he promoted exercise. His reputation is international and many think of him as “Mr. Exercise.” He became a financial success, but more important, he’s became a success in life itself. Even at the young age of 94, Jack LaLanne continued to work out every morning for two hours, spending 1 ½ hours in the weight room and ½ hour swimming. Jack LaLanne lived with his wife Elaine in Morro Bay, CA. He will be remembered for his feats of strength and endurance that astonished us all. Jack would have been the first to tell you that his change of direction wasn’t easy. A major change of direction won’t be easy for you, either, but with Jack LaLanne as a role model, you can begin the process. Follow his example and your future will be different and better than your past. The choice is yours. Make the right choice.
Motivational: The Authentic Swing
By Sandra Ford Walston
We find ourselves in an atypical predicament. This dilemma is what I call a “national defining moment.” It means everyone must step up and claim their courage to confront an elusive problem called “uncertainty.” How do we unite to find the courage to step up when society, much less our parents, do not prepare or teach us about the virtue of courage?
After thirteen years of researching the actions of courage, I extracted several common themes, along with the twelve behaviors of courage. One theme was the notion of sacrificing or choosing to take an immediate hit to achieve a long-range goal. Courageous people choose to forgo immediate satisfaction by taking risks and hurdling obstacles. They identify, claim, and apply the original definition of courage, meaning “heart and spirit.” In other words, when a situation requires them to “step up” and display their authenticity, they do!
The movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance” was about a post-WWI golfer and a mysterious caddie. Set in Georgia, the dispirited Savannah folks decide a tournament will boost their war-torn morale. But, they fancied a southern pro to represent them. A traumatized golfer with flashbacks reluctantly commits to play in the tournament. In the middle of the night, he uncovers his abandoned and dusty clubs to hit golf balls in his backyard. While he chops away at the ball, out of nowhere, a mysterious man with suitcase in hand walks out from the countryside. With clever indifference, the stranger discreetly starts to coach the frustrated hacker.
Bagger Vance is the inexplicably wise caddie that teaches the troubled golfer how to reach deep inside and find his “authentic swing.” The caddie tells the conflicted golfer: “This is the authentic swing you were born with—the one you came into this world with—the authentic swing is all that you are! You’re just caught up with life’s ‘ought’s and should’s’.” The underlying message is not a new one. The heart’s message is about having the courage to examine self rather than remain self-righteous.
Uncertainty is an inevitable condition throughout life. We are in a time of second-guessing ourselves, reacting with knee-jerk reactions. Courage comes into play when you’re reflective. The essence of courage is a spiritual energy from the heart that in defining moments motivates a person to take action. Courage is much more complex than spontaneous reactions to traumatic events. Using courage as an ally means bundling a combination of courageous actions such as continually learning, persisting to be mindful of defining moments, and being 100% accountable for choices. Oftentimes, missed opportunities will never be seen again. Without the development of courage, other virtues such as grace and humility will struggle to find their place. Courage is the umbrella to all the other virtues. Frankly, I am unwilling to let anyone else design my life!
Other people and things can stop you temporarily.
You’re the only one who can do it permanently.
Visit my Lightyear Wireless website: http://bc.deck.lightyearwireless.com