LIFE AND PURPOSE

#life #purpose #MakeADifference
“The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.”
That quote, from Polish-born writer Leo Rosten, is one of many inspirational quotes and words in the book, “The Power of One: How One Person Can Make a Difference,” by BJ Gallagher and Steve Ruttenberg.
Let’s dissect the quote for a minute. If you work for someone else, perhaps you only want to be productive enough that the boss will pay you, and keep you around awhile.
If you work in a place in which only the owner of your company, and a few key executives, are getting rich, and you are not, that feeling is understandable. Why, after all, would you want to give your all so that they can take all – or at least the lion’s share.
Then, think about how much you matter to them. They may like your work, and may even think pretty highly of you. But how much are they going to sacrifice to make sure you don’t leave? Chances are, they see you as nothing more than a tool, a human resource. If they determine that you are costing them too much, or they need to reorganize and get rid of a few people, do you think they are going to care about what happens to you?
They may say nice things, but they will tell you they had to make some “tough decisions.” Some employers, undoubtedly, honestly feel bad about letting people go. But most of them aren’t going to take money out of their pockets to make sure there is money in yours.
Rosten, undoubtedly, was not thinking about employer-employee relations when he spoke those words.
He was referring to what’s inside YOU. Are you doing things in your world, if not at work, outside of it, that matter to others? Are you helping others, to borrow from the late Zig Ziglar, get what they want, thereby getting what you want?
It can be tough to matter. It can be difficult to be productive, generous, humble, even honest.
It can be hard to like everyone.
But Rosten’s words say that we should strive to be and do all those things.
Personal happiness, perhaps, is selfish in his mind. But without personal happiness, it will be a struggle to be the person you want to be – someone others see as valuable.
One does not have to be financially rich to give happiness. But one must strive to give what he can so others can succeed.
Some bosses want you to give, so they can take. You’d much rather give so that others can get and, by extension, you can get as well.
If you see yourself as a giving person, or are striving to be, but are looking for the best way you can give, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You’ll see stories of people who became successful by finding the best way to give to others.
You can stay on the treadmill of a job, with a boss who doesn’t care about you. Certainly, if it pays well enough, you can sock enough money away to leave that job sooner rather than later. If you are lucky, you’ll be able to hang in as long as you want to.
But that may not be the way YOU want to be productive, to matter or to make a difference. You may have to look for the best way for you to do that.
Peter

DO SOMETHING

I am one person. I can’t do everything. But I am me. I can do something.
Paraphrase of a T-shirt seen in an airport
#dosomething

We all gripe about the world.
Perhaps we’ve gone through some things we didn’t deserve.
Perhaps we’ve seen everything we’ve worked for disappear, through no fault of our own.
Perhaps we have an illness that we not only never expected, but feel incapable to deal with.
Our circumstances are none of our business. How we deal with them is every bit our business.
Maybe we can’t change the way the world is. But we can change the way WE are.
Perhaps we can’t fix all destruction. But we can fix what we can see and touch.
Some are bent on destroying us. But we are flexible. We keep moving.
The boss wants us gone. So we go, and make a better life.
We get sick. But we do what we need to get better.
We are told certain things are true. Yet we find some may not be.
Even the smallest deception we may try can hurt someone else big time.
We are all better than we think we are at the moment. We just have to go for it!
All you think, do and say has a consequence. Make all thoughts, deeds and words positive.
Don’t let the naysayers get you down. For there is much out there that is good and true.
If no one gives you a pat on the back, give yourself one.
Haven’t gotten a raise in years? Look for something more beneficial to you.
Having trouble finding that benefit? Visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau
The world can be a dark place. Let your attitude shine a light for you.
Perhaps you can’t change everything. But you can change.
When everything isn’t what it seems, keep digging. You may find gold.
If you dread getting up in the morning, be thankful that you still can.
The best way to get on your feet is to get off your butt. (seen on a license plate)
People and companies will do what they must do. You do what you must do.
Be the music that rocks your world when evil tries to drown you out.
Be you. Do what you know you should. Help others, so you may help yourself.
Peter

LIFE, DEATH AND DECISIONS

Heaven awaits, but one must die first.
There are many fates worse than death, but we view death as the ultimate bad fate.
We all want to live the best life we can, for as long as we can.
But reports of people who have seen death for a few seconds have talked about how beautiful it was.
We never know when death will come, but when it approaches, we must manage it.
When we are very much alive and competent, we must ask ourselves at what point have we lived enough? What diseases, injuries or prognoses are worth fighting? What potential outcomes may be worse for us than death?
Those with certain religious beliefs say we have no business managing our deaths.
Many of us believe in miracles, but we cannot plan on them. We have to take the best information we have and make decisions.
We can pray for miracles, but at some point we have to determine that the miracle we want is not coming, and decide accordingly.
Remember that there is no right or wrong decision. But there are consequences with each decision. We have to make these decisions with family and friends, but our loved ones have their own interests. We must do what’s best for us.
If we are not in a position to make that decision, make sure the person we designate to make that decision is clearly aware of what WE want. That’s why talking about this with loved ones while we are very much healthy and competent is crucial.
We are never ready to die, just like we are never ready for any other fate. But it’s not what one is ready for, but what one MUST deal with.
In the case of illness or injury, it’s wise to consult medical practitioners. But remember that some practitioners may not have the patient’s interest completely at heart. A surgeon, for example, doesn’t get paid as much for electing not to do a surgery. But the patient, or the patient’s designated decision-maker, must make that surgeon thoroughly explain the consequences of any decision.
When a problem arises, it’s crucial to get as much good information as possible to make the appropriate decision.
When life throws us curves, we find ways to straighten them out.
We learn to play the hand we are dealt. We learn not to give up.
We learn to live to the fullest. If you are looking for something to help you live to the fullest, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may find the one thing that will help make your time on earth as fulfilling as you can make it.
Don’t fear the reaper. He may not always be grim. Sometimes, it’s appropriate to fight the reaper. Other times, fighting the reaper may bring you something that would be worse than facing him.
Only you can decide which is best for you. Make those decisions when you are healthy and competent, so the person making those decisions when you can’t, knows what YOU want.
Sometimes, our best life is one lived to the fullest, until death quickly comes.
Peter

UNCERTAINTY: THE NEW NORMAL

Most of us just want to fit in.
We value community, rules, an education, a good job, a life box.
But what if we think outside the life box?
John J. Murphy did just that. The author of “Half Full: Your Perception Becomes Your Reality,” was born on Friday the 13th. His last name is synonymous with the law of things going wrong. He’s had many life-threatening mishaps, gave up a good job and got divorced. Yet, all of these things have made him look at life as “the only time that matters is right now.”
We were all taught to plan for the future. Make sacrifices now and reap the rewards later. That is great advice that has helped many people. But Murphy teaches us that life is filled with unexpected turns and unplanned moments. As he says, we must learn to let go, and let flow.
Murphy doesn’t advocate doing nothing and letting life happen. One cannot go through life with no purpose, no action and no ambition. But he recommends not getting attached to your situation to the point of being miserable, or unable to respond to an excellent opportunity that you may not have expected.
Murphy had a great job that he hated. He was willing to give up that job, take another that paid less, but that he enjoyed more. Today, he’s a well-regarded teacher, consultant and author. His divorce hit him like a ton of bricks at first. But as soon as he gained perspective, he and his ex-wife became, and are still today, great friends.
His message may boil down to being open for the unexpected. Your parents, teachers, bosses and preachers may have given you solid grounding throughout your life. But only you can know what’s right for you. Sometimes, you may not know what’s right, but you definitely know what’s wrong.
Are you not where you want to be financially? Do you have a job that pays you well, yet is killing you? Are you ready to find your way, but may not know in which direction your way is?
If you are open and ambitious, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. It could not only give you potential financial security, it may take the work stress away and could show you the direction of your way.
So don’t give in to life. Give yourself life. If you view your glass as half-empty, as Murphy puts it, you have to wonder whether what’s in the glass is worth having anyway.
It’s easy to need something, and not know what that something is. To find it, you have to keep looking. You have to go through a lot of what you don’t want, to find what you do want. Sometimes, what your elders and mentors thought was good for you, may not be.
Author and speaker Andy Andrews also talks a lot about perspective. When he was homeless, living under a beach pier and eating sardines, his mentor, Jones, taught him that he was enjoying seafood with an ocean view.
We hear a lot about clouds and silver linings. When bad things happen, good people always, eventually, see the positive. If they don’t see the positive right away, they know it will make itself evident. God may close a door and leave a window cracked. We may not see the cracked window right away. But we have confidence to keep looking.
Peter

POLIO DIDN’T STOP NICKLAUS; NOTHING SHOULD STOP YOU #jacknicklaus

Golfer Jack Nicklaus beat polio as a boy to become a champion.
Today, though he holds the record for the number of major tournaments won, he remains humble.
Bob Greene, a commentator for CNN and author of the book “Late Edition: A Love Story,” discussed the Nicklaus way of golf – and life – in an April 4, 2014, column in The Wall Street Journal.
Greene says Nicklaus’ theory for golf and life is to do your best, and everything else will take care of itself. He points out that Nicklaus played in the era of Muhammed Ali and Joe Namath, two athletes known for declaring their own greatness and predicting unpredictable victories.
Nicklaus, though, preferred to let other people declare his greatness, Greene says.
Humility is a scarce character trait in people today. Many who rise to power often tell us of their greatness, even before it is achieved. We need more people who don’t just act before they speak, but prefer not to speak at all. Their actions say all that needs to be said.
They may, or may not, object to having others verbalize their greatness. But they see themselves as a person just doing what he loves, or doing what he believes he was created to do – quietly.
It’s been said that one should put his money where his mouth is. Or, one should walk the walk if he talks the talk. Namath and Ali did that, but Nicklaus did it as he remained quiet.
Humble people don’t talk the talk. They just walk the walk. They put their money where it belongs, not near their mouths.
They give and get, and never take. They do their thing without expectation, though they expect much from themselves quietly.
Have you ever had a bombastic boss? How did he treat you, his employee? Did he take a lot from you, while giving you little? Did he make you feel as if he were doing you a favor by employing you? Did you feel that he was more comfortable being served, than serving?
We all have the ability to gain wealth and/or power. How we get it says as much, or more, about a person as the achievement itself.
Humble people accomplish things quietly, yet openly. They accomplish things honestly and give generously. They favor the accomplishment itself, and what it can do for others, rather than what it can do for them. They don’t talk of greatness. They Just Do It, to quote the Nike slogan – and do for others.
Do you consider yourself humble? Do you have goals that you don’t talk about with others, but hold deep inside? Are you genuinely kind to others, and eager to do for others, even when no one is watching?
If so, and are looking for a way to put that genuine goodness to use, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may find the best thing you can do to help others, and perhaps achieve what you’d like for yourself.
Successful people do more and talk less. Like Nicklaus, they take life one shot at a time. Then, go to the next shot. They do their best each time, all the time. They always give credit to others. As Greene put it, Nicklaus believed his major tournament record would have been broken by now. But, at age 74, he still leads in the clubhouse.
Peter
#jacknicklaus

HUMP DAY: GET OVER IT!

The Geico insurance ad with the camel walking through the office asking everyone what day it is has gone viral.
You see, those who work a Monday through Friday schedule viewed Wednesday as “hump day,” because once Wednesday was over, you were “over the hump” toward the weekend.
Yes, we can be clock watchers, and sometimes, we need to be. But time is precious, and we don’t want to wish away any time. We don’t want to get old too soon. We want to stay young as long as we can, regardless of our current age.
Think of it this way. If Wednesday puts you over the hump toward the weekend, and that makes you happy, how sad are you on Sunday night, knowing that Monday morning is coming?
Some working folks love their jobs so much, it doesn’t matter what day it is. Others work weird schedules, and may have a different “hump day.”
Though many love what they do, most don’t love it so much that they dread their off time. We have families, friends, hobbies and fun activities that deserve our time. Those who love their work may never retire, because they’ll always want to be doing something related to what they love.
There are others for whom work is literally their life. They have few, if any, activities outside of their work. Can these folks truly be happy?
Still, others can’t wait to retire. They are doing jobs that are putting food on the table and roofs over their heads, but they long to be done with them. It’s becoming more difficult by the day to last out your employer until you are able to retire, so these folks are just praying they can hang on as long as possible.
But what if you are not yet retired, and the day of the week doesn’t matter to you? What if your work were done whenever it suited you?
With traditional jobs and employers, that’ usually not possible. But what if you could get there? How much would you sacrifice, and how hard would you work on your own time to make that happen?
If that idea intrigues you, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Not everyone will want it, but if you want to get over the hump toward freedom, it might be for you.
Life has humps we need to get over. Some would like to get over them faster than others. Others can’t see any way to get over them quickly.
In whatever our activities, we need to realize that time is something you can’t recover, or go back to. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. If you have regrets, look at the future and find ways to do things you won’t regret.
Memories can be beautiful, but, generally, they can’t be relived. Waxing nostalgic can be amusing, but, usually, you can’t go back there.
We need to look toward the future. We need to have dreams. And, we need to think about how we are going to realize those dreams.
Not all things are possible, but most things are if we think about the right things, and act in a way that will get us where we want to go.
Once we get there, we won’t worry about “hump days,” for we will realize that all days are valuable and should not be wasted.
If life throws you a hump, just get over it!
Peter

FOR YOU, IS LIFE A BOWL OF CHERRIES, OR JUST THE PITS?

Cherries are sweet, but they have pits. You can just spit out the pits. or suck every last bit of flavor out of them.
Those who do the latter are looking for something that may or may not be there. The uncertainty doesn’t stop them from looking.
You see, some people presume the worst, and just spit out the pits.
Others wait to make sure they are not missing something good before they spit the pits.
You can look at your situation as a bowl of cherries, or just the pits.
Are you going to realize that there may be something good left in those pits, or just presume there is nothing there and just spit?
When you eat sweet cherries, you can’t help but encounter pits. So it’s not whether you’ll get pits, it’s how you deal with them that matters. Your circumstances are none of your business, to quote a wise philosopher. How you deal with them is completely within your control. You can enjoy good times and spit the pits, or you can see what the pits have left in them for you.
It’s been said that God doesn’t close a door without opening a window. Sometimes, that window is either hard to find, or may not be apparent to you immediately.
Sometimes, someone you least expect — or may not know yet — will show you where the window is. On the other side may be more sweet cherries, but you may have to endure a few pits to get the most out of them.
See who might be there for you. It’s OK not to know what you are looking for, but first know what you want from life. Don’t make life about money. But, rather, make it about what you could do if you didn’t have to worry about money.
Learn to be a better person by seeing what is possible, instead of dwelling on what you believe is not possible. Summon the spirit inside you to see what might be out there, even as you deal with the hand you’re dealt.
No life is without obstacles, and some obstacles are difficult to overcome. Try to overcome the difficulty by conquering despair, hopelessness and pessimism. It not easy to be successful, but it’s possible for everyone who wants it.
If you are such a person, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may find the last bit of flavor in a pit you are about to spit.
Life is a bowl of cherries, but the hidden flavor in some pits may lead you to more, and bigger bowls.
Peter