Legacy of a legend

“There’s a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.” William Wallace

The movie Braveheart is one of my favorite movies of all time. William Wallace embodies what most boys growing up aspire to be. When he was faced with his lovers death he avenged her. He inspired the people of Scotland to take back their freedom. Stole the heart of the princess and when face with death he didn’t cave on his beliefs.

The best picture of Wallace’s impact was in contrast to Earl the Bruce. This was a man in title and deed was to be a leader. He had been handed the right to lead the “Sons of Scotland” from birth. However when faced with the chance to stand up and ride along side Wallace he caves. Time after time.

The coolest part of Wallace’s Legacy and Story (other than his face paint) was in the final scene Earl the Bruce “man’s up” and fulfills his role. The Bruce leads the charge for Scotland. Wallace (a peasant) inspires not only the peasants around him but the noble blooded Bruce. I know that the legend of William Wallace is probably far distant than the true story. I know it was just a movie. The message however is real.

Through your gifts today you can mold a Legacy. Wallace had a gift to rise to the occasion and inspire. You can inspire those around. Your kids, co-workers and family. Maybe wearing face paint and screaming freedom down the halls of your job would be frowned upon. If not then you my friend have the coolest job ever. I am willing to bet though that most employers wouldn’t mind you teaching others your skills. Making peoples lives better. Showing people joy and happiness.

We all have gifts…. How you use yours will be your Legacy

You ask yourself, ‘What do you want your legacy to be?’ I’m content at this point to say, ‘Those who follow me.’- Bill Parcells

Thank you and come back


Greatest Failure of All Time

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison

On February 12 1809 the greatest failure in american history was born. He was born to (at the time) two wealthy parents. In 1816 his parents lost all their land and titles in a court hearing. In 1818 his mother died. In 1831 he worked for a business that would fail. 1832 ran for political office and lost. That same year he would be rejected by a law school. 1833 he would go bankrupt. 1835 he was engaged to his sweetheart and she would die the same year. 1836 had a nervous breakdown and would be on bed rest for 6 months. 1838 rejected as speaker. 1843 defeated in nomination for congress. 1854 defeated for us senate. 1856 lost nomination for vice president. 1858 lost the senate race again.

Why am I writing about such a failure. In 1860 he was elected as president of the United States. Even in this endeavor is was very difficult. The country would split just a few months after he was elected causing one of the worst “blemishes” in american history (the civil war).

By now you probably know this man was Mr Abraham Lincoln. He is kinda a big deal and he has many leather bound books :-). He would go on to play a large part in ending slavery. Through out all these failures he would have many successes.  He would go down as one the four faces on Mount Rushmore.  A staple of american success story’s and motivational speaker topics.

I give you this reminder of 8th grade us history to show you all the failures of an icon. There is no overnight success. There is always some disappointments. We don’t always win. There will be rejection along the way. There will be losses. You won’t always get the promotion. The girl won’t always dance with you. The boss won’t always take you ideas. The client won’t always buy what you are selling. Your favorite sports franchise won’t always win (or ever if you are a cubs fan).

 If Mr Lincoln had just once decided to quit running for office who knows what would have happened. I am of the belief that he would have never accomplished anything had he won his first election. Or what if the job he had wouldn’t have went out of business? He may have never tried anything else. What else would he strive for?

You could be so close to your goals and quit so close. The Marathoner never quits when they can see the finish line. I believe your finish line is close don’t give.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.” Thomas Edison

The true test of success is what will you do with that failure. Should you use those failed attempts as motivation to change your world? Or shall you quit? My hope rest’s in the word changing part.

Thank you and come back.

Whats behind that Fence?

            Near my grandparents house was a fenced off area that had a posting                                        “NO TRESPASSING VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED”.                                                                                                                                                                                      As a child I am not sure if I even knew what that meant. I do know my grandpa would tell me never to go out there.  There was a certain level of exhilaration my friends and I would experience when crawling into that “forbidden land”. I am still not sure what was out there that was so forbidden. It was just hills, dirt, and cactus. There was a road that a truck would drive on sometimes that would cause even more exhilaration. There were also rumors among the neighborhood kids of flesh eating pigs and mountain lions. All this unknown made it quite an adventure.

As all of us would grow up we would stop going over there. There was no longer a sense of adventure. The child like faith of finding something never before seen dwindled. The Fear was gone.

My entire childhood was spent being corralled. Ask any of my teacher’s and they could tell you I was a problem. “sit down” “be quiet” “raise your hand” “no chewing gum”. I think my entire 8th grade year was spent in detention.

What I learned was to obey and to conform and to be brought under authority. All great lessons for someone to learn. I also learned that thinking outside of the box, being unique, and disrupting the status quo were to be corralled.

Now I am not condoning living a life that is lawless or ditching your responsibilities. I am however challenging you to think out side your box. I wonder today how much we miss out on as adults by following the posted signs. We travel through life with such restraint to try new things. We live in boxes sometimes. We live for security. We don’t chew gum. We don’t stand up. We absolutely won’t disrupt our status quo. In fact we fight to protect it.

Now think about some of your hero’s. Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, George Washington, Lincoln….(insert famous rich person here)

What if they were quiet? What if they stayed in their box? What if they never looked into the forbidden realm behind that fence? I believe that many of us possess the same box crushing gifts that these men/women did. We just have to unleash them.

If my friends and I would have followed instructions we might still today not know what was beyond that fence.

I wonder what my generation could do if we looked behind. What is behind the fence that you have built? What’s behind that sign you have posted?

Don’t be afraid to discover you gifts and use them

Thank you and come back.

intentionally alive

The Websters definition of intentional- Done deliberately

This morning I woke up in a way similar to most days. I hit snooze several times and then finally conceded to the alarm that it was time to get up. I then began getting ready for the work day. I backed my car out of the driveway closed the garage and began the trek to work. At this point my day had gone as intended.

As I pulled into the parking lot at work a thought came to me. What was my intention as I walked into the business I am employed at? Was it just to exist through today to get home to my nice life? To see my amazing young puppy and wonderful wife. Is all I am to do today is exist? Is that my intention?

Then the thought came to me about being intentional. What if my intention today was to be alive? What if instead of simply existing I am intentional in all I do? Sure at the end of the day my desire is to see the little puppy that still pee’s when he is excited to see me (My wife doesn’t do that anymore) 🙂

What if I intentionally brought life to the organization I work for instead of existing through the day. What if I was intentional in helping those around me? What if I intentionally found ways to bring laughter or inspiration or “insert your gift here”? How much better would my day be to be intentionally alive  instead of intentionally existent? After all we are not promised tomorrow.

the Webster’s definition of alive- alert and active; animated

What if we combined the intentional/alive definitions?

To be done deliberately alert and active; animated.

I am not sure if anyone will read this. My intention in writing this is to prompt me to act.
Hopefully it will do as I intended.

Thank you. Come back for more musings.