Overnight, the death toll has risen from 800 to over 10,000 in Japan. I think of all these people who started that day like any other day. They got up, fed the kids maybe, kissed their loved ones goodbye, and got in their car to go to work?
Out of those 10,000 people who lost their life, I wonder how many people died doing something they loved? How many jumped out of bed that morning and lived that day like it was going to be their last? I know it is very cliche’, but seriously, how many died that day doing something they totally loved?
Katherine Mansfield once wrote, ” How can you hesitate? Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”
My junior high band teacher, Mr. Bob Brown, died while out on a run. I have several other family members who have died doing what they loved or died coming back from doing something they loved. I am almost certain my Grandma Nora died with a crochet needle in her hand because other than playing Kings Corners with her, she was always crocheting another afghan for a loved one!
No matter when I die, I want to die doing something I love! I hope I die right at the end of a marathon, a great run, after telling my kids how proud of them I am, after a million dollar coaching call, watching a brilliant sunset or sunrise, or some other life event that is meaningful. I promised my wife I would live at lease one minute longer than her so she would never be widowed. No matter when it is, I want to go right after a moment that is larger than life.
The challenge is to live life as consistently as possible in the pursuit of everything that is meaningful to you. Horrendous tragedies like what many in Japan are experiencing remind us that you never know what will happen when you walk out the door in the morning. But you always have control of how you say goodbye to your loved ones before you leave, what you do during the day, and how you help others along the way!
Regardless of when that is, end on a high note doing what you love, and make sure you always make others aware of their worth. Tell the important people in your life how much you love them. The only comfort they will have when you are gone is to know that you loved them and that you died doing what you love and living a life of love! Take control of your life. Choose to make each day count!
My day is looking pretty exciting all of a sudden! How about yours?
To your continued success,
Want to be a better lover? Want your partner to love you in a way that really matters to you?
Understand Your Partner’s “Love Languages” to Create a Better Relationship
Gary Chapman has a great book called, “The 5 Love Languages” The premise of the book is that we all experience Love in five general ways or “languages”.
I have converted the 5 Love Languages into a simple acronym easy to remember: The 5 “T’s.” We can love people through:
- Time: as in spending time with our loved one. It could be just being in the presence of the other person or doing something fun together.
- Touch: as in being physically affectionate; whether it be in a sexual way or not. It could be a kiss or a simple hand on someone’s back.
- Tell: as in telling your loved ones verbally how much they mean to you. You might text, send a card, leave a voice message for instance.
- Buy Things: as in buying any type of gifts. It’s important to note that it is the act of thinking about the person, finding the right gift, and trying to make your loved one happy that is the act of love that matters here, not the actual gift itself.
- Do Things: as in doing something that will make your loved one’s life easier or more pleasant. It could be making an extra cup of coffee, running to the store of your own accord because you notice something is needed, or going to an event that you might not have an interest in, but that matters to your loved one.
Although we may feel loved when we experience any one of those “languages”, most of us have a couple of preferred languages. Instinctively, we tend to love others in our language instead of theirs.
Have you ever been baffled to find your loved one unmoved by your loving words or your affectionate touch because he or she is annoyed at the fact that you haven’t brought the trash in? This miscommunication can happen in any type of relationship; with your kids, with your spouse, with your parents.
Imagine… you come back from vacation with a gift for son which you thought was the perfect gift for him, he looks at you and gives you a polite smile but you can tell he’s unmoved and proceeds to ask you to sit and watch him play his latest video game. You’re tired and anxious to unpack so you put it off for later and he runs off to play. He never felt loved by you getting him the shirt, and you felt more guilty than loved by his wanting to spend time with you.
Sounds vaguely familiar?
While we all understand intellectually that each language is an expression of love, we truly feel loved when that love is expressed in our own dominant language.
So, how do you tell what your Lover’s Love Language is?
Simple. Ask the question: “When have you known you were loved the most?” Ask a couple of times and get a couple of different examples. The answers will tell you what speaks their Language the loudest.
I asked my son that question when he was six and he responded, “When we snuggle and cuddle on the couch watching movies.” He is a Time and Touch” person. Just that simple. Knowing that, we switched from candy in his Easter basket, to coupons for extra reading time together, movies, or guy night. My daughter on the other hand, can pass on the Touch, but feels genuinely touched when I take the time to think of her while I’m away and get her a trinket. And she herself spends ours making “gifts” for the rest of the family. As for my wife, I can skip the flowers without worry, and drive the kids to school instead, or fill up her car up with gas. She’s clearly a “Do” person.
And as far as you being loved in your love language, simply tell your loved one what makes you feel most loved. And when he or she loves you in that language, respond and reaffirm the love in theirs. By reciprocating, you will be communicating in a way that deepens your relationship.
On Valentine’s Day, find out each other’s love language! Not only you will learn something, but it might just put the spark back in your love life! Give it a try!
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“John, We love having you as a part of this team. Your idea at yesterday’s sales meeting was right on point! AND in fact it’s clear that you have a real impact on our corporate culture in the office; a lot of the junior associates take their cues from you.So it’s crucial that you limit the time you spend on personal matters whether it be on the phone or online to the times when you are officially on break.I know how committed you have been to this organization and I appreciate all your work especially for this last project. It made a difference.”
Are you Any-body or Some-body Special?
Being different in life is a great way to build your self confidence. The definition of self confidence is, “You decide to take a specific action so that you can earn and deserve the right to feel good about yourself.”
I was contemplating this last weekend on my long run and started to thing about the implications of the definition. I know I have covered this in previous thoughts but some things are so important, sometimes, they bear repeating.
Do you realize the amount of freedom we are blessed to have? In America, almost Any-body can do almost anything. That is the dream and the hope that has built this nation. The sad part about America is that although almost Any-body can do anything, most Any-body and Every-body tends to do what is easiest. We all tend to take the path of least resistance in life. We see this everyday in work, finances, health, and relationships.
Any-body can do something but it takes Some-body special to do what others are not willing too. It takes Some-body special to get up on a Saturday morning at 5am and go out on a training run for 17 miles. Any-body can sneak out of the office early on Friday to get to happy hour but it takes Some-body special to put in that little bit of extra time to get the job done right before leaving. Anybody can go out and get a credit card and get in debt by overspending but it takes a special Some-body to earn, save and actually own their home and car mortgage free. Anybody can put on that extra 20 pounds by sitting on the couch every night watching TV (one statistic I read stated the average child watches 22 hours of TV per week and adults average 8 hours per week—but they can not find time to exercise or spend quality family time). Anybody can go to work for somebody else, not pursue their dreams and put in their 8 hours and go home. It takes a Some-body special to understand their interests, strengths, and purpose in life, create their own business, and take on the risks of being an entrepreneur and providing jobs to others so they can feed their families. Any-body can not be invested in their community and not go out of their way to cultivate friendships outside of co-workers. It takes Some-body to find a meaningful pursuit that helps others less fortunate than them and invest their time building relationships with others. Do you get the point?
My question to you this week is, “In your life, where are you showing up an Any-body?” Where are you doing what Any-body and Every-body else is?” Where are you buying into the status quo of underachievement, living that unfulfilled meaningless life, and believing that you can’t do anything in the current economics to make your life better? Any-body can be an ant, following the ant in front of them, going to the same piece of food, taking your little piece and returning home. It takes a Some-body special ant to break away from the status quo and go find food itself. That is what builds up the self confidence of the ant and in the end benefits the entire community! Step up, face life’s challenges, commit to something different that Any-body COULD do, and be that Some-body special to ACTUALLY do it.
“Two Roads Converged…”
Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of taking Isabelle to school. As we came up to the stoplight leading out of our neighborhood, the line was very long and I guessed that it would take about 3 light changes before we would be able to turn left onto the main street. We were looking at a ten minute wait in line which meant she would be late for school.
Instinct took over and I quickly merged into the right hand lane. I drove past the long line of cars straight up to the light. At this point, the only way for us to go was the “wrong” way. We had to turn right instead of left, which took us farther away from her school. Isabelle immediately realized we were going the wrong direction and asked, “Daddy, why are we were going the “wrong” way?”
I turned right, drove 100 yards and turned around in a different neighborhood entrance. Almost immediately, I was able to make the left hand turn onto the main street going towards Isabelle’s school. As I drove, I explained to Isabelle that I was taking a “secret short cut” to school and even though it seemed like the “wrong” way, sometimes going the opposite way of everyone else was quicker. We would have to experiment and see if it was true. In this case, it was true, much to her delight. She even waved at the line of cars as we passed them, who were still waiting for the light to turn green.
A similar experience occurred at the Atlanta airport last Friday. I was waiting for my return flight and needed to stretch my legs one last time before boarding time. As I walked farther and farther down the terminal wing away from the main hub, I noticed that not only did the people traffic lighten up but the drink prices for Coke and water dropped with every store. It was also amazing that the Coke prices were lower than the water prices. Isn’t it ironic how what is better for you is sometimes more expensive and what seems easier, less expensive and more convenient is sometimes not as good for you?
In today’s world, with the media news, business forecasts, stock market news, and radio ads, you may need to get away from the mainstream, take a walk away from the mainstream to where it is not as crowded. It is good to notice where opportunity lies and more often than not, it will be away from popular idealism. Making a little bit better investment on what you are feeding your mind, body and spirit can make a big difference in your health. It can also provide you the edge that will make a small difference in your life today and a very BIG difference in your life in the long run. Make the investment in yourself that will yield results for you mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. If you take the initiative to walk a little farther away from the crowds you may be surprised at the deals you will find.
This morning Isabelle asked me if we were taking the “secret short cut” to school. It took me a moment to understand that she had changed her association from us going to school the “wrong” way to the “secret short cut” way. Separate yourself from the rest of the people who are waiting in line for something different to happen. That is the secret to getting ahead. All of the answers you need to overcome any challenge in your life right now are out there waiting for you. Be courageous, brave and try going the “wrong” way once in a while. We will see you at the “secret short cut” turnaround and we’ll be sure and wave “Hi!”
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Are You Dreaming BIG Enough?
Every night before dinner, we say Grace. It is a great moment for us to remember what we are thankful for in life and share what is in our heart with each other. My 5-year old daughter, Isabelle, said grace last night and this is what she shared with us, “Starlight, Starbright, I wish for all of the beautiful things in life, for all our dreams to come true, and we learn a lot, Amen.” Then she asked me a question, “Daddy, will it come true?”
We all face challenges on the way to achieving our goals and need support to achieve them. I was talking to my cousin the other day about some sales and marketing issues in my business. He is a very successful entrepreneur and after our short 5 minute call, I left totally energized. He opened my mind to levels of success and prosperity that had not previously entered my mind. My thinking was stretched outside of the box of what I thought was possible and the vision I had for my business grew ten fold.
Are you dreaming big enough? That is my question for the week. Are you dreaming BIG enough? Take a moment and think of all that you can be. Even as you answer that, you are still more than that. And if you can dream even bigger than that, you are still more than that. And yet again, you are even more than that.
In today’s economy there is prosperity, abundance and the ability to achieve big dreams. Are you reaching out those people who will believe in you, your ability, and you being more than you think are? Your peer group is critical in terms of surrounding yourself with possibility. This is the greatest time in history to step up and create all that you desire. You will have to take on the challenges of leadership and uncertainty. You may have to stop relying on a business to provide a job for you and provide one for yourself. You may need to move, downsize, or one of many different things in order to set yourself up for prosperity in the future. No matter what it is, KEEP YOUR DREAM ALIVE and KEEP DREAMING BIG! Where your focus goes, energy and emotion flows.
My answer to Isabelle’s question was simple. “If you continue to believe in your dreams, surround yourself with people who believe in your dream, and work hard enough, all of your dreams will come true.”
Evolution For Success
James M Murphy
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Raleigh, North Carolina 27614
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