Focus Your Life

FOCUS: Your Happiness!

Selected Life Lesson
You are the only one who can make you happy.
-Lisa B’s Life Lesson from Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Richard’s Thoughts…
Happiness is personal. It is yours. Only you can decide what makes you smile and what makes you come alive. A job can add a ton of value to your life, both financially and through great experiences, but it can not — in my limited opinion — make you happier than you already are.

In the movie Cool Runnings, the coach Irv is talking with his star Derice the night before their final race about winning an Olympic gold medal:

Irv: It’s a fair question. It’s quite simple, really. I had to win. You see, Derice, I had made winning my whole life, and when you make winning your whole life, you have to keep on winning, no matter what. Understand?
Derice: No, I don’t understand. You won two gold medals. You had it all.
Irv: Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.

You decide what makes you happy. I hope you find it is you, living a life full of passion and love. At least that is my lesson for you.

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FOCUS: You Are Cool!

Selected Life Lesson
I’d rather be dead than cool.
-Anonymous’ Life Lesson from Olathe, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
Living in New York City, I am definitely not the hippest or most stylish person walking the crowded streets. In fact, I can’t walk a block without seeing a current trend or something even more futuristic. But I like my style.

It works for me and it has taken years and years of work to perfect my style. This week’s lesson is simple in that I didn’t fully appreciate it until I moved here. We are meant to be individuals. One. Just you. Even though I am pretty laid back when it comes to my style — I love a simple pair of jeans and a T-shirt — it is my style and I own it.

The same should be said for you. Be who you are. In so doing you’ll find, is the very essence of cool. You … yes YOU … are cool! You are cool to me! Never forget that. Let someone else know you think they are cool too!

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FOCUS: Try!

Selected Life Lesson
Try.
-Fiona’s Life Lesson from Des Moines, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
So simple, but very complex. Just try. If I had never run for office at age 18 I would never know what that experience was like or what could have happened. If I had not trained for the half-marathon, I might never know what crossing that finish line is like. And if I never tried out to be a US Open Ballperson I would never know if I could have played next to Rafael Nadal.

All those what ifs should be answered in life and the only way to do it is to live it. I am a big believer in experiences driving life. We need to do things, big and small. Both have their places in our lives.

So try. Do it. Try! Make something happen. If you lose, so what? I lost a campaign and I am still here! In fact, losing was probably the best thing for me at the time as it led me to chase a different dream. Maybe start small. This weekend is as good a time as any.

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FOCUS: Past Hurt, Future Potential! (v4n8)

Selected Life Lesson
Being stuck on hurts from the past doesn’t allow you to grow.
-Jane L’s Life Lesson from Monticello, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
I am going to make a pretty large assumption and I apologize in advance if I am wrong.

We have all been hurt in our lives. Jane’s lesson could be referencing emotional hurt but also physical. We don’t know and frankly, it does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Living on past failures and injuries only inhibits your ability to overcome them and make a better tomorrow possible. Just like living off the successes in life can also leave you vulnerable to missing the next great opportunity.

A perfect example for me has to be my back injury. It has been an on again-off again problem for me and I let it take me away from playing tennis. But not last year. I was back on court quite often and felt great. I let the past injury go, changed my training, stretching and mechanics to protect myself and re-discovered an old love.

You can do the same with any kind of hurt. See it, recognize it, take the lesson and just let it go. The hurt keeps on hurting until you let it go. Try it. What can you let go of this week that you have been holding on to? Anything is Possible!

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FOCUS:Good Intentions! (v4n7)

Selected Life Lesson
Someone can hurt you unintentionally -
having only good intent and never be aware of it.
-Vicki W’s Life Lesson from Rowley, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
The world we live in is fast paced … and the world in New York City is even faster. You have not seen power walking until you’ve been on the streets of the city at eight in the morning and everyone is rushing to get their coffees and bagels.

In this past paced world, our words and actions happen fast and often without thought about how they may impact others. We are all sensitive beings and it takes a lot of energy to watch your words and to ensure they don’t hurt someone. But it happens.

When it does, own up to it, apologize, and get better. Relationships are important and learning and understanding someones emotions gives you the freedom to work around them and still get your point across. It is also important to understand that rarely are comments personal.

Keeping those two things in mind, you will become a better and more sensitive person.

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FOCUS: Changing Dreams! (v4n6)

Selected Life Lesson

Persevere even when you want to throw in the towel; you will survive and usually it all works out.
-Gail G’s Life Lesson from from Springfield, Mo.

Richard’s Thoughts…

We have all been there and some of us (myself included) have definitely reached points in our lives where we have thrown in the towel and cut our losses. My most public towel throwing incident came in college while I was working out with two of my friends. We were doing the bench press and they were stronger and I pushed myself too hard. I tried too much weight, couldn’t do it, got mad and stormed out of the gym.

While I walked off my anger I was able to remind myself that I was working for me, not them. I wanted to be healthier and it did not matter if I was the strongest in the room. It only mattered that I was challenging myself against only me.

Conan O’Brien gave the commencement address at Dartmouth this spring and he said, “Nietzsche famously said ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”‘ But whfaat he failed to stress is that it almost kills you. Disappointment stings and, for driven, successful people like yourselves it is disorienting.” He lost his dream job, but has said that the last year of his life have been the best of his career. Take on every challenge and enjoy the journey. Good luck!

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FOCUS: You Can’t be Serious! (v4n5)

Selected Life Lesson

Don’t take yourself and things so seriously.
-Crystal P’s Life Lesson from Topeka, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…

I think we all need this reminder from time to time, don’t we? Over the course of time we all get so focused in on our goals, to-do lists and making our dreams happen that sometimes we can lose sight of the little things in life.

In fact, we can get moving so fast that we can (and do!) lose sight of the lives we dreamed of living when we were kids. I do believe there is such a thing as work-life balance. I think even the President of the United States needs to be reminded of that from time to time. But Crystal’s lesson this week is important for another reason.

We all need to be reminded that life is meant to be lived and experienced. Today I am headed to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, to try out to be a ball person at the US Open. I am definitely not taking myself seriously today. Are you?

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FOCUS: The Present! (v4n4)

Selected Life Lesson

Don’t wait. Decide it now.
-Ange L’s Life Lesson from North Kansas City, Missouri

Richard’s Thoughts…

This week’s lesson is simple: Do it now. Make it happen. Quit waiting. Get off your ass. If you fail, so what? You’ll never know if you don’t try.

Sure I have not yet been invited to close out a conference for 1,000 attendees, but I’m still trying and still dreaming of that day. I keep working at my craft to become even better. But the one thing that we can never stop working on is ourselves. We can not quit that journey. I am always trying to improve myself and my life.

For instance, I am still going through, piece by piece, each piece of paper I own and either saving it, digitizing it, or recycling it. Let me tell you, it is wonderful! With life, you have a choice. Make some decisions now and make your day better for today and tomorrow!

If you’d like to receive more information on my coaching program that is focused on building your dream life, sign-up to get the launch notification (and tell your friends!).

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FOCUS: Passions! (v4n3)

Selected Life Lesson

Enjoy your own passion!
-Gail J’s Life Lesson from Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Richard’s Thoughts…

What do you enjoy doing? Are you doing it enough? Do you have any idea what brings a smile to your face? Now is the time to find it. Why? Because it is today!

There will never be a perfect day to make your passion a major part of your life. There will never be a perfect day to laugh uncontrollably, or play like a child or dream big. So now is the time to do something about your life. It is time to live and laugh and play and dream!

Nearly 16 months ago, I brought one of my dreams to reality in Anything is Possible. Now, phase two of that dream, my new life coaching program is set to launch! It is aptly named, “Live. Laugh. Play. Dream.” That is how I try to approach each and every day and I want you and those closest to you to live that way as well!

If you’d like to receive more information, simply sign-up to get the launch notification (and tell your friends!). Together, Anything is Possible!

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FOCUS: Humility! (v4n2)

Selected Life Lesson

Never let your pride get in the way of accepting an opportunity, knowledge, or resources from someone.
-Susan K’s Life Lesson from St. Louis, Missouri

Richard’s Thoughts…

It is amazing how quickly pride in ourselves can get the better of us before we even know it has reared it’s ugly head. What is pride? It is thinking and believing that you are better than something; too high up on the food chain.

Sure I went to college, but that does not make me above picking up after my co-workers, or paying my dues in life. I recently started a new day-job where I am definitely at the bottom. But the bottom is where you can learn. It is where you can challenge. And it is certainly where you can push harder on everything because, quite frankly, you don’t know any better!

Every day and every moment is an opportunity to learn, to challenge and to grow to be smarter, more engaged and more creative. Embrace each and every opportunity that comes your way. You never know what might happen!

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