Focus Your Life

Focus – The Journey

Selected Life Lesson
At the end of your life, no one will be keeping score. So instead of relying on the points you’ve added up, you had better remember the journey life was and how much you enjoyed it.
-Jerod B’s Life Lesson from Silver Lake, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
I remember getting this lesson a couple of years ago at a student leadership conference in Kansas and picking it for this week’s lesson seemed appropriate. Life offers us so many chances to fail, and yet, so often we stay on the sidelines, opting to stay safe.

But life is all about the experiences. Growing up in Iowa, I was a Minnesota Twins fan which included the late Kirby Puckett. My dad took our family to the game where they honored him and the game when they retired his number. Plus, we went to his Hall of Fame Induction. We loved his play and his passion for the game. It wasn’t all about the wins for us. It was his joy and love of the game.

One of the lines of his speech that night in the Metrodome was simple, he wanted people to remember that ‘Kirby Puckett lived the hell out of his life.’ And it’s that passion that we all need to remember to have each and every day. We need to live, truly live with passion and love. It is amazing how things change when you do.

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FOCUS: You Are Loved!

Selected Life Lesson
One of the greatest sorrows in life, is turning your back on the potential of love.
-Heather G’s Life Lesson from Chanute, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
Whether you are single, dating, engaged, married or divorced, you are loved.

Wherever you are in the path of life, of your life, never forget that you are loved by many people.

So, in honor of that, my message to you is simple:
love is precious and love it kind and you have earned it.

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FOCUS: Get Yourself Back

Selected Life Lesson
Looking up to people is good, but not to the point where you lose yourself along the way.
-Briana M’s Life Lesson from Olathe, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
Your life is yours to live and you can not allow someone else to dictate your life to you. I speak and write a lot about creating your own destiny, writing your own chapters.

And it is amazing that we even allow other people to take the pens from our hands. But that has to stop now. For you. For me. It’s your life to live. They are your dreams and your aspirations and you have to be the one to live it and experience it.

What’s stopping you? Lead your own life. Write your chapters.
You’ll be glad you did.

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FOCUS: … on Being You!

Selected Life Lesson
Stay true to yourself no matter where you are or what the situation is.
-Lindsey J’s Life Lesson from Olathe, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
I learned something new over Christmas: I have not been myself. I didn’t know how much I had really changed until my mom made that comment. But in looking over the past few years of my life, I can see that. I had changed … and it wasn’t for the better.

And I pride myself on always getting better and becoming better. Well, I’m happy to say that I am back! And if you’re feeling like you’ve slipped into something you don’t want to be, I’m here to tell you, you can be whoever and whatever you want! You get to make the choice.

Today, I am choosing to be someone with passion. With gusto. With dreams. And an unquenchable thirst for experiences and seeing others do the same thing. You can do the same thing too!

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FOCUS: Active Listening

Selected Life Lesson
Listen to what people are saying.
-Stephanie’s Life Lesson from Des Moines, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
The backbone of Stephanie’s lesson is the concept of “active listening.” I speak about active listening in my FOCUS talk and it’s something we could all use a little practice of.

It is where we truly listen to one another. We shut off our own minds and listen. We shut off all the voices in our heads and listen. We shut off our intuition, our suggestions, our ideas, our criticisms, our “ah-ha” solutions, and just listen to what is being said.

It is amazing what is possible when you do. You can see into a person on a much deeper level. You can learn something new. And you can grow as a person with unlimited potential.

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FOCUS: Life is Beautiful!

Selected Life Lesson
Enjoy, appreciate, cherish and love life and all aspects of it!
-Stacy P’s Life Lesson from Mason City, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
Stacy’s life lesson hits on so many things that I hold near and dear to my heart. It is so easy for us to get lost in the emails, text messages, and laundry. So much so that it can add a complete pile of stress, much of it unneeded.

That is why I have worked so hard and why I write often about managing your life to ensure that you don’t get lost in the endless things in life, but rather enjoy everything life brings.

That is this week’s lesson. I hope you listen to it with your whole heart.
Life is amazing and beautiful. Let’s live it together!

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FOCUS: New Mistakes!

Selected Life Lesson
You’re going to make mistakes in life but you have to learn from them or you’ll make them again.
-Reece C’s Life Lesson from Manhattan, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
Isn’t that a true statement!? We all know it to be true, and yet we make the same mistakes over and over. Looking back, that is probably the lesson of my 2012 … not learning. A lot of great things happened for me, but I missed a lot of opportunities due to my own mistakes; repeated mistakes.

But that’s not going to be 2013. I am owning it. I am going to crush it and become the success I have dreamed of. There is a lot of work to do and yes, I, and you are going to make mistakes, but that is okay! So long as they are not the same ones over and over.

How are you going to make sure 2013 is your year?

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FOCUS: Turn Impossible into Possible!

Selected Life Lesson
What we think is initially impossible in our minds is often not only possible, but beneficial.
-Laurie B’s Life Lesson

Richard’s Thoughts…
Welcome to 2013! We’re three days in and there is a lot of work to do so I won’t take too much of your precious time. And it is precious!

Have you thought about what you want to accomplish this year? Let’s do it together. Do it with the people you love and care about and who only want the best for you. Share your dreams. Spend the time and energy to make them possible. Don’t wait. Let’s do this together. I want to help. Your friends want to help. We are all in this together.

Let’s take the life you want from the impossible to the possible. It starts with possessing the right attitude and getting rid of “impossible.”

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FOCUS: It’s Your Book to Write!

Selected Life Lesson
It’s not where you’ve started or where you’ve been but where you finish.
-Mike P’s Life Lesson from West Des Moines, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
I’ve been going back to a similar quote about needing to live life forward. We can look back and learn, but our eyes always need to be on the horizon, in front, forward, ready for the challenges that are to come. This year didn’t go as planned for me. But I was ready for the challenges that came.

And while my finish isn’t where I wanted it to be, I am ready for 2013. This upcoming weekend marks the end of the year and my annual review. I look at my goals, my plans and where I want to be in five years. I haven’t reached my finish line yet. This is just the end of a chapter.

What will the next one bring for me? For you? Only you can decide. It’s your book to write.
And it starts now.

 

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FOCUS: Not-so Broken Hearts!

Selected Life Lesson
A broken heart cannot kill you.
-Heather P’s Life Lesson from Marion, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
The last 400 days of my life have been quite the roller-coaster. Never before did I think I would again be single, get fired, run a marathon and then decide to stay in New York City for another two years! But here I am; probably as happy as I have ever been.

What do I owe this to? Perseverance. Sure, I struggled this past year. I went through a bout of depression. And I just wanted to quit at life sometimes. But we always make it through.

In the moment, I was not the most positive person in the world. (Just ask Steve!) But no matter how broken you are, we, this community is here for you. I love you for the time you give me each week. And trust me, you can make it through any battle.

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