Focus on Living in the Moment

Life Lesson Of The Week
Live life for the moment; not for the past or the future because things aren’t always guaranteed.
-Kimberly S’ Life Lesson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Focus On It
So much has been happening in New York City and the world, it was nice to relax a few weeks ago in Colorado for Thanksgiving. Time away from our day-to-day lives can often provide needed clarity into our lives that is hard to come by when you’re in the trenches.

Yesterday I wanted to achieve a great dream and I never knew if it would ever come true. After years of tireless effort, the time had come to make a major life decision.

Last week I announced my “retirement” from that dream. I am living in the moment and anything is possible!

I Have No Regrets

Very few times in life will I ever work hard, pour my heart into something, succeed and walk away.

Since the summer of 2007 when I launched Winglight Productions (only to be re-branded as just Richard Dedor), I have been working my ass off to make it as a speaker and consultant. in that time, I have worked for a lot of different organizations doing what I love.

I have spoken at a high school student athlete conference (as their closing keynote):


I have shared the stage with leading international educators at NAFSA.

I have spoken at a TEDx event.

This summer I made a promise to myself that I was going to go all on this dream and if I couldn’t make it, then it was time to “hang it up.”

It’s a tough feeling knowing that I love helping people achieve their dreams through speeches and writings, and those will always be a part of me. But in life, there comes a time when you just know the reality will not end up matching the dream.

The beautiful part is that it is okay. It is okay that I didn’t make it the way I thought I would. It’s okay because I was (and am) a speaker.

I got to open and close conferences. I got to speak and share my passions with hundreds upon hundreds of people of all backgrounds and professions.

I leave with no regrets and my head held high. Not everyone can say that.

Thank you for your support and your love. I will still be around. I am still planning some big things in other areas of my life so stay tuned. In the meantime, FOCUS will continue even if I don’t post it here on the site.

Again, thank you for this journey. It has been an honor and a privilege.

Anything is possible!

Focus on Your Passion

Life Lesson Of The Week
When applying to colleges, make sure you are passionate about the school and not just applying to see if you might get in.
-Michelle’s Life Lesson from Kansas City, Mo.

Focus On It
This lesson is not just about colleges … it is about something bigger. It is about life. Aside from life being super-complicated, the thing we always have to remember is that we are in control. We are in control of our attitudes and our feelings and what we do with our lives.

When I chose my college major I went back and forth on what I wanted to study. For years prior to even going to college I was worried about how each and every decision would impact my ability to have a successful life. But then I went to college, had a great experience and life happened.

Whether it is college, your first job, or your significant other, the only thing that matters in this life that you should always be focused on is the simple question: am I passionate about this? If not, there is your answer.

Focus on Providing Support

Life Lesson Of The Week
Don’t judge a man at his highest point, but judge him at his lowest when times are the toughest!
-Grant F’s Life Lesson Des Moines, Iowa

Focus On It
I’ve had some great high moments in life.

Running for office at age 18.
Publishing not one, but two books
Writing for magazines

But also some pretty low lows like getting fired in 2012. Your highs are never as high as they seem, and the lows aren’t as low. But the lows are pretty bad. Be a person of support and comfort … you’ll be in their shoes someday so pay it forward.

Focus on Your Lifetime Learning

Life Lesson Of The Week
Learn about others.
-Sara C. from Strafford, Mo.

Focus On It
It’s back-to-school time and that means it is a time for students (and adults) to re-enter the classroom and fill their heads with all kinds of new knowledge and experiences. But for those of us who don’t go to “school” anymore, now is also a great time to keep learning.

All around us are opportunities to ask questions, to listen, and to learn. And this happens each and every day. Whether it is the neighbor who has quietly written a book, or the child who has figured out the secret to lemonade-stand success, there are things out there for us to learn. All of this knowledge is all around us and we just have to want to take it in and absorb it.

Learning does not happen in the vacuum of school. It happens in life. You just have to be open to it.

Focus – On What’s Important

Life Lesson Of The Week
Do what you think is important.
-John Henschke from Bridgeton, Missouri

Focus On It
It is a simple, but important lesson. Think about it … “do what you think is important.”

My friend Sam recently wrote that you need to pick one goal and then set the mark 20% higher. In life, it is about picking something hard and going after it; no matter the consequences. That is living.

It is why I went “all in” on my book, Running From Yourself, to make it a huge success. I’m doing what I think it important.

Focus – On Your Heart

Life Lesson Of The Week
Listen to your heart.
- An anonymous Life Lesson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Focus On It
When I did events for my first book, Anything is Possible, people would ask me when my next book would be coming out. The honest answer was that I didn’t think there would be a second book. I had said all I needed to say. But through living in New York City, I have found that fear is nearly a daily fact of life and I started to research it in depth and what I discovered was that my heart needed to share what I was learning.

So, Running From Yourself, was born, and here it is. I am running an IndieGoGo campaign to go on a national book tour because I believe in this project that much! I hope you do too. By supporting the tour, you’ll be getting one (or more) books and a huge hug from me.

I listened to my heart in writing this book and I hope it impacts you as much as it has me.


Focus – on Reasons

Life Lesson Of The Week
Everything happens for a reason.
-Melissa O’s Life Lesson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Focus On It
It does. It really does. It is often hard to know why things happen the way they do, but in time, answers tend to reveal themselves.

Why did I come to New York City only to be fired? To learn lessons. To become stronger. To find new passions. And to find new opportunities.

You can’t spend all your time and energy trying to figure out the why at the moment of impact. Focus on the “what’s next” and the “why” will reveal itself.

Time Flies Like an Arrow

How is it May already? It seems just like yesterday I was sledding down the hill in the snow in my hometown on Christmas afternoon!

“Time flies like an arrow, fruit like like a banana.” -G. Marx

I have always loved that quote, because not only is it funny, but it is true. Time just seems to slice through the air and we don’t even notice until one day, the arrow blasts through our consciousness and says, “You gotta get moving!”

So, I’m starting to move.

Join me.

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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