A Prayer To Give Aid

Posted May 15, 2005, 10:19 PM | Ideas For Life | Comments (3)

May I become at all times, both now and forever

A protector for those without protection

A guide for those who have lost their way

A ship for those with oceans to cross

A bridge for those with rivers to cross

A sanctuary for those in danger

A lamp for those without light

A place of refuge for those who lack shelter

And a servant to all in need

Fitness Ideas That Worked

Posted May 03, 2005, 09:07 PM | Ideas For Life | Comments (4)

Before I ask everyone a question, let me give you an update on our little internal "Better Life Challenge".  90 days ago, a number of the Better Life staff took up a challenge to get in shape by May 1st with the winner getting a dinner for two at a 5 star restaurant.  Well, the winner... with a total weight loss of 32 pounds... was Bill Schrupp from our IT department.  Bill drank lots of water, focused a bit more on protein (but didn't go Atkins or South Beach), ate 6 smaller meals a day and walked at least 2 miles a day.  Before and after pictures to come.

Now, for my question for all of you...

"What things have worked for you, over the long term, in losing weight and keeping it off?"

Please share your thoughts with the rest of us. 

Customers Have Long Memories

Posted April 28, 2005, 08:53 AM | Ideas For Life | Comments (1)

My good friend and best-selling author, Harvey Mackay wrote the following column and sent it to me this morning via email. I thought you'd enjoy it.

Customers have long memories

By Harvey Mackay

Remember me? I'm the person who goes into a restaurant, sits down patiently and waits while the servers do everything but take my order. I'm the person who goes into a department store and stands quietly while the sales people finish their little chitchat.

I'm the person who goes into a reception area on time for a business appointment, and stands by the desk while the receptionist finishes her personal phone call.

You might say I'm a patient person. But do you know who else I am?

I'm the person who never comes back!

It amuses me to see you spending money on advertising to try and get me to visit your establishment again. When I was there in the first place, and all you had to do was show me a little courtesy.

Over the years, I've written, I've spoken and I've even shouted hundreds of times from the tallest tree about customer service. Plenty of others have done the same. So why does it continue to be such an issue?

Continue reading "Customers Have Long Memories"

Finding Neverland

Posted April 25, 2005, 11:00 PM | Ideas For Life | Comments (1)

Sorry I've been MIA for the past week. The schedule's been crazy and I've been travelling.  Lame excuse, but it's the best I've got.

I finally saw the movie Finding Neverland since it recently came out on DVD.  For whatever reason, when it was playing in the theaters, I never had a strong attraction to it. 

I'm glad I finally got around to it because it's FANTASTIC.  Do yourself a favor and rent it or buy it. 

Continue reading "Finding Neverland"

A Dream Come True at Augusta National

Posted April 15, 2005, 05:39 PM | Stories For Life | Comments (2)

0413124644_001_6 In 1997, I was lucky enough to watch the Masters Golf tournament in person when Tiger Woods destroyed the field by 12 shots. My dad was with me and it was an awesome experience. When Tiger sunk his final putt on the 18th hole, I resolved to find a way to someday play the incredible Augusta National golf course.

It was a great goal to have, but as I found out, it is one of the hardest things to do in all of sports. The hallowed ground there is hallowed for a reason, and a big part is the mystique and difficulty involved in receiving an invitation to play.

So, as I traveled around the country speaking to various audiences, I began to “put it out there” by telling people about my dream and asking for their help. I received dozens of offers from people who claimed to be able to make my goal a reality, and none of them were successful… until a year ago, when in early April I received a call from Jim, a friend of mine who actually lives in Augusta, Georgia.

Jim told me he was working with a gentleman by the name of Mike, who was a cousin of a member. While Jim was talking with him one day, Mike got his cousin on the phone and asked him if he could arrange a round with yours truly. His cousin agreed and they set up a tee time for Friday, April 23rd, 2004! I couldn’t believe it was finally going to happen!

Continue reading "A Dream Come True at Augusta National"

Nanny 911 is Great TV

Posted April 13, 2005, 06:00 PM | Ideas For Life | Comments (3)

There is no question that television is mostly garbage. But there are some shows that really do a great job of providing valuable life improvement information in an entertaining format. Nanny 911 is one of them and, believe it or not, it's on Fox!

If you're a parent, plan to be a parent, or have someone you love who's a parent, you really should check it out. It airs Mondays at 7pm central and offers some incredible information on how to handle kids. Week after week, guess what the major lesson is? It's NOT the kids! In every case, the problem lies with the parents.

In a single hour, you see how a family is transformed from completely out of control to at least having some level of guidance on getting themselves onto a better path. It's an informational, emotional, inspirational ride. I'd highly recommend it.

Anyone else have any "Great TV" recommendations?

How To Get Everything You Want -- Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible

Posted April 12, 2005, 04:08 PM | Ideas For Life | Comments (0)

If you're interested in achieving your goals, you should do yourself a favor and check out my good friend Brian Tracy's book "Goals!" It's really a solid effort on a topic that's important for anyone truly dedicated to living a Better Life.

If you don't know Brian, you should get to know him and what he does. Check out his website. Sign up for one of his newsletters. Attend one of his events. Purchase any of his products (they all have a 1 year unconditional guarantee). He's a true student of personal development and has done a great job of assembling and distributing that information in an easy-to-understand way.

Tell him Better Life sent you! :)

A Must Read For Anyone Interested In Blogging

Posted April 11, 2005, 09:50 PM | Ideas For Life | Comments (1)

As you can probably tell, I'm a big fan of the blogging phenomenon. There's nothing better than creating real conversations with real people about real ideas. Direct, unsanitized, and on purpose.

This past week I read a great book on blogging aptly titled "Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation" by Hugh Hewitt. It's an easy read with great content.

Mr. Hewitt talks about:
- Why the blogging phenomenon is important
- Where it came from
- How it gained significance
- Why it's still very early in its lifecycle
- What people and organizations can gain by joining in
- Tons of recommended blogs to check out
- How to get started
- How to promote your blog
- And tons of other very helpful information

During my first read, I realized how much of an amateur I am at this medium. During my second read, I'll be making a list of things I can do to get better. I hope you enjoy the upcoming improvements.

Two recommendations:
1. If you haven't already, start a blog! Why not? Share your thoughts. Stake your claim. You'll find great value in the process.
2. Buy this book! I've never met the author and don't have any affiliation with him. I just think it's important for all of us to understand an important cultural phenomenon.

Millions Attend Pope's Funeral... How Many Will Attend Yours?

Posted April 10, 2005, 10:47 PM | Ideas For Life | Comments (0)

Millions of people, including about 200 world leaders, travelled to Rome this past week to pay their respects to Pope John Paul II. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, it was an awesome sight.

I think when people are deciding whether or not to attend a funeral, they do it based upon a combination of who the person was, what they stood for, who they left behind and, most importantly, what kind of emotional connection they had with the deceased.

I believe those elements drove millions to attend the Pope's funeral and will determine how many people attend yours and mine.

If it were held today, how many people do you think would attend your funeral? Would it be dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? Would it include more than your family? Would people fly in from around the world?

I sure hope you understand that getting a lot of people to attend your funeral isn't the goal. The goal is thinking about what you'd have to become as a person and how many lives you'd have to positively influence in order to earn that large showing of respect.

All of us want our lives to have meaning and purpose. But wanting something and actually doing something about it are different things altogether.

It reminds me of a quote from Richard Bach's book Illusions...

"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't."

All Truth Goes Through Three Stages

Posted April 06, 2005, 10:09 AM | Ideas For Life | Comments (2)

According to German philosopher, Arthur Shopenhauer, all truth goes through three stages.

First, it will be ridiculed.

Second, it will be violently opposed.

Third, it will be accepted as self-evident.

I think that he was right. For years, I’ve watched ideas go through these steps. Some move through faster than others. Actually, the blogosphere is accelerating the process and that's a very good thing.

What does Shopenhauer’s idea mean to you and me? Well, when it comes to opportunity, it means that we need to involve ourselves in something during the first two stages, when it’s being ridiculed or violently opposed because, even though less than 3% of people will ever embrace a concept during those stages, that's where the opportunity is greatest. Leaders position themselves in the first two stages. Followers wait until it's self-evident. Simple as that.

So, if you’re getting ridiculed or violently opposed, cheer up! You may just be in the right place at the right time!

Unless of course, it’s a really bad idea. Then you’re being ridiculed and violently opposed for good reason.