Arnie’s Legacy and Why It Should Matter To Us

The golfing world lost a world-class champion as Arnold Palmer died on the weekend. He will always be considered a legend around the world.

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Golf has had it’s share of great champions over the years but perhaps Arnold Palmer stands out above them all.

His golfing style was unique and his influence in the sport of golf is unmatched.

His professional career coincided with the the advent of television which helped propel him into the world as an ambassador of the game. The game of golf grew as he succeeded as a professional.

But what strikes me now is that his best golf as a professional was over 50 years ago.  And yet he’s as popular now as when he won his first major in 1958.

His Legacy

It seems that the only times we consider our own legacy is during a valedictorian’s graduation speech or someone’s funeral. So here we are again, now in light of Arnold Palmer’s death, faced with questions about life, meaning and purpose. These may seem to be simply philosophical in nature but they get to the core of who we are and why we’re here.

He made the most of what he had been given.

Unlike many golfers, Arnold Palmer, grew up “on the other side of the tracks” the son of a greens keeper in Pennsylvania. Considered a “blue-collar” golfer perhaps endeared him to his fans. He didn’t let his modest beginnings keep him from pursuing his passion. He played the course after hours often accompanied by his mother after the rest of the golfers had finished.

He followed his passion

“The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.” Arnold Palmer

He recognized his ability to play the game of golf and worked hard to improve. He had a burning desire for the game and a style all his own. No one did it like he did. His signature swing would be recognized around the world but never duplicated. As his televised career continued to explode, he became a national celebrity.

He left a lasting impact on people

Perhaps, more than his total number of victories (62) or Majors won (7); the reason Arnold Palmer will be remembered with such fondness because of the way he treated people. He was always making eye contact with the fans, shaking hands, signing autographs, establishing a personal connection with everyone he came in contact with.

He inspired others with his focus, passion, ability and love of people. He not only excelled at what he did, but in how he did it. And people loved him for it.

What is your legacy going to be?

I think most people want to be able to someday look back on their lives confident that they made the most of them. I know that’s what I want.

How can we do that?

I believe God has created each one of us with a specific purpose in mind. I don’t know about you but I find that to be an incredible thing; and something to be discovered and lived.

The apostle Paul had no doubt about what his life’s purpose was.

“I no longer consider my life as dear unto myself; only that I fulfill the mission and calling given to me by God himself.” 

Acts 20:24

Passions + skills & abilities + personality = your mission

Your dreams and passions. What do you love to do? What do you do that makes time stand still or cause you to lose track of time altogether.

Your skills and abilities. What comes naturally to you? What do others find difficult that you don’t? What problems do you solve for others?

Your Personality. Are you creative? Do you like to work alone or in a group? Are you analytical? Verbal? Adventurous? Dominant? Solemn? Outgoing? Calm? Logical?

Your Mission Is Your Legacy…Live it Now

As you get clear on these three things, your mission and purpose will as well. When we live according to our passions, abilities and our personality we begin to live our legacy.

Arnold Palmer has left a legacy. You and I will leave a legacy too. So why don’t we live it now.

Q. What do you want your legacy to be and why?

Q. How are you living it now?

Q. What’s hindering you from living a meaningful legacy today?

Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 30-minute discovery call. Lets talk.

Don’t Be This Person

A couple of weeks ago Kathy and I got away to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. Our first night in Toronto included a dinner boat cruise around the harbour.

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It was a beautiful night, the water was calm and the food was good. We enjoyed a relaxing meal and took in the smells, sights and sounds of the city skyline.

This particular cruise was limited to 40 guests and I imagine the hosts prepared what they thought would be enough food for everyone on board.

After the main course, we eventually made our way to the dessert table only to discover that there seemed to be more people than sweets.  Then I overheard some of the staff expressing their dismay that some guests helped themselves to enough desserts to leave them short.

With guests inquiring as to why they didn’t have something to go with their coffee and tea, the staff continued to scramble. I felt bad for them as they tried to resolve the problem.

Just then I walked by a table where a couple were sitting and they had at least 6 desserts in front of them (I don’t know if they had already eaten some). They appeared to be oblivious to what was going on, but sitting only a few feet from the commotion, I wondered how that was possible.

Hey, in the scheme of things, a few people going without dessert is not a big deal. Most of us could do without anyway, right?

Don’t Be This Person

I was embarrassed for the couple. I guess they were still hungry, but I don’t understand how someone can take so much at the expense of others.

Maybe it has something to do with what marriage counsellor Willard Harley describes as a basic concept he calls the giver and taker:

“All of us want to make a difference in the lives of other. We want others to be happy, and we want to contribute to their happiness. When we feel that way, our Giver is influencing us. The Giver’s rule is do whatever you can to make others happy and avoid anything that makes others unhappy, even if it makes you unhappy. It encourages us to use that rule in our relationships with other people.

But we also want the best for ourselves. We want to be happy, too. When we feel that way, our Taker is influencing us. The Taker’s rule is do whatever you can to make yourself happy, and avoid anything that makes yourself unhappy, even if it makes others unhappy. If that rule ever makes sense to you, it’s because your Taker is in control.

These two primitive aspects of our personality are usually balanced in our dealings with others.”

I want to be a giver not a taker, don’t you?

I guess the couple hoarding the desserts were acting from their “taker” instincts. But what a lousy way to live, don’t you think?

  • Put others first
  • Do unto others
  • Be kind
  • Love your neighbour

These are values that most of us have been taught to live out. To be a giver and not a taker.

Being a giver rather than a taker doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Some things we can give:

  • A smile
  • A compliment
  • A gift
  • Your anticipated parking spot
  • Room to merge
  • A kiss/ hug
  • Effort
  • A donation
  • Your time
  • Wise counsel
  • Forgiveness
  • Your seat on the bus
  • Encouragement

Being a giver rather than a taker is a matter of choice; a daily choice that becomes a habit; a habit that then can become a way of life. So don’t be that person. Be a giver not a taker.

I recently launched my first book and in the spirit of giving I’d love to give you a free copy. The book is called, “Parenting From Prison: 5 Lessons From Kids Behind bars.” 

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In it, I share my experience of speaking to about 50 teenagers at a juvenile detention centre in Ohio. It was a privilege to spend time there, not only sharing my story but hearing some of theirs as well. We spent about an hour in Q&A and some of their questions are highlighted in the book, as they point to specific parenting principles.

I you would like a copy or know of someone who might benefit form it, please for to the link below to get your free copy now.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0G4K6T#nav-subnav

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01M0G4K6T

The book is free for about 48 hours so please get it ASAP. And hey, if you would, leave a review on Amazon, that would be awesome. Thanks so much.

The Secret To Not Dropping Your Phone in the Toilet

I came across a report recently that said that 19% of smartphone users have dropped their phone in the toilet at least once. That means that if there are 5 in your household, each with their own phone, chances are one of you has seen your phone go for a swim.

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Sure I know people who have experienced this relatively new phenomenon, but apparently smartphones ending up in the toilet is a larger issue than I realized.

Perhaps it is more complicated than this, but I’d like to suggest a solution that I think can make a dent in those numbers.

Stop taking your phone into the bathroom!

Maybe it’s too simplistic or I am missing something (wouldn’t be the first time) but is it possible to simply leave our phones outside the bathroom…say, on a dresser, in a purse or the office while we “go”?

I’m not a doctor but isn’t there a hygiene issue here? If you are, please speak to this, but it can’t be a good thing to scroll through our newsfeed, check Facebook post likes or text our best friend while we’re taking care of business, can it? Seems kind of gross to me.

I can hear someone respond with, “You’ve got to be kidding. I get some of my best social media time while on a break in the bathroom.” Others simply just never leave their phones out of their sight, ever.

Hey, I’m not against smartphones. I have one, I like it, it’s super helpful and convenient. Like you I check emails, listen to music or podcasts, I text and I search social media.

I remember my first phone. It was new and exciting and all of a sudden I had access to things that until then I had to go to my office for. Soon, I was emailing people at 11pm and checking sports scores in the middle of the night if I couldn’t sleep. It was cool. But the advent of the smartphone also meant I had to learn new behaviours and new boundaries. This became obvious when one night Kathy and I were watching TV when I received an email from a distraught person. I soon was in an email conversation that could have easily gone on indefinitely.

That’s when I first saw that this wonderful device while beneficial, could actually interfere with my life. I’ve been trying to learn and live with the tension ever since.

I am concerned that phones can have a negative impact on things like our schedules, our free time, and our relationships. The other day I saw a couple in our cafe, who stopped in for lunch. They were there for over an hour and each of them were on their own phones the entire time. They never talked to each other, at all. I actually had another customer come to me and comment on the situation with deep sadness in his eyes.

Like with so many things in our lives, the smartphone has lead to new behaviours. Behaviours that can serve us or hurt us. At their worst, they can become addictive.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines addiction as, a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble); an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.” 

I would add that a behaviour could be an addiction when it interferes with healthy functioning in other areas of our lives.

Clues you might be addicted to your phone:

  • your phone is in your hand 24/7 (at least while you’re awake)
  • you are on your phone in social settings (parties, family dinner etc)
  • you take it into the bathroom
  • you check your phone for no reason, only because it’s there
  • you use your phone to avoid silence
  • checking your phone is the first thing you do in the morning and last thing at night
  • you don’t take a vacation from your phone when on vacation
  • you check and answer emails and texts all day long
  • you’re on your phone while eating
  • you’re texting your friend while on a date

I’m concerned that our excessive use of smartphones could lead to greater harm for ourselves and our relationships without some appropriate boundaries.

Here are some suggestions that may help:

  • don’t sleep with your phone under your pillow
  • leave all phones off during family dinner
  • don’t answer your phone during a meeting with a co-worker or business associate
  • when out with a friend for coffee, stay focused on each other
  • limit texting to information not conversation
  • have verbal conversations
  • take extended breaks from technology
  • control the use of your phone, don’t let it control you.

Do you have a problem with dropping your smartphone into the toilet? Then stop taking it into the bathroom. It might be the healthiest decision you make.

If your phone is interfering with other important areas of your life, like your relationships, productivity and personal health, then maybe it’s time to make some changes.

How about you?

How do you manage your phone?

Do you control your phone or does your phone control you? If you’re not sure, ask someone close to you. I’m sure they will have some helpful feedback.

What is one decision you can make today, to establish a healthy boundary with your phone?

Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 30-minute discovery call. Lets talk.

 

Did You Look Forward to Work Today?

3 Keys to Finding Fulfillment

For many of us, Labor Day signals the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year. While it might be just another long-weekend to most of us now, it began back in the late 1800’s as a labor movement to improve conditions for Canadian and American workers.

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My understanding is that the Toronto Printers Union was instrumental in creating significant changes. One of the issues they were fighting for was the introduction of a shorter work week; more specifically a nine-hour work day.

After 3 years of lobbying, the union went on strike and marched to Queen’s Park in protest. While changes were not immediate, the “Nine-Hour Movement” began to spread across the country.

Today, Labor Day may be more about celebrating the last days of summer, BBQ and back to school, than a tribute to the labor force of the past. But those early pioneers have had a tremendous impact on our current conditions in the workplace.

Has Anything Changed?

You’ve seen the statistics haven’t you? Over 70% of the employees dislike their jobs and find them unfulfilling. Why is that? I suppose there are countless reasons why people hate their jobs…here are some that I hear about.

  • a difficult boss
  • office politics
  • poor management
  • gossip between co-workers
  • never-ending drama
  • monotonous duties
  • endless meetings
  • unmet expectations
  • long hours
  • lack of boundaries between work and personal time
  • sense of isolation between work and company outcomes
  • lack of recognition/ appreciation from boss
  • not using strengths on a regular basis
  • boredom

Would you add anything to this list?

Finding Fulfillment in Your Work

If you are feeling stressed, anxious or discouraged at work, it could be due to any of the reasons listed above. But what I have learned is that fulfillment in our work happens when the following 3 things are present:

Passion: are you passionate about what you do? what do you love to do? what are you doing that causes you to lose track of time? do you love what you do?

Proficiency: what are you good at? are you confident in your abilities? what do you find easy to do that others find difficult? on what do others ask for your help? is there a clear connection between your abilities and your job requirements?

Profitability: do you feel appropriately compensated? are you making the income you hoped for or need at this stage of your life?

The challenge is finding work, whether as an employee or entrepreneur, that combines all three of these aspects of work. You can’t find fulfillment if only two of these are present.

Passion + profitability – proficiency = stress

Most people feel overwhelmed at one point or another, especially when starting a new job or business. But there are countless ways to improve your knowledge or skill level today. Formal education is only one way to do it. There is a book, podcast or online course for just about anything you can think of. This “First day of school” serves as a reminder that you’re never too young or too old to learn.

One of the best ways to manage stress is to be as prepared as possible. Set aside some time and money if necessary, and work on yourself. It’s a great investment. There is always more to learn so the process never really ends; embrace it. Never stop learning.

Passion + proficiency – profitability = a hobby

There are incredible stories of people taking their passions and turning them into a business idea. But not every hobby has a market. Sometimes a hobby should just remain a hobby. Maybe it’s so specific that it doesn’t lend itself to becoming a business. Or maybe, if you spent all your time on your hobby rather than Saturdays, it would become less fulfilling. Too much of a good thing, perhaps. Allow your day job to fund your hobby and your ability to enjoy it. That’s okay. If you’re not bringing home the income you want, maybe it’s time to consider a side job or business.

Proficiency + profitability – passion = boredom.  

Some people know when they are children what they want to do when they get older. Some struggle their entire lives to find their passion. But just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you should do it. Doing something just because you’re able to or because others expect you to, could lead to boredom and dissatisfaction. If you’re not passionate about what you do, why are you doing it? I’m not suggesting that you quit today. But we have access to information and opportunities like never before. It might be advancement with your current employer or a new role within your current company. Or maybe you start devoting 10 hours a week to a new business idea…put a plan together…take action.  Start something on the side that excites you and see where it goes.

What do you think?

Does your work bring together your passion, proficiency and income? Why or why not?

Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 30-minute discovery call. Lets talk.