What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?

Optimistic 3My Mom had a great life – filled with much love – some sorrow – but mostly happiness. She was a devoted mother to her 7 children, 15 grand children and 11 great grand children. But most importantly she was best friend and loving wife to my Dad for over 66 years. She may have been small in stature, but don’t let her size fool you – she was one tough lady. She had to – to keep five boys in line. But she managed to do it in such a way that you always knew she loved you unconditionally, no matter how many times you messed up. And trust me – we messed up on more than a few occasions.

She was a member of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps and an outspoken advocate for the fair treatment of veterans. My Mom and her poppy blanket where a big hit on National TV. She managed to get a front row seat on Remembrance Day in the Nations Capital, where she laid a wreath in my Dad’s honor. A memory our family will cherish forever.

Those who knew my Mom knew she never shied away from giving her opinion on a variety of topics. A trait that she passed on to her children. You always knew where you stood with her. She was a serial volunteer, serving on a number of committees in one capacity or another. Mom was a proud member of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Red Hat Society and a Lady of the Knight. An honor bestowed upon her because my Dad was a Forth Degree Knights of Columbus.

Mom had a great sense of humor and loved to socialize with her many friends. Where ever, and when ever you saw my Mom you knew my Dad wouldn’t be too far behind – they were inseparable. They are now where they were always meant to be – together. “When you look to the heavens perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where are loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy” – author unknown but rather fitting. My parent’s spirit will live on through us and our children’s children. They will always be our guiding light and soft place to fall.

My parents taught us to be respectful towards others. To say please and thank you and pardon me – old fashion values that should never go out of style. They taught us to stand up for ourselves and each other. That family is important. They reminded us that nothing worthwhile comes without a great deal of hard work and sacrifice; and if it was worth doing – it was worth doing well. They reminded us that if you weren’t willing to go all in – then don’t waste your time and energy. What life lessons will you pass on? What legacy will you leave behind?

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaking who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.

Everyone You Meet is Somebody’s Somebody

secret 5Every Friday night is date night with my 5-year-old grandchild. It’s our time to hang out and do what ever she wants to do. We usually start out at her favorite eatery and end up at the local toy store. I cherish the time we get to spend together. We where enjoying a fun moment when she playfully grabbed my hat and put it on. “Hey Poppa” she said – “I’m you and you are Mr. No Buddy”. It came as a shock to me because I’d never heard her say that before. I knew she was just repeating what she had heard at school. She didn’t realize how hurtful that saying can be.

Children are sponges. They soak up everything they see and hear. They are a reflection of the environment around them. Adults, especially parents, need to be mindful of the lessons they are teaching their children. Children aren’t born bullies. They learn that from others. Children aren’t born haters. They learn that from others. Children aren’t born racists. They learn that from others. You are the greatest influence in your child’s life. They take their lead from you.

What lessons are you teaching your child? Are you teaching them to be tolerant, compassionate and respectful of others?  Do they know what it means to be a good citizen, to be kind to others and lead by example? Do they know that everyone you meet is somebody’s somebody? You have a very important job to do. I hope you are up for the task. The next generation of parents are counting on you.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be reproduced without permission.  Brian is available for key note speeches or conducting workshops on a variety of soft-skills topics. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

Answering The Why Not Me Question?

Let's Get Focused ImageWe have all experienced heart ache, disappointment and tasted defeat at some point in our lives. As painful as they might be, they are all part of life. They are all part of the process. If you aren’t happy with the way things have turned out so far,  you have the power within you to change it. You have a choice. You can let your past dictate your future or, you can change the here and now. You can live a deliberate life. You can live the kind of life that you envisioned for yourself. Your life is the result of the choices you’ve made. If you want to change your life – make different choices.

Worth Remembering … “The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment.” – Eckhart Tolle

Where would you rather be, than where you are right now? What would you rather be doing, then what you are doing right now? What career would you rather have, then the career you have right now? I want you to take a moment and write it down on a blank piece of paper. What will you need to do to make that happen? I want you to write all those things down that need to fall into place. (Things like; I need to get a car, move to another city , go back to school, get a better paying job so I can save some money. What ever you need to do to accomplish your life’s goal, I want you to write it down)

Worth Remembering … “I am a firm believer in goal setting. Step by step. I can’t see any other way of accomplishing anything” – Michael Jordan

Congratulations! – You’ve just taken your first step. Now take each one of those things that need to happen and break them down into baby steps. Remember – “Anyone can eat an elephant one bite at a time”. The only difference between those that realize their full potential and those that don’t – are the ones who are willing to put in the time and effort and do the heavy lifting. If you are willing to do that, then there will be nothing that can stop you from accomplishing what you set out to do. You will fall down, you will feel like giving up, but I promise you – if you hang in there and keep working your plan, you will realize your goals. The only thing standing in your way is you. Are you ready to answer the “why not me” question? I hope so.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a key-note speaker or facilitator who can deliver an informative and entertaining session on a variety of soft-skills topics? Brian will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Visit http://briansmithpld.com

What I Have Come to Know so Far – Part II

I am just 4 months away from the 65th birthday. (I know it’s hard to believe – but it’s true :-)) As I reach yet another milestone in my life I thought it would be a good time to take stock of what I have come to know so far. This is my second installment.  They appear here in no particular order.

I have come to know:

  • You don’t manage time – you manage your life so you have the time to do what is important to you.
  • 90% of playing good golf takes place between your ears.
  • Your attitude is 100% in your control. Only you get to decide how you want to react.
  • Assume nothing
  • Cats are somewhat manageable
  • Kindness is reciprocal. If you are kind to someone they will most likely be kind to you in return
  • If it looks like a rose, and smells like a rose, you can bet almost for certain that it is a rose
  • Become a student of human behavior. People will reveal their true self
  • If you can’t communicate effectively you can’t manage or lead others.
  • I love french fries with mayo (Hellman’s of course)
  • A great hamburger is hard to beat (Pizza is a close second)
  • Life is a planned event. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Have a plan and work your plan
  • All work and no play does make Brian a dull boy.
  • Stress is manageable. You can develop good coping skills
  • Spandex is not a god given right. Some people should resist the urge to wear them
  • 60 is not the new 40. 60 is 60. I can’t do some of the physical stuff that I could do when I was 40.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker or workshop facilitator on a variety of soft-skills topics? Brian will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Call today. Visit http://briansmithpld.com or email Brian at – brian@briansmithpld.com