Death is Fatal But Never Final

optimisticMy Dad passed away on November 17 – 2012. Just six days after we celebrated Remembrance Day in his hospital room. My Dad, like so many others of his generation, was a veteran of the Second World War. He taught me the value of hard work and applying yourself. He always made the best with what he had, always striving for something more. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. I know his spirit lives on. He’s watching over me and helping to guide me. I like to think that we’ll meet again some day when my time comes. I don’t know that for certain, no one really does, but I’m hopeful just-the-same.

We all have someone in our lives who have passed away all to soon. I was reminded of that the other day when I got the news that a very close and dear friend of mine has stage two lung cancer. She’s beat cancer twice now – and I’m optimistic that she’ll beat it for a third time. Unfortunately the odds aren’t in her favor. She’s getting on in years now and each fight gets more difficult for her to win. Her Doctor feels that surgery will be too evasive and suggested radiation and chemotherapy. She’s leaning towards taking the treatment, but  hasn’t decided yet what she’s going to do.

She’s earned the right to do what ever she thinks is right for her. I believe we all should have that right. The right to leave on our own terms. I know my Dad left on his. Whatever she decides to do I wanted her to know that I’m thinking of her. That I love her – That she made a difference in my life. Her spirit will live on through me and others she has touched. She will never be forgotten. What kind of legacy will you leave behind? What would you like people to say about you when you pass on? Death is fatal, but never final. Make your life memorable.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Management expert, author and speaker specializing in soft-skills training and leadership development. Looking for a speaker? Planning a lunch-n-learn or seminar? Call me – let’s talk.

Failure is a Detour – Never a Dead End Street

Pot of Gold“Failure is a detour – never a dead-end street”. I love that quote by Zig Zigler. No one – and I mean no one is perfect! We have all experienced failure at one time or another. In spite of all the pre-planning we do, nothing seems to go off without a hitch.  Getting knocked down has never been an issue for me. I get knocked down all the time. But not getting back up is. I look at the mistakes I’ve made – and trust me I’ve made plenty – as simply an opportunity to learn from them, make the necessary adjustments so I don’t make the same mistake too many times, and then begin again.

Worth Remembering … “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have discovered 10,000 ways that do not work.” – Thomas Edison.

How you look at failure – your failures and the failures of others, makes all the difference in the world. Attitude – your attitude and how you choose to react to any given situation, is a choice that only you get to make. You can beat yourself up over them – or you can choose to learn from them. No one can force you to react a certain way. When you get knocked down I want you to react in a way that is going to get you what you want. When you think about your failures – think of them as opportunities to grow.

Worth Remembering … “Your attitude determines your altitude.” – Covey

I can’t help but get inspired watching the Olympic’s.  The hard work and dedication that each athlete has put into preparing themselves over the last four years for this moment, is incredible. All they can do now, is do their best. All they can do is walk away from that experience knowing that they gave it their all. Winning a medal is a bonus. Discovering who you are and what you are capable of doing when you put your heart and soul into something, is the real prize. Believing in yourself – knowing that there is nothing that you can’t overcome – makes it all worthwhile. Always remember that failure is a detour – never a dead-end street.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speeches and delivering seminars on a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, team building, coping with stress, dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better and developing the leader in you. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you visit