Change the future…touch a life…

April 16, 2018

From today’s Jack’s Winning Words blog post comes this gem sent in by one of his followers. If you want to touch the past, touch a rock.  If you want to touch the present, touch a flower.  If you want to touch the future, touch a life.”  (Sent by Al Weidlich)

That thought about changing the future by touching a life is the foundation of many organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs, AA and NA and many more. It is all about touching other people and showing them compassion and caring. Those “touches” have the power to change people’s lives. Coincidentally they also change the lives of those who reach out to touch others.

We have become a society that is distracted and entertained by technology to such ancouple-looking-at-phones extent that we don’t look away from it long enough to see the lives that need touching as they pass us by. How can one see the distress and fear in the eyes of someone in need, if our eyes are glued to the screens of our smartphones? How can one have the conversation that leads to understanding of those needs if one is busy texting someone else with the handshakelatest “news” of our day?

Perhaps it is time to put away our technology and look around to see the people who share our lives. They may not be friends right now; but they could be. They may not need help right now; but they might. You will never know the pleasure of having them as a friend or the joy of helping them with a problem if you never take the time to reach out and touch their life. Something as simple as a friendly greeting may be all it takes to engage them enough to touch their life. Instead of looking away as you pass, look at them and see them as a person that it might be interesting to know.

Sure there is time to touch the past, whether it be a rock or an old photo; and there is time to touch the present, which we do with the things around us every day; but, it is our ability to touch the future and make a difference in it by touching the lives of others that is exciting. Touching things from the past or present has little impact upon them (other than perhaps to leave a fingerprint); however, we can change the course of history by complimenttouching and improving the lives of others. How powerful is that? Nothing else that you will do with your life will have greater impact than changing the lives of others for the better.

So, reach out this week and touch the lives of others. At the end of the day, think back on the opportunities to touch other lives that you took and those that you missed and resolve to do better tomorrow. I think that you will also realize the powerful changes that have occurred in your life because you made that effort and because others have made the effort to touch your life.

Put down those phones and stay in touch.

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Hold on, the future is starting now…

January 10, 2017

“I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”  (Homer) – as seen recently on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

VR2Isn’t it amazing that the wisdom of so long ago, such as that of Homer, is so applicable in today’s world. One wonders if William Shakespeare was somehow channeling Homer when he said – “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

In more modern times Steve Jobs put it this way – “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

I might have added under Steve’s category of whatever (things to trust) that trusting God is a good way to face the future. I have posted here before about the cathartic moment in my life when I finally surrendered myself to God and prayed “Not my will, but thy will be done.” From that moment on, for me the future held not fear, but promise.

How do you face your future? Is the future a scary place that you’d rather not think about or a grand adventure just waiting for you to jump aboard? Do you see the future as being full of dangers or full of opportunities? Are you trying to hide from the future or boldly woman-prayingjumping into it? How have you prepared for the future? Have you been sitting in fear contemplating all that could go wrong or confidently striding forward in anticipation of all that will go right?

The future is in your own hands; however, you don’t have to face it alone, God is always with you. He has told you that –

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

So, like Steve Jobs said; do not worry about connecting the dots of your future. God has a plan for connecting those dots and will be there to help you. He will give you the strength that you need, the perseverance that is required and the resolve to get to that future, if you just trust in His plans for you.

The future starts now, are you ready to go?


And then the sun came up…

November 9, 2016

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today.  It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”  (Charles Schulz) – from the post on Jack’s Winning Words on the day after the recent Presidential election.

The reactions to the U.S. election around the world ranged from the pollsters’ and pundits’ shock and disbelief to a general sense worry and fear. The stock markets of the world swooned and nervous governments everywhere when back to the drawing boards to try to figure outme what this will mean to them. Many went to bed not knowing the outcome; some did not go to bed at all. And then the sun came up.
The world did not end and will not end because of the election of Donald Trump to be President of the United States. The awesome power and responsibilities of that office seemed to sink-in to the President Elect a bit as he delivered his winning speech to supporters, pledging to be a President for all of the people and trying to reassure allies and adversaries around the world that he will act prudently and with restraint. He had been through a dark and brutal campaign for almost two years; and then the sun came up.

President Elect Trump’s campaign tapped into and aligned itself with the frustration and anger of the American electorate – a frustration with the gridlock and self-dealing of Washington politicians and the anger of feeling helpless as the world-wide economy shifted and took jobs with it to other countries. That anger and frustration sometimes turned very dark, but it also fueled a movement bent on change, no matter what the cost. Perhaps there will be real good come out of some of that change. Whatever the immediate future holds, there will always be a tomorrow and another opportunity to change again. A old saying tells us that it is always darkest before the dawn.  And then the sun came up.

For those with tears in their eyes and fears in their hearts who supported Secretary
Clinton, it is hard to see anything positive from the outcome; however, they must not lose faith in the basic goodness and principals upon which our country was founded. Whether
it veers slightly to the right or slightly to the left it continues to move forward as the greatest example of a free people ruling jesus-as-lightthemselves for their common good and the good of the world. We print the foundation of our beliefs as a people on our money – In God we Trust.

And then the Son comes up.

God bless America!


What it was, what it is and what it yet may be…

July 15, 2015

“People always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”  (Marcel Pagnol) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Ways blog recently.

I have some fond memories from the past, but I’m not sure that those really were “the good ole days.”  There wereman relaxing
lots of things that could have been better back then and many of them have gotten better. Perhaps we were better off somehow when we were not as connected as we are now. There is a simple contentment in being blissfully ignorant about what is happening around you.

politiciaN SPEAKINGPoliticians almost always try to paint a picture of better days ahead for America, as if the present is somehow terrible, especially if the other party can somehow be blamed for the mess that they say we are currently suffering. Most of us likely think that things will get better in the future, although the recent Great Recession has left a lingering pessimism about that future. For some the good ole days will forever be the pre-recession time when money flowed like water and no one was concerned about tomorrow.

As for the present, many have adopted the phrase “it is what it is” in a defeatist acceptance of things that need to be changed or improved. I prefer to say “it is what we make of it” and look for ways to change the things that need attention. What is you view of the present? Is it a pit that you feel trapped in or a springboard for tomorrow? Are afraidyou just accepting the day as it happens or using the day to make things happen? Do you see yourself as a victim of circumstances or as an victor in the daily struggles of life. Do you ask “Why me?” or say “Why not me?” Are you looking for excuses or looking for opportunities? The day , the week, the month and the rest of your life is what it yet may be. What are you doing with that?

The future may be less resolved than you would like it to be, but it is only through your resolve that it becomes clear. It is what you make it. Have a great day and resolve to look for opportunities not excuses.


Start the year by considering three words, three words and five words…

January 1, 2015

The words to pause and consider are …What it was, what it is and what it yet may be.

The media tend to spend a lot of time at this time of the year looking back on what was and pundits are called upon to look ahead and make predictions (which, of course are reviewed at the end of the next year to see which came true).

What it was – It’s not a bad idea in our own lives to pause and look back at what was, realizing that all of those things (both good and bad) are in the past. The value in looking back is to try to learn from those things and, hopefully, be able to do less of the bad things and more of the good into the future. This is something that should not be dwelled upon for too long.

What it is – Pausing to look at where you are at today gives you the foundation for making thinking hardchanges. Taking the time to do an honest assessment of your current situation will allow you to plan properly for the prospects that you see (or desire) in the future.  The key is to be realistic with yourself.  Don’t BS yourself if you hope to plan to get ahead. Sometimes it is valuable to get some honest third party input on this topic. You may need that to honestly answer the question, “Am I as good as I think I am?” More on why that is important below.

What it yet may be– This is the most important thing to think about and should be is a combination of your hopes, dreams and aspirations. More importantly these should be the thingswomen dreaming that help you set your goals. Being realistic about your goals in life is important, too. I have read many stories about very successful people who were able to set high, but realistic goals, once they let a dose of reality into their planning. It’s great to have a dream of being a major sports star or perhaps a Rock Star; but, if you’re only a mediocre athlete or an average singer in a small garage band it may be time to get real. If you love the industry and want to remain a part of it, perhaps you can focus on being one of the successful industry players around the periphery – sports or music agent or producer or reaching goalperhaps a stage hand or umpiring official. Many people who take those routes end up quite successful and still get to hang around with the sports or entertainment performers that they love.  An important point here is that taking this route may be better for you than abandoning your dreams altogether and looking back later with a bad case of the coulda, woudlda, shoulda’s.

Where do you go from here?

For some the year may have ended in a failed marriage. I hit that a lot in my real estate business. This process of reflection, assessment and planning provides the opportunity to clean the slate and start fresh, perhaps with a new relationship in your future. A clean slate in those cases doesn’t just mean trying to wipe away the memories of the ex-partner. It also means trying to see and old cooupleunderstand the roles that BOTH parties may have had in the failure of the marriage. Once you can see the things that perhaps you did or could have done differently in the partnership to make it work, you are on your way towards maybe having a successful second chance – one that works this time. Trying to go forward with the chip on your shoulder that the fault was all the other person’s is a sure receipt for repeating the disaster. That person is gone. Focus upon fixing the person that you still have with you.

For some, perhaps the year ended in loneliness because of the loss of a life partner. There is no reason that you cannot find happiness and companionship again with another person. There are introductionsocieties in which a widow is expected to live alone for the rest of their life; ours is not one of them. Any partner with whom you were happy would want you to continue to be happy and that means having the companionship of someone new. Appreciate what you had in the past, but move on with life. You needn’t fear having to go back into the dating game. You might be surprised how the “game” has changed, especially if you are a bit older. Maturity does a wonderful job of refocusing people away from the superficial things that seem so important to the young and onto the things that actually provide the foundation for lasting relationships – personality, humor, interests, etc. Modern technologies and social media have also made it much easier to find a new partner.

For most of us the challenges of life as we start a new year aren’t quite as big or dramatic; so, for us this time reflection, assessment and planning is a chance or renewals  or mid-course corrections. Maybe we just need to renew and revitalize our goals, perhaps taking this opportunity to reprioritize some of the plans that we’ve been executing upon. For some, maybe it is time for a mid-course correction. You’ve been working towards your goals for some time and now you’ve facing new daylooked up and assessed. Are those goals still valid? Is that what you really want to achieve; or, do you now see that this either the wrong destination or just a stop on the journey towards where you really want to end up? Either way, it’s good to find that out, so that you can make course corrections. Maybe you got a degree in one thing and now realize that you don’t want to pursue that field as a career. Your degree is still worth something and maybe you can apply some of what you learned in a different field. Maybe it will just provide the base from which you can get further education in the field that you now see for yourself. The important thing is to realize that you need to change courses and go for it.

So, take time as you pause to begin a new year and look back on “What it was”, take a good look at ”What it is” and then spend some time contemplating “What it yet may be.” The past is written in the books; you are living in the present; but, the future is yours to shape. Have a great year ahead – it is yet to be.