Posts tagged with ‘love life’

24 nov

The 3 Ways We (Accidentally) Help Our Kids Fail

JayForteI know we don’t mean to help our kids fail; sometimes we just do too much for them – we don’t make them do their work. Maybe we love them too much and want their lives to be easy. But too much of the wrong kind of help doesn’t prepare them define who they are, identify their talents, find their best place in the world and own their lives. I am a father of three daughters. I have learned some things that I feel have prepared them to step up and stand out in their lives – to own their lives. And I thought it was worth sharing.

My personal perspective is that the greatest gift we receive in life is the ability to invent our lives – we can create each day in the way we choose. And what we need to help us invent extraordinary lives – extraordinary according to our terms – we already have. We are born with unique talents and strengths (gifts) that exhibit themselves through our abilities and passions. We are great at some things, not others. We love some things and not others. Each of us is unique. Each of us is different. Learning about this difference is the key to inventing our most amazing lives, and helping our kids invent theirs.

For example, I am good at and love details, precision, social research and writing. My kids are not at all like this. They are more social, more scientific and are more take-charge. They would hate my job. And though I may feel that my job would be good fit for them and would give the resources to be successful in life, they don’t feel this. They must get up each morning and be thrilled by life. Following in my footsteps is not be the best choice for any or all of them. They need to choose for themselves those things that play to their particular talents, interests and passions. This is how they become successful. This is not what many parents do.

As a greatness coach and a parent, here are the most significant three ways I see that we (accidentally) help our kids to fail:

1. We do not help them know themselves – what they are good at and what they are passionate about. So many of today’s kids are very self-unaware; they have little sense of who they are, what their talents are and what they are passionate about. They go through life on autopilot – being directed by parents and friends – doing very little of their own thinking.

It is our role as parents to help them learn how to identify their talents, interests and passions. Many times our talents are so closely connected to how we think that we have a difficult time identifying them. This is a great opportunity for parents to share what they see in their kids and dialog about it. Catching a kid doing something great, and commenting on it, helps him notice his behaviors. And as much as we learn about what we do well, we also learn about what we don’t do well – also critical information. We aren’t good at everything but we each are good at some things. Learn to identify those things and we help our children learn to play to their strengths.

2. We don’t show them enough of their world, and talk to them about their options, so they can choose wisely in work and life. Critical to their success in life is first to know themselves, then to know their world. Their greatest success and happiness will be in finding places in their world that allow them to use what they are great – to have their greatest impact. For that, they must know their world to be able to choose wisely.

Connecting to what our kids are seeing and hearing is critical – particularly in today’s intellectual age. Kids see so much more than their Boomer parents saw at their age. And this information needs conversation – to help them become aware of what appeals to them and what does not. Family vacations, reading together, reviewing websites together, learning projects and being active in the community are ways to show kids what things are available – how large the world is. The more kids start to show interest in areas, the more they should be encouraged to investigate careers and work in those areas.

3. We define happiness for them by telling them who they should be, what they should do for work and how they should live. Many parents believe they know better so they choose their kid’s life directions. I remember telling my father as he told me what my profession was to be, that for me to be successful, happy and own my life, the choice about who I am, what I do and how I live, must be mine. Parents take away life accountability when they dictate the steps of life. The more we encourage our kids to know themselves and to know their world, the better decisions they will make about their lives. This allow us to be the guide from the side in their lives – available for counsel but always relinquishing the decision to the life owner. This is critical to help create the next generation of responsible, happy and personally successful people.

Each of us receives the gift of inventing one life – our own. It is entirely our choice how large or small we invent that life. In my coaching, I regularly see that parents want to ensure their children have happy and successful lives, so they take over and dictate life’s decisions. This generally creates the opposite response – instead of helping our kids feel successful and love their lives, they become unhappy and disappointed, feeling like they are living someone else’s life.

Our greatest role is to prepare our kids to take the baton and run their lives. We help them run successfully when we guide them to discover their unique greatness, understand their world, then find their best fit. There is a great place for each of us in life. Find that place and we love our lives. And loving life is what we want most for our kids.

Jay Forte is a business and motivational speaker, and greatness coach. He is the author of The Greatness Zone – Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform the World, and Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition. His coaching and programs inspire executives, employees, parents and students to discover and play to their greatness, to live and work with passion, power and purpose. More information at www.TheGreatnessZone.com and www.LiveFiredUp.com.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jay Forte on November 24th, 2010 in Career, Family, General, New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Teens, Things We Love | 1 comment Read related posts in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 sep

Today Is All We Have

JayForteA very close friend of a good friend of mine died this morning after a difficult battle with cancer. Everyone is really sad today. Sad because we miss this great person. Sad because whatever time we had with her was not enough. Sad because we won’t be able to make new memories together. But there is wisdom in this aspect of being human.

Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen says in her book, Kitchen Table Wisdom, “…the view from the edge of life is so much clearer.” When we are faced with illness and our mortality, we realign the pieces of our life and focus on what is most important – who we touch in life and who touches us. We become wiser. And this wisdom is shared at the time of illness – ideally so we all learn and live that way each day, not just in a period of change and challenge.

Though we know this, few live with a great appreciation for the moment, the day and the people in our lives. Few of us learn this lesson until something catastrophic affects our lives.

Today is all we have. We don’t know about tomorrow. We don’t know about next week. This is not fatalistic – it is realistic. To me, this realization encourages the need for us to own each moment of our lives – to be really present. This reminds me on a daily basis that life is not a series of days to use up. Rather, life is the gift of days to use to add value, connect with others and transform the world. And everyday that our feet get to land on the floor, we get one more opportunity to be part of our world, and to bring it our best.

I find myself constantly distracted in running my own business. Because there is so much to handle, at the end of the day, I frequently don’t remember much of the day. Though I know better, I still lose sight that each moment of each day is never to be wasted or taken for granted. To that end, I am always trying to build in better “be in the moment” habits. Here are some that I find work for me:

1. Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier each day. Use the 10 minutes to think about 5 things you are grateful for. Soon you’ll find you won’t hit the snooze – you’ll look forward to your “grateful time,” and ten minutes won’t be enough. Be present.

2. Touch some part of nature. Hold onto a tree; smell flowers, grass or leaves. It connects you to this moment and the relationship that you and the planet have. You’ll also develop a greater responsibility to respect it and treat it well when it is an emotional part of your day. Be present.

3. Give someone a hug. It sounds cliché but as anyone who is on the edge of life will tell you, they crave the human touch – the moment of people and spirits connecting. Physical contact brings you into someone else’s space at this moment – and the two of you are in the moment together. You are very aware of time, of being present and feeling important to another person. Be present.

4. Smile. Even if there weren’t studies about the health effects of a positive attitude and behavior, a friendly and encouraging signal to another person impacts their world at that moment. This connection builds community. This connection creates a moment of memory in the day. Think how many people have changed your outlook just by a kind gesture, act or word. Be present.

5. Stare into a night sky and just imagine. Connect to the greatness of a moment by appreciating the size of our space – that you get to be in it, and what it feels like at this one particular moment. And when you watch the sky, you’ll notice it never remains the same – it constantly changes. Each moment is different. You become aware of each moment. You are part of each moment. Be present.

So, today is all we have. Find ways to be part of it. Be part of the lives with whom you share space at each moment. Choose to be happy. Greet each day with an attitude of gratefulness and love. Live each day as if it were your last.

Life is as great or as small as you intent it to be. And it isn’t the things that make it great. It is your connection to the people, events and moments that make it great. May you always know what the people who are at the edge of life know – that each day is important; each day is a gift. Treasure it and make it great.

Jay Forte is a business and motivational speaker, performance consultant and life coach. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, and the on-line resource, Stand Out and Get Hired. His new book, The Greatness Zone; Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform Your World, will be available in October 2010. He teaches people to connect to their talents and passions to be fired up! in life and at work. More information at www.LiveFiredUp.com and www.TheGreatnessZone.com.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jay Forte on September 12th, 2010 in Family, General, Health, New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Spirituality, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,

29 aug

Have the Time of Your Life

JayForteI have great respect and affection for older people. Maybe I have an old spirit or just really admire the strength to survive on the planet for many years, but I find older people remarkable.

I was particularly fond of all four of my grandparents. And unlike so many of my friends, I had a great opportunity to spend a large part of my life with these amazing people. Their life lessons showed their generosity, limitless love and energy, and at the same time their criticalness and worry. After all, they were human too. But most of what I remember is their love of every day – that wherever you were, you were to be there, in that moment, and appreciating what was around you.

I was reminded of all this as we sat at lunch this week with friends of my in-laws. Both in this couple are older, nearly eighty, and one is significantly ill with scleroderma. But neither condition stops them from being fully present in their lives.

At lunch they shared stories of their recent road trip that took them over four thousand miles to see family, be part of a wedding, visit old friends, and spend time with their kids. Originally, they planned to make this a bus trip but opted instead to drive. Armed with a GPS and a preferred card at Choice Hotels, they spent nearly four weeks meandering through the lives and homes of their friends and family. With the health condition they had to take it slow and rely on the help of people at the hotels and on their families. Everyone stepped up. As they both said, “It was a trip of a lifetime.”

What impressed me most, besides the excitement still in the voices as they shared story after story about the trip, was their courage – the courage to go on this trip – the courage to get up and actively live each day. They appreciate life, its plusses and minuses as part of the way life is. They choose to live as much of life as they can. None of the significant challenges they bear showed up in their stories. No complaints; nothing owed to them. They wanted an amazing trip – they did it, they loved it and they will remember it forever. They had the time of their lives.

My first thought in all this was to applaud them for the courage to go for what they dreamed of. But it made me think – isn’t that really something we all should feel? Why is it we feel that life is any less sacred, important or valued when we are young than when we become old? Why is life any less spectacular when we are well than when we are sick?

We never know the amount of time we are given. That should remind us that life is truly a gift and that it is to be celebrated, applauded and fully lived each day. In the utterly spectacular book, Kitchen Table Wisdom, author Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen shares a powerful line said by a patient who was challenged with a terminal illness, “When you are walking on thin ice, you might as well dance.” Isn’t this really the way we all should live? Since we never know what is coming next, shouldn’t we spend more time dancing?

As with many older people, their lives, attitudes and stories share the wisdom that everyday is more valued, more spectacular and more extraordinary because you get to have it. And why not take a road trip to share your life with those who matter most to you? As much as the road trip was a trip of a lifetime for our friends, it was also the visit of a lifetime for the people they saw. Funny how that works. When we are busy having the time of our lives, we are also helping to create the time of someone else’s life.

It seems that the smartest people on the planet are those who are in touch with their humanity and mortality. They don’t waste time on things that don’t matter. Dave Ramsey says it best, “[So many people] spend money they don’t have to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” Wise people choose life events over life things. Maybe this is the wisdom in age that I so appreciate. Maybe this is the lesson for all who are younger. Don’t wait. Live the life you love. Make good choices. Have the time of your life.

Jay Forte is a business and motivational speaker, performance consultant and life coach. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, and the on-line resources, Stand Out and Get Hired, and The Hunt for Opportunities Success Manual. His new book, The Greatness Zone; Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform Your World, will be available in October 2010. He inspires people to connect to their talents and passions to be fired up! in life and at work. More information at www.LiveFiredUp.com and www.TheGreatnessZone.com.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jay Forte on August 29th, 2010 in Career, Family, Health, New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Spirituality, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , ,

03 apr

The Gift of Choice

JayForteI believe the greatest gift we are given is the ability to invent our lives. We are given very specific qualities – evidenced by our DNA and hardwiring – that show up as our talents, strengths and passions. No two of us are exactly alike. We then must spend time to discover our qualities and determine how to use them to invent our best life.

I frequently say in both my writing and keynotes, “life is not a dress rehearsal; we have one shot at inventing and living the most extraordinary life possible.” And as I have been known to say to my kids, “If you are not living the best, most exceptional and greatest life for you – designed by you, and one that plays to your talents and passions – then you are squandering away the greatest gift you will ever receive.” Life – great. The ability to invent your life and make choices – priceless.

But making choices and decisions about life are not easy. It would be great, if when we were born, we received an owner’s manual that identified our talents, strengths and passions, and then provided instructions how to use them to live happy and successful (our definition of successful) lives. The manual doesn’t show up at birth; rather, we create it as we live.

Over time we are introduced to our unique selves through introspection and by connecting with others. We become aware of what makes us feel capable, happy, competent and successful. We learn about the areas that appeal to us, and those that do not add any value. The astute student of life makes great notes to be able to direct his life based on his ability to discover, understand and use his personal gifts. Some learn this more quickly than others.

Back as early as 350 BC, Plato offered wisdom in the phrase, “know yourself.” Most people consider this old thinking from older people, and discount its value. This phrase, however, is truly the key to a great life. It reminds us that our DNA – our hardwiring – is exclusive to each of us. The best way to live the most extraordinary life (and that also means work in a job that plays to your abilities) is to learn about the unique and distinct you. No one else can do this work for you; you have the greatest ability to understanding how you think, what you feel and what would make life great for you. You own this life. Its successes and failures. After all, it is based on the quality of the choices and decisions you make.

I see many people living other’s lives. Strong parents/families, years of traditions, personal biases and social stereotypes influence many of our decisions. We live according to what others say; we become who they say we should be. We miss or reject the opportunity to develop and invent our true lives. We let others make choices for us.

Knowing my personality, interests, values and passions, arms me with valuable and meaningful information to help me make good decisions for me. It allows me to assess my world, to find the work and life situations that need what I am good at, those that activate my passions and help me feel successful. It allows me to challenge others’ requirements about how I live my life. It allows me the ability to see that the best choices (for me) are my choices. I create the quality of my life. I choose how I respond.

Each day you have to get up and get on with life. Wouldn’t it be great if every day were a thrill? Wouldn’t it be great to choose what work you do, where you live, how you live and who you love? Instead, many are forced into required responses that do not allow for their unique and divinely-inspired gifts to be realized. We all lose in this.

To help you own and defend your choices, and invent your best life, try the following:

List what you are good at.

List what you love doing.

Be sure you know your world.

Then, identify the places in your world that allow you to use what you are good at and love to do. It may be in where you live, how you live and what you do for work. It may be in whom you connect with, whom you marry and what change you look to effect. It may be what message you communicate, what wisdom you have and how you can influence even just one life.

This approach helps you develop the best information for you; to help you find your place in your world. For example, if Emeril Lagasse were a busdriver, we would never know how exceptional he is as a chef. If Sandra Bullock were an operations manager, we would never know how exceptional she is as an actress. If you were a ______________(because others said you had to be, do, act or marry) we would never know _______________ about you. And what a waste – for you and for us.

I believe we direct and invent our world – it is not pre-defined. It is invented by those of us who inhabit it at this moment. We direct our history. Imagine the potential if each of us accessed our talents and passions and brought them fully to our world. Imagine the quality of our individual lives (a world each of us could be more capable, confident, secure and happy). Imagine the impact we could make on the world (using our best attributes to advance the quality of life and the life of planet).

I am not naïve; I am hopeful. I do the work I do to change how we think about ourselves. I do my work because I learned late in my life that I trusted others more than I trusted myself. I missed many years trying to be something and someone I was not meant to be. And when I had the courage and the wisdom to step up, know myself, know my world and make changes, my world doubled in value almost overnight. I started to see where I belonged, where my life was happier, more productive and more authentic. I wasn’t kept back because my world forced me. I was kept back because I was afraid to challenge what others said. I was kept back because I didn’t know myself. And when you don’t know yourself, you don’t value your talents and passions. Without this information I didn’t realize I had choices. I let others direct me. Not any longer. I now own my life.

I am aware I don’t get the missed time back. But I am also aware life is a process; we don’t have all the answers at once. I could not be here, in this moment, had I not been through what I have been through. I wish I had used my time better but I wasn’t ready – I just didn’t know I could choose. I do wish I were smarter or more informed earlier about this. And this has brought me to my current work – to accelerate the learning process of others – to encourage a modern version of “know yourself,” know your world and find your fit. Your life – your choice.

I know how quickly life goes by. And if we could know ourselves better earlier, we may be able to live happier and with more impact – earlier. And since we don’t get this time back, even one day that is better is worth the effort.

Your greatest gift is that you are given the ability to invent your life – that you get to choose for you. Commit the time to know yourself. Know your world. Then choose the best fit for you. Don’t wait. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Jay Forte is a motivational speaker and performance consultant. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, The Hunt for Opportunities Success Manual and the on-line resource, Stand Out and Get Hired. He is working on his new book, Work Strong, Live Stronger (Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform the World). He works to connect people to their talents and passions to live fired up! More information at www.LiveFiredUp.com.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jay Forte on April 3rd, 2010 in Career, Family, General, Health, New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Spirituality, Teens, Things We Love | 2 comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

26 mar

Why Does Your Heart Beat?

JayForte“If you don’t have a good reason for your heart to keep beating, it generally won’t” Dr. Mehmet Oz

In a world focused on getting things done, we frequently lose track of the value of what we do – of our purpose. Purpose is the reason behind great performance – meaningful performance. Purpose is what keeps the heart beating. What do you know about your purpose?

I work with both businesses and individuals as my message is about helping people rediscover their passions for work and life. At its core, this is a recommitment to know yourself (your talents and passions), know your world (its needs), then to determine your particular value and fit. Understanding how to bring value to your life and to the world helps to define your purpose. And the more compelling the purpose, the more animated, excited and engaged you become in finding reasons to keep your heart beating.

In the workplace, organizations that identify their purpose with a strong vision or mission statement share what they stand for; this attracts those who share the purpose and vision. The vision and mission statements provide clarity to the organization and clearly respond to why they do what they do. We are more committed to an organization that shares our definition of purpose and success than one that does not our focus. And our commitment to an organization with which we share a purpose is an emotional connection – the strongest of all connections.

Now, to life. Those who know their purpose – who have done work to identify what is meaningful and valuable for them – have a clearer roadmap for life. The clearer your purpose, the more focused you become in how you live, how you respond and what you do. This encourages a greater sense of accomplishment, impact and value; in short, this impacts our sense of personal worth.

So how do you develop clarity about your purpose? For that I have to take you back to 350 BC – to Plato. One of the two most quoted mantras of Plato is know yourself. This is core to understanding you in your world – in other words, your fit and purpose.

Consider that each of us is a unique bundle of DNA inherited from our families. This DNA creates our internal brain hardwiring; this influences our talents, aptitudes, strengths and passions. No other person on the planet has the exact combination of attributes we have. We therefore must not only be good at knowing ourselves (our unique composition), but we must also realize we are the only ones who can do this work (learn to know ourselves). Our connection to ourselves is an intensely private connection; only we can fully assess how we think, what we feel, what we believe and what we are to do with our lives.

I find most of us are not very self-aware; few have a great understanding of what we are good at (talents), what we love to do (passions) and what makes us feel successful (happiness). In the absence of this information we miss our mark – we underutilize our talents – we miss our purpose. If we live a life (or work in a job) without purpose, we just show up. Because life is not a dress rehearsal, just showing up seems an abject waste of a day, a day you don’t get back.

Most people don’t know about, don’t want or won’t own this responsibility. By not knowing ourselves well, we rely on others to tell us what to think, how to feel and who to be. As I said, no one can know you as you do. You have the greatest information about who you are, what makes you happy, what are you good at and what activates your sense of value. Look in to find this. Then know your world to determine your particular place in the world – your purpose.

So back to Dr. Oz’s quote from an interview with American Public Media’s Speaking of Faith host, Krista Tippett, “If you don’t have a good reason for your heart to keep beating, it generally won’t.” Those who know themselves – and their purpose – keep their hearts beating; their energy is strong and their focus is clear. Those who don’t see their purpose – their reasons for appreciating the amazing gift of life – don’t ramp up the energy when things get tough. They check out. They short change the world by not sharing their great combination of talents – a combination given as a gift with a particular purpose to share it with the world.

Imagine the missed contributions of artists (or any other profession) who never realized their talents because they listened to others who told them how to live and what to do, instead of learning how to know themselves, value themselves, find their passion, and live with purpose. Life is too short to live with regret.

To find your purpose, “know yourself”; spend some time with yourself and determine:

  1. What are you great at?
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. What makes you feel successful?
  4. What is going on in your world?

Then, find your fit – your place.

Don’t wait. The world needs the unique and specific you. You are here for a reason. Find your reason. Find your purpose. Keep your heart beating.

Jay Forte is a motivational speaker and performance consultant. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, The Hunt for Opportunities Success Manual and the on-line resource, Stand Out and Get Hired. He is working on his new book, Work Strong, Live Stronger. He works to connect people to their talents and passions to live fired up! More information at www.LiveFiredUp.com. Sign up for his free e-newsletters and use his resources to be great.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jay Forte on March 26th, 2010 in Career, Family, General, New Directions, Relationships, Spirituality, Teens, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

28 feb

Memories at the Speed of Life

JayForteMy oldest daughter is getting married in May. The preparation has been both all consuming but well organized and really without much worry. This will be a great day. Two great families are coming to celebrate the connection of the next generation. They love our daughter; we love their son. All is good.

I know I am not the first to go through this, even in my family. But I find myself going through a new round of emotions and thoughts as I get ready to pass the baton again. Let me explain.

When the kids graduate from high school, we talk about the ceremonial “passing of the baton” – passing the reins of life over to its real owner. We say, “We have done everything we can think of to show you how big the world is and to help you know yourself well enough to know your place in the world. It is time for you to take the baton and run – to do the things you are called to do and to own every aspect of your life. We move from center stage to stage right – and you move to center stage. This is your life and we want it to be extraordinary. That is now your choice.”

They take the “baton” and first wobble. But soon they find their legs and learn to navigate their lives. Some decisions are good, some not so good. But that is what is involved in being human. We coach from the side – we realize the true owner of the life is now in charge.

But now I face the second passing of the “baton.” The last name that my daughter has carried for 23 years – our last name – will now be passed to make room for a new name. And this is right – this is the new partnership. She moves from one family to create a new one. She again is moving through life. I know that as I pass this baton – my daughter and her life – I am passing it to someone who willingly and completely accepts it. My daughter and her husband will learn to walk, run and dance together as they build their life and their memories.

I was reminded of all this as I looked at the wedding invitation. I was struck not only by the concept of having a son-in-law (who we think the world of), but that just a day or so ago – or so it seemed – this little girl was in kindergarten, in plays, riding bikes and playing with Barbie. Life is a blur as it moves in large blocks of time – pulled by kids activities, school and work. Memories at the speed of life.

I remember very specific events about each day in her life and am now flabbergasted that these events were as distant as 20 years. The bruises, cuts and scrapes; the bruised hearts and trials of dating. The sports, homework and drama of high school. The parties with cousins, families and friends. The driver’s license, new freedom and going away to college. The introduction to a serious boyfriend who is now a fiancé, and the first check needed for the reception! All of it. Memories at the speed of life.

For perspective I looked to my dad – and how he managed my movement through life and those of my five siblings. He still remembers so many of our lives’ events. He shows us pictures of when we were young – pictures we feel should be burned – but pictures that freeze in time a look, an event, an expression…a feeling. He smiles as his tired eyes look at them. They are treasures. I don’t know how often he looks at them but based on his expression, I imagine it is often. Memories at the speed of life.

Memories create the threads that are woven into the tapestries that are our lives. Some tapestries are rich, filled with colors, textures and of great size. Others are smaller and less vivid. Our choice.

Thinking about my daughter’s upcoming wedding reminds me to keep my tapestry growing, expanding and adding more color. Weave your tapestry by:

  1. Slowing life down to really notice who and what is around you; notice everything; choose to be present.
  2. Creating time each week to “memory-build;” share stories, go to places, take pictures, do the unexpected.
  3. Creating a “memory box.” Collect pictures, objects, writings, etc. and save them in the box. Once a week, have family members take out one of the objects at random and tell what they remember about it.
  4. Creating your “family thing.” Ours was we told progressive stories in the car. Each child would add to a story started by the parents, or had to provide a sound effect on cue during a story. What could be your “family thing?”

Memories at the speed of life – they fuel our emotions, they feed our souls.

My eldest daughter: a child, a teenager, an adult, and soon a wife. The time sure flew by. But I remember every stage – I have a tapestry of her life, and those of her two sisters. And when I think of this I have the same smile and tired eyes I see in my dad. I think I know what he feels. And it is a great thing.

Jay Forte is a motivational speaker and performance consultant. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, The Hunt for Opportunities Success Manual and the on-line resource, Stand Out and Get Hired. He is working on his new book, Work Strong, Live Stronger. He works to connect people to their talents and passions to live fired up! More information at www.LiveFiredUp.com.

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Posted by Jay Forte on February 28th, 2010 in Family, General, New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Teens, Things We Love | 2 comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,

04 may

The Mountain Story

A son and his father were walking on the mountains.

Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

Curious, he yells: “Who are you?”

Read more »

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on May 4th, 2009 in Family, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in