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STOKE THE FIRE WITHIN

A Guide to Igniting Your life

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Available at the Notre Dame Bookstore and corbypublishing.com.

Archive for May, 2013

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Shareese’s Swing

A place to fall in love…
Earlier this month, Ivy Tech Community College in Warsaw, IN  purchased copies of my new book on attitude to give to all of their 2013 graduates. I was able to speak at their commencement on the importance of the set of attitudes they take out into the world.
While on the Ivy Tech campus, I learned of a powerful story of attitude and wanting to do something for others. I came across this swing (photo below), and learned there was a special story behind it.
When the new Ivy Tech campus was being built several years ago, Shareese Hollar was president of the Student Government Association and an administrative assistant in the Business program. As benches, chairs and picnic tables were being ordered, Shareese kept saying that “we need a swing…if we get a swing then people can sit on it and fall in love there.”
She was relentless and they finally ordered that swing. She knew special things would come from swinging on that swing.
Shareese was a single mother of a 9 year old boy. She struggled to get through school with taking care of her boy as well as her sister while working and being a student, but she stayed with it and was going to continue her education at Goshen College after graduating from Ivy Tech. In becoming president of the Student Government Association she was able to sit on the podium with former First Lady Laura Bush when Bush came for the school’s dedication (photo below). People say if you look at the picture carefully you can see an angel in the background.
“She always looked on the bright side,” said Cathy Mullett, Associate Director of Career Services. “If someone said something negative about something or someone Shareese would go “yeahhhh…” or “uh huh” in a way that stopped it right there. She never added to any negative gossip or talk. She also had this distinctive giggle that I have never heard duplicated! She was always there. At the old campus before we had staff to set up and tear down events, we had to do it. She would get there three hours before and event and say three hours afterwards helping out.”
In October of 2011, Shareese was killed in a car accident. She was just 27. Reports indicated that her minivan was rear-ended by a dump truck after she had stopped for a flagman from the Department of Transportation. Her little boy is being raised by grandparents and doing well, but the void left by Shareese and her positive attitude is felt on campus.  At her funeral, her family talked about ‘Reecy and how she had made such an impact on others with her positive nature.
And people on campus say if you go by that swing, you can sense her presence there as she waits for a couple to sit down, gently swing, and start to fall in love.
Charlie

The second of the 4 Needs we have to be positive and content
by Charlie Adams

This past Thursday I delivered a 2 hour form of How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing to the public accounting and consulting firm Crowe Horwath, a remarkable company constantly striving to get even better and better.

The 4 Needs, which is first heard in a motivational talk given by Lou Holtz, was a topic I spent about 15 minutes on that day. Last week I wrote about the 1st of the 4 Needs here (a link to that is below). This week, the second one.

I was in television news for almost a quarter of a century. It can be a brutal grind that can take the most positive person and squeeze out their optimism like toothpaste out of the container. I remember once going into the office of my boss at the time and asking her what she did to stay positive. This was a lady that had to deal with the egos of the newsroom, staffing challenging, budget issues and all kinds of things. She opened up her desk drawer and showed me a picture of the Florida condo that her family visited each March. She said when things got negative, she often opened that drawer for a quick glance and a shot of positive attitude!

As you go through your day and all of the challenges, have a list of things that you are looking forward to and think of them when negative attitudes want to set in on you. It could be things like looking forward to:

* a child coming home for a visit from college

* tickets to the big ball game that coming weekend

* a visit from the grandkids

* your first 5K

* a long awaited trip

The other part of this point is SOMETHING TO HOPE FOR. “Hope” is a powerful thing when it comes to attitude. One of the things I do to stay positive is read Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional during my morning quiet time. I saved this on what she said about hope:

“I define hope as ‘the happy anticipation of good things.’ You can hope for something good to happen to you by learning how to celebrate and enjoy life. Everything in life is a process in motion. Without movement and progression there is no life. As long as you live you are always heading somewhere, and you should enjoy yourself on the way. God created you to be a goal-oriented visionary. Without a vision you become bored and hopeless.

But there’s something about hope that makes people lighthearted and happy. Hope is a powerful spiritual force that is activated through your positive attitude. God is positive and He wants positive things to happen to you, but that probably won’t happen unless you have hope and faith. Expect God to bring good out of every circumstance in your life. Whatever happens, trust in the Lord…and trust in the power of hope!” – Joyce Meyer

“We must except finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Dr. Martin Luther King

(from ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing! Corby Books, 2013)

Charlie Adams

Gray

Get the Tools to help you and your organization stay positive

How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!
I was talking with the owner of a dental practice in Wisconsin this past week about coming in and doing half day form of my attitude seminar for their staff. She said that the more positive her people are about their life, the better they will do at work. THAT is what the new book and the keynote, 2 hour and half day form of my program is all about. I would love to deliver it to your people.
UPDATE: The Notre Dame bookstore at Eddy St. Commons will have me in to do a signing in early June. Stay tuned for specific details.
To see how the seminar or keynote form could work for your event or as part of the training of your people, contact me and we will see what we can work out. In many cases, this program can make a small fortune for your organization. However, it is important you already have a large fortune when you bring me in.

This week’s inspirational video
Takakkaw Falls

Each week I include a short video of an inspirational place that you may one day want to visit. I also include these videos as a place you can escape to for a few minutes a day to help stay positive and inspired. If you have ever thought of visiting the Canadian Rockies, Takakkaw Falls is a must-see. This is from a group trip I hosted there a couple years back.

Takakkaw Falls, Canadian Rockies
Takakkaw Falls, Canadian Rockies

Charlie Adams Motivation

Keynote/Seminar description

“How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This 2 or 4 hour experience (or shorter keynote form) equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

ALSO:

* Stoke the Fire Within (keynote)

* The Spirit of Customer  Service (2 hour seminar)

CONTACT INFORMATION:

to visit charlieadamsmotivation.com click here

Direct line: 574. 807. 2279

Email: charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
The first of the 4 Needs we have to be positive and content
by Charlie Adams

I have written here from time to time about the 4 Needs we have to be positive and content. After hearing motivational speaker Lou Holtz share them in a talk, I have put a lot of thought into them and found they really work. They are the subject of a chapter in my new book, and over the next four weeks here I wanted to focus more in depth on each one than I have done here before. Here is the first…

SOMETHING POSITIVE TO DO/A PURPOSE (in your life):

Let’s approach this first from what we do professionally. Our positive attitude is affected greatly by what we do in our jobs. If you “have to go to work” then chances are you will be negative. But if you find the purpose in your profession then you get to go to work and sometimes can’t wait to get to work because of how you are helping others in life.

Here are examples in finding the purpose in your life. Fed Ex founder Fred Smith has told his drivers that they just aren’t driving trucks around every day. No, in those trucks could be a machine part that is critical to get an assembly line back on track. In those trucks could be a medical part that is vital to helping a person recover from a health challenge. With that perspective those drivers have a purpose and their attitude can’t help but be more positive.

Three workers were cutting stone. When asked what they were doing, the first answered, “I am cutting stone.” The second said, “I am making a wall.” The third replied, “I am building a cathedral.” The third one had truly found purpose in his work.

I remember taking two of my children to a local minor league baseball game. The game started at 2 and we got there very early. They said we had to wait about fifteen more minutes because the ball park was being used for a private party for a local company. As we stood outside the gates I realized the company inside was Elkhart Brass. They make innovative fire fighting equipment. They had brought all their employees to the ball park for a Sunday afternoon social gathering to show appreciation for them. As it wound down and the park was about to be opened to the public, I heard their company leader take the microphone and speak to the workers. He thanked them and reminded them that each day they came to work they were making equipment that kept fire fighters safer and helped them to put out fires faster. I vividly remember thinking to myself, ‘What a purpose in a job!”

It wasn’t long after that I read a local magazine story on a successful real estate agent named Jan Lazzara. In the article she stated that what kept her on fire was that she was not just helping people to buy and sell houses. She was helping them find HOMES. That gives her powerful purpose each day.

I was in the gym working out one day and had a deep conversation with the lady next to me about finding meaning in work. I said someone that worked at a fast food restaurant would struggle with meaning because the food was not a positive thing for the customers. She corrected me in the sense that she said someone working there could focus on being encouraging to customers and looking to give a warm smile to that person that seemed down.

In his book “Authentic Happiness” there is a story by the author Martin Seligman about when he visited the hospital and was in the room of a friend that was in a coma. There was a Ward Orderly in the room who was focused on achieving a task. Now, in the scheme of doctors and nurses you would think Ward Orderly would be down on the pecking order. To some it might be, but not to this man. He had a purpose. He was fixing the paintings and flowers up to where they were positioned just right in the room. Seligman asked him what he was doing.

“My job. I’m an orderly here, but you see I’m part of the team responsible for the health of these patients. Even though Mr. Miller hasn’t been conscious since he arrived, when he does wake up I want to make sure he sees beautiful things right away.”

The orderly was able to find a deep purpose in his job behind what others would think of as mundane orderly tasks. I bet he couldn’t wait to get to work so that he could do things to help patients. His attitude had to be so positive compared to the person that looked at their shift that week and thought, “Well, working 2 to 11 today…..”

Did he come to that realization of his own accord, or was it a leader who inspired him to see the import of his work? We don’t know the answer to that question, but the question it begs you to ask yourself is, “How can I help my people to create such a positive attitude about the work that they do?”

Another word to use here is ‘meaning.’ Viktor Frankl wrote ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ in 1946. In 1991 the Library of Congress and Book-of-the-Month Club listed that book as one of the ten most influential books in the U.S. The book is about Frankl’s experience in Nazi concentration camps as a Jewish psychiatrist. He writes about his observation that what separated those that lived and died in those camps was ‘meaning.’ For example, there were two men there that were giving up on life. What Frankl did was help them find their meaning, a purpose to go on. With one man it was his son, who lived in another country. For another it was the books that he had started to write. He became determined to get out and finish them!

“In both cases,” Frankl writes, “it was a question of getting them to realize that life was still expecting something from them; something in the future was expected of them. A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.”

Regarding attitude, he writes: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

In the popular movie ‘City Slickers’ the grizzled cowboy played by Jack Palance, Curly, has that famous mini speech where he explains the meaning of life. While holding up a finger he says it is ‘one thing.’ They key, he says in gruff fashion, is finding out what that one thing is for you. An entire book could be dedicated to the analysis of ‘one thing’ but it is good to take time to reflect what that one thing is for you. Is it the pursuit of a high level position and the financial rewards that come with it? Is it making a difference in the lives of young people? Is it loving God with all your heart and soul? Is it dedicating your life to service? What is your ‘one thing?”

Let me take ‘one thing’ one more step. What is it that YOU do better than anyone else in the world? It doesn’t have to be something “famous” like LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world or Meryl Streep is the best actress. It could be that no one else is better at untying a knotted up fishing line. It could be the ability to make a grandchild feel better that is sick. It could be making the best pancakes in the world.

This has been an in depth look at the first of the Four Needs we have to be positive and content. Next week we will go deeper into the second one.

(from ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing! Corby Books, 2013)

Charlie Adams

Gray

The new book is out!

How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!
For those in the South Bend, IN area, it is at the Hammes Notre Dame bookstore.

For information on the keynote, 2 hour or half day seminar that goes with it, contact me and I would love to talk to you about working with your people and/or event. One of the things that has been booking a lot lately is where I come in for a day and do multiple 2 hour forms so that people on various shifts can attend.

This week’s inspirational video
The Hearst Castle

Here is a short video I produced of the Hearst Castle in California, one of the most ambitious architectural endeavors in American history – 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. This was the home of William Randolph Hearst, who built the nation’s largest newspaper chain.

Charlie Adams takes you inside the majestic Hearst Castle
Charlie Adams takes you inside the majestic Hearst Castle

Charlie Adams Motivation

Keynote/Seminar description

“How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This 2 or 4 hour experience (or shorter keynote form) equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

ALSO:

* Stoke the Fire Within (keynote)

* The Spirit of Customer  Service (2 hour seminar)

CONTACT INFORMATION:

to visit charlieadamsmotivation.com click here

Direct line: 574. 807. 2279

Email: charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

Family Group Inspirational Trip
Colorado Rockies this summer

I will be sharing insights from my new book while hosting a Colorado Rocky Mountains Family group tour July 28 – August 3, 2013. This trip will include whitewater rafting, hiking, horseback riding, the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods, Pike’s Peak and more.

click here for an overview

(photo – Royal Gorge, part of this summer’s group trip)

 

574-254-0188 || Email Charlie