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Charlie Adams is also a
Senior National Speaker
for the
National Collegiate Scouting Association of Chicago

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STOKE THE FIRE WITHIN

A Guide to Igniting Your life

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Archive for August, 2013

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

How your feet can make you more positive

- by Charlie Adams, author and creator of the How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing book and seminar/keynote

Laura Schmidt is a believer in how important a positive attitude is in life.

“A positive attitude makes all the difference in the world,” she told me. “I believe it is more important than skills or gifts. My parents were very positive and I have spent the last 20 years in Mary Kay sales, which is a very positive organization.”

Laura, who heard me speak in Kansas City where she lives, writes positive sayings on her bathroom mirror with lip liner, has positive post it notes all over the place and index cards with positive messages on her dashboard of her car.

On a trip with her husband and children, she was riding with her feet up and thinking about positive affirmations and how the subconscious mind is most receptive early in the morning and late at night. Laura looked over at her husband, Garret,and said, “I think I’m going to put positive affirmations on the toes of socks!”

And notes to self® was born!

Laura (photo above) created a line of inspirational socks. The first ones came after long talks with her daughter Elaine, a high school volleyball player. Elaine wrestled with confidence on the court, so Laura’s first sock read ‘I am confident’ and debuted at her daughter’s volleyball practice in 2011. It was a big hit with the players and coaches. Laura then had many other positive messages made on socks. One time Elaine had a friend going through a tough time so Elaine brought her a pair of socks to school that read ‘Strength.’

“The subconscious mind is most accessible first thing in the morning and late at night,” she said, “when the conscious filters of our minds aren’t fully ‘up’. I thought, ‘What if I put positive affirmations on the toes of socks?’ Then at least twice a day, the person wearing them would see those words, and they’d be training their minds, without even trying.”

“I think the socks are especially important for our kids, training their minds to think positively,” she said. “Too often, we’re telling them what they’re doing wrong, or what not to do. We forget to teach them how to focus on what they want, the importance of a positive attitude and how it really makes a difference. Wouldn’t it be great if kids too young to read had seen “I am smart” so many times, that it became part of their thought process, and it could possibly be one of the first phrases that they learn to read?’ That kind of positive message could impact their lives forever.”

“I know how hard it is to keep a good habit going,” she said, “but with these socks you look down and they’re there, and when you look down you think not only about the words on the socks but also ‘my Aunt gave me these’ or ‘my Dad gave me these and that person believes in me.’  I like the idea that someone wearing the socks sees a phrase such as ‘I am strong’ first thing in the morning when they are putting on their shoes, and at the end of the day. All day long, that positive reminder, said in the present tense, is there. The wearer has the choice to share that message with others, or it can be private. Either way, that positive phrase is influencing their thoughts and actions.”

Laura and her husband were recently in South Bend, IN, where I live, as their daughter Elaine is a freshman at the University of Notre Dame. Laura gave me a pair of the ‘I am awesome’ socks (photo above). She told me that sock is still the #1 sock. “It’s a compliment and something you can give to anyone,” she said. “The ‘I am confident’ sock is not something you would give to anyone. You would have to know that person a little, but the Awesome one works with anyone.”

‘I am blessed’ and ‘Happy’ are among the most popular socks.

Laura supports other small U.S. businesses by having them made exclusively in the U.S.A. Socks are regularly donated to non-profit organizations such as Covenant House in New York. She told me the socks are in 600 stores and it should be 800 by Christmas. Many hospital gift shops carry them and cancer patients sometimes wear the ‘I am strong’ socks that have pink letters when they go into surgery or treatment.  One major league baseball team that is having one of their best seasons has their players wearing the socks.

Laura has a copy of my book How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing. In the book and seminar I share practical ways to stay as positive as possible. These socks are a great example.

If you would like to look at all of the different socks or learn more about Laura, you can go to notestoself.com or email her at laura@notestoself.com

click here to go to notestoself.com

Charlie Adams

Gray

Charlie Adams Motivation

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

This keynote, or 2 or 4 hour seminar equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered. Everything from customer service to organization chemistry comes back to attitude!

* Stoke the Fire Within – this peak performance keynote is ideal for opening or closing conferences, retreats, meetings and off-site days.

* The Spirit of Customer  Service (2 hour seminar often paired with How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing! If people haven’t build a foundation to have a positive attitude, it’s hard to try to train them in customer service)

Contact information:

Direct line: 574 – 807 – 2279

Email: charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

Why these programs are ideal for your groups and meetings:

* A message that connects with your audience

* An interactive program full of energy and humor

* Take away tools that your audience can put to use right away

To read previous newsletters click here

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

How the book and seminar or keynote can ignite your life, event or workplace as attitude impacts everything from customer service to team spirit…


Tools inside this book and the seminar include:

The power of Initial Spin

The 4 Needs you need to meet to be content

What I learned from the most positive people I met in 23 years of television news and how their insights can impact you

Step by step on how to start a day positive and stay as positive as possible when the curve balls come

How to get a better balance of work and life

Helpful tools to manage your time

Practical fitness and nutrition insights that can help you to stay more positive

Self Talk tips to keep the negative thoughts on the outside looking in

How forgiveness can help negativity vanish

How encouragement can invigorate the positive attitude culture of any organization or work place

How to create the solution centered atmosphere instead of the ‘they this, they that’ culture that poisons so many places

To order individual copies:

To get group rate so that each member of your organization can have a copy: (574) 784-3482

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

P.O.W.E.R. – Inspiration from champion Sugar Ray Leonard

- by Charlie Adams, author and creator of the How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing book and seminar/keynote

I had the opportunity to be a part of a major fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club with boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard. Leonard, now 57,  took home Olympic gold in 1976 and fought his way to world championships in five weight classes, a record still standing today.

Sugar Ray’s message is P.O.W.E.R. It stands for Prepare, Overcome and Win Every Round.

“We are all fighters fighting every day for what we believe in and what we want,” said Sugar Ray, reminding us that our fear should not lie in taking the risk or in potential failure, but our true fear should lie in doing nothing.

He emphasized the importance of determination. “Determination is what turns us into winners,” he said. “Without determination talent never truly develops. Some of us are born with extraordinary talent, but without determination, that talent never hashes out. No one is born a world champion. The successful do what they must to be number one.”

Sugar Ray’s message is that each one of us has to find out what the ‘road work’ is in our profession or goals for life, and then put in that road work. To be a champion, he got up at 5 AM during training to put in his road work of running for miles and miles to build up stamina. His question to you is, what is your road work?

He also encourages everyone to determine what their definition of victory is in life. Is it becoming the very best in your profession? Is it reaching certain goals? For some, he said, victory is simply doing their very best every day.

Sugar Ray won the great majority of his fights (36 wins, 3 losses), but he had those three losses. The one that stung the most was to Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran in Montreal in 1980. Over 46,000 people watched as Duran turned the fight into a brawl and defeated Sugar Ray.

“You can’t have success until you’ve known failure,” he said of that crushing loss that hurt even more because Duran had cursed Sugar Ray’s wife at the weigh-in and taunted him in the ring after the fight. “And great motivators will tell you your past does not equal your future unless you want it to.”

When defeat comes in life, it is time to analyze what happened, and utilize strategy. Sugar Ray realized he had no business trying to box Duran up close and physical, so his strategy for the next fight was to move around the ring. He also knew Duran was known for hitting the party circuit and eating like a horse for a period of time after fights, so Sugar Ray worked it to where their rematch was his next fight. His advisors said he should have a tune up fight in between, but he knew Duran would not work like he did. In their rematch, Sugar Ray beat him so badly that Duran threw up his arms half way through the fight and quit.

If you want to reach your potential in whatever you do, then Sugar Ray says it comes down to a single principle. What are you willing to do everyday that the competition is not?  He said for him it was running extra miles, training longer hours, preparing for longer rounds.

In 1987, Sugar Ray took on Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who was considered invincible.  Hagler’s menacing bald head was impervious to pain. Sugar Ray went up in weight class to challenge Hagler. He applied his principle of being willing to do what the competition is not. “To beat a guy like Hagler, you do things twice as hard and twice as long,” he said, “so in training camp, instead of doing three-minute rounds of sparring with one minute rest, I was doing six-minute rounds with 30 seconds rest. I had sparring partners wear 8 ounce professional gloves, while I wore 14 ounce training gloves, to get the sensation, or the presence, of pain.”

Sugar Ray defeated Hagler (photo below).

Sugar Ray won partly because, as he always tells audiences, you have to believe in yourself.

“No matter who I went up against, I had that optimism. I had that positive attitude that I could beat anyone,” he said. “They asked me, “Ray, what happens if you lose?” I said, “You know what? That’s not in my vocabulary; I can’t spell the word.” It sounded kind of arrogant-and maybe it was arrogant-but it was true. I was so confident when I was fighting that I didn’t think I could lose to anyone.”

When I deliver How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing, I talk about the 4 Needs and one of them being something to believe in.  The book “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is one of the greatest and biggest selling attitude books in history. It stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 186 straight weeks. The very first words of the book are … “believe in yourself!”

Boxing is a very motivational subject because it is like life. We all get knocked down. The question is, do we get back up? In the final Rocky movie (Rocky Balboa, 2006) there is a powerful scene where Rocky’s grown son is struggling with a lot of things including a negative and never satisfied boss at work. During a late night walk, Rocky delivers an on-the-spot motivational talk:

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” – Rocky Balboa, 2006.

Keep fighting!

Charlie Adams

Monday, August 19th, 2013

8 Ways to have more Positive Self Talk

- by Charlie Adams, author and creator of the How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing book and seminar/keynote

Each of us has tens of thousands of thoughts a day.  One of the things many of us wrestle with is keeping the great majority of those positive.

While delivering the How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing program recently, I brought someone up front. We pretended they were inside their house. I walked up to the imaginary door on stage and made a knock knock sound. She opened and I walked swiftly in slightly bumping her as I entered. I proceeded to say negative things about her house, how she had arranged the furniture, her outfit, her dreams and goals, self worth and all kinds of things. Obviously, I didn’t go too far but the point was clear. We would NEVER allow someone to come in off the street into the privacy of our homes and mess with the furniture and says all kinds of bad things about us. Can you imagine how preposterous that would be? The police would get dialed so fast that heads would spin.

However, we have no problem having negative thoughts come in and make themselves at home, over and over again. We let them beat us up and down.

Here are ten suggestions that you can utilize to turn those negative thoughts to positive ones

1) When they come, imagine a NO VACANCY sign and say to yourself ‘only positive thoughts allowed here!’

2) If you are in a public place like getting groceries or waiting in line to buy popcorn and you have a negative thought, yell out as loud as you can  “I am the love machine of all love machines!!’ After you see  the looks you get, you will never have a negative thought again.

3) While I highly doubt #2 will ever get utilized, lets get back to more practical insights. Say one of these four words: STOP, CANCEL, NEXT, or DEFLECT.

4) Wear a negative thought rubber band and when goes give yourself a good solid THACK!!

5) Imagine yourself going to one of the old time television sets where you actually had to get up and walk to change the channels (HORRORS!!) and picture yourself changing the channel to the positive channel in your mind.

6) Picture your mind as a garden and any negative thoughts as weeds. Lean over and weed them out, throwing them into a plastic bag where they will lose their color and die.

7) Think of the story I often share in programs of the two warrior Indians. One is older and wiser while the other is younger and eager to learn. The older one tells of the two wolves that fight within him. One wolf is dar and villed with anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority and all kinds of bad stuff. The other one is lighter and filled with joy, peace, love, hope, humility, empathy, generosity, compassion, faith and kindness. When asked by the younger warrior which wolf wins, the elder answers, ‘the one I feed the most.” BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU FEED YOUR MIND.

8) Think of a vacuum cleaner coming on immediately upon hearing a negative thought and sucking it right up!

One of the key things in developing positive self talk is that you have to set the tone. Don’t leave your mind in neutral. Go on the offensive about what kind of positive thoughts you are going to have each day. At the end of each day make a concerted effort to make sure you go to sleep with positive thoughts. In the mega best seller The Power of Positive Thinking, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale shares the story of a man who often would read the 23rd Psalms at bedtime. He said he did it so he wouldn’t go to sleep with an earful of trouble, but with a mind full of peace.

Charlie Adams

Gray

Charlie Adams Motivation

Programs include:
“How to Build a Positive Attitude and
KEEP the Darn Thing!!”
This keynote, or 2 or 4 hour seminar equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

* Stoke the Fire Within (peak performance keynote)

* The Spirit of Customer  Service (2 hour seminar often paired with How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!)

Contact information:

Direct line: 574 – 807 – 2279

Email: charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

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

How the book and seminar or keynote can ignite your life, event or workplace


Tools inside this book include:

The power of Initial Spin


The 4 Needs you need to meet to be content

What I learned from the most positive people I met in 23 years of television news and how their insights can impact you

Step by step on how to start a day positive and stay as positive as possible when the curve balls come

How to get a better balance of work and life

Helpful tools to manage your time

Practical fitness and nutrition insights that can help you to stay more positive

Self Talk tips to keep the negative thoughts on the outside looking in

How forgiveness can help negativity vanish

How encouragement can invigorate the positive attitude culture of any organization or work place

How to create the solution centered atmosphere instead of the ‘they this, they that’ culture that poisons so many places

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

On Fire Customer Service at The Wildfire
A few years ago I was in Chicago to speak to Accurate Perforating on how positive attitude is so closely tied to customer service. My program was to be at the Wildfire Restaurant where they had reserved a room for their people. A cab dropped me off in front of the restaurant at 4:15. I wanted to get there early to set up and go over the location. I paid the driver, grabbed all of my materials, and slid out of the cab. Off he went, faster than Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I groped for my wallet, only to find it MISSING! Agggggghh! Is there a worse feeling in the world? The cab, reaching 60 mph in 1.8 seconds, was long gone.

The whole evening had changed. Now I had to take measures to try to get the wallet back and all the joy that goes with that process and try to stay focused on the 60 minute presentation I would be doing within a couple of hours. I stumbled into the Wildfire Restaurant. They weren’t even open yet, but the head greeters, Harold and John, immediately sensed I was “discombobulated.” I spewed out my whole situation and they reassured me that many times the cab comes right back with wallets, cell phones, the works. They made me feel like my crisis was the most important thing, even though their phone was ringing constantly with reservation requests.They helped me with cab company numbers. I couldn’t remember the name of the company as my receipt was in my wallet.

(photograph – The Wildfire Restaurant, Chicago, IL)


I wandered into the side room that I would be speaking in later in the evening. Alan and Ana, who were serving the room, were incredibly supportive to me as I flailed away in Operation Recover Wallet. With 5000 cabs in Chicago, this would be fun.

For some reason, I decided to call my office voice mail. Might as well, I had called everyone else. Here is what I heard: “Hello, Mr. Adams, my name is Amir. I just found your wallet in the street. I actually work at the Wildfire. I’ve got your wallet. You can come by here.”

Amir had found the wallet by the curb as he was walking across the street to work. His only thought was to look for identification to call the person that had lost it and then go about his business of being the best waiter he could be for his customers.

Well, I ran back in the restaurant and yelled, “Where’s Amir?!” John at the front desk pointed me in his direction and I darted back that way! He saw me and immediately figured I must be the poor sap that was walletless. He walked over and gave it to me. I gave him a bear hug. Forget handshaking. He deserved a bear hug!

I knew I had a $20 and some other bills in there so I reached in and grabbed the $20 to give him. He wouldn’t take it. “I just see that as part of my job, Mr. Adams,” he said. “I was glad to find it for you.”

This young man was first class the whole way. Later, I thought I would recognize him in my Talk. I thought I would bring him in at the end of my Talk, share the story, and let the Accurate Perforating leaders applaud him. When I pitched that idea to Amir, he politefully declined. “7:30 is a very busy time for me with my customers,” he said humbly. “It would be hard to leave them even for a few minutes.”

As the evening went on, I later learned that John and Harold at the front desk had called countless cab companies trying to locate my wallet, even though they were getting reservations calls constantly. Another worker told me those two had been doing that for me.

I shared the whole Wallet story at the end of my. The Accurate Perforating people beamed. One fellow did actually playfully ask, “That happened in CHICAGO?! Your wallet was actually returned?!”

When I deliver “The Spirit of Customer Service” it is people like Amir that make me believe in the topic. Yes, customer service has been declining for years across the board in some ways, but to say it’s not alive and well at places like the Wildfire Restaurant in Chicago and with many other places and people is wrong. People like young Amir and the Wildfire Restaurant stoke the fire within when it comes to Customer Service!

Charlie Adams

Red

Bring “The Spirit of Customer Service” 2 hour seminar to your people. Team it up with the 2 hour form of “How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!” and equip your people with positive attitude and customer service tools!

Charlie Adams at Hesburgh Library

Charlie Adams Motivation

Equipping organizations and people with the attitudes to be positive, solution centered and dedicated to seeking excellence!
“How to Build a Positive Attitude and

KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This keynote, or 2 or 4 hour seminar equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

* Stoke the Fire Within (peak performance keynote)

* The Spirit of Customer  Service (2 hour seminar often paired with How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!)

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Direct line: 574. 807. 2279

Email: charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

Friday, August 2nd, 2013
The many positives that have come ten years after a shark attack

The remarkable attitude of Bethany Hamilton – by speaker Charlie Adams

In the How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing seminar, I share various tools on how to stay upbeat in a very negative world. One of the things I do is collect inspirational DVD’s and watch them regularly. I got rid of cable a couple of years ago and have been so much more positive.

Among the DVD’s I have watched at least 10 times is the movie Soul Surfer. It is about surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her left arm to a shark at age 13 and yet battled back to surf competitively (photo below of Bethany and the actual board she was on when the tiger shark attacked 10 years ago).

The 23 year old is now engaged to Adam Dirks! Adam is a Christian youth minister who started a faith based organization on the island of Kauai, where Bethany lives. After being introduced by mutual friends, the two went cliff-diving on their first date, and have since enjoyed hiking and playing sports together. He proposed to her in April of this year.


We all face times in life where the future appears daunting. There is a scene in the movie where Bethany, as a young teen, is very down because she doesn’t think boys will like her because she is missing an arm. Her mother, in a scene played by actress Helen Hunt, shows her blond-haired daughter a photo of Venus de Milo and reminds her the image of Aphrodite immortalized in marble was considered the “pinnacle of beauty but she has one arm less than you.”

Known for her resilience and strong faith, Hamilton encourages others to not allow suffering or loss to inhibit their lives. She started a non-profit organization called Friends of Bethany to help shark attack survivors and amputees recover from their trauma.

Despite having lost her left arm, Bethany has battled back to be ranked among the top 50 female surfers in the world. So much of her success comes from her positive attitude. Here are some quotes from her that are very inspiring:

“I don’t need easy. I just need possible.” — Bethany said this when she was training to learn how to surf again.

“I wouldn’t change a thing, because then I wouldn’t be here talking to you, I can embrace more people now than I could with two arms.” — Bethany says this at the end of the movie as a swarm of media is around her after a competition. Her story had become international news and thousands of people from around the world wrote to her and were inspired by her comeback. Had she never been attacked by that shark, she wouldn’t have had an impact on 99% of those people.
“Life is alot like surfing… When you get caught in the impact zone, you’ve got to just get back up. Because you never know what may be over the next wave.”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) — Bethany’s church youth pastor, played by Carrie Underwood in the movie, says this early in the film. God had a huge plan for Bethany’s life and took that attack and turned into something helped so many people.

“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.”

The extras on this DVD ‘Soul Surfer’ are powerful when it comes to positive attitude. They are among the best I have ever seen. There are several thirty minute features on Bethany in real life and her comeback. There is one segment where she is being interviewed on a television show and the host says, “Bethany, if you are able to come back and…” Bethany interrupts him and says, “If? ….when!!”

Part of the attitude seminar I deliver focuses on the ’solution centered attitude’ When Bethany started her comeback as a competitive surfer, it was almost impossible for her to paddle out beyond the waves. Surfers do something called a ‘duck dive’ when paddling out. When waves are coming, they grab their board with both hands and go under the wave. Bethany could not do that until her Dad came up with the solution of a handle in the middle front part of the board. She grabs it and goes under the water. Judges don’t care what you use to get out to the waves, so that enabled her to overcome her biggest challenge.

Charlie Adams

Red

Charlie Adams Motivation

Equipping organizations and people with the attitudes to be positive, solution centered and dedicated to seeking excellence!
“How to Build a Positive Attitude and

KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This keynote, or 2 or 4 hour seminar equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

* Stoke the Fire Within (peak performance keynote)

* The Spirit of Customer  Service (2 hour seminar often paired with How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!)

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Direct line: 574. 807. 2279

Email: charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

 

574-254-0188 || Email Charlie