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Senior National Speaker
for the
National Collegiate Scouting Association of Chicago

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How to stay positive during dreadful winter weather!
- by Charlie Adams

This weather is testing us all! I was supposed to deliver an after dinner keynote tonight at a banquet down past Bloomington in Washington, Indiana, but the City of South Bend is not letting folks on the road.

Right now, a big challenge for a lot of people is staying positive through this brutal winter. One tool I use to stay upbeat in depressing weather is perspective.

We think we’re cold. When the passengers of the Titanic went into water that was 28 degrees, it was like a thousand knives suddenly pierced them.

Just over one hundred and one years ago the Titanic went down in bitterly cold waters. At 11:40 pm it hit the iceberg. By 2:20 am it was headed to the bottom of the ocean.

At the Titanic Museum in Branson they have it set up where you can stick your arm in a container of water that is the exact 28 degree temperature of that night.

I was moved by the stories of courage from that chilly April night in 1912. Isidor and Ida Straus (photo below) were by a lifeboat.

They were not allowing men in. It was women and children only. Ida refused to leave her husband’s side although life boat officers urged her to get in. She was heard saying, “Where you go, I go.” They both perished. During all their years of marriage, if one was apart from the other on a trip, they would write each other a letter a day.

The eight musicians continued to play until the very end to help calm the terrified passengers. They did this and yet they were not even on payroll that week. None survived. One eyewitness saw them play until they were either washed off or dragged down.

Wallace Hartley, a violinist, was the bandleader (photo below).

He had left his fiancee to work the Titanic in hopes of developing key contacts. He was seen saying “Gentlemen, I bid you all farewell” as he was pulled under. One newspaper reported that what these men did was among the most noble things in the history of sea.

Hartley’s body was found two weeks later with his musical instruments still strapped to his body. So moved by his story, over 40,000 people lined the streets when he was buried in England.

Father Thomas Byles was seen praying with passengers of all faiths up until the end. They said twice he was offered lifeboat seats, but he passed both times and died with those that had come to him.

At the end of the museum in Branson, where you can put your hand and arm in water that was the temperature of that night, I had to pull my hand out within twenty seconds. I couldn’t imagine being in that water. So, sometimes when it is cold as ‘all get out’ as my Dad used to say, I think about those travelers.

Another tool of perspective is to remember our Continental Army under George Washington. With the British encamped in Philadelphia, Washington’s men spent the harsh winter of 1777 at Valley Forge 20 miles outside of Philly.

Every 12 men had a 16 x 14 foot long hut in which they were to sleep in incredibly cramped conditions. They were built two feet into the ground in an attempt to conserve some warmth, but mostly had only dirt floors. Doors were generally composed of a simple cloth blanket draped over the entrance to the huts.

Christmas dinner of 1777 for the soldiers was composed of fire cakes (a tasteless mix of flour and water). Reading the diaries of soldiers who spent the winter there we learn of stories of bloody footprints in the snow left by those who did not even have boots to wear on their feet, not eating for days on end, freezing cold temperatures.

With shivering temperatures and rain and snow commonplace, little to no food, inadequate clothing and completely unsanitary conditions disease was rampant. It is estimated that as many as 2500 men of the 12,000 died during the winter due to disease.

Out of it they would become a toughened group who trained hard and years later defeated the British.

Charlie Adams

(photo below – delivering How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing to Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library staff at their quarterly meeting last week)

New addition to this newsletter

The better shape we are in, the more positive we are
A story I often share when speaking on positive attitude is how a man lost 70 pounds several years ago and has kept it off. Jeff Rea  was mayor of Mishawaka, IN at the time. In February of 2007 he brought in Connie Bryan, RN, the founder and CEO of OnSite Health, an Indiana-based wellness company that specializes in workplace health screenings, clinics, and education.

Mayor Rea was 247 pounds in February of 2007. He learned that based on her charts, he was classified as obese. By August of that same year he was down to 167 pounds. He has stayed around that weight ever since.

I have asked Connie to be a regular contributor to this Newsletter.

“Charlie, I meet people every day that tell me they can’t find time to exercise. Busy lives make it difficult to carve time out for ourselves, but my response is this…you may not have an hour today, or even a half of an hour, but no matter how much time you have make it count! If you have 7 minutes before the next meeting, can you take a flight of stairs or get up from your desk and walk around your office? Absolutely! Is it “perfect”? Absolutely not, but it is SOMETHING! Something is better than nothing! Before you know it you might be up to 3 flights of stairs or three rounds of the office! Just MOVE! You’ll feel better for it!

If you’re stuck at your desk, with no way out, try pedals (see picture above – can be purchased online or at most super stores)! Bicycling under your desk gets your circulation moving and can decrease mid-day fatigue! Give it a try! You’re worth it!!” – Connie Bryan RN

For more about Connie Bryan RN or her company,

To read a Chicago Tribune review of bike pedals under desks click here

To learn how Jeff Rea lost all that weight and has kept it off click here

Charlie Adams Motivation

Programs to help ignite your events and your people in 2014

Planning events for 2014?

Contact me to learn more about how Stoke the Fire Within can ignite your event and how How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing can help your people to stay as positive as possible.

For more information or to book me call 574 807 2279 or email

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