I sent this out last New Year’s Eve – had a great response – so I’m sending this idea again. Every year-end I make a list of my top 100 memories from the year. These could be events, moments, firsts, lasts, etc. etc.
It’s a great way to reflect on the year and prepare for the next.
I got this idea from Michael Gelb’sHow to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. He says one of Leo’s brainstorming exercises was to come up with 100 big questions about life, the universe, etc. The idea is that the first 30 will be easy. The next 30 will be cool and the remaining questions will be profound, insightful and guiding. You will see telling themes emerge.
The same is true of the 100 memories list. After you get past obvious moments like weddings and births the really telling memories start to emerge.
You can do this solo, with your team or family. And, it will probably take you a few hours. If you don’t have time for that, just do a top 30 – still great to capture at least those memories!
I won’t bore you with my list except to say that many of my memories come from meeting so many of you on the road … so many smart, passionate and inspiring stories of people changing the world.
If you’re up to it, I would love to hear about some of the adventures/memories/reflections you’ve had from the past year. We have some pretty ‘crazy’ (cool) social entrepreneurs reading this blog. What’s on your list?
This is the book that almost every ‘personal development expert’ puts on their list of top 10 books. As the year ends, and we look towards 2015 and beyond … this is one of those books that reinforces everything we are thinking (and hoping) on Purpose, Meaning and Impact.
Thanks (again!) to Shane Parrish at Farnam Street for find this unbelievable clip from 1972 of Viktor Frankl delivering a powerful message about the most important gift we can give others.
“If we take man as he is, we make him worse, but if we take him as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be.”
Here’s the clip. Take 4 minutes and 22 seconds out of your life to hear Viktor Frankl in person talk about Purpose and Meaning.
***1972! He makes a big deal of 16% of the American youth want to “make a lot of money”. 78% are searching Meaning and Purpose. Those are the same kind of numbers that are thrown around today.
“Everything can be taken from man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to chose one’s ATTITUDE in any given set of circumstances, to chose one’s way.” – Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning
This is a special time and an obvious week of Gratitude and Thanksgiving.
Note: Every year I try to share a Thanksgiving message with our Tribe/Community. Some of this ‘re-cycled’ from previous years because of the timeless nature of these thoughts.
Three things to think about this Thanksgiving and in the Holiday Season.
1. “WEALTH IS AN ABUNDANCE OF THINGS WE VALUE.”
For the first half of my life (30+ years), my understanding of wealth was the same as all my friends, business associates and the general public. ‘WEALTH’ meant you had a lot of money.
Then I found this definition… and it allowed me to become one of the ‘WEALTHIEST’ people in the world.
Here’s a simple test of your ‘WEALTH’. Write down a list of all the things that you truly VALUE. Then, put a ‘COST’ (an actual dollar figure) next to everything on the list.
Most of you will look at the list and realize that the things that we truly VALUE… end up COSTING NOTHING!
Bob and Melinda Blanchard, in their wonderful entrepreneurial book LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE, have a great line: “It only matters if it BREATHES.”
My own VALUE LIST is filled with simple things that are alive … family time, adventures with the grandkids, health, friends, business partners, etc. … and, some that are not … a great book, a good cup of coffee, nature, the sun, the ocean, the mountains, a boxing workout, yoga and a ride on the Harley.
Here’s the pretty obvious point: ‘WEALTH’, no matter how you define it, is not about ‘money’. Money is just ‘worthless wampum’ in the grand scheme of life.
Clearly, we need to provide ourselves and family with food, shelter, clothing, etc. But if the accumulation of money, a higher salary or how much you can put in your bank or your portfolio is your measurement for success or happiness … I’m guessing you’ll be doing that ‘camel through the eye of the needle’ thing at the end of your life.
Robert Allen has a great quote, “If a man with many riches suddenly loses all of his money and then jumps out of a window… then, that man was never truly wealthy.”
In an old ODE magazine (which has now been renamed the OPTIMIST), there was an entire issue around this idea of ‘money’. One of the best lines was a simple statement: “It’s not about MONEY. It’s what you DO with your money.”
Special Note: I’m an entrepreneur. I’m all about financial freedom. I want to be able to take care of my family, travel, live on the farm and much more. I just don’t believe that money is the scorecard or measurement of wealth or success.
The Thanksgiving and holiday season is a great opportunity to think of WEALTH as an ABUNDANCE OF THINGS THAT YOU VALUE… and enjoy your ‘WEALTH’.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on this whole idea of ‘Gratitude’. Mindfulness. Meaning. Purpose. And more. It is particularly powerful in the mind-body relation, especially keeping some kind of gratitude journal.
Take a little bit of time each day to remind yourself of the good things and the things for which you are most grateful.
3. THE MORE YOU GIVE THE MORE YOU GET.”
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
I’ve had the privilege of watching thousands of people experience serious ‘giving‘. I’ve also watched many of these people literally move from success to significance. While I don’t exactly understand how it works, I know that giving brings much more happiness than receiving.
There’s a great line from a country song:
“It’s not what you take with you … when you leave the world behind.”
“It’s what you leave behind you … when you leave this world behind you.”
I believe all of three of these thoughts help us make a life, not a living.
There’s no better time of the year than now to share with others.
Katniss, our miniature Highland cow wants you to eat more turkey. From the rest of us at For Impact and The Suddes Group and Eagle Creek, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and great holiday season.
Special Note: Every year I share these 3 stories that you may want to share with your children or grandchildren or family. THE HAPPY PRINCE is a great story/fable. THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD are seen through the eyes of a child. The third is a very powerful parable about giving called the SEA OF GALILEE.
Quick Background: This Funding Roadmap has gone through so many iterations over the last 30 years. It started as the Ideal Development Operation in the early 80’s with our work with Catholic high schools. Originally, it was almost all ‘green‘ … focused on funding and fundraising. The IMPACT drives INCOME epiphany changed that thinking in the early 90’s. This version (which could legitimately be v30) has been taught, trained and shared with thousands. Each word has been purposely chosen (and most have been a battle between Tom and Nick). It ain’t perfect and it will probably be tweaked again.
Special, Special, Special Note: Although I’ve tried to take 40 years of fundraising, sales, entrepreneur and business experience and simplify it into 3, 3 and 3 (with some subsets) … there is still maybe too much for many of our Type A, ADD-challenged readers/users.
It happens at every organization, every day, every where. A founder, executive director
or fundraiser is trying to gather support (financial and otherwise) from someone, such as
a board member or community leader. He or she should be the perfect prospect and easy
visit … instead we encounter ‘objections.’
I’ve always struggled with this concept: objections. We have a terrific opportunity. The
people with whom we visit (prospective investors) WANT to SAVE LIVES, CHANGE
LIVES and IMPACT LIVES. What are widely viewed as objections are more often (1)
real questions, (2) ways of saying “I don’t understand” or sometimes even (3) “I don’t
understand but I want to help so let me suggest a lot of stuff that I’ve seen work
How you address these situations is critical. For that, turn to philosophy + martial arts.
Turn to Aikido. Aikido translated literally means “the way of harmony of life energy.”
It’s a form of martial arts in which you join incoming thrusts and redirect them with
minimal effort and without inflicting harm on the aggressor. According to Aikido’s
founder, it is literally the Art of Peace.
If you get a zinger of a question or a response that could take you off course – work with
it. Don’t try to ‘oppose it.’ Don’t get defensive. Raising your hands to block a person
means you absorb the blow … you literally have to push back with equal and opposite
force (wasted energy) to absorb the blow. Instead, practice Aikido and redirect the
incoming zinger back to your impact, your message or your plan.
Note: Politicians practice Aikido every day. Watch ANY political debate. Instead of
getting defensive when a tough question is asked, the politician redirects toward his or