Value Others as a Way of Staying Fired Up!

keys to success

I received this poignant story via email today- I don’t know the author but it is inspiring. Let me know if it touches your heart, too.

A young man learns what’s most important in life from the guy next door.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son.. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him. Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.”

Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days. “Jack, did you hear me?” “Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you.. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him. “I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said. “You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said “He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him… He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important…Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.  The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture…..

Jack stopped suddenly. “What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked. “The box is gone,” he said “What box?” Mom asked.. “There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said. It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it. “Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package.. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read. Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was dif ficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser” it read..

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside. “Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box.. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover.. Inside he found these words engraved: “Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.” “The thing he valued most was…my time”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked. “I need some time to spend with my son,” he said.

“Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”

Think about this. You may not realize it, but it’s 100% true.

1. At least 2 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.

2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

3. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

4. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

5. You mean the world to someone.

6. If not for you, someone may not be living.

7. You are special and unique.

8. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won’t get it, but if you trust God to do what’s best, and wait on His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better..

9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it.

10. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.

11. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.

12. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

13 . Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know and you’ll both be happy.

14. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great. You will certainly brighten someone’s day and might change their perspective on life..for the better. To everyone  I say “Thanks for your time and for taking the time to read this.”

Could Your Incompletions Be Stressing You Out?

Most of us have To-Do lists that never end, and when our day is over, we feel frustrated. Half-started projects, incomplete reports, books begun and never finished- all of these drain large amounts of energy and actually create stress.

Incompletions are a form of self-sabotage, which can create anxiety, worry and tension. Every day, each one of us makes commitments to do things. Saying you’ll be at work on time is an agreement. Setting up lunch with a friend at a certain time and place is an agreement. Promising to take out the garbage tonight is an agreement.

Most people are good at keeping agreements with others. People who don’t keep agreements don’t have many friends, because they aren’t trustworthy.

Broken agreements destroy relationships. The problem for many of us is keeping agreements with ourselves. Promising ourselves we will get up early to exercise and then rolling over when the alarm goes off is a broken agreement.

Completion is Powerful

Circle of CompletionIn The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz describes the circle of completion. The three phases in this circle are germination, assimilation and completion. Germination is the initial start-up phase of a project. This is usually where you feel the greatest excitement and enthusiasm about your life. You’ll most likely share that contagious energy with others.

Assimilation is the phase where people take action, where you’re actually doing what needs to be done to make things happen. This is where many people get stuck and never completely finish projects. They get halfway done or they quit just short of realizing their goals. That is a big mistake because they lose out on all the joy and power that comes from Completion.

There is a distinct and special energy you experience every time you complete. Think about it. Reflect on the last time you finished some goal or project you’d been working towards for some time. How did you feel? Satisfied, pleased with yourself, perhaps even proud? That’s all part of the energy of completion and that energy gets you motivated to accomplish your next goal. It actually fuels the next project.

How to Get More Completion in Your L

• Walk through your house and notice what is incomplete. Is there a huge pile
of laundry waiting to be done? Is the carpet filthy? Take 10 minutes right
now and just do it. Feel the completion.

• Are there any old newspapers or half-read magazines in your home?
Recycle them or throw them away.

• Look in your closet. Is there some article of clothing you know you will
never wear again? Give it away.

Completions can fuel your energy for new projects and get you Fired Up!
Start tackling your incompletions now and see how much better you feel.

Manage Your Stress Through Yoga

photo of yoga posture from the book Stress Express!Practiced for over 5000 years, yoga is a profound and popular form of exercise, with nearly 11 million Americans practicing it.  It’s taught around the world  in many different forms.  Recent studies at the University of NC Hospitals and Duke University show yoga reduces stress and also provide significant improvements for those with illnesses such as arthritis, back pain, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.   The Center for Integrative Medicine of Thomas Jefferson University found that a 1 hour session of yoga lowered cortisol in participants with no previous yoga experience, even seven days later.

The Benefits of Yoga

Whatever form of yoga you enjoy, there are enormous benefits to your body, mind and spirit.  Yoga:

• increases flexibility through stretching

• improves posture

• promotes better breathing

• massages all internal organs of body

• increases lubrication of tendons, joints, ligaments

• flushes toxins out of the body

• tones muscles

• provides a deep sense of relaxation

I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years and I find it makes a tremendous difference to my energy, flexibility and strength.  Try it as a new form of exercise and stress relief.

Stress Relief Through Scent

Lemon with lemon slice for cutting stress and keyboard mistakesDid you know just inhaling certain fragrances can relieve stress?  It’s true.  One of the most interesting findings when I was researching my new book Stress Express! was the impact of scent.  Fragrance is powerful.  Realtors know this well.  They often put drops of cinnamon oil on lightbulbs when showing a house, or bake cookies with cinnamon in them.  The scent of cinnamon is said to be the most  welcoming for many Americans because it reminds them of breakfast with grandparents and cinnamon toast.

Here are a few stress-relieving scents you may want to check out:

Lemon– Believe it or not, the scent of lemon in the workplace cuts keyboard mistakes by 50%  according to Valerie Wormwood.  Think of what a difference that could make with your work.

Vanilla soothes restless children.  It has a positive impact on the limbic center of the brain, which controls emotion, according to a study done at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. A few drops on the wrists of a child can transform a cranky, whiny child into one who is happy and laughing.

•  Peppermint extract on your forehead or temples can help relieve pain immediately.  It’s also great for concentration.  A Univ. of Cincinnati study found people who breathe in peppermint oil are immediately more alert. Children who eat a peppermint before tests score better. And athletes perform better.

Lavender calms irritability, soothes tension and promotes relaxation.  Many sleep products like scented pillowcases are sold because of lavender’s soothing properties.  You’ll often find it in hotels these days.

Try these fragrances in a variety of ways- scented candles, air fresheners, extracts, etc. to help relieve your stress and feel better fast.  You may just be surprised with the results.

The Powerful Value of Naps

Exhausted woman Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Most Americans are not.  In fact, 40% of the US population is sleep-deprived.  According to the World Health Organization, less than 7 hours a night is considered a carcinogen, cancer-causing agent.


If you get less than 7 hours, you are:

•3 times more likely to catch the cold or flu
• likely to carry an extra 20 pounds of weight
• 4 times more likely to have a stroke over age 45.

What’s the solution?  For many people and more and more companies- naps!

I love naps.  I hated them when I was a kid, but today, I find them rejuvenating and energizing.  Naps work!  And there is a great deal of research to support it.

Naps of half an hour or less don’t interfere with sleep patterns, and  can restore clarity, alertness, and memory.  Albert Einstein was a big fan of naps. has a nap room and employees are encouraged to use it regularly.  More and more corporations are providing nap rooms.  Many railroads have them, and even Ben and Jerry’s believes in naps.

An exhausted employee is an ineffective and possibly dangerous employee. Both Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were related to sleep deprivation.

Sara Mednick, author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life, says a 20 minute power nap is very light and easy to wake from, and good for your motor memory.   A nap of 20 – 60 minutes is slow wave sleep, which is restorative.  It promotes muscle and tissue growth, as well as memory  performance.

“Sleepiness alone costs the American economy and employers about 18 billion dollars a year,” says Darrel Drobnich of the National Sleep Foundation in Washington, DC.  So why not address that proactively and provide a nap space at work?

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Staying Healthy as a Way to Keep Fired Up!

Warren Whitlock, author of Twitter Revolution, wrote of my last post that he wanted more information about how to prevent illness. So for my friend Warren and the rest of my friends, new and old, here are some stress management tips and health tips to help prevent illness.

be proactive, especially when it comes to your teeth. A recent tough lesson for me came when I ground my teeth so badly that I abraded my front tooth. My dentist told me it was infected and required a root canal in a few weeks! Uggh! Teeth grinding is a very common problem, and it results in broken teeth, TMJ, headaches, neck aches and shoulder problems. Fortunately, it can be treated with cranial-sacral work, massage, mouthguards and good dental care.

• Find a way to exercise that’s fun for you, and do it three-four times a week for 30 minutes. The best way is one that does not feel like work. Get an exercise buddy and go to the gym together, go for walks and catch up on your day, or do a sport you love. My husband and I are ballroom dancers, and it’s a great workout that is fun and challenging. Find what you enjoy.

Watch your food consumption, especially sugar and sugar substitutes. Over 1 billion people worldwide are obese, and many of them are diabetic. Read Sugar Blues by William Dufty to learn about the dangers of sugar, and check on-line studies on how sugar substitutes can damage your liver and kidney. I have a sweet tooth, so I use stevia, which is an herb with no calories and no side effects. Check with your doctor for what works best for you.

Get enough sleep- 7 hours of more. The World Health Organization says less than 7 hours may be a carcinogen- cancer-causing agent!1 Less than 7 hours lowers your immune function, makes you 3x more susceptible to colds, contributes to diabetes and creates a large drop in concentration and productivity. 40% of Americans are sleep deprived, are you one of them?2

Be careful of dependency on outside stimulants, whether they’re caffeine, alcohol, prescription drugs, or sleep aids. All of these can wreak havoc on your immune system and you body’s ability to relax naturally. A study published in Harvard Science Review said that walnuts and molasses may be just as effective at fighting depression as prescription drugs!3

Spend time in nature. Nature is soothing to the system on so many levels, from the physical contact of bare feet on sand, to the soothing relief of negative ions from oceans or waterfalls. Drink in the beauty of a crimson sunset on a lake, giggle as sea gulls dive for a piece of bread, or inhale the soft fragrance of a fresh rosebud. Nature is healing; spend time outside.

This is part one. Share your suggestions with me for more tips on staying healthy! Write me at
1 Fisher, Anne, “ Make sleep work for you” Fortune Small Business, Sept. 2008, p.86-90

2 Schwab, Dave, “Study: Naps improves brain power,” La Jolla Light, CA, April 1, 2009

3 . “Eat your way happy and healthy,” Woman’s World, May 5 2008, p.12