Archive for the ‘Dreams & Goals’ Category

So, you think you’re safe where you are.

No risk.

No worries.

No cost.

Think again, my friend. We all know that stepping out into the unknown — the effort it takes to get from here to there — can be fraught with peril. Facing down the future can seem overwhelming and the cost can be enormous.

Don’t think, however, that simply staying put is possible without cost.

There is a price for everything.

“Here” has a price to it.

The journey has a price.

The destination has a price.

~ Delatorro McNeal II

If this is true, and I believe it is, then the question becomes:

Are your current set of circumstances
worth the price you are paying for them?

Make no mistake — it will cost you to make a change.

But you’re also paying a steep price for the life you now live.

It’s just that the costs for our current lives don’t seem as noticeable as those incurred for engaging a dream. We’re used to them. They’ve become common, ordinary, tucked into the routine of our daily lives.

But just like clockwork, the expense is deducted from our account in the form of missed friendships, overlooked opportunities, undiscovered knowledge, wasted time.

As Meister Eckhart said, “The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.”

It’s time to settle the accounts and reconcile the balance. Audit your decisions. Examine your circumstances. Look at your life and determine if you’re getting enough value for the cost.

Whatever you are, it’s going to cost you!


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Just remember that you don’t have to be what they want you to be.
Muhammad Ali

Who is this “they” that keep trying to set your standards and control your behavior?

And why is it that “they” feel empowered to control your destiny?

Who is it that you’re looking toward to provide the map for your life?

Why are you waiting for them to decide?

Be courageous. Dream the dream. Take the risk. Live the life. On your terms.

But be prepared.

They have a tendency to scoff at what they don’t understand.

Mock the actions they are fearful to take.

Sabotage convictions that make them uncomfortable.

Bravely take a stand. Declare your intentions. Follow your star.

For at the end of your journey, they won’t be around to blame or congratulate — at that point you stand on your own.

As Dag Hammarskjold said, “Never for the sake of ‘peace and quiet’ deny your own experience or convictions.

Whatever you are, live your own life!


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Dum Spiro Spero.

While I breathe, I hope.

~ South Carolina, State Motto

In Bishopville, South Carolina resides an unlikely gardener. No, not just a gardener. An artist.

Pearl Fryar did not have a background in horticulture.

He was the son of a cotton sharecropper.

He didn’t have the best material.

He salvaged plants that had been thrown on the scrap pile in the back of the local nursery.

He had no formal training in creating topiaries.

Although he did have a 3-minute demonstration once.

He didn’t have community support.

When he moved to Bishopville, one white neighborhood wouldn’t welcome him because they said he wouldn’t keep up his yard.

He didn’t let obstacles stop him.

He showed them by winning the “Yard of the Month” award from the Bishopville Iris Garden Club.

Pearl had a dream. And what he created is a three-acre sculpted garden that will take your breath away. Pearl explains:

“Gardening books will tell you that some of these things in my garden can’t be done, but I had never read them when I got started.

Not knowing ahead of time that something is supposed to be impossible often makes it possible to achieve.

I didn’t have any limitations because I really didn’t know anything about horticulture. I just figured I could do whatever I wanted with any plant I had.”

Of course, it wasn’t always easy for Pearl. He knows what it’s like to be poor.

Be shunned.

Be without.

He asks, “When the going gets tough, what will you do?”  His answer, “Well, you don’t let the obstacles determine where you’re going to go.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

Pearl’s ability to do a common task in an uncommon way has put the tiny town of Bishopville on the map. He’s been featured in the New York Times, CBS, PBS, and in many other outlets. His work is showcased throughout the state. Tour buses pull up to his home. Few serious gardeners haven’t heard his name.  He uses his fame to encourage and influence young people to fulfill their potential.

Pearl set his own course, followed his dream, and never let the obstacles determine where he was going.

If Pearl could do it, why not you?

Whatever you are, be a good one!


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You will recognize your own path when you come upon it,
because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination
you will ever need.

Jerry Gillies

Do you ever wander around your life, wondering when things will make sense?
When you will discover your purpose?
When your destiny will arrive?

You’ve taken the tests and discovered your strengths. Read the books and identified the steps.

Yet something remains elusive. In the shadows. Just out of sight.

Surely, you think, there’s more to it than this.

Not that your life is a disaster waiting for the clean-up crew. No, that’s not it.

It feels more like you’re living your life in black and white, when you know for a fact that there is a high-definition option available.

Don’t give up!  Keep searching, researching, looking for your life. It’s out there just waiting to be discovered.

And when you do find it, you must be willing to take the biggest risk of all — exchanging the comfort of what you know for the opportunity to live the life you have imagined.

There is a point
at which everything becomes simple
and there is no longer any question of choice,
because all you have staked will be lost
if you look back.

Life’s point of no return.

— Dag Hammarskjold
U.N. Secretary General (1905-1961)

Whatever you are, be a good one!


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Know thyself.”

~ Delphi Temple Inscription

The title read something to the effect of It’s Time to Make Enemies. “What an odd title for an article in a business magazine,” I thought.  Nevertheless, I was intrigued!

Seriously? Make Enemies? I thought our goals were supposed to be peace, love, joy, harmony, organic, and being green.


The author went on to say that as a business owner sometimes you just have to stand your ground, stay true to your goal, and be confident in your identity — regardless of who might walk away in a snit.

It was a much-needed update on Shakespeare’s, “To thine own self be true.”

Interestingly enough, the next day I was reading the “How I Did It” article in Inc. The author profiled Jerry Murrell, founder of the super-successful Five Guys Burgers and Fries.  Murrell is a no-nonsense guy with a clear mission. He knows what he’s supposed to be doing.

Murrell’s secret recipe is to “keep it simple.” He never advertises, doesn’t offer a drive-thru, and is committed to offering the best burgers and fries in the business.  In the article, Murrell offered interesting and practical advice while providing a 21st Century spin on creating “enemies.”

When we first opened (in Northern Virginia), the Pentagon called and said, “We want 15 hamburgers; what time can you deliver?”

I said, “What time can you pick them up? We don’t deliver.”

There was an admiral running the place. So he called me up personally and said, “Mr. Murrell, everyone delivers food to the Pentagon.”

We  got a 22-foot long banner that said, ABSOLUTELY NO DELIVERY and hung it in front of our store.

And then our business from the Pentagon picked up.

I like Mr. Murrell.  And his approach.

As I see it, the problem is that we spend so much time and energy pleasing people who, in the grand scheme of things, distract us from our dream and divert resources from our mission, that we dilute our impact and erase our effectiveness.

Why is it that we feel compelled to ensure that each individual is content, comfortable, and appeased, regardless of the cost to ourselves?

Stop it.

Stay focused on your dream. Don’t allow others to sabotage your focus with demands that don’t fit your plan.  Let them go somewhere else for delivery.

Whatever you are, sometimes it’s okay to make enemies!


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In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy.

~Karl Reiland

Some people make huge differences in the world.  When they place a call or write a check or make an appeal, their actions affect thousands of individuals, entire communities, generations of people.

While names like Winfrey, Buffet, Gates, and Carnegie spring to mind, resources of such magnitude are rare. People who have that type of power, influence, and philanthropic spirit don’t live on every block.

But you know who does?

People who seek out opportunities to share what they have.

Those who try to make the load lighter, the road shorter and the journey more enjoyable for others.

Individuals who seek out opportunities to serve, volunteer, make a difference.

“People who not only see the light at the end of the tunnel, but become that light for others” [Live Inspired].

People like YOU.

Don’t wait for someone to ask for your help. The need is too urgent to put it off until your bank account is stuffed and overflowing. In fact, I believe that “if you give when you are asked, you have waited too long” [anonymous].

People everywhere are seeking what you have to offer.

Take the initiative to offer a solution. Connect them to others. Serve as a mentor.  Travel with them. Show them the way. Become the light so they can see how to reach their dreams.

Whatever you are, follow the advice of Norma B. Rice: “Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.”


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The future you see is the future you get” [Robert G. Allen].

It’s Friday — TGIF and all of that!

I don’t know about you, but what a week it has been. In a good way. No, it would probably be more accurate to say, in a great way.

As I sit at my desk and review the past several days, I don’t have any huge wins or amazing accomplishments to write in my journal. There was nothing I would label as an earth-shattering breakthrough.

I think what made the difference for me this week is that I kept my sights set on the big picture, the goal down the road, the prize at the end. And by doing so, I kept my priorities right.

When you maintain the right perspective,  it is easier to organize and prioritize the daily minutia, the “stuff,” the details that often threaten to drown each one of us.

Think of it like driving a car down the road without knowing exactly where you’re going.  As you focus on the car directly in front of you, slow down to read the signs and speed up to get to the next intersection, your driving becomes reactionary, adjustments are frequent and often severe.

It’s quite tedious and tiring. And can be dangerous.

A lot of activity, but no real sense of accomplishment.

However, if you know where you ultimately want to arrive, you can keep your focus on that point further down the road.  You become proactive, small adjustments now ensure you stay the course.  You avoid unnecessary detours, bypass the pitfalls, and the journey is much more pleasant.

Maybe that’s why many of the famous sports quotes remind us to, “Keep your eye on the prize,” not “watch your opponent.” Because as you keep your focus on the goal, you’ll take the actions required to win the match.

As Samuel Smiles said,

Progress of the best kind is comparatively slow.

Great results cannot be achieved at once;
we must be satisfied to advance in life
as we walk step by step.”

And so it was with this week.

Thanks, everyone, who shared the journey with me.  I hope you can look back with a sense of pride and fulfillment for what you accomplished over the past several days.

Now, go out there and enjoy the weekend!

Whatever you are, make sure you’re looking at the future you want!


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