Now Here’s the Rest of the Story

Found After 15 Years!

john-lee-hookerOn my June 8th post I wrote about a chance meeting my son and I had with a young artist who created clay sculptures and ultimately bronze casting of famous blues artists. I indicated that we had met in 2001 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California and that I had lost the contact information that he had given me.

Well, again, in the words of the late Paul Harvey, “Here’s the rest of the story.”

My wonderful wife, began looking through the web and trying to seek out who this artist might be. We found one that seemed to have the proper credentials and I sent him the following e-mail…

Daniel, I’m curious if you were in Anaheim, House of Blues working on a John Lee Hooker piece for your blues collection around 2001? If so we may have met and I lost the phone and address you gave me. I just wrote a blog about that meeting. Love to know if it was you.

The following day I received this reply…

Daniel Edwards“Yes, Greg, that was me. You were there with your son?”

Well needless to say I was quite thrilled to have found my artist after all this time, his name is Daniel Edwards, and he has become a very successful artist. He has sculpted many celebrities over the years and so I feel very fortunate to have had this chance meeting with him so many years ago. A meeting that, much like Daniel’s art, shaped me through the experience.

So, now what? What are the messages here?

Pay attention to the thoughts that you have. Often times the ideas that we have come and go and most often we don’t take the time to acknowledge or record the “inspiration”.

The idea for my previous post came to me as I was reflecting on a sculpture that my son had created in high school. It’s a sculpture of a  shoe and I’ve always seen it as a metaphor for the idea that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The “inspiration” came to me and I paid attention to it.

It’s called inspiration, because it comes to you IN-SPIRIT. I believe it’s coming from a higher source and that it’s something that either has significance or leads to something significant.

By writing about my experience of meeting Daniel, I was “inspired” to go searching for him. It became a little mini adventure for me. It created a higher energy within me that was multiplied once Daniel responded that it was in-fact him.

What do we put off that, if we did it immediately would, in the process give us a greater degree of energy?

Who from your historical past have you been wanting to contact but have just put it off? Go do it NOW! There’s no telling what adventure might come from it.

So there you go, The Rest of the Story. Thank you for indulging me in this little trip down memory lane. Stay connected to your inspiration and just remember, we are all pieces of clay. We are being molded each and every day with the challenges and adventures we face and each experience shapes us into who we are now and who we will become.

Choose to be an adventurer and let your life be shaped by those experiences.

Questions to Ponder: What events have molded you into who you are today? Have you taken the time to journal how The Master Potter has been shaping you? What are the gifts and talents that YOU have that you could be using to help shape a better world?

 

 

Your Life is Like a String Instrument

From my upcoming book: The Architect of Dreams

The Master Craftsman meticulously sought out a unique wood that would create a beautifully designed body and instrument. He took time to explore the subtle grain changes that when cut, sanded and lacquered would produce a stunning visual masterpiece that through looks alone would attract people to it’s unique characteristics.

Then the Master CraftsmGuitaran, the Artisan of sight and sound, put on strings of various thickness and tuning pegs that would stretch the strings beyond a relaxed, comfortable state.

It is in the stretching that each string achieves its’ unique and quintessential sound that is similar but different from the other strings on the beautifully designed musical apparatus.

It is this synergistic relationship between various materials and knowledge provided by the Master Craftsman that when properly tuned and put in the hands of the Master Musician that the instrument comes alive with an energy and sound so beautiful that tears of joy will follow.

And yet, left alone and not cared for or caressed, the beautiful instrument will begin to lose its unique qualities. And soon the strings will rust and become slack and the gorgeous wood will lose its luster.

Hopefully, in time,  another Master will come along, see the beauty hidden in a lackluster instrument and begin a process of renovation that will bring back to life the fantastic look and sound originally intended by the Master Carpenter. With age, the wood becomes seasoned and not only retains it’s tone but resonates with a greater quality than when the wood was young.

Sitting by itself in the corner of a room the unique instrument has all the potential to create beautiful music.  But it must be picked up and played by one who can make it come to life. Someone who is willing to put on new strings, re-tune each string that plays the unique note and is a synergistic part in the creation of a magnificent song.

So it is with each of us.  We are unique beings who have been created by The Master Designer. We have each been given unique talents that must be continuously explored and tuned.  Stretched beyond our comfort zones in order to find the sweet notes we were each intended to produce.

You are a wonderful instrument, treasure your gifts and explore life’s possibilities. Stretch yourself and surround yourself with other artists who will stretch you. The Architect of Dreams, has instilled in you the ability to create a symphony with your life that will make people shed tears of joy for having known you.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Why do we avoid stretching?
  • Why do we not see the beauty in ourselves and not pick up the instrument and explore its possibilities?
  • Why do we perhaps begin the adventure but put the instrument in a dark corner or case to collect dust, rust, become slack or fade in color?
  • Do we let other’s criticism of our playing of the instrument stop/prevent us from exploring its possibilities?
  • Do you believe the instrument was not meant for you? Perhaps another one is, seek it out!

Write your own symphony with the instruments that you’ve been given. You are unique and have talents no one else has ever had or ever will have. Believe in your gifts and make a life of magnificent music. YOU are a wonderful instrument…Play On!

How a Chance Meeting Can Impact Your Life

You are nothing but a piece of clay!

john-lee-hookerIt was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning as I sat reading my newspaper (just goes to show you what era this took place in). As I perused the entertainment section, I saw an announcement for the Anaheim House of Blues. The famous blues singer-guitarist, John Lee Hooker was in concert that very night. I asked my young son who was a huge blues fan if he wanted to go to the show. He had become an avid blues, and rock ‘n roll fan after I had jokingly, told him that “punk sucked.”

We arrived at the House of Blues several hours early. It was at Downtown Disney so I wanted to get there in plenty of time so that we could get a good spot to watch the show. This was a fairly new venue in the area and I fully expected to find hundreds of blues fans waiting in line.

As we approached the concert hall, we saw there was only one other fan in line. Being the outgoing individual that I am, I struck up a conversation with the young man and found out he was an artist from the great state of Connecticut. As a photographer, musician and overall fan of the arts, I was intrigued to ask him, “What kind of art do you do?”

He told me that he was a sculptor and that he was working on series of sculptures of the top living blues artists. Well, my fascination grew and went into wonderment when he asked if I wanted to see his current project of John Lee Hooker. Naturally I said, “Heck yeah!”

He dug into his satchel and pulled out an item that was preciously bubble wrapped for protection. He systematically unveiled his clay art revealing a magnificent representation of the great blues man. I marveled at the intricacies of the clay figure, the realism, and the movements he had captured in this unfinished piece of clay. I asked why he carried it with him. His reply was that “I only work on them while they are performing and that’s why I’m here tonight.”

Sure enough, as the crowd slowly entered the venue, I saw that my new friend had worked his way up to the front of the stage. During the opening act, he kicked back and enjoyed the music. But when John Lee Hooker came on stage the transformation began. The artist, unrolled his bubble wrapped clay and began to work on his masterpiece. I was as mesmerized by his working, as I was with the music of the great musician. Two artists performing together with totally unique instruments, with the same end in mind. The creation of special works of art in sight and sound.

Now, in the words of the late great —-Paul Harvey, “Here’s the rest of the story.”

Flashback a couple of hours to my initial meeting with the sculptor.  As I stood there admiring the artist’s clay figure, I asked him what he intended to do with the clay. He told me that he was going to create a bronze casting of the series. BUT…”I only cast the clay after the performer has died, because that is the final piece of art.”

Wow! That is a life lesson that has stuck with me for over 15 years and I have used it extensively in my teaching and coaching.

The unfortunate part of this story is that I lost the phone number and address of this fine young artist and so I have not been able to stay connected. So if anyone knows this wonderful man, I would love to make contact.

So here’s the lesson. Each of us is just like that piece of clay. We are given life by The Great Sculptor, with potential not yet realized and throughout our lifetime we are sculpted and shaped by life into whoever we are becoming.  We have successes, and we stumble and fall. Each time either adding or subtracting some clay. And it is in this process of being pushed and shaped that we finally reach a point where it is time to cast the final image.

So, the question, in the paraphrased words of Paul Harvey…”What’s the rest of your story?” How do you want your bronze statue to be perceived? I know you want it to be viewed as a masterpiece not a paper weight, right? So what do you need to change? Who or what do you need to eliminate from your life? Who do you need to intentionally become? 

Message From the Road-June 5, 2016

How Are You Shoring Up Your Life?

Hope you enjoy todays message. Live your life intentionally!

Feel free to share and subscribe if you want to stay connected and receive upcoming videos and blog posts.

Keep on growing, keep on learning and keep on leading.

The #1 Secret to Your Success

Secret & Dreams (6)The Number One Secret to Your Success? Yep, you read that right and now you’re here to read exactly how improving this one area of your life will allow you to achieve so many of your goals and dreams. I know you are hoping for that magic bullet, we all are,  and I think you will find that this information is about as close as you can get. So what’s “The Secret?”

Sleep!

There was a time when I lived with the motto of, “sleep when you’re dead.” Then I had an awakening (pun intended). A couple of years ago I had a hip replacement which was a result of numerous athletic injuries.

Oh my! What an epiphany I had. My body had forgotten what it felt like waking up after a pain free night of 8 hours of solid sleep. I was now a convert and started researching the role sleep plays in peak performers. I found that so many of the people we admire, past and present, get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Many habitually take naps during the day.

Comedian Carrie Snow once said, “No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.”

We all know that we should be getting seven or eight hours of shut-eye each night, and yet many of us fail to make sleep a priority. Some even wear their lack of sleep requirements as a badge of honor. If you’ve clocked too little sleep, naps can be a lifesaver.

Napping has many benefits. Science has shown that a short snooze can help you be more alert, see an increase in creativity and productivity, as well as reduce stress, improve your memory and enhance your learning ability as well.

“Sleep makes us more productive, creative, less stressed and much healthier and happier,” HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington said on NBC’s “Today” last year. “Even a 20-minute nap in the middle of the day can make a huge difference. I grew up thinking that if you work around the clock, you are going to be more effective, and I realize that is not true.”

Many celebrated historical figures and modern-day successful stories rely on the art of napping to restore their minds and bodies when they’re feeling fatigued.

Here are some highly successful people who are known to rely on naps to power through long days.

  • Thomas Edison. When he wasn’t thinking and inventing items like the light bulb and phonograph, Edison was big on naps and used to say he got much of his energy from them.
  • Leonardo DaVinci.
  • Connie Mack.
  • Winston Churchill.
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • Ronald Reagan.

Sleep plays an extremely vital role in our overall well-being. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps protect your mental health, physical health, and overall quality of life.

During sleep, your body is repairing itself and preparing you for the next day.

Sleep deficiency can raise your risk of chronic health challenges and it can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.

Healthy Brain Function and Emotional Well-Being

While you’re sleeping, your brain is forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information.

Studies show that a good night’s sleep improves learning. Whether you’re learning math, how to play the guitar, or how to swing a tennis racket, sleep  helps you focus, make decisions, and be creative.

If you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

Children and teens who are sleep deficient may have problems getting along with others. They may feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation. They also may have problems paying attention, and they may get lower grades and feel stressed.

Physical Health

Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. Consistent sleep deficiency is linked to increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and obesity.

Sleep helps maintaSleepin a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you’re well-rested.

Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.

Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a role in puberty and fertility.

Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.

Daytime Performance and Safety

Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps you function well throughout the day. People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school. They take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes.

Lack of sleep can lead to microsleep. Microsleep refers to brief moments of sleep that occur when you’re normally awake.

You can’t control microsleep, and you might not be aware of it. For example, have you ever driven somewhere and then not remembered part of the trip? If so, you may have experienced microsleep.

Even if you’re not driving, microsleep can affect how you function. If you’re listening to a lecture, for example, you might miss some of the information or feel like you don’t understand the point. In reality, though, you may have slept through part of the lecture and not been aware of it.

Sudies show that sleep deficiency harms your driving ability as much as, or more than, being drunk. It’s estimated that driver sleepiness is a factor in about 100,000 car accidents each year, resulting in about 1,500 deaths.

Drivers aren’t the only ones affected by sleep deficiency. It can affect people in all lines of work, including health care workers, pilots, students, lawyers, mechanics, and assembly line workers.

As a result, sleep deficiency is not only harmful on a personal level, but it also can cause large-scale damage. For example, sleep deficiency has played a role in human errors linked to tragic accidents, such as nuclear reactor meltdowns, grounding of large ships, and aviation accidents.

Don’t let your life become a meltdown. Get plenty of sleep, live with passion and let your body repair itself so you can be the best version of yourself possible. Live your life intentionally, SLEEP!

 

The #1 Key to Successfully Solving Any Challenge

Wow! What a day! You’re driving down the road, enjoying a beautiful Saturday afternoon drive in the country. The weather is spectacular. The flowers are in bloom, the sky is a brilliant color blue and big white clouds explode with a fluffy contrast to blue sky. The emerald green trees sway in the breeze, the temperature outside is just ideal and the warm sunlight washes onto your face as you drive through this idyllic countryside. Then it happens!

6985112-sunny-day-country-roadAll of a sudden your “check engine” light illuminates to break the serenity of your picture perfect day. “What the heck!” is the next sound that breaks the silence and your blood pressure shoots ups! “I knew I should have taken the car in for a service before I left!”

So, what do you do? You pull over and pop the hood to see what the problem might be. You search around for any sign of trouble, but you’re not a mechanic and it all looks quite foreign to you. So you do the only thing that seems rational at the time. You search for the wire that connects the “Check Engine” light and disconnect it. You jump back in your car, fire up the engine and you see that the check engine light is no longer on.

Relief! Now you can enjoy your trip without any further worry, right? NO and we all know better don’t we. We know that we only dealt with the symptom that made us feel better temporarily, but we know that left unattended, the car is going to breakdown and cost us a lot of money to repair the damage.

Amazingly though, the vast majority of people go through life this way. Challenges arise and we deal with “The Symptom” instead of addressing “The Root of the Problem”.

We know we need to get healthy, need to correct our financial instability, or remove ourselves from a toxic relationship.  We change a few behaviors for a short period of time,  with a bit of success, yet we are doomed for failure because we haven’t gotten to the real problem. We aren’t addressing “The Root of the Challenge.”

The root of any challenge is almost always, YOU! We make a lot of excuses blaming others or circumstances for why we don’t eat right, exercise, make more money, or have time to improve our relationships. All of this is looking at the external factors, when we MUST look at the internal in order to minimize or eliminate our challenges.

All too often the root of life’s grief comes from not having a dream that you OWN. A BIG DREAM that will drive you when things get tough. How much time have you taken to really look at your life and define what you really want to accomplish. Napoleon Hill called it a “Burning Desire”. I love the quote, “If the DREAM is big enough the HOW doesn’t matter”.

In today’s world, we have such an amazing opportunity to live a life of abundance. We can all live out our dreams if we will just take the time to look deep into the root system of our lives and feed our dreams with action and a burning desire to succeed and leave a legacy of significance.

 

Enjoy the journey my friends!

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What areas of your life, if you became more intentional in exploring the “root challenges” would you begin to work on?
  2. If you were intentional in exploring where you are, how you got there, and who you need to become, how would you feel?
  3. What would your life look like if you lived more intentionally?

 

Why You Should Not Try to Find Your Purpose!

What is the most challenging conversation you will ever have with yourself or anyone else? What are the questions mankind has been asking since the beginning of time? Well here they are! “Why am I here? What is my purpose? How will I know when I find it? What is the meaning of my life? What do I want from life?”

Regardless of where we are in life, at some point, these questions will be asked.

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It's Up To YOU

In my work as a speaker, trainer and coach, I have had the pleasure of working with business executives, families and young men and women who are just starting out in their careers and life. Without question the vast majority of these people struggle with the above questions.

So I decided that I would find a simpler way for people to begin their quest for purpose. After much reading, I decided that instead of asking people to find their life’s purpose (this question seemed to scare most people or at least create frustration) I decided to start asking them to determine what the Best Version of Themselves would be.

Now this seemed to provide visible relief to many who fought against the concept of defining their life’s purpose. Many though, still continue to battle against the foe of their destiny. So my search for a simple system of discovery continued.

Then it hit me! Why not just DECIDE on what your purpose is, instead of trying to FIND it?

All of a sudden, people were saying, “That is much easier! If I decide to choose my path, to follow the path that produces the most joy and contentment, I will be living a much healthier, happy and fulfilled existence.

That is exactly what our lives should be. Filled with love, health, happiness and fulfillment. A life of vibrancy and expectancy. A life lacking in frustration, worry, doubt and limiting beliefs.

I would suggest that you take some quality time to reflect on what inspires and motivates you. Journal the daily events that get you excited and what brings you bounding out of bed in the morning. Take time away from the daily grind to hang out in the classroom of silence and listen to the messages that perhaps you have buried in past memories.

Decide what you’re great at and love to do and now go and pursue it with all the passion you can muster. Life is too short to live in the shadows of someone else’s dreams. It’s time for you to step out of the shadows and grace the world with the light of your talents, gifts, vision and purpose.

Choose your path, don’t wait for it to find you! Be an adventurer who is purposefully choosing to live life with fervor and boldness. Say NO to mediocrity and YES to the life of a seeker! Choose greatness, you won’t regret it!

Ideas to Ponder: These and the above questions will help you CHOOSE your direction.

1. I love to ____________________.

2. As a child I wanted to ____________________.

3. My dream has always been to ____________________.

4. My biggest regret is that ____________________.

5. I choose to ____________________.

6. My passion is____________________.

I hope you feel inspired and are excited  to pass this message along to all of your friends, family and business associates who are looking to live a healthier, happier and more fulfilled life! Encourage them to subscribe to our blog. We love new members, and it’s FREE!