Patriotism… Pass It On

Patriotism has a different meaning for many people.  For some it is as deeply embedded as a core belief, such as religion or love of family.  I have always been proud to be an American where I have been given the opportunity to pursue my dreams, chart my own course, savor the successes, and learn from my mistakes. 

I am thankful to so many who have served our country and for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, my heartfelt thank you will never be enough.  For those who serve and protect our great Nation today, you will always have my admiration and thanks.  Without your willingness to defend what we believe in, our freedoms would no longer be guaranteed.

I have read so many reports in the news and across social media with each side adamantly projecting their views.  Although the message might be lost due to actions of a few, I always attempt to stay grounded upon the beliefs I hold most dear.  I respect the beliefs of my fellow Americans and understand that we may not always agree on issues, but I hope at the core we can all believe in the strength of unity as a Nation.  Just as our Pledge of Allegience reminds us, “One Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”.

What is the role of wealth in creating happiness? Can money make you happy?

It has been said that “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” This very statement has been the basis of great debate across society for ages and the topic for which I have felt important to comment about today.

What is the role of wealth in creating happiness? By successfully achieving financial wealth, there is absolute peace of mind knowing that you have achieved financial security. This security reduces the worry of everyday life and allows you to focus on other goals whether educational, spiritual, emotional or physical goals. The argument could be further made that although wealth alone cannot make you happy, not having worry about financial security is indeed a much happier way to live.

Can money make you happy? For the short term, money can make any person happy. However, the simple pursuit for financial gain is a short term sense of happiness and not necessarily a long lasting state of mind.

As written in the opening paragraph of this document, “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” I believe that is a true statement. However, it is what you do with your wealth that will ultimately determine the level of happiness in your life.

In a speech written and delivered by Hugh B. Brown during an address to BYU College students in 1969, he said, “The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart, this you will build your life by, this you will become.” Such an impactful statement by Brown that teaches us that a vision which begins our mind will ultimately be what we become.
Those who would argue that money doesn’t buy happiness would be correct. The happiness comes from having financial resources sufficient to fund the desires of your heart. A person who desires to help the homeless can do so much more if they have sufficient funds. A person who desires to reduce the number of children who go to bed hungry will be able to feed more children if they have a sufficient supply of money.

What matters most is what is in your heart. If you desire to do good, then financial wealth becomes the vehicle to obtain those goals. If you desire to finance your own selfish wants, then a time will come in your life where money alone would not bring you that happiness. There will never be enough money in the world to help you be happy if you lack a purpose filled life.

Ultimately, the decision to be happy is up to you; Let financial wealth be the vehicle to fund those goals that you have. Do not let the pursuit of money be your driving force, because the pursuit alone is not the prize. Let your passion to serve others and achieve specific goals. In that, there is joy. In that, money can finance your happiness.

Looking Forward With Hope & Optimism

20132014beachSir James Dyson once said, “Often, just around the corner is where the solution will happen.”  Ringing in a new year is an opportunity for each of us to evaluate our individual successes or disappointments from the year behind us and also look forward with a renewed commitment for our goals in the year ahead.   

As we look forward to 2014 with both hope & optimism, may each of us achieve success as we strive to accomplish our most important personal & professional goals. 

Believe & Achieve!

Personal & Professional Mission Statements

Two weeks ago I was attending a course at the University of Georgia when our instructor lead us into a most interesting conversation about “a mission statement”. This writing exercise wasn’t about a corporate statement, but rather a life statement that embodied both our professional & personal life. In many cases, the collective “we” keep those two areas of our lives separate and work to find balance between the two. Yet, as I was challenged to create a statement that merged these two lives together, I wanted to envelop my desire to succeed as a working professional, an avid believer in volunteerism and a family man. The result of that effort is what has now become my personal & professional mission statement.

Personal & Professional Mission Statement –

“I intend to help others by fostering individual achievement, mentor organizational development to firms that I am passionate towards and provide coaching to those who have that desire to maximize their personal and professional development.

Living with the belief that I can achieve anything in life that I desire by first helping others achieve their goals will be the cornerstone of my work ethic and I will gain great satisfaction in knowing that I have helped others.

I intend to live a life of purpose… to be a great husband, father, son and friend to those in my life”.

What is your mission statement? Would you be willing to share it? I would love to post a collection of various personal & professional mission statements so those seeking inspiration might find this resource valuable.

So… What is your mission statement?

An Eagle’s Promise

This evening I was honored to attend a BSA Court of Honor where a young man from Troop 115 was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout. This exceptional young man was the second in his family to follow his father’s example as an Eagle Scout and has lived his life in a most exemplary manner. I was touched to see the tender moment when this young man hugged his mother and the joy in her eyes to see her son reach this goal.

I was pleased to witness that scouting continues to be about the young men embracing a value system, striving for something good and living their life as they follow the scout law…

“A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

Tonight was not about political platforms nor policy, but simply about recognizing the efforts of a remarkable young man who has grown from a boy to a man and while doing so attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

For all Eagle Scouts young and old, we are reminded that our journey as an Eagle Scout does not end, but rather that we should live our lives as adults following this Eagle Promise…

” I reaffirm my allegiance to the three promises of the scout oath. I thoughtfully recognize and take upon myself the obligations and responsibilities of an Eagle Scout.

On my honor I will do my best to make my training and example, my rank and my influence, count strongly for better scouting and for better citizenship in my troop, in my community, and in my contacts with other people.

To this I pledge my sacred honor.”

I am thankful to those parents and leaders who support scouting and work together to develop our youth into tomorrow’s leaders. Scouting matters!

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Over the last few years I have been afforded the opportunity to attend MLB Games in various ballparks. Orioles at home in Baltimore, Oakland A’s in the Bay, Diamondbacks in Arizona and even my home town Braves in Atlanta. It was last week while attending a Washington Nationals game that I experienced a humbling and reverent moment at the park.

Tens of thousands of fans were finding seats and milling around this spectacular ballpark when a singer began performing the Star Spangled Banner. I was immediately struck by the pitch perfect tone of the performance, but very humbled as I looked around to notice that with rare exception, everyone in the stadium had stopped walking, stopped talking, stood from where they were seated and paid respect to our Country by removing hats and placing a hand over their heart while the National Anthem was performed. I have never felt such reverence and respect from a large audience before and felt proud to be witness to such a moment.

Later in the game, the announcer asked all attendees to remove their hats and wave to show respect for those men and women who serve us today or who had served as members of the Armed Forces. Again I was immediately struck by the enthusiastic applause as the stadium roared in support of our troops.  To feel that energy from so many offering praise to our service men & women was an incredible feeling of pride and joy.

In our Nation’s Capital, in this time of great political divide, it was such a heart warming feeling to know that everyone could come together in unity to show respect for our troops, our veterans and our Country. I am inspired to know that no matter how politics might divide our nation, at that moment, at a Thursday night ballgame, we all stood together in support of our great Country. I am proud to be an American and look forward to a return visit to Washington Nationals Stadium soon to again feel that overwhelming sense of patriotism.

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