You Can Overcome It!

I like this runner’s shirt a lot. 


It says:

Courage is endurance for one moment more.


Just when you feel that you cannot go on for another moment.


Just when you are at your very limit.


Just when you’ve reached your total breaking point. 


Then…


You take that deep breath and focus your mind intently. 


You disassociate yourself from the pain and struggle. 


You see the challenge in front of you for what it really is and you raise yourself above and beyond it.


Your inner spirit is so much greater than its power over you. 


You have the inner faith and can endure whatever it is. 


You can overcome it! 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Failing Forward

There were 2 inspirational student speakers today at my daughter’s graduation from American University.


One spoke about how he got sick soon after starting college with a serious vascular disease, but despite numerous hopsitalizations, treatments, and falling behind his peers, he persevered and was graduating today and in very good spirits. 


Another women spoke about her many failures leading up to the success today of her graduation. She described how her father used to ask her: 

“What did you fail at this week?”


Why?


Because even though we don’t like to admit it, most people have many, many more failures in life than successes.  


Even Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb is said to have failed 1,000 times before getting it right.


This women explained how failure is actually something to celebrate–does that sound crazy?.


But it’s really not, and here’s why?

“To fail is to learn.
To learn is to grow.
To fail is to grow forward.”

Now, I had heard about failing up, but never failing forward. 


Many who fail still manage to advance themselves in the process. 


But failing forward is different. 


It’s not taking advantage of the failure, but legitimately learning from the experience so that you can grow yourself, and advance yourself, by becoming a smarter, stronger, and more capable person from it. 


Sure, it hurts to fail. 


Who would normally want to celebrate failure?


But if we understand life as a journey and not a specific destination, then we enjoy every blessed moment that we have to become better today and tomorrow than we were yesterday. 


In this case, failure is not the opposite of success, but rather is part and parcel of achieving it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Work For It

Hard Work

This was an astute fortune cookie this weekend:


“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”


It reminded me of what my dad used to tell me that:


“Nothing, in life, is easy.


Or as my mother-in-law says:


“The world owes you nothing!”


Basically, the messages are similar that we have to work hard for what we want in life.


You have to believe in your goals and your mission. 


And follow through with rock solid determination and perserverance.


It seems in life that almost as soon as one challenge is over the next is ready to begin.


Got to have faith, pray for G-d’s guidance, and be strong. 😉


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Love, Strength

Love, Strength

This has been an enormously tough year with the loss of my mom, my dad going into assisted living, and my hip replacement and complications.

I have found myself torn from my normal routine–my structure, my discipline–and thrown instead into a world of unknowns, hopes, and definitely prayers.

Throughout, my family and close friends have stood by me–as I gave the eulogy for mom, as I moved my father out of his loving home, and as I growled in pain with the osteoarthritis and then joint replacement.

When my daughter took my hand telling me all be well, when my youngest drove me to the doctors and PT, and when my wife fought for my care–I feel eternally grateful to have these people in my life.

With all the technology in the world, there is nothing like a human being to reach out and grab a hold off.

One of my colleagues asked me what I have learned from all of this, and I’d say three things:

– Take time to reflect on the direction of your life and work to make the tough changes while you’re able.
Empathize with the plight of others, be merciful and compassionate, and help where you see the slightest opportunity.
– Be sincerely grateful for everything you have and remember who is the Master of all. 😉

(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)

Perfect, In An Imperfect World

Perfect, In An Imperfect World

I have a new article in Public CIO Magazine about working to perfect ourselves in an imperfect world.

Please read the article here online.

“Recognize the importance of the journey over that of the goal–and accept the task of working to perfect ourselves, rather than of truly being perfect, or as I learned in Jewish day school, there are no angels here on Earth, only in heaven.”

Hope you enjoy! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Have Some Chutzpah

Have Some Chutzpah

Nobody likes to get or feel rejected–whether asking someone on a date, applying for a job, coming up with a new idea…you don’t want to get shot down…you want to be appreciated for who are you and what you “bring to the table.”

I used to have a teacher who used to tell his students “nobody appreciates how great you are like your mother does.”

In other words, don’t get overconfident and think your so smart, so good-looking, or so otherwise great–just because you received unconditional love from your parents–who tell you everything you do is so amazing and you are G-d’s greatest gift to mankind–doesn’t mean it’s really true.

So get real about yourself!

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (7 January 2013) had an article about something called “Rejection Therapy”–where for 100 days, this guy–Jia Jiang–“makes at least one preposterous demand everyday” that get him “strange looks, rude comments, and outright dismissal.”

He posts videos of this to his site entresting.com or “Hope from nope.”

Jiang is trying to learn a little chutzpah and determination in the face of rejection–especially for landing some venture capital funding for a social networking app he wants to build.

To teach himself to get out there, try his best, be willing to fall off the horse and get right back up again, Jiang now purposely seeks to get rejected every day–thinking that “Everybody has failures periodically. The people who are generally successful are the ones who bounce right back.”

So he asks random people for crazy things…like a policeman, if he can sit in his/her squad car–just to see what happens and if he gets rejected whether he can brush it off–and generally be strong in the face of (repeated) failure and some accompanying adversity.

It’s a crazy experiment, but one that is getting Jiang noticed–maybe you’ve got to be a little crazy to stand out from the crowd.
In the end, it’s not about rejection, but about trying your best and being willing to take some bruises and bumps along the way to your goals.

The path to success is littered with wounded and even dead bodies–to succeed you’ve got to have some chutzpah–plus a dose of resilience and perseverance–to get out there and try, try again. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)