Inspiring Greatness

I thought this was inspirational. 


Muhammad Ali believing that he’s the greatest boxer.


And the child sitting in front with these huge red boxing gloves on–presumably dreaming about becoming the next Muhammad Ali!


The butterfly sitting on the boxing gloves in front of the child adds an interesting dimension, where the child dreams of developing into the “next great one,” just like a butterfly morphs from a caterpillar into a beautiful flying creatures with colorful and expansive wings. 


This child wants to fly and soar to greatness like Muhammad Ali did. 


We all need an inspiration that has overcome adversity to make it against all odds. 


For me, this inspiration was Rocky who rose from the streets to become a fighter and winner not only in the ring, but in life as a person of integrity and a mensch. 


If we dream it, it can be–with G-d’s blessing and plenty of hard work. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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If I Could Be Anyone(s)

So someone asked me a very deep personal question.

“If you had $20 million dollars and could do whatever you want (be whoever you want), what would that be?”


I was on the spot a little and didn’t have time to introspect the way I like to do, and I gave an answer that I really wasn’t happy with…and it’s been bothering me since. 


So sitting down now and really thinking about who I want to be–this is my real answer:


As a composite person, I want to have the:


– Lovingkindness of Mother Teresa


– Serenity of the Dalai Lama


– Spirituality of Moses


– Determination of Rocky


– Leadership of Rick Grimes


– Strength of Samson


– Agility of Bruce Lee


– Intellect of Sigmund Freud


– Understanding of Albert Einstein


– Ingenuity of Steve Jobs


– Inquisitiveness of Capt. James T. Kirk


– Bravery of those martyred in the Holocaust


– Heroism of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu


– Beauty of my wife and daughters


– The integrity of my dear father, Fred Blumenthal


What would I want to do–just simple things like:


– Cure Cancer, Parkinsons, ALS, etc.


– Eliminate poverty


– Herald in world peace


– Help/comfort those that are hurt and suffering


– Make people smile/happy


– Be a good person with integrity in all situations


I could probably go on and on, but generally this is what life means to me. 


Maybe today, I ain’t the smartest or fastest or strongest, but I have dreams, hopes, and aspirations. 


If that isn’t good enough, well at least I have a heart and a soul. 😉


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Character Building Day

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So I really like this…


A friend told me that when they have a really tough day, they call it:

“A Character Building Day!”


I thought that was pretty astute. 


When people are up against the wall…


And they feel like they practically have their hands and legs tied…


And the world is spinning around them out of control…


And others are throwing tomatoes, darts, arrows, and all types of other sh*t their way…

– We can either just close our eyes, feel powerless, get upset and depressed, and basically give up

OR

– We can see the tough times as challenges–however great–to build our character.


Every situation is a learning and growth opportunity. 


Don’t give in–Get up and fight.


What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!


Yes, many days are character building days–it doesn’t always feel good–often it feels horrible–but we can approach it with the right attitude and help shape our character and soul for the better.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Live 4 Something

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I was on the treadmill the other evening. 


On the TV was Sylvester Stallone in the movie, Rambo. 


Ah, some nice welcome action to take my mind off the exercise.


Some doctors and missionaries are trying to make their way to to Burma to help the helpless victims being slaughtered by the military warlord and his henchmen. 


Stallone knows the danger in going there, and at first, he ties to discourage them from going.


The beautiful and sincere women in the group convinces him to take them there…to try to make a difference in these people’s lives who are suffering. 


Stallone takes to the lesson and incorporates it into his inner persona. 


And later he says:

“Live for something 

Or

Die for nothing!


I thought this was a really good philosophy. 


THINK ABOUT IT: 


– We can choose to make our lives meaningful and impactful or to hide in the closet or under the bed and really accomplish nothing.


Our lives are a gift, given to us to do something good with–it’s a sin to waste that gift and not do everything we can to be a good influence, help others, and make this a better world. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s Not (Always) Easy

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Sometimes, we see people–especially on social media these days–and they look “all that!”–so happy, so loved, so rich, so with everything–so it seems (superficially). 


But there is definitely another reality out there, and that is that everyone has problems:


– Family

– Health

– Finances

– Work

– School

– Conflict

– Spiritual


Like Helen Keller said: 

“I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”


I remember as a child, if I felt sad about something, my dad at times would remind me about the children in the hospital, and to think about how we can help others less fortunate–and he was right!


What I see in life is a lot of people trying, but also so many challenges, failures, and suffering along the way…unfortunately, it’s part of the learning and growth equation, and in why we’re here. 


In college, I always remember one (English) professor who taught me from Henry David Thoreau:

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”


Sometimes, in our solitude or when we speak quietly from our heart with our closest loved ones, we feel and express some of those deep feelings of hurt, pain, and suffering from our lives.  


Those experiences, memories, and feelings are not all that there is of us, but it is certainly a part of all of us–although maybe only the brave will admit theirs.


It’s not shameful to feel, to cry, and to be human. 


It’s certainly not what Facebook and Twitter are all about. 


But it’s a genuine and critical part of us which recognizes as my dad also taught me that–life is not easy–and that we have to fight every day to do our best and to help others to do theirs. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Flying Sneaks

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We can all fly.


Not necessarily through the air.


But through life and ultimately in death, we can fight and take flight and soar. 


It is our attitude and determination to overcome the hardest of hardships that we face. 


We feel the pain for the situations where we fell, failed, and lost control over outcomes. 


People who told us what they thought we are and where we can go…our ego busted, our shame written all over us, our regret and fear over what we did or should’ve done differently.


We can’t go back.


We can only go forward.


We can learn, and we can grow.


We can compartmentalize the problems and hurt. 


We can pick up the pieces wiser than before and more determined to succeed.


Wings are not just for angels, but also for sneakers and for souls. 


I want to fly all around the world, and more so into the heavens to see my Heavenly father and be reunited for eternity with my family and loved ones.


Fly free and wide.


Fly high and unobstructed by poverty, illness, abuse, and loneliness. 


Fly and soar beyond anything we could ever have imagined. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

(Not) Too Hard!

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So there is someone that I think the world of. 


They are what we call “good people.”


But like all of us, have challenges and difficulties in life. 


Maybe their load is heavier and more taxing. 


But it is what G-d has given them to bear and to work with. 


In talking with this person, at one point, they said, “It’s too hard!”


And I think we all feel that way sometimes.


Bret Stephens quoted Bernard Lewis in the Wall Street Journal today, that in trying times, some ask, “Who did this to us?” While others ask, “What did we do wrong?”

Maybe the question should be, “What can we do now?”


While some throw in the towel and can’t go on or go on in a bad way, others may get angry and bitter at their lot in life.


But yet like my inspiration, Rocky, some get up and fight for what they want. 


The down is only a temporary down, but not a knockout. 


The pain stings and hurts and leaves us blurry-eyed and dizzy, but our desire to succeed pushes the adrenaline through our coursing veins, and we get up again with even a greater determination. 


“The eye of the tiger, the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenges of our rivals…”


I take responsibility. I take accountability. I want to overcome. 


I shall prevail in life and even ultimately in death, my life will mean something to somebody. 


The end is the beginning again. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)