What Are The 3 Most Important Words On Valentine’s Day?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year that we specifically set aside to celebrate love. Have a beautiful day with all the people you love!

I wonder how many ways do you have to say, “I Love You”?

Here are 11 different ways to say it and build a strong, connected and committed relationship:

  • I thank you.
  • Please forgive me.
  • I trust you.
  • Let me help.
  • I believe you.
  • I forgive you.
  • Yes, you’re right.
  • I’m so sorry.
  • Count on me.
  • I understand you.
  • Go for it!
  • And of course:
  • I love you.

Do You Know Someone Facing A Setback?

Setbacks are a part of life. The next time you’re facing a setback, here are a few stories about people who used a setback as a set-up for a comeback:

Lucille Ball: She began studying to become an actress in 1927 and was told by the head instructor of the John Murray Anderson Drama School, “Try any other profession. Any other profession.”

Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds: In 1959, a Universal Pictures executive dismissed them at the same meeting with the following statements. To Burt Reynolds: “You have no talent.” To Clint Eastwood: “You have a chip on your tooth, your Adam’s apple sticks out too far, and you talk too slow.”

Alexander Graham Bell:  When he invented the telephone in 1876, it didn’t ring off the hook with calls from potential backers. After making a demonstration call, President Rutherford Hayes said, “That’s an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one of them?”

Chester Carlson:  In the 1940’s, this young inventor took his idea to 20 corporations, including some of the biggest in the country. They all turned him down. In 1947 – after seven long years of rejections – he finally got a tiny company in Rochester, NY, the Haloid Company, to purchase the rights to his electrostatic paper-copying process. Haloid became Xerox corporation, and both it and Carlson became very rich.

Abraham Lincoln:  He entered the Blackhawk War (1831-1832) as a captain. By the end of the war, he had been demoted to the rank of private.

J.K. Rowling: Author of the Harry Potter series, Joanne was an aspiring writer and single mother living on welfare with her young daughter in an unheated, mice-infested flat. Her first book was rejected by 12 publishers before the world met Harry Potter in 1997.

And then there was the young man who submitted a paper to his Yale University management professor and got this response: “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” The young man was Fred Smith, his paper proposed reliable overnight delivery service, and Fred went on to found FedEx Corp.

January is a wonderful time to remember that success, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. We have been irreversibly impacted by each of these people because they knew that failure is not the act of falling down… but it’s staying down…. and that is something they did NOT do!

Solving The Problems of The Universe in Your Spare Time

Did you know that Albert Einstein worked a day job and had enough time to solve the problems of the Universe? Most folks would have thought that Einstein was wasting his time, but he saw it differently.

Albert Einstein worked a day job—eight hours a day, six days a week—as an examiner in the patent office in Bern, Switzerland. He liked having a regular payday, and at night he walked around with friends and talked about physics. So it was in his spare time that Einstein defined the laws of physics. And that’s part of why the world still loves him so. Even after he wrote and published four historic papers during his “miracle year,” he continued as an employee at the patent office.

As a matter of fact, Einstein’s job at the patent office might have helped him, since if he had been in the academic world, his ideas might have been squelched by the professors in power. Would they have listened to a young guy who believed that space and time were not absolute? His job probably also kept his mind sharp, because he was constantly called upon to evaluate people’s inventions. This required him to use his powers of visualization and to use specifications and drawings to test the ideas out.

Einstein wrote: “Working on the final formulation of technological patents was a veritable blessing for me. It enforced many-sided thinking and also provided important stimuli to physical thought.”

Even though he worked a full-time job, he still had time to do what he loved most and make his greatest contributions.

Time is the great equalizer – we all get 24 hours a day – no matter how old we are, where we live, or how much money we make. This story challenges the idea of what is a waste of time. If Einstein could solve the problems of the Universe in his spare time, imagine what is possible if we could all align our time and purpose.

An Invitation To Notice The Invisible Joys Of Thanksgiving

The image that circulates around Thanksgiving each year typically includes a turkey with all the trimmings, rustic decorations in cheerful autumn hues, and endless desserts to enjoy long past the point of feeling satisfied.

However, whether your family tradition includes a formal table and multiple courses or a casual spread of food with friends and family happily enjoying the day together, the special feeling of this lovely holiday has less to do with how we set the table and more to do with what we cannot see.

We cannot see the anticipatory joy that a faraway family member feels as they leave their house to make the trip over for Thanksgiving day. We cannot see little fingerprints on the cookbooks that are passed down, nor can we see the recipes long committed to memory and taught with guiding hands to the next generation. We cannot see the footsteps of children happily running without a care in the world. We cannot see the laughter at the same stories being told and retold year after year, and we cannot see how that invisible layer of warmth will sustain a lonely parent long after the house is silent.

Most of all, we cannot see the thanks that we give although it is near-tangible in its presence, raised up with invisible gratitude.

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering and this year, as you gather your friends and family around you, I wish for you lingering joy, love and laughter. Truly, they are more satisfying than any dish on the table, no matter how much whipped cream is involved.

Thank a Teacher

Did you know that September 21st is International Gratitude Day? I know that I’m certainly grateful for having autumn rapidly creeping upon us. The nights aren’t quite as warm as they were even a few weeks ago and stores have already begun stockpiling everything pumpkin related.

However, I’m also grateful for something much more traditional as so many people go back to school in the fall: teachers. From the time we are born to our very last days, we are learning. This happens not just in a classroom for the first 18 or so years of life, but as young adults finding our way in the world, as parents and grandparents, and when we find ourselves late in life with time to spare and choose to learn something purely for ourselves.

I am most appreciative of the teachers who turn up when we are not looking to learn something new. Those unexpected teachers come out of nowhere and change us forever. They are the elderly ladies with time to chat, the child who surprises us with insight that most adults overlook, and the average person who takes the time to explain a process, that is specific to their field of expertise, in common terms.

Who are the unexpected teachers in your life? Have you told them that they positively changed you, irrevocably, by teaching you something new? Perhaps this would be a good week to share your gratitude.

A simple card, an unexpected phone call, or even an email would likely be much appreciated by a teacher who made a difference at some time in your life. It might just lead to a larger conversation and a deeper friendship. If nothing else, you made someone’s day with a positive comment by simply expressing your gratitude. After all, one of the first things that we are taught in preschool or kindergarten is to say, “thank you”.