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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Paying It Forward

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 1, 2016

by Chad Hymas

soldier

Most of us know what the above title means. And I’m hoping that we have all had the opportunity to do this. It is so simple to do that I think it would happen more often if we just thought about it.

I have a friend that works at a restaurant and he told me that every week, a widower comes in for dinner and, while there, he’ll look around for a family (usually a large family having dinner) and when he goes to pay his bill, he’ll ask the hostess if $75.00 will cover their bill. When she says yes, he leaves her enough to cover the tab and the tip. After he leaves, and has been gone for several minutes, she goes over and tells the family what had happened – that their bill has been taken care of. They are completely surprised!   And so very grateful.

He also left enough money for them to have dessert or take a couple of pies home!! They look around trying to find this person, but she told them he had left quite a while ago. All he asked is that they enjoy their dinner and that if they ever have a chance to help someone (in other words, pay it forward), they do.

I actually see this all the time – I see people at a grocery store tell the cashier as she gives her a hundred bill, to have that go for the groceries for the woman behind her, who has a few kids with her and a lot of groceries.

I see lot of this kind of generosity at the airport; especially people wanting to buy a cup of coffee or dinner for servicemen who have just been deployed. I had the opportunity to do this a few weeks ago and posted it on Facebook:

It never fails. I always run into these selfless people as I travel, especially through Atlanta. And it usually goes something like this:

ME: Sir/Gentlemen, I simply want to thank you for the freedom you grant me. May I shake your hand and buy you lunch/dinner?

SOLDIER: [Before speaking to me, they USUALLY ALWAYS drop to one knee, my level. I never ask them to. They just do it. Talk about respect. I’m not saying I deserve it, nor request it. I’m simply saying it is truly my honor to meet them and show my gratitude; and, as if it is ingrained in their DNA, they passionately demonstrate this type of love by flipping the scenario and treat me as though it is an honor for them to serve, meet and protect me. They don’t even know who I am! Names have not yet been exchanged. But I know who they are. They are heroes! Can you imagine what kind of a country we would have if we were all like this? Had this kind of selflessness towards others? This kind of compassion and unconditional love? This desire to serve and sacrifice?]

“Sir, it is our pleasure to serve you. We are fine. You don’t need to buy us dinner.”

ME: Please, I insist. I would love to break bread with you.

SOLDIER: “Ok sir, but know that this is not necessary.”

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You Are the Epicenter of Generosity

Posted by capcityspeakers on October 13, 2016

by John O’Leary

john-oleary-receiptgenerosity

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ― Leo Buscaglia

As a little boy I frequently attracted attention.

My skin hadn’t yet fully healed after the fire. My body was wrapped in bandages. My core temperature was difficult to control, so my sisters constantly fanned me as I sat in my wheelchair.

And, as one of six kids, when my family arrived, we made quite a boisterous entrance!

I was reminded of those days, those “entrances,” those stares, when I heard about an experience Cynthia Tipton had at dinner with her family at a restaurant in St. Louis recently. (Read the full story here.) Let me share it with you.

Her son, Noland, is 10 and lives with high-functioning autism. It can be difficult to control his emotions; on this day a little teasing from his sister set him off.

Noland started screaming. Cynthia quickly knelt beside him, stroked his back and began whispering in his ear, hoping to calm him before other families’ dinners were interrupted.

It was not working.

The screams intensified.

A few more minutes of soothing her son passed before the crying quieted, Noland relaxed and the other families turned back to their own tables.

Watching their waitress approach, Cynthia was certain there’d been complaints. In the past, she’d been asked to leave and assumed the request was coming again. She readied herself for the awkward exit when the waitress handed the family their bill for dinner.

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Three simple rules in life

Posted by capcityspeakers on May 19, 2016

3 simple rules

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10 Keys to Lifelong Happiness

Posted by capcityspeakers on May 12, 2016

by Chad Hymas

I recently came across a terrific blog post claiming “The 15 Things To Give Up To Be Happy.”  Although I agreed with most of them, some of them I didn’t.  I don’t believe that those same 15 things will work for everyone.  Nor do I believe that the 10 that I will share with you will work for everyone either.

I get asked on a daily basis how I am so happy despite my circumstances.  How did I remain positive through all the changes that were taking place that surrounded my accident?  Let me answer you this, I am happy in spite of my circumstances.  Because of the things that I have learned on this journey, mostly the last 11 years of my life, that I would have never experienced otherwise.  These experiences have shaped my life and made me who I have become today.  There were times right after my accident that I am not proud of and I wish to not even recollect, but throughout that time and more recent times, these are the things that I have found truly work for me.

1. Know Yourself.  How many times have we heard “no one will love you until you learn to love yourself” or “nobody knows you the way you do”?

So get to know the right-now-real you, both the good and the bad, and own it. Write down your qualities, characteristics, values, strengths, and weaknesses. What makes you happy? What drives you crazy?

The good news is that if you don’t like certain aspects of yourself right now, you have it in your control to change that. But to change something you first have to know what you’re working with. So do some serious soul-searching and figure that out!

2. Learn to say “NO!” At the end of the day, it’s about how you say “no”, rather than the fact you’re saying no, that affects the outcome. After all, you have your own priorities and needs, just like everyone has his/her own needs. Saying no is about respecting and valuing your time and space. Say no is your prerogative.

3. Accept What Is.  One of the greatest sources of misery in my experience, is refusing to accept what is. How often do waste your time with questions such as: What if I had done that differently? What if yesterday had turned out differently? Stop turning your back on reality.

If you’re happy, accept that you’re happy. You don’t try to justify that feeling. If you’re upset, accept that you’re upset, don’t pretend you’re not. If you made a mistake embrace your imperfection, don’t beat yourself up.

As you begin to accept what is, you will find that your experiences are exactly what you need at that moment. Sure, life won’t always go according to plan, but at the end you will survive, one experience stronger.

4. Visit a quiet place. Libraries, museums, gardens, and places of worship provide islands of peace and calm in today’s frantic world. Find a quiet place near your house and make it your secret getaway.

5. Find What Makes You Tick.  Some people may not care to admit this, but I honestly believe that we each have something that makes us tick.

While it’s true some people just discover what they love, many of us have to do some searching. Not knowing what makes you happy, is the surest way to remain stuck in a miserable state.

Finding what you enjoy to do is fairly easy. If you enjoy a certain activity (assuming it’s legal of course) continue doing it. I realize that is overly simplistic, but you get the idea.

Don’t worry about what your family or friends think, but rather focus on what brings you joy. I’m not suggesting you be selfish or hurtful in your pursuits, but it’s important you take care of yourself so you can give your fullest to the world.

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Pull Up a Chair

Posted by capcityspeakers on April 28, 2016

by John O’Leary

Pull-Up-a-ChairSpeaking to more than 100 groups around the country each year gives me the wonderful opportunity to meet with thousands of individuals, each with unique struggles, hopes, experiences and stories.

While speaking at the University of Southern California almost two months ago, I had the opportunity to meet a most amazing man. You may have read about him in my BeliefNet.com article; that article garnered such a wonderful and widespread response that I wanted to share Augie’s story here at “home” in my weekly MondayMotivation with you.

Augie Nieto has lived with the brutal realities of Lou Gehrig’s disease for over 10 years. Knowing the trajectory of the disease and the certainty of losing everything, shortly after the diagnosis Augie tried to take his own life.

Against overwhelming odds, he survived the attempt. More than that, the experience ignited within him a deep desire to not just refuse surrendering to the disease, but to become a masterful example of abundant life in spite of it.

We connected after my talk and spoke for almost an hour. I asked what the most difficult aspect of this brutal disease was. He responded:

“I”

He sat motionless in a motorized wheelchair and unable to move any muscle other than his big toe on his right foot. Augie typed his conversation with me.

“Don’t”

Using technology he helped design, he’s able to use his toe to slowly type letters and communicate with friends. He’s got a wicked sense of humor, a beautiful heart, and a gorgeous bride named Lynne.

“Want”

The man was a pioneer and global leader in the fitness industry. He founded, grew and eventually sold the hugely successful brand “Life Fitness.” For Augie, fitness wasn’t just work, it was life. He epitomized health and was a world-class athlete before his ALS diagnosis.

“To”

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Living Life With A Purpose

Posted by capcityspeakers on February 11, 2016

by Chad Hymas

If we are going to succeed in life, we must realize and acknowledge our hopes and dreams. These will then motivate our actions.  A gifted author, Mary Anne Radmacher, wrote a poem which has helped inspire my life.

“Life Begins When You Do”
Walk to the edge
Listen hard – Laugh – Play with abandon
Practice wellness – Continue to learn
Choose with no regret
Appreciate your friends
Lead or follow a leader
Do what you love
Live as if this is all there is

There are certain times when the decisions we make will impact the rest of our lives.  Most of us have dreams.  Some of us might even have that infamous ‘bucket list’.  But how much time do we really have to make sure they will actually happen in this lifetime?

Time is a most precious gift.  I believe to give time is more rewarding than to receive it.
Several months after my accident, my good friend, Lee Johnson, offered me an opportunity to come to work for him at his business, Broken Arrow.  He knew me before the accident.   He realized the ‘Chad’ he had known was slowly disappearing before his very eyes.

So much time at home – just sitting – was not good for me or my loving wife.  This new routine was affecting her as well.  At least getting me out of the house on a daily basis would give her time to resume her job of running the household as she had done before the accident.
However, what we didn’t expect was that this gift of time would also give me back my sense of independence.

Simple tasks such as making phone calls and arranging work with clients reminded me that, although my body was paralyzed, my mind was not.  Flashbacks of running my landscaping business came flooding back.  I began to reinvent myself again as a functioning part of the business world.  The transformation seemed to happen overnight.   I began to feel good about myself again.

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Finding Your Center

Posted by capcityspeakers on November 30, 2015

by Chad Hymas

On April 3, 2001, Chad was involved in a serious accident leaving him a quadriplegic. Chad’s dreams were not paralyzed that day.

chadhymas

Each day of my rehabilitation, I gained confidence and ability. Having lost all strength in my stomach muscles, I found it nearly impossible to maintain my balance
if I leaned to one side or the other. Sitting on a mat with my legs straight in front of me, I would attempt to raise my hands, first one inch, then two.

Raising one arm ever so slightly was enough to topple me sideways. I hadn’t the strength to sit back up again on my own. I soon realized that my center was my trunk,
my chest. If I maintained balance there, I could incrementally work at raising my arms. Soon, understanding this concept, I could raise both arms shoulder level.

Interestingly enough, the chest is where the heart is. For me, it became a balance point. In life, it is the pivot point for us all.

When we get off course in our lives, and we lean too far to one side, we lose our center. We lose our ability to be solid in our decision-making. It’s a tricky
predicament in which to find ourselves; once leaning slightly, now falling, fast and hard. I found it is more difficult to get up after a fall like that, than it is to avoid it
Altogether.

As the months and years have passed, my ability to stay centered and stay balanced has increased. Now I can lift my arms, turn myself to look at things, lean down on
my knees to gesture, or move items on my lap. The key is knowing my center. As long as I remember this, I can pivot my movements, and balance and leverage my
weight. I can accomplish the things I set out to do.

Similarly, we must find our own personal center. In our busy lives, when we feel pushed and pulled in so many different directions, we must have a sense of center. Every
question of action, every dilemma of circumstance, every request for our attention, must be assessed from that point.

As leaders we look for individuals who are consistent, and who have an intentioned sense of balance. Centeredness is a priceless quality. Recognizing what is at a
person’s core, especially what is at your own core, is invaluable.

There is value in being centered, in being solid, and in knowing your personal boundaries. If you don’t know what is at your core, find out. Wrap your life around
a moral compass that gives you direction for your true north.

Your heart is your center. The more centered you are, the wider you can spread your wings. Strengthen those muscles!

Until next time… Believe

 

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