John F. Kennedy Personal Mentor

On this 50th Anniversary of his death I am remembering the impact John F. Kennedy had on my life.

When President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 I had recently turned 16 (Sept. 17th). My life was in turmoil. The situation in my alcoholic home was becoming impossible. I was anxious to take charge of my own life, chart my own course and pursue my own dreams.

President Kennedy was a beacon of hope in a world filled with fear and uncertainty.

The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, made the prospect of a nuclear war real to me. Our neighbor had built a Fallout Shelter in their home and I wondered what would happen to me, my family and millions of others if there was a nuclear war. I had been told Edmonton would be a prime target because of the oil industry.

Before this, I had been captivated by President Kennedy beginning with the Presidential election in 1960. Kennedy became a personal hero based on two speeches he gave that, even today, deeply move me.

President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961 filled me with hope. It is still one of the greatest speeches I have ever heard.

He began by saying “the election was not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom”… I urge you to click the link above and listen to this masterpiece of leadership and oratory.

In the fall of 1962 at Rice University, President Kennedy gave his Moon Speech.

Talk about “shooting for the moon,” literally! This is a powerful example of sharing a vision, a challenge, and calling people to get behind it. If you have the time, click the link and hear another masterpiece of leadership and oratory.

Now, I hope you understand why I was so devastated by the assassination of President Kennedy. It was personal for me, in a way that seems irrational to me now.

I know that history has revealed that Kennedy was a womanizer and that he was chronically ill and suffered with pain. I don’t condone his breech of fidelity but it is not my place to judge him, or anyone else for personal failings. His illness and pain makes me marvel all the more at his vibrance and energy. I wonder at the strength of his calling to serve, his passion to lead and inspire.

I visited Dallas and the School Book Depository. It made me wonder what might have been… I left sad.

In 2007, I made a pilgrimage to John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. It is located on a ten-acre park, overlooking the sea that he loved. President Kennedy chose the site himself a month before he was assassinated, planning for years ahead, he thought. It has three parts: a Museum, an Archive and an educational Institute.

The architect was I.M. Pei, selected by Jacqueline Kennedy. The selection was a surprise because he was a young architect and the candidates included some of the best known architects in America. I.M. Pei seemed to Mrs. Kennedy to be filled the promise, imagination and temperament that would reinforce her vision for the library. The building is stunning. Visit the John Fitzgerald Library and Museum online and see for yourself.

The visit was a very personal and emotional experience for me. The multi-media presentation had me relive part of my youth. I spent some time standing quietly in the atrium.

Ultimately, I left home, pursued and realized many of my dreams. Today, fifty years later, I am grateful for John F. Kennedy a man who, as strange as this may seem, was like a personal mentor to me. Thank you.

 

 

Please Help Me Empower Youth

This is NOT a fundraising request. I’m asking for your help.

Please join me in an effort to rescue the dreams of discouraged youth. To provide youth with insights and tools to empower them to make better choices and to live a life of fulfillment and happiness

I remember how lost I was as a teenager. It isn’t any easier being a teenager today. Some of the challenges are just different. I must try to help. I want to reduce abandoned dreams, high school drop outs, teen suicide, drug use, crime and a host of other results from the negative story some youth tell themselves about themselves and the criticism they hear in their heads.

I believe every person is gifted. Each of is born with a unique set of talents, abilities, interests, passions and dreams that defines our unique promise.

I believe every person is powerful. Our power is in our choices.

I believe every person is important. Each of us can choose to make a difference in the lives of others in a way that is meaningful to us. This will provide the fulfillment and happiness we all seek.

Join me in telling youth: You are gifted. You are powerful. You are important. I believe in you.

For more information about me and my mission please visit www.lifeisapromise.com

Why I Care

I care deeply about empowering youth because I struggled as a teenager.

I was a high school drop out. I made some bad choices. Three insights changed the course of my life.

  • My past didn’t need to define my future.
  • The conversation in my own head was holding me back.
  • I needed to learn who I was and quit focusing on who I wasn’t. I needed to learn how to make better choices and silence the critics in my own head.

My journey has had ups and downs but today I am living my dreams.

To share what I learned on my journey, I have written two books and recorded a video presentation. Both of the books and the video will be available in digital form for free this fall.

The two books will also be available as print books for $14.95. All of the net proceeds from the print books will be donated to charities that support youth.

For more information visit www.liveyourmagic.com

How You Can Help

The best way to empower youth is through the peer support of other youth.

I am thrilled to advise you that the Edmonton Public School Board and the Edmonton Catholic School District have agreed to partner with the Larry and Janet Anderson Philanthropies to call for proposals in the fall semester 2012 from student leaders for a program to improve the self talk of other students to be implemented in high schools in the spring semester 2013.

Ten thousand dollars in prizes will be awarded to implement the winning initiatives. The winners will be selected by an independent judging panel of educators and youth advocates.

The prize money will be provided in an exciting way.

Eleven of Edmonton’s most talented singer songwriters, under the guidance of veteran music producer Rob Hewes, will perform a concert of 22 original songs about the human condition at the Jubilee Auditorium on Sunday September 16, 2012 at 7 PM. 100% of the costs of the concert have been sponsored. This is an encore performance of the successful concert at the Timm’s Centre for the Arts this spring.

See the Celebrate Songs of the Human Condition Concert trailer.

Learn more about the singer-songwriters visit www.celebratesongwriting.com

Main floor tickets are $20.00. This is not a donation, the concert is worth this and more. The first $10,000 in ticket sales will provide the prize money for the high school self-talk initiative. 100% of ticket proceeds we be donated to charities and initiatives that support youth.

High school students will sit in sponsored seats in the balcony. The finale of the concert will be the performance of the inspirational new theme song for the high school youth empowerment initiative, I Believe in You.

I promise you, this will be an uplifting evening you will remember for years. Your attendance will show the singer songwriter youth, and the high school students – you support their dreams.

Please join me in attending.

Buy tickets at ticketmaster.

Please share this blogpost with your network. I will be forever grateful for your support.

Martin Kerr to Perform at Celebrate! Concert


YouTube

Martin Kerr, a past Canadian Idol finalist will perform with 10 other Edmonton Singer Songwriters at the Timms Centre for the Arts. Each artist will perform 2 original songs.

For more information and a link to buy tickets visit the Celebrate Songwriting website.

Wet Cement

Sometimes the opportunity to be patient and kind is also an opportunity to get angry. It’s a choice. Do like this man did – choose patience and kindness.It’s a better choice for the young boy; and, it’s a better choice for you.

Wet Cement, posted with vodpod

 

Are You A Human Being or a Human Becoming?

The deepest truth I know is that every person is gifted, powerful and important.

By gifted I mean that you have an inborn set of talents and natural abilities that are supported by the drive of your interests and your passions and are guided by your dreams. These gifts are like seeds; they provide your possibility. To realize your possibility you must discover, embrace and nurture these gifts.

By powerful I mean that you can choose to discover, accept and develop your gifts, or not. You can also choose empowering beliefs, or not. Like most of us you may find this a challenge. When you understand the relationship between your beliefs, your emotions and your actions – and, therefore, your results – you will have awakened your power. When you learn to identify limiting beliefs and to replace them with empowering beliefs, your empowerment will have begun.

By important I mean that you have a unique contribution to make to the world through your work, your family and your community involvement. Using your gifts in the service of others, in a way that is meaningful to you, will give you the fulfillment and happiness we all seek.

So, I believe you are a human being, brimming with possibility. I also believe you are a human becoming: if you choose to embrace that possibility, nurture and develop it and then use it in the service of others, in ways you choose.

It is because I believe in both your being and your becoming that I decided to write the three books in the Live Your MAGIC!™ series. MAGIC! is the acronym for the five choices we all must make on our journey.

M – Motivation: the power of acceptance

A ­– Attitude: the power of beliefs

G ­­–­ Goals: the power of focus

I – Initiative: the power of action

C ­– Commitment: the power of perseverance

These five choices, the MAGIC, are what allow us to realize our possibilities as human beings, so that we may live fulfilled, happy and successful lives.

The three books in the Live Your MAGIC!™ series provide resources for you and those you love that will allow you to live your possibility.

The first book, Inspiration to Live Your MAGIC!™, provides 75 role models to inspire you.

The second book, Wisdom to Live Your MAGIC!™, provides life lessons from 50 amazing teachers, in their own words, to guide you.

The third book, The Journey to Live Your MAGIC!™, begins with an examination of the biggest hurdle we all face in living our promise – our own inner dialogue, or self talk. In it, we share six tools that will allow you to improve your self talk so that it empowers you, rather than defeating you. We will guide you in the discovery of your unique set of five different gifts we have all been given, and allow you to embrace them. We will help you understand the incredible power of each of the five choices we all must make. Finally, we will help you to discover the amazing contribution you can bring to the world: through this contribution you will make a positive difference in the lives of others and find fulfillment, happiness and success.

Because this is a philanthropic initiative for me (LIAP Media Corp. is a social enterprise), 100 percent of all author royalties and publishing profits are donated to our charity, education and arts partners that support youth in living their promise.

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The first book Inspiration to Live Your MAGIC!™75 Inspiring Biographies has been released. It is available as a print book from Amazon.com and as a Kindle e-book.

The Importance of Listening

 

It is amazing how under appreciated the skill of listening is. Listening is important in personal relationships, business and personal development.

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”

— Henry David Thoreau, Author

In personal relationships having someone listen to you, really listen to you, without advising you, without waiting to provide a response, but simply to hear you, to understand you, is rare. It is also a wonderful gift.

How many times has someone really listened to you without an agenda? How many times have you listened to someone, just to hear them?

“We listened to what our customers wanted and acted on what they said. Good things happen when you pay attention.”

— John F Smith, Former CEO and President General Motors

To listen to your customers intently to understand their wants, their problems or needs and their expectations is the most important market research you can do. Early in my career I was a top salesman. From experience I can tell you that the most important sales tool is the right question and the ability to listen to and understand the answer. Selling, is after all, problem solving. Once you understand the customers problem you can provide the right solution. It never ceases to amaze me how many salespeople are anxious to present me their solution before they understand my problem.

Do you ask questions to understand the problem before presenting your solution? How could you improve your questions and your listening?

“Listen to the chorus of voices in your own head. If they express worry, doubt, or fear counter them by asking yourself empowering questions to reframe your thinking.”

— Vivo Saggezza, mentor

Ask yourself, “What can I learn. Who can I get to help? How can I reduce risk? How can I increase my confidence? Who do I know who has done this before?

You will find answers that empower you. Your thinking will change to the action you can take to achieve your objective.

Better listening can improve your personal life, your business success and your personal development. What can you do today to improve your listening?

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