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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Decay of Winter is the Mulch for Spring

In the Lifeplan program young people learn that "stuff happens." Speed bumps occur and it's how you respond that defines your character.

I have always believed that optimism is the only philosophy that justifies getting up in the morning and I now add, playing golf!

In Lifeplan, one of the young people's favorite modules is the AIM (Acknowledge, Identify, Morph) exercise. This is where they learn to acknowledge the "chatter" going on in their heads. In a group, they also acknowledge that most of it is negative. So, here they discover that everyone has this chatter and for young people it's usually negative, at least at times. But now they are given the gift of knowing they can "morph" this chatter to be positive and supportive.

They learn that, similar to building a muscle, this process of morphing negative chatter to positive self talk takes exercise, but with it they will gain the lifetime asset of growing their own individual positive attitude.

So, in life, what we think of ourselves is what we will realize. If it's not real positive, it's not likely to serve us well in relationships, in our work and in life in general.

Spring is such an inspiring time of renewal, new growth, hope and optimism for the journey ahead. For the 10,000 young people going through the Lifeplan program this year it means celebrating their dreams and designing their game plan to realize them.

These young people have come alive by expressing their dreams and working hard over the year to chart a course and build a board of directors who ultimately will help them to succeed.

This Spring, many of these young people will be inviting the members of their board of directors to an event where they will share their Lifeplan work. Anyone who has attended one of these gatherings is struck by the fluency these young people have gained in articulating who they are, what their dreams are, what SMART goals they have and who they have recruited to help them successfully navigate this journey.

Lifeplan graduates are equipped for ACTION. W. Clement Stone said "I think there is something more important than just believing: ACTION! The world is full of dreamers. There aren't enough who will move ahead and begin to take concrete steps to actualize their vision." Lifeplan graduates are ready!

So, as we celebrate Spring and all the joy and hope it brings to us yet again, we can draw on Thoreau's notion that, "We should do everything as if it makes a difference," to which William James added, "There is no beginning too small."

Maybe Buddha said it best, "There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting." Please share with me in these hopeful moments of Spring's beginning, a "standing O" to all these Lifeplan graduates for starting their journey equipped with a carefully designed Lifeplan and feeling excited to take these plans all the way.

Happy Spring!


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