Mauril Bélanger, MP, was recently named Honorary Speaker for a day in the House of Commons. He had put his name forward for the official position of House Speaker before his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. He withdrew after learning of his illness. The House of Commons gave Bélanger a standing ovation for his courage, dignity and pride. And they were right to do so.
When people ask what her "secret" is, she laughs, as she honestly cannot believe she is 100. That's a big part of what aging well looks like, too. Of all the lessons my mother leaves those who know her, is her love of living and desire to be here. To be active, to contribute and to live life to the max, regardless of your circumstances.
Growing up in the 50's and 60's, my mother Lillian was primarily a "stay-at-home"mother. It's not that she didn't have high aspirations for her future, as she dreamed of being a dancer. However, times required she go to work directly after graduating high school as a bookkeeper for a dress manufacturer, her professional dancing dreams dashed.
You may think yogis are as non-judgmental as some of the spiritual texts would have you believe. The reality is this is a crowded profession. At yoga festivals like this, people give you just one chance. As a presenter if you give a mediocre class or have an off day, the word of mouth that this guy's class was "just ok" will filter through the festival and attendance will be low.
Sometimes it is hard to see the best in people. It is hard to see the best in a spouse, friend or colleague who doesn't live up to the expectations set. Who views the world through a different lens or view point. Who doesn't share one's passion and goals. Where would I be if the ones I love hadn't taken the time to see the best in me?
Once diagnosed with cancer, a patient's life will never be the same. Once the turmoil of the diagnosis, and the subsequent treatment, whether it's surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, is over life as we know it now commences. There are ups and there are downs. Luckily for me, the ups far surpassed the downs.
What difference does one person make? Does one staff member in your business make a difference to your customers' experience (and to your organization's success)? Does one friend or personal connection make a difference to the quality of your life? If so, the question now becomes this: how do you make them stay at your business?
Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty type of person? Is your inclination to give up at the first roadblock on your path? When we don't view failure as a disaster but as a learning tool, it does become easier to accept the lesson and grow professionally and personally. Keeping your sense of humour is key. Believe it or not, there may be a time when you look back and can laugh at your foibles.