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Four Ways to Enjoy your Daily Adventures!

After three adventures to Brazil in three months, I have been learning a lot about putting myself outside my comfort zone – in fact I would say I am flat out living there.

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

Restaurant - Figueira Rubaiyat

First, English is not spoken much in Brazil ( why should it be after all ? ). I am normally with bilingual folks, however when I’m on my own, life gets very interesting!

One night in a hotel restaurant, we paid for a burger with one waitress who apparently left right afterward. Trying to explain we had already paid after the staff change was not so easy. Google translate came to the rescue, however I might have been writing this from a Brazlian Jail! So patience and ingenuity saved the day. I know, I can hear some of you saying “of course he used google!”

Not so fast! Data is 20 USD per MEGABYTE without a plan. And you know there is no wifi in a taxi cab?!? So a short trip that should have cost 7 bucks ended up costing 23 USD. And the exchange got heated even though we couldn’t understand each other. Had a great opportunity to shift out of frustration quickly so I could enjoy the company and tour of Embu das Artes for the rest of the day!

And finally, breakthrough! You know the feeling when you are working hard and don’t seem to see any results? Right! Me too! This

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

Embu das Artes - Sao Paulo, Brazil

project has really challenged me, then suddenly, early last week, phase 1 was complete and phase 5 was no longer necessary. For a moment I thought, WOW! How lucky are we! And then I realized, it was our hard work that got us to the place we could even realize the accomplishment, and it was God’s favor raining on us that showed us the outcome! One other special moment was lunch at the first picture above, check out Figueira Rubaiyat.

As I look back at the last three months here is the bottom line of what I have learned:

1. Start with Gratitude and live every day from there.

2. Be easily amazed! Expect the unexpected and look at the world through the eyes of a child! Everything is interesting and exciting from there!

3. Have fun with all that happens! Go with the flow and enjoy the moment. It will soon be gone.

4. Take care of yourself! Work hard and play hard. And listen to your body! Get plenty of rest, eat right and exercise!

So, what’s up with all of you fine people? What great adventures have you been up to? What are you learning?

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

Power is not something that we can bestow on another person. It is something he or she already has within and will struggle to retain.

Empowerment means that we acknowledge the personal power each person has to make positive decisions and to take responsibility for them, a simple exercise in treating others with dignity and respect.

~ Gail Pursell Elliott

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!In honor of all of our friends serving (and all the awesome students too!)  at Klemmer and Associates Samurai Camp 23 this week, one of our favorite quotes, from one of our favorite people . . .

What you want, wants YOU!

~ Janet Henze


Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked.

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient..

“Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins.

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

“I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away

The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left..

When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table.  There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies..

You see,  he couldn’t  have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

Always remember those who serve.

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

The Thrill of Victory!  or . . . ?

For those of us old enough, “The Thrill of Victory” always brings to mind that ABC Sports video from the Wide World of Sports. You know the one, “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.” I write a lot about setting intention, having great expectations and creating amazing things in our lives. I sometimes wonder if people who read it think everything is always great for me, even though I know you all know better than that.

This 10 day journey to Brazil has been a great example. It actually started 2 weeks before the flight when we were trying to get a passport for an associate. The State Department said it was a 5 – 7 day process, which turned into three weeks. Five days for a Visa? Nope, try seven. Now I normally would never cut things close, however this trip was scheduled fast and without too much warning. Tickets had to be rescheduled and a lot was learned. We actually picked up the passport at 8 a.m. from the FEDEX terminal on the morning we flew out. That is WAY too close for me.

Once we arrived in Brazil, most everything that could go wrong proceeded to do it. I can tell you, a rocky start never really undoes me because I figure it has to get better. Four days into the trip there was no sign of that. Everything my associate and I touched seemed to go wrong or be worse than expected. Oh, did I mention that by the time we landed I was very sick? Thanks for all you who prayed.

Inspiration and Motivation

Sao Paulo Futbol Club Stadium

Finally after five tough days, we could feel things shift. I can tell you I EXPECTED it every day. If I didn’t have determination and the perseverance to keep going, it would have been easy to give up. We definitely knew the “Agony of Defeat” on the journey. I promise you, it just made the “Thrill of Victory” that much better.

So what does this mean for you? Are you discouraged by the way some things are going in your life? Do you let those things get you down or do you continue to be open to options that might present themselves? If you are disappointed and beat down, how many options do you think you will notice?

Be encouraged friends, when the “Agony of Defeat” seems to be the theme, the “Thrill of Victory” will still come if you keep pushing and stay optimistic!  Watch for the shifts! Expect them! Even Create them Yourself! Keep a positive attitude and keep your eyes open for options, especially those that may seem counter-intuitive. Remember, it doesn’t always look the way you expect! AND OH BOY can I tell you that was my experience this week.

We are traveling home. We definitely experienced “The Thrill of Victory” and we experienced every bit of the journey, not always having fun. That too, was a choice.

Go get’em! What will you create today?

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Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

Occasionally we get the pleasure to turn over the reins of the blog and have a friend of ours tell their story, or something they have been learning in life.  That is the case today!  Keep tabs on our guest bloggers here!  

My friend Norman Young shares a story, very close to his heart, and mine. – Mike


The Vase by Guest Blogger – Norman Young

In 2010 I took a glass blowing class and I made these glass pieces for my wife, Ruth.

The creation of the vessel before you has been an amazing experience!

During the creation process my instructor asked me if I wanted to go big or go small. I asked what was the difference. She said smaller is easier. I told her I wanted to go big.

During the class I was taught that creating a glass piece requires teamwork. A team member helps by assisting wherever she or he can do, such as shielding my arms from the heat and by blowing into the glass piece while I am shaping it.

As I was creating the glass piece my instructor asked if I wanted to go the hard way or the easy way. I asked what is the difference and she said the hard way takes more skill. I wanted to challenge myself so I opted for the hard way.

As I was creating the piece I was getting excited to see that it was turning out beautifully!

Then something happened. Because I was not used to working with a larger glass piece I did not heat it properly and the base started to crack. We were franticly doing our best to save the piece!

She then told me, because of the cooling period and because of the cracks, it may not survive. The instructor then asked if I wanted to continue. Realizing that the piece may not make it, I got bummed out. But a few seconds later my attitude changed and shifted because I knew that the experience itself was incredible! And that I still created a beautiful piece and that I should celebrate that I stretched myself and learned something new!

So even if the piece might not survive I told her I wanted to continue. So I finished the piece.

I was excited to discover the glass vessel did survive and though it has its cracks it is still beautiful. I find the cracks actually enhance the piece.

I have displayed it in my room as a reminder of my choices and how it also applies to my choices in life.

Choice one: Come into class with the expectation of an amazing experience or just show up and have a mediocre one.

Choice two: To create something big and be stretched or do something small and easy.

Choice three: To my best so that I can experience the best in my team and myself or just show up and not care.

Choice four: When something cracks or breaks, do I choose to be bummed out or do I choose to celebrate the experience of growing, learning and creating!

The last day of class I made a bowl. I wanted to go big. It was uncomfortable to go big because of the heat, (the larger the piece the more heat is generated and is also much more difficult to control) But I decided to play big! The piece turned out great!! It is the blue bowl. During the class, one of the instructors saw my piece and said “your piece is big, that’s good! That is the way you learn, by going big!”

I then realize how much this class reminds me of life! How God sometimes allow hardships in our lives so that we can grow and learn!

Some may look at the glass piece and notice it is not perfect. But I find that the imperfections make it beautiful!

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!


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Before you. . . – William Ward

Mike —  April 17, 2012 — 1 Comment

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

Before you speak, listen.
Before you write, think.
Before you spend, earn.
Before you invest, investigate.
Before you criticize, wait.
Before you pray, forgive.
Before you quit, try.
Before you retire, save.
Before you die, give.”
~ William A. Ward