Take a few minutes to watch this powerful video from Tony. After you've watched the video, grab your coaching journal and answer the following questions:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
On Tuesday, June 30, the world became a darker place. A bright light was extinguished.
I come from a large family. I am the youngest of eight children, but there's a large age difference between me and the rest of my siblings. My oldest brother is nearly eighteen years older than I am. Consequently, I pretty much only grew up with my youngest brother, Clyde, who was only eight years older.
There has never been a major event or crisis in my life where he was not there for me. Until now. Because this time, the crisis was losing Clyde. As many of us do with the people we love most, I just took for granted that he would always be there.
Clyde adored my sister-in-law, Sandee. At first, I wasn't quite as happy about her. I liked her. But when they announced their engagement at a family barbecue when I was a teenager, I could only think that she was taking my brother away from me! But Sandee stole my heart almost as quickly as she had stolen Clyde's, and it aches for her now, too. As deep as my loss is, Clyde left behind a wife, four children, and seven grandchildren who are devastated by theirs. None of us can imagine our family without Clyde in it.
My brother was an extraordinary man. He was the smartest person I have ever known. He delighted in corny jokes and stupid puns. And The Princess Bride. He cared most about people. He was deeply involved with his church and a youth leader for many, many years. He had a special gift for youth. He was like a second father to more kids than I could count. He had a ready smile, a quick wit, and an amazing level of patience and understanding.
He loved music. As kids, we would see how long we could carry on a conversation using song lyrics only. Or we would sing along with the radio (I'm dating myself here), turn the volume down and keep singing, then turn it back up and see who had stayed with the song best. Of course, being the little sister, he teased me mercilessly. One time, we were driving to Canada to go camping. And we were being siblings in the back seat of the car, on a road trip. We stopped for gas and he got out to buy a soda. We pulled back out of the gas station and headed down the road. After about twenty minutes, my mom said, "Do you kids have your seat belts fastened? Suzie?" I said yes. "Clyde?"..."Clyde?"..."CLYDE?" No answer. She turned around and saw the empty seat beside me. "WHERE'S CLYDE?" We had driven off without him, and I never said a word. When we got back to the gas station, he was sitting nonchalantly on the curb, drinking his soda. He just shrugged and said, "I knew you'd be back, sooner or later." He forgave me. But he let up on the teasing for the rest of the trip!
I could sit and talk with Clyde for hours, late into the night. I could talk to him about anything. He always listened, and he never judged. What I wouldn't give for just one more long conversation.
Clyde's last days were spent doing what he loved doing most: enjoying nature and camping with the people he loved most, his family. He had wanted to drive up to Alaska for years, and the whole family had planned this trip for several months. They had a week together before the accident that would end with their motorhome rolling over, and claiming his life. Thankfully, no one else in the family was seriously injured. And if the accident had to take one life, I know my brother would have, without hesitation, stepped forward and said, "Make it mine."
His final gift to me was to leave me secure in the knowledge that, if I we were able to have that final conversation, it would end with him saying, "I love you. Take care of my family."
His was indeed a life well lived. He loved and helped people any time he could. He was never too busy to help. He touched lives everywhere he went, and so very many people loved him. He will be greatly missed. What could possibly matter more?
I don't know where this story originally came from, but it's a good one.
A NYC Taxi driver wrote:
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. "It's nothing," I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated."
"Oh, you're such a good boy," she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"
"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly..
"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice."
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I don't have any family left," she continued in a soft voice. "The doctor says I don't have very long."
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
"What route would you like me to take?" I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.
"Nothing," I said.
"You have to make a living," she answered.
"There are other passengers," I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware--beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
If you haven't seen this video, it's definitely worth watching.
Board certified executive coach, mentor and life strategist.
"Change your thoughts and you change your world."
--Norman Vincent Peale