How Inspirational Blog from a Grieving Wife Affected My Life, Maybe Yours

I was just forwarded a wonderful blog about Jill’s husband’s life . I had to write her to say ‘thanks’
for the timely,  needed inspirationfor my own life. …
Dear Jill,
That was a very moving, bittersweet account of Fred’s life and persona 
that has given me new, needed inspiration for my own life.
 It’s never long enough, but Fred certainly accomplished much in his life
and seemed to enjoy most every moment (aside from his illnesses, which
he was somehow able to  not dwell on.)   
I am at a crossroads in my life and Fred (and your) story gives me new
inspiration to climb out of the dark place I’ve been in of late. In my case,
it was my dear, young , special cat (don’t laugh) who I lost that triggered the grief (which 
is actually an accumulation of many things.  At least with Ornji I had a best pal
to bond with during his amazing battle he finally lost to FIV-influenced liver cancer.
But along the way  during that battle we had our best days together, savoring  the days
– Ornji and some pets , in general, don’t always dwell on their illnesses like people, especially
when they still have quality of life with projects of their own to keep the busy and happy.
With some inspiration from people including you via your blog about Fred I will be 
commemorating Ornji in an ebook, gathered from the multiple blog chapters I’ve written
(http://FavoriteFurryFriends.info/Ornji). Along the way Ornji taught me many things
including enjoying life and making the most of what time we have.
In my case, I’m lucky to have good health right now, but we never know what can happen 
tomorrow, so each day should be savored and enjoyed, if not met with an accomplishment or two.
In recognition of Ornji, I try to do at least one good deed or achievement per day.
My accomplishment today was taking my surviving cat to a kennel to see if he would accept it for a day
so I could take my first vacation in a decade ;  I won’t go into the many contributing factors
that held be back from traveling. If all goes well – I won’t go away if Zack doesn’t accept
the kennel (but first reports are good in this one day test) – this will be a major accomplishment for me.
In summation, your article came at a very opportune time for me. It’s amazing how  good can result out
of bad.  I will hang on to Fred’s story and think of him along my future road (hopefully the Road To Success).
With your permission I will pass on your artiocle to others like myself who may benefit from Fred’s story.
Thanks again to you and Fred.

AND NOW, FRED’S STORY, COURTESY OF JILL ( AND FRED)…

BY JILL KONRATH

” When my husband kissed me goodbye at the airport on November 6th, I had no idea it would be for the last time.

Fred-Jill-Hiking.pngI was flying home for a day and then on to Boston to speak at HubSpot’s big INBOUND conference. Fred was staying at our condo in southern Utah to spend a couple weeks golfing.

That’s not how things turned out. Two days later he died of complications from PSC, an autoimmune liver disease. I made it back to say good-bye; so did my kids. It was tough. We all miss him—a lot.

As I reflect back on our life together, I realize how much Fred changed the trajectory of my life, reordered my priorities and modeled behaviors that I wanted to emulate. That’s why I want to share them with you.

Life Lesson 1. Winning is always possible.

When I first met Fred, he was the head football coach in White Bear Lake. By the age of 33, he’d already won two state championships. But in between those seasons, his teams really struggled.

I’ll never forget the time his team played Stillwater, the reigning state champs who had a 6-0 record. White Bear still hadn’t yet won a game. Over the weekend, Fred and the coaching staff spent hours watching game film. Their challenge? Figuring out how to stop an unstoppable offense and how to score against an impenetrable defense.

We went out for dinner mid-week. He was excited about what the team was working on. He used the placemat to draw up their offensive plans and blocking schemes. He diagramed how they were going to keep Stillwater from scoring.

Shocked, I finally said, “You don’t actually think you’re going to win, do you?”

Fred answered, “Yes. I do. We’ve got a good game plan. And, if we can execute it and they have a bad night, we can win.”

On Friday night, White Bear came out on top, winning by a score of 7-6. This was only possible because of the hard work put into figuring out a “win strategy” and near flawless execution.

Life Lesson 2. Be a cheerleader.

Fred-coaching.pngAny time you learn new skills or go beyond your comfort zone, fear and doubt creep in. As a life-long coach in both sports and business, Fred knew that the young people and adults he worked with needed to know the “why’s” and “how-to’s” first.

But, to be the best they could be, he knew that people needed someone to believe in them. When he was coaching, whenever kids did anything right, Fred was always the first one there, patting them on the back and saying, “Atta, baby!”

And, when people screwed up, he pulled them quietly aside to show/tell them what to do differently. Then, before he sent them back to work (or into the game), he’d pat them on the back and say, “You can do it.”

When I was thinking of starting my own consulting firm, I was a bundle of angst, worrying if I could actually make a go of it. When I told Fred my fears, he said with a 100% conviction, “I’d bet on you any day.” It’s what I needed to make the leap into entrepreneurship.

In short, Fred wanted people to be the best they could be—and this was how he helped them achieve it.

Life Lesson 3. Always have fun.

When I first watched my husband coaching the high school kids, it was clear that he was having more fun than anyone else on the field. He loved what he was doing and his enthusiasm was contagious. I saw him do the same thing when he coached both our kids. He made practice and drills fun, while working the team hard.

When he ran his leadership development program at Thrivent (a financial services firm), he spent hours at a magic shop figuring out what would be fun and surprising to the attendees. His favorite was setting a big glass of water down right in front of big table as he was talking.

Then, when he was gesturing wildly with his hands, he’d knock it over. Everyone would jump up to avoid getting soaked and quickly grab their workbooks, purses and devices. Except, no one ever did. When they weren’t looking, he’d dropped some “potion” in the water that turned it into a gel.

For me, Fred was my playmate. While I was working, he was busy planning what we’d do next. As I write this, I’m at our condo in Southern Utah. Every day, when I was done with work, he’d have an idea about where we should go hiking or a new restaurant to visit. He was always on the lookout for cool activities or incoming shows.

Fun matters. Fun makes everything better. Mary Poppins once said, “In every job that must be done, there’s an element of fun. And when you find the fun then snap, the job’s a game.”

Life Lesson 4. Learn new things.

When my husband decided to retire early due to health reasons, I was worried that he’d become a couch potato and lose his oomph (like so many retirees). After all, research shows that if you want to stay vital in life and work, learning new knowledge and skills is essential.

I shouldn’t have been concerned. The first project Fred tackled was earning his instrument rating, a special designation held by only 5% of private pilots that allows you to fly when visibility is near zero. It took a full year.

Then, he decided to re-do his prized possession, a 1966 Corvette. He literally took it apart piece-by-piece, putting every nut and bolt in a little plastic bag, labeling it and hanging it on a wall in the garage. When it was stripped bare, a welder fixed the corroded frame and then Fred started reassembling it.

He spent hours watching YouTube videos to figure out how to put it together again. He was a frequent visitor to Corvette forums, reading how others fixed problems, found good replacement parts and more. Four years later, after it was finally running again, he was proudly showing it at local car shows.

Fred-corvette.png

Finally, Fred was a golf lover. Even as a retiree, he was determined to bring his handicap down. He religiously read golf magazines, watched videos and experimented with new techniques. When the weather permitted, he practiced daily. Putting, chipping and ultimately, the drives. Shortly before he passed away, he shot a 78!

Life-long learning is essential for all of us. We feel better. We’re challenged. We stay at the top of our game.

Life Lesson 5. Create memorable experiences.

My husband loved planning events of all sorts—the kind that wouldn’t be forgotten. My surprise 40th birthday was filled with an assemblage of friends from every decade of my life. Anniversaries were carefully-planned romantic dinners. This fall, Fred pulled together a 5-day trip to the Columbia River Gorge to celebrate the completion of my newest book.

With my daughter Katie, he created a tradition of going to one big horse race each year. Together, they completed the Triple Crown series by going to the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont and the Preakness. They also looked forward to watching horse racing at a small local track, where they’d bet against each other for fun. When the track was closed, they’d visit the Science Museum, then go for dinner and gelato at a favorite Italian restaurant.

Memorable experiences with my son Ryan centered around football and flying. This fall, a few weeks before Fred died, the two of them went to UND’s homecoming game where my son played college ball. In previous years, they went to watch home games of the Oregon Ducks and Miami. They’d also make annual treks to the Oshkosh Airshow, camping out on the tarmac and spending their days looking at the planes.

In business today, customer experience is the #1 emerging trend. As leaders and sellers, it’s essential to think about this at work now too. But I’d also suggest you make it part of your personal life as well.

Fred-Top of the World.png

Life Lesson 6. Choose your attitude.

My husband had numerous health problems throughout his life, but most people didn’t have a clue. He was always so active and upbeat. Over the years, he had ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, bad headaches, severe curvature of the spine, Hashimoto’s disease, skin cancer and multiple operations.

Most recently, Fred had quadruple by-pass surgery (where he almost died), a hip replacement and was undergoing experimental procedures for neck pain. All the while, the PSC was slowly destroying his liver.

Yet Fred always got up with a smile on his face and plans for doing something that mattered. He always had some project going on to help others, improve the house, or to brighten someone’s day. And, he’d try to get some physical activity in as well, knowing it helped him stay healthier.

By evening, Fred was often exhausted and would collapse in front of the TV … but he felt good, like he’d accomplished something meaningful and enjoyed the people in his life.

Life Lesson 7. Your job is not your life.

After experiencing early success in sales at Xerox, I was hooked. I loved making my numbers, hitting 135% of quota, then even higher. I loved competing against the “A” players and beating them on the leader boards. I loved winning Sales Rep of the Month awards and the quarterly contests. All I could think about was getting promoted, the faster the better—and making even more money.

Today, I feel fortunate that my husband fought for my soul. While he was happy for my success, he continually challenged on the fact that my self-image was so wrapped up in being “successful.” Initially I hated him for it.

But the reality is, he was right. I could have easily become a bigwig executive making boatloads of money. I could have been so wrapped up in my job that I’d have lost the important relationships in my life—and all the priceless moments that go with them.

Fred helped me stay grounded in what matters. Family. Friends. And, doing work that matters.

Fred-Close-Up.pngFred’s Motto.

Finally, I’d like to share the credo my husband lived by. Katie and Ryan heard him say it endlessly. As a coach, he always shared it with the kids on his teams. I think he got it from Lou Holtz, a legendary coach who once asked Fred to join his football staff.

Do what’s right.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Be the best you can be.

How to Multiply your Abundance- An EVERYDAY ThanksGiving ‘Gratitude Guide’

How to Multiply your Abundance- An EVERYDAY ThanksGiving ‘Gratitude Guide’

thanksgiving-everyday1

A PRACTICAL Do-It-Yourself GRATITUDE GUIDE’ FOR A HAPPIER, MORE MEANINGFUL LIFE –

TO KEEP AND REFER TO EVERYDAY – PUT IT ON YOUR MIRROR

 

How to Multiply your Abundance-  ThanksGiving EVERYDAY

(inspired by Doug Andrew, LiveAbundant.com)

Why Do We Only Celebrate Thanks-Giving But One Day a Year?  Why Not Celebrate Everyday?  Here’s A Simple, Quick Practice for a Happier, more Meaningful Life  

This little 10-minute activity could/should have great positive impact on your life as well as that of others, places and things.

 

What Are You Most Grateful For?

A PRACTICAL PRACTICE:

A.)  On a tablet or large piece of paper

Write Down  What You Are Most Grateful For:  (See Top 10, below, but you can add to the list – )

and be sure to leave plenty of space after each item to write more later:

 

What Are You Most Grateful For? (Start Writing…)

      1.)  A Person (or Animal) You Are Grateful For

      2.) A Person (or Animal) Who Has Passed Away you Are Grateful For Having known for his or her Talents, Values, etc. (g. could be a family relative or a famous person or anyone )

      3.)  A Physical Ability that you possess that you are grateful for (g. playing a musical instrument, adept at languages, athletics, good memory, etc.)4.) A Material Possession (may not be THAT important but why not… your car, smart phone,etc)

      4.) Something in NATURE you’re grateful for (I love to go to Napa not just for the vineyards  but for the beauty including riding my bike thru the vineyards and scenery. I love the Eastbay Park System with countless amazing, diverse places to explore by foot, bike, water, air)

     5.) A Place On Earth (g. a favorite travel destination or just a place you admire for whatever reason)

thanks-living

6.) A Modern Day Invention (something as basic as the flush toilet or as complex as the smart phone or internet or your favorite food)

7.) Your Home or Place of Abode

 

 8.) Your Family, siblings

 9.) God, Universe or Higher Power – whatever your belief is

10. ) A Personal Possession – It may seem to go against the grain of what we’re aiming for here, but what the heck… you’re entitled to a favorite possession (even if it IS  a material object such as a car or smart phone

 

 

WE’RE NOT DONE YET – HERE COMES THE ‘MAGIC’..

 

B.) Now Write Down WHY You Are Grateful for the Above  and, finally…

 

C.) Write Down HOW You Would Show Your Appreciation for these People and Items

(e.g. Writing a note to those people expressing your gratitude for them or writing a blog or poem about your favorite place, possession or thing, etc.)

 

NOW, YOU HAVE YOUR GRATITUDE GUIDE TO ‘BOOKMARK’ OR PUT ON YOUR MIRROR TO REMIND YOU OF ‘THE GOOD’ WHEN THINGS MIGHT NOT BE GOING SO WELL IN YOUR LIFE –OR EVEN WHEN THEY ARE… AND TAKE ACTION MORE OFTEN TO MAKE FOR A HAPPIER, BETTER LIFE WHILE ALSO BRINGING JOY TO OTHERS AND NATURE

 

 D.) optional) For an even more enhanced return, Share Your Top Three (of the 10 – or you can do all 10) Gratitudes with your family and/or friends for a wonderful , productive discussion next time you gather around – AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!

 

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Click image twice to blow up size: ‘This (literally) lyrical prize is achieved by first entering the Gate of Opportunity. People are running through, but some have already settled in to the sit-down life of ease and comfort in what looks like the Beer Garden of Bohemianism. Some manage to pass by those delights to check in to the Hotel Know It All, because they hold to mottoes such as Nobody can tell me, or I don’t need to practice, or I’m a born genius, or yet: I don’t need system. Similarly misguided cries are heard on the patio of the Mutual Admiration Society: You’re the Hit of the Age, You’ll Set the World on Fire, You’re a Wonder My Boy, or (my favourite): Caruso Can’t Touch You. Those who avoid those three establishments of ill repute might still fall victim to the deep, dark well of Illiteracy, or the spinning, disorienting wheel of Conceit. A select few manage to board the train called Right System at the Railroad Station.

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Less Than 50% of Democrats Now Support Israel Despite Terror Threats – Jews Leaving Party?

Less Than 50% of Democrats Now Support Israel Despite Terror Threats – Jews Leaving Party?

#1

Republicans increasing support for Israel while Democrats waning

#2

Less than 50% of Democrats Now Supporting Israel, Down from 60% high

#3

Jews still identify most with Democrat party but down to 61%, which may , in part, explain the unexpected drop in Democrat support for Israel, noted in chart #2


Less Than 50% of Democrats  Now  Support   Israel Despite Terror  – Jews Leaving Party?

The Democratic Party, once known for its strident support for Israel, has been bypassed by  Republicans by almost  30% in the past decades with Republicans now well ahead of Democrats in support of Israel, 75% to 48% as of a recent Gallup (2014) survey


Despite to what appears an increasing threat to Israel from ISIS, Iran and others – and, in light, of the latest terrorist killings   in Tel Aviv, Israel- Democratic support for Israel is down to 48% , down from 61% in  1991.  (Survey only goes back to 1990. ) We would imagine support was even higher with more supportive, earlier administrations, going back to the earlier skirmishes like the ‘6 Day War’  in late 1960s (but surveys don’t go back this far.)

It’s especially interesting because Democrats have, until  recent times have been the greatest friends of Israel – and, especially the Jews, of which the great majority have identified as Democrats. But, even this stat, appears to be changing, remarkably, indicated by Chart #3 which shows Jewish Democratic identification was down to 61% in 2014 from over 70% in 2008.  So, while the one-time ‘sympathetic’ party has, surprisingly dropped in support of Israel, the latter chart would lead us to believe that more Jews have ‘left the party’ or at least no longer identify with the Democratic party.

We must deduce that  the Jewish drop in Democratic affiliation has come in light of the increasing threat to Israel, which includes that coming from increasing anti-Israel  America.  It doesn’t come as a surprise that Jews may be reacting to America’s increased support for Iran and seeming decrease for Israel, as evidenced by President Obama’s strained relations with Israel while signing off on the big Iran nuclear pact against Prime Minister Netenyahu’s wishes. It’s not surprising to see that some American Jews may be reacting to America’s estrangement with Israel as President Obama has welcomed Muslim immigration to America by 57% while increasing aid to Iran ($150 million) and other Muslim countries.

 

 

 

ali, obama, trump

Near Assassination ‘Second Chance’ May Have Spurred On Reagans to Even Greater Heights

Near Assassination ‘Second Chance’ May Have Spurred On Reagans to Even Greater Heights

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Near Assassination ‘Second Chance’ May Have Spurred On Reagans to Even Greater Heights

As We Remember First Lady Nancy Reagan 

 

Much went through the mind since learning of Nancy Reagan’s passing.
I remember as a young man falling victim to the media’s attack on the First Lady at the time. I just accepted the innuendos and rumors that Reagan was a tough daughter-of-a-gun who had , perhaps ‘too much’ sway over the President.

 

 

Not until years later, with more scrutiny and maturity, did I realize
that Ms Reagan, in fact, was a big factor in the success of Reagan as President.
Keeping a happy relationship was important for any President to do his job and the Reagans
had one of the best marriages from all reports.

 

 

What may have helped that relationship, too, was the ‘second chance’
given Reagan after the near-fatal assasination attempt only a month after
Regan took office. It was noted by the head of the Reagan Library that Ms.
Reagan became even closer with her husband after that episode. It’s too bad
that , sometimes, it takes a serious incident like this, but this may have
given the Reagans an extra push towards, perhaps the most successful
presidential term in the past 50 years.

 

 

Though the Reagans were frequent targets of the media throughout
the eight year ‘reign,’there was never any scandal and the Reagans even
re-set the presidential image of the office, following the failing Carter
administration,

 

May it be a lesson to all of us to try to live our lives in a class
fashion. Regardless of political views, treat all with good cheer even if you
don’t agree. Laugh off what has become mean-spirited rhetoric today. We don’t
always get second chances like the Reagans- not that they wouldn’t have
gotten it right the first time,

 

 

The United States still hasn’t recovered from the Kennedy Assassination
50 years later and another such excecuion could have been completely disastrous.
Not only would we not have benefited as much from a ‘replacement’ President that
would follow over the next eight years but the replacement would likely
had difficulty living up to Reagan Legacy (Reagan being regarded as certainly
one of the two or three top Presidents of the past 50 years) that came only
inches away from never happening.

Getting Older Is Inevitable – Aging Is Optional

Getting Older Is Inevitable – Aging Is Optional

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AGING  –  How To Reverse It, Naturally
Getting Older Is Inevitable – Aging Is Optional
We’re not talking plastic surgery, here. 
Believe it or not, you don’t need it as you can change your inside AND OUTSIDE
quite a bit by your attitude and beliefs….besides
AS WE GET OLDER WE INCREASE OUR VALUE & COMPETENCE
An 80-year-old can think ‘younger’ than a 25-year-old,  and actual recent studies have found that such thought processes can translate to ones health and physical being. There are chemicals in the body, like cortisol , which can have a physical affect on one’s body based on mental issues.
If one is stressed, feeling old or even negative, it CAN come out in one’s physical health and appearance.
Much like ‘You Are What You Eat,’ ‘ You are What You Believe ,’ both physically and mentally
 
Try This :
1.  Don’t Ask Others’ Age and Don’t Tell Others Your Age
This may sound strange to people, at first, but think about it…
Society has programmed us where we should be at a given age.
Do not put ‘restrictions’ and pigeon-hole someone based on someone’s age
just as you don’t want others to do that to you
2. Don’t Be Defensive About Your Age
Don’t say things like ‘I’m Dating Myself’  or other put-downs based on age
which our youth-oriented society has almost subliminally programmed us to do.
3. Don’t Celebrate Birthdays (as in numbers)
 
Instead of celebrating a number, which increases every year, why not, instead, celebrate your favorite things and your accomplishments? You can still celebrate, but don’t put the emphasis on that number but, rather,  the   important things of your life.
 
Think back to your favorite times of your past. You can live and celebrate those, again!
That trip you took when you were 35… that favorite, forgotten restaurant you used to go to –
or something as simple as re-visiting an old favorite place, friend or something you haven’t revisited for years! Most things you can still do. We’re not  telling you to live in the past but to do those things that you most enjoy. LIVE YOUR BEST DAYS AGAIN and AGAIN.
 
 
4.  Live As Eternal
STOP saying your age
STOP celebrating your chronological number
STOP holding onto grudges and negative thoughts
START celebrating what you have accomplished!
 
People Today Don’t Know How to Live.
Rescue your life – Don’t be afraid to break away from society’s callings. 
 
 
BELIEF TRUMPS GENES !
says Dr. Christin Northrup
 
You can change your thought processes and truly feel and look younger , if that’s what you want.
Don’t let  your old thought processes and old baggage keep you down. 
Dr Northrup expounds on the topic in her new book, ‘Goddesses Never Age.’
 
Let’s not forget to mention actress and comedienne Betty White,  pictured above.
Now in her 90s, she’s living well and happier than most. Her four fellow ‘Golden Girls’  passed on years ago but, God Bless Her, White continues to thrive, perhaps the pin-up person for getting older gracefully.
 
REMEMBER – IT’S ABOUT 
GETTING OLDER and LIVING BETTER
-NOT AGING!
 
 

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