The Power of Gratitude

What are you grateful for today?

A loving family, good health, new home, great career change, planned vacation trip, your faith? The list can go on and on from here. There are so many things we overlook in the hustle and bustle of daily life that we should be thankful for. Take time out to identify what you are most grateful for today and declare it!

GratitudeStart each day by saying aloud what you are grateful for, then show it through your attitude and by caring for others. Pay it forward. The next time you’re not feeling that ‘attitude of gratitude’ for all your blessings, consider this … 71% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 a day. 1.5 billion people globally live on less than $1.25 per day. Your life could be much worse and these statistics help to put things into perspective, don’t they?

Even in the darkest times, we can find a way through them by expressing gratitude for the good things in our lives, rather than dwelling on the negatives. My loving wife, Laura, passed away on March 4th of this year. Although the pain of her loss is still unbearable, I’m grateful that she’s at peace and free from the pain, the surgeries, the radiation and chemotherapy treatments, etc. she had to suffer through during her long-term battle with breast cancer. I am also very thankful for the 38 wonderful years we had together, our two amazing children, and a lifetime of great memories. Continue reading…

Success Is a Continuous Journey

What is this “success” thing we all spend countless hours thinking and talking about and preparing for? Will we recognize it when it gets here?

The dictionary tells us that success is defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, or the attainment of wealth, honors or power”. This infers that success is a destination, place or thing, with a beginning and an end. I would argue that our desire for success is the driving force within each of us that propels us forward throughout our lifetimes.

We all want to believe that our lives have purpose and what we do is recognized and valued. It’s only when we stop trying, stop moving forward in our quest to attain success and personal fulfillment that we fail. As Richard St. John reminded us in his 2009 Ted Talk, “Success is a continuous journey, a journey that begins with our first step”.

Success Is a Journey

The popular belief that “people are as successful as they choose to be” is highly misleading. Continue reading…

My Special Gift for You …

I have been struggling to get this month’s blog article out the door. After racking my brain this past Friday morning to come up with some creative new content to share with you, it dawned on me why … I’m burned out.

This past year I have been blogging for three different publications and have not taken a break to do what I enjoy doing most at this time of year … say ‘Thank You’. So, since I am a little late with my thank you this year, I want to express my thanks with a special gift this holiday season.

Christmas GiftMy Special Gift for You … Continue reading…

Winning in Life From Little League

Oh, those glorious days of summer as a child. How we miss them and the activities that played such a big part in our early growth and development. America’s great pastime was a big part of my summer activities growing up, and I learned a lot about baseball and much more about life from my little league experiences.

The 2015 Little League World Series began in mid-July and it always brings back many of those great memories. My last year of little league we won the K.C.K. City Championship in the 15-16 Year Old Division. Winning the championship was the single greatest moment of my life, up to that point, and taught me a lot about what ‘winning in life’ is all about.

Little League Baseball2

Baseball is a lot like life. It’s day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.” – Ernie Harwell Continue reading…

Leadership in Difficult Times

“Leadership in difficult times” have unfortunately become the watchwords within our modern society. There is so much negativity that it is becoming increasingly difficult for positive leadership to rise above it.

“We live in a toxic society where religion and faith have been marginalized, marriage and family trivialized and the free market system demonized.” – Dudley Hall

Yes, it is easy to get caught up in the trappings played out by the media and on social networks about what is broken in the world today. Continuous news feeds of escalating violence, police brutality, wars and conflicts, terrorism and just plain bad behavior create an illusion that this is the ‘new normal’ – it’s not.

Make a DifferenceAs someone commented on a recent social media video post of the two women fighting in a Walmart store, “It’s like a train wreck. You want to look away but you just can’t believe what you’re seeing.” Continue reading…

Getting Your First Book Out the Door

Get Book PublishedWe all have a book(s) in us, but getting that first book out of your head and out the door is always the hardest. I know from my own personal experience.

As I tell people, my first book took 17.5 years to complete – 10 years thinking about it, 5 years talking about it, 2 years stressing about it, and 6 months writing, editing, formatting and self-publishing. Many of you may have had a similar experience. The creative process from start to finish can be challenging, time consuming and more than a little frustrating for first-time authors.

However, it doesn’t have to be such a mind numbing experience. Here are some critical things to consider to help you get started. Continue reading…

Yes, It’s Good to Be Irish

There are only two kinds of people in the world. The Irish and those who wish they were!“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure ’tis like a morn in spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.

When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay,

And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.”

‘Tis the chorus to “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”, a song first published in 1912 at a time when songs paying tribute to a romanticized Ireland were numerous and popular both in Great Britain and the United States.

Why are the Irish so special? Let me provide you with just a few of the many reasons: Continue reading…

The Power of 14 Words

“A funny thing happened to me on the way to the boardroom.” – John Carroll

Yeah, that was me some 30+ years ago. I had it all figured out. My career goal was to become an AT&T senior executive and officer before my 50th birthday, and I was on a positive track to get there. After five promotions in eight years, I was thirty-nine years old at the time and feeling really good about the future that I had mapped out. Until fate intervened and changed things.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your future plans.”

Because of a reckless act on my part, I had a serious accident that required multiple surgeries, bone grafts, metal plates and screws to put my lower leg and ankle back together again. The damage was so severe the surgical team could not operate for three days until they were able to reduce the swelling and stabilize my leg. After two major reconstructive surgeries, I was on crutches for 9-months and had to undergo extensive physical therapy in order to resume normal activities.

To say the accident was a defining moment in my life is a huge understatement. It altered my life forever and caused me to rethink my life’s direction, my goals and priorities, and ultimately my ideal of the person I wanted to become.

However, that’s not the real story, not the true cathartic moment. My true defining moment happened more than a decade earlier. Continue reading…

Time to Ring the Bell

Ring the BellYes, it is that time again … time to “ring the bell”!

The holidays are officially over. The Christmas tree has been placed at the curb for pick-up. The decorations are packed away in the attic. The new calendar reads 2015. So, it’s time to get back to business, right?

WAIT … hold on a minute! I am not ready for the New Year just yet. Let’s slow down a bit. Does this sound familiar?

For many of us, the New Year seems to have arrived early this year. And while we are struggling to catch up, time continues to march on. Last night, I attended my first networking event of 2015, and you could see it on many of the attendees faces, the dreaded “holiday hang-over”. Their thoughts were clearly somewhere else, not on business. To be totally honest, I was right there with them.

Why is it so hard to get started up again after the holidays? Continue reading…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Before we scoot off to celebrate the holidays with our families and friends, I want to take this opportunity to say ‘THANK YOU’ for your business, friendship, prayers and support. It has meant so much to us this year, as our family has had to overcome some difficult challenges.

The holiday season is a magical time of the year that we always look forward to. It is a time for family, a time for reflection and introspection, a time for planning, a time for renewal, a time for hope and most of all, it’s a time to count our many blessings and to celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

A Christmas version of Hallelujah

We feel particularly blessed this year to be able to celebrate the holidays as a family. As many of you know, my wife Laura was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer earlier this year and the prognosis for a full recovery at the outset was not promising. However, after months of cancer treatments, surgery, your prayers and God’s grace, she has battled through it.

Thank you to all of the special people (you know who you are) for being there for our family when your prayers, love and support were needed the most. We really appreciate you!

“May God send you good fortune, contentment and peace, and may all your blessings forever increase.” –  An Irish Blessing for Christmas and the New Year.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year.

Enjoy the journey!

John

 

COPYRIGHT © 2014 John Carroll