Soul Food for the Week of July 20th, 2012

Happy Soul Food Friday!

Love, Love, Love…

As you have probably noticed, my sign off on most of my emails is “Love,”

As unconventional as this may seem, this is because encouraging the heart, and bring our heart energy into virtually every aspect of our life, for me, brings meaning, purpose, passion and soul to our world!

In the past week, my wife Barbara and I celebrated our 21st Wedding Anniversary and in fitting tribute decided to go to Las Vegas and take in the Cirque de Soleil Beatles LOVE Show.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience the timeless music of the Beatles, coupled with the magic of the amazing Cirque de Soleil production which has been voted the best show in Las Vegas for 4 years in a row, I strongly recommend you add this to your “must experience list” for soul food!

Here is a tiny sampler:

Contributing to Community Well Being:

This week I was privileged to invest an afternoon of my life with United Way San Diego, visiting their corporate offices and hearing first-hand from some of their leaders – Angela, Carol, CJ, Dania, Holly, Shaina & Lance -about the real impact they are having in our community by partnering with local leaders, other non-profit partners and corporate supporters to address the critical issues of health, homelessness, education, & income. From a holistic approach to reducing child abuse and neglect, to ending chronic homelessness in San Diego, to recruiting readers, tutors and mentors for kids, to helping families challenged with self-sufficiency, there is undoubtedly a cause you are passionate about that they are working on right now and could use your help and energy.

When it comes to matters of the heart, the only things we keep in life are the things that we give away.

I strongly encourage you to take a moment to listen, to learn, and to lead by taking the Volunteer Challenge along with UWSD’s Give. Advocate. Volunteer. and find ways to make a difference of consequence in our community. If you are already doing this be sure to spread the word.

You can learn more at:

A Story:

The Old Man and a Bucket of Shrimp

It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.

Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier.. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp.  Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself.  The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.

Everybody’s gone, except for a few joggers on the beach.  Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts…and his bucket of shrimp.

Before long, however, he is no longer alone.  Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier.

Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly.  Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds.

As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, ‘Thank you. Thank you.’

In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn’t leave.

He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.

When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like ‘a funny old duck,’ as my dad used to say. Or, ‘a guy who’s a sandwich shy of a picnic,’ as my kids might say.  To onlookers, he’s just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp.

To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty.  They can seem altogether unimportant …. Maybe even a lot of nonsense.

Old folks often do strange things,  At least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters.

Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida.  That’s too bad. They’d do well to know him better.

His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker.  He was a famous hero back in World War II.  On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down.  Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific.  They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger.  By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water.

They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were.

They needed a miracle.  That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle.  They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose.  Time dragged.  All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft..

Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap.  It was a seagull!

Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move.  With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck.  He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal – a very slight meal for eight men – of it.  Then they used the intestines for bait.  With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait……and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued (after 24 days at sea…).

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull..

And he never stopped saying, ‘Thank you.’   That’s why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

Reference: (Max Lucado, “In The Eye of the Storm”, Pp..221, 225-226)

PS: Eddie was instrumental in Eastern Airlines.

Simplicity is Everything:

Periodically, literally or figuratively we are going to accidentally push to far and get the cork stuck in the bottle. Here is some lateral thinking that might help you out…

The Most Stunning Photos of 2012.

Even now, this planet is so full of beautiful sights. Here are the most beautiful, breath taking photos taken this year so far. Enjoy.

As many of you know, Stephen Covey passed away this week…

Here is some advice from his business partner and my friend Will Marre

The Best Advice I Ever Got

My mentor and professional partner Stephen Covey passed away yesterday.

Of the many amazing experiences we had together, one short sentence of advice had the greatest impact.

One day, when I was struggling to find my voice as a public presenter and I had been a miserable flop with his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” he quietly said,

“Seek to bless, not impress.”

That advice shifted me, not only as a speaker, but also as a human being. To seek to bless in every conversation, every encounter, is to activate the meaning of life in the everyday journey.

Stephen lived with zest. He gave his gift and made a difference. His legacy is that we might all do the same.

Some Nifty House Tricks:

Click here!

Thanks this week go to my heroes at the United Way, Larry, Mohit, Will and every one of you who practiced a conscious act of kindness this week.

Stay Soul-Filled and Pay it Forward!



“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people…  They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

~ Thomas Jefferson

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