Category: Wisdom Quote

Monday Motivation: Making a Difference

June 19th, 2017 by

When trying to come up with a list of goals for yourself, why not start by answering the question: “What kind of difference do I want to make with my life?”

“Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.” Christine Todd Whitman

With most of the great men and woman of history, making money or finding fame was not their primary goal. They wanted their life to have real meaning.

Experts say the desire to make a difference seems to have affected how successful they really were to accomplish their mission. Albert Schweitzer, one of the greatest humanitarians in history, is but one example. At 30, Schweitzer was a world-famous organist, specializing in compositions by Bach. It was during this time that he began thinking about making a greater difference with his life. He read a report on dismal conditions facing Africans in the Congo (now the Republic of Zaire) and decided to become a missionary surgeon.

“When it’s obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, but the action steps. Confucius

Schweitzer returned to school and spent eight years earning a degree in tropical medicine and he played concerts on the side to help raise money. At 38, he loaded his medical supplies on a ship and sailed for Africa. He transferred his supplies to a small boat and traveled up the Ogooue River to a thatched village called Lambarene. There, Schweitzer established a hospital in the only building available: an old chicken coop.

“Bee to the flower, moth to the flame; Each to his passion; what’s in a name?” Helen Hunt Jackson

Within nine months of arriving in Lambarene, he treated more than 2,000 people who had never before had any access to modern health care. Albert Schweitzer continued his work there for some 50 years, fighting everything from leprosy to sleeping sickness. His compassion, dedication, commitment and vision earned him the Nobel peace Prize in 1952. He used the $33,000.00 to expand his hospital and build a leper colony. When he died at the age of 92, his village had grown to 1,500 patients and 40 doctors and specialists.

Andrew Carnegie was also a man on a mission that was much greater and larger than him. The steel magnate started out as a penniless day-laborer in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania steel plant (my home town and home to the six-time Super Bowl Champions Steelers), but he eventually became the richest man in the world – he sold his steel interests at the turn of the century for 480 million dollars.

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Joseph Campbell

To become rich was only half of his goal. Throughout his life, Carnegie’s main goal was to spend the first part of his life making a lot of money and the second part spent giving it all away. As early as 1868, he wrote himself a letter spelling out his goals, including a plan to resign from business by age 35 and live on an income of $50,000.00 a year.

Carnegie planned to devote the reminder of his money to various philanthropic causes and most of his time to education. He lasted in business almost 30 years longer than he planned, but as he saw it, the staggering wealth he was acquiring for his philanthropic purposes was well worth it.

“Never respect men for their riches, but rather than for their philanthropy; we do not value the sun for its height, but for its use.” Gamaliel Bailey

After the sale of his business interests, he built thousands of libraries and set up foundations to help people learn what they needed to be successful and fulfilled.

By the time of his passing in 1919 at the age of 84, Andrew Carnegie had given away nearly all his fortune.

Making a difference in other people’s lives and hence, your own, will help you find the “Meaning of Life.” The “Meaning of life” is a seven letter acronym. Those of you who had me as an instructor, or have heard me at one of my speaking engagements, probably remember the acronym. The acronym contains several principles that everybody can achieve; to be meaningful and relevant, each person must seek it and accomplish it on their own. Want to know more? You will have to contact me to find out – but I will not just “give” you the answer, because the acronym means different things to different people. Like many people in my life did for me, I’ll share how they taught me to fish for a lifetime; they didn’t give me a fish for a day.

“Each man must look at himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered, it is something molded.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

How many people have made a difference in your life? Do you know who they are? Have you ever taken the time to thank them? More importantly, have you been and are you now taking the legacy they gave you and making a difference in other people lives?

There are hundreds of people who helped me before my plane crash and injuries in 1970 and the hundreds since then who helped me to get back on my feet, continue on my journey and helped me find Meaning in Life. I acknowledged as many as possible in two of my books, “The Bridge Never Crossed – A Survivor’s Search for Meaning” and “Laugh You Live Cry You Die – A Burn Survivor’s Triumph Over Tragedy.” Each person in my life played a major factor in who I am today. Whatever success I’ve achieved, I owe to each one of them. I hope they know how much they meant and mean to me and how much I love(ed) and honor(ed) them. Throughout my life, I’ve tried to show them and tell them.

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dreams of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” e.e. cummings

I read somewhere that our memory is an indication of the kind of life we’ve lived. If this is true, and I think it is, then I’ve been Blessed to have lived a good life.

Throughout my life’s journey, I’ve ‘’gazed’ at the Headstones of the many who’ve passed and who played a major role in my life from birth to now and I think of the friends and hosts who’ve enriched me…. and who remain vertical…. the quote at the end of the movie, “Saving Private Ryan” rings in my head: “I hope I’m a good man. I hope I’ve lived a good life. I hope I’ve earned it!” Me, too!

“A whole stack of memories is never equal to one little hope. Charles M. Schulz

This article was reprinted with permission from the author, Captain George Burk, USAF (Ret), Plane crash, burn survivor, motivational speaker, author, writer. Visit his website at www.georgeburk.com  or contact Captain Burk at gburk@georgeburk.com.

Monday Motivation: The #1 Obstacle to Career Success

June 12th, 2017 by

What do you think is the #1 obstacle to career success?

Lack of education?

Low emotional intelligence?

Skill deficit?

Bad luck?

What if I told you that it may be something completely within your control that you can begin correcting today?

According to research, the #1 obstacle may be your energy level.

Do I need to tell you to take a look at the food you are putting in your mouth, to work out more, or to get enough sleep? No. You know this. But are you doing it? Maybe, maybe not. Probably some days better than others.  There is no pinnacle we reach where it stays easy to avoid cake or Netflix binges but today may be the day you need to begin again.

Check out this article, “9 Ways to Feel More Awake (Without Caffeine!).” I picked it because it starts with a way to get energy quickly that many people overlook because they don’t realize they are suffering from a lack of it. Increase your energy level and enjoy more success today!

Monday Motivation: Modify your dreams or magnify your skills!

June 5th, 2017 by

  You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills. – Jim Rohn

“Dream big,”” they say.

“If you can dream it, you can become it,” they say.

It’s the season of high school and college graduations, and success clichés are in the air.  And, to be fair, there is a certain amount of vision that can be gleaned from inspirational quotes.  But there is more to reaching success in your career than simply having a dream.  Don’t settle and modify your dreams.  You can bridge the gap of where you are now to where you want to be by magnifying your skills.

We can help you do just that!

If you want to magnify your leadership skills, read the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Leadership Lessons book.

If you want to magnify your skills of conducting fast simple investigations, read the Using the Essential TapRooT® Techniques to Investigate Low-to-Medium Risk Incidents book or attend our 2-day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training.  We have made major strides in making TapRooT® easy to use. We even have a new five step process for doing a low-to-medium risk incident investigation.

If you want to magnify your skills of conducting major investigations, learn the whole TapRooT® process and tools for investigating high potential and high risk incidents by reading the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for Major Investigations book or attending our 5-day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training.  The book and course explain the entire 7-step TapRooT® System and all the TapRooT® Tools.

If you want to get ahead of accidents, incidents, and quality issues, then magnify your proactive/audit skills by reading the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for Audits and Proactive Performance Improvement book.

Don’t settle for less than what you want to do with your career.  Magnify your skills!

Monday Motivation: Food for the Heart

May 29th, 2017 by

What does thinking / feeling do to our brain cells?

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

First, this isn’t a post about eating heart healthy but be sure to eat your oatmeal, blueberries and spinach. It doesn’t hurt.

This post is about what we think. We often refer to our emotional, feeling thoughts as our “hearts” (not to be confused with that red, bloody beating thing).

So let’s dive in, even if you’re a big, tough guy. Let’s talk about feely stuff.  Shall we?

I like science and missed my calling as a mad scientist. When I read science, it speaks to me. Maybe I should have entitled this post “weird science.” But I decided, instead, to start this post with ancient text that I love because it pleases me when science finally shows up and supports what humans have known all along. What we think, we become.

So how is this true? What does thinking do to our brain cells?

Thinking releases chemical messengers called neurotransmitters that allows it to talk to other parts of the brain and to our nervous systems. These chemical messengers control our bodies including feelings of happiness, sadness or stress.

What happens is this: when we think, we put these chemical changes in motion, both temporary and permanent. Think of the top 20 things you are grateful for right now and you’ll produce the chemical dopamine which releases very pleasurable emotions.

Now, let’s take this a step further to how we make more permanent changes to the brain.  We’ve got these thoughts running through the brain, back and forth, up and down, spinning around… all day long. It’s exhausting sometimes, isn’t it? The neurons of our brains start organizing them and firing in specific, set patterns. Then the brain starts connecting to new synapses and neurons, and new receptors get built.

So let’s pause at “receptors.” Each of the thousands and thousands of receptors on each cell is specific to one (1) peptide. When we get mad, feel sad, experience joy or experience any of the multitude of human emotions, each single emotion releases a peptide. The peptides connect to the receptors and change the structure of the cell as a whole. Here is where the miracle happens: the cells divide and whatever peptide that cell was exposed to the most, that’s what the new cell will have more of. Bam! It’s like two for the price of one. Kind of. Multiply your joy or your negatives. The price is the same.

“What you think is what you become” is not just some touchy, feely quote. Positive, uplifting thoughts are food for the heart. We actually change our bodies when we think a certain way. Change your thoughts over time, and you will surely change your life.

Monday Motivation: 4 Tips to Help you Stand Out in an Interview

May 22nd, 2017 by

You are not your resume, you are your work. ~ Seth Godin

It’s easy to make anyone look good on paper, isn’t it?  As a former resume writer, I know it can be done. However, a resume only gets a person an interview, not a job. If you want the job, you better be prepared to talk about your work.

Here are four tips on how to represent your work in an interview.

  1. Tell a story. Begin with an unfavorable situation like “poor performance” or “high incident rate” and follow with a statement on what you did to overcome it. Finish the story with the successful result. Prospective employers remember stories.
  2. Quantify. Quantify. Quantify. Use percentages and hard measures where you can. For example, say “decreased machinery down time by 80%” rather than “decreased machinery down time.” Percentages are higher impact than absolute numbers.
  3. Speak up. Don’t assume the interviewer has read your resume. In a perfect world, they do, but often there is only time for a precursory glance. Highlight your achievements verbally and be specific with details.
  4. Get TapRooT® training. Talk about the success you’ve experienced using TapRooT®.  Investigators who are TapRooT® trained bring a unique set of problem-solving skills to the workplace that will set you apart.  Learn more about training here.

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