Friday, August 31, 2007

Owen Wilson Needed a Motivational Strategy

Owen Wilson seemed to have it all. He gained international fame through his roles in hit movies, including Zoolander, Shanghai Noon, Wedding Crashers, and You, Me, and Dupree, with the latter one paying him a $20 million salary.

Owen was athletic, playing high school and college football--which gave him his twisted nose, after thirteen breaks.

Wealth, health, fame, dating famous women like Demi Moore, Sheryl Crow, and Kate Hudson--a great life, don't you think?

Looks like Owen Wilson didn't think so. On August 26, he attempted suicide. The news leaked out, and police confirmed the incident.

What went wrong? Some said his breakup with Kate Hudson caused his plunge into despair, depression, and disgust with life.

Yet I offer another explanation. Although Owen Wilson had the things that most of the world envies, he lacked something essential. He did not have a strategy for staying motivated when life brings unexpected and undesirable challenges.

Ernest Hemingway, for all his success as a novelist, didn't have that strategy either, and shot himself.

More positively, Christopher Reeve had a strategy for living triumphantly for nine years after his riding accident that paralyzed his body. . .but not his spirit. Amazingly, the second book he wrote carried the title Nothing is Impossible.

When I talk about motivation in my speeches and seminars, I help listeners establish their personal strategies for "staying in high gear" when life becomes tough.

First, I tell them about what other people do to remain upbeat. Example: An audience member told me she keeps a file labeled "I like me." In it, she puts nice notes or E-mails people have sent her. And when her life or career hit a stumbling block, she turns to that file and reads those compliments. Every time, she concludes, "Well, if all these people like me, I might as well like myself."

Second, I share my own favorite method for keeping my chin up. It's this: Every morning when I step out of bed, I imagine that I am stepping into an elevator. I have a choice. There are two buttons there, one marked Up, the other marked Down. Experience has shown me that if I punch the Down button, my day will--invariably--be lousy. On the other hand, when I push the Up button, and eat breakfast with a smile on my face, magical things happen. People return my phone calls, I find cheer surrounding me, and I accomplish plenty.

Third, I have audience members share their ways of getting through tough times. Often the discussion becomes highly inspirational. One person said, "When you wake up, notice that you have just experienced the greatest miracle of all. You have had a full day given to you. What you do with it us up to you. Just be grateful for the opportunity."

So, Owen Wilson, I wish you had been able to establish a system to help you through those times when you get bad reviews, romance fails, friendships shatter, health deteriorates, or someone else gets the award you think you deserved.

What about you? Can you be sure you will get where you want to be, in spite of big-time detours along the way?

Personally, I value life immensely, even though plenty has gone wrong for me:
*Almost died at age eight from a freakish infection that made medical history
*Fifteen surgeries as an adult
*Lost a prestigious job without any warning--one I thought I had for life
*Watched my mother suffer three years as an immobile stroke victim, until her death
*Almost didn't graduate from high school on time because of my chemistry course
*Became grossly overweight and lazy during my thirties

Erma Bombeck was right. The other man's grass might look greener, but it could be that's because it's over the septic tank. All of us have bad times, even horrendous times.

That's why I love to share my thoughts about pushing the Up button daily. I'm so eager to help you establish your personal agenda for "optimizing your optimism" that I have put my best advice, and the advice of those I admire, in an audio CD. The title: "Maintaining Maximum Motivation: Strategies for Staying in High Gear!" Please go to to my Web site and read what others say about this CD, then order your copy:

Listening to this CD--repeatedly--could be the best investment of time and resources you will ever make. Soon you will be able to say with Christopher Reeve, "I have my down days, but I haven't been incapacitated by them."

Monday, August 06, 2007

Terry Brock--World Renowned Technology/Marketing Expert

Terry Brock, based in Orlando, Florida with his company--Achievement Systems-- has appeared in my blog previously. Yet he is worth spotlighting again--because Terry has helped many hundreds of people upgrade their technology skills and jet propel their marketing campaigns. I'm fortunate to be one of those entrepreneurs who benefit from his service.

A few days ago, Terry visited my office. In just a few minutes, he showed me how to improve my video production. As always, his instruction was clear, simple, and easy to remember. Most importantly, he was patient, knowing that technology isn't my inborn strong suit.

At lunch afterward, where the restaurant owner took the photo displayed above, we talked about Terry's third global trip, which he had just completed. As a keynote speaker, seminar director, and marketing coach, he has worked in seventeen countries, and in many states within the U.S. His worldwide impact is expanding rapidly.

Amazingly, though, Terry is never too busy to help an individual. He talks about E-Commerce (technology) and R-Commerce (relationships), and he excels in both.

There's a super lesson there for all of us. It's true that we have to keep up with the latest technology developments. However, our relationships with our colleagues, clients, potential clients, family members, and friends should never suffer while we are getting used to the latest gadgets and gizmos.

I have attended Terry's presentations. I guarantee that his sessions are information-packed, fun, high energy, and inspiring.

I recommend that you visit his Web site:

Sign up for his monthly free newsletter, Achievement Update. Consider his Online Coaching Program and his Individual Coaching Program. There's nowhere you could get more value for your investment. I am proud to call him my coach. You will be, too.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Veteran Journalist Writes Her First Book

When writers get together for lunch, they enjoy talking about their latest writing projects. That's one reason I had looked forward to lunch with Alma Bowen, former editor of The Times, our newspaper here in Gainesville, Georgia.

Even before we placed our order, Alma said, "I have written a book." Having been through that process myself--writing The Complete Communicator: Change Your Communication, Change Your Life!--I congratulated Alma on her accomplishment, then asked her to describe her book. Here's how she summarized the plot, both then and in a follow up E-mail:

Title: The Cement Duck

Short Summary: "It is 1971, and a slick-talking stranger with a northern accent walks into a north Georgia bank to set up large checking accounts. He cashes checks, asking for the money in small bills. The bank president knows that a new Interstate is coming and he believes the stranger is buying property just outside the town to build a major shopping center, a project that depends on total secrecy.

"A total of $1.1 million disappears, a swindle so large and so sly that the nation's financial newspaper reports it, saying the swindle took place at 'a back-country bank.'

"The FBI agents arrive with federal bank auditors to investigate. They believe the swindle was orchestrated out of Philadelphia, but why had the north Georgia bank been selected? People became afraid and suspicious of old friends.

"The story is based on an actual crime in northeast Georgia in 1971 with all names of people and significant places changed."

I'll let you know when The Cement Duck (quite an intriguing title, don't you agree?) appears in print.

Meanwhile, you may order The Complete Communicator from my Web site's "shopping cart," which you will find at:

When you order, please E-mail me to let me know how to sign your copy. That is, give me the name or names you want me to mention when I sign your copy or copies. My E-mail address: