Posts Tagged ‘Abraham Lincoln’

Abe Lincoln and Inner Guidance – stay close to the “cave of the winds”

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Associaton of Lincoln Presenters Convention

 

“The name of the man had come to stand for what he was. In the ‘cave of the winds’ where he saw history in the making he was far more a listener than a talker. The high adventure of great poets, inventors, explorers, facing the unknown and the unknowable, was in his face and breath.” Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln

“In traveling on the circuit, he was in the habit of rising earlier than his brothers of the bar. On such occasions he was wont to sit by the fire, having uncovered the coals, and muse, and ponder, and soliloquized, inspired no doubt by that strange psychological influence which is so poetically described by Poe in ‘The Raven.’ ” Lawrence Weldon, lawyer

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” Oscar Wilde

“A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

_____

Testing Our Thoughts in Solitude

Lincoln was smart, but many of his peers had vastly more formal education and political experience than he. Lincoln’s success was a product of being better prepared than anyone else. He prepared himself by spending time in the “cave of the winds,” pondering the elusive questions of life.

Lincoln’s time in deep reflection allowed him to sort out the priorities of his life. He could move the chess pieces in the calm of these peaceful moments, before he had to do it in real life. Each move could be precisely calculated, leaving nothing to chance.

My Cave of the Winds

In my case, I like to go for a long bike ride early Sunday mornings, while most people are still in bed and the traffic is light. At the halfway point of my ride, I stop at Harold Bell Wright Park and I jot down ideas that pop into my head, ideas that answer puzzling questions I am wrestling with about my writing, about my speeches or about perplexing issues that I have in my life. I believe that separating myself from the familiar confines of my house, combined the accelerated blood flow to my brain from pedaling my bike, allow fresh ideas to enter my thoughts.

Harold Bell Wright Park

After I write down my ideas, I walk around the shady park. I imagine that I am in a sort of paradise, as I drink in the beauty and solitude, and even more ideas flow into the old noodle. For me, my bike rides are my “cave of the winds.”

I also get guidance for my life is in the neighborhood walks with my dog, Blackie. Other times I get creative thoughts from walking around a park or even walking around my own back yard. I occasionally take a section of a book that needs tweaking, to a local coffee shop where I sit in a quiet place, like Lincoln before the fireplace, to muse, ponder, and hatch fresh ideas.

Flashes of Inner Guidance

Occasionally, an idea will flash into my brain, like a pure and unfiltered message directly from my subconscious or intuition or spirit. I treat these messages, or “gleams of light’ as Emerson says, as pure wisdom and I attempt to act upon as rapidly as possible. If I ignore it, I may miss a great opportunity. If I follow it, endless new doors of opportunity can open up to me.

For example, after I had written my first book about Abraham Lincoln, I was searching the internet for organizations where I could give a speech about my book. I came across “The Association of Lincoln Presenters.” A perfect fit! They had a convention scheduled for April. Unfortunately it was already March, and they had their speakers lined up.

A thought popped into my brain, “contact the organizer.” In response to this prompt, I sent a note to the convention organizer,

I have written a new book on Abraham Lincoln entitled, “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds and Funny Bones.” I think it is a perfect fit for the convention. I know you have speakers lined up, but if one of your speakers has to back out, I would be happy to come, at a moment’s notice.

The convention organizer responded,

We really don’t need any speakers at this point.

That was it. Short, sweet and seemingly offering no hope.

Illinois Ho!

Then, shortly before the convention, the organizer sent me another note:

Good morning; this is Abe Clymer host of the Lincoln convention in Vandalia. I have had a cancellation of one of my speakers for the convention. If you are interested please call me at area code 618-514-xxxx. I can probably allow you a 30 min. time slot at our symposium.    Honestly, Abe Clymer

Wow! I was on fire with anticipation! The convention offered no honorarium, but allowed me to sell my books at the hotel. I felt this was the opportunity that I could not pass up.

Abe and I in fromt of the Illinois State House

My son, Jason, and I jumped into the car and propelled ourselves toward Vandalia, Illinois, thoughts of adventure dancing in our minds. I made my speech at the exact State House of Representatives where Lincoln served as a state representative. Jason filmed my presentation and we sold a book to almost everyone who attended the convention. Afterwards, I posted video clips of my presentation on my blog.

That presentation gave a boost to my fledgling speaking career. It established my credibility and opened doors for other organizations to schedule me to speak. It put me on the proverbial map.

All because I followed that flash of inner guidance.

 

Upcoming Pesentations:

October 20, 2018. How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds and Funny Bones. Prescott Valley Public Library (7401 E. Civic Circle), 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Prescott, AZ.

 

NEW BOOK COMIMG SOON!!!

 

 

Related Links

Like Abe Lincoln, Be Prepared with a “Quip” or a Bit of Humor

Emulate Abraham Lincoln: Make Each Day Count

The “Secret” Daily Affirmations of Abraham Lincoln

Always greet everyone, no matter what they look like

Employ an Affable Lincolnesque Persona

Deflect Criticism with Self-deprecating Humor

Always greet everyone, no matter what they look like

Monday, December 25th, 2017

 

“In ten minutes I felt as if I had known him (Abraham Lincoln) all my life. He had the most wonderful faculty I have ever seen in a man to make one feel at ease.” A New York gentleman, from Rufus Rockwell Wilson, Intimate Memories of Lincoln.

“Lincoln greeted me cordially as though we had known each other for a long time. He knew men on the instant.” William O. Stoddard, journalist.

“Lincoln always manifested interest in everybody with whom he associated. When you first met him and studied him he impressed you with being a very sad man and a very kind man. He struck you as being a man who would go out of his way to serve you. There was about him a sense of self-abnegation.” John H. Littlefield, law clerk in the Lincoln-Herndon law office.

“Mr. Lincoln shook hands with me in his kindly way, and the direct simplicity and naturalness of his bearing were then and still remain the exact impression upon me of his daily manner. There was a natural courtesy and real interest shown toward me, with nothing of patronage or condescension.” Charles S. Zane, law student.

“The handshake of the host, affects the taste of the roast.” Ben Franklin
_____

Who was the last stranger that you greeted and shook hands with?

Meeting strangers can be a scary proposition. We don’t know who they are. They might think differently than us, or even be hostile. We may not like them. They may not like us. And of course, Mom always told us, “Never talk to strangers.”

Yet, Abraham Lincoln greeted everyone, without fear, as documented in the above quotations. He was interested in people. He had a desire to help people. As followers of Lincoln we too are obligated to greet all people that enter our lives.

Practicing to Meet and Greet

Recently, I was participated in a Toastmaster Area Humorous Speech Contest. My goal

Confederate and Union soliders shake hands in 1930

in attending was to win the Contest. However, my secondary goal was to apply Lincoln Affirmation #1 (see The ‘Secret’ Daily Affirmations of Abraham Lincoln) and to shake hands and greet the 30 people attending the event. Throughout the event, I walked up to every person I didn’t know and said, “Hi I’m Terry Sprouse. I don’t think we’ve met.” I met 26 of the attendees. I only missed four people who came in late.

I admit I felt a bit like a stalker. After greeting someone, I would casually gaze around the room looking for my next victim. I struck mostly before the meeting began and during the break. My strategy was to choose people who were preferable alone. My second choice was people in groups where I already knew at least one person, then I would pick off the others in the group one by one. The easiest ones were when someone sat near me during the ceremony. “Hi I don’t think we’ve met.” They were like unsuspecting flies caught in my spider web.

Princess Diana greeting AIDS patient

The hardest one was, Juan Mendoza, who I hadn’t met before. I saw him talking to someone at the registration table. Just as I walked up to meet him he walked away. I followed him, like an Africanized bee following my prey, across the room, where he was engaged in another conversation. As he left that conversation, in my exuberance, I jumped in front of him and blocked his path. I blurted, “Hi I’m Terry Sprouse, I don’t think we’ve met.” I probably seemed a little too eager, but Juan took it in stride and shook my hand.

While I did not win the speech contest, I did have a radiant feeling of success because I was able to greet almost everyone and accomplish the goal I had set for myself, through a spiritual link with the Illinois Rail Splitter.

Mission (pretty near) accomplished!

Shaking Lions’ Paws

A few days later, I attended two more meetings. One was at The Lion’s Club, where afriend had invited me to attend a meeting, and later I attended the Toastmaster Division Speech Contest.

Matin Luthor King and LBJ shake hands

At The Lions Club I introduced a new wrinkle into my quest to meet people, I wrote down the name of everyone that I met. I was a hand-shaking machine, and easily met almost everyone there, since they conveniently greeted me, often before I could greet them. I had about a 95% completion rate at Lion’s Club, for the 50 people in attendance.

Another Crack at Toastmasters

At my next meet and greet effort, the Toastmaster Division Speech Tournament, I got only 16 out of about 42, or 38% completion. But, that low showing was because I arrived later than I planned to. Even though I only greeted 16 new people, that’s still 16 more than if I had made no effort.

What happens to these names, you ask?

I transfer the names of all new acquaintances to my Abe Lincoln “Make Each Day Count” Daily Logbook where the names, along with any useful information about these persons, is safely stored for future reference.

As William Butler Yeats said, “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met.”

Your arrival will always be greeted with excitement

 

Upcoming Pesentations:

October 20, 2018. How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds and Funny Bones. Prescott Valley Public Library (7401 E. Civic Circle), 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Prescott, AZ.

 

NEW BOOK COMIMG SOON!!!

 

 

Related Links

Employ an Affable Lincolnesque Persona

Emulate Abraham Lincoln: Make Each Day Count

The “Secret” Daily Affirmations of Abraham Lincoln

Like Abe LIncoln, Be Prepared with a Quip or Bit of Humor

Be a Generous Listener, as Abe Lincoln Was

Abe Lincoln and Inner Guidance – stay close to the “cave of the winds”

Emulate Abraham Lincoln: Make Each Day Count

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Introduction

Dr. Josh Axe, author of Eat Dirt, states the reason that most people have toxins leak from their gut into their blood supply, is because of stress. It’s compelling that the number one reason for having a leaky gut is not related to any diet or physical ailment, but rather to how we think!

Psychologist William James observed, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” I don’t know if Abraham Lincoln had a leaky gut, but I do know that he chose his thoughts carefully.

Embrace Your Secret Identity

The key to success in allowing Abraham Lincoln to channel through you, is to be prepared. Imagine the things that will happen to you throughout the day and imagine plugging in your quips and anecdotes ahead of time. Just as Bruce Wayne could switch into his Batman persona, we can switch into our Abraham Lincoln persona when the occasion calls for it.

If you wait to respond on the spur of the moment, then it’s too late. The moment will pass you by, like a speeding train. Have your brain primed to respond, like a loaded gun, then just pull the trigger and fire your quip.

We can never control our circumstances random events that happen to us, but we can have complete control over our observations about the vicissitudes of life. Our quips and stories permit us to filter life’s challenges and to frame them in a way that we allow ourselves to be victorious over them. If we respond to adversity with a smile and an insightful remark, we can never be defeated.

I believe there are two lessons to be learned from emulating Abraham Lincoln:

1) We can accomplish anything if we assume the right personality. Just as if we wish to cross the ocean, we pick the strongest vessel which we know will get us through to our destination.

2) We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. By assuming the same character traits that worked for Lincoln, we too can become the leader, the entrepreneur, the teacher, or any other type of person that we aspire to be. We have the dream and Abraham Lincoln provides the means.

Put Life’s Experiences Under a Microscope

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “You must live in the present . . . find eternity in every moment.”

To really live in the present and find eternity in every moment, we have to truly focus on the things that happens to us each day. We must listen to each word we hear and parse each word we say. No matter what else is true, we know beyond all other truth that we only live in the present. (Except when we come “back from future,” as I will discuss in a later post.) If we don’t cherish what we have right now before us, we have nothing.

The beauty of following Lincoln’s system is that it literally allows us to capture the essence of every day. By anticipating what will happen and preplanning how we will respond to our experiences for that day, we are more likely to stay focused on living in the present. Later, when we evaluate how we performed at the end of each day, we discover the illumination and insight, “eureka moments” if you will, in our daily experiences.

Capture Lightning in a Bottle

Here’s where the power is. When you write it down, you double your experience. When you convert your experience into a story, you triple your experience, and it spreads in concentric circles to brighten the lives of countless others. The initial experience takes on a life of its own.

Upcoming Presentations:

Feb. 4, 2017. Competitive Edge Toastmasters. How To Be a Published Author. Hardesty Center 1100 S Alvernon Way, 8:00 am. Tucson, AZ.
March 18, 2017. Tall Tales Speech Contest, Catalina Area 3, Toastmasters. Tucson Ward 2 Office, 7575 E. Speedway, Tucson, AZ.
October 20, 2018. How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds and Funny Bones. Prescott Valley Public Library (7401 E. Civic Circle), 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Prescott, AZ.

Related Posts:

Always greet everyone, no matter what they look like

The “Secret” Daily Affirmations of Abraham Lincoln

Yard Sales, Heroic Cats and Zombies

Overcome obstacles and doubts by doing more than anyone expected

Give yourself permission to feel frustration, then relax and let it go #tmoy #storytelling

A feather is better than a hammer to win an argument #tmoy #storytelling

Don’t let pride stand in the way a brighter future

Use warm memories to replace negative thoughts

A Light Heart Lives Long #EurekaMoments 6

Act Out Characters to Make a Story Sizzle (video)

Turn frustration into creative energy #LifeLesson 7

Disarm Hostility with Friendliness #LifeLesson 8

You Only Live Twice – Life Provides Second Chances LL #9

Donald Trump vs. Abe Lincoln – #LifeLesson10 

Failures Can Be Transformed into Strength – #LifeLesson 11

Is it better to remain silent, or to speak up and confirm you’re an idiot? LifeLesson #12

Convert Affliction to Anecdote – Utilizing the Stories from Your Hero’s Journey

Virtue Is Its Own Reward

Boldness had Genius, Power and Magic In It

Like Abe Lincoln, Be Prepared with a “Quip” or a Bit of Humor

Be a Generous Listener, as Abe Lincoln Was

Virtue Is Its Own Reward

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

footprint in beach

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

– R. Buckminster Fuller

Transformational Speaking

Gail Larsen, in her excellent book Transformational Speaking, implores us that if we wish to inspire people, we must tell a better story than the ones we told before. Her book shows us how to make our speeches more moving, inspiring, and effective by speaking from the heart. In essence, if you are not moved by what you say, others will not be moved either.

Virtue Is Its Own Reward

One story that came to mind as I read Transformational Speaking, was when my mother passed away, three years ago in May.

She was in and out of hospitals and rehabilitation clinics a lot at the end. It was a stressful time for both my mother and I. She often said, “My get up and go, got up and went.”

Yet, even in the midst of this hurricane, there were also peaceful moments when we could chat while sharing lunch or when putting a jigsaw puzzle together. I admired how she responded to the difficulties with a kind nature.

Funny Bone Workinghospital foto

However, my blood boiled when health care “professionals” treated her like an object rather than as a person. Even when people acted as though she were invisible, or worse, as though she was not “all there,” my mother never wavered in being thoughtful and accommodating.

One humorous incident that occurred in my mother’s hospital room. My mom was in her hospital bed and a lady walked into the room and stared intently into my mother’s eyes.

“Lois, how are you feeling? Why haven’t you called? We have all been worried sick about you.”

My mother and I both looked at her with blank expressions on our faces.

“Don’t you recognize me, It’s Bernice.”

“I don’t think I know you,” said Mom.

Bernice looked at me and said, “Tell her who I am.”

“I’ve never seen you before.”

Then, this perplexed (and perplexing) woman suddenly walked back out of the room.

“Quick, lock the door. She might come back,” Mom said.

Though most of her other body parts were worn out, Mom’s funny bone was still working like new.

The Lesson

I watched my mother’s courageous example of how to deal with:

1) the physical tribulation of her body wearing out; and

2) the mental antagonism from people who treated her like a “has been.”

I took note as she refused to let life’s indignations tarnish her heart. Instead, she just smiled, joked, and kept on doing the best she could.

When the time comes after “my get up and go got up and went,” I will follow her lead.

Like Abraham Lincoln said,

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.”

Upcoming Presentations:

April 9, 2016. “Storytelling and The Hero’s Journey.” Competitive Edge Toastmasters. Tucson, Arizona.

April 14, 2016, 12:30 to 1:30. “Use Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds & Funny Bones, Like Abraham LIncoln Did.” Moon Valley Women’s Club, Phoenix, Arizona.

Related Posts

Yard Sales, Heroic Cats and Zombies

Overcome obstacles and doubts by doing more than anyone expected

Give yourself permission to feel frustration, then relax and let it go #tmoy #storytelling

A feather is better than a hammer to win an argument #tmoy #storytelling

Don’t let pride stand in the way a brighter future

Use warm memories to replace negative thoughts

A Light Heart Lives Long #EurekaMoments 6

Act Out Characters to Make a Story Sizzle (video)

Turn frustration into creative energy #LifeLesson 7

Disarm Hostility with Friendliness #LifeLesson 8

You Only Live Twice – Life Provides Second Chances LL #9

Donald Trump vs. Abe Lincoln – #LifeLesson10 

Failures Can Be Transformed into Strength – #LifeLesson 11

Is it better to remain silent, or to speak up and confirm you’re an idiot? LifeLesson #12

Convert Affliction to Anecdote – Utilizing the Stories from Your Hero’s Journey

Boldness had Genius, Power and Magic In It

Deflect Criticism with Self-deprecating Humor

“Secret” Daily Affirmations of Abraham Lincoln

Emulate Abraham Lincoln: Make Each Day Count

 

Is it better to remain silent, or to speak up and confirm you’re an idiot? LifeLesson #12

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

evil hot chocolate

 

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

— Abraham Lincoln

 

The Hot Chocolate Caper

Upon clocking in at school yesterday, Diane, the office manager said,

“Hi Terry, I made hot chocolate for all the teachers. Please help yourself to some.”

“Thanks. I’ll get some a little later.” My hands were full, but I had to bring my class to the library later and I planned to get my cup of hot chocolate then.

At 9:30, as my students worked on the library computers, I slipped out, grabbed a cup of hot chocolate in the office and took it back to the library with me.

I took a sip out of my cup.

Yuck! This tastes like hot brown dishwater!

“What do you think about this so-called hot chocolate?” I asked the librarian.

“It’s ghastly. I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot barge pole,” she replied.

coffee

Then, the librarian left to run some errands.

Since there was no sink in the library, I set the vile concoction inside of a trash can in front of librarian’s desk. There was a plastic bag lining the trash can.

A few minutes later, a couple of other teachers wandered into the library and started chatting.

One of the teachers looked in the trash can.

“Oh my God, someone put a full cup of hot chocolate in the trash can,” she gasped loudly.

My face flushed.

I opened my mouth to admit to my crime, but before I could say a word, the teacher reached into the trash can and removed the cup of hot chocolate.

“This is unacceptable. Who would do such a thing?” she asked with a frown.

It was too late to confess. From the tone of her voice, I realized that the teacher would not be happy until someone did jail time for this heinous crime.

I turned and walked to the other side of the library.

wicke witch

I’ll get you, my pretty!

I was ready for the teacher to look me in the eye and ask in a creaky witch-like voice, “What do you know about this?”

Fortunately, she didn’t ask that question and I soon took my students out of the library and back to safety of the classroom.

I felt guilty for not coming forward with the truth, but I was in a Kobayashi Maru (no win) scenario that would baffle even Captain James T. Kirk.

cap Kirk 2

……………………..Uncle!!!…………………………..

 

I now think that teacher is out to get me, waiting for me to slip up. As I pass down the hallways of school, even if I don’t see her, my back tingles as I feel her evil gaze upon me.

The Lesson

As every politicians knows, the cover up is always worse than the crime. Next time, I will just confess to my error and let the chips fall where they may.

Authors note:

These stories are my attempt to glean insights from the seemingly mundane incidents that occur in every day life. My plan is to capture these “eureka moments” and squeeze all the illumination and inspiration from them, before they can slip through my fingers.

Like the storytelling of Abraham Lincoln, I think one’s own personal stories can transform both the listener and the speaker.

Related Posts

Yard Sales, Heroic Cats and Zombies

Overcome obstacles and doubts by doing more than anyone expected

Give yourself permission to feel frustration, then relax and let it go #tmoy #storytelling

A feather is better than a hammer to win an argument #tmoy #storytelling

Don’t let pride stand in the way a brighter future

Use warm memories to replace negative thoughts

A Light Heart Lives Long #EurekaMoments 6

Act Out Characters to Make a Story Sizzle (video)

Turn frustration into creative energy #LifeLesson 7

Disarm Hostility with Friendliness #LifeLesson 8

You Only Live Twice – Life Provides Second Chances LL #9

Donald Trump vs. Abe Lincoln – #LifeLesson10 

Failures Can Be Transformed into Strength – #LifeLesson 11

47 Tips For Public Speaking

Think for Yourself: Never Ask a Barber if You Need a Haircut – LifeLesson #13

Convert Affliction to Anecdote – Utilizing the Stories from Your Hero’s Journey

Virtue Is Its Own Reward

“Secret” Daily Affirmations of Abraham Lincoln

Donald Trump vs. Abe Lincoln – #LifeLesson10

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

DONALD TRUMP

 

“My IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.” — Donald Trump

 

Responding to Obstacles and Misforturne

No matter what the obstacle, Donald Trump never gets off message – “I am the best candidate for president,” he says, with the insinuation that “anyone who questions me is an idiot.”

Minor details such as his apparent fabrications of the truth, insults hurled at opponents and journalists, contradictions of earlier positions he took, don’t bother him in the least. Because Mr. Trump radiates such self-assurance, we are inclined to believe him and overlook his seemingly half-baked statements.

We may choose to respond to setbacks like Donald Trump and bombastically claim we have been unfairly treated and misunderstood.

For most of us, however, misfortune gives us pause for thought. Contrary to Mr. Trump, we may respond to setbacks with a sigh and a smile. We could take the attitude that we may have lost a battle, but at least we come away with our self- respect intact and maybe we learned something along the way.

The Rental Car Epiphany

Last week I rented a car to take my wife and two boys to Los Angeles over the Thanksgiving break. As we drove out of my driveway, I discovered that the car had no cruise control. I decided to exchange to car for one with cruise control. While waiting at the counter I heard a commotion at another car company at the other end of the room.

A customer was yelling at the two desk attendants.

“I already told him!” I heard the man scream while flailing his arms at one of the attendants.

I couldn’t hear all that was said, but obviously the man was dissatisfied and he was in full-rant mode. It was like watching Mount St. Helens explode.

Volcano

I am not going to take this bulldozer approach, even if they never switch my car, I thought.

“This car I got didn’t have cruise control. If I could, I’d like to switch it for one that does. Sorry, I didn’t check that before I left,” I said to the attendant.

“I’ll look and see if we have one available with cruise,” he said.

“Thank you. I appreciate that.”

“No problem. Have a good trip.”

Without bursting one blood vessel, I was able to get a car with cruise control and have a fun trip to LA.

In fairness to the guy who blew his top, he was probably already having a bad day, even before the rental car meltdown. We’ve all been there. We have days where if one more person tries to take advantage of us, it pushes us over the edge, like Billy Jack.

 

I try to avoid that explosive situation by keeping in mind my long-term goals.

In the back of my mind, my objective is to make friends with the counter attendant, and beyond that, to win them over to my way of thinking with friendliness and reason. I believe that life is inherently fair and if I calmly explain the problem, the attendant will see the light.

To see it from the attendant’s position, nine times out of ten, the staff person is only following the company policy.

As Abraham Lincoln said,

“A drop of honey that catches one’s heart, when once gained, you will find little trouble in convincing their judgement of the justice of your cause.”

Lincoln’s approach seems a bit more practical to me than Donald Trump’s.

 

Authors note:

These stories are my attempt to glean insights from the seemingly mundane incidents that occur in every day life. My plan is to capture these “eureka moments” and squeeze all the illumination and inspiration from them, before they can slip through my fingers.

———

Related Posts

Yard Sales, Heroic Cats and Zombies

Overcome obstacles and doubts by doing more than anyone expected

Give yourself permission to feel frustration, then relax and let it go #tmoy #storytelling

A feather is better than a hammer to win an argument #tmoy #storytelling

Don’t let pride stand in the way a brighter future

Use warm memories to replace negative thoughts

A Light Heart Lives Long #EurekaMoments 6

Act Out Characters to Make a Story Sizzle (video)

Turn frustration into creative energy #LifeLesson 7

Disarm Hostility with Friendliness #LifeLesson 8

You Only Live Twice – Life Provides Second Chances LL #9

Failures Can Be Transformed into Strength – #LifeLesson 11

Is it better to remain silent, or to speak up and confirm you’re an idiot? LifeLesson #12

Think for Yourself: Never Ask a Barber if You Need a Haircut – LifeLesson #13

Virtue Is Its Own Reward

“Secret” Daily Affirmations of Abraham Lincoln

Upcoming Presentations

Dec. 15, 2015, 12:40 to 1:00 pm. “How Abe Lincoln Used Stories.” Old Pueblo Rotary Club. Hotel Tucson. Tucson, Arizona.

 

Disarm Hostility with Friendliness #LifeLesson 8

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Batsignal2

Cut Off By a U-Turning Driver

One fine morning last week, with flashlight in hand, I took Blackie the wonder dog, for a walk. It was cold and dark. I was anxious to return home to let my ears defrost.

We walked past a parking lot and a white Honda  approached us going the opposite direction.

Suddenly the driver did a U-turn in right front of us and parked on the street. His car lights temporarily blinded me.

I thought:

Who does this guy think he is, the Dark Knight responding to an urgent bat signal?

He must think he owns the road.

I just knew this guy was an inconsiderate, self-absorbed Charlie Sheen clone.

charlie sheen

“Kind of cold isn’t it?” the driver said as he got out of the car with a big smile.

My frosty attitude towards him abruptly melted.

“Yeah, it looks like summer is finally over,” I replied.

I thought of Abraham Lincoln’s maxim, “I do not like that man. I must get to know him better.”

Well, I got to know him and he had disarmed me with his friendliness. Suddenly I liked him.

Dog Attack with No Apology

In contrast, last year in about the same place, I was walking Blackie when out of the blue, two dogs burst out of a screen door in a nearby house. They headed straight for Blackie and I, like heat-seeking missiles. The dogs barked and ran circles around us like a wolf pack.

After a minute or two, a lady stuck her head out the door and shouted to her dogs, “Get in here!” The dogs went in and she closed the door without a word.

Would it break her jaw just to say “sorry”? One friendly word would have broken the ice jam and disarmed my hard feelings, but none was given.

laser beam eyes

Now, my laser beam eyes are set on “stand-by” when I walk by that house, ready to unleash fiery retribution at my whim.

The lesson

We are almost powerless to hate a person who is friendly towards us, but it’s hard to forget those who deliberately do us wrong.

The next time I am in a situation where I might offend someone, even inadvertently, I will “disarm their hostility with friendliness.”

———-

Authors note:

These stories are my attempt to glean insights from the seemingly mundane incidents that occur in every day life. My plan is to capture these “eureka moments” and squeeze all the illumination and inspiration from them, before they can slip through my fingers.

Like the storytelling of Abraham Lincoln, I think one’s own personal stories can transform both the listener and the speaker.

———

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Failures Can Be Transformed into Strength – #LifeLesson 11

Is it better to remain silent, or to speak up and confirm you’re an idiot? LifeLesson #12

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Virtue Is Its Own Reward

Upcoming Presentations

Nov. 24th, 2015. “Abraham Lincoln: Stories and Humor.” Cholla High School. Tucson, Arizona.

Dec. 15, 2015, 12:40 to 1:00 pm. “Abe Lincoln: The Greatest Storytelling President.” Old Pueblo Rotary Club. Hotel Tucson. Tucson, Arizona.

 

 

Act Out Characters to Make a Story SIZZLE (video)

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

 

Snapshot 3 (11-14-2015 8-05 AM) (2)

 

My Seminar

At my seminar/workship, entitled “Inspire and Engage Your Audience with Stories,” last Friday (at the Present Like a Pro Conference), the participants learned to 1) act out the characters and 2) build depth and meaning into a story.

Acting Out the Story

To make your stories crackle with energy, give each character a different voice and a different personality.

Use different voices to mesmerize your audience with laughs and drama. Embrace the full passion and tone of the character. Become the character and your audience members won’t just passively listen to your story, rather, they will be captivated by it.

Here is an Abraham Lincoln story, about a Baptist minister at a revival service that I told to illustrate my point:

Practicing Voices

One great way to practice voices is to give funny voices to the characters in stories that you read. As parents, we do that with the bedtime stories we read out children. As a substitute teacher, I give silly voices to characters each time I read a story to a class. Even when reading silently, I practice giving voices to the characters.

Components of Stories with Depth and Impact 

Before we can connect with our audience we must first connect with ourselves. We discover ourselves by examining the experiences that happen to us and in our response to the lessons that life teaches us.

In my stories I attempt to glean insights from the seemingly mundane incidents that occur in every day life, like Abraham Lilncon did. My plan is to capture these “eureka moments” and squeeze all the illumination and inspiration from them.

To provide depth and impact, a story should 1) identify what your goal is; 2) describe what obstacles exist (what is stopping you?); 3) tie the story to a similar incident in the past; and 4) state the lessons learned.

Make em Laugh, Make em Cry, in 3 to 5 Minutes Say Goodbye

On Friday, each student had three to five minutes to present a story in which they acted out the characters and incorporated the four components of a good story. Their stories were infused with humor, passion, and eloquence. I was amazed at the depth of the stories.

Add a Sing-a-long Song

I often add a sing-along song at the end of my seminar. This is a way to celebrate the effort the students have made and drive home the lessons from the seminar.

Here is an example of a sing-a-long song I  entitled “Tell a Story.”


Related Posts

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Overcome obstacles and doubts by doing more than anyone expected

Give yourself permission to feel frustration, then relax and let it go #tmoy #storytelling

A feather is better than a hammer to win an argument #tmoy #storytelling

Don’t let pride stand in the way a brighter future

Use warm memories to replace negative thoughts

A Light Heart Lives Long #EurekaMoments 6

Turn frustration into creative energy #LifeLesson 7

Disarm Hostility with Friendliness #LifeLesson 8

You Only Live Twice – Life Provides Second Chances LL #9

Failures Can Be Transformed into Strength – #LifeLesson 11

Is it better to remain silent, or to speak up and confirm you’re an idiot? LifeLesson #12

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Abraham Lincoln and the Kindergarten Class

Upcoming Presentations

Nov. 24th, 2015. “Abraham Lincoln: Stories and Humor.” Cholla High School. Tucson, Arizona.

Dec. 15, 2015, 12:40 to 1:00 pm. “Abe Lincoln: The Greatest Storytelling President.” Old Pueblo Rotary Club. Hotel Tucson. Tucson, Arizona.

Turn frustration into creative energy #LifeLesson 7

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

 

Late for the Wedding

The Graduate

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.

–Norman MacLean

I had carefully planned to leave the house at 8:50 am so that we could arrive at the wedding, of our two friends, well before the 10:00 am start time. However, while my wife and I were ready to go, my two lazy teenage sons were still glued to their beds.

“Get up, you have to shower now in order for us to leave on time,” said I to one son.

“It only takes me 10 minutes to take a shower,” he mumbled grumpily.

“You’re conveniently not counting the time for you to get dressed and eat breakfast,” I pointed out.

My other son, responded to me with passive-aggressive silence. He leisurely showered and dressed.

I Get Irritated

In response to the boys’ snail’s pace, I expressed my irritation by muttering snide remarks like:

“We’re going to be late.”

“We should have left 10 minutes ago, just to arrive on time.”

Or, my favorite, “I’ll wait in the car!”

I might as well as have been speaking Chinese. My comments didn’t speed them up one iota and it just made me feel agitated and hostile. My heart was racing.

I thought, what’s the point of this? I’m the only one suffering.

I Change My Approach

I’d would have preferred to arrive early to the wedding, but in truth, the fate of the free world was not hanging in the balance. It didn’t matter if we get there 10 minutes early or 10 minutes late. The wedding would still go on and we would still see it.

No amount or cajoling would speed up the boys anyway, so instead of fuming, I sat down at the computer and worked on a story I was in the process of writing. I poured my frustration and nervous energy into the story. I wrote like a man with 10,000 volts of pent up energy passing through me.

lightning-myths-8

By the time the boys were ready to leave, I had completed some great work on my story and I felt utterly relaxed.

Fishing – Blessing or Curse?

I experienced a similar incident in my childhood when my dad took my mom, my brother and I camping in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. He really enjoyed fishing and thought I should too.

My dad would say, “My worst day fishing is better than my best day at work.”

Yet to me, fishing was as boring as meatloaf, and I was offended that innocent fish were being killed – unless my dad was somehow only catching the guilty ones. Nevertheless, while my dad fished, I turned my attention to nonlethal ways to enjoy nature. I hiked along the river, observed bugs and climbed rocks.

Lesson:

Turn frustration into creative energy.

The next time I am in an exasperating situation, I will change gears and direct my energy into creative channels.

———-

Authors note:

These stories are my attempt to glean insights from the seemingly mundane incidents that occur in every day life. My plan is to capture these “eureka moments” and squeeze all the illumination and inspiration from them, before they can slip through my fingers.

Like the storytelling of Abraham Lincoln, I think one’s own personal stories can transform both the listener and the speaker.

———

Related Posts

Yard Sales, Heroic Cats and Zombies

Overcome obstacles and doubts by doing more than anyone expected

Give yourself permission to feel frustration, then relax and let it go #tmoy #storytelling

A feather is better than a hammer to win an argument #tmoy #storytelling

Don’t let pride stand in the way a brighter future

Use warm memories to replace negative thoughts

A Light Heart Lives Long #EurekaMoments 6

Act Out Characters to Make a Story Sizzle (video)

Disarm Hostility with Friendliness #LifeLesson 8

You Only Live Twice – Life Provides Second Chances LL #9

Donald Trump vs. Abe Lincoln – #LifeLesson10

Is it better to remain silent, or to speak up and confirm you’re an idiot? LifeLesson #12

Think for Yourself: Never Ask a Barber if You Need a Haircut – LifeLesson #13

Virtue Is Its Own Reward

Upcoming Presentations

Nov. 13, 2015. “Once Upon A Time: Inspire and engage your audience with stories.” Present Like a Pro Conference. Desert Diamond Casino. Tucson, Arizona.

Nov. 24th, 2015. “Abraham Lincoln: Stories and Humor.” Cholla High School. Tucson, Arizona.

Dec. 15, 2015, 12:40 to 1:00 pm. “Abe Lincoln: The Greatest Storytelling President.” Old Pueblo Rotary Club. Hotel Tucson. Tucson, Arizona.

PresentLikePro-page-001 - Copy

Don’t let pride stand in the way a brighter future #EurekaMoment #LifeLesson 4

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

 

reed richards2

Substitute Teachers Must be as Flexible as Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic)

I reported to work at Stoney Elementary School at 7:10 am, five minutes earlier than my substitute teacher schedule required.

“We need you to go immediately to the cafeteria and supervise another class until their sub arrives. Candace, the office manager said,

“Sure, no problem, I said. I had taught at Stoney before and had a good relationship with Candace and the teachers. “What’s up?”

“The other sub is here but he is eating breakfast.”

“Have no fear, Mr. Terry is here!” I responded.

substitute teacher 1

Later I met the breakfast-eating sub, Stan. He was a teacher in the classroom next to mine.

Stan told me that he had an argument with Candace because he had arrived to school at 7:00 am in order to eat his breakfast before starting his job, at 7:30 am. When Candace told him that his starting time was incorrect and that he was needed right away in the cafeteria, he refused.

“Do you think I’m in trouble?” Stan asked.

“I think you should apologize to Candace, if you ever want to work here again.”

“I can’t. I was completely within my rights to eat my breakfast before starting work.”

“I agree that you are within his rights, but what school wants a substitute teacher who is not flexible? You’ll win the battle, but lose the war.”

Newspaper Delivery Boy Principles

My very first job was as a newspaper delivery boy for the The Rocky Mountain News. I was a 13 year old student at North Middle School in Aurora, Colorado. The papers were dropped off at my house at 2:30 am. I folded the papers and loaded them into my bike bags.

It took two hours to deliver the papers, counting the time for me to reload my bags half way through the neighborhood. I delivered papers every day, whether it was snowing, raining or below freezing. I felt it was my duty to complete my job, even under adverse circumstances. I feel the same way about substitute teaching.

paperboyinsnow

My obliging attitude opened the door for a plethora of teaching jobs at Stoney.

In Stan’s case, the manager and the principal were in a tight spot. Stan’s right to eat was superseded by the greater good of the school.

The Lesson

Don’t let pride stand in the way a brighter future.

—————–

 

Authors note:

These stories are my attempt to glean insights from the seemingly mundane incidents that occur in every day life. My plan is to capture these “eureka moments” and squeeze all the illumination and inspiration from them, before they can slip through my fingers.

Like the storytelling of Abraham Lincoln, I think one’s own personal stories can transform both the listener and the speaker.

———

Related Posts

Yard Sales, Heroic Cats and Zombies

Overcome obstacles and doubts by doing more than anyone expected

Give yourself permission to feel frustration, then relax and let it go #tmoy #storytelling

A feather is better than a hammer to win an argument #tmoy #storytelling

Use warm memories to replace negative thoughts

A Light Heart Lives Long #EurekaMoments

Turn frustration into creative energy #LifeLesson 7

Act Out Characters to Make a Story Sizzle (video)

Disarm Hostility with Friendliness #LifeLesson 8

You Only Live Twice – Life Provides Second Chances LL #9

Donald Trump vs. Abe Lincoln – #LifeLesson10

Failures Can Be Transformed into Strength – #LifeLesson 11

Is it better to remain silent, or to speak up and confirm you’re an idiot? LifeLesson #12

Think for Yourself: Never Ask a Barber if You Need a Haircut – LifeLesson #13

Virtue Is Its Own Reward

Upcoming Presentations

Nov. 13, 2015. “Once Upon A Time: Inspire and engage your audience with stories.” Present Like a Pro Conference. Desert Diamond Casino. Tucson, Arizona.

Nov. 24th, 2015. “Abraham Lincoln: Stories and Humor.” Cholla High School. Tucson, Arizona.

Dec. 15, 2015, 12:40 to 1:00 pm. “Abe Lincoln: The Greatest Storytelling President.” Old Pueblo Rotary Club. Hotel Tucson. Tucson, Arizona.

PresentLikePro-page-001 - Copy