Your Soul Food for Friday March 27th 2015; Change Your Thinking on De-Radicalization, Heroes, Philanthropy, Teams and Intra-Species Interactions all with Risk-Taking & Trust!

Happy Soul Food Friday!

“It’s not that you aimed your sights too high and failed,

it’s that you aimed your sights too low and succeeded!”

Change Your Thinking on De-Radicalization, Heroes, Philanthropy, Teams and Intra-Species Interactions all with Risk-taking & Trust!

Turning often difficult personal experience into systems solutions is the hallmark of resilient people

This week:

German Program Helps Families De-Radicalize Members Prone to Extremism

A Family of Heroes

Redesigning the Philanthropic Business Model

Chinese Immigrant gets his Law License 125 years later

9 Ways to Be a Great Team Member

Sea Lion Hugs Surfer in Cardiff

German Program Helps Families De-Radicalize Members Prone to Extremism

A Family of Heroes

Redesigning the Philanthropic Business Model:

America was built on the ideas and innovations of great risk takers- Trust but Verify…

Redesigning the Philanthropic Business Model

Better Late than Never… Chinese Immigrant gets his Law License 125 years later

9 Ways to Be a Great Team Member

While watching the Oscars I noticed that almost every award winner said they couldn’t have done it without their team, family, and the support of others. The fact is no one achieves success alone. We all need a great team to accomplish great things. We are at our best when we are surrounded by those who want the best for us and when we are bringing out the best in others. In this spirit I want to share 9 ways to be a great team member.

1. Set the Example – Instead of worrying about the lack of performance, productivity and commitment of others you simply decide to set the example and show your team members what hard work, passion and commitment looks like. Focus on being your best every day. When you do this you’ll raise the standards and performance of everyone around you.

2. Use Your Strengths to Help the Team – The most powerful way you can contribute to your team is to use your gifts and talents to contribute to the team’s vision and goals. Without your effort, focus, talent and growth the team won’t accomplish its mission. This means you have an obligation to improve so you can improve your team. You are meant to develop your strengths to make a stronger team. Be selfish by developing you and unselfish by making sure your strengths serve the team.

3. Share Positive Contagious Energy – Research shows emotions are contagious and each day you are infecting your team with either positive energy or negative energy. You can be a germ or a big dose a Vitamin C. When you share positive energy you infectiously enhance the mood, morale and performance of your team. Remember, negativity is toxic. Energy Vampires sabotage teams and complaining is like vomiting. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick.

4. Know and Live the Magic Ratio – High performing teams have more positive interactions than negative interactions. 3:1 is the ratio to remember. Teams that experience interactions at a ratio equal or greater than 3:1 are more productive and higher performing than those with a ratio of less than 3:1. Teams that have a ratio of 2:1, 1:1 or more negative interactions than positive interactions become stagnant and unproductive. This means you can be a great team member by being a 3 to 1’er. Create more positive interactions. Praise more. Encourage more. Appreciate more. Smile more. High-five more. Recognize more. Energize more. Read more about this at

5. Put the Team First – Great team players always put the team first. They work hard for the team. They develop themselves for the team. They serve the team. Their motto is whatever it takes to make the team better. They don’t take credit. They give credit to the team. To be a great team member your ego must be subservient to the mission and purpose of the team. It’s a challenge to keep our ego in check. It’s something most of us struggle with because we have our own goals and desires. But if we monitor our ego and put the team first we’ll make the team better and our servant approach will make us better.

6. Build Relationships – Relationships are the foundation upon which winning teams are built and great team members take the time to connect, communicate and care to build strong bonds and relationships with all their team members. You can be the smartest person in the room but if you don’t connect with others you will fail as a team member. (Tweet This) It’s important to take the time to get to know your team members. Listen to them. Eat with them. Learn about them. Know what inspires them and show them you care about them.

7. Trust and Be Trusted - You can’t have a strong team without strong relationships. And you can’t have strong relationships without trust. Great team members trust their teammates and most of all their team members trust them. Trust is earned through integrity, consistency, honesty, transparency, vulnerability and dependability. If you can’t be trusted you can’t be a great team member. Trust is everything.

8. Hold Them Accountable – Sometimes our team members fall short of the team’s expectations. Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes they need a little tough love. Great team members hold each other accountable. They push, challenge and stretch each other to be their best. Don’t be afraid to hold your team members accountable. But remember to be effective you must built trust and a relationship with your team members. If they know you care about them, they will allow you to challenge them and hold them accountable. Tough love works when love comes first. Love tough.

9. Be Humble - Great team members are humble. They are willing to learn, improve and get better. They are open to their team member’s feedback and suggestions and don’t let their ego get in the way of their growth or the team’s growth. I learned the power of being humble in my marriage. My wife had some criticism for me one day and instead of being defensive and prideful, I simply said, “Make me better. I’m open. Tell me how I can improve.” Saying this diffused the tension and the conversation was a game changer. If we’re not humble we won’t allow ourselves to be held accountable. We won’t grow. We won’t build strong relationships and we won’t put the team first. There’s tremendous power in humility that makes us and our team better.

Sea Lion Hugs Surfer in Cardiff

Thanks this week go to Larry H, Christian B, and all of us that trust in each other and ourselves!

Trust IS Everything! Pay it forward…



“The less you bet, the more you lose when you win!”

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Your Soul Food for Pi Week 2015: Heartwarming Vid, Strange Weather Pics, The Power of Expectations, Why More Women Than Men and Sage Advice

Happy Soul Food Friday!

“Managers light a fire under people; Leaders light a fire in People”

–Kathy Austin

This week:

A Heartwarming video, Pi Day this Past Week, Strange Weather and the Crazy Photos it Evokes, the Power of Expectations, Why There are More Women Than Men, and some Sage Advice…

A Heartwarming and Inspiring example of Differentiating Your Brand.

Pi Day Last Saturday

Dusky Wonder

The Power of Expectations


Have you ever wondered “Why there are more Women than Men”….. this explains some of it.

More Women than Men Explanations

Sage Advice:

When you worry about your finances, you choose stress.                                                          When instead, you trust and Pre-Pave: “My needs are met now and always”, you choose PEACE.

Why not rather, silence the mind and pray for world peace.                                                        In this way, you choose  PEACE .

When you tell a little white lie, you choose dishonesty, and wonder why it is hard to make sense of the world.                                                                                                                         When you express truth, with candor and courtesy, no matter what the outcome, you choose  PEACE .

When you are criticized and allow yourself to feel hurt, you choose resentment.             When you receive criticism with an open mind to learn and grow, you choose  PEACE .

When you give so much that you become tired of giving, you choose fatigue.                 When your giving is infinite and you Pre-Pave: “I am grateful for the ability to serve”, you choose  PEACE .

When you scold a child in the heat of emotion, you choose impatience.                           When you guide a child by being the example, you ask for  PEACE .

When you focus on how others are different from you, you choose separation.                When you Pre-Pave: “We are all one, seeking the same happiness”, you have chosen  PEACE .

For  PEACE  is within your reach It is in the simple way you respond                                   To life’s ebbs and flows You’ve known it all along. So here is your reminder                       The steps are simply three:                                                                                                                 Be mindful of your thoughts,                                                                                                         Pave it Forward and let life be.

In choosing to be kind Despite what may be there                                                                          And choosing to forgive Regardless of what is fair.                                                                       You create PEACE in your heart That will show in all you do                                                And others will be better For simply knowing you.

TODAY I CHOOSE PEACE:                                                                                                   Peace in my thoughts.                                                                                                            Peace in my words.                                                                                                                 Peace in my actions.                                                                                                             PEACE in my world.

Change no circumstance in my life. Change me.– Sister Gyanamata

Thanks this week go to Cindy S, Larry H, Eric K, Louis L, & Tad P.

Lead your life don’t manage it…                                                                                                   Peace & Love,


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Your Soul Food Friday for Friday the 13th 2015: Building Community, Teamwork, Kids Collaborating, Frozen Waves, Ingenious Ideas, Why Optimism Matters and Happy Pictures

Happy Lucky Soul Food Friday!

If luck is where preparation meets opportunity, here is to creating your OWN luck and inner climate this week, even if its freezing, or raining cats and dogs:

Kitty FamilyHuskies

  • Carlsbad Love It! “Working Together to Build & Sustain Healthy Neighborhoods”
  • 11 Thoughts About Teamwork: Team work Makes the Dream Work
  • Kids Collaborate at the US/Mexican Border: Blurred Lines…
  • Frozen Waves in Nantucket!
  • Ingenious Ideas: No One of Us is as Smart as All of Us
  • Why Optimism Matters: Don’t just See the Bright Side, Experience the Bright Side
  • Happy Pictures: Stay Happy!

Carlsbad Love It! “Working Together to Build & Sustain Healthy Neighborhoods”

If you are local join us at this event, where I am honored to be speaking as we build healthy communities together…

Carlsbad Love It! Postcard 2015 – Final B

11 Thoughts About Teamwork: Team work does makes the Dream Work

  1. Teams rise and fall on culture, leadership, relationships, attitude and effort. Great teams have a great culture driven by great leadership. Relationships are meaningful and teammates are connected. The collective attitude is very positive and everyone on the team works hard to accomplish their mission.
  2. It’s all about teamwork. Sometimes you are the star and sometimes you help the star.
  3. If want to be truly great you have to work as hard to be a great teammate as you do to be a great player.  I tell this to athletes all the time but the same is true for any profession. When we work hard to be a great team member we make everyone around us better.
  4. Your team doesn’t care if you are a superstar. They care if you are a super team member.
  5. Three things you control every day are your attitude, your effort and your actions to be a great teammate. It doesn’t matter what is happening around you and who you think is being unfair. Every day you can focus on being positive, working hard and making others around you better. If you do that great things will happen.
  6. One person can’t make a team but one person can break a team. Stay positive! Make sure you don’t let energy vampires sabotage your team. Post a sign that says “No Energy Vampires” allowed and keep them off the bus. Most importantly, decide to stay positive.
  7. Great team members hold each other accountable to the high standards and excellence their culture expects and demands.
  8. Team beats talent when talent isn’t a team.
  9. Great teams care more. They care more about their effort, their work and their team members.
  10. We > me Unity is the difference between a great team and an average team. United teams are connected and committed to each other. They are selfless instead of selfish. They put the team first and know together we accomplish more.
  11. You and your team face a fork in the road each day. You can settle for average and choose the path of mediocrity or you can take the road less traveled and chase greatness. It’s a choice you make each day. Which path will your team take?

Kids Collaborate at the US/Mexican Border:

Blurred Lines…

Frozen Waves in Nantucket!


InGenious Ideas: No One of Us is as Smart as All of Us
Here’s a bunch  of ingenious ideas.- some of them so simple one wonders why they seem ingenious.

InGenious Ideas

Why Optimism Matters: Don’t just See the Bright Side, Experience the Bright Side


WHAT IF…optimists not only see the brighter side, but also experience the brighter side?

RESEARCH SAYS: Strong evidence suggests that optimists may…

  1. Have healthier hearts
  2. Have better cholesterol
  3. Handle stress smoothly
  4. Have stronger immunity
  5. Have lower stroke risk
  6. Regulate emotions better
  7. Live longer                                                                                                                                                                    Now that’s something to be optimistic about!TRY THIS: Each morning this week before you get out of bed ask yourself, “What’s an opportunity I can act on today?”Happy Pictures: Stay Happy!

    Some repeats but all worth the treat…

Happy Pictures

Thanks this week go to neighborhoods that care about community engagement like Carlsbad, Larry H, Glenda O, Anne S, Will M & You for creating your own luck and climate with a healthy dose of Soul Food!

Pay it forward…



Always desire to learn something useful.” Sophocles

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Happy Soul Food Friday for March 6th 2015: Talking ’bout My Education

Happy Soul Food Friday and World Wildlife Week!HAPPY

This week, if you think Education is Expensive, try Ignorance!

NEWS IQ: The Overall Results will Surprise YOU!
Amazingly, the majority of us really don’t know what’s going on.
It’s astonishing that so many people got less than half right. The results say that 80% of the (voting) public doesn’t have a clue, and that’s pretty scary.
There are no tricks — just a simple test to see if you are current on your information. Test your knowledge with 13 questions:  Click here: Test Your News IQ – Pew Research Center

These Pictures will give You a Real Education: 18 Finalists From The World Photography Awards With The Power To Leave You Awestruck

The World Photography Organization has just announced its shortlist for the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. A record number of images (173,444) were submitted by professional and amateur photographers from 171 countries this past year in the hopes of making the cut. The winners will be announced on April 23rd, but until then…

Prepare for the End of College: Here is What Free Higher Ed Looks Like

A thoughtful perspective…

Debunking some Myths of Public Higher Education: Another viewpoint

Sadly, half this country can’t afford to send their kids to university!

Contrary to public perception, the median income in CA is lower than that of the whole country

State support continues to decline. For example, the UC system is getting $460MM less from the state of California than in 2007

Therefore, today UC students pay 49% of the cost of their education- the first time their contribution has surpassed that from the state

Staying with this representative example, locally, 60% of UC San Diego undergraduates need financial assistance to attend college

UC San Diego provides $90MM in financial aid and the average Student Debt is $21,650

Public Higher Education is still a good investment!

The 20 year net gain in income by a UC San Diego graduate v. a high school grad is $549,700!

In Washington Monthly rankings for Positive Impact on the Nation, the Top 4 out of 5 were UC schools and UCSD has consistently ranked #1

UC San Diego is ranked 6th in the nation for public universities with the “happiest” freshmen

Thanks to the individuals and organizations that provide the scholarships that change lives:

Using Popular Culture- The Oscars- To Educate on Critical Topics like Wage Equality, Feeling Persecuted or Different, Affirming Civil Rights TODAY, etc.

Way to use the media spotlight to talk about more than gowns and crowns!


Where did “Piss Poor” come from? Interesting history.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.
And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery…
If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”.
But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…
They “didn’t have a pot to piss in”.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because
the water temperature Isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.
Here are some facts about the 1500’s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May,
And they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell,
Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,
Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.
Last of all the babies.
By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals
(mice, bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof..
Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.
This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings
Could mess up your nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection..
That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing..
As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, It would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.
Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme:
Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old..”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.”
They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.
Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.
This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status..
Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,
And guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey.
The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days..
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom; holding a wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.
So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.
When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be,
saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer.”

And that’s the (purported) truth.
Now, whoever said history was boring!!!
So get out there and educate someone!

Thanks this week go to Thanks this week go to Larry H, Edu-tainers and Enter-cationalists everywhere!

Pay it Forward please!



“There are two educations: the one that teaches how to make a living

and the other that teaches how to live”

—Anthony DeMello

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Your Soul Food for Friday February 27th 2015: Inner and Outer Nature, Fascinating Maps, Teaching Kindness & Kids Nailing Zeppelin!

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

  • Are you OUT OF YOUR TREE? The Outer Route to True Nature
  • The Secret Route to Inner Peace
  • Fascinating Maps You Have Never Seen Before!
  • How to Teach Kindness: Five strategies to raise moral, caring children
  • Kids Nailing Zeppelin!



From 5,000 years old to the most gorgeous you have ever seen, this link will connect you

deeply with true nature

The Secret Route to Inner Peace

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones

are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without alcohol,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,


Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!

Zen Pup  Tiny Rose

Fascinating Maps You Have Never Seen Before!

Amazing Maps

#244- How to teach kindness

Teach Kindness

WHAT IF…we’ve lost sight of kindness?

RESEARCH SAYS: 80% of youth said their parents were more concerned with their achievement or happiness than whether they care for others. But the ability to be caring is most important of all. Here are five strategies to raise moral, caring children:

  1. Make caring for others a priority. Children need to learn to balance their needs with the needs of others whether it’s passing the ball to a teammate or standing up for a friend who is being bullied.
  2. Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude.
  3. Take your children to a homeless shelter and help them care about someone besides their family and friends.
  4. Be a strong moral role model by examining your values and telling your children how you make moral decisions.
  5. Guide children in managing destructive behavior. Often the ability to care for others is overwhelmed by anger or other negative feelings.

TRY THIS: Think of ways to be a better example of kindness…

Kids Nailing Zeppelin:

They are amazing!

Thanks this week go to Larry H, Louis L, Will M, & Arman S-B

Pay it Forward!



I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in…

– John Muir

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Your Soul Food for Friday Feb 20th 2015

Happy Soul Food Friday!

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat,

known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths.

These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.”

- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

This week:

A Post Valentine’s Week Love Story from Nature

What Bickering Hummingbirds and Devoted Albatrosses can Teach US About Love

Top 5 Civility Actions

The five best civility traits for business etiquette success. Easier said than done!

Make a Smart Mistake

 WHAT IF…you can learn more from mistakes than successes?

Quotes 4 Hard Times

 There is hope even in difficulty and heart break…

Heartwarming Inter-Species Photos

The Amazing Friendship Between a Dog and an Owl

A Post Valentine’s Week Love Story

What Bickering Hummingbirds and Devoted Albatrosses can Teach US About Love

Top 5 Civility Actions

The five best civility traits for business etiquette success. Easier said than done!

Make a Smart Mistake

WHAT IF…you can learn more from mistakes than successes?

#243 – Make a Smart Mistake

ideaWHAT IF…you can learn more from mistakes than successes?
RESEARCH SAYS: Richard P. Feyman, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, once said, “To develop working ideas efficiently, I try to fail as fast as I can.” 
Successes can be deceptive—when everyone pats you on the back, you conclude that you’ve done something “right.” But mistakes are often a much better gauge. Have you ever followed orders against your better judgment? Have you ever acted greedily, or fearfully, instead of being truthful and patient? Inspect your recent failures. Is there a pattern? Maybe it’s time to change.

Quotes for Hard Times:

There is hope even in difficulty and heart break…

Heartwarming Inter-Species Photos

The Amazing Friendship Between a Dog and an Owl

Thanks this week go to Sheldon E, Will M, Robin S, Glenda O and all of us willing to learn from our mistakes without beating ourselves up over them…

 Pay it forward!



“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”–Benjamin Franklin

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Your Soul Food Friday for Friday the 13th and Valentine’s Day Week 2015

Happy Soul Food Friday for Lucky 13 and Valentine’s Day!

orange sunset

This week:

Sensational Sights, Sounds, Secrets, Saying No, Sophisticated Design, & Some Super Smart Ideas to Make Your Life Easier

Paris for Valentines?

Click on photo, wait a couple of seconds and you will be blown away – Voila!


The Joy & Skill of Youth: Flash Mob

Hundreds of Retirees Share Secrets to a Happy Marriage:

Saying No:

Every time we say yes to a request, we are also saying no to anything else we might accomplish with the time

Sophisticated design, engineering AND communication

Super New Ideas: Life Hacks


Thanks this week go to Larry H, Isabelle A, Paul S, and Lovers of Life Everywhere!

Pay it Forward



“It is we who nourish the Soul of the World,

and the world we live in will be either better or worse,

depending on whether we become better or worse.

And that’s where the power of love comes in.

Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”

–Paulo Coelho

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