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The first question you should ask yourself when you wake up in the morning is, “How am I feeling today?” You either feel lousy or you feel good. The next question is, “What am I thinking about?” If you’re taking a negative approach to your day, ask yourself, “How can I make myself happy?” Just telling yourself that you’re happy won’t make it come true. You must take action. What are you going to DO to change it? Dig yourself out of that hole.
Information is not power; action is power. You filter all sorts of information through your mind daily, but unless you take action, your thoughts stay thoughts. Your actions are the answers to your questions.
If you’re cooking, if you’re driving, if you’re wondering what to eat for lunch or what to wear today, each question must be accompanied by an answer, and it’s your action that will complete it.
If your purpose or vision is to see the sunset, but you find yourself always traveling east, you’re always going to miss it. Focus on your task at hand and take the necessary steps to get there. Decide your purpose and vision, then design and execute the actions needed to get there.
Apply these concepts to the questions you ask yourself about relationships, financial situations, emotional needs, your happiness, etc. Get up and answer those questions!
If you’re not happy, ask yourself how you got there. If you are happy, ask yourself how you got there. Asking ourselves these questions is so automatic that we don’t even realize we do it. Everything we do is a question.
You get in your car. Where am I going? Will there be traffic? What is the best route to take to get to my destination?
The purpose for identifying the questions that we go through life asking ourselves everyday, is to be able to change your attitude toward something.
Look at the innocence of children. They don’t need much to keep them happy. Every little thing excites them! They recognize the present moment and live in it. Allow yourself to embrace that!
Everyone is entitled to feel sad or angry or emotional. It’s part of being human. But knowing that you don’t have to stay there, and that you have the power to bring yourself back up again, is the secret. You are in control of your emotions. If you’re feeling down, you can change the way you’re feeling by identifying the question, the problem, the answer, and changing your attitude. THAT is the key to happiness.
Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, but don’t continue to dwell on the negative. Ask yourself how you can fix it and move along.
Happiness is a choice. Society tells us that being unhappy is part of being alive. And that may be partially true, but I don’t totally believe in that. I believe you can be as happy as you want to be, all of your life. It’s all a matter of choice.
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With all of the negativity in the media lately, I think it’s a great time for all of us to take a breath of fresh air and get back to our core values. There’s no question that there is an inescapable void of moral standards in today’s society, which is why there is no better time than now to take inventory in ourselves, discover the things that hold great significance to us, and give back to the world.
Personal values give us structure and a foundation to follow. They are always changing. Your values from five years ago may not reflect your values today, and that’s okay. We should use them as a way to improve and reflect on ourselves.
Values also come in handy in decision-making. The things that you believe in will undoubtedly help you to make the right decisions on this road called life. It’s quite simple. If I encounter something that makes me uncomfortable and interferes with my values or threatens to compromise them, it’s a wrong decision.
My values include:
- Health. If I don’t have my health, then nothing else matters. Take care of yourself first so you’re able to fulfill the rest of your values for others.
- Love and Happiness. I’m not talking about an intimate relationship. I’m talking about loving in general. Loving people. Loving everything in life. Loving the cards you’ve been dealt. Share that love and happiness with others with a smile, a kind word, a hug, all without judgment.
- Family. There is nothing greater in life than having a loving support system around you. Build a family that is strong enough to hold you up when you’re down and vise versa. Give to them and ask nothing in return.
- Relationships/Friendships. The beauty in relationships and friendships alike is that we have the ability to choose the people to compliment our lives. Choose the right people for you. Surround yourself with people whose values reflect and compliment yours. Can your relationships use some improvement? Ask YOURSELF how YOU can improve your relationship.
To better help you define your values, think about what’s important to you RIGHT NOW. Whether you value your career, spirituality, friendships, financial stability, among thousands of other things, allow these values to guide you down the right path. Maybe today your family is your number one priority, but tomorrow it may be your career. Maybe your values from a few years ago are no longer of service to you; get some new ones! Whatever it is, don’t stop looking for it. Your values define the questions, but only you have the answers.
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I went to Hahnemann University Hospital five months ago to meet with Dr. Terry Heiman-Patterson and visit some patients that had been diagnosed with ALS. It was heartbreaking. How can you go from being a completely healthy, functioning individual and progress to a state of total incapacitation in a matter of months? You literally lose everything.
The only time we really heard of ALS awareness prior to the Ice Bucket Challenge in our community was the Phillies Phestival, held annually to raise money specifically to “strike out ALS.” This year’s event was held in May, and in the months following (like so many years before), ALS would fall to the wayside. People would go about their lives, forgetting all about it until the next Phillies Phestival would be scheduled.
But, oh, how the universe works in mysterious ways. Along come a couple of individuals that dedicate themselves to raising awareness for this debilitating disease by dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads and challenging their family members and friends to do the same.
A ripple effect is born. Then the videos go viral, and not only do those people’s friends and family start dumping buckets of ice water on their heads, but athletes and celebrities take on the cause. And in the meantime, in the background of all of this chaos and the social media frenzy, the donations come pouring in; more than the ALS Foundation has ever seen before.
If you didn’t know about ALS before, it would be impossible not to know now. You can’t go five minutes a day without hearing about it! This campaign has emerged and branched out in massive, national proportions, and will probably be marked as one of the most successful awareness and fundraising events for a disease or cause in history.
And as a follow up to my last article about being grateful for what we have, I can’t stress enough how lucky we are to be healthy, to be able to walk, talk, eat, laugh, and enjoy ourselves. Right now, I have the ability to describe to you my feelings and emotions, because in the blink of an eye, all of that can be taken away.
I wasn’t aware that only 30,000 people in the country are currently diagnosed with this disease. I wasn’t aware that the disease could take your life anywhere within 6 months to 5 years. It’s an aggressive, nasty disease that completely robs you of quality of life. But now, we know.
Appreciate all you have, because the awareness that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has brought to the forefront of our minds on a national level cannot be ignored.
In time, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge will fade away, but as a community, we have a responsibility to keep this cause in the forefront of our minds, and not let it fade into the background to become just another “internet sensation.”
I, Bernie Parent, challenge YOU to join me in keeping ALS awareness alive on a community level. Let’s bring support to OUR homefront and help the ALS Hope Foundation, located right here in Philadelphia, PA, reach their goals for those suffering with ALS in our very own backyard.
I’m calling out ALL Philadelphia athletes (present and alumni), sports fans and corporations alike to walk with me at the 7th Annual Hope Walks for ALS at 12 p.m. on Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at Valley Forge Military Academy, 1001 Eagles Road, Wayne, PA 19087.
Our goal is to raise $100,000, but personally, I think we can exceed that. The first 500 individuals at the registration table that day will receive a free hard cover copy of my book, Journey Through Risk and Fear.
Whether you’d like to walk with me for a small donation of $25, or donate on a corporate level with sponsorships, visit www.alshopefoundation.org TODAY!
Let’s see how many saves we can make as a community in the City of Brotherly Love!
Click here to register for the event.
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There are so many things to be grateful for. I am not alone when I say I have the ability to focus on what I don’t have. It’s tough being in a situation that you’re always wanting what you don’t have as opposed to being grateful for what you do have.
There is power in being thankful. It is the power of attraction. If I’m grateful for all of the things around me, I will attract more of those good things. If I’m negative all the time, you better believe I will attract more negativity.
Every morning when I get up, I have a little routine. I say out loud the things that I’m grateful for. If you’re not careful, you’ll forget to be grateful for waking up in the morning in good health, for being able to see, talk, hear and so on.
I’ll give you an example…
My boat hasn’t run in two years, and people in the marina always come up to me and say, “Your boat still isn’t running after all of that work you put into fixing it. Aren’t you angry?” And my answer is always the same: “Look at the bright side…I’m grateful I have a boat. I’m grateful that I can watch a beautiful sunset while I sit on the back of it with some friends smoking a cigar.” Instead of being upset that the boat isn’t working, I change it into something positive.
I’m not perfect. I’m human. If I’m not careful, I might let the fact that I put a lot of time and effort into fixing my boat with no outcome get to me; but I make a point to stay away from that. And I didn’t always think this way. The older I get, the wiser I get. I read a lot of philosophy books, which has helped me to accept life’s terms and make better decisions for myself.
If things aren’t going right socially, financially, etc., the question I would ask myself is, “Who am I hanging around with?” You have to classify what it is you’re looking to make better: your social life, your love life, your spirituality, your economic status. If I want to be at a certain level, but the people around me just have a bad attitude about life in general, I won’t be able to get where I need to go in order to achieve my goal. I have to surround myself with good, like-minded individuals that feel the way that I want to feel. If I’m sick and tired week after week, month after month, year after year, what has to change? I have to change. No one else is responsible for my happiness.
The last couple of weeks, I haven’t had much fun because I took on a responsibility that I had absolutely no control over. A couple of my friends are sick and in bad shape physically and I allowed myself to bring those negative feelings onto myself. I almost put myself in a depressed state. I was over-thinking about the negative things that may happen and I let my guard down. But I have a quote that I read to myself when I start to let negative energy get to me, and it goes like this:
“Over-thinking is the art of creating problems that weren’t even there to begin with.” – Unknown
I was over-thinking some of my friends’ physical problems and projecting those feelings back onto myself in a negative way. I anticipated the worst and I took myself down with it. This morning, I woke up and realized what I was doing wrong. I changed my perception, which won’t necessarily make my friends better, but my attitude toward the situation will hopefully lift their spirits. And that is all that I can hope for.
For every situation you will encounter in your lifetime, there is going to be a positive and negative side. You have to make the choice. You have to choose the path that you will take.
There will be people who read this article and say, “I have nothing to be grateful for. My life sucks.” I’ll tell you all the same thing…You have the ability to read this article. You have at least one of the senses that God gave you to receive this message. And I hope you use it.
Today, I’m grateful that I recognize who I am, and I’m grateful to march on with what I believe in with my vision.
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Ultimately, we now have two great hockey minds in positions of power. And I coached new Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, so I would like to share my insight. He was unique as a player, with a crazy passion for the game of hockey.
I went to Winnipeg, Canada to scout him as a junior and I had heard before making the trip that he was aggressive, he read plays well, he had a good vision and anticipated where the puck was going; he could even shoot the puck well. The first time I saw him play, I think he had eight or nine goals scored against him in that game, but I still liked the way he played. Everyone has bad nights, but he still challenged the shooters, looked for the shot from the blue line, and positioned himself accordingly. He was an intelligent goaltender.
Even with those nine goals scored against him, I saw something special. His energy created a leader in him. And you need a leader at goal, a leader on defense, and a leader on offense. Hextall was that leader. You could hear him talking to his defensemen and offering them insight and guidance. He carried all of this with him all throughout his career.
I brought all of the information back to Keith Allen from Winnipeg, Canada and told him he’d be a great fit for the orange and black. We drafted him 119th overall in the 1982 NHL draft.
At this time, I was the goalie coach for the Flyers working with Pelle Lindbergh. Hextall came up to play with the Flyers in the 1984 season, played a couple years in the farm system, and after Pelle passed in 1985, Hextall had one of the best seasons I’ve ever seen as a rookie during the 1986-1987 season, which won him the Vezina trophy. Ultimately, the Flyers lost the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Edmonton Oilers, but Hextall was still awarded the Conn Smythe trophy. I knew he had it as a junior, but the progression he made was amazing.
Being a professional goalie and Hall of Famer, critiquing his play as he made it into the NHL was truly fascinating. Everything he exuded as a junior intensified in the NHL. Every skill and attribute that he had was perfected: his leadership, vision, enthusiasm, etc.
Hextall was the first goaltender to score a goal in the opposing net. He really changed the game. How incredible is that? Not to mention, he took the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals…twice.
Everyone knew what Hextall did on the ice, how loud and aggressive he was. But in the locker room, he was a typical goalie: quiet. If he had a bad game, he rarely expressed himself. But do you want to know what really showed everyone the type of player Hextall was? When he left the net to go after Chris Chelios after Chelios knocked out Brian Propp with a cheap shot. Hextall was the ultimate warrior, possessed a rare intensity and stuck up for his team members. That was a defining moment in his career.
We have Paul Holmgren as team president, who started out as a hockey player, made his way up to a scout, and then a general manager. And along comes Ron Hextall, who was one of the greatest goalies the Philadelphia Flyers organization has ever seen, who moved on to be a scout, then a successful assistant general manager with the Los Angeles Kings, and back to his home sweet home of Philadelphia as our new general manager. We now have two hockey-oriented minds making the decisions.
The best part of all of this is that these qualities stick with you, and I see all of these qualities and values expressed in Hextall’s position as general manager.
The heads of the Flyers organization have played so many roles on their way up the ladder and are experienced in all areas of the game of hockey. I think all of this passion, dedication, and team identity that radiates from Hextall will reflect into his managing.
Hextall took “don’t mess with my teammate” to the next level. Whatever it was you thought you were going to get away with, Hextall ripped that right out from under you. Not only will this resonate with the current Flyers roster physically, but having that sort of mental attitude on top of all the preparations will take this team far.
In this position of power, you are more likely to pursue athletes that play the way you played. And I can’t wait to see it come to fruition.