Quotes are Powerfully Influential

"Your words have power. Speak words that are kind, loving, positive, uplifting, encouraging, and life-giving."  Anonymous  After a speaking presentation I delivered at the Midtown Optimist Club in Mobile, Alabama, I received the following email from one of the club members: Rob, I would like to share a few quotes from my personal collection.   I have been collecting quotes from colleagues, mentors and business partners for over 30 years.  The first is one from my father, Wendell L. … [Read more...]

Timing is Important

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  Mark Twain I wrote a letter to my oldest grandchild, Gabrielle, after her graduation from Auburn University. This year, Caroline, another grandchild, graduated from high school; and next year, I will see two more grandchildren graduate, one from college and … [Read more...]

Destiny Through Habits  

“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits – practical, emotional, and intellectual – systematically organized for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny...” Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author   I am a big proponent of creating a daily formula for success in life. Part of my emphasis on doing this is because it produces one of the most powerful elements for achievement. Habits.   Some habits have more influence … [Read more...]

What to do When Bad Things Happen

“Those who overcome great challenges will be changed, and often in unexpected ways. For our struggles enter our lives as unwelcome guests, but they bring valuable gifts. And once the pain subsides, the gifts remain. These gifts are life’s true treasures, bought at a great price, but cannot be acquired in any other way.”   Steve Goodier Below is an excerpt from the fourth chapter of  The BET, which will be published in September 2019. “Have you wondered if positive people ever have negative … [Read more...]

How to Conquer Fear

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”  Dr. Viktor Frankl When was the last time you were afraid? Have you ever flown on a plane through a storm? When the plane noticeably dropped in altitude? When it bounced around in a significant way? When you actually feared that this might be the end? If not a plane experience, you likely have been in a situation where you were afraid. … [Read more...]

Sometimes You Have to Say No

“Just saying yes because you can’t bear the short-term pain of saying no is not going to help you do the work.”Seth Godin “Rob, could you help me?”  The person asking that question is a friend. Like many of us, my inclination is to always help friends and family. It is what I want to do. Helping another brings a level of internal satisfaction like nothing else. And, I like what my friend is doing.  I am motivated to say yes. But my answer is “No."  In the last 10-plus years, this answer is … [Read more...]

How to be Happy

“It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come." Dalai Lama Ding! The alert from my phone communicates that I have just received a text message. Contrary to my normal practice of silencing all electronic interference while writing, I forgot to turn off my phone this morning. Now distracted, I proceed to read the message. “Good morning, sweet little … [Read more...]

Effort is How to Succeed

“Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.” Denis Waitley The excited raised voices in the cockpit of The Great Gab-Sea communicate that one crew member has a fish on his line. From my view atop the flybridge, I can see Justin and the rod he is holding bent over the side of the boat. Our young angler is holding on for dear life. First mate Ben quickly moves to Justin’s aid … [Read more...]

A Family Approach to Success

“It is important for me to carve out time in my schedule to spend quality time with my family.” Belinda Johnson Andrew leans over and says to me just a few simple yet, powerful words. The conversation takes place in a gathering hosted by my sister, Janice. Present in the room are her three sons and their families from Colorado, South Carolina and Birmingham, Alabama. We are gathered in the living-dining room of the rented condo on the beach in Orange Beach, Alabama. Meeting seven young … [Read more...]

Caught in the Act

“We can be incredibly disconnected in this day and age with computers and cell phones.”  Marcia Gay Harden, actress “What are you doing, Panpaw?” she asks with an obvious tone and look that reveals her complete disapproval. My granddaughter Caroline catches me looking at my Smartphone in the middle of our conversation. Family and friends are gathered in the salon of The Great Gab-Sea, now parked at the Pirates Cove dock. Earlier we had traveled from our home slip in Terry Cove past beautiful … [Read more...]