Tee-Shirt Message

“Never, never, never give up.”    Sir Winston Churchill ‘The harder you train, the smaller your obstacles become” were the words imprinted on the back of his tee-shirt. We were with our grandkids at a yogurt shop in Orange Beach -- everyone  was chomping into delicious desserts. Fifteen-year old Chase, when questioned about the meaning of the motto he was sporting on his comfortable apparel, responded quizzically that he was uncertain about the slogan; nor could he remember how he acquired … [Read more...]

Repetition

“A baseball swing is a very finely tuned instrument. It is repetition, and more repetition, then a little more after that.” Reggie Jackson I pull back on the throttles of the twin 715 diesels of The Great Gab-Sea as we approach the ‘trolling corridor,’ an area located about 8.5 miles south of Perdido Pass in the Gulf of Mexico. Our team grabs the rods and reels that have already been prepared with different selected lures. Choosing my compass heading, I engage the engines in idle speed as … [Read more...]

The Most Powerful Words

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Maya Angelou ‘I love you’ are influential words.  Most of us were introduced to this phrase during childhood. When properly applied in life-giving situations, these three little words are a catalyst for exceptional outcomes.  Conversely, when used in selfish or other negative ways, this phrase can be emotionally hurtful and even destructive. ‘Love’ is not a neutral … [Read more...]

What Could Have Been

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”  Source: Benjamin Mee, “We Bought a Zoo”  One of my all-time favorite movies is The Wizard of Oz. And my favorite character in that movie is Cowardly Lion. I love the scene where The Wizard shares wisdom about courage and fear with Cowardly Lion. As mortal living beings, it is natural for us to associate … [Read more...]

The Dividing Line

The company my wife Carol and I founded almost five decades ago, Hackbarth Delivery Service, was launched from  our small three-bedroom home in an historic neighborhood of Mobile, Alabama. A sun room off to the side of our small kitchen  served two purposes -- half for Carol’s den and the other was my office. A couch  providing seating in the den became the dividing line between my office and Carol’s den. Not enough for either purpose, the division of space became a bone of contention.   The … [Read more...]

Description

“A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.”   Mark Twain If you had 10 words that would accurately  describe you, which 10 adjectives would you use?  What would be the 10 words you would like for others to use in describing you? Finally, do you know what words other people would use in describing you? Fill in the blanks: “I am” (insert the adjective that best describes you) “I am . . . “(using an adjective that others would use in … [Read more...]

Probation

“Martial arts is not about fighting; it’s about building character.”  Bo Bennett After multiple ceremonial strikes on his shoulders, the Master bows and hands him his new belt, representing a new category of accomplishment. The audience includes family and friends of members who have achieved new levels in Taekwondo.  My grandson, Chase, receives his first black belt. Wow! Great accomplishment. I have seen him in action, and it is apparent that he is good in this form of martial … [Read more...]

The Exceptional Eight

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”          Nelson Mandela The Exceptional Eight! Who are they?  A question I love to answer. The ‘Exceptional Eight’ is the moniker I assigned collectively to our grandchildren  shortly after the youngest, John Rowan, entered this world in July 2015, our older daughter’s sixth child – our eighth grandchild.  Some of the names I have heard for our new two-year old grandson are “John Rowan,” … [Read more...]

The End

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” T.S. Eliot “You can stop taking your blood pressure medicine. You no longer need it.” His welcomed words were the unbelievable end to a three-year journey. The beginning of that story, three years earlier, took place in his office with the words, “You are on the way to stroke, diabetes and early death.” The gradual evolution of that journey reminds me of so many movies. … [Read more...]

Gary

“The human race has one effective weapon, and that is laughter.”  Mark Twain Loud laughter fills the room and lingers.  Before the audible merriment subsides, he quickly fires away with another joke. Gaining momentum, the laughter now seems to perpetuate itself. Classic Gary!  I am in the audience enjoying these magical moments. We are meeting at Hackbarth Delivery Service (HDS) headquarters in the conference room. This segment of the corporate training program for new managers within our … [Read more...]