Archives For Purpose

WE are becoming wise when we know and realize that happiness abides in certain habits of mind, or mental characteristics, rather than in material possessions, or in certain combinations of circumstances. It is a common delusion to imagine that if one only possessed this or that— a little more money, a little more leisure, this man’s talent, or that man’s opportunities; or if one had better friends, or more favorable surroundings—one would be happy with a perfect felicity. Alas! Discontent and misery lie in such vain wishes. If happiness is not already found within, it will never be found without. The happiness of a wise mind abides through all vicissitudes.

Your whole life is a series of effects, having their cause in thought—in your own thought.

~ James Allen, Daily Meditations

The Six Minute Miracle Morning

To energize your mornings take six minutes to do each one of the following;

Minute One… (Silence)

Spend the first minute sitting in purposeful Silence. Sit calmly, peacefully, and you breathe deeply, slowly. You can say a prayer of gratitude or pray for guidance or just focus on your breathing. Calm your mind, relax your body, and allow all of your stress to melt away.

Minute Two… (Affirmations)

Write out a daily affirmations—ones that will help you use your unlimited potential to accomplish your most important priorities. Read them over and over and think why they are important to you, how are they going to help you become more successful.

Minute Three… (Visualization)

Close your eyes, or you look at your vision board, and you visualize your goals, and how reaching them will make you feel, what will you achieve, who will you have helped and how did it improve their lives. Visualize your day going perfectly, a day you accomplished your goals while smiling and laughing with the people who are important to you.

Minute Four… (Scribing)

Take a minute to write down in your journal what you’re grateful for, what you’re proud of, and the results you’re committed to acting on that day.

Minute Five… (Reading)

Read a book that motivates you, maybe it’s a daily email or a book that inspires you. Learn something new that can help you to become a better person.

Minute Six… (Exercise)

For the last minute, do jumping jacks for 60 seconds and getting your heart rate up and get the energy flowing in your body. Jumping jacks will also increase the lymph system to flow better, helping the body to detox better.

It only takes 6-minutes and anyone can find six minutes in the morning to improve the quality of your day and your life.

~ Hal Elrod, The Miracle Morning

THE Gates of Heaven are forever open, and no one is prevented from entering by any will or power but his own ; but no one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven so long as he is enamored of, and chooses, the seductions of hell, so long as he resigns himself to sin and sorrow.

There is a larger, higher, nobler, diviner life than that of sinning and suffering, which is so common—in which, indeed, nearly all are immersed—a life of victory over sin, and triumph over evil; a life wise and happy, benign and tranquil, virtuous and peaceful. This life can be found and lived now, and he who lives it is steadfast in the midst of change; restful among the restless; peaceful, though surrounded by strife.

Every moment is the time of choice; every hour is destiny.

~ James Allen, Daily Meditations

Definition of Willpower (

1. The ability to control yourself : strong determination that allows you to do something difficult.
First Known Use of willpower – 1858

The definition of willpower is the ability to control yourself. When you first think about, ‘the ability to control yourself,’ you think, or at least I do, “no problem, why couldn’t I control myself?”
Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy, is it. For some people it may be, and although I scored high on one of the willpower assessments, I struggle with controlling my actions in certain aspects of life. It mainly deals with doing the activities that I really don’t like to do, or chose not to do.
When you think about it, willpower is a muscle, just like decision making. If you have to make a lot of decisions throughout the day by the time evening comes you can’t even decide what to have for supper. This is also when our willpower muscle is getting tired and we may struggle to stick to our diet and we convince ourselves that since we had a salad for lunch and a mile walk today, we make an easy decision and eat a frozen pizza for supper instead of taking the time to cook something healthy.
James Allen wrote about training the will in his book, The Mastery of Destiny (1909), “without strength of mind, nothing worthy of accomplishment can be done, and the cultivation of that steadfastness and stability of character which is commonly called “willpower” is one of the foremost duties of person. All you have to do is conquer the weak indulgences that make you a slave.” 
Do you have the willpower, or strength of mind, to stay off social media for an hour and write, or exercise, or read a book? We tend to do what comes easy, and why not, it’s easy. If that’s the way you attack life, then great. But if you want to achieve your goals and live a purposeful life you need to conquer your weaknesses and build your willpower muscle.
Although recent research by Professor Inzlicht from the University of Toronto claims that willpower isn’t a finite source but acts more like an emotion. If willpower is an emotion then we should be able to control it, which is easier if it’s something that we actually like to do. If we “will ourselves to do something,” is it the same as changing our attitude about something?
Whether you believe willpower is a muscle or is more like an emotion, James Allen wrote that the whole science of will cultivation is embodied in the following seven rules:
1. Break off bad habits – The first step is to break away from bad habits. This is no easy task. It demands putting forth great efforts, or a succession of efforts, and it is by such efforts that the will can alone be invigorated and fortified. If one refuses to take the first step, they cannot increase their willpower, for by submitting to a bad habit, because of the immediate pleasure which it affords; one forfeits the right to rule over themselves. The person who avoids self-discipline, and looks about for some “secret” for gaining willpower at the expenditure of little or no effort on their part, is deceiving themselves, and is weakening the willpower they already have.
2. Form good habits – The increased strength of will gained by success in overcoming bad habits enables you to initiate good habits, while the conquering of a bad habit requires merely strength of purpose, the forming of a new one necessitates the intelligent direction of purpose. To do this, a person must be mentally active and energetic, and must keep a constant watch upon themselves. As a person succeeds in perfecting themselves in the second rule, it will not be very difficult for them to observe the third, that of giving scrupulous attention to the duty of the present moment.
3. Give scrupulous attention to the duty of the present moment – Thoroughness is a step in the development of the will which cannot be passed over. Sloppy work is an indication of weakness. Perfection should be aimed at, even in the smallest task. By not dividing the mind, but giving the whole attention to each separate task as it presents itself, singleness of purpose and intense concentration of mind are gradually gained.
4. Do vigorously, and at once, whatever has to be done – Idleness and a strong will cannot go together, and procrastination is a total barrier to the acquisition of purposeful action. Nothing should be “put off” until another time, not even for a few minutes. That which ought to be done now should be done now. This seems to be a little thing, but it is very important, it leads to strength, success, and peace.
5. Live by rule – The person who is to develop a strong will must also live by certain fixed rules. They must not blindly gratify their passions and impulses, but must control them. They should live according to principle, and not according to passion. What food do you want to eat, how much exercise do you want to do weekly? Set your expectations, write your own set of “Living Rules,” and then hold yourself accountable to the rules.
6. Control the tongue – The sixth rule to controlling the tongue must be practiced until one has perfect command of their speech, so that they utter nothing in peevishness, anger, irritability, or with evil intent. The person of strong will does not allow their tongue to run thoughtlessly and without check.
7. Control the mind – All these six rules, if faithfully practiced, will lead up to the seventh, which is the most important of them all, controlling the mind. Self-control is the most essential thing in life, yet least understood. The person who patiently practices the previous six rules listed, will learn, by their own experience and efforts, how to control and train their mind.
These seven willpower building practices, taken directly from The Mastery of Destiny, written in 1909, when studied and practiced, will help you achieve your goals, purpose and as the title says, your destiny. Some believe that James Allen started the self-improvement movement and with principles like this we can understand why. I would highly recommend grabbing the book, Mind is Master, The Complete James Allen Treasury, it contains 20 different books and is one of my first references for insightful reading.
With the New Year upon us, maybe we should just set a goal to build our willpower. It’s the corner stone to achievement.


December 5, 2016 — Leave a comment

Definition of No (

  1. Used as a function word to express the negative of an alternative choice or possibility
  2. In no respect or degree —used in comparisons
  3. Not so —used to express negation, dissent, denial, or refusal
  4. Used with a following adjective to imply a meaning expressed by the opposite positive statement
We generally are pretty good at saying no to our kids, especially if it looks like they’re going to hurt themselves. But why is it so hard to say no to your friend, your boss or even your spouse?

No can be a harsh word, and we generally use it in response to someone asking us to do something or when we express disagreement. But not being able to say no impacts our productivity, our personal time, our finances, and our relationships? If I tell a friend no, I can’t help them this weekend, what I’m saying is yes to spending time with relatives or saying yes to learning something new or maybe just relaxing.

Saying no is important to keep relationships healthy, to keep our job, and to keep within budget, I can’t think of how many times I should’ve said no to someone wanting me to buy something. I’m just a sucker, or think that if I say no, then I’m not a nice person.

Saying no doesn’t make you a mean person, it makes you a responsible person. If you say yes to everything, you say yes to other people’s agendas and no to your own. Where does that get you, not far, but it sure helps others out, and that’s not a bad thing. I’m not saying to say no to everything, just too wisely decide what you want to spend your time, money and other resources on.

My problem is that some people don’t even need to ask and I say yes to help them out. Or worse yet if they complain about something I think I need to fix it, even if I don’t see what’s wrong. This causes confusion and dependence. People learn to expect that you’ll give them what they want, because they know you don’t say no. It’s time to break the yes habit and implement the word NO into your vocabulary more often.

So how do you say no more? First you need to know what your purpose is, what your mission is, or what your organization’s mission is. Once you know your purpose and/or mission you can evaluate the request as to whether it matches up with your goals.

Most people know what their goals are in the job they do, and it’s important to limit your yeses at work so you can accomplish those goals, even if it’s a request from the boss.

As we get into the New Year, and if you have, or are going to set goals, make a list of all of your current obligations. Which ones align with your goals? Which ones, when you read them you say, “Hell Yes,” if you can’t say hell yes then say no. Of course you may make some people upset because you canceled appointments, resigned from committees, or just said NO. The positive side is that you’ll be able to say yes to the important things in life, you’re able to reconnect with people, volunteer for organizations your passionate about, and take control of your life better.

With the end of 2016 coming quick, what do you need to say no to in 2017 in order to say yes to what will make your life better in 2017?

George H.W. Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts on June 12, 1924. He was the second of five children to Prescott Bush (1895-1972), a banker and Dorothy Walker Bush (1901-92). Dorothy wanted to name her son after her father, but couldn’t choose between George Herbert Bush and George Walker Bush, so she decided to name him George Herbert Walker Bush.

George’s father was a partner in a prestigious Wall Street investment firm who went on to represent Connecticut in the U.S. Senate. His mother Dorothy instilled in George a sense of humility and she warned her children against bragging or having “too many ‘I’s’ in a sentence.” His parents believed that “from those to whom much is given, much is expected,” and encouraged public service, empathy and personal modesty. Prescott and Dorothy raised their five children to be a close-knit group.

George, known as “Poppy,” attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. During his junior year he contracted a staph infection which put him in the hospital for six weeks. He decided to repeat the year which put him with students his own age. He was elected senior class president, captain of the baseball and soccer teams, and was a member of a number of other clubs. His sister Nancy would later recall, “I was terribly popular for a while — everyone wanted to come to our house because they might run into George.” Although he was a popular student he followed his mother’s teachings and was kind to everybody, no matter their social standing.

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, George heard the news of the attack while walking across campus and has what he calls “the typical American reaction that we had better do something about this.” A few weeks later at a Christmas dance, he meets Barbara Pierce.

George graduated during World War II and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, himself an Andover graduate, told the boys at the graduation ceremony that they should go to college and let the draft do its work. George was already accepted to Yale and would hear none of it. Years later, he simply said, “I wanted to serve—duty, honor, country.” Against his father’s wishes, George deferred acceptance to Yale and joined the Navy on his 18th birthday, the same day he graduated from Andover. Two months later, he boarded a train to North Carolina for flight training.

On June 9, 1943 George became the youngest commissioned pilot in the naval air service and in December was assigned to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. San Jacinto in the Pacific. As a member of the torpedo squadron VT-51, George flew an Avenger bomber on which he inscribed the name “Barbara.” He never told stories about his sweetheart Barbra and he didn’t try to pick up women on nights in town. He didn’t smoke or drink or cuss but his fellow pilot Jack Guy said of George decades later, “He was a lot of fun, a live wire, I don’t know anyone who didn’t like him for any reason.”

He flew combat missions over the Pacific and on September 2, 1944 George’s plane was hit at 8,000 feet and caught fire. He finished his dive, dropped his four 500-pound bombs successfully on target, a key Japanese radio station on the island of Chichi Jima. He headed out to sea with his plane on fire and radioed his two crewmen, Ted White and John Delaney, to “hit the silk,” or bail out. Only one of the two crewmen bailed out, and that man’s parachute never opened. George bailed out and was rescued by the submarine U.S.S. Finback and spent a month on the sub before being dropped off in Midway. Instead of taking his chance to rotate home he returned to his squadron aboard the San Jacinto. In a letter to his mother about the incident he states that when he realized that the other two men didn’t survive he “…was pretty much a sissy about it cause I sat in my raft and sobbed for a while ….I feel so terribly responsible for their fate”. More than 50 years later, George said the deaths of his two crewmen “still weigh heavy on my mind,” and continues to relive the experience in nightmares throughout his life.

When he rotated back to the states he had completed 58 combat missions and 1,228 combat hours. He learned that being heroic didn’t mean a man was without fear. Being heroic meant a man went on despite his fear.

While on leave he married Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York on January 6, 1945. The war ended before he had to return to duty, and was honorably discharged on September 18, 1945. George and Barbara moved to New Haven, Connecticut where they had their first son, George Walker Bush on July 6, 1946.

George attended Yale University on an accelerated schedule and excelled at sports, captained the baseball team and was admitted to the elite secret society Skull and Bones. He also played in the first two College World Series in 1947 and 1948. After just two and a half years, George graduated with honors and a degree in economics.

He was offered a job at his father’s Wall Street firm, but decided to set out for West Texas to try his luck in the oil boom and landed an entry-level job. Two years later he partnered with a neighbor and friend, John Overbey, who knew the oil business inside and out and with George’s East Coast investment connections, the two were moderately successful. They joined with a team of two brothers from Oklahoma in 1952 and created Zapata Petroleum which struck it big at an oil field in Coke County known as Jameson Field.

George’s father, Prescott Bush, was elected a Senator from Connecticut in 1952, and was a role model that led George to become interested in public service and politics.

On February 11, 1953 John Ellis Bush was born, known as “Jeb,” his name is derived from his initials. Just a few weeks later their three-year-old daughter Robin is diagnosed with leukemia and dies on October 12, 1953. For more than 40 years George carried a gold medallion in his wallet that read, “For the Love of Robin.” When the Bushes had another daughter, six years after Robin’s death, George visited the nursery, pressed his face against the glass, and sobbed.

The Bushes’ fourth child, Neil Mallon Bush, is born in Midland, Texas on January 22, 1955 and then on October 22, 1956, Marvin Pierce Bush, the Bushes’ fifth child and youngest son, is born. On August 18, 1959 Dorothy “Doro” Bush is born and soon after her birth, the family moved to Houston.

In 1962, after a decade in office, George’s father retired from the U.S. Senate. That same year, George made his political debut as chairman of the Republican Party in Houston, Texas and was soon seen as a bright light in the Texas Republican Party.

George ran against liberal Ralph Yarborough for the U.S. Senate seat from Texas. The John F. Kennedy administration had divided the Democratic Party, especially in Texas. However, Kennedy’s assassination unites the party behind the new president and native Texan, Lyndon Johnson, squashing Bush’s chances of defeating Yarborough. Conspiracy theorists claim that George was part of the assassination plot to kill President Kennedy.

In 1966 George ran for Congress in Texas and wins with the help of his dramatic war story and a grainy film of him being rescued by the USS Finback being used in his campaign. He has said that he never understood why he was given a medal because he was shot out of the sky, he said “When I got down on the submarine, I was just a sick, scared, young kid. The heroes were the guys shot down and killed or the guys who hit the beaches and were slaughtered, the guys who didn’t come back to families and jobs.”

As a new congressman, George struggled to strike a balance between the conservative Texas electorate and his more moderate personal views. Despite not leaving too much of a mark in Washington in those four years, he did earn the nickname “Rubbers” for his deep interest in population control and family planning. With his father’s help, he became the first freshman in 63 years to be offered a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

In 1970 George gave up his congressional seat to challenge Ralph Yarborough for the U.S. Senate. His election plan failed when Lloyd Bentsen defeats Yarborough in the Democratic Primary and defeated Bush in November.

Keeping a promise to find Bush a job if his bid for U.S. Senate failed, on December 11, 1970 Richard Nixon announces his appointment of Bush as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, after George declined his offer as a Special Assistant to the President.  He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1971 to 1973. During this time his father, Prescott Bush died of lung cancer.

George left the United Nations in January 1973 to become chairman of the Republican National Committee. A month later, the Senate Watergate Committee is established to investigate the administration’s involvement in the Watergate break-in. During a cabinet meeting on August 6, 1974, George told President Nixon that Watergate is sapping public confidence. The next day, he sends a letter to the president suggesting that he resign and President Nixon announced his resignation on August 8, 1974.

George went to Kennebunkport to wait for President Gerald Ford to announce his choice for vice president. George is the first choice among party leaders but Ford chose Nelson Rockefeller instead. A reporter with Bush in Kennebunkport says, “Mr. Bush, you don’t seem to be too upset about this.” Bush replies, “Yes, but you can’t see what’s on the inside.”

Since President Ford didn’t select George as his vice president he offered him an ambassadorship in the country of his choosing. George chose China, although the U.S. does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China he becomes the head of the U.S. Liaison Office.

While in China, George is requested by President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to return to Washington to become the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. George acts as Director until 1977 when newly-elected Democrat Jimmy Carter became president.

After two years as a private citizen, George announced in May of 1979 that he was running for president. After a number of debates, Ronald Reagan wins the Republican nomination for president and in May 1980 George officially pulls out of the presidential race. On July 16, 1980 George received a phone call from Ronald Reagan asking him to be the vice presidential nominee.

On November 4, 1980 the Reagan and Bush team defeated Carter and Mondale by a wide margin. On January 20, 1981 George is sworn in as the nation’s 41st vice president and travels 1.3 million miles, visiting 50 states and 65 countries in his role.

On March 30, 1981 President Reagan was shot outside the Washington (D.C.) Hilton Hotel. Even though George was the acting president for eight hours, he would not sit in the president’s chair during cabinet meetings. His actions cements George’s relationship with Reagan, leaving no doubt among Reagan’s closest advisors about George’s loyalty to the President.

In George’s first public statement about the Iran-Contra affair, on December 3, 1986 he admitted that mistakes were made and he was not aware of any diversion of funds, any ransom payments, or any circumvention of the will of the Congress or the laws of the United States of America. His speech drew praise but didn’t keep George from being suspected of knowing more than he let on. Doubts about George ‘s involvement will linger through his 1992 presidential campaign.

After two terms as vice president under Reagan, George became the Republican presidential nominee in 1988 with running mate Dan Quayle, a U.S. senator from Indiana. George’s image became a factor during the 1988 presidential campaign due to being unwilling or unable to speak out against President Reagan’s policies. The week George announced his candidacy, a Newsweek cover read, “Fighting the Wimp Factor.” Though George ultimately won in 1988, that campaign is remembered largely for his team’s palpable shift toward attack-style, negative campaign tactics.

On November 8, 1988 George captured 426 electoral votes and more than 53 percent of the popular vote, his opponent, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis received 111 electoral votes and more than 45 percent of the popular vote. On January 20, 1989 George is inaugurated as the 41st President of the United States and calls for a “kinder, gentler America,” in his inauguration speech, which is seen as a subtle departure from the Reagan agenda.

One of the interesting bans George had was on broccoli aboard Air Force One. He stated, “I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”

In May 1989, George signed a bill which established a Federal Holiday in the memory of Martin Luther King Jr.. There was some resistance to the initial suggestion, but the bill was supported by musician Stevie Wonder who wrote and recorded a song called “Happy Birthday” which helped to publicly promote the campaign.

George is criticized for his reaction of not being tough enough when the Chinese government brutally suppressed an uprising in Tiananmen Square on June 3, 1989. Instead of publicly condemning the actions of the Chinese government, George wrote a letter to the Chinese leadership laying out his thoughts and grave concerns about the event.

When the Berlin Wall falls on November 9, 1989 some claimed that George should participate in the celebrations that symbolically end of the Cold War. But George believed that a victory celebration by the American president would provoke a backlash from the Soviet Union.

On December 20, 1989 George is pressed to take actions on foreign affairs when a U.S. Navy seaman was killed and two American witnesses where beat by members of the Panamanian Defense Force. In response, the United States invaded Panama, captured the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, bringing him to the United States to stand trial for drug trafficking.

Bush announced his “no new taxes” pledge on June 26, 1990 when he agrees to put taxes on the table in negotiating a budget deal with congressional Democrats. In September, George and the bipartisan budget committee announced their budget agreement but the House minority whip, Newt Gingrich, a member of the bipartisan committee, refused to attend the announcement ceremony and leads a Republican revolt against the budget agreement.

George signed important legislation on November 15, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The New York Times refers to the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments as the single most distinguished policy achievement of the Bush administration. He also founded the Points of Light Foundation to promote the spirit of volunteerism by signing the National and Community Service Act of 1990, the first piece of federal service legislation in almost 20 years.

When Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded neighboring Kuwait on August 2, 1990 George started to organize a military coalition of more than 30 countries. He sees Hussein as another Adolf Hitler and resolves from the start to eject Iraq from Kuwait entirely. A November United Nations vote backing the use of “all means necessary” to eject Hussein’s army, but George faced resistance from Congress who passed a war resolution of its own, and the Senate passed the resolution by a narrow margin of  52-47. On January 12, 1991 the Gulf War, with 425,000 American troops and 118,000 troops from allied nations started a five weeks air offensive followed by 100 hours of a ground offensive. Operation Desert Storm ended in late February with Iraq’s defeat and Kuwait’s liberation. As a result, George enjoyed the highest presidential polling numbers recorded at the time.

In July 1991 George improved U.S.-Soviet relations when he met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

George announced his candidacy for re-election February 1992. With his approval rating soaring to 89 percent in the wake of the Gulf War, he was not prepared for a complete reversal in the minds and hearts of the American people. After promising “no new taxes” in his first presidential campaign, he upset some by raising tax revenues in an effort to deal with a rising budget deficit. Wealthy businessman Ross Perot also entered the presidential race as a third party candidate and ultimately won 19 percent of the popular vote in November, making him the most successful third-party candidate since the election of 1912.

On November 4, 1992 Democratic candidate William J. Clinton defeated George and became the 42nd President of the United States. Two weeks later, on November 19, 1992, George’s mother, Dorothy Walker Bush, dies. His daughter Doro will later write, “It’s still moving to think I was there when my father said good-bye to his mother, the woman who had the biggest impact on his life. I believe that to be true because my dad’s life was not defined by the political system he navigated, but by the set of beliefs his mother taught him.”

After George left the presidency Queen Elizabeth II awarded him an honorary knighthood in 1993, and when he visited Kuwait later that year a car bomb assassination plot was foiled.

On November 6, 1997 the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is opened to the public and George told his audience “Today I feel like the luckiest person in the world”.  The Bush School of Government and Public Service, located at Texas A&M University, was also founded in 1997 and has become one of the leading public and international affairs graduate schools in the nation.

On June 9, 1999, George celebrated his 75th birthday by skydiving and continued that tradition every five years and skydived on his 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays. On his 90th birthday he tweeted about the incident prior to the jump, saying “It’s a wonderful day in Maine — in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump.”

George attended the inauguration of his son, George W. Bush, who became the 43rd President of the United States on January 20, 2001. It is the first time a father and son have both been elected president since John and John Quincy Adams almost 200 years before. The family refers to them as “41” and “43.”

Teaming up with a former political foe in February 2005, he joined Bill Clinton and toured areas in Southeast Asia damaged by a tsunami. Later that year in September Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast states and the two former presidents formed the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund to help raise funds to aid in the relief efforts. Hurricane Ike hit the Gulf Coast in September of 2008, and once again the two presidents joined to form the Bush-Clinton Gulf Coast Recovery Fund to aid in the reconstruction of Gulf Coast infrastructure.

Having been an aircraft carrier pilot during World War II George is honored by having an aircraft carrier named after him, the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier is commissioned on January 10, 2009.

President Barack Obama awarded George the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his commitment to service, his ability to inspire volunteerism throughout the country, and encouraging citizens to be “a thousand points of light.” The administration continues to promote service and civic engagement, honoring heroes of local communities as “Champions of Change” and fostering civic participation.

George seemed to always be supporting other people and in July 2013 he shaved his head to support a leukemia victim, the son of a member of his Secret Service detail. In the same year he also attended the same-sex wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen in Kennebunkport, Maine, and signed their marriage license as a witness.

The National College Baseball Foundation announced in November 2013 that its Hall of Fame museum will be named after the 41st president and in May 2014 he received the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation Profiles in Courage Award.

In December 2014 he was hospitalized as a precautionary measure after he experienced a shortness of breath and in July 15, 2015 he fell and broke his C2 vertebrae in his neck. His spokesman Jim McGrath told CNN the injury is not life threatening. In October 2015 he made his first public engagement since the accident and threw the ceremonial first pitch for the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

George isn’t just known for his funky sock collection but he has also written three books: Looking Forward, an autobiography; A World Transformed, co-authored with General Brent Scowcroft, on foreign policy during his administration, and All The Best, a collection of letters written throughout his life. In 2008, President Bush’s diary, written during his time in China, was published under the title, The China Diary of George H.W. Bush — The Making of a Global President.

Barbara Bush often jokes that her successful life is a result of marrying well. But she has also made a difference by founding the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 1989, which supports family literacy programs where parents and children can learn and read together. The Foundation has awarded over $40 million to create or expand 902 family literacy programs in all 50 states. She has also authored two children’s books, C. Fred’s Story, and Millie’s Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush about the White House dog Millie, and the best-selling books Barbara Bush: A Memoir and Reflections: Life After the White House.

George and Barbara Bush’s family keeps growing, they have five children, 24 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. At 90 and 91 years old, they celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary on January 6, 2016.

George H.W. Bush Quotes

“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the Nation and gentler the face of the world.”

“Read my lips: no new taxes.”

“Equality begins with economic empowerment.”

“I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of [CIA] sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.”

“Weakness and ambivalence lead to war.”

“Our nation is the enduring dream of every immigrant who ever set foot on these shores, and the millions still struggling to be free. This nation, this idea called America, was and always will be a new world — our new world.”

“Competence is the creed of the technocrat who makes sure the gears mesh but doesn’t for a second understand the magic of the machine.”

“This is America … a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”

“The anchor in our world today is freedom, holding us steady in times of change, a symbol of hope to all the world.”

“The fact is prosperity has a purpose. It’s to allow us to pursue “the better angels,” to give us time to think and grow.”

 “There is a God and He is good, and his love, while free, has a self imposed cost: We must be good to one another.”

“They only name things after you when you’re dead or really old.”

 “I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

“There are truckloads of broccoli at this very minute descending on Washington. My family is divided. For the broccoli vote out there: Barbara loves broccoli. She has tried to make me eat it. She eats it all the time herself. So she can go out and meet the caravan of broccoli that’s coming in.”

“We’re going to keep trying to strengthen the American family. To make them more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons.”

“The longer our graduation lines are today, the shorter our unemployment lines will be tomorrow.”

 “If you believe that there’s a being superior to yourself and that will guide you, strengthen you that helps a lot but, you know, you just have to stay the course. You just got to stay in there. You cannot be waffling or taking a poll to see what people think. You have to do what you think is right.”

“I know this about the American people: We welcome competition. We’ll match our ingenuity, our energy, our experience and technology, our spirit and enterprise against anyone.”

“I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are…. I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.”

“It is possible to tell things by a handshake. I like the “looking in the eye” syndrome. It conveys interest. I like the firm, though not bone crushing shake. The bone crusher is trying too hard to “macho it.” The clammy or diffident handshake — fairly or unfairly — get me off to a bad start with a person.”

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or another.”

“I do not mistrust the future; I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our heart is larger.”

“Abraham Lincoln truly inspired me. It wasn’t just the freeing of the slaves, he kept the Union together. Some people even forget that today. What I think inspired me was the fact that in spite of being the President of the United States he retained a certain down-to-earth quality. He never got to be a big shot, and he cared about people.”

“No problem of human making is too great to be overcome by human ingenuity, human energy, and the untiring hope of the human spirit.”

 “No generation can escape history.”

“My dog Millie knows more about foreign affairs than these two bozos.”

 “The anchor in our world today is freedom, holding us steady in times of change.”

“The American Dream means giving it your all, trying your hardest, accomplishing something. And then I’d add to that, giving something back. No definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others.”

“There are singular moments in history, dates that divide all that goes before from all that comes after.”

“I’m not concerned about anything anymore. It’s kind of in the shadows. There’s been a sea change on all of that. Things that I felt passionately about, I just don’t anymore. I think that goes … I think that goes with just being older and having had the privilege of having a full and active life, and now just fading, fading—fading away, like General MacArthur said.”

“In addition to caring for our future, we must care for those around us. A decent society shows compassion for the young, the elderly, the vulnerable, and the poor.”

“We know what works: Freedom works. We know what’s right: Freedom is right. We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on Earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state.”

“I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them.”

 “I think any time there’s a crisis people want to blame someone. I’ve never been much for the Monday morning quarterbacking…. The media has a fascination with the blame game and instead of looking for what can we do to help now there’s a lot of why didn’t we do something different?”

 “We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order, a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations.”

“I’ll be glad to reply to or dodge your questions depending on what I think will help our election most.”

“There isn’t any such thing as something free out there. It either gets passed along as increased prices or it gets passed along by people being put out of work so the business can continue to compete.”

“We’re headed the right way, but we cannot rest. We’re a people whose energy and drive have fueled our rise to greatness. And we’re a forward-looking nation—generous, yes, but ambitious, not for ourselves but for the world. Complacency is not in our character—not before, not now, not ever.”

“Courage is a terribly important value. It means you don’t run away when things are tough. It means you don’t turn away from a friend when he or she is in trouble. It means standing up against the majority opinion…. There’s a lot of people who won’t wear it on their sleeve, or display it through some heroic act. But courage is having the strength to do what’s honorable and decent.”

“Let me tell you, if we ignore human capital, if we lose the spirit of American ingenuity, the spirit that is the hallmark of the American worker, that would be bad. The American worker is the most productive worker in the world.”

 “To those men and women in business, remember the ultimate end of your work: to make a better product, to create better lives. I ask you to plan for the longer term and avoid that temptation of quick and easy paper profits.”

“Education is the one investment that means more for our future because it means the most for our children. Real improvement in our schools is not simply a matter of spending more: It’s a matter of asking more—expecting more—of our schools, our teachers, of our kids, of our parents, and ourselves.”

“For the first time since World War II the international community is united. The leadership of the United Nations, once only a hoped-for ideal, is now confirming its founders’ vision…. The world can therefore seize this opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order.”

“There’s one thing I hope we will all be able to agree on. It’s about our commitments. I’m talking about Social Security. To every American out there on Social Security, to every American supporting that system today, and to everyone counting on it when they retire, we made a promise to you, and we are going to keep it.”

“The most important competitiveness program of all is one which improves education in America. When some of our students actually have trouble locating America on a map of the world, it is time for us to map a new approach to education.”

“If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather that dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.” — Barbara Bush

“All of our nation’s problems – the breakup of families, drugs, homelessness, unemployment – everything would be better if more people could read, write and comprehend.” – Barbara Bush


George H.W. Bush

George H.W. Bush Fast Facts—fast-facts/

14 Fun Facts About Bush Sr. (Besides His Crazy Socks)

Fun Facts on George H. Bush

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USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

Bush School of Government and Public Service



By George H.W. Bush

Looking Forward

George Bush: Man of Integrity

All the Best: My Life in Letters and Other Writings

A World Transformed

The China Diary of George H. W. Bush: The Making of a Global President

Speaking of Freedom: The Collected Speeches

Heartbeat: George Bush in His Own Words

Other authors

41: A Portrait of My Father

My Father, My President: A Personal Account of the Life of George H. W. Bush

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush

The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush

George H. W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 41st President, 1989-1993

George H. W. Bush: A Biography

George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography

The President’s Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America’s Presidents from Kennedy to Obama



American Experience – The Presidents George H.W. Bush

41 George HW Bush

The Dirty Secrets of George Bush

Dark Legacy: George Bush And The Murder Of John Kennedy

It’s one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world. It steals away your attention from anything else, and forces you to focus on its discomfort. And yet, no matter the size of the object, we press on when all it would take is a short break to remove the shoe and shake out the coarse disturbance that rattles within.

We’ve all been there. While walking, hiking, or running, we’ve managed to get rocks and other debris in our shoes. But what about that discomfort do we enjoy that seems to prevent us from shaking out the shoe? Why is it, that we cannot be bothered to pause and stop such a distraction when we know that if we do not, the rock will eventually create a blister which can lead to more intense discomfort and possible leave us unable to walk for a while.

It’s a juvenile lesson we think we learn at a young age. I remember being younger and neglecting to put my shoes on before I left the house to play. Eventually we learn that we need those rubber soles to keep our feet safe and free from injury so we can keep moving forward, yet when we get those shoes on, sometimes we don’t want to waste the effort of taking them back off, even if there is a rock in them.

This is relevant to the distractions we encounter on our path to success or while following our dream. The mountain is your dream, and the top is your desire. One would think that the actual journey would be exhausting, however, if that mountain is your passion then the work takes on a different connotation. Now, place the tiniest, most insignificant piece of stone in your shoe, and see how much fun that journey is.

That stone, similar to the pebble Mr. Ali speaks of, symbolizes the distractions we face while achieving our purpose, or following our dreams. But here’s the kicker, any distraction that hangs you up on your journey, is your fault.

That’s right, distractions will always be there. They come in many shapes and in many sizes, but it is inevitably how we deal with them that affects how we pursue our dreams.

Variations of this quote have been published since 1916 in a trade publication for the insurance industry. More commonly attributed to Robert W. Service’s quote,

It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out — it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.”

It is difficult to find when and where Ali said his variation, but one of the first uses of his variation was utilized in a satirical fashion in Bryan Burwell’s November, 2003 article; Tossing Off Pebble Costs the Cardinals Mountain of Bucks, in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Whether it is a grain of sand, or a pebble, either signifies an inevitable boulder of distraction that can send you careening off of your desired course.

So the next time you feel something rattling around your shoe, or you acknowledge the distraction ahead of you, take a moment and shake free the debris and take a few breaths. Meditate or pray and be on your way. Be ready for the next distraction and plan to take the time necessary to find the correct path around that boulder so you can continue on your way to the top.

By: David Joseph Leingang

What does it mean to have bliss? Is it to be happy? It must be more than that, and how come so many people struggle to have it?

How come so many people struggle to have happiness?

Happiness is a choice, what makes one person happy can make someone else upset. It’s how their past experiences affected their feelings at the time, and those feelings will come out when that experience happens again.

Until you realize that the feelings you have are linked to past experiences, you can’t release what makes you upset.

Maybe you achieve bliss by being able to control the negative feelings you have and always look on the positive side of each experience. What is the learning experience?

So we need to figure out what prevents us from being happy, what internal truths, may not be truths.

Bliss has to be more than just happiness on steroids. Its definition is ‘paradise,’ or what we would believe heaven to be. But does that definition lead us to believe that we can only achieve bliss in the afterlife? That we need to suffer during our present life to make us deserving of eternal bliss.

What if we don’t get to experience eternal bliss if we don’t find bliss in our physical life? If you believe what Napoleon Hill outlines in his book “Outwitting the Devil,” 98% of the people aren’t following their true purpose, and when we don’t follow our true purpose we commit one of life’s biggest sins, not doing what the Grand Overall Designer but us on this earth to do.

When we find and live or purpose we may find and live blissfully. So how do we achieve bliss?

In an article by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev on Being Blissful, he states that “How you become blissful doesn’t matter. Somehow you become blissful. That all that matters.” It sounds like the harder you try to find blissfulness that harder it is to achieve it. Like all great things in life, the harder we chase it, the harder it is to capture. I think it’s because we expect too much from others to help us be happy, but we’re happy when we learn about ourselves, and are able to accept ourselves. Once we can accept who we are, it’s easier to accept others for who they are.

When we can accept others for who they are we can look past their flaws and see the real person, the person they can be.

“Blissfulness is not something that you earn from outside. It is something that you dig deeper into yourself and find.” ~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Joseph Campbell said, “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.”

So how do we follow and find our bliss? Eric Butterworth outlines a nine step guide to living your bliss in the article “Want a Step by Step Guide to Follow Your Bliss”. It basically breaks down as follows;

• The process has to start with you. What do you value and what makes you happy. But on a deeper level, do you even know who you are, what are your roadblocks, or dragons as Joseph Campbell calls our barriers.

• Take some time and start writing down all of your past experiences that you found enjoyable, ones that made your heart beat faster and you lost track of time doing. Continue adding to your list over a week or even a month, until you see a pattern.

• Once you start to see a pattern in what activities gave you the most joy, prioritize them, which activities did you enjoy the most and added the most value to you and more importantly, the value it added to someone else?

• Add the top activities that bring you happiness to your schedule. What can you do daily, weekly, monthly AND yearly that makes you happy, do it often enough and you may start to live a blissful life.

If you want to make a living by working in your bliss think of situations when other people may come to you for suggestions, help or listened to your thoughts on the subject. Is it something that adds value to them or the company they work for?

Are you getting paid for that information or service?

If not, why not? Even if you are living a blissful life you need to eat.

George Washington

February 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

Only one year after they married, on February 22, 1732, Augustine and Mary Bell Washington delivered their first child, George Washington. Augustine was a third-generation English colonist who settled on a farm along the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericksburg in 1738.

After the unfortunate passing of his father in 1743, George inherited the more modest Rappahannock River plantation where he lived with his mother and ten inherited slaves. Augustine left most of his property to his sons from his first marriage.

George Washington’s formal education ended when his father passed away. Washington, at the age of thirteen wrote and started practicing his “Rules of Civility” to adopt better habits and manners to climb higher up in Virginia’s society. He trained as a land surveyor and at 16 helped survey Shenandoah lands for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. In 1749, at seventeen years old, he was appointed county surveyor of the frontier county of Culpeper.

George contracted smallpox while on the island Barbados from 1751-1752 with his half-brother Lawrence who was attempting to cure his respiratory illness. This was only one of a number of severe illnesses that affected George’s health. One of the possible reasons for Washington’s infertility could have been caused by having tuberculosis.

Upon his return from Barbados, at twenty years old, George joined the Freemasons. He is the first of many Presidents to belong to the closed society to include Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford, to name a few.

George was sworn in as a Major in the Virginia militia and in February 1753 Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie sent Washington and 150 soldiers to the Ohio Valley to deliver a letter to the French stating Virginia’s claim of the land. Washington’s men fought against French soldiers who pushed them to retreat to the makeshift Fort Necessity, where he was forced to surrender. He published his journal of his experience which was the beginning of giving him a reputation for courage and leadership among the colonists

He returned to military service in 1754 and was commissioned a lieutenant colonel and served as an aide to General Edward Braddock. During a battle alongside the Monongahela River on July 9, 1755, General Braddock was mortally wounded and Washington assumed command and exhibited great courage, he had two horses shot out from under him and a number of musket shoots through his cloak. He led the men to safety and was later recognized for his conduct in battle with a promotion and was given command of the entire military force of Virginia. In 1758 Washington became a brigade commander, the only American to achieve that rank during the war.

Washington’s self-control was key to his character, he had mastered himself and he could the master events he was involved in. Despite being surrounded by fear, despair, indecisiveness, treason, and the threat of mutiny, he remained confident and steadfast, displaying high emotional intelligence and integrity.

He resigned his commission in 1758 and married Martha Dandridge Custis on January 6, 1759. Martha was a young widow who had inherited an enormous amount of wealth after the passing of her first husband, making her the wealthiest widow in Virginia. The newlywed couple, along with Marth’s two young children, Jacky, and Patsy moved to Mount Vernon.

George, finally being accepted into Virginia’s upper class, became a gentleman farmer at Mount Vernon. He established himself as an innovative farmer, who switched from tobacco to wheat as his main cash crop. He experimented with new crops, fertilizers, crop rotation, tools, and livestock breeding. He even grew hemp, but not just for fiber, his meticulous journal indicated he was growing just female plants with higher THC content to help deal with his toothaches. He also expanded the work of the plantation to include flour milling and commercial fishing and even operated a distillery that produced over 11,000 gallons of rye whiskey, becoming one of his most successful enterprises.

Eventually, just like his fellow planters, Washington felt himself exploited by British merchants and hampered by British regulations. As the quarrel with the mother country grew, he voiced his resistance to the restrictions.

When the Second Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia in May 1775, Washington, one of the Virginia delegates, was elected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. On July 3, 1775, he took command of his ill-trained troops and embarked upon a war that lasted six grueling years.

Martha Washington joined her husband in his winter quarters every year of the war. Together they entertained his officers and guests. A patriot in her own right, Mrs. Washington made it her war too, nursing sick and wounded soldiers and raising money for the troops. Needlework helped her to pass the time through the long, cold winters. In all, she would spend about half the war in camp.

George realized early that the best strategy was to harass the British and started using unconventional tactics. He reported to Congress, “We should on all occasions avoid a general action, or put anything to the Risqué, unless compelled by a necessity, into which we ought never to be drawn.” Ensuing battles saw him fall back slowly, then strike unexpectedly.

Although the tale goes that George Washington never told a lie, that wasn’t true during the revolutionary war, lying was part of his strategy. Washington used double spies to send misinformation to the British. In one situation he had a double spy tell the British that he had 40,000 soldiers knowing that they wouldn’t believe that number. He later wrote a message stating that they had 9,000 soldiers and outlined their weapons and rations. The British believed this second misinformation and decided the colonies had to large of an army to attack so delayed till after winter, Washington had less than 2,000 soldiers and was able to cross the Delaware river on December 26, 1776 for a surprise attack against the British.

Finally in 1781 with the aid of French allies–he forced the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

On December 23, 1783, Washington presented himself before Congress in Annapolis, Maryland, and resigned his commission. Washington had the wisdom to give up power when he could have been crowned a king. He left Annapolis and went home to Mount Vernon with the fixed intention of never again serving in public life. This one act, without precedent in modern history, made him an international hero.

Washington longed to retire to the fields of Mount Vernon. But he soon realized that the Nation under its Articles of Confederation was not functioning well, so he became a prime mover in the steps leading to the 1787 Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia.

Once the Constitution was approved, Washington hoped to retire again to private life. But when the first presidential election was held, he received a vote from every elector. He remains the only President in American history to be elected by the unanimous voice of the people.

On April 30, 1789, George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, took his oath of office as the first President of the United States. The crowd responded “Long live George Washington, President of the United States.” The spectators responded with chants of “God bless our Washington! Long live our beloved President!” They celebrated in the only way they knew, as if greeting a new monarch with the customary cry of “Long live the king!”

In his First Inaugural Address, with only one tooth in his mouth, Washington confessed that he was unpracticed in the duties of civil administration; however, he was one of the most able administrators ever to serve as President. He administered the government with fairness and integrity, assuring Americans that the President could exercise extensive executive authority without corruption.

Further, he executed the laws with restraint, establishing precedents for broad-ranging presidential authority. His integrity was most pure, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “His justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motive of interest or consanguinity, friendship, or hatred, being able to bias his decision.” Washington set a standard for presidential integrity rarely met by his successors, although he established an ideal by which they all are judged. No President, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, served at the same unselfish level as George Washington.

He did not infringe upon the policy making powers that he felt the Constitution gave Congress. Foreign policy became a Presidential concern when the French Revolution led to a major war between France and England. Washington refused to accept the recommendations of the Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who was pro-French, or the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, who was pro-British. He insisted upon a neutral course until the United States could grow stronger.

Wearied of politics and feeling old, he retired at the end of his second term. In his farewell address, he urged his countrymen to forswear excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances.

Washington enjoyed less than three years of retirement at Mount Vernon. On a cold and wet December day, Washington, who always checked the grounds daily, became cold and damp which resulted in a throat infection. Despite receiving a regimen of blood-lettings, induced vomiting, an enema, and potions of vinegar and sage tea, Washington’s condition worsened. After the fourth bloodletting, totaling 32 ounces of blood, he improved slightly and was able to swallow but by 10 p.m. his condition deteriorated. Before his death Washington called for his two wills and directed that the unused one be burned. He passed away at 10:20 pm on December 14, 1799.

According to his wishes, Washington was not buried for three days. During that time his body lay in a mahogany casket at Mount Vernon and on December 18, 1799 a solemn funeral was held.

By the time of his death he had expanded the plantation from 2,000 to 8,000 acres consisting of five farms, with more than 3,000 acres under cultivation. Washington made provisions in his will to free all of his own slaves after his wife’s death but could not free those whom Martha had brought to the marriage. In the months after George’s death, a new threat to Martha’s security arose after the slaves who would gain their freedom became restless and rumors circulated about a suspicious fire at Mount Vernon. Fearing for her life, Martha decided to free her deceased husband’s slaves and on January 1, 1801 Washington’s slaves gained their liberty. He was the only slaveholder among the founding fathers to free his slaves.

Martha’s health, always somewhat precarious, now declined, she died on May 22, 1802, just two and a half years after George Washington.

In 1976 Washington was posthumously awarded the highest rank in the U.S. military as General of the Armies of the United States. He is considered the father of the US military for establishing the framework for how American soldiers should organize themselves, behave, and how they should relate to civilian leaders. Nobody will ever outrank him.




George Washington – Full Episode

History Brief: The Leadership of George Washington

George Washington – Servant Leadership Personified


George Washington

George Washington – Mount Vernon

George Washington Biography

George Washington: The Reluctant President

Funny George Washington Quotes

George Washington Timeline

Little Known Facts About George Washington

George Washington

What Made George Washington a Good Military Leader?

The Character of George Washington

The 9 Deadly Diseases That Plagued George Washington

110 Rules of Civility


George Washington On Leadership

George Washington’s Leadership Lessons: What the Father of Our Country Can Teach Us About Effective Leadership and Character

Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation

I was 27 when I first heard this quote. I remember it vividly. I was sitting at my desk, pondering my path in life. I was about to be a father, and with the notion of having a child I began to think of what I had accomplished so far. Of course, when we think back on our own lives we seem to refuse ourselves the positivity thoughts that we have made it this far living, and we have so much more to go. But as I felt the weight of parenthood beginning to bear down, I found myself wondering what I would do with my life. I wanted to be a writer, first and foremost, but the venture was proving far more difficult than I had originally assumed. After all, it’s easy to read a book, it must be easy to write one. Right? I had heard I had some skill or talent for the trade, and I believed I had some good knowledge to guide my way. However things aren’t always how we first view them.

As I sat reminiscing, I was asked to pick a quote of the day to hopefully inspire those in our organization. I typed three words into the google search bar, “inspiring work quote,” and yielded these words,

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. 

~Calvin Coolidge

Though a lengthy verse, Coolidge’s words are so poetic that one may find it hard to get out of their head. I know I haven’t been able to. But it has achieved more than act as adhesive to my mind, it has helped me to understand that only through persistence can your passion or dream be realized. Only through persistence are actions carried out, decisions made, and success possible.

I used to have the meaning of persistence confused, or linked up with the meaning of progress. But that’s not entirely incorrect. Is it? While learning about Mr. Coolidge, I began to understand how closely the two are related. The only American president born on July 4th, John Calvin Coolidge Jr was a man of few words, yet when he did speak everyone listened.

“Silent Cal” began his career as a lawyer in Northampton, Massachusetts, but quickly moved his interests into city offices. After some time with the City Council and acting as City Solicitor, he expanded his growing political interests when he acquired a spot on the House of Representatives, State Senator, and then as mayor of Northampton. The list of positions goes on and on, from Lieutenant Governor and Governor to Vice President and President of the United States. But it was only after all of this that he pondered, before his death in 1933, about his life and began writing. I believe, though it’s not attributed anything in particular, that this quote sprang from his reminiscence of his past and what drove him to do the great things he did. Though he exhibited many qualities of leadership that Mr. Napoleon Hill would condone, Coolidge’s persistence was the driving force behind his motives and his life.

Now, admittedly, up until the time I first found this quote I didn’t know a thing about Calvin Coolidge. In fact, I believe I initially thought he was an auto industry tycoon or something. I laugh at that thought now, but it is a reminder of my ignorance at that time, not toward my knowledge of who Coolidge was, but rather my view on life. It reminds me of my naive dream that I would be a great overnight success. But what I didn’t realize was that without persistence, an overnight success is only successful overnight and becomes nothing without the drive to continue to be great.

-David Joseph Leingang