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Do you smile when you go to work?

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Last week I got to do a bucket list type activity.

Wait – back it up..     Years ago I really wanted to see the Three Tenors (Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras) live.   With Luciano’s passing it wasn’t going to happen.  I missed out.

This past December when I saw Andrea Bocelli was coming to Minneapolis in six months, I bought tickets the moment they went live. I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity a second time.

Honestly I really didn’t know what to expect.  All I knew is I thought he had a great voice and I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to see someone of that caliber and genre live.  I just had high hopes it would be a great memory.

Speaking of…

My short term memory is pretty poor, but my long term memory for extraordinary events is pretty close to photographic.   I remember every last detail. As the performance started, I wondered what memory I would take with me.   Would it be Bocelli’s powerful voice?   The perfect union of singer and orchestra?   The crazy overpriced, but yet mediocre drinks?????

Ironically, I came to hear; but what I walked away with was what I saw.

His smile.

Soon after his birth in 1958, Bocelli, 57, was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma which made him partially blind. He then lost his vision completely at the age of 12 years after he was hit on the head during a game of football.   Because if this, the conductor escorts Bocelli on and off stage multiple time during the performance – it’s clearly well rehearsed.

What will always stick with me is, as he was being escorted on and off stage to thunderous applause, is Bocelli’s most genuine and appreciative smile.

This guy truly loves what he does!

How many of us have Bocelli’s passion and love for what we do?   And – if we don’t, how many of us have the courage to change it?

 

How following through helps you follow through.

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In November I publically commited myself to Monthly volunteering with a goal of 12 events in 2016.   So far I’m one for one in January, however I can’t take all the credit.  Out of the blue my daughter proclaimed she was having her January birthday party at Feed my Starving Children.   This is a great hands on way to help feed children in depressed areas throughout the world.  Check them out if you’re not familiar – we made an impact and had a great time – all in a 2 hour timeframe! (www.fmsc.org).

Lets wind back the clock to November when I made the volunteering commitment.  Of course this was a no brainier – serving others and having fun – why would anybody not want to do that?  But… I know all too well It’s easy to let life get away from you, and all of a sudden it’s three weeks later and that great plan is still just a plan. I knew I needed a little kick start – and so upped the ante and called myself out online.  It worked!   And by following though; it is now easier to follow though!  We got the ball rollin’.

I’ve always wondered why so many good plans become nothing.  There’s a ton of valid reasons but I’ve seen all too many times – it’s just hard to start.  Now that I’ve started – it’s easier to keep at it.   It’s pretty fun too!

With this first volunteering event, my issues and hesitation revolved around the wisdom of bringing seven 5th and 6th graders to FMSC with me as the sole chaperone.  What if the kids screw off?   What if they hate it and are bored?  All these road blocks are possibilities – but not probabilities.  Side-note: A big thank you to their management for allowing me to blow their recommended 4 to 1 minor to adult ratio out of the water.  They had faith in our group, even if I hadn’t completely bought in yet.

Packaging food also seemed tedious and boring from the outside looking in.  We started slow but found our groove and really started to have some fun competing against other teams.   In the end we packaged 470 bags of dehydrated food.  That’s the equivalent of feeding 13 kids for a year.   Kind of staggering to know that investing 2 hours of your life can have such a lasting impact on a child.

Moral of the story?   Just get out and do it (sorry Nike).  Whether it be professional or personal life – starting is, many times, the hardest part.   This is a lesson I continually have to reteach myself, but I hope I’m getting better!  You’ll succeed more often than you think and even if it goes down in flames there are valuable lessons to be learned.   I’m finding myself looking forward to our next event and just jumping in vs. trying to anticipate reasons I should postpone.

One down and eleven to go…  and I’m looking forward to every single one!