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You Never Know When Your Signature Might Be Valuable

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My wife, Joan, works in a bank. She hears anything and everything from the folks who pass through her line. Last night at dinner she told me a number of teachers had shared a startling fact with her: The school system would no longer be teaching cursive writing!! The consensus was that penmanship, as it was called in my day was antiquated. Within ten years most signatures would be digital and since we are now buying every student a lap top to learn with, the notion of your signature and mine is going to become a rather quaint curiosity.

I am all for progress but I still recoil in fear of a ruler being slapped across my knuckles when I don’t sign my signature neatly. I think of all those trees that were felled, calluses that were developed and those really huge lead pencils we learned to grasp – All of them will disappear and become a foot note in history. I think about all the hours my mother made me practice writing because it might help me get a job one day or help me pen a sincere thank you note for a card or gift given. Thanks to technology my I can show my gratitude today by simply typing “TYVM”

I am looking at one of my book cases. On it is fifteen years’ worth of hand written journals. In all honesty there are times I can’t decipher what I wrote. Suppose, centuries from now someone excavates my basement and find those journals. Kind of like a Dead Sea Scroll treasure. If we stop teaching cursive, who is going to translate my wisdom?

Time to go. I’m going to sign a hundred note cards and put them in our safe deposit box. You never know when someone might want my autograph

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKNLOVE 7/30/2011 7:51AM

    There is nothing quite so personal as a hand written note and when someone wrote it in cursive, it was more special.I used to teach it in 4k...imagine that!I think technology has it's advantages for sure, but it has also taken away the personal touch to so many things.Why I seen teenage couples texting each other instead of talking...WOW! It's up to us to see that the personal touch is still taught, even if we have to teach it ourselves!I am sure John that you will be one of those teachers to your sweet grand children! Blessings to you my friend! Have a great weekend with the family & tell Joan hello for me!

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HDHAWK 7/29/2011 3:10PM

    We still teach cursive, but it doesn't get much priority after it's been taught. My own kid's teachers taught it, then the following year they were allowed to print if they wanted to. The idea is that reports are mostly typed now and printing is acceptable. We have too much other important stuff to focus on. You know, test scores. emoticon

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NASFKAB 7/28/2011 11:52AM

  Such a sad thought

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GIRANIMAL 7/28/2011 11:07AM

    This makes me sad. Sometimes I have to work to decipher past journals too, but pouring my heart into a computer just does NOT feel as cathartic or profound!
But I have been accused of being a Luddite, so perhaps I am just resistant to change after all. Or I also don't want to think the lump I still have on my middle finger from pressing REALLY HARD with the pencil in first grade to accommodate my teacher's failing eyesight was all for naught.


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SPARKLISE 7/27/2011 8:28PM

    It's just sounds weird,but my daughter never did learn it and she's doing ok. She just writes in box letters when she needs to write. At least her signature is legible. emoticon

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-CORAL- 7/27/2011 6:20PM

    Most people's signatures only vaguely resemble cursive writing anyway. Get rid of it in my opinion. I have never had to use cursive writing in my life. I'm a 34-year old system analyst (computer software nerd), and I can tell you that even in meetings now, instead of people carrying around notepaper and pen to take notes, it's a tablet and stylus or small netbook. All official correspondence is typed. I don't know, I think cursive writing and all those drills I did as a kid were a waste of time. Schools really need to focus more on grammar, because I see atrocious grammar and spelling from 80% of the US population (unscientific opinion)!

Comment edited on: 7/27/2011 6:21:31 PM

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ANATASHIKI 7/27/2011 6:05PM

    you're kidding? right? not knowing to write is analphabete , laptop or not

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LYNMEINDERS 7/27/2011 4:56PM

    I love are so so is ludicrous....
One school in the north Island of New Zealand now is having compulsary $800nz ipads...( Ithik thats what thye are introducing)......a lot of people can't afford to provide that as it is a very low socioeconomic area....but the kids have to have them....
One of the older students stated that she had learned all she had with the use of a pen and she wasn't disadvantaged in any way.....
Makes me wonder how much people get paid to sit and think all these things up and how much of a backhander they get from companies....


thats my thoughts on this today....

Bottom line you are so so right....our signatures will mean nothing....sad

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WALKIETALKIE 7/27/2011 4:15PM

    Hell will freeze over and the Cubs will win the. World Series before the Illinois State government will accept digital signatures. Remember when we were all converting to metric system? Heck I think Great Britain convertrd to metric and we are still using the imperial system.

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TEDYBEAR2838 7/27/2011 1:32PM

    I know what you mean. I been signing documents for the sale of my home, electronically. I print it out, sign it, copy with my copier and email it back. WEIRD!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 7/27/2011 12:52PM

    So many things still require original (wet) signatures, not sure how this will work out. All things are not digital.

I giggled at your note about your mom making you sit and practice your writing - my Aunt made me do the same thing.

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CARTOONB 7/27/2011 11:38AM

    I've heard talk of not teaching cursive and I hope it doesn't come to that. I think it will happen though. I'll remember that you signed those cards and set aside some of my retirement funds to invest in those!!

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GOOFIERNU 7/27/2011 11:03AM

    I am currently "home schooling" a kindergartener. A big part of what we do is hand on: reading BOOKS, writing on paper, finger painting and drawing. I showed him cursive and he was impressed. He wanted to learn it. So, slowly, I've started teaching him.

I started writing a journal when I was 13. I'm 41 now. I've got 28 years of hand-written journals sitting in a file cabinet. I've slowed down lately, only journaling when the inner turmoil starts to get to me. Right now, I'm in a happy place and don't feel the need. I'll occasionally bring it out to update the happiness, just so I have a written log of it. I've tried switching to a digital format. It does nothing for me.

It will be a sad day, indeed, when our paper books and handwriting are replaced.

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KKINNEA 7/27/2011 10:55AM

    Interesting and I'm with you on all points. Love it!

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/27/2011 10:44AM

    This is just plain nuts, and I sure hope it is accepted in all states

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HKARLSSON 7/27/2011 10:22AM

    That's crazy talk! Next, they'll stop teaching people how to write at all. I remember when I was a kid and learning to write in cursive, my little sister was so mad because she couldn't read it. She accused me of writing bad things about her in secret code! It was pretty funny. She was so proud when she could finally do it, too, just like "Sissy." I wonder if there will come a time when students will accuse their elders of writing in a secret code...

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/27/2011 9:33AM

    My fourth grade teacher had a love affair with the lazy brown dog and a fox who jumped over him backwards. I bet we wrote that phrase a million times. It makes me sad to think cursive writing will go to the way side even if it all does become digital. I use to get lots of compliments on how well I could write and my grandfather use to tell how it was a part of a man's character, how good his penmanship was. *sighs*

I sent two note cards this week simply because they have become a rare treat in this day and time. Maybe they will save them and sell them on ebay one day. Ugh!


Comment edited on: 7/27/2011 9:34:07 AM

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MARCYNA 7/27/2011 9:16AM

    Lovely blog....Did you know handwriting helps to develop certain areas of brain? When digital kids will become adults, something will be missing at neurologic level.I think we adults got the best of two worlds: raised in handwriting, emigrated in DigitaLand for good.

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JOURNEYTO60 7/27/2011 9:11AM

    Oh my goodness! I am an elementary school teacher and have not been approached with such a change...yet! You are right, the next generation needs to read what is in print at this time! What a tragedy this will be!

My son is one of the most avid readers that I know. He orders book after book and keeps each one, building a library. When I ask him what he wants for a gift, it is always a bookshelf or gift cards to order more books! I once asked if he wanted a kindle and he said, "No! I love the books themselves!" I am proud of him and hope there never comes a day when he can't get one anymore because technology has replaced them.

I am all for changes that improve life, but not for the ones that replace the wonderful things in letter writing, going to movie theaters, reading a good book, and signing my own name!

Have a great day! Thanks for sharing!

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SILLYHP1953 7/27/2011 9:10AM

    I had heard that cursive is not going to be taught anymore. I think that's ridiculous, but what do I know. I've also heard that hand writing our journals helps connect us more to our inner selves, our higher self, and gets our deepest feelings out better. But I don't know, I've just heard there's more of a mind connection through hand writing. Typing may be just as good at it. I know that Wayne Dyer hand writes all his books. I'm quite impressed at 15 years of journals! Again, I ask, when are you going to write a book?

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BLACKROSE_222 7/27/2011 9:07AM

    I heard about this one as well. It is crazy. When is the last time that you heard of someone looking something up in an actual dictionary? Or if you showed a kid white out now a days, they wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about - or Typewriter tape! LOL.

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MEALOHAOE 7/27/2011 9:05AM

    I heard this and to be honest it kind of saddens me. Not really sure why. Except maybe that there's a lot of personality in a person's signature. THe carelessness of my dad's signature is something I always think of when I think of him. Or the fact that he said his signature was so illegible because he signed so many contracts for the military that this way he could always claim it wasn't his signature. Dad is quite the cut up and it comes across in his signature.

Or Mom's careful, conservative, proper signature. It shows how much she paid attention to teachers and how much she was a people pleaser.

Losing that window to someone's soul just seems like a huge loss.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 7/27/2011 9:00AM

    John, I school our five at home. The older children have 90% of their education fed to them through technology...wait, 95%. Rarely do their hands grace the delicate fold of a real 'page', except for recreational reading in the comfort of their beds. Everything is on their computer. All at their finger tips. Literally, it's touch screen.
I am very concerned with the decision to obliterate cursive and I am pro technology.
Cursive is not just about eye candy.
How many professions needs the basics of fine motor skills and disciplines that cursive develops?
Even if you're using the laser to make the cuts now...whose hand is steadying and guiding the laser?
Food for thought.
FYI. I would buy your autograph John. Also, I LOVE journals, and I myself am a calligraphy fan and choose to have terrible penmanship most days.

Comment edited on: 7/27/2011 9:04:15 AM

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DAWNDMOORE40 7/27/2011 8:54AM

    emoticonfor sharing that bit of inspiration with us! It is hard to see so many changes in this world when the some of the ways we used to do stuff worked just as well! Did you get your note cards done yet? Have a blessed day! emoticon

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The Value of Balance

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It’s always the little things, isn’t it? I set a really good plan in place, make sure the “right” food is in the house, mark time off on my calendar to make sure I swim and do my stretches, and lo and behold, like a penny on a railroad track something so small and insignificant threatens to derail me? Does that happen to you? I pray, I meditate, I hold “good thoughts” in my head. I visualize myself as being healthy, active and well within my weight limits. (Often I see myself as rather “dashing” lol) I read all the right articles and blogs and study my goals. One tiny feather, one slight breeze blowing cross wind and whamo blamo my world is threatened.

I am learning that my life isn’t just what I put in my mouth or how many laps I swim; it is what I do when a huge ball of negativity rolls around the corner and threatens to squash all my best efforts. It’s staying within my calorie limits and grabbing the cup of water melon rather than the plate of cookies. I am learning not to turn to food for salvation and relief but rather to look inside, find the pebble in my emotional or spiritual shoe and work to remove it. Balance in my life is achieved when I look at everything, all the time on a daily basis and realize that my attitude is just as important as a food label. It means fear; anxiety and anger are issues to be worked out and dealt with gently and at face value.

I find that precious balance that is often fleeting when I repeat my mantra; “You are worth it, you deserve, it you are what you believe you are and you are who you hang around with.” Some days it swirls in my head continually and oh, those days are so magnificent. Other days its MIA, I couldn’t find it with a GPS if my life depended on it.

The precious balance in my life comes only when I look inward and out at those who love, support and nurture me, all at the same time..

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARTOONB 7/26/2011 11:21PM

    Melon and cookies....that is balance.

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BAYBELIEVER 7/26/2011 9:23PM

    Wonderful blog! So true. Thanks for stating this so eloquently.

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LYNMEINDERS 7/26/2011 6:21PM

    It is not easy when we make a decision to make changes,,,,,
It's as though everything comes against us to prevent us achieving what we have purposed our minds to do.... is in that standing firm in what we know and have learned that will give us the breakthrough that we are so looking for tho find that premanant balance.....standing so strong in it that even penny's or feathers will not derail us.....

You can so so do this John...I know you can....

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ANATASHIKI 7/26/2011 3:03PM

    I would like to say that my balance is pretty solid but I'm afraid life( universe ? karma?) would come and kick me in the you know what emoticon . I was 2 times close to death the last 2 years , I don't know if that's why but I'm not worrying so much lately. I try to live in the present , do the best that I can in that moment and try do to only things that I like . it implies a lot of "no" but me and the people around me got used to it. the center of your balance is not in your brain but in your heart . try to find it, try to learn to love yourself more and the balance will follow
emoticon kori

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JAKEANDNELLIE 7/26/2011 2:36PM

    Those "little things" always tip my "scale" out of balance and it's something that I will continue working on until the day I breath my last breath!
Thank you for so eloquently stating my thoughts!

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GIRANIMAL 7/26/2011 2:11PM

    Good lord, yes, I felt like every teeny tiny unexpected thing set me FAR off course off all weekend! In fact, I was darn near lunacy in my frustration for darn near two days. And I could feel that allowing my attitude to be hijiacked by the nonsense was outright depleting any sense of balance, yet I couldn't seem to right it either. I guess I need one of those mantras of yours!

The only blessing to discovering 17,000 food intolerances is that I CAN'T, without immediate pain as feedback, turn to that plate of cookies anymore. LOL

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SILLYHP1953 7/26/2011 1:27PM

    I have always been an extremist. As I get older I see it as my giant pendulum has swung back and forth to the extremes and is slowly getting to the middle. I am becoming more balanced. Except for some of the balancing games on my new Nintendo Wii Fitness Plus, though I did make it across between two buildings on a tightrope.

Balance is a day by day occurrence...actually, moment by moment. You manage to live in the moment quite often!

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KKINNEA 7/26/2011 12:59PM

    Balance is tricky - it seems like the thing we do most of all!

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CIVIAV 7/26/2011 12:21PM

    Amen to that John!

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BLACKROSE_222 7/26/2011 11:34AM

    You are definitely describing my morning today. Hang in there - and like you said, balance. Take the good with the bad. emoticon

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SUNSHINEPOWER 7/26/2011 11:15AM

    Very well written. So so true how very small things can push us off kilter. I need to work on my pit of gravel, start digging out and stop sabatoging myself.

Thanks again!

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BLESSED2BEME 7/26/2011 11:10AM

    This is so me! My word of the year is "balance" because I need to work on that so badly. I derail a the drop of a pin and I'm either "all or nothing" and have been that way for longer than I can imagine!

I needed this blog! Thank you!

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NJMATTICE 7/26/2011 9:48AM

    The one thing that I learned on vacation is that my life was out of balance. Far too much head space and energy going to "diet and exercise". More thinking than doing. For me, focusing on building a full and meaningful life helps keep all things in balance. Thanks for the thoughts this morning. Have a great day.

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CMA444 7/26/2011 9:40AM

    Great blog!

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GRAMLORI 7/26/2011 9:27AM

    Balance.....that word should be a palindrome!! Maybe that's why it's so hard to achieve.....the word itself doesn't "balance"....that's ok, not much in life does!

Keep up the great blogs, John. You have many fans!
Happy Tuesday!

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TERRIPAL1 7/26/2011 9:22AM

    Very nice John well done.As we know we are a work in progress,good luck with that pebble ,I think I have more like a boulder !! emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 7/26/2011 8:53AM

    Thanks John .... Just what I needed to hear today!


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HDHAWK 7/26/2011 8:52AM

    You hit the thing I need to work on the most. I'm off on a mini vacation in an hour. One thing I'll be doing is writing out goals that fit for me and are realistic.

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SUSUSUZZZIE 7/26/2011 8:41AM

    I feel like you are talking directly to me today.

I'll be thinking about your words on my drive to work today; especially: "Balance in my life is achieved when I look at everything, all the time on a daily basis and realize that my attitude is just as important as a food label. It means fear; anxiety and anger are issues to be worked out and dealt with gently and at face value."

Thanks for the great post!

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TEDYBEAR2838 7/26/2011 8:33AM

    What great insight. Thanks John. YOu always write interesting blogs

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REJ7777 7/26/2011 8:27AM

    "I am learning not to turn to food for salvation and relief but rather to look inside, find the pebble in my emotional or spiritual shoe and work to remove it."

Very insightful! emoticon

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The Beauty of "Learning"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Did you ever have one of those moments in your life where a thought comes crashing into your head and you wonder why you haven’t had it before? You ask yourself why you didn’t have the insight in the past to find this thought, and make it part of you? It would have saved you a lot of time and effort, not to mention pain, anxiety and all those other things that go along with our notion that we fail far more often than we succeed.

A friend and I were talking the other day about the notion of prosperity and abundance and how they often signified only material things. We talked about expanding the definition to include every aspect of our lives and that a person with rich and full relationships, health or knowledge for example was a prosperous and abundant person. We talked about material wealth and how so many people we knew believed they didn’t deserve to be wealthy. That’s when the thought hit me.

Most of us are conditioned to believe we have to “earn” what we receive in life. When we don’t hit some magic or mystical mark usually defined by someone other than ourselves, we believe we have failed in our effort and nine time out of ten either give up or rationalize how we don’t deserve to have whatever it is we want. We are flawed!! Take the word “earn” put an “L” in front of it and you my good friend have created magic, yes indeed you have. Now instead of striving, struggling and sweating to earn, you are endeavoring to “learn.”

Think of the very first time you attempted to do something, like learning to drive a car. You didn’t jump in the car turn on the ignition and immediately know what to do and when to do it in all circumstances. You “learned.” You made a few mistakes and the next time you went behind the wheel you remembered what not to do and then a whole new set of circumstances presented themselves and you dealt with them. Each successive experience helped you gain confidence, you took your driver’s test and you received a license to operate a motor vehicle. You “learned” what was necessary. Some people take a little longer than others to learn but the last time I looked no one was required to put a sign on their car that told how long it took to get a license and you can drive just as far and just as long regardless.

I am learning about my body, my mind and my spirit and I am learning that when they work together in harmony I am healthy and balanced. If you want a good definition of learning and you have a day or so, read my blogs from the past nineteen months. There are many peaks and many valleys but always, always I walk away from each experience learning something about myself and my behavior. I have some great successes and some magnificent failures but each time I’ve learned something about myself and my journey.

When I achieve my goals I will have learned a lot. Mostly, I will have learned that I have so much to learn. Adding one small letter removes all the competition and all the self-incrimination and thinking about the dreaded “F” word (Failure.) It means every morning I open the book of life that’s mine and study another chapter.

Plain and simple it’s why I’m still here.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRANIMAL 7/26/2011 2:00PM

    I am certainly super-duper well-conditioned to believe that we are supposed to earn what we receive in life, even though I also understand that all of our experiences and circumstances are about learning life lessons.

I also understand that I could not have made it this far in this journey without learning by stumbling. But I am still apt to be disappointed in myself when I do.

Talk about a conflicted existence! LOL

Not yet being able to reconcile those things in a cohesive manner is clearly why I am still here. emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 7/26/2011 1:16PM

    Abundance is definately more than monetary wealth. I was just thinking today of how much love I have (and had) in my life with my five children, grand-children, friends, husband(s), in-laws, etc. I would have NEVER thought as a teenager that I'd have had any children, let alone five of them, but I am more grateful for them than I could ever express.

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MARCYNA 7/26/2011 10:17AM

    Learning is much much better than earning!!!!!! emoticon

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REJ7777 7/26/2011 8:30AM


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TEDYBEAR2838 7/26/2011 7:57AM

    Very nice. What a beautiful Blog! Thank you

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LYNMEINDERS 7/25/2011 7:32PM

    That is absolutely brilliant....
I am going to implement some things I have learned as they have just all come back to me reading your blog....
Thankyou so much.....

We have a lot of things in life that we didn't "earn"....salvation being one of them and also God's favour...and we must "learn" to walk in them because it has already been given to us........

Hugs & Blessings

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CIVIAV 7/25/2011 5:51PM

    Plain and simple. So plain and simply. Thanks for the beauty in this message.

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ANATASHIKI 7/25/2011 2:58PM

    honestly I don't care very much about failure. failure is when I give up. and even then I can start again. fortunately my culture is not so obsessed about victories and failure so if you fail is not so big deal. I also don't believe in 'earning". all the best things in life are gifts. sure , you have to do your best but in the end it's God's gift, universe or whatever you want to call . so I expect a gift at every step while working my ass off emoticon . but I agree with you and I do believe in learning . learning to love yourself and make the good choices not because you have to but because you want to do something good for yourself . learning to focus on the good little things. learning to ignore the not so great ones . learning to enjoy the travel.

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SHERRYJVP 7/25/2011 1:26PM

    Good one, once again. Big Thanks!!!!

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NASFKAB 7/25/2011 1:13PM

  way to go

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GEEMAWEST 7/25/2011 12:53PM


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RPPINCA 7/25/2011 12:47PM

  So what you are saying is, this life isn't an earning thing, it is a learning thing. This is SO helpful to me right now with what I'm dealing with in life. God bless you.

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/25/2011 11:38AM

    Very true, for me being balanced is that my right brain and left brain are working pretty evenly and I get very unhappy when I live in the left brain side all the time

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NAMAARI 7/25/2011 10:28AM

    True, it's a process,and God's plan is that we learn and grow...we can be joyful when we know that this is an adventure full of mountains and valleys, but the climb is wonderful and the peak will be amazing..then on to the next one! Thanks for the perspective today, the Lord bless and bless you!

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WALKIETALKIE 7/25/2011 9:44AM

    Yes. Being open to the learning experiences has a profound impact on how well we weather life's storms and surprises.

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NJMATTICE 7/25/2011 9:36AM

    Morning, John. I am happy to see you this morning. I just got back from a vacation visit with my parents and family and I learned a lot. I learned that life is precious and family is precious and God's good protection is a wonderful gift. Thanks for the positive message this morning. Keep up the good work and thanks for being you.

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GRAMLORI 7/25/2011 9:24AM

    When we quit learning, we quit realling living. Great blog, John, as usual! Have a blessed Monday!

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TNANCE3 7/25/2011 9:11AM

    You are such an inspiration, John! I enjoyed reading this blog this morning. I am struggling with a lot of "stuff" right now and lost my focus on exercising and my losing weight. This blog made me think about a lot of things going on in my life. I have been given the diagnosis of hearing loss. This is really bothering me. I have never been one to listen to my music really loud nor have I worked in a place with really loud noise. I also have been told I will have to have my septum straightened and am not looking forward to that surgery and recovery at all. My fibromyalgia has been giving me problems, too. I am just getting overwhelmed. I know that I will feel better if I exercise, but I don't "feel like" exercising so I hurt myself in the long run. I must exercise! I love reading your blogs. They are so insightful and motivating. Keep me in your prayers, John, and I will keep you in mine.

Your Sparkfriend,


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When Honesty Becomes Something More Than A Word

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I always know when someone’s insight made a direct and I might add, correct hit. In short, it stings and it makes me feel sort of silly. I haven’t blogged for close to a week. Most of that comes from preparing, traveling and conducting an eight hour seminar on Thursday. Some of it comes from taking stock of how I am living my life. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t one of those “Oh poor me blogs, whatever am I going to do???”

Two good friends cut right to the heart of the matter when they commented on my last posting. I’m going to paraphrase. One observed that I devoted so much time to helping other people I left little time for helping myself. But I mean, isn’t that we are called to do? Or is it, as I discovered after a lot of self-examination an excuse at times for me to avoid dealing with my health, my fitness and any other issue I don’t feel like dealing with? Ouch, that one hurt!!! The truth usually does though.

The second friend observed that she noticed many of the people who were helpful, supportive and offered good advice never saw their weight ticker move. That one hit a bull’s eye. Yesterday morning, I got on the scale. I was really surprised to see I hadn’t weighed in since early March. I’d weighed my self periodically at the gym, and yes I’d see a gain at times but you know it wasn’t a huge one!! Yes, my clothes were getting snug, but that was because Joan changed laundry soap or they shrunk in the dryer. It couldn’t be because I had grown, could it? The tale of the scale showed a 22.6 pound gain. If that’s not a wakeup call I don’t know what is.

The good news is I knew what to do. I felt sheepish; a bit over whelmed but giving up never crossed my mind. This journey is a real simple one. You keep track of what goes in your mouth, the quality of what goes into your mouth and then you make sure you do some sort of exercise on regular basis. When you do that you lose weight.

I became so caught up in everything around me to the point where I lost sight of me. Saturday becomes my regular weigh in day, good bad or indifferent. Fruits and/or veggies at each meal and lean protein, easy on the sugar and carbs. It’s no rocket science.

Sometimes a wakeup call is in order and I am grateful to those two friends who gently reminded me that despite what Dr. Phil often says, it is indeed all about you

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLISE 7/27/2011 8:23PM

    I have gained weight the last 3 weeks but i still kept moving my ticker even if it was the "other "way.
It's the first time on any program that i am willing to do that.
Usually I just give up.
People like you ,who are honest and willing to share,give me the push i need to go on even if i'm not perfect.
This week will be a better food week for me. I wish the same for you! emoticon emoticon

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KATHRYN1955 7/27/2011 8:38AM

    I remember once reading that "helping was the sunny side of control." As an extremely helpful nurse-type personality, that really hit the mark. All that caring and concern for others at my own expense prevents me from having to deeply examine my own issues. And there is the added benefit of everyone thinking how saintly you are!! Seriously, I do believe that I am basically a kind person, but self-love is the real cure for this whole weight thing. We can exercise and count calories until the cows come home, but real total health will elude us until we can be as kind and loving to ourselves as we are to others.
Take care,

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SILLYHP1953 7/26/2011 1:10PM

    Thank God for friends who tell us like it is, who can see through to the truth, and can help us heal. Those friends of yours helped all of us.

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LYNMEINDERS 7/24/2011 8:48PM

now is the time for John to start going forward and what you learn in this part of your journey will be an awesome help to will be focusing on you in order to achieve it....

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HDHAWK 7/24/2011 7:00PM

    Oh boy, can I relate. I've gained this summer and as painful as it is to admit, I'm 2 lbs. shy of my highest weight. What the he**! Always busy helping or doing....sounds like me. When I'm not doing I'm wandering around eating. I always want some me time, yet I don't know what to do with it sometimes. I've got to get this thing turned around. At least I've stayed on Spark and haven't given up so that's a start. We've done this before John, and we can do it again. emoticon

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BLACKROSE_222 7/24/2011 4:28PM

    Seems you have some wonderful friends that pointed you into some (hurtful) truthful facts. I'm glad you have realized that this is your journey. emoticon

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RUN4FOOD 7/24/2011 3:47PM

    We do have to take care of others. What a horrible world this would be if no one cared about others. At the same time you do need to take care of yourself. You need to be strong enough to share.
You last few blogs and some of the best blog I have seen on SP. From my selfish perspective, I hope you take great care of yourself and still find time to share your thoughts. We all grow when that happens.
emoticon emoticon

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SHERRYJVP 7/24/2011 3:16PM

    glad you are taking care of you! I rarely look at others tickers either. As I once heard from a friend. If you want good advice about dieting, ask a fat person. They have been on them all. Sadly, that is true. I find that helping others, regardless of where my scales are stopping, motivates me. Often give the very advice I needed myself.

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MIZZSB 7/24/2011 2:10PM

    thanks John!!
and yes my ticker isnt moving much for a month or 2 now.
I know what i need to do... and so do you! we can do this!!

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STLOUISWOMAN 7/24/2011 1:38PM

    Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm sure I'm not the only one who read it & thought "Oh, yeah!!" It's true that you need to take care of others, but you can't continue doing that if you don't take care of yourself. Congratulations on the wake up call.

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GRACIE4ONE 7/24/2011 1:22PM

    This was a wonderful post, and kudos to the friend who suggested that you take a look at the tickers here that NEVER move. Those are the ones who give the best advice, right? HAHA.. take care and journey on....(let me run move my ticker....LOL)....hey babe, just joking, it's moving on down all on its own! Yayyyyyy!

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GOLFCHICK2-0 7/24/2011 12:30PM

    I had someone call me selfish a couple of weeks ago because I brought veggies to a BBQ. Funny thing, the veggies were gone before the chips. Point being, take care of yourself and people will follow. It's hard to lead when you're going down a different road. Glad to see that you've found your path again. Remember that we're here to help too!!

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CARTOONB 7/24/2011 11:31AM

    It *is* about you and I'm glad you're taking the time to remember - and act on - that. Hope it all goes well.

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INBRAZILFORNOW 7/24/2011 11:16AM

    It is indeed about you .... I love it. Thanks for posting this and I'm with you - it's not rocket science. Have a great week.

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ANDREWS_MOM 7/24/2011 11:04AM

    Good for you for noticing it & jumping back in before it became overwhelming!

I had my own wake up call & a bit of a meltdown about a month ago- after losing & gaining the same 15 pounds are so over & over and over again...... I see my friends tickers going down & mine- well it goes up 1 or 2 and down 1 or 2 - I'm up about 15 pounds total after maintaining goal for about a 1.5 years and it's touugh- my clothes are tight too and I can't wear the cute things I was because- not only is it the 15 pounds- the muscle tone & new shape is gone- alot more soft now.

Here's to recommitment and kicking this thing once and for all!!

We all know you are a ROCKSTAR and You WILL do this!!

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How Valuable Are You?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I have been preparing to teach a seminar I haven’t taught in a while. The class is a group of young managers who have shown potential to develop with their company and ultimately fill senior level positions. The first question I ask them is what weight or value do they put on their jobs and how valuable do they see themselves to their company and its future. Typically their initial answers devalue their importance. They speak of being easily replaced.

I woke up thinking about that exercise this morning and I realized it applied to me as well. Like most other people I minimize my importance in this wonderful world. I don’t often think I make an impact. As I looked in the mirror I had one of those “Ah-Ha” moments. The effort I put into myself is in direct correlation to how valuable I perceive myself to be. If I felt the entire universe depended on my health and wellbeing to continue functioning, I would probably honor and value my body and health more than I do. The fog in my brain parted a bit and I realized the true indicator of my self-esteem and self-worth was right in front of me. I didn’t need any tapes, or books or DVD’s. I didn’t need to meditate every morning to find the hidden truth of the cosmos, its right there in my bathroom mirror. Every time I look at myself I am performing a quick evaluation of how I see myself. The days I feel good and confident it’s easy to stay with my food plan. Exercise is enjoyable. The moment my world is shaken well “hello donuts.” It’s as if I am saying “I’m really not worth it any way.”

What we eat, how we eat it and how much emphasis we place on our own health is in direct correlation to how we feel about ourselves. Believe it or not, that’s good news if you are reading this blog. It means every day you log on to Spark People and you do the things you know are going to produce positive results. I am sure there are other things you could be doing with your time, but you have placed so much value in yourself, you make the sacrifice because you know you are worth the pay off. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve read by people just like you who spoke of the struggle and sweat and pray and hope. Without you, my daily journey is a tough one. Without knowing that you have the same doubts and fears I have on a regular basis, well, I’m not always sure I could continue. When you have doubts because the needle isn’t moving and you just blew it at your high school reunion, I can relate.

The real beauty that I see in you is that you persevere; you honor and value yourself as a human being and as valuable person in this world. No, like me you don’t think about it that often. Like me you don’t stop to think what this world, the community would be like without you. When I first joined
Spark there were a handful of people who bottle fed me through my first six months. All but one of those dear people is no longer here. Maybe they reached a goal and moved on, maybe they became discouraged and left or maybe they didn’t see their own worth and value to themselves, this community and this world.

Later today I plan on sending out some Goodies to the people in my life here at Spark who helped make a difference. Yes, in many respects my life is in a series of knots right now, but I’m here every day drawing strength from YOU. That’s how valuable you are. You are one of the many people who hold this fragile community together. You mean so much to me.

So……………… LOL…………………. Get up, go look in the mirror, RIGHT NOW, and see what I saw, the amazing, wonderful person looking back at you and remember that until you value yourself, love yourself and respect yourself…………. No one else will.

Finally…………. Thank someone for simply being there. Maybe they aren’t aware of how important they are to you. It will make their day. I promise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKIETALKIE 7/24/2011 11:14AM

    Yes on a basic level we are the centers of our personal universes and sometimes a little house keeping and maintenance is in order.

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GIRANIMAL 7/21/2011 4:24PM


For being my friend, for being here for me in such a way that I know you are even if we haven't talked in a few days.

Thanks for finding the courage to share your innermost thoughts and feelings so that you may help so many others.

Now excuse me while I emoticon


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RUN4FOOD 7/21/2011 4:01PM

    I want to thank you for this blog and your previous blog: When You've Done Everything You Can Do..........
These two blogs together are the best two blogs I've read on SP.
Your thoughts have given me some personal insights I have been struggling with.
I want to give you my personal BEST BLOG AWARD.
emoticon emoticon

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WALKNLOVE 7/21/2011 8:38AM

    I feel invaluable & irreplaceable....and I already did tell my husband 1st thing this morning how much I loved & appreciated him....but I think I will make it my goal to see how many more people I can "appreciate" today! ;)

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CARTOONB 7/20/2011 11:50PM

    The world doesn't revolve around you? Is that what you're saying? LOL!

I love that analogy though...I would make much better choices if more were riding on them. But then, I guess more is, huh?

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SILLYHP1953 7/20/2011 4:20PM

    Thanks, John, for being there!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/20/2011 10:34AM

    Thank you, John for simply being there. Maybe you aren’t aware of how important you are to me. I feel encouraged by your journey. Knowing you "get it" means a lot to me.


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LYNMEINDERS 7/20/2011 6:42AM

    I fully agree with Marcyna....those managers are so so lucky to be on your seminar.....

You are a superb person and I love reading what you write each day.....Thankyou

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MARCYNA 7/20/2011 3:28AM

    I don't know how much I would give for being there on your seminar!!!These managers are so lucky, I've been learning so much from you on SP and I know it's all good stuff. If I value myself more, I owe it all to you...thanks for being there emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/20/2011 3:29:07 AM

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SUSUSUZZZIE 7/20/2011 12:08AM

    The title of your blog jumped out at me in my Friend Feed and I'm so glad that I stopped by. You can only imagine how meaningful your words are to me TODAY. Thank you!

Also, thanks for pointing out that all but one of your SP support are no longer here. I'm adding a new goal that I will still be here in 6 months and I will be here in a year and I will be here in 5 years. I know I need SP to keep me on my path, but I didn't really put together the long-term need until now.


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HONORINGGOD 7/19/2011 4:46PM


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ANDYINBC 7/19/2011 3:23PM

    Great blog! Your comments are definitely on track.

I agree, when we have higher self-esteems we do take better care of ourselves. Unfortunately, having a higher self-esteem can be a problem when we are unwilling to delegate responsibilities and then start to put job/responsibilities ahead of ourselves because we are erroneously believe we are the only ones capable of doing the job. This type of belief leads to a lack of balance in our lives, and that can lead to poor health as well.

You are right in saying, we all can make a difference in the world around us, our family, our neighborhood, job community and the spark community. We just have to be there and lend support. Today, you did that by posting a fantastic blog.


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BRENDABUNNY 7/19/2011 2:37PM

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog with all of us really are an inspiration to many here on often make me dig deep and think when i read your blogs so emoticon emoticonBrenda

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RUN4FOOD 7/19/2011 2:32PM

    Wow! Another very insightful blog. I somewhat agree with MORTICIAADDAMS in the sense that you obviously have a lot going for you. Wondering if you feel that way or if you still have some self doubts. I for one really appreciate your thoughts and your insights and hope to better apply them to my life.

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    Self esteem is not something I lack. Questioning who I am and my importance in the world is not something I've ever suffered from. It always surprises me to find you putting yourself in the "I'm nothing" group. You, the person who is counseling others on their own value to their company. Makes no sense, John. I've gotten every job I've ever applied for because I'm a good catch and I know it. So are you so you have no reason to ever doubt yourself. The world is filled with people who "can't". You're not one of them. You should never doubt your worth to the world. Every human has something they can teach, even people like Charlie Manson so don't doubt the worth of someone important like yourself. You just gave a seminar to a bunch of wanna-bes and can-bes. If you reached even a fourth of them then you made your mark in the world. Stop judging yourself on your weight. Give yourself the same gift you give to others.

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MIZZSB 7/19/2011 1:38PM

    WOW John.... i really needed to hear this!!

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ALLISON145 7/19/2011 1:28PM

    It's scary how often the seemingly mighty fall away from this site. I often wonder like you do if they just grew beyond it... I hope so. One point to mention is that some people seem to get so engrossed in helping others that they ignore their own journey and progress (or lack thereof). I've noticed that some of my best cheer leaders have tickers that don't move or move up. Everyone needs to put themselves and their journeys first!


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HAPPYSOUL91 7/19/2011 12:47PM

    Excellent, bet you are a great leader

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HOTRODSANDY 7/19/2011 11:29AM

    I bet your seminar for young managers is an awesome event!
I loved the message of your blog! I, like you, log onto spark and read the blogs to keep me motivated. In the first few weeks, I found this quote at the top of a page and had to copy it to my page: "by giving up on being healthy i am giving up on me and thats just not acceptable" copied from MICKIWILD. I thought at the time that the quote was about not giving up - but really it's that I have worth so I can't give up on myself! It just took me a while to see it.

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PGNBRI 7/19/2011 11:05AM


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SUSANS_TURN 7/19/2011 10:51AM

    You are such an amazingly insightful man. I'm so happy for you that you had that "aha" moment and even happier that you cared enough about all of us to share it! Thank you! emoticon

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GAL7288 7/19/2011 10:51AM

    You're right we never stop and place emphasize on who we are and how much we are worth. Thanks so much for posting, it sort of went with my own discovery of how I can not only change what I see outside but how I am also changing from the inside too! Have a wonderful day!

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GOOFIERNU 7/19/2011 10:40AM

    Another good one. As always, thank you. emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 7/19/2011 10:39AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KKINNEA 7/19/2011 10:26AM

    Great topic - you are so right about this!

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CINSROAD2HEALTH 7/19/2011 10:06AM

    Just a great blog John! It really opened my eyes & my heart to realize...if I don't love & respect me, how can anyone else?

Thanks for your wisdom, for your inspiration and for always sharing the best thoughts!

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 7/19/2011 10:00AM

    Once again, you are an inspiration, John. Thank you - for being one of my "go-to" people when I need the motivation to keep going, even though the scale just doesn't seem to want to move at all. And, for the message, that "if it is to be, it is up to me."

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CMA444 7/19/2011 9:49AM

    Thank you John for your wisdom and courage to spill your guts for us all to see. It is truly appreciated and I always look forward to the message you send to us. It is always something that I need to hear and apply in my life!

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TRISTAROSE 7/19/2011 9:39AM

    emoticon Blog emoticon

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JECKIE 7/19/2011 9:34AM

    Awesome blog, John! I'm just coming out of a week of feeling worthless, and it's the great friends that helped pull me through reminding me that I AM worth something!

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NASFKAB 7/19/2011 9:26AM

  great blog as always, thoughtful & thought provoking thanks

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/19/2011 9:25AM

    A little apprehensive about what I might see in the mirror, but here I go! emoticon (is this a mirror?)

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KERLIN26 7/19/2011 9:14AM

  John, you are a constant inspiration. Thank you for your wisdom.

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SPARKLISE 7/19/2011 9:12AM

    emoticon What I needed to hear right now! emoticon

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WALKAWAY 7/19/2011 9:12AM

    Thank you John. I'm headed for the mirror.

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GRAMLORI 7/19/2011 9:02AM

    As usual, John, you hit the proverbial nail on the head! We are here, and gain strength from, each other. That's why I can say that, even though I have never met you--or many others--in person, my internet friends are TRUE friends. I can be bold enough to be myself. And find out that that's a good person to be. Thank YOU, too. You have a gift with words, and you use them well. Have a truly BLESSED day!

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MSPEACHYJONES 7/19/2011 8:59AM

    Lovely blog! Great message emoticon

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