time

It's About Time: 20 Quotes to Motivate Us To Make the Most of Our Days

“The thing is, we think we have time.” – Buddha

My dad thought he had time. His dream was to visit all the National Parks when he retired. He worked six-seven days a week most of his life. He was an honorable man who felt a deep obligation to make an enduring difference for the people he worked with and for.

He achieved that goal. But at a cost.

Dad finally took off on his long-delayed dream a week after he retired. A week after that, he had a stroke in a hotel bathroom. He eventually recovered, but he never got to visit Banff, Zion or the Grand Tetons. He never got to do what he had dreamed of doing his whole life.

I don’t want that to happen to me.

I don’t want that to happen to you.

I don’t want that to happen to anyone.

Please, right now, change your perspective about TIME.

Change the way you think about it. Change the way you talk about it. Because it matters.

Do you talk about “never having enough time?”

About being “behind time?” About waiting until you have “more time?”

Please understand you will never have MORE TIME than you have RIGHT NOW.

The only way to make the most of your time is to spend it on what really matters now, not someday. Assuming you’ll have a chance to do what’s important later is a path to regrets.

Take three minutes right now to figure out one thing that is important to you in the following six areas of life. Assign a time metric to these time intentions so you have a way to hold yourself accountable for them.

I’ve provided a few examples to prompt your thinking. Please write down what comes to mind because what occurs to you first is often top-of-mind because it's calling you.

Relationships: I will:

· Go on Date Night with my partner once a week.

· Read bedtime stories to my kids 5 nights a week.

· Call my mom every Sunday night.

· Host Game Night with friends every other Monday

· ­­­­­__________________________________________

Health: I will:

· Go for a 30 minute walk six days a week.

· Eat lean, green and protein (no carbs) for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

· Work out with a personal trainer three times a week.

· Make a long-overdue appointment with my doctor and dentist today.

· ________________________________________________________

Career: I will:

· Schedule an appointment this week with my boss to discuss a project I’d like to lead.

· Register for an industry conference or professional training in the next two months.

· Sign up for Toastmasters or LinkedIn training to improve my communication skills.

· Volunteer to mentor a junior employee or new-hire for a hour once-a-week.

· ___________________________________________________________

Contribution: I will:

· Contribute to a friend’s Go Fund Me or Kickstarter campaign this week.

· Volunteer at the animal shelter, my church or a local non-profit twice a month.

· Give a 50% tip every week to a service employee (e.g., waiter, maid, taxi driver).

· Establish an annual scholarship to support the education of others in my profession.

· ____________________________________________________________________

Finance: I will:

· Sit down with my family at our holiday meal to discuss my estate plans.

· Establish a monthly budget with a max for household purchases, entertainment, etc.

· Schedule an appt. this month with a disability and long-term health insurance expert.

· Hire an accountant/bookkeeper this month to organize my taxes and financial records.

· ­­­­­______________________________________________________________

Personal Development/Interests: I will:

· Play a sport - tennis, racquetball, pickle ball - at least twice a week.

· Join the writer’s support group at my local bookstore and start my book this week.

· Plan a summer cruise to the Bahamas that I’ve been wanting to go on for years.

· Sign up for a cooking course and host monthly dinners with new recipes for friends.

· ­­­______________________________________________________

Want a way to make this fun? Print this post out and take it to lunch with a friend. Or print it out and discuss it over dinner with you and your partner or with your family.

Divvy up the time so each person gets a minimum of ten minutes to talk through how they plan to invest their time in each area.

Please notice the verb invest. From now on, the goal is to invest your time mindfully, instead of spend it mindlessly.

Invest means making thoughtful choices about how, where, why, to what and to whom you allocate your time so you're making meaningful use of it.

To that purpose, I’m sharing 20 thought-provoking quotes on time that can increase your awareness and appreciation of the all-important role it plays in your quality of life.

Simply said, being more mindful of how you invest your time is the single best thing you can do to create a quality of life that is congruent with your values and priorities.

Aviation pioneer Chuck Yeager said, "At the moment of truth, there are either reasons or results." Investing your time wisely is a tantible way to produce results instead of regrets.

You might want to post these quotes where they’re in sight, in mind so you keep how you invest your time … top of mind.

20 Motivating Quotes to Make the Most of Your Time

1. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” - Carl Sandburg

2. “The bad news? Time flies. The good news? You’re the pilot.” – Michael Altschuler

3. “One day, you’re going to wake up and there won’t be any time left to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.” – Paulo Coelho

4. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” – nurse Bonnie Ware, reporting the #1 regret of people at the end of their life

5. “We have two lives and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” – Confucius

6. “The future is already here and we’re already late.” – John Legend

7. “Now is the new later.” – Sam Horn

8. “Tomorrow is another day, but so was yesterday.” – Rene Ricard

9. “The first step to getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan

10. “Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is like saying, 'I don't want to.” - Lao Tzu

11. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

12. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” – Charles Darwin

13. “If you’ve made a decision and haven’t taken action, you haven’t really made a decision.” – Tony Robbins

14. “It’s only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day to day basis.” – Margaret Bonnano

15. “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

16. “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” – Henry David Thoreau

17. “How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss

18. “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis

19. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” – Nelson Mandela

20. Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck

Pope Paul II said, “The future starts today, not tomorrow.”

The time is ripe to value yourself and value your time. The time is ripe to change your future by beginning to invest your time in what will matter in the long run … today, not someday.

- - -

Sam Horn, CEO of the Intrigue Agency, is on a mission to help people make the most of their time, now not later. Her books - POP!, Tongue Fu! and Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention - have been featured in NY Times, Forbes, INC and Fast Company and presented to NASA, Intel, Cisco, Boeing, ASAE. This is excerpted from SOMEDAY is Not a Day in the Week (St. Martins Press, 2019).

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Day Right Quote #61: Children Spell LOVE Differently. They Spell it T-I-M-E.

Children spell LOVE differently. They spell it T-I-M-E. Actually, most people spell love as TIME.

Who do you love?

How will you SHOW them that this weekend by setting other priorities aside and giving them your time, undivided attention and full, appreciative presence?

Are you thinking, "I have work to catch up on? Errands to run. Chores to take care of?"

Please rethink that.

Is that work - are those chores - really more important than your loved ones?

I'm not suggesting we set aside work and chores every weekend.

But this is a holiday weekend.

How about making your family and friends your priority these three days?

You will never regret making time for the people you love - you will only regret not doing it sooner and more often.

children spell best

Day Right Quote #36: There Will Never Be a Right Time. Jump In.

What are you waiting to do? Write a book? Start your own business? Ask someone out for a date?

Do you feel there will be a better time - a right time - later?

Wrong.

The right time is NOW.

You'll never have more time than you have right NOW.

there will never be a right time

Day Right Quote #20: The Future Started Yesterday and We're Already Late

"The future started yesterday, and we're already late." - John Legend This is one of the most important lessons-learned from my travels the past couple of years.

So many people talk wistfully of what they're going to do ... someday. They feel they have too many responsibilities to do what they want now, but plan to do that when they have more time, money, freedom, health .. (fill in the blank.)

What if that never happens?

The clock is ticking. Not in a morbid way. In a motivating way.

Have you become a chronic procrastinator? Are you automatically telling yourself, "I'll do more of what I really want when I retire, when things aren't so busy at work, when the kids go off to college, when I have ....(what?)

Waiting to do more of what puts the light on in your eyes a path to regrets.

You don't have to completely overhaul your life or walk away from your responsibilities. Just pick ONE thing that's important to you and start doing it once a week - or saving for it so you can do it this year and you have something to look forward to. Make today the "later" you've been waiting for.

the future started yesterday

Day Right Quote #11: Love. Pass It On.

Love is the question and the answer. At the end of our #life, what we will remember, what will remain, what will matter is:

"Did we love? Were we loved?"

love. pass it on.

Day Right Quote #9: Life is a Window of Opportunity

Life is a window of opportunity. Have you ever thought of it that way?

We are here for a certain amount of time.

Are you taking advantage of your precious window of opportunity to pursue your dreams, connect with loved ones, do what makes you happy?

Henry Miller said, "Life is, for most of us, one long postponement."

What is something you're postponing?

How will you start that, do that, bring more of that into your life THIS WEEK instead of putting it off?

Life is a window of opportunity

Lesson #8 From My Year by the Water: Figure Out Your NEXT and Start Doing it NOW

I had an opportunity to speak for a national convention on the topic of "Is the Light On In Your Eyes?" The conference theme was "Reflections on Success" and I started by saying many of us spend more time reflecting on what movie to watch this weekend than on what we're going to do with the rest of our life. Sound familiar?

Many of the people in the audience were successful entrepreneurs who have so many different projects and people counting on them, they feel they can't take time off. Many work 60-70 hour weeks and haven't taken a vacation for years. Some are ready to retire, but can't imagine what they're going to do NEXT that could be as satisfying and productive as what they're currently doing.

I told them we were going to spend the next ninety minutes reflecting on what's working, what's not and what we're going to do about it NEXT. I shared a quiz that can help anyone figure out in 4 minutes what's supporting their happiness, what's sabotaging it.

One of the options we talked about is how to make our passion - what puts the light on in our eyes - part of our profession. Many people told me they're too "busy" to do the hobbies that used to bring them joy. I told them, they can COMBINE their recreation WITH their work in a win-win way - instead of seeing them as being mutually exclusive.

Here's what I mean.

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of sharing breakfast with Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, the largest networking organization in the world. After hearing about my full calendar of #speaking, #consulting and #traveling, he asked, "What do you do for fun?"

Long pause. I finally dug deep and came up with "I walk my dog around the lake."

Please don't get me wrong. I love what I do and I am grateful to have the opportunity to do work with smart talented people who are making a positive difference in the world ... it's just that I was going 24/7.

That conversation and several other wake-up calls motivated me to set out on a Year by the Water. I didn't abandon my business ... I just took it on the road. As James Taylor said when he took a break from touring to compose new lyrics and produce a new album; "I didn't quit work - I did a different kind of work. " I went from non-stop productivity to full-time creativity. I did the opposite of my always and the contrast filled me with joy.

What I learned on my travels is that you don't have to be torn between two worlds - you can have the best of both worlds. You don't have to put aside what puts the light on in your eyes - you can integrate it into your work so you feel more balanced and blessed. You don't have to lose your "hobby" because you're always working, you can leverage your hobby to make your work fun and productive.

Want an example of how this works?

When I lived on#Maui, I had a friend named Kathy who was a 4.5 tennis player and a Realtor. We played a couple times a week until the economy slumped and she told me she was too bus" finding clients to play tennis anymore.

I suggested her hobby wasn't an indulgence she do only when she had spare time - it was a competitive edge that could give her access to ideal clients. I suggested she approach the concierges at the Four Seasons and Grand Wailea Resort (both 5 diamond properties catering to affluent travelers - Kathy's target demographic) and let them know they could recommend her to guests looking for a good game of singles. They eagerly did this because Kathy had lived on the island for years, was a respected member of the community, and they trusted her to make this a good experience for their resort guests.

This turned into a win for everyone. Within a month, Kathy was back to playing tennis 3-5 times a week AND had several new clients buying houses. She didn't offend anyone with hard selling. It was natural while sharing an iced-tea after a satisfying match for guests to ask "What do you do?" When they found out she was a Realtor, they'd often ask if she had any available properties for a good price. Not only was Kathy back to being active outside doing something she loved - it became an organic marketing tool that kept her visible and became her secret sauce to success in a down market.

Want other ways to figure out how you can integrate your passion into your profession and keep the light on in your eyes? Want to leverage your years of experience into a new NEXT that makes a positive difference for all involved?

I'm working on a book that shows how to do that, and will be sharing some of the steps on my www.SamHorn.com site and on my LinkedIn page.

You're invited to check out these sample posts to access some of the specific steps on how to create a unique niche ... and shape work you love that matters NOW, not someday ... so you're creating a life-work integration that is personally and professionally satisfying.

Hope you'll visit those sites. You will never regret clarifying what's important to you and bringing more of that into your life ... you will only regret not doing it sooner.

what is your next - do now

Lesson #7 From My Year by the Water: There is No Present Like the Time to Do More of What Puts the Light On In Your Eyes

"I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me." - #1 regret of the dying as reported by nurse Bonnie Ware Many people on my Year by the Water talked wistfully of the dreams they pan to do ... someday. Are you waiting until you have more time, money, energy, freedom to do what you really want to do? What if that never happens?

Face it. There never will be a "right" time to do more of what matters to you. You'll never have more time than you have right now. Get clear on what's important to you and begin. Make today the someday you've been waiting for.

I recently did something I've been wanting to do for a long time.

While in Southern California celebrating Thanksgiving with my sister, I decided I was only 90 minutes away from the small town where I grew up and thought, "There’s no present like the time” to return for a trip down Memory Row.

You know how you always hear how SMALL everything looks in your hometown? True dat. The C & H store in Ne Cuyama – which loyally bought our 4-H and FFA animals at the Santa Maria Fair every year – used to seem so far from our house yet it was only a half mile away. I remember tearing there in our hoopy (a golf cart we used to go to the barn and corrals to feed our horses, steers and sheep) to splurge and buy a can of chicken noodle soup, a Babe Ruth bar, a small packet of Fritos and a soda for under a dollar (our food allowance for a summer day and this was way before we starting counting carbs.)

Here’s the high school (104 students on its busiest year) where I learned to play tennis by hitting thousands of balls against the backboard, and where Mr. Adams shaped some talent-shy kids into a decent jazz band. Memories of Cheri playing Pete Fountain’s Stranger on the Shore on her clarinet, Fascination on her saxophone, and us rockin it on String of Pearls, Glenn Miller's In The Mood and A-Train.

Here’s the shop where Dad, the ag teacher in town, spent long hours teaching 3 welding classes a day and building a 4-horse stock trailer from scratch. And the football field where we had our version of "Friday Nigh Lights' with 6 man football. And the rec center where our small community gathered for roller skate nights, cake walks and

Aahh, the elementary school where I ran for student body president against Don Cox and lost by 1 vote because he handed out bubble gum at the polls. (Couldn't be anything else, right? Ha.)

And there’s the school auditorium where I gave my first public speech as 8th-grade valedictorian, (which may not seem like a big deal, but in our small town it was to me.) The night of graduation, our librarian Mr. Bowers pulled me aside and gifted me with a pen and ink drawing he’d done of a mustang standing on a bluff overlooking a herd of horses on a plateau below. He said, “Sam, you’re a mustang. Mustangs join the herd at will, but leave when the herd tries to take them where they don’t want to go.”

Thank you Mr. Bowers for seeing me and for reaching out at an influential age to give me a supportive identity. As Henry F. Emerson said, “Teachers affect eternity. Who know where their influence will end?”

Who could forget the library? I used to ride my horse Joe - a palomino who had two speeds, a trot and an all-out run, he never, ever walked – here and tie him to a tree while I went in with the hopes of finding a book I hadn’t already read.

I devoured everything (even the 87th Precinct series by Ed McBain that was far beyond my pay grade, so to speak) but the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley were my favorite. They gave me an all-important window into a fascinating world just waiting to be explored outside the confines of our isolated mountain valley.

The Buckhorn was the only “fancy” place and restaurant in town. We would save our money, sit at the counter and splurge on a grilled cheese and root beer float from the soda fountain. Cheri celebrated her 14th birthday at a pool party here by wearing a daring (and forbidden) two piece bathing suit brought in Catalina.

Our home on Cebrian Street is holding up pretty well for being 70+ years old. I couldn't help but laugh as a tumbleweed blew across the road as I drove by. Brought back images of the tumbleweed forts we built by the side of the house to play with our Barbies (really!).

Some of the memories that came flooding back as I gazed at my childhood home included the chickens in our back yard that would fly-run squawking around the corner as soon as we opened the back door, no matter how quietly we tried to turn the knob. My rabbits in their hutches and me asking Mom and Dad on a freezing winter night if I HAD to feed them that night, asking “Cant it wait until tomorrow morning?” and my folks saying what they always said, “Do the right thing.”

The Christmas we gathered in a circle (including cousins Dan, Jim, Uncle Brick and Aunt Carol) to open presents. My brother Dave tore open his gift, unfolded the white tissue and promptly threw the box in the air, dumping its contents all over Mom who was wearing her best “dress-up” outfit, a red wood suit. Unfortunately for mom, the contents were horse manure, our parents’ clever way of saying Dave was getting what he wanted for Christmas - his own horse.

Now I'm in Honolulu under the historic “Hawaii Call’s” banyan tree. On the drive in from the airport, we drove by Tripler, the pink hospital on the hill overlooking Pearl Harbor, where Andrew was born. There’s Queen Medical Center where Tom entered the world on Labor Day (quite a sense of humor.). I remember watching the finals of the U.S. Open, thinking "This doesn't hurt that much. I can handle it," and that's when the doc gave me the Petocin.

I walked over to the Rainbow Tower of the the Hilton Hawaiian Village which reminded me of the last time my sons and I visited here - to compete in the Waikiki Rough Water Swim. Tom served as crew and Andrew beat me (by a lot) to the finish line - the noogie.

To top off my trip down Memory Row, the musician here at the Beach Bar at the Moana just started playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The boys grew up in Maui listening to Hawaiian music ... Brothers Cazimero, Hapa, Keilii Reichel. Tom surprised me by having Brother Iz's version of this song played at his and Patty’s wedding. As he walked me to the center of the floor for the “Mom’s Dance,” he smiled and said “Thought you’d like this.”

Tom was right. I did like it. And I like that its lyrics are poignantly relevant as I reflect on the 25 years spent in these two homes of New Cuyama and Hawaii – first where I grew up as a child, second where my two children grew up.

“Somewhere over the rainbow, Blue birds fly,

And the dreams that you dreamed of,

Dreams really do come true.

I see trees of green and red roses too

I'll watch them bloom for me and you

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.”

It is indeed a wonderful world, and I am so grateful for the many dreams which have bloomed and come true.

How about you? What have you been wanting to do? Maybe it's not going back to what you grew up - maybe it's to start your own business, write a book, give back to your community, get back into a hobby that brings you joy, head out on your own adventure.

Buddha said, "The problem is, you think you have time." Please understand, there's no present like the time - and no time like the present - to do more of what puts the light on in your eyes. What is something you'll do THIS week that makes you smile just thinking of it?

- - -

Sam Horn, Founder/CEO of the Intrigue Agency, is on a mission to help people create quality one-of-a-kind projects that add value for all involved. Her work - including her TEDx talk and books POP!, Tongue Fu! and Washington Post Bestseller Got Your Attention? - has been featured in New York Times, Forbes, INC and NPR and presented to clients such as Boeing, Cisco, Intel. Want Sam to share her inspiring insights with your organization? Contact Cheri@IntrigueAgency.com

there is no present llike the time - blue best

Lesson #2 From my Year by the Water: We're Not Torn Between Two Worlds; We Have the Best of Both Worlds

Years ago when my sons we're growing up on Maui, I felt torn between two worlds. I had two sons I loved and wanted to be with AND had a thriving speaking/training business that called for me to be on the road and in the air. At a National Speakers Association convention on the mainland, I ran into a long-time friend Maggie Bedrosian. We hadn't seen each other since I had left Washington D.C. for the Hawaiian Islands several years before.

Maggie asked, "Sam, how are you?" I started telling her. Before I could finish, Maggie being Maggie, (she must have been an impish elf and wise sage in another life) interrupted me and said, "No Sam, tell me in ONE WORD how you're doing."

Wow, what a great question. It forced me to distill everything I was feeling into one catchall phrase. I dug deep, opened my mouth, and out came "Maggie, I'm … conflicted."

Her eyebrows flew up. "Conflicted? How so?"

"Yesterday morning I was on Keawakapu Beach with Tom and Andrew at golden hour. They were charging into the surf with their boogie boards, riding those waves all the way in until they scraped their bellies on the beach, and then running out to catch another one. It was Nirvana. I didn't want to be anywhere else.

Today, I’m here at this conference surrounded by smart, talented peers, I'm learning new things, speaking on my favorite topic, my brain's on fire, and I'm humming with energy and new ideas.

I feel like I'm constantly torn between two worlds."

Maggie looked at me and then shared this insight. "Sam, the words you use to describe your experience define your experience. You better come up with another word to describe how you feel, because that's how it's going to be."

Smart woman.

That night I couldn't sleep. If I wasn't conflicted, what was I? I kept mentally tasting words, experimenting with them to see if they captured the mix of emotions I felt. Finally it came to me.

The next day I tracked down Maggie. There she was down the hall. I ran up to her and said, "Maggie, I figured it out. I'm not conflicted, I'm … blessed. I'm not torn between two worlds, I have the best of both worlds.”

That describes how I feel now.

I've just had 16 months of glorious adventuring, exploring, discovering, reflecting, and “funning” on my Year by the Water. (If “funning” isn’t a verb, it deserves to be.)

Now I'm here in Boulder holding my beautiful baby granddaughter Natalia in my arms. This morning I was sitting on the floor and playing Lego's with my grandson Mateo.

Last night I was sitting on the couch with Tom and Patty getting caught up, and as they say in Hawaii, “talking story.”

The day before, I was making nutritious greenies, doing “folding laundry meditation, and enjoying Dolores' (Patty's Mom) delicious home-made cooking.

This morning, Mateo is playing airplane on his own private jungle gym, (his dad) and watching his favorite Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood with his mom. It feels oh-so-right.

I look around and realize I once again am blessed to have the best of both worlds … and I wouldn't rather be anywhere else. I'm immersing myself in this abundance - this state of SerenDestiny where the light is on in my eyes - and I'm imprinting every sacred moment. Receive, receive, receive. Revel, revel, revel.

BTW - This recognition that I'm not torn being two options (either-or); I have the best of both options (yes-and) is one of the most important lessons-learned from My Year by The Water. I'll be writing about the adventures that led to this understanding in my upcoming book "There Is No Present Like the Time" including:

It’s not CONTROL OR COOPERATE. It’s both.

It’s not PLAY OR PRODUCTIVITY. It’s both.

It’s not SOCIAL OR SOLITUDE. It’s both.

It’s not start with the END in mind or with an OPEN mind. It’s both.

It’s not serve others or your self. It’s both.

Next time you’re feeling as if you're being torn between two options – re-frame what you’re feeling or facing. Isn’t it an advantage to have an abundance of options – to have the best of both worlds? You're not conflicted, you're blessed.

best of both worlds

Feeling Grateful

Giving thanks isn't just for Thanksgiving. Research by Harvard shows it's not happiness that makes us grateful; it's gratefulness that makes us happy. So, why limit giving thanks to just one day a year? As Walt Whitman said, "To feel gratitude and not express it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it."

Many people have a tradition of unwrapping presents that have been stashed under a Christmas tree. The real presents aren't under the tree. The real presents are the moments we take to express our appreciation for our health, freedom and loved ones. what if woke up best

As this evocative image asks, "What if we woke up today with only the things we were thankful for?"

So it is as I wrap up 2016, I am filled with gratitude for this year that was filled with abundance in all its many forms.

I want to share my favorite quotes to remind us a gratitude mindset is the single best thing we can do to improve our quality of life. Feel free to print these and pass them around the table. Ask people to select a particularly meaningful quote and share what it means to them.

You and the people at the table could talk about politics, sports, the weather, plane delays, traffic and the food - or you could have a memorable discussion about the many blessings in your life, including who and what has favorably impacted you this year.

You’ve heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind?” You might want to post these quotes where you can see them every day, not just on holidays. Keeping them“in sight, in mind” (vs. out of sight, out of mind) can help you focus on - and appreciate - what's right in the world. And that's a win for everyone.

Gratitude quote #1: “When you drink the water, remember the well.” – Chinese proverb

Gratitude quote #2: “Make yourself a blessing to someone. Your kind smile or pat on the back just might pull someone back from the edge.” – Carmelia Elliott

Gratitude quote #3: “If the only prayer you ever said was ‘Thank you,’ that would be enough.” – Meister Ekhart

Gratitude quote #4: “There is no duty so under-rated as the duty of being happy. By being happy and grateful, we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Gratitude quote #5: “Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” – Betty Smith

Gratitude quote #6: “When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking anything for granted.” – Frederick Franck

Gratitude quote #7: “When you give and carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, ‘Yes, this is how I ought to feel.'” – Rabbi Harold Kushner

Gratitude quote #8: “One of the very first things I figured out about life…is that it’s better to be a grateful person than a grumpy one, because you have to live in the same world either way, and if you’re grateful, you have more fun.”—Barbara Kingsolver

Gratitude quote #9: “Most of us are about as happy as we make up our minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

Gratitude quote #10: “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Colette

Gratitude quote #11: “Unless people like you care a whole lot, things aren’t going to get better, they’re not!” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Gratitude quote #12: “To feel, think, learn and love; surely that is being alive and young in the real sense." - Freya Stark

Gratitude quote #13: In Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, Emily longs to revisit one ordinary, “unimportant” day. When she gets her wish, she realizes how much she took for granted. “I didn’t realize all that was going on and we never noticed. Oh, earth, your’e too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”

Gratitude quote #14: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” - John F. Kennedy

Gratitude quote #15: “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never have enough." - Oprah Winfrey

Gratitude quote #16: "The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it." - Richard Bach

Gratitude quote #17: "Happiness is not a goal; it's a byproduct." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Gratitude quote #18: "Success is not about getting it done or attaining money or stuff. The measure of success in lie is the amount of joy you feel." - Esther Hicks

Gratitude Quote #19: “Normal day, let me aware of the treasure you are.Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may; for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth . . . or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” – Mary Jean Iron

Gratitude Quote #20: "The bad news is, time flies. The good news is, you're the pilot." - Michael Altschuler

Maintaining a spirit and mindset of gratitude as we move forward - choosing to focus on and realize all the many blessings in our world - is a magical way to "pilot our time."

Sending best wishes to you for a happy, healthy new year that is everything you want it to be - and more. - - - - Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert and author of Got Your Attention? is on a mission to help people create collaborative communications that add value for all involved. Check out Sam's #TEDx talk on how to connect with anyone, anytime, anywhere.

What's Your Review - Preview?

“Time races by like wild horses over the hills.” – Charles Bukowski I'm wrapping up the year by staying with a long-time friend in Kauai. She's graciously opened her home to me so I can finish my Year by the Water manuscript. As we got caught up over dinner overlooking the ocean, she said ruefully, “Where did the time go?”

Exactly. It’s said that “old folks’ homes” are filled with people asking, “What happened?” review preview brown

I’ve come to believe that one of the best ways to counteract the fleeting nature of time is to imprint and honor each year with Review-Preview ritual. I used to host Review-Preview salons at the National Press Club. Every December, we’d gather to reflect on the previous year and share what we were most grateful for – and then look ahead to the coming year and share our hopes and intentions.

Many people have told me how much they appreciated these opportunities to deeply connect with others and do a deep "connect and reflect" dive into honoring on who and what really impacted them – and why.

A guest came up to me after the first gathering and said, “Sam, this was like doing a verbal vision board. I’ve done vision boards in the past and it’s uncanny how many of the things I put on my board came true."

Exactly. So often, years blend and blur into the next. Let’s not let this happen this year.

Here are my 10-10 questions you’re welcome to use to host a Review-Preview with your friends or family. Feel free to adapt these as you see fit or create your own. They can facilitate a meaningful conversation about who/what really matters for us and the people we care about.

P.S. At the end, I share my own abbreviated answers to kick-start the process. Sending best wishes for happy, healthy holidays and a new year that’s everything you want… and more

Review of the past year:

1. What is a favorite place I discovered, explored or spent time in?

2. Who is someone who really impacted me? How so?

3. How did I change? What new/different beliefs and behaviors did I adopt?

4. What's a meaningful achievement or skill acquired I’m proud of?

5. What happened that was unexpected or surprising? How did it affect me?

6. What will I remember about my health from this year – and why?

7. What was my biggest challenge – lesson learned the hard way?

8. What did I NOT find time for?

9. What is the best book I read or movie/TV program I saw? Why?

10. What experience and/or person am I most grateful for? Why?

PLEASE NOTE: When previewing the coming year, you might want to state your intentions in the PRESENT OR PAST TENSE vs. the FUTURE tense.

Why? Our subconscious believes what we tell it.

Experts say this is one reason New Years Resolutions rarely work. They're often stated as wishful thinking, "I'm going to ..." or "I will" which is speculative. Stating your goals as if you've already experienced them, “I loved meeting … “ or “It was so satisfying achieving that ...” is perceived as a statement of truth and helps turns them into a successful reality.

Preview of the coming year:

1. A particularly satisfying achievement this past year was …

2. A new place I thoroughly enjoyed discovering and exploring was …

3. I am so glad I got to meet and spend time with ... because …

4. I loved acquiring this skill and/or getting back into this hobby …

5. I am grateful for doing this spiritual practice … It made every day more …

6. I will always be glad I took better care of my body and health by …

7. I finally made time for …

8. One way I contributed and gave back was to …

9. Something that really added joy to my life and contributed to my well-bring was ….

10. One of the most important ways I changed was to …

Sam Horn's abbreviated responses to the Review of 2016.

1. What is a favorite place I discovered, explored or spent time in?

(Sam - swimming with Zach the Dolphin at Marineland in Florida.)

2. Who is someone who really impacted me? How so?

(Sam - Mary Loverde for teaching me to abandon absolutes and that it's as important to receive, receive as it is to give, give.)

3. How did I change? What new/different beliefs and behaviors did I adopt?

(Sam - I actually started eating vegetables - can you say kale and spinach?! - in greenies and liked them! Thank you Wildfit!)

4. What was a meaningful achievement (or skill acquired, dream goal realized) I’m proud of?

(Sam - Attended a workshop with Charles Needles and Dewitt Jones in Monet’s Garden in France – and learned to use my iphone camera to create quote-images I post on Instagram that are a source of purposeful, fun, creative instant gratification.)

5. What happened that was unexpected or surprising? How did it affect me?

(Sam – Almost passed up an opportunity to speak in China because of doubts. What was unexpected was I almost“played it safe” - not my normal mindset - and didn’t go. I re-committed to being adventurous and bold instead of being cautious and wary.)

6. What will I remember about my health from this year – and why?

(Sam - I cracked my ribs and lost my freedom of movement for a few months. Made me re-appreciate what a gift it is to be healthy and to have complete mobility and no pain.)

7. What was my biggest challenge?

(Sam - My biggest challenge was learning to see my calendar as having OPEN days - not EMPTY days – so I didn’t revert to a decades-old habit of saying yes and filling my days with commitments.)

8. What did I NOT find time for?

(Sam – Hudson Valley, Walden Pond and the lake where Helen Keller said her first word, “Water,” which is why my Year by the Water is SO not over. )

9. What is the best book I read?

(Sam - Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. Proves that “literary” books about the human condition can be kind, insightful and a page-turning read.

10. What experience and/or person am I most grateful for? Why?

(Sam, my sister Cher who runs my business and who I trust implicitly. My sons Tom and Andrew, their wives Patty, Miki, and grandson Mateo for gifting me with a family I love. My friends who bless me with their generosity and positive spirit. My most important lesson-learned is that Connection is the current that runs through my life. It my Holy Grail. You are all with me, wherever I am, and I am grateful. )

Sam's Quick Preview of 2017?? I'm about to be blessed with TWO new grand-children and will be moving to Boulder, CO. Stay tuned. - - -

Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert, TEDx speaker, author of IDEApreneur, POP! Tongue Fu! and Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention? – has the best of all worlds doing work she loves' speaking for such clients as National Geographic, Boeing and Capital One; writing books/blogs that add value; and helping clients create one-of-a-kind projects that scale their impact – for good.

There is No Present Like the Time

Thomas Wolfe was wrong. We CAN go home again. These past few weeks have been full in every sense of the word. Wonder-full. Meaning-full. Grateful. Spent Thanksgiving with my sister Cheri and her family in Los Osos, CA. It was wonderful just hanging out, watching football, getting in my morning "walk to the Rock", being inspired by an 81 year old woman swimming in the 52 degree bay, and eating Joe's bar-b-que.

Los Osos is where my folks lived the last years of their life, in a home overlooking the ocean, estuary and Morro Rock. Fond memories of a special Thanksgiving more than 20 years ago when Dad rented a ten person canoe and took all of us – Cheri, Joe and Christy, my sons Tom, Andrew and me – paddling around the bay amidst otters, seals and sea lions and pelican fly-bys. He also rented horses that weekend and we re-enacted a SoCa version of Lawrence of Arabia and galloped over the sand dunes.

Memories too of when Cheri was elected President of the local Chamber of Commerce, and Dad had the gratifying opportunity to know his legacy of community leadership was being passed along.

While there, I decided I was only 90 minutes away from where I grew up in New Cuyama and thought, "There’s no present like the time” to make like ET and "go home." Part of my Year by the Water has been intentionally visiting the places that have inspired or shaped me and my years here from 1st-9th grade certainly did that.

You know how you always hear how SMALL everything looks in your hometown? True dat.

The C & H store – which loyally bought our 4-H and FFA animals at the Santa Maria Fair every year – seemed so far away, yet it was less than a mile from our house. I remember tearing there in our hoopy (a golf cart we used to go to the barn and corrals to feed our horses, steers, sheep and hogs) to splurge and buy a can of chicken noodle soup, a Babe Ruth bar, a small packet of Fritos and a soda for under a dollar (our food allowance for a summer day.)

Here’s the high school (104 students on its busiest year) where I learned to play tennis by hitting thousands of balls against the backboard, and where Mr. Adams shaped some talent-shy kids into a decent jazz band. Memories of Cheri playing Pete Fountain’s Stranger on the Shore on her clarinet, Fascination on her saxophone, and us rockin it on String of Pearls, Glenn Miller's In The Mood and A-Train. cuyama high school

Here’s the shop where Dad, the ag teacher in town, spent long hours teaching 3 welding classes a day and building a 4-horse stock trailer from scratch. And the football field where we had our small-town version of "Friday Nigh Lights' with 6 man football. And the rec center where our small community gathered for roller skate nights, cake walks and

Aahh, the elementary school where I ran for student body president against Don Cox and lost by 1 vote because he handed out bubble gum at the polls ... couldn't be anything else, right? Ha.

And there’s the school auditorium where I gave my first public speech as 8th-grade valedictorian, (which may not seem like a big deal, but in our small town it was to me.) The night of graduation, our librarian Mr. Bowers pulled me aside and gifted me with a pen and ink drawing he’d done of a mustang standing on a bluff overlooking a herd of horses on a plateau below. He said, “Sam, you’re a mustang. Mustangs join the herd at will, but leave when the herd tries to take them where they don’t want to go.”

Thank you Mr. Bowers for seeing me and for reaching out at an influential age to give me a supportive identity. His gracious outreach was a stepping stone in my path to SerenDestiny - a life where the light is on in my eyes. As Henry Adams said, “Teachers affect eternity. Who knows where their influence will end?”

Who could forget the library? I used to ride my horse Joe - a palomino who had two speeds, a trot and an all-out run, he never, ever walked – here and tie him to a tree while I went in with the hopes of finding a book I hadn’t already read.

I devoured everything (even the 87th Precinct series by Ed McBain that was far beyond my pay grade, so to speak) but the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley were my favorite. They gave me an all-important window into a fascinating world just waiting to be explored outside the confines of our isolated mountain valley.

The Buckhorn was the only “fancy” place and restaurant in town. We would save our money, sit at the counter and splurge on a grilled cheese and root beer float from the soda fountain. Cheri celebrated her 14th birthday at a pool party here by wearing a daring (and forbidden) two piece bathing suit brought in Catalina.

Our home on Cebrian Street is holding up pretty well for being 70+ years old. I couldn't help but laugh as a tumbleweed blew across the road as I drove by. Brought back images of the tumbleweed forts we built by the side of the house to play with our Barbies (really!). cuyama hourse

Some of the memories that came flooding back as I gazed at my childhood home included the chickens in our back yard that would fly-run squawking around the corner as soon as we opened the back door, no matter how quietly we tried to turn the knob. My rabbits in their hutches and me asking Mom and Dad on a freezing winter night if I HAD to feed them that night, asking “Cant it wait until tomorrow morning?” and my folks saying what they always said, “Do the right thing.”

The Christmas we gathered in a circle (including cousins Dan, Jim, Uncle Brick and Aunt Carol) to open presents. My brother Dave tore open his gift, unfolded the white tissue and promptly threw the box in the air, dumping its contents all over Mom who was wearing her best “dress-up” outfit, a red wood suit. Unfortunately for mom, the contents were horse manure, our parents’ clever way of saying Dave was getting what he wanted for Christmas - his own horse.

Now I'm in Honolulu under the historic “Hawaii Call’s” banyan tree. On the drive in from the airport, we drove by Tripler, the pink hospital on the hill overlooking Pearl Harbor, where Andrew was born. There’s Queen Medical Center where Tom entered the world on Labor Day (quite a sense of humor.). I remember watching the finals of the U.S. Open, thinking "This doesn't hurt that much. I can handle it," and that's when the doc gave me the Petocin. Processed with Snapseed.

I walked over to the Rainbow Tower of the Hilton Hawaiian Village which reminded me of the last time my sons and I visited here - to compete in the Waikiki Rough Water Swim. Tom served as crew and Andrew beat me (by a lot) to the finish line - the noogie.

To top off my trip down Memory Row, the musician here just started playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The boys grew up in Maui listening to Hawaiian music ... Brothers Cazimero, Hapa, Keilii Reichel. Tom surprised me by having Brother Iz's version of this song played at his and Patty’s wedding. As he walked me to the center of the floor for the “Mom’s Dance,” he smiled and said “Thought you’d like this.”

Tom was right. I did like it. And I like that its lyrics are poignantly relevant as I reflect on the 25 years spent in these two homes of New Cuyama and Hawaii – first where I grew up as a child, second where my two children grew up.

“Somewhere over the rainbow, Blue birds fly,

And the dreams that you dreamed of,

Dreams really do come true.

I see trees of green and red roses too

I'll watch them bloom for me and you

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.”

It is indeed a wonderful world, and I am so grateful for the many dreams which have bloomed and come true.

How about you?

Have you been back to where you grew up? What memories did it bring back? If you haven't "gone home," there's no present like the time - and no time like the present.

- - -

Sam Horn, Founder/CEO of the Intrigue Agency, is on a mission to help people create respectful, collaborative, one-of-a-kind communications that add value for all involved. Her work - including her TEDx talk and books POP!, Tongue Fu! and Washington Post Bestseller Got Your Attention? - has been featured in New York Times and presented to clients such as Boeing and Intel.

So, When Are You Going to Settle Down?

As we wrap up September and head into October, my Year by the Water is supposed to be “over.”  settle down - small I’m getting emails asking “Where are you going to settle down?” or “What are you going to do when it’s over?”

Suffice it to say, I’m not ready for this to be over.  And the words “settle down” are not in my vocabulary.

Why would I want to stop having the best of all worlds?

I remember something James Taylor said while being interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning.  The reporter asked why it had taken him so long between albums.  Taylor said he had been touring non-stop and hadn’t had the time or energy to compose or create.

The reporter asked, “So, you took time off work?”

Taylor smiled and said, “I didn’t take time off work; I did a different kind of work.”

That’s how I feel.  I’m still productive, still speaking, coaching and consulting. I’m just doing it while traveling to bodies of water around the world and writing about my experiences and epiphanies.

I’m not taking time OFF work. I’m working in a new way - an even more meaningful, joyous way.

Sir Frances Bacon said, “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity.  We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, melting like a snowflake.”

I know I’m fortunate.  I’m in a season of my life where I have the freedom, autonomy and health to do this.   I have a “portable” business I can run from anywhere.  My sons are grown, out in the world and thriving. As Tom and Andrew told me, “Mom, we got this.”  I understand one of the best gifts I can give them now is to model that we have the power to create our own SerenDestiny - a life where the light is on in our eyes.

So, what’s next?  Well, I’m headed to Pismo Beach where I’ll be keynoting the Central Coach Writers Conference.  Then, on to DC to provide media training for NASA and to attend the Washington West Film Festival.  Then … CHINA.  More details on that coming up.

One of the many reasons I want to continue my Year by the Water is because there’s still so many places I haven’t seen yet.  I still haven’t been to Helen Keller’s lake where she said her first word, “Water.”  I still haven’t explored Hudson Valley, Lake Louise and Banff, and the Great Lakes, (which, by the way, is THE most frequently recommended body of water people say I should visit when I ask for suggestions.)

And, I’m looking forward to returning to Montana.  I was just there last week speaking for Senator Daine’s team.  State Director Charles Robison graciously arranged to take me fly-fishing on the Madison River, which was featured in the movie A River Runs Through It.  Processed with Snapseed.

Alas, I got food poisoning and this guy at the airport was the closest I got to fly-fishing.  So, I’ve got a sun-check (what we used to call rain-checks in Hawaii) to go back to Yellowstone and Big Sky Country.

How about you?  Are you doing what you want to do?  Even if you have responsibilities – you’re raising a family, taking care of your parents, working full-time plus, paying bills, out-of-work, dealing with a health challenge – what is one thing you could do this week that would put the light on in your eyes?  How can you bring more of that into your life on an ongoing basis?

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last year it’s how important it is for us to NOT WAIT for some future date to do what makes us happy.

I was having breakfast at an outdoor café near Morro Bay, CA on September 11.  A group of seniors at a nearby table were talking about how the country has “gone to hell in a hand basket” since then.  A rather grizzled gentleman in the group hadn’t said a word.  One of the women turned to him and said, “What do you think, Al?” He growled, “I think every day is a gift and we should act like it.”

Agreed.  Later that morning, I was driving through Santa Barbara on the way to LAX and stopped to get in my daily walk.  I encountered this stirring memorial on the beach by the pier.  I will always remember these flags, one for every person lost at the World Trade Center on 9/11, waving in the sea breeze.  A sobering reminder to cherish  ... every ... single ... day.

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