Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts

June 16, 2019

Never Alone Or Meaningless

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Never Alone or Meaningless."
  • We are never alone, because G-d is always right there with us, and in us!
  • And what we do is never meaningless, because everything we do affects the G-dliness of everything else--everything and everyone are wholly intertwined and connected.
Instead of feeling alone, aimless, and sad, we can delight in our oneness with G-d and the cosmos and in knowing the everything we do can have a positive impact on everything else.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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May 29, 2019

Beautiful People

I ran into this lovely lady in Rockville. 

Obviously, she has a disability, but I was so impressed with her. 

She had this cute dog sitting on her lap while in her wheelchair. 

And the wheelchair had this awesome colorful mosaic in the wheels. 

She seemed to be with family that loved her.

They stopped to stay hello and permitted me to take a photo. 

I was so inspired by them.

There are truly beautiful people in the world and they make the world a wonderful place for all of us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 28, 2019

Welcome Back - Leadership and Donuts

Really impressed today going back to work after the 5-week Federal government shutdown...

And who is at the front gate, in the dark and freezing cold welcoming every single person back?

The director of the agency!

And not only that, but he is handing out morning donuts to the crew. 

This was a truly spectacular display of leadership. 

I've seen this only one other time in my 30-year career and that was at the Secret Service, where the director stood behind the dessert table at the agency holiday party serving out the ice cream. 

Humility and giving are what true leadership is all about. 

I am proud to serve under such leaders as these.  ;-)

(Source Photo--not from today--by Andy Blumenthal)

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January 1, 2019

Miracles of Charity and Faith

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Conviction of One's Faith."
What better way to welcome in the New Year of 2019 then with some inspirational true stories about amazing people and their faith in G-d and doing what's right. Recently, I saw firsthand from some special people, the miracles that happen when one is charitable and sticks to ones beliefs. 

As my father always taught me about G-d and doing what's right: "Stick to your convictions!" ;-)

(Source Photo of this amazing Tzedakah (charity) box in Israel: Minna Blumenthal)
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December 28, 2018

Emo Art

So I've been wanting to post this example of this special art form from my daughter, Rebecca. 

She makes this novel art called, "EMO", which stands for emotional.

In this art she mixes children and monsters--and it depicts how innocent kids have to deal with the monsters they find in an often unscrupulous and morally-tarnished society. 

I love the feelings and message of this art in that it encapsulates how children enter this world in purity, but how so many bad people and things around them (and us) can corrupt that. 

I always learned that the goal for each person was to leave the world a better place then the way we found it; however, I think a more personal goal should also be for us to leave here as better human beings than the day we arrived.  

Challenging ourselves--learning and maturing--yet at the same time keeping that essence of decency and integrity of mind, heart, and deed--that is a life where we can grow up, but not turn into the morally-bankrupt monsters that we see all around us. 

(Source Art: Rebecca Ochayon)
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June 10, 2018

Living Life Vicariously

So the Capitals won the Stanley Cup.  Go DC!

This little figurine made a debut on the counter of the concierge late last week for us to cheer them on!

You can ring the bell for help and while your waiting, get excited about the game. 

While these types of sports are not my thing per se, I do like watching a good Rocky movie or action flick where the good guys beat the sh*t out of the bad guys.

Whether you'watching your favorite sports team, your Hollywood dream stars, or even an occasional do (something) good politician, we are living vicariously through them. 

It's not our success we are seeing, but somehow we temporarily suspend our own selves and live through others (their eyes, their actions) and we partake just for a second of what it's like to be them winning or doing something really significant in life. 

We all can't be superstars in the center ring duking it out (all the time) and so we take a step back to see others that we relate to face up to the challenge, fight and hopefully win big. 

We don't walk away with the trophy, prize money, or fame, but we congratulate ourselves somehow for being on the winning team. 

Heck, I didn't do anything but have faith, go along for the ride, and then take pleasure in seeing my guy(s) win. 

Yet, from the humdrumness of perhaps some of our own everyday lives, we fantasize and garner the courage and strength to do our own great things. 

We can't be the strongest, smartest, most good-looking, personable, and talented in the world, but we can see parts of ourselves in others and we can try to model the best of them in ourselves and leverage what we got going on!

I don't really like spending a lot of precious time living like this through others--I don't mind getting inspiration when I see something amazing, but really I just want to try my hardest to be the best that I can be. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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May 19, 2018

Absolutely The Times Of Mashiach

So I love going to the Chabad synagogue down in Fort Lauderdale

The Downtown Jewish Center Chabad.

They are so welcoming and genuine.

Rabbi Kaplan and his wife Devorah are absolutely charming, wonderful people.

The davening is traditional and I love singing all the prayers exactly as I remember them as a child.

The speech is always relevant bringing the Torah's message to what's going now.

For example, tonight is Shavuot and the celebration of the getting of the Torah and our obligation to live up to the mission we've been given.

This is similar to the big story this week with Meghan Markle marrying into British Royalty with Prince Harry--thereby she becomes royalty.  So too the Israelites entered into a marriage contract with G-d Almighty at Sinai, and they became royalty to G-d entrusted to keep his commandments and as a "light unto the nations" to always do the right thing. 

The Rabbi is a true inspiration and today, we talked with him about living in the amazing times of Mashiach.

There is so much polarization and confusion in the world.

From people to countries looking for a guidepost--whether individuals, corrupt organizations, extremist politicians, or fascist and warring countries.

I so agree with the Rabbi that we are living in miraculous times and redemption is right around the corner.

Everything we do is an opportunity to make a kiddush Hashem and turn the tides in the war of good over evil.

Married to G-d, but in humility, we serve him and do good and help bring the world to love, peace, and Tikkun Ola m. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 9, 2018

The Bright Side

My daughter, Minna Blumenthal, received this beautiful and hopeful message online, and I want to thank her for sharing it with me.

In turn, I am paying it forward to you all, and hope that you enjoy it's meaning, which is really quite profound and inspiring. 

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind.
She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her.
She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.'
One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.
He asked her,’ Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?'
The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.
Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'
This is how the human brain often works when our status changes.
Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.
Life is a gift.
Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to Almighty G-d for a companion.
Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who died too young.
Before you complain about your children - Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.
Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep - Think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before whining about the distance you drive - Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.
But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another - Remember that not one of us is without sin and we all answer to one Maker.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and thank G-d you're alive and still around.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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February 3, 2018

Good People And Bad

So what is one of the hardest lessons in life to learn?

There are really good and holy people out there, but there are also truly bad and evil ones. 

It's not such a difficult concept, except if you just don't think that way. 

I think some of us just want to believe that at the heart of it all, people are fundamentally good--or at the very least they struggle in order to fight off the evil impulse.

They are created by G-d.

They have parents and families.

They have challenges and disappointments. 

They have a good soul. 

Or do they?

Perhaps like everything in life--G-d created everything and it's opposite.

- There is life and death.

- There is light and dark. 

- There is cold and hot.

- There is land and water. 

- There is male and female. 

- There is pleasure and pain.

- There is work and rest. 

- There is holy and profane.

Everything has it's counterpart.

- In this respect then, there are good people and there are bad.

Not that there aren't people who are both--they do some good things and some bad.

Just like with everything, you can have greys or mixtures--some of this AND some of that. 

But still, G-d created everything and its opposite.

- Again, there is heaven and hell. 

And yes, there are some people that are perhaps truly good and others that are very bad.

The really good ones--they are holy, they give, they love, they inspire. 

The really bad ones--they are vicious devil wolves. 

That doesn't mean anyone is completely perfect or imperfect, but as with everything, there are people as there are inanimate objects that function at the extremes. 

Most of us don't live in the extreme, yet we do see those that we know are examples of each:

We recognize the best and these are people with a heart of gold and a soul that shines light, love, and gives to others.

Similarly, the worst ones are with a heart that is selfish and greedy and a soul that is dark, hateful. and violent.

We don't like to think of the extremes.

They either are too perfect or too frighteningly evil, but yet they do exist and we know it just as we know life and death, light and dark, cold and hot, land and water, male and female, pleasure and pain, work and rest, holy and profane, and even the destinations of heaven and hell. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 20, 2018

Fulfilling Dying Children's Wishes



I am just so impressed with this charity...the Make A Wish Foundation

They grant the wishes of children diagnosed with terminal illness--and in the U.S. alone, they grant a wish every 34 minutes!

What nobler and giving act can there be, especially when it comes to an innocent child who never even had the chance to live their lives and try to make their dreams come true. 

Whether it's letting the child meet a famous world wrestler and actor, John Cena (featured in the video above)--who has granted more wishes than any other celebrity in the history of the foundation--to taking a child to a special travel destination or helping them be that incredible superhero for a day. 

Seeing the joy on the faces of these children--despite the pain of their illnesses and their dire situations--seems like one of the holiest and most incredible things that we can do. 

I really want to acknowledge the famous people, like Cena and others, who take the time and effort to really give back--and with a loving and caring heart to these kids. 

Again, there are truly good people out there--who don't just live for themselves--but who think about and give generously to others. 

Life is not just about "I" but about all the people we can reach and uplift.

Cena isn't just a champion wrestler, but he has a champion heart. 

And the Make A Wish Foundation is an incredible organization composed of thousands of incredible people doing righteous work that I believe makes G-d smile down at us from the Heavens above. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 14, 2018

Beyond Money

Okay, I don't impress easily, but I got to tell you somebody really did.

Tring to keep their confidentiality, let me just say this...

A couple returned some money to us, but they went truly above and beyond. 

They returned some money that technically they were entitled to, and I never would've imagined that they should give it back to us. 

When I saw the check and what they did, I really couldn't stop myself saying how amazing this couple is. 

They are a religious Jewish couple, and I just feel that what they did was such a "Kiddush Hashem" (their behavior is a sanctification of G-d's name in the world). 

Some people pretend to be religious on the outside, but inside their behaviors don't reflect it. 

In this case, the people were generally religious not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.

Their doing righteous literally was uplifting for my soul to see that there really are such incredible people in this world. 

Yes, some people are bad--do bad--and we can get not only disappointed but depressed that they seem to thrive anyway. 

So to see the good in people--extra good--it renews my hope in mankind and in G-d Above who shows us the way and can inspire us to behave morally and ethically amazingly.  ;-)

(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 17, 2017

Failing Forward

There were 2 inspirational student speakers today at my daughter's graduation from American University.

One spoke about how he got sick soon after starting college with a serious vascular disease, but despite numerous hopsitalizations, treatments, and falling behind his peers, he persevered and was graduating today and in very good spirits. 

Another women spoke about her many failures leading up to the success today of her graduation. She described how her father used to ask her: 
"What did you fail at this week?"

Why?

Because even though we don't like to admit it, most people have many, many more failures in life than successes.  

Even Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb is said to have failed 1,000 times before getting it right.

This women explained how failure is actually something to celebrate--does that sound crazy?.

But it's really not, and here's why?
"To fail is to learn.
To learn is to grow.
To fail is to grow forward."
Now, I had heard about failing up, but never failing forward. 

Many who fail still manage to advance themselves in the process. 

But failing forward is different. 

It's not taking advantage of the failure, but legitimately learning from the experience so that you can grow yourself, and advance yourself, by becoming a smarter, stronger, and more capable person from it. 

Sure, it hurts to fail. 

Who would normally want to celebrate failure?

But if we understand life as a journey and not a specific destination, then we enjoy every blessed moment that we have to become better today and tomorrow than we were yesterday. 

In this case, failure is not the opposite of success, but rather is part and parcel of achieving it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 27, 2017

Motivation, Hard Work, and Blessings

So I am incredibly impressed at how talented so many people are. 

And I'll tell you, people are motivated to get ahead and they are working hard to do it. 

I took Lyft to a couple of destinations down here in Florida. 

Two drivers that I had just yesterday were both from relatively poor backgrounds in Jamaica. 

And both were incredible in what they've been able to accomplish for themselves.  

One was a senior communications technologist with a large cable company.

Another was a pretty impressive and successful Reggae music star. 

Both had come to this country and made amazing lives for themselves. 

In meeting these incredible people, I learned that everyone is driving Uber and Lyft now-a-days. :)

Both were driving as they told me just to keep busy on their days off--because they "hate being bored!"

More importantly, I learned that despite whatever background, hardships, or adversity you come from or have experienced, you can make it in your own way! 

Motivation and hard work coupled with mercy and blessings from, and faith in the Almighty Above are an incredible combination that can propel people towards incredible levels of success in life that maybe many would've never even really dreamed of. 

There is no easy road--just one filled with trying your best, plenty of obstacles, stumbles, and falls, and then picking yourself up and trying again and again until hopefully and with G-d's help you break the bonds and chains keeping you from your amazing levels of potential and contribution to this world. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 17, 2017

A Future Beyond Fear

This is my spin on a Jack Canfield saying, but I like it this way:
"The future is on the other side of fear."
Sometimes we feel hemmed in or torn down by life.

And there is plenty of fear of failure and not being able to do what we need to do. 

But the only way to get there is to get past the fear!

You need to look straight ahead into the future of what you want. 

And you need to overcome your worst fear...that you're not good enough, you're not smart enough, you're not strong enough, and you're not beautiful enough.

...and the gnawing feeling inside that you can't do it.

This is precisely when you need to center yourself, strengthen yourself, and pray for G-d's help.

Whether to get over it, under it, or through it. 

The future--your future--is on the other side of that fear--that fear that is holding you back.

No, you're not stupid, ugly, weak, or unworthy.

Yes, you're a child of the G-d on the most high. 

So you can reach deep and reach high to accomplish your mission in life. 

You can truly leap over mountains and even reach for the stars. 

No, it's not beyond you.

It's right in front of you.

Take that deep breath, clench your fist, gird you sword, and ready yourself in every way.

The fear holding you back is yours to conquer. 

And the future is yours to be had. ;-)

(Inspired by my wife, Dannielle Blumenthal)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 13, 2017

Inspiring Greatness

I thought this was inspirational. 

Muhammad Ali believing that he's the greatest boxer.

And the child sitting in front with these huge red boxing gloves on--presumably dreaming about becoming the next Muhammad Ali!

The butterfly sitting on the boxing gloves in front of the child adds an interesting dimension, where the child dreams of developing into the "next great one," just like a butterfly morphs from a caterpillar into a beautiful flying creatures with colorful and expansive wings. 

This child wants to fly and soar to greatness like Muhammad Ali did. 

We all need an inspiration that has overcome adversity to make it against all odds. 

For me, this inspiration was Rocky who rose from the streets to become a fighter and winner not only in the ring, but in life as a person of integrity and a mensch. 

If we dream it, it can be--with G-d's blessing and plenty of hard work. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 18, 2017

Character Building Day

So I really like this...

A friend told me that when they have a really tough day, they call it:
"A Character Building Day!"

I thought that was pretty astute. 

When people are up against the wall...

And they feel like they practically have their hands and legs tied...

And the world is spinning around them out of control...

And others are throwing tomatoes, darts, arrows, and all types of other sh*t their way...

- We can either just close our eyes, feel powerless, get upset and depressed, and basically give up

OR

- We can see the tough times as challenges--however great--to build our character.

Every situation is a learning and growth opportunity. 

Don't give in--Get up and fight.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!

Yes, many days are character building days--it doesn't always feel good--often it feels horrible--but we can approach it with the right attitude and help shape our character and soul for the better.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 7, 2017

Flower 4 Monday

Just wanted to share this beautiful flower that I came across on the hiking trail yesterday. 

I have never seen a flower with pedals of pink and white candy stripes like this. 

Like a candy cane or perhaps the outfits that volunteers helping people at some hospitals wear. 

It also has these yellow buds in the center, which add to it's eloquence.

What magnificent creations that G-d has bestowed on us to enjoy. 

Hope this is a little something to cheer up your Monday and make you even more productive this week. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 2, 2017

Greatest Museum of Them All

So the greatest museum of them all is scheduled to open in just 3 months!

The Museum of the Bible.

Right here in Washington, D.C.--a few blocks from the Capitol. 

There is a wonderful video on their website

It's 430,000 square feet and 8 stories floors. 

With two 40-feet-high bronze doors that look like the Ten Commandments. 

And an overall tall and narrow shape with a curved roof that reminds me of Noah's Ark.

It encompasses: 

Religion.

History.

Art. 

It all comes together here. 

There is an interesting display of all the different versions of the Bible.

But what it all points to is how similar we all really are. 

The emergence of faith in The One G-d who created us all--his children--and the foundation in the words of His book. 

Yes, we share in common much more than what separates us. 

If we can just see ourselves in His eyes and be the people we can be and were meant to be. 

The museum should be an inspiration to be better, to be brothers, to have peace, to partner and progress to the future.

With our faith sustaining us, and the Bible and our conscience as our guides, we can overcome. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 20, 2017

Winning Attitude

I met this lady at the shopping outlets a few weeks ago. 

One of the awesome brand stores was running a sale with 70% off!

Check, check--not a gimmick--we race over with the crowd already forming lined up outside the doors. 

This salesperson was there to guide just a few people in at a time--I guess, so the mob wouldn't rip the joint to sale shreds!

This lady (pictured) had something awesome about her.

Working part time in retail, I'd imagine that it's not the job's salary and benefits that is perking her up or "getting her out of bed in the morning." 

Yet, she had the most unbelievably great attitude. 

She stopped to talk with us and tell us about her background studying and living in Israel during the year, and that she had a twin sister working in the same store for the Summer. 

Her energy and enthusiasm was inspirational and I would imagine could even be contagious to many who let themselves revel in it rather than resist it. 

As people waited on the line, this women offered them her umbrella to stay dry and cool. 

Waiting on line is not the most fun thing, even when it's for a 70% off sale, but this lady kept everyone smiling and sort of stress free with frequent updates and walking and talking up/down the line.

Listen, we all know people who do the same or similar jobs: one is grouchy, sullen, and is for all intensive purposes miserable all or most of the time; the other is generally smiling and happy to be there learning and contributing, and have the job.

What a difference between these 2 types of people!

And what a enormous contrast between the positive and negative impacts they have on others and on the organization. 

It's not just what you say and do, but how you go about doing it. 

Yes, we all have various challenges and problems in our lives, but how do you deal with it.

This doesn't mean you should be a phony baloney head--you need to be genuine and real to be credible and a high-functioning human being--and of course, everyone has bad days. 

But an overall winning attitude goes a long way in life and towards success--for yourself and how you can influence others. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 31, 2017

Born Or Forged To Lead

So are we born to lead or are we forged to greatness through adversity and lots of hard work?

Some people definitely seem to have innate leadership characteristics:

- Charisma

- Integrity

- Decisiveness

- Passion

- Determination

- Agility

- Intelligence

- Inspirational

- Confident

- Articulate

Other people maybe weren't born with it, but they learn to become great leaders through:

- Hard Work

- Willingness to learn

- Continuous improvement 

- Motivation to advance

- Finding a meaningful mission 

- Belief that they can make a difference

- Faith that G-d is guiding them

Like with most things in our life, it's a combination of nature and nurture. 

Good raw material starts us off on the right track and then forging it with fire and a hammer and polishing it off into a great sword with hardness, strength, flexibility, and balance. 

As Joanna Coles, Chief Content Officer at Hearst Magazine says:
"I'm an overnight sensation 30 years in the making."

Birth is just the beginning... ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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