Do You Have the Guts?

Every once in a while, you find something that you want to share with everyone.  It might be a thought or idea, a movie, a song, a piece of art, a gift you were given…or a book.

Let’s face it, that is how many best selling books become best sellers.  People share their joy and excitement for the book they read.  Look no further than Oprah and her book club.

In recent times I have been guilty of this.  There are a couple of books that I thought so highly of that I gave them to Diana, Blake, Drew and Tyler… and others.   That says something, when you give a book to those you love.  Not because of any reason, other than you think that much of the book and the person…and they should be together because it will make a difference.  And I believe that it can…if you read the book.

One book in particular is “The Go-Giver”.

I was told about this book about two years ago.  I was struggling with a few things, and trying to find some answers when I wasn’t even sure what the questions were or who was asking them.  A dear friend of mine, Cindy Adams Harrison PhD, told me about this book.  She didn’t really say much about it, other than you need to read it.  It is a “game changer”.  So I filed that bit of advice and kept searching for those answers, with no questions.

For whatever reason, I was in no hurry to read the book.  I looked at the summary on Amazon and put it in my “basket”.  But nothing quite moved me.  Then about last September I decided to get it and read it.  And Cindy was right, it is a game changer if you let it be.

A simple book.  Quick read.  Written in a story like fashion, almost like a parable.  An easy read.  And as I was reading it, I could imagine the characters as people I knew.  Some of them I saw as many people in my life, past and present. Sometimes it was myself.  Sometimes it was Diana, or Blake, Drew or Tyler.  Perhaps it was someone I worked with, managed or reported to.  Aha, there I saw my neighbor, and a team mate from a soccer team.  And on, and on.

Like many similar books, this one has a set of  “laws or traits, principles or habits”.

But unlike others, these are much different.  They force you to look at yourself and what you are doing in a different light.  Wearing a different pair of rose-colored glasses.  That when you take the glasses off, things still look rosey!

The whole story is base on misconceptions in life…that can also be applied in business.  Most of these type of  books look at life from a point of  “Here is what you should focus on if you want to…(Fill in the Blank )…”  However this book,”The Go-Giver”, illuminates the idea of a generous soul…Karma…and how it can change things in your life.  It will take your thoughts on how things should be done, and turn them upside down, in the process changing the way you look at life, business, others and yourself.

Truth is, I am not sure how many people will pick up this book and even dare to read it.  Most people are too negative.  They don’t want to change.  They don’t have the time or the inclination. They don’t have the guts to try something new, they just might like things the way they are.  And as Gomer Pyle would say, “Shame, Shame, Shame”.  

Some will say “it is too soft”.  “Not enough teeth in the idea.”  “I am pragmatic about these things.”  And to those I say, “Okay”.  But, pragmatism is a rather relative term, and perhaps a cop out.  The concepts in this book are certainly full of practical applications as well as theory.

Not sure if everyone I have given this book to has read it.  Or if everyone I have told about the book has bothered to look it up.  I can’t control that part.

But I can control myself and what I do.  Glad I took Cindy’s advice.

I think I waited so long to pick up the book because it was finally the right time.  I needed it and was ready to receive the message.  It was worth it.

I think it will help me to get more out of life.  And if you have enough guts to read it…it could make a difference in your’s also!



Red Letter Days…Red Letter Cocktails…Red Letter Lives

Red letter days.

Days that are special ones, set aside by being in red ink.  These are the days that are special to us.  Ones that we will remember.

Red letter days originated with the church…as it seems many/most things are that can be difficult to explain.  It was a term used in academia and the church to signify a church festival (BINGO!????) or a holy day or any day of significance. 

A special day, indeed.

We all have them in our lives…red letter days.  Dates, times places we recall that stand out in our lives, in our minds.  Birthdays…Weddings…Anniversaries…the Birth of your child, grandchildren…certain historical or societal events. 

Today is one.  Elvis Presley died on this day.  I recall on this day in 1977  Diana and I were in a tuxedo rental store in North St Louis County at Jamestown Mall.  A high school friend of mine, Don Behan, worked there, so I decided to go there to pick out the tuxes for our wedding.  Soon after Diana told me what I liked (wink-wink) I heard a voice over the intercom say,”Elvis has left the building…for good”.  The king had died on the throne…really, he did…on the “throne.”

A red letter day.

JFK assasination…a red letter day.  MLK…red letter day.  Challenger explosion…9-11…they all stand out among the other days…

Our lives are full of them.  If we live to be 75 years old, have three children, married 45 years, add Christmases, social events and other family functions, we will have…(let’s see, add the 3, carry the 4, assume a lot…)  … oh, perhaps anywhere between 200 and 250 red lettter days in our lives.  Seems like a lot…but in comparison…it kinda falls short.

Last Friday evening was one of those days for us.  A red letter day.  It was a celebration of Drew and Rachel’s wedding in Italy.  They had a “local” celebration with family and friends in St Louis.  Their version of a “reception”…after their wedding in Italy.  Totally non-traditional. (what else would you expect from Drew and Rachel?  Exactly!)  Totally remarkable and as unforgettable as the gown she wore.  It was definately “red-letter-esque”.  Something to remember.  And if I can remember it with all I had to imbibe…well, let’s just say it “rocked”.





Family and friends…does it really get much better? 

NopeNot this time.

And to add to that, TJ and Chad Michael made some special red letter cocktails to go along with the red letter date.   The cocktails were…

Golden Train

  • 2 ounces Don Q anjejo rum
  • 1 Ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • .5 ounce grapefruit juice
  • .5 ounce Averna Amaro
  • Mole bitters
  • Splash of Rose Champagne


After Tonight

  • 1.5 ounce Buffalo Trace bourbon
  • .5 ounce Green Chartreuse
  • .75 Cocchi Americano
  • Creole bitters
  • Lemon twist

Try them on your own…if you dare.

The celebration was illuminated by the ambiance and decorations at the Lumen Place in St Louis.  A little of Italy was present in the cake made with ricotta cheese, from “the Hill”.  Blake, Yvonne and Tyler sent their greetings and well wishes.  A video of wedding pics played through the night.  Family and friends flew in from out of town.  Special dances, Father-Daughter and Mother -Son, were danced.  And a great time was had by all.




Red letter date indeed.

We need more of them.

But it is up to us to make them.

I challenge each of you to make each day something special.  We all deserve to have more than 200-250 days in our lives that are “special”!  Make each day special.  Do something special.  Tell someone they are special.  Make something.  Rescue a pet.  Write a note.  Make a moment special.  Express your love for someone or something.  Surrender the moment and your desires and help someone else…in the process your desires will arise out of nowhere and become something special…something “red letter”.

I bet you can.  I bet I can.  I know we can. 

And if we do, our lives will be RED LETTER.  Something really special…for each one of us…for us all…for more than 200-250 flippin’ days!!!

Here’s to living a red letter life!