Give Laughter

I had never heard of Michael Jr. He is a comedian. I found him through the website: I Like Giving. I have found myself over the last few weeks going back and watching a video, absorbing it and then coming back at a later time for a new one.

He shares his story of “giving laughter.” I love that idea. I remember a cassette tape I listened to when I was young. The narrator told a story and at the end said to “Go and give a good time.” I think about that often when I am in a situation I do not want to be in or where I, for whatever reason, cannot get out of it. I think what could I do to give in this situation? There are a few ideas he shares that hit home:

“My punchline is to make laughter common place in uncommon places.”

You will want to listen to the part (at 1:48) about the little boy who had been abused by his mom, and how Michael Jr. connects to him through laughter. I had tears. He ends his interview with:

“If we could just stop asking the question: what can I get for myself, and start asking what can I give from myself.”

Enjoy, and maybe take a moment to see other videos shared on I Like Giving.

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“Words and Pictures”

Over the long holiday weekend, we watched “Words and Pictures.” It has been a while since I have seen a good movie (or one that I actually watched completely without multi-tasking). This one sucked me in. Maybe it was the subject matter. Words, writing, ideas and art, painting, pictures. Plus it had a bit of the indie film feel to it. It was a mellow movie, not too much drama, but just the right amount of depth.

Juliette Binoche and Clive Davis are the main characters and they do not disappoint. Owen is an alcoholic, yet endearing English professor at a college prep school, and Binoche an artist/painter who cannot do what she used to after rheumatoid arthritis effects her. They begin a personal and professional war that moves both their students and their own worlds. It was not an amazing movie, but enough to keep me engaged and make me think. I was enamored watching her paint. Who knows if Binoche had any idea what she was doing at the craft of painting, watching her awakened a dormant vein inside me. I have not painted for a while. She painted large pieces, a size I do not have a space for, yet it brought back a craving for me to continue to paint. It brought back the desire to dust off my brushes and get busy painting.

As far as the movie goes, I could speak to either side of the debate (words or pictures) as the movie debates. I am a word fanatic. I love writing, find that I process my world with words. Yet, I also love art. It calms me, is therapeutic, and truly allows me to be in the moment. Some of my paintings have no words to describe them, they are just something I feel. Sometimes my words still do not do justice to what I am feeling. The debate continues, but both are just as important to me.

Check out the trailer below.

Excellence is a habit

Have you ever thought about how you bring you, yes YOU, to each moment of your day? Each moment is an opportunity to shine, to be honest, to speak up. So often I think that we glide through our day, waiting for it to end so we can commute home, hang on the couch, and then start the entire process over again the next day.

What if it were different? What if you could truly see and know that each moment of your day was leading and building up to a  much bigger and better life? It is. Remember when you spoke up in that meeting the other day, or you confronted a co-worker, or you gave that presentation without fear? Now that you have done that, you can take the next step and the one after that. Eventually you will give that presentation without sweat in your armpits, and you will not hesitate for a second to speak up to your co-worker or in that meeting.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” Will Durant

I love this quote I found the other day. Excellence happens in moments that build upon moments. We do not just wake up one day and decide: “I am going to kick ass today. I am going to win and wow folks.” No, we kick ass moment by moment. Just as it becomes a habit for a runner to lace on their shoes each morning, or the chef to walk into their kitchen and pull out pans and ingredients.

Build on each passionate moment and create excellence.