Motivational Minute (click this link to hear audio message)
 
Hi. I’m Habeeb Habeeb, and this is your motivational minute.
 
John Maxwell, in the Live2Lead simulcast I hosted last October said about being older: “Are you adding years to your life, or adding life to your years?”
 
We all get older, but are we all growing? If we don’t change, we are not growing, and if we are not growing, we are not really living.  
 
Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who don’t succeed. If we get older right and try to run this race correctly, we gain the proper perspective, wisdom, and maturity.
 
I loved Maxwell’s words and advice. Growing requires constant training. I you agree and you missed Maxwell last October, you have another opportunity. I am hosting John Maxwell’s Live2Lead simulcast again in 2017 at the iHotel in Champaign. Seating is limited so buy your tickets today at HabeebHabeeb.com, and bring a friend or a colleague with you.
 
On behalf of myself and our teams at BPC and A&R Mechanical, I wish you success in adding life to your years.

 

 

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Many of us will be celebrating this 4th of July with picnics and get-togethers. Good times and fun. 

We are truly blessed beyond measure when compared with most other countries, and it would be easy to forget our blessings.

In Deuteronomy 8, the people were reminded that they are about to enter the land of milk and honey, a land where bread will not be scarce and they will lack nothing.

They were told: “When you have eaten and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and thus confirms His covenant.

As we enjoy ourselves this 4th of July, let us be compassionate to those who are in need. Let us remember The One who gives us the ability to produce wealth. Let us reflect and give thanks.

Happy 4th of July. I’m Habeeb Habeeb. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Is there a difference between Happiness and Positivity? Yes, says Steve Gladis. Happiness is a state of mood while Positivity is a state of mind. While many things make us happy such as a sunny day, a smile, a compliment… it takes much more to make us have a positive mindset.

We as leaders have a direct and powerful effect on the lives of others. People want someone they can trust, not one who can artificially pump sunshine into the room.  
They want someone to tell them the truth, be with them when the going gets tough, give them optimism and hope for the future. They want someone who is happy, has compassion, one who is humble and attentive, respectful, and optimistic.

Positive leaders make all the difference and change the game. Positive leaders infect their team with good things, they infuse energy and instill confidence. Soon, a team can go from awful to awesome, from toxic to inspiring, from losing to winning. 

Choose to go to the higher level from being just happy to being truly positive.

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Did you know each one of us has two dogs inside us? So says Jon Gordon. One dog is positive, happy, optimistic, and hopeful. The other dog is negative, sad, pessimistic, and fearful. These two dogs often fight inside us, but guess who wins the fight? 

The dog who wins is the one you feed the most. You have to feed the positive dog inside you and starve the negative dog. The more you feed the positive dog, the more it grows. The more you starve the negative dog, the more it shrinks and weakens. You become to dog you feed.”

Gordon’s words are so true. Research shows the benefits of positivity. Positive people live longer, perform better, are able to make better decisions under pressure, have happier marriages, and are more resilient when facing stress, challenges, and adversity.

Positive thoughts and emotions counter the negative effects of stress. You can’t be thankful and stressed at the same time?  What’s that again? You can’t be thankful and stressed at the same time. Try it! 

Remember: We become the dog we feed. Choose to feed the positive dog inside you. 

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

A consultant was hired by a supermarket chain to lead a customer service program to build customer loyalty. She challenged everyone to make a difference and create memories for their customers to bring them back.

Johnny, a nineteen year-old bagger with down syndrome, liked what she said but wondered what he could do. After all, he was just a bagger. 

Then he had an idea. Every night after work, he thought of a thought for the day. His dad helped him set it up on the computer and print multiple copies. Johnny cut each quote and signed his name on the back. 
The next day, he would put a thought in each customer’s bag and say “Thanks for shopping with us”. 
A month passed, and the store manager while walking found that Johnny’s line was three times longer than other lines so he called for help, but the customers only wanted to be in Johnny’s line.

The moral of the story: We can all make a difference, no matter who we are. Choose to put your personal signature on the job.

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

During Mark's first month of attending a small college, the professor gave his students a pop quiz. He was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until he read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. He had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would he know her name? He handed in his paper, leaving the last question blank.

Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward the quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They each deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'". Mark never forgot that lesson. He also learned her name was Dorothy.

Everyone is important. Let’s live our lives in a way that makes everyone around us feel their worth. 

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Once a farmer found an abandoned eagle's nest and in it was an egg that was still warm. He took the egg back to his farm and laid it in the nest of one of his hens.

The egg hatched and the baby eagle grew up along with the other chickens. It pecked about the farmyard, scrabbling for grain. It spent its life within the yard and rarely looked up. 

When it was very old, one day it lifted up its head and saw above it a wonderful sight - an eagle soaring high above in the sky. Looking at it, the old creature sighed and said to itself, "If only I'd been born an eagle".

The Moral of the story?  Too often we live our lives imposing our own limitations on ourselves, not realizing the full extent of our God-given abilities. Most great accomplishments in history have been achieved by ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things.

You can do it too. Don’t allow yourself to live a half-hearted life. Live a life of passion.

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

We’ve been talking about the three steps to Thanksgiving: Think-Say-and-Act.  Think it in your heart, say it with your words, and doing a specific act of Thankfulness. 

So this week is the third step: ACTING. Let me encourage you to notch it up a bit in the way you act. Do something unexpected, something creative and memorable. Here is an example that happened on Halloween night. 

Every year, children run up to our doorstep, say “trick or treat”, open their bags, receive our candy and run off. This year I was amazed when two little girls tore off a handwritten note from their small spiral notepad and gave it to us. They had drawn pictures of a ghost, a pumpkin, a bat, and the words :”Thank You!”. They had a notepad full of these. In ALL our years handing out candy, this was the first time a child had notched it up and done this. It was fun and made us smile.

This Thanksgiving, resolve to stop taking and start expressing thanks. Resolve to notch up your action.

thanksgiving act
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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

We’ve been talking about the three steps regarding Thanksgiving and Happiness: Think-Say-and-Act. Today we’ll talk about step 2: Say.

After filling our heads with grateful thoughts and thinking about them, we must start expressing these thoughts into words of thanks and outward encouragement. We must look for something to be grateful for in those around us, especially loved ones. Notice I said reasons to be grateful for, not reasons to criticize. Dwell on how they have grown in various areas and the victories you’ve had together, and TELL them the reasons you are grateful for them.

For children and adults, another simple way to cultivate gratitude is to literally count our blessings. For example, keep a journal and regularly record whatever you are grateful for that day. Be specific. Don’t just list “my friends, my school, my dog” day after day. Doctors say that writing “my dog licked my face when I was sad” keeps it fresher and avoids gratitude fatigue. 

So this week, make sure you say and express your gratitude out loud to others.

This was Step 2. Saying. More to come next week in part 3-ACTING. 

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Last week I talked about the connection between gratitude and happiness, and I mentioned three important steps. Think-Say-and-ACT. Today is step 1: Thinking.

It all starts with thinking, because “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”. This means what you continually “think about” comes out in your words and actions and changes your life for better or towards a more negative outcome. 

The real benefit comes in changing how you experience the world. Look for things to be grateful for, and you’ll start seeing them. When you have and dwell on thoughts of gratitude, you will have more energy, more optimism, and more happiness. 

Studies show that using negative, derogatory words — even as you talk to yourself — can darken your mood and dampen your spirit. Grateful student reported higher grades, more life satisfaction, and better social integration. 

Gratefulness does not depend on your material possessions. It is a state of mind no matter what your circumstances are. So let’s start this week by thinking gratefully. More to come next week. 

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. To some, it’s Turkey, dressing and black Friday shopping. To others, it is one week of Thanksgiving. To some others, it is a state of mind ALL year long.
 
Thanksgiving is important. Many studies show a strong correlation between Thanksgiving and Happiness, and that people who maintain an “attitude of gratitude” tend to be happier and healthier than those who don’t. 

Over next couple of weeks, I will talk about three important steps to help you be more thankful and happier. These three steps are: Think-Say-and-Act.  You think it in your heart, you say it with your words (to yourself and to others), and you act upon that feeling of thankfulness by actually doing a specific act. 

Most people want to be happier. Even non-religious experts say that thanksgiving increases your happiness, so you sought to consider being thankful. If you’re grateful, that’s awesome, but even those who are not grateful can change course. 

Please reflect and think aloud about this. More to come next week when we talk about STEP 1-THINKING. 

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Never forget where you came from. That advice is an excellent reminder for all of us as we take our journey through life. 

Some have been blessed to have had a wonderful journey so far, and most others had struggles, adversity, broken dreams, heartaches and losses.

No matter what our past has been, we ought to be thankful for the good things, and mindful of the struggles we’ve had. As our path turns into greener pastures, not forgetting our past struggles helps us empathize with those who are now going through that phase. It allows us to be kind and gentle to them. 

It is also important not to let our past define us. Use past experiences as a guide of what to do and what NOT to do. Had a kind boss? BE like them. Had an unkind boss? DON’T perpetuate what they did. 

Take the best of all that has happened to you, free yourself from the unhappy memories, and forge a kinder and gentler life forward.

Never forget where you came from, but don’t allow yourself to be defined by it.    

never forget where you came from.jpg
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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

When it comes to doing it today versus procrastinating till tomorrow: some get it done, others wait till the last minute, and some others do work-related tasks promptly but procrastinate the intangible items in their lives. 

Procrastination makes easy things hard, and hard things harder. It is like a credit card: It’s a lot of fun until you get the bill. 

Well, if we were told we have only one month to live, some delayed things take on a sudden urgency and we would scramble to do them. 

Since we usually don’t know how long we have to live, let us remember to do those important things we have delayed. Pick up the phone and call family or friends whom you’ve been meaning to call. Tell them something you’ve been meaning to tell them, such as “I love you” or “I forgive you”. Write that note you wanted to write. Do that good deed you’ve been meaning to do. 

The world is better, kinder, happier, and much more fulfilling when we take time to do the good things we know we have to do. I urge you to take time today.

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Friendship is a beautiful thing, especially in a world where struggles are real and a good friend is a treasure. Advice abounds about the importance of friendships, for example consider this wisdom from Ecclesiastes:
Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Remember the importance of friendships. Reach out to a friend today and tell them: I am your friend. I am here for you. You can depend on me. How can I lift you up? 
In addition, help someone who may not have any friends. Many in our society move into new cities and know no one there. You could be a spark of hope for a newcomer. Whatever you do for others may one day come back for you at a time you need help in a down time. 

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Helping those who are in lesser circumstances such as the poor and the downtrodden has been important to societies for a long time. Thousands of years ago, people were commanded to remember the poor as they harvest the fields. So hear this: 

"When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you."

Well, even though the poor do not walk into our fields to get their food these days, the same principle applies. We are encouraged to reflect on our blessings and remember others by helping them directly or by giving to charities and not-for-profits who help those in need.  

Another thing the ancients were told is this: "There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore be openhanded toward those who are poor and needy."

Do you have enough food on your table? Reflect on this blessing and share with those who don’t. Hunger is a real problem in our county. Let’s give back from a portion of our blessings. 

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

The Marathon is in Illinois this week, and I wanted to talk with you about races.

Marathons are not like the 100 meter sprint. The sprint is a brief, mad dash to the finish line. A Marathon is a prolonged, high intensity endurance event… like real life.

To succeed, you have to learn, listen to advice, and train your body for endurance. You have to divide the race into segments. You have to be in shape.

Life is like a marathon. It is usually an extended event and includes various seasons in life. Unlike a sprint and like a marathon, life requires Oxygen, and lots of it.  Training, being in shape mentally and physically, and a strong faith are some of the things that help us get through life.

Spend some time today evaluating where you are in this marathon, in this race of life. Invest in yourself, in your thoughts, and in what you fill you mind with. And may you be able to say at the end: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Where are you in life? Do you wish you can do better? Do you wish you can start over, or do you think that your chance in life had passed you by?

NO!! I’m telling you: Stop that thinking!  “It’s never too late to be the person you’ve always wanted to be.”

Many people have made mistakes and failed before they overcame them and started over.

Most of us think Einstein was genius, but he didn’t always show such promise. He did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven. This caused his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped. And although he was expelled from school he overcame his failures and eventually won the Nobel Prize and changed the face of physics.

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there’s always another chance for you. Failure is not falling down but staying down.

If others can do it, so can you. I challenge you to start over today and be the person you’ve always wanted to be, and the person that you can be.

 

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

I had a poster in my college dorm room of the poem “Desiderata” – by Max Ehrmann. It said:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

That poem always sounded too similar to Romans 12 where it says:

“Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Today is our reminder not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good.

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

Do you wonder whether your children notice your actions, and whether they are influenced by such actions?

I was a young teenager and we were poor. My father cashed his paycheck at the bank, and when returned home, he counted the money. He frowned and asked mom to count it because the amount was incorrect.

My mom counted the money and confirmed that he received an extra $100 liras. I remember my ears perking and hoping we would have extra toys that month.

My father told us he is returning the money to the bank. It would have been really easy to rationalize that we really needed the money. And besides, the bank is a faceless business and they have more money than us. But my father said that the money was not ours.

It has been over 40 years, and I vividly remember that incident. Every time I receive too much change, my father’s actions remind me to make the right decisions.

We are not perfect people, but we are role models. Choose to make your actions good examples to your children.

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb

A consultant was hired by a supermarket chain to lead a customer service program to build customer loyalty. She challenged everyone to make a difference and create memories for their customers to bring them back.

Johnny, a nineteen year-old bagger with down syndrome, liked what she said but wondered what he could do. After all, he was just a bagger.

Then he had an idea. Every night after work, he thought of a thought for the day. His dad helped him set it up on the computer and print multiple copies. Johnny cut each quote and signed his name on the back.

The next day, he would put a thought in each customer’s bag and say “Thanks for shopping with us”.

A month passed, and the store manager while walking found that Johnny’s line was three times longer than other lines so he called for help, but the customers only wanted to be in Johnny’s line.

The moral of the story: We can all make a difference, no matter who we are. Choose to put your personal signature on the job.

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AuthorHabeeb Habeeb