Dad's Top Ten

BY BOB SHENEFELT

 

Dad didn't preach lessons. He and mom lived them. Here are my Top Ten:

10. Be Positive It will all work out. Move on.  That was then; this is now.  Celebrate the positives, don't dwell on the negatives.  My parents are amazingly simple, positive people.  What a great trait that is.  There's something that's happening, what's the positive out of it?  Well, I got stuck in a traffic jam.  My parents' response?  At least I wasn't in the accident.

9. Have Great Vacations Creating great memories with our spouses, with our family, with our friends.  Truly getting away.  It didn't have to be fancy.  As a matter of fact, the vacations I remember most were the simplest, without all the bells and whistles, which leads to number eight…

8. Enjoy Nature Many of those great vacations involved and were in nature.  To be able to watch a sunset over a mountain or a lake, to take a second to breathe that in, to be fulfilled, to be with others in that moment. 

7. Use Sports There's laughter, there's team work, there's friendly competition all around sports.  Watching the Tigers come back and win at the end of the game – even on TV, it was memorable family moments.

6. Be Grateful Be grateful for your fortunes, for each other, for life.  Gratitude is one of those amazing things.

5. Keep it Simple Don't rush. Don't create drama. Don’t worry about what others think.  Don’t worry about “keeping up with the Jones's.”  Mom and dad just did simple things that worked for them.

4.  Have A Happy Hour Make time to check in, to slow down, and to take a deep breath.  Often our happy hours were at lakes, on beaches, around the pool, in front of a fireplace, on the screen porch. Didn’t matter where; just that it happened.

3. Maintain Lifelong Friendships Create great relationships - people that will be there for 50 years.  Have “lifers” - people that will literally do anything for you, and that you would do for them.

2. Have a Sense of Humor Laugh at the moment, laugh at life, and laugh at ourselves.  It's funny, how can we not laugh?  Don't take things too seriously.  Also be aware that humor is not used at the other's expense, but gentle teasing helps us to not take life too seriously.

1.  Family First – Always Dad lovedmom and us.   It was always family first.  He showed up and was there for our family.  He was available, present and it was unconditional.  He was a servant leader with us – doing things for something greater than himself.  We were never a burden.  He loves Mom and us..always and  forever. 

Tribute

SHENEFELT WILLIAM C., 86, of Northville, retired from Ford Motor Co. in 1988, died July 25, 2013. Loving husband of Jan for 59 years. Father of Sue Manciu (Jack), Chris (Patty), and Bob (Sheryl). Grandfather of Michael, Alison, Brian, Steven, Grace and Nick. Memorial service was held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August , 3rd at Westminster Church, 17567 Hubbell St., Detroit, 48235. Memorial tributes suggested to Westminster Church or St John Hospice, 37650 Garfield, Clinton Twp., MI 48036.

From The Author:  There were times in my journey where I was frustrated that my father didn't sit me down and verbally tell me what life was about and what is spirit - something greater than ourselves.  My dad was a man of relatively few words - wise and funny words.  In the last couple of years, as I started to be grateful for my father and my parents and looking at the amazing things that I've learned from them, these top ten things literally have been my spiritual foundation, the core and character of who I am.  What more could I ever have asked from two amazing parents.  I look to my father to lead by example, to walk the talk, to help me to be a person, a man, husband and father.  Thank you Dad; you matter most to me. Peace, Bob

New day...new blog

BY BOB SHENEFELT

 

As I continue to do my daily check-in, I realize many of my years and frustrations and things that bring me down are small, mundane, day to day things.  So there are things I don't want to do, I'm not good at, that might be hard or there might beconflict.  As I check in and realize it may not be as bad as I think, and what can I truly get done today to move forward in that issue or that dread, take it bite size, not out a few big things -- few little things, maybe it won't be as bad as I thought.  Maybe I can knock it out sooner than I thought.  Maybe it'll be great.  Maybe I'll learn something.  Maybe I'll prove to myself in the universe I learn something and be an example, a leader for others to follow.

So today I begin with one of those things – blogging.  It gets me down to have thoughts and words but I don’t get them out so it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Today, I will take it in bite size portions and welcome the opportunity to lead…to learn…to share. Here’s to a new day – and a new blog.

Peace, Bob

Inspiration: The Power of Perpetual Optimism

I once thought that inspirational things inspired people, but I've realized that people are inspired by inspiration itself. Inspiration can be born of many things - a great idea, strong leadership (especially in difficult times), the opportunity to contribute or make a difference, or simply realizing that by taking action you can make things better in some way. As a soldier for many years, I had occasion to encounter circumstances that could quickly demoralize people and whole organizations. It was during those times that I discovered a key that worked time and again to keep people engaged, effective and enthused. The key is the power of perpetual optimism.

Creating Safe Space: The Key to Effective Communications

A key element in any relationship, personal or professional, is the capability and willingness to communicate openly. But how often do we experience a breakdown in communication because one or more of the participants holds back from fully expressing his or her ideas for fear of offending or fear of pushback? Here is a process you can put in place that enables open communications within all your relationships. We call it Creating Safe Space.

Stress is Stress...

Many of us are familiar with the sources of stress these days - busy schedules, conflicting requirements, personal finances, job demands, personal pet peeves, etc, etc. Additionally, many are equally familiar with the time-tested measures one can use to deal with stress - eat right, get some exercise, make sure you get enough sleep, take time out for yourself, and so many more. All the demands of life, the personal irritants and the advice on how to cope with stress can become overwhelming and paralyzing at some point.

Work-Life Balance: Three Steps to a Harmonious Life

As a vision coach, I work with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders to help them turn their very good, accomplished lives into truly wonderful, fulfilling lives. One of the most frequent complaints I hear from the individuals and groups I work with is that they can’t seem to strike a comfortable work-life balance. An entrepreneur myself, I rode the teeter-totter of work-life balance for years. Then, after intensive study, I realized that this concept of “balance” we’ve been seeking may not really be the Holy Grail, after all.

Gandhi said that, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony,” and he was right. At iMatter, my vision coaching company, we teach that true fulfillment stems from having all things in alignment. We seek harmony rather than balance.

Being an Entrepreneur (Remember, You’re Not Alone)

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It's exciting, of course, but it involves taking risks ... and that can be scary. It's a lot like being a teenager, venturing out on our own, trying things, bucking the rules, creating new systems, following our guts, and yet it can also be lonely. So, much like teenagers, we often look to the only people we know will “understand” – our peers. This is how forums in associations like YEO and YPO came to be -- peer groups, in which we can feel like we're not alone, and get support, and interact with like-minded individuals who can shorten the learning curve. If you don’t already, I encourage you to find a group like this to get things out of your head. As Author Neil Walsh said, “To be sane is to be out of your mind. Get dreams, thoughts, fears out of your head and out of your heart, and share them with people who can share their learning experiences and give you honest, useful feedback.”

The Wind Beneath Our Wings: Revitalizing and Sustaining Relationships

My wife and I are approaching our 40th anniversary, so lately I’ve been reflecting on all the years we spent together. In our first 30 years, we were an active duty Army family. That means we traveled a lot and spent a lot of time apart – a hard way to start a marriage, much less keep it going strong for three decades! If it weren’t for discipline and communication (not to mention, the amazing patience and commitment of my wife), we wouldn’t have such a wonderful milestone to look forward to this year.

I remember experiencing a great revelation one night while dancing with my wife to the Lou Rawls song “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Before the song was through, she told me she enjoyed being the wind beneath my wings as I advanced my career as an Army officer. Those words meant a lot to me – but, at the same time, it occurred to me that our relationship was focusing on my goals and aspirations at the expense of hers.

Following Your North Star: Purpose

Life comes at us fast these days. So much activity, so much data to be absorbed, so many decisions to be made, and very little time to act. In these circumstances, it is vitally important to understand what really matters, to stay focused on those key areas, and to not become distracted by the “noise.” However, the challenge for many of us is in figuring out what to focus on, and then staying focused.

Staying focused can be particularly difficult in our present business climate, when people and organizations are pushed to show immediate results. The rub often occurs when the plans and strategies can’t keep pace with the demands of modern life and business. This, in turn, leads to frustration. It’s not uncommon for people to lose sight of their original purpose as they react to immediate demands.

Welcome to the Wisdom Age

I believe we now reside in the greatest age in the history of humanity: the Wisdom Age.

How did we get here? Well, the hunter killed the animal that fed the farmer … the farmer grew the crops that fed the industrialist … the industrialist made the supplies to enable the technologist … and the technologist has given us access to all the information we could want.

We have a new level of access to information about one another, as we use the Web to merge into global communities based on shared beliefs … communities that transcend governments and physical boundaries.

We have the power to free ourselves from