Dad's Top Ten



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. 


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

Saying Goodbye



I heard a song a few weeks back that said something like “saying goodbye is a second chance.”  It really made me think as my life is changing, as everyone's life is changing.  We call it change, but it is a chance – a chance to grow, evolve, transform – hopefully for the better.  I've had been afraid to say goodbye as my parents are getting older, to say goodbye as my children are they pass milestones in their life, to say goodbye to an old way of life. Maybe to say goodbye and appreciate those people and those evolutions and those times to transform can be done gracefully.  As I do that, it really is a second chance to be a great son, to be a great father, to be a great husband, to be a great leader, to be a great person. Some even say it's the end of the world as we know it.  At the end of 2012, the Mayans predicted thousands of years ago that life as we know it would end. I do believe life as we know it is ending, and it's okay to say goodbye. That doesn't mean humans will be extinct. That means the old way of being is becoming extinct. I appreciate the past and can see the possibilities of the future.


Last week I did say goodbye to my dad.  His life did end.  I wasn’t afraid and I because of him I have grown, evolved and transformed into who iM.  I know he is always with me – to remind me who iM.  So grateful for the opportunity to be his son.  For him to be my dad.  It is the closing moment of life as I have known it with him but only the beginning of him living on through me.  Saying goodbye really is a second chance.

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.

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.

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.