Tag Archives: Rotary

Be a “Go-Giver” #40DaysOfGiving

My entire life has been spent as a “go-getter” – climbing a professional or social ladder, working to close the next sale or charitable gift, working on the next goal or accomplishment…and I’ve always been praised for it. And most of the time I’ve even been proud of it.

But a dear friend gave me a book recently, “The Go-Giver” and I realized that what I desire to be is actually a “go-giver.” Don’t misunderstand…I’ve done some nice things along the way on this path I call life, but I’ve spent years trying to prove myself in the corporate world and always trying to please others.  I’ve finally realized it’s not about pleasing others. It’s only about pleasing God.

By being a “go-giver” rather than a “go-getter,” I am doing my part to make the world a better placego giver. My involvement with Rotary is certainly the most obvious way I give back. But not everyone is a “joiner” or part of a 1.2 million member worldwide network (and quite honestly, if you’ve heard me speak, you know I don’t believe everyone should be in Rotary…but that’s another story). But there are literally millions of ways to give back.

During this season of Lent, practice being a “go-giver” – do something nice for someone who needs it…a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker – or even a stranger. I am certain you’ll be “pleased” with how great it makes you feel to do for others.

This past week I had the opportunity to take a free vacation with friends and business associates. I worked hard to earn the trip, as did everyone else who went, and it was nice to get away. But I am reminded of how many “go-givers” were on this trip with me…the friend who bought me dinner in the airport for no apparent reason (“because I want to,” she said)…the friends who picked me up before sunrise and let me ride with them to the airport so I didn’t have to go alone…friends who went above and beyond for no reason other than because they could!

I’m blessed to have so many “go-givers” in my life. I know you are too! I’ll admit I haven’t started reading the book yet (I’m almost finished with another and this one is next), but I’m already intrigued and looking forward to it.

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Birthdays are routinely associated with gifts. Today is my 46th birthday (I know what you’re thinking…WHAAAAATTTT???) and I’ve realized the best gifts I have received are friends – far and wide – who took the time to wish me a “happy day.”

More than 1,000 social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram…sweet texts (some very early!)…tangible cards with real postage stamps…phone calls and voice mails from those far away…a surprise cake from my Rotary friends tonight at a downtown music festival…it was all just what I needed today. I’m so grateful for the special gifts of friendships.

Some people think your family is limited to those who are blood relatives. But today, my friends, fellow Rotarians and social media contacts – from the Carolinas to Delhi – proved that untrue. These people ARE my family. And they are such gifts in my life.life-is-a-gift-wake-up_25681888766_o.jpg

“Life is a gift. Wake up everyday and realize that.” I honestly had no idea how true that would be for me today. But it was easy to realize because I felt loved and valued. But tomorrow is another day. We mustn’t let the “busy”ness of our business keep us from living everyday like this, or from helping others live everyday like this.

Who in your circle is a gift to you? Take a minute today (or tomorrow) and tell them how valuable they are. It could be exactly what they need to hear.

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The “Dirty Word”

I used to think it was a “dirty word” but turns out, it’s really not. In fact, it’s perfectly acceptable and even encouraged. What word, you ask?


I’ve told you before I’m not a major donor or big-time financial supporter of the organizations I volunteer for, but I am a valuable resource because I give (often) of my time and talents. Those who know me personally might say this is an understatement.

If you’re like me, and known at work or in your community as the go-to “yes man” (or woman!) because you always agree to step up and help with a project, maybe it’s time to step back and re-evaluate your priorities. Are you the one who gets called when others disappoint or fail to produce? Are you the one who bails folks out when they are desperate? Are you the one who feels it necessary to not only attend every one of your children’s events, but also coordinate them? Maybe you’re the one who will ALWAYS go the extra mile because you have the “volunteer” gene or just because you can’t stand the guilt that comes from saying “no.”

I already know what some of you are thinking… “Hello Ms. Kettle – let me introduce you to Mr. Pot!”

But seriously, I’m working on this one. I have at least learned to say…

“Let me think about that and get back to you.”

By using this phrase – instead of immediately saying yes OR no – you demonstrate reliability and credibility. You can honestly evaluate the time you have available to commit to a new project and whether or not it fits into your plan of work, not to mention your schedule.

Sometimes we say yes to people (I know who I owe the biggest favors to) and sometimes we say yes to causes (I’m a sucker for anything Rotary-related). But sometimes we need to say “let me think about it and get back to you” before we commit or walk away.

We all have the same 168 hours every week (but that’s for another post…) so guard them carefully, and use them the best way you can. It’s important that you learn to manage your time rather than let it manage you. It simply isn’t acceptable to feel guilty for saying “no” every once in a while. More importantly, you shouldn’t feel pressured to make a decision either way immediately.

Let’s try it all together now… “Let me think about that and get back to you.”

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Go For The Gold

Watching the Olympic Games has always been something I’ve not only enjoyed, but actually looked forward to. I admit, I don’t watch every event (I don’t even understand every event!), but like many of you, I have my favorites.

This year is extra special as I am enjoying seeing many of the views I saw firsthand just last summer when I was in Brazil for the Rotary International Convention in Sao Paulo and then a brief vacation in Rio.


The sights there were beautiful – the statue of Christ, Copacabana Beach, Sugarloaf Mountain…the food (& drinks) were amazing – fresh seafood and caipirinhas… but the opportunities – to fellowship, serve, and speak on an international stage – those were remarkable experiences I will never forget.

Much like the athletes in Brazil, we must also “go for the gold” by taking advantage of every opportunity for training, networking, fellowship, service and even performance. We must set goals for ourselves and work hard to achieve them.

Posting regularly on this blog and sending weekly emails to those on my motivational e-news list (you can sign up to receive those here!) is a small step for me in my quest to “go for the gold.” I have lots more goals I hope to accomplish in the months and years to come, and I am confident I will reach each of them.

Over the next few weeks (& months), you’ll hear more about each of my goals, and I hope I can count on your support.

Will you stand on the podium with me as you reach your goals too? Or will you be sitting in the audience cheering me on? Either way is acceptable. Just don’t find yourself sitting at home watching with regret that you haven’t reached your own goals and being envious of those who have.


What’s YOUR gold for this year? Comment here or email it to me personally! You’re a champion. Let’s go prove it!


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Are You A Third Class Ticketholder?

In the days of the wild west, if you wanted to travel a great distance, you had to go by stagecoach, and it was a very long trip. There were 3 different classes of passengers – First Class, Second Class and Third Class…the seats were all the same, but the prices were different. Here’s why…

First Class mea18709928408_dfae4103f6_knt you remained seated during the entire trip, no matter what happened or what conditions might be faced.

Second Class meant you remained seated until there was a problem along the way, when you had to exit the stagecoach and walk alongside if there was a problem.

But Third Class passengers not only exited when there was a problem, they were also the ones who had to fix a broken wheel or even push the stagecoach along, through the mud, up the hills, no matter what came along. Aren’t you glad stagecoaches are no longer our mode of transportation?

So I began thinking about First Class, Second Class and even Third Class passengers when it comes to our involvement in things like Rotary or even our community. So let me ask you – what class ticket do you hold?

Too many of us hold First Class tickets – in our society, in our school or in our volunteer organization like Rotary, Interact or Rotaract – we expect to be waited on and catered to – even pampered! We’re willing to ride, but not push… We just sit back and let the others do the work. You know who those folks are don’t you?

But there are also those in our organization who hold Second Class tickets – detached spectators who show up but don’t want to get too involved. Their name goes on the roster, they even include their membership on their resume…but that’s about it. It happens in every organization.

But thankfully, there are also a few who are willing to hold Third Class tickets – willing to get out and push when the going gets tough.

We tend to equate First Class with privilege – exempt from doing any work… But is success really remaining seated while others get out and push, or is it getting your hands and feet dirty? Is success being served or serving others?

No one really CHOOSES to travel Third Class…but today, more than ever, we NEED people who are willing to travel Third Class and get a little mud on their shoes. So I ask you – are you willing to hold a Third Class ticket?

Third Class ticket holders have a heart for service. They don’t mind working behind the scenes. They are people who have made a conscious decision to get involved or join an organization whose entire reason for existence is to change the world! They are people who are willing to get out and push!!

“Be A Gift To The World” is the theme for Rotary International this year…but it’s more than a theme. It’s our stagecoach! And we are the passengers.

If we just sit in our First Class seat & expect everyone else to get behind and push, what will happen to Rotary (or any organization you are a part of)? We’ll never reach our goals – to end polio, to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, to bring about world peace – every organization in the world already has too many First Class passengers. We’re looking for a few more Third Class passengers!

We all have to get behind the load and help! It’s not easy – to be willing to chair a fundraiser or a special event, or to organize volunteers, or to take ANY position of leadership – but just imagine the wealth of possibilities if you are willing to be a Third Class passenger in your Rotary Club or your volunteer service organization!

What are you willing to do? Are you willing to be a leader instead of a spectator? My passion for Rotary is membership & social media – growing our organization with folks who have a heart for service…seeing how much more we can accomplish with more people doing the work…sharing our messages around the world… But maybe your passion is eradicating polio…  We are LITERALLY “this close” to removing this disease from the face of the planet!! Only two more countries – Pakistan & Afghanistan – are still endemic. Doesn’t that make you excited!!?? I’m grateful there are people like Nancy Barbee & John Nanni in Rotary who are PASSIONATE about ending polio! And I’m grateful for people like Anne Matthews who is PASSIONATE about providing clean water to people who need it. And I’m grateful for people like Henry Hoffmeyer in my own club in Hendersonville, NC, who is PASSIONATE about The Rotary Foundation. You see, you don’t need everyone in your organization to have the same passion! Maybe you will be passionate about international projects, or giving dictionaries to third graders, or providing food and shelter for those who are homeless. That’s what makes our organization – & YOUR organization – so successful. So my advice to you – as you embark on this adventure of being a “Third Class Ticketholder” – is to find YOUR passion…and make it your purpose12573147_1070809132969160_284201677972304082_n!

Take advantage of the opportunities you’re going to receive from your membership in Rotary or whatever organization you choose. Be a doer…Be a leader…Be a servant…Be an innovator…Be a collaborator… But most importantly, be a third-class ticketholder!

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