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Perspective is Everything


By Claude Hamilton

One of my military leaders was a great storyteller. At the time, I was spending a lot of nights in a helicopter with a team of Americans. Some of those nights were long ones, so our leader helped us pass the time by talking about our missions, and why we were doing them. Those talks had the potential to be pretty boring, but his stories had a way of giving me goosebumps. He made every mission feel significant, even if we were doing something as simple as taking pictures. In fact, his words were so inspiring, I felt like even if I weren’t being paid, I would still be up there, doing whatever we were doing that night.

Why did this man evoke so much commitment and loyalty? Because he showed us that we had a cause. By the time he’d finished talking, we already felt like we were making a difference, just by sitting in that helicopter. And our leader was right—what we were doing did matter, but we didn’t realize how much until he found the words to express it.

After my perspective changed, my attitude improved almost automatically. Now that I had a cause I understood, I had something to work towards. I felt committed to accomplishing a task that would better the world, and that was more motivational than anything else could have been.

Just think about it. In World War II, were soldiers fighting to earn money? Not a chance. They were fighting for freedom, a greater cause that provoked passion, commitment and a sense of duty.

I’ve carried that lesson with me as I worked to build my business. Even though some days were incredibly tough, I was working towards a cause that kept me motivated. And my cause wasn’t money, either. More than anything, I wanted to give my wife a way to stay home. Most mornings, she was in tears as she left for work, in anticipation of being mistreated by her co-workers. So there was nothing more important to me than helping her out of that situation.




By Tim Marks

I am re-reading The Talent Code by author Daniel Coyle.  It gives the example of how the Brazilians dominate in soccer; in no small part because they’ve found a way to train their players before the youngsters even begin playing the sport.  Many of the kids never even step foot on a grass field until they are 14-15 years old. Quite strategically, they’ve been honing their craft using another game called futsal.

Futsal is different from soccer in several ways.  It is played on a smaller playing field, so a competitor is always in the player's face, thereby increasing the intensity and competitiveness of the game.  It is played on a concrete or wood floor, not a grass field.  The biggest difference, though, between futsal and soccer is that futsal uses a smaller and heavier ball.  Why is this important?  Because the players can’t kick the ball down the field away from themselves; they must learn to control and manipulate the ball to a much higher degree than is demanded of them during normal soccer play.  As author Daniel Coyle says in his blog,,

“Futbol de salao [“futsal”] develops skill circuits far faster than the outdoor game, because players:

Touch the ball more often—600 percent more often, according to one study. More touches—in other words, more circuit-firings—creates more skill.
Are forced to develop more moves. Merely booting the ball down the field—often the first option in the outdoor game—doesn’t work. Futbol de salao players practice lots of fakes and tricks—because they have to. As one Brazilian told me, “Futsal is our national laboratory of improvisation.”
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Social Security – What Happened?


By Orrin Woodward

When I was eighteen, I had, in one day, two life changing experiences, both coming on my first day of work.  One for good, the other, not so good.  All of the new co-op students for AC Spark Plug, then a division of GM, gathered around a long wooden table in a conference room, to learn of their roles and responsibilities.  It was at this meeting that I first met Chris Brady, my good friend and business partner.  This was the good life changing event, as Chris and I have partnered in business over the last fifteen years, producing results and memories that will last a lifetime.  I will save my Brady stories for another time, mainly, because I want to discuss the other life altering experience that day.  I was an A section student at GMI-EMI (now Kettering), so I went to school during the summer while B section students worked in the summer, with each section rotating between work and school every twelve weeks.  Because I was A section, I was only at work one day that summer for my initiation, meaning AC had to cut a check for that day before I headed to school the following Monday.  You can imagine my anticipation, after leaving work, making my way to my rusty Chevette, when opening my first ever paycheck.  I made a whopping sixty-four dollars minus,  Federal withholding, Michigan State withholding, Flint City witholding, and FICA, leaving a grand total of around forty dollars.  I couldn’t believe the taxes taken from my check, over one third of my check vanished, but still a nice amount for a broke eighteen year old.  I quickly reviewed the taxes and acknowledged some legitimacy (the tax, not the amount) for the Federal, State, and City, but what is this FICA (

The Only Way to Be Happy is to Give Happy


By Chris Brady

It's common to hear people say, "I just want to be happy."  And who doesn't?  It's certainly much better to be happy than sad.  Good times are better to experience than bad.  But pursuing happy is a little off the mark.  It's like trying to grab smoke. 

Whenever we make happiness our goal, we set ourselves up for a futile chase.  First, we do something that we think will make us happy.  Then, once that pleasure is through, we move on to the next.  Usually, the pleasures have to escalate to continue to satisfy, and we find ourselves in an endless climb.   From pleasure to pleasure we go, never rea042204_fg1lly finding happiness.

The paradox is that happiness comes from living according to the highest picture we have of ourselves, not from pursuing and receiving pleasure.  Everybody has an image in their mind of who they are and what they stand for.  Sometimes our actions verify this inner image, and sometimes they run counter to it.  This is where our spirituality comes in.  The proper picture of ourselves is from God's perspective.  Our perspective will always be a little flawed, skewed, and biased.  We either tend to think we are better than we are, or we think horribly of ourselves.  But our Creator has the true picture, and the closer we get to understanding what the Bible says about who we are, about "who's" we are, and about what we are here to do, the more we can understand what the accurate picture of ourselves should be.  Happiness then comes from living according to this accurate and true picture of ourselves. 


Art Exchange


By Terri Brady

Posted on February 16, 2012

I found a note on my desk from my daughter. It read, “Dear Mom, I borrowed some paper but will give some art.”  As the paper was indeed returned in its promised form, I was pleased and impressed with the variety: paintings, and pen-drawings, notes and 3-D creations came pouring back onto my desk – all from a ream of paper and its cousins: Post-it notes and canvas.  Her brothers helped.