What Our Elders Can Teach Us

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, August 14, 2016

What Our Elders Can Teach Us

By Glennel Hardy


 

On the weekends I have one of my favorite restaurants that I love to frequent called First Watch. Lately I have changed up what I order and always looking forward to trying something new.  One of the joys that I have of going to breakfast on the weekend is seeing my favorite senior couple at the restaurant.  While his wife has Alzheimer’s, without fail the husband is there patiently listening to every story, that she repeats.

I greet the husband with a handshake, and I always greet his wife with a hug, and a gentle kiss on the cheek.  At times when I approach her, and I am not wearing my Arizona State University  t-shirt she may not recall who I am, and he would yell out to her “ASU.”  She would then nod and give me the biggest hug, and would say that she received her doctorate from ASU.  She would then look into my eyes, and this excitement would overcome her, and she would then kiss me again, before her husband then says “knock it off you two,” playfully.

She resides in a world that both I and her husband may not fully understand, but in her world at that very moment everything is beautiful.  We should therefore challenge ourselves to find the beauty in every circumstance that we may come across.

 At this moment there is beauty that surrounds us, but at times we must look diligently in order to find it.

Take the Next Exit

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Monday, August 01, 2016 

Take the Next Exit 

By Glennel Hardy


 

Do you ever find yourself driving down the freeway, and you happen to drive by your exit, and it’s too late to take action?  Driving down a freeway is quite similar to opportunities in life in which we do not act upon.  There are multiple opportunities but how do we know for sure which ones to act on, and which opportunities to bypass?

This past week I deeply reflected on what I have accomplished, and what more is left to do.  What we may consider as missed opportunities, could be building up to something that was meant for us to do.  I placed myself in the missed opportunity, and wondered if I had in fact acted upon it, would I have what’s in front of me today.  Would the people that I have now met, would that have been possible?  The joy that I have in life today, if I had acted on any of the missed opportunities, would I enjoy life as much as I do today?

The answer to all of the above is that we would never have the true answer to that question.  The greatest mystery about life is the choices that we make, and based on those choices where does it place us later in life. As we travel further along in life, we do make wiser decisions, and there will be less missed opportunities, based on the knowledge we now possess.

What happens when we do take the next exit, do we dwell on the missed exit, or do we find a new road to where we want to be?

The Big Dream Effect

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Big Dream Effect

By Glennel Hardy


 

We have been granted the opportunity to dream, and not just the average dream, but to dream big. If our dreams are too small, it’s boring and it does not bring us to the new levels that we have the potential to become.  Dreams are not made to be realized within a day, month or not even a year.  An effective dream is one that takes years to come about, and extraordinary energy is placed in it to make it become a reality.

Several years ago I did have a dream of going to graduate school, finding a career that I loved, and working on a project that would take me out of my comfort zone.  The truth is even though I have accomplished most of these things, the construction of building upon my dream continues.  Our dreams should become a road-map of the person we wish to become.  When we stop dreaming we become satisfied, and when we become satisfied, the joy of life diminishes.

There is so much more to be done, we should challenge ourselves to live in the midst of our dreams, and continue to build upon it. Our dreams are unique, and the cool part is, our dreams is made just for us, and no one else.

How big is your dream?

A Glimmer of Hope

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Glimmer of Hope

By Glennel Hardy


 

There have been several times as an adult, which I was not impressed on the outcome that came afterwards.  It’s extremely hard to fight to make something work, and then later see your investment in time and resources fall apart right in front of you.  I never understood why it was important to fail, until later on in life in which I learned how to come in agreement with failure.

Failure truly has brought me to the place where I am today, which is success. There has been several initiatives that I pursued, and each one never worked out.  The very first paper that I wrote in my first year of college in English class, I received a C minus.  I never wanted to write again because I was so sure, that the paper I wrote was excellent, but it failed. I took that grade of a C minus, and forced myself to read the feedback, and with that I ended the class with a B plus.

It is hard to see success when it seems that everything around is falling apart.  It’s very important to take note of what is failing, and identifying a new approach to make it even better.  This is not the end, it’s a work in progress and we must decide, how we will approach it.

Point of Negative Return

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, July 10, 2016 

Point of Negative Return 

By Glennel Hardy


 

“If we never go beyond what’s familiar to us, we miss the opportunity to seize what lies ahead of us.” – Glennel Hardy

One of my favorite past time events were the launch of the space shuttle vehicles from the Kennedy Space Center.  When it is a less than a minute before launch the main systems of the shuttle is transferred to the on-board computer system.  Within two minutes into the launch the two solid rocket boosters separate, as the shuttle continues to soar.

After four minutes into the launch, the shuttle reaches the point of “negative return”, meaning in the event of an engine failure it cannot return back to the Kennedy Space Center.  At the point of “negative return” the shuttle is flying too high, and too fast in the event of engine failure. As the shuttle continues to soar, it eventually breaks free from its main engine, as all three engines remaining pushes forward into orbit.

The analogy of this story is when I moved from Chicago to Phoenix, I had taken a risk to leave from where I was most comfortable, and went into the unknown, where I was the least comfortable.  Those that supported me, my mentors and my mom, eventually had to let me fly on my own, although I was still flying into the unknown.   I had reached a certain point in my life, where if I did feel unsure about what I was doing, there was no way I can go back from where I started (negative return), I had to continue to move forward.

The higher I reached for the stars above me, the fear of the unknown began to subside. Those that helped me reached to that point, eventually allowed me to fly on my own, and there was no turning back.

Best of the Worst

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, July 03, 2016 

Best of the Worst 

By Glennel Hardy


 

I have never had an issue of knocking everything completely down and starting over again from the ground up.  In fact rebuilding myself constantly has been a part of me since I was in high school. It is almost as if I am self-conditioned  to look for deficiencies and discover a way to solve it.  In high school I never went to my prom, I played on the high school basketball team but was terrible at it, and I even had to repeat a grade in grammar school.

It was always said that practice makes perfect, but I found it very hard to apply as I lost complete motivation because of the lack of success.  Since high school I have lived by the motto “best of the worst.” When I think of “best of the worst”, I am acknowledging that I am at ground zero, I am just getting started, and I am starting to find my way.  Before we can become our very best, we have to first become the “best of the worst.”

When we master the art of becoming the “best of the worst”, we never fear shortfalls, we do not have any regrets, and in fact we challenge ourselves to persevere through them. We must live a life in which we must believe that the new chapter starts today, versus the chapter is coming to an end.

The new chapter starts today.

It Served Its Purpose

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Tuesday, June 28, 2016 

It Served Its Purpose

By Glennel Hardy


 

I took the opportunity this past weekend to reflect on how I made it to where I am today. There were moments in time that I could not see myself out of a situation, nor could I comprehend why certain events had taken place in my life. When we are in the midst of chaos, nothing really makes sense, and if were not careful the situation we find ourselves in, can take complete control of the outcome we desire to have.

I have always had a belief that things happen in our life for one particular purpose.  The purpose cannot be immediately determined, but with persistence and patience the purpose would generally reveal itself. Whatever may be happening today, is the build-up of what’s to come for our own tomorrow.

At Times We Must Walk Alone

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, June 19, 2016

At Times We Must Walk Alone

By Glennel Hardy


 

One of my favorite classic movies of all time was “High Noon” starring Gary Cooper.  In the movie Gary Cooper plays a sheriff in a small western town, in which he has to come face to face with someone that he placed in prison.  In the middle of the movie the sheriff attempts to recruit some of his finest citizens to help him fight the gang that is coming to shoot him, but the citizens’ fears overshadow them so much, that they leave the sheriff to fight on his own.  In the end the sheriff takes out the bad guys.

There will come a time in which the decisions that we are forced to make would be an unpopular one. You would be forced to walk alone, and fear would come after you, but with determination you will win.

How many times have you walked alone, to get where you are at today?

 

Run Towards It

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, June 12, 2016

Run Towards It

By Glennel Hardy


 

“If we never go beyond what’s familiar to us, we miss the opportunity to seize what lies ahead of us.” –  Glennel Hardy

There is something that lies before us, that we have not yet seized the opportunity to obtain. In our current state there are obstacles before us, that makes it extremely difficult to see our way through the other side.  We have been faced with challenges and setbacks, and moving forward will not be easy, but it has to be done.

Our lives are made up of various intersections in life where we we’re forced to decide, do we move forward or do we remain in our current state. Eventually there are things in our life that force us to make the move, although it seems that we are not ready to move forward. It’s much easier to move forward on our own terms, then to be forced to make such a decision under certain circumstances.

In our minds should be a vision of what the other side may look like, or imagining what that next step of success will be. When you do move forward don’t walk, run towards it, and embrace it, and be inspired.

Are you walking towards the next checkpoint, or are you running towards it with your arms wide open?

Every Moment Counts

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Monday, June 06, 2016

Every Moment Counts

By Glennel Hardy


 

Yesterday I said goodbye to a friend who at the very end was fighting for her life. As I stood for a few moments I could not help but think how much her laughter and smile meant to me. I recalled everything from day one, and at the moment it helped bring peace in my heart.  Even when we believe that some moment in time does not matter, down the line we would begin to realize that every moment counts.

You go back in your mind and attempt to play every moment, and you will search the depths of your memory to retrieve whatever you can, to be able to smile once again.  Today counts and if we are able to see tomorrow, that’s a bonus. Tomorrow is not promised, but if you have the opportunity to see it, seize the moment.

The Long Road Back

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, May 22, 2016 

The Long Road Back 

By Glennel Hardy


 

There is nothing more discouraging then when you are headed in a certain direction, and you realize that you have to turn around and go back.  I have experienced several failed attempts journeying down long roads, before realizing I was traveling down the wrong path.  Life itself has many open roads, where we have to constantly face decision points on where to go next. Experience not only provides wisdom for us, but it allows us the opportunity to go rogue, and to take on something new, where others dare to venture.

It takes courage to journey back from where we once began, but it takes extraordinary measures to venture on a new open road. Never become weary of the journey that lies ahead of you, be eager to discover something within you, that you never knew existed.

Envision the End Result

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, May 01, 2016

Envision the End Result

By Glennel Hardy


 

This past week I had the amazing opportunity to do some light hiking in the Smoky Mountains.  Hiking has always and continue to be a challenge for me, but the opportunity of the view at the very end drives me. It’s safe to say that we have been in a point in our lives, that the challenge was rigorous, but once we completed it the end result was extraordinary.

As I do in hiking I challenge myself to focus on the end result in most things that I do. It’s very tempting to succumb to our obstacles, but it takes a strategic vision to focus on the beauty of reaching the result we want. This is an everyday challenge for me, and we should always find something to aim for, something to accomplish and complete.

Keep your eye on what the end result may be, in order to overcome the obstacles that we face as we continue to move forward.  If there are no obstacles, it takes the fun out of capturing what we would desire to achieve.

Keep Climbing

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, April 03, 2016 

Keep Climbing 

By Glennel Hardy


It has taken me a while to get to this point in life where I am now beginning to work on my lifetime goals. I have no regrets that I did not start them sooner, as I believe that timing is everything.  This past week I started  construction on my new website, which was a vision that existed in my head, but had never come to life.  I am going through a stage in life, where I am venturing past familiar territory, exploring new music, and tapping into unrealized creativity.

In order for us to keep climbing we have to step beyond what makes us feel safe, and walk into what scares the heck out of us. Launching a new website, and exposing my creativity scares the heck out of me, you open yourself up to conversation, and you introduce yourself to a brand new audience.

In order to experience something different than what we may have today, let’s get scared together, and go after it.

 

It Takes Only One Person

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, March 27, 2016 

It Takes Only One Person 

By Glennel Hardy


 

When I was in my early twenties I attended church one Sunday with my mom, it was a church where we both never attended. I can recall this Sunday so well, because as we listened to one of the  member’s teach Sunday school, she pointed at me and said we need a young person like you to teach us. I had very little experience in speaking in front of a congregation, but the sincerity in her eyes, exemplified she wanted me up there.

Obediently the next Sunday, I went up there and gave it my best shot, and the class listened to me attentively.  Among my class I had from adolescents, to senior citizens.  I survived my first Sunday, and begin teaching every Sunday thereafter until I moved from Chicago. Quite a few members of my original class have since passed away.  As I look back today, I am reminded of the opportunity I had to reach out to them and make an impact.

It taken only person to believe that I had the potential and capability of becoming something that I thought I could never be.  Most of us can contribute our success to one person that truly believed in us, and with their faith in us it taken us to new horizons. That is why it is so important to continue to be the person that we are today, even if it’s just one person that may believe in us.

It only takes one person to see something in us, and when they tell us what they see, that is when we must seize the opportunity to act on it.

A Work of Art

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Work of Art

By Glennel Hardy


 

I absolutely love visiting the art museum and wandering from gallery to gallery observing the pieces of art on the wall.  As you view certain pieces of work you imagine what the artist may have been considering when he composed the piece. As you move further through the gallery you notice that each piece of art is unique, and may represent a certain period of time.

We ourselves is truly a work of art.  We represent a time and place, a moment where our masterpiece comes to existence. Like an artist we start with a few strokes of a paint brush, and then throughout life we add color, we create images, and our life becomes vivid. Every color, every shade, and every image within our piece makes up who we are today.

We are a masterpiece. We are unique and one of a kind, and cannot be copied. We may look back at times when things were rough, but they were a part of the masterpiece.  We will persevere, as our masterpiece continues.

A true artist never puts the paint brush down.

 

Running on Empty

Optimism Thought of the Week 

For Sunday, February 28, 2016 

Running on Empty 

By Glennel Hardy


 

We have a fear of losing everything that we have today in our lives.  In the back of our mind we could be saying that things are going pretty well, and that everything seems to be in sync. Are we ever prepared to lose everything, and hit the reset button to start over again?  I moved from Chicago to Phoenix, Arizona when things were going pretty well, and I landed a new job that had taken me out of my comfort zone.  In a little over a year, I was laid off, the retirement savings I once had was wiped out, and I lost everything in that moment.

When we lose everything the hardest move for us to make is to be prepared to hit the reset button and start over.  To lose everything is ground zero, rock bottom, and at your lowest point. When we lose everything we make room for a new beginning, we learn lessons from the past, and we start fresh. When we lose everything it leaves a vacancy, in which we get to choose how we are going to fill up the empty space.

Looking back over the years, losing everything was the best thing that ever happened to me.  My life was unbalanced, and overdue changes needed to occur in my life. It’s not the end of the chapter when we lose everything, losing everything is where the new chapter begins.

 

 

 

Everyday Connect

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, February 14, 2016

 

Everyday Connections

 

By Glennel Hardy


 

Our “everyday connections” with people that we meet should never be taken for granted. Of the billions of people on earth each one of us serve a particular purpose.

Some of us may serve multiple purposes based on the unique talents or gifts that we have been given in order to help others around us.

Our “everyday connections” are those individuals, that you may not know by name, but now it’s time to find out who they are, it may be someone you briskly walk pass because you are in a hurry, but tomorrow, slow down, and have that conversation with them.

The “everyday connections” you see today, you may not see them in the big picture in your life today, but they may play a major role in your life tomorrow. – Glennel Hardy

To Rise Once Again

Optimism Thought of the Week

 

For Sunday, January 31, 2016

 

To Rise Once Again

 

By Glennel L. Hardy

Chief Creative Editor


 

As a child I fell off my bike several times before I eventually mastered the art of staying above ground. The first time I fell my leg was heavily scarred, and I never wanted to ride my bike again.  When you fall for the first time it hurts, and we generally find it very difficult to rise up.

The next few times I continued to fall, but each time I had fallen, I begin to take a different lesson from it and begin to progress.  I envisioned going very far and fast, and being able to make it from my house to the mailbox down the street. Once I had the vision that I was riding without falling, it gave me the courage to keep rising after each fall.

We constantly get scarred and each time we do, it hits us with a heavy blow, but its part of the growth process. Every one of us can get knocked down at any moment, but not everyone can find the strength to rise again. We have to see ourselves much bigger than the fall we experienced, we have to see ourselves rising up to the occasion.

If we don’t have the vision of rising, we will never realize the powerful lesson that the fall is attempting to teach us.

When Nothing Happens

Optimism Thought of the Week

 

For Sunday, January 24, 2016

 

When Nothing Happens

 

By Glennel L. Hardy

Chief Creative Editor


 

We may have experienced a time in our life where it appears to be a drought, nothing may be growing, and it appears we are at a standstill.  We may feel that we are motionless, but in fact we are constantly moving towards something that we may not see. To look at it in a different perspective when it appears that nothing is happening, we would not be able to see what is working behind the scenes.

In the grand scheme of things we are blinded by that which is our present, and it causes us to come to the conclusion that our future is bleak. If you can remember the job that you always wanted but never got, the person that you thought was the right one but wasn’t, these events led to the person that you are today.  The person that you are today represents a series of unexplainable, and both fortunate and unfortunate events.  The events could cause you either to become resilient or bring you down in defeat.

When nothing is happening, there is usually construction taking place in the background that you cannot see. We are programmed to believe that we must see to believe something is happening, but it’s more than likely what we can’t see, is the driving force to our next chapter in life.

 

Running in the Darkness

Optimism Thought of the Week

 

For Sunday, January 17, 2016 

Running in the Darkness

 

By Glennel L. Hardy

Chief Creative Editor


 

When we think of those that run in the dark, we may think of those horror movies from the late 90’s where the victim is running and not sure where he/she may be headed.  My story starts late one night in Chicago walking home from work.  I would take my usual route which took me approximately 25 minutes each way. This one particular night someone drove along side of me, and got out of his car and asked for directions.  The next moment I can recall being sprayed in the eye with mace.

At that moment I knew it was time to flee, but I had one major problem I could not see where I was headed.  Each time I would attempt to open my eyes, they would burn and I would immediately have to close them again. I was only one block away from home, and I had to pass under a railroad viaduct to get back safely. I recall running as fast as I my feet could carry me, and it felt as though I was flying in the air. I managed to run into my neighbor’s house for safety, and dodge those that were attempting to rob me.  I survived, and they lost track of me.

This brings me to the point of what each and every one would face when it comes to making our life choices.  At times we have to run in the darkness, and have faith that where we are headed is a safe landing for us.  I have found much success running towards the darkness, then running from it.

Fear has to be hit head on, and once you hit it, fear knows not to come near you again.  Each time we tremble because of the darkness or fear, fear will never leave us.  Hit fear where it hurts.