Sometimes, while speaking of the many goals I’ve still set for myself, I feel as if I could leap right out of my own skin! While talking to my Team, I’ve been known to rise from my chair, grinning from ear to ear, my voice growing louder and my enthusiasm filling the room.
Many of the projects are already in place; I just need to continually fine-tune and expand them — locally, regionally, nationally. The Second Chance Program, for example, which hires former lawbreakers, thereby transforming their lives, will gradually increase its numbers. The Mighty In Character values (truth, faith, courage, kindness, gratitude, humility and courtesy) will be reinforced repeatedly through the cartoon character Patchy’s personal appearances at schools (he’s actually a Team member in costume).
The Medical Care Initiative in Jamaica will soon make doctors and dentists available to an underserved population. MIC vacations will offer discounted accommodations in four scenic locations and funnel some proceeds into the Melbourne and Michael Folkes Foundation.
Meanwhile, I’ve learned some unexpected lessons along the way. My favorites:
• Corporations, so often maligned, can save America — through social responsibility. This is still the greatest country in the world, but businesses need to step up and pay some of their profits forward, thereby contributing more to the greater good.
• Help people to get what they want, and you automatically get what you want. That results in a positive public image that no amount of money can buy. Treating customers/clients poorly amounts to shooting oneself in the foot. A bad impression never goes away; a good one can last forever.
• All children begin life as brilliant and eager to learn. Moms know this! Every kid starts a new school year feeling excited and optimistic. (Have you perhaps noticed how much they LOVE school supplies? That’s why I hand out gift bags.) We must teach each child how to find his/her own unique passion at the earliest possible age — and then how to act on it.
• Once you realize you’re on the right path, everything suddenly becomes simple. Being productive expands one’s energy rather than diminishing it. You’ll find yourself soaring higher than ever — yes, almost as if shedding your own skin and growing a new one.