Remembering Maya Angelou and Celebrating her Legacy

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The last few months have been busy. We all go through these seasons where in a blink of an eye one wonders where has all the time gone. In moments like these few things make you stop and look around. The passing of Maya Angelou was one of those moments.

Like many in my generation I learned about Maya Angelou through interviews, documentaries and of course, her famous quotes. One of my favorite quotes is both symbolic but real; as a palpable statement that you feel when you say it. It is one of my favorite quotes because it is true and it shapes the motivation for my actions:

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

I never met Mrs. Angelou but I would have loved to have spent just one afternoon soaking in all of her experience and life’s lessons. The main reason her poems connected with people was because you could hear the real impact life had on her soul. From the early life as a singer to the later part of her journey as an activist, her message was one of self-confidence and self-belief. These are attributes that weren’t always poured out onto me but that I found through my role as an adult who could positively impact the circle around me.

I’ve intentionally soaked up this quote when interacting at home, at work, at the neighborhood pool or at church. The reality is that people won’t forget Mrs. Angelou because she made them feel valued and she made them believe in themselves.

I want to leave that type of legacy as well. Do you?

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Celebrating Mother’s Day on a regular day

Yesterday was a great day; it always is. Every year we take the second Sunday of the month of May to celebrate Mother’s Day in the States (a week later than in Portugal). 

On this day Mom’s are supposedly able to take a day off and relax under the sun, while the rest of the family does their best to match the level of comfort only a mom can bring to the home (most of the times the husband just tries to contain the children and make quiet enough while avoiding getting the house on fire). We do this because we love our Moms! We appreciate the continuous giving of themselves even when there is little to no praise in return. The pouring of their heart through the ups and downs of life is an always present, always ready, and never-say-no quality that makes a long-lasting impression on a child. I’ve been blessed to witness that with my wife and she is an inspiration to me and our children.

Her motives are pure and her desire is clear: to raise our children in the way of love, confident in themselves and aware of others, knowing that they can make a difference in every circumstance. She is not working for her praise. She is working for something greater then herself.

So today, the day after Mother’s Day, much of the excitement will go away. Mother’s will take the behind the scenes approach and step back from the lights that once a year shine on their work. Still their work won’t stop. It never did; not even on Mother’s Day. Today they will continue their craft of love, pouring more and more of themselves to the growth of their children. Today they will…

make meals,

take children to school,

work around the house or in the office,

pick up groceries,

help with homework,

do baths,

and tuck children in bed.

Most of the day’s hard work and sacrifices will go unnoticed and that is okay. The rubbing off of character will continue and make a difference in the life of a child. Even if it does go unnoticed, she is making a difference.

My goal, and every one’s goal should be to remind them of that labor of love. Motivating them to know they are making a difference. So today I say again, as I said yesterday and as I’ve forgotten to say so many times, Happy Mother’s Day!

Getting you Pumped Up

He believes in you! He is your biggest fan! He cheers you in public when the crowd roars with excitement! He pulls you up when loneliness sets in! No matter what may come your way; no matter how big the challenge; no matter how high the mountain may seem; He is there for you!

Who?

The father in the lounging chair?

The neighbor sitting on the front the porch?

The teacher standing in the hallway?

The student hanging out in the playground?

The co-worker filling out paper forms?

YOU!!! Get up and move! This is your chance to make a difference. To make an impact. To pump someone up and see the effects as it spreads out! 

I was a reminded of this power as I saw a motivational calendar my team and I created for our sales channel. I made the cover page based on some of the expressions that inspire me. And as I look at it again, I feel inspired to be better myself. To get up and move. To lead at home. To lead at work. And to lead in my community. As a husband; as a father; as a son; as a brother; as a co-worker; as a mentor; as a friend.

Pumping you up

Let these words pump you up!

Motivated by the life of Eusebio

Eusebio

My homeland is mourning the death of one of their brightest start. Portuguese soccer legend Eusebio died yesterday at age 71. Now, if you are not a soccer fan or know much about the sport you are most likely ready to close this article and move on to what is next in your day, but I encourage you to read further and understand that the story of Eusebio is much greater than a sport or a country.

While many around the world spent the day googling about the man they called “The Black Panther” my memories reminded me of my father’s tales of the soccer greats he saw playing. Our team, Sporting, was a rival to Eusebio’s team, Benfica. Still, my dad spoke of Eusebio the player as someone truly amazing. A player so fit, smart and skillful that even my dad, who couldn’t stand anything related to Benfica, would recognize greatness. For portuguese people, soccer fans or not, Eusebio is an icon who made our country known throughout the world.

But his story is a source of motivation beyond the soccer pitch. His is a story of perseverance and humility. Born in the country of Mozambique, then a colony of Portugal, Eusebio grew up in a poor neighborhood playing football (as the rest of the world correctly calls it) with a ball made from socks. He moved at an early age to play in Portugal and made an immediate mark. Still, what people recognized in him was the easy smile. Beyond the fame and greatness, he was still a simple man.

For me, it makes me think of my life. What would I have done if I had grown-up with his situation. With poverty around me and little hope. Eusebio showed me that you can have perseverance for a dream and humility in achieving it, no matter the circumstances. See, we don’t choose the country where we are born, the color of our skin or if our family is financially well off; but we do get to choose how we live. The passion with which we approach life and our dreams. I think Eusebio is a great example of this reality.

Obrigado Eusebio.

Celebrating the life of a hero – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Growing up in a house where your father is a history buff helps you understand the world differently. My dad was especially fond of world history and the man that shaped society. Nelson Mandela was one of his favorite leaders. I grew up admiring him as well after hearing of his quest for freedom in South Africa.

As the first black president in South Africa, he was instrumental in uniting a nation after years of segregation (apartheid). A man of examples that showed a pure balance between the sense of drive and being called. His desire was not one for wealth, recognition or power; his desire was to establish a country where its people were treated fairly. His motivation was pure

The sense of unity was in full display as he supported the South African National Rugby team to a World Cup in 1995, and as he championed the first african country to host the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

Thank you Madiba.

Inspiring Story – Providing dignity for our Veterans

Today is another reminder of why I love this country. Where I’m from there is little recognition of veterans which is mostly because the wars fought by Portuguese are ancient tales of medieval times that helped establish the existing borders of today. These are the stories of history books and where the king took main stage as the orchestrator of victory. Not so much in America.

Here we recognize the sacrifice of men and women who left their families and the comforts of their lives to fight for freedom. There is no consideration for hierarchy in this recognition; it doesn’t matter what the role of that person was in the time of battle. Not even the outcome of the war is important. What’s important is their contribution. And their presence alone was and is an undeniable contribution to the freedom we enjoy each an every day. To this we salute you.

That is why I was so touched by this recent video. I’m inspired by organizations which bring dignity to ones forgotten. Unfortunately, many veterans have been forgotten. May this video motivate you to recognize a veteran today.

As part of the vision for 2motive8, be on the lookout for more posts with the category #MotivateInspiration.

Celebrating MLK

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Today is a special day in history! 50 years ago thousands of people joined together to hear about one man’s dream. Dr. King was a visionary. Bound not by the circumstances of society, but by a reality that could be. A dream that he was courageous enough to share with the world. A dream that changed his life and lives of so many african-americans.

Being a white man from Portugal, you might think this story didn’t have the same impact around in my home country or individual families stretched across other continents. However, I grew up in a house where my father had pride in knowing the history that had changed the course of his life and the life of his family. My father grew up during the Portuguese dictatorship of the 50’s and 60’s, so to him Dr. King’s dream was real as well.

What is so inspiring to me as that we all have visions. We all have dreams that we hope to achieve. Some of us have dreams that can change our journey and impact others in a constant search for a better life.

My dream is that I can start a revolution of motivation to others. Whether impacting personal health, finances, family life, work and other relationships, my dream is that through the love and encouragement of other, we can see people achieve full potential in life. I pray that it will glorify God in the process. That is my dream. What is your dream? Need some inspiration? Well…

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”