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What is YOUR Impact on Others?

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impact jackie robinsonAsk yourself:  When you talk to other people… people you may work with, people in your family — your spouse, your siblings, your kids… do you encourage or discourage?  Do you propel a person to greatness or do you say something that can break their souls?

I’ve been thinking about this ever since Stacy Gertz, an amazing and important part of our Time to Play Foundation’s team, shared a video about a woman, Lisa Nichols, who was discouraged at 19 years old by teachers who told her she was a terrible writer and a terrible speaker https://youtu.be/Kcu92UlIQfs.  If you take a few minutes to listen to Ms. Nichols’ video you will also learn how she was in a situation where she was economically disadvantaged.  She said she found herself in a life situation where she said she was broken in every way.

How did this happen?  Could the words she heard while she was younger have impacted her in a negative way?  I believe they could have been a contributor to many years of her negative life experience.  She had a lot going against her.  She could have given up, but she found power within herself, against all obstacles, to change her life.

This is an observation I have made over these past years working on the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit organization intended to inspire others and provide resources for a better life.

I believe that, sometimes, we live in too many years in the “what is expected of us” or the “I can’t”. 

After almost 50 years of my life, I have started to understand the power of “can’t” and the power of “not possible” that we seem so inclined to adopt; perhaps starting because of the opinions from others.  I’ve included here another really short and pertinent video (it’s only 1 minute and 16 seconds) that gives incredible examples of “can’t” that people overcame – people including Walt Disney, Lucille Ball, and more:  https://youtu.be/hzBCI13rJmA.

This story of “Can’t” is retold by so many again and again.

The good news is, I have learned it is ever too late for “CAN”.  Henry Ford was 45 years old before beginning to be successful.  Just look at the empire he built and his legacy.

I believe it is never too late for any of us.

I believe the “trick” is to encourage our younger generation via OUR impact vs. the need to unbury the “CAN” later in life after so many years of believing the “CAN’T”… to gain and to give the tips and tools from those who are older and have had the experiences that could save others some time.

To encourage others to PREinvent their life®, not reinvent, as so many do again and again.

In closing, again I ask…. What is YOUR impact on others?

Do you encourage and propel?

If the answer is no, I hope you will take the time to stop a moment and identify why not.

If the answer is yes, perhaps you can give me a call (631-331-2675 or email me doreen@timetoplay.com) so WE can move forward, together.  #PeopleHelpingPeople.

Just imagine the IMPACT, then.

After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life.

It is Time to Play…

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

WITH vs. FOR

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WITHI’ve had an “AHA” moment which caused me to discover why I’ve had a disconnect throughout most of my life.

I don’t believe in “FOR”.  I’ve lived my life with the vision and expectation of “WITH”.  I’ll explain.

When I work with people, I never consider them working “FOR” me, or me working “FOR” them, but “WITH” me as part of a team.  I now understand why I’ve been met, time and again, with disappointment or frustration.

I’ve gone through life pretty much with this expectation – that no one does things (or should do things) “FOR” me, but “WITH” me. Even with my kids, the “WITH” has always remained prevalent. I believe that they should (or could) recognize things we needed to accomplish as a family unit.

I don’t really think the team mentality is always prevalent in our society.  With my “AHA” moment, I started to think further and realize that, perhaps, it’s hard to change the philosophy of people when we’re in a society that emphasizes “US” against “THEM” instead of “WITH”.

I believe the transition is hard, but not impossible.

I work “WITH” people.  I look for opportunities for “US”.  A way we can ALL benefit.

I believe that should be the goal, in the end, for all of us — whether it is in our jobs, our communities, or our relationships, families, to work WITH each other.  This simple concept can truly end hostilities and unrealistic expectations so prevalent in many families, relationships, organizations and communities.

“WITH” is really not a difficult concept, but more of an awareness of how our actions affect others.

As part of a collaborative effort, things will move farther, faster, while creating a much more peaceful, loving atmosphere for us to share.  So we can ALL enjoy life.

We can look further into this idea with the evaluation of the intention behind the action of another, as well.  What are we trying to attract?  What are we trying to create:  Love or hatred?  Camaraderie or separation?

We see examples of this in our everyday lives:  In companies who create insecurity and fear in even their most loyal employees where one day their positions are “poof”, just gone.  In our youth who create separation and hard feelings through bullying.  In our political arena where partisan politics divide our elected officials, and our society, and resolutions to issues are not reached.  In a scenario where there is “dog eat dog” competition or blame.

“WITH” is such a simple concept.

What is the best option for us all if we work WITH each other?  What can YOU do, TOGETHER, with others?

Think of the possibilities if you just could ask someone their opinion and find a peaceful and common ground?

It’s time for us ALL to enjoy life.  It’s Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  Time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

 

I AM Love

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I am loveThe other day I woke up with the Beatle’s song “All You Need Is Love” playing through my mind.  There is nothing closer to the truth than what is written in these words.

(Love, love, love)  There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done; Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung; Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game; It’s easy

There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made; No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn to be you in time; It’s easy; 
All you need is love; All you need is love; All you need is love, love; Love is all you need

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known; Nothing you can see that isn’t shown; There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be; It’s easy

 All you need is love, all together now; All you need is love, everybody; All you need is love, love;
Love is all you need   — 
Songwriters LENNON, JOHN / MCCARTNEY, PAUL

Let’s think about it.

When you do something that comes from LOVE it feels so good. Now think of how you feel when your actions come from another emotion or motivation: anger, fear, hatred, despair, stress, jealousy or frustration.  It is truly not the same feeling.  How about the feeling of “Can’t”.  That’s a big one for many.  I’ve personally experienced “can’t”, and, not only is it not a good feeling at all, it paralyzes.  Can’t certainly does not have a connection to love.

If we look at people past and present, there is wisdom to incorporate love and patience into our lives. There are many messages that are familiar:

“It’s Love makes the world go round” – W. S. Gilbert

“Love will find a way” – Christina Aguilera

“Love Conquers All” – Virgil – 19 BC

How about the reading performed at every Catholic wedding I’ve ever been to – even at my own: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

This is a message that has been around for quite a long time.

When I Googled the passage to include it here, I found that the section continued.  I couldn’t recall ever hearing this part, and am guessing that is probably because the emphasis at a wedding is not one of potential failure.  The section continued:  “But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away”. – 1 Corinthians 12:8

That’s pretty thought provoking, isn’t it?  So, what I hear in this is that, without love, we fail.  There is despair. Think about it.  Truly, there cannot be a war if there was love.  There would not be actions of hatred, abuse, or bullying.  How about if we had self-love… could that eliminate depression, or worse?

Maybe we should take a step back in order to become more aware so we can speak and act in love.

As I write these weekly posts, I do a lot of self reflection.  A man I know really bothered me this week.  He constantly is negative and ridicules others.  I’ve spoken about him during a few conversations this week.  I realize, as I write this, that when I spoke of him, even though my conversation originated because of my inability to understand his motivation and how he could be so hurtful, that I was not speaking love or understanding.  I realize my own actions this week, through these conversations, have robbed me and others of life enjoyment and even had spread unnecessary negativity.

Every day gives us a lesson, if we listen. 

I do strive to always hear these simple messages and I am always questioning why we don’t listen to those who came before us and why we haven’t learned such valuable lessons.  There is so much wisdom that we should share. I did write in my book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com) how, “History will repeat itself if we let it”.  History repeating is truly evident and something we see in action every day.  I really work hard not to personally let this happen and to learn, everyday, how I can make change.

So, today, I AM Love.

Perhaps love is a simple solution that we could consider for ourselves.  Maybe it can change our circumstances.  If acting through Love became a priority in our lives, perhaps the motivation behind our actions would result in compassion, patience, camaraderie and teamwork.

I plan to question the motivation behind my actions and to become more aware if they are being fueled by love.

So, as you look around today, maybe there is a person in distress.  Reach out.

It’s really simple.

Share love.

I truly believe that love does conquer all.

Working together, looking out for each other, we can all enjoy life…  I believe it is certainly time to enjoy life.  I believe it is time to play.

Love,

Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life.  Time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

Fix It

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bump signEvery time I pass a sign like this, I wonder what stops us from just “fixing it”.  This idea is something that I believe can be carried to all areas of our lives.

How many things in your own life need “fixing”?  Perhaps we add “it” to our list promising to do “it” later.  There are always priorities and things that become more important or that will take precedence.

As I sit here writing this, many of my “to do’s” are popping into our mind.  I find there are many personal “to do’s” for my list like making time to exercise, or that appointment for the doctor or dentist, or emailing back a colleague or potential client, or there’s always that list of chores…

But, like the sign, I also think of the “to do’s” that we’ as a community, could work together to address that could improve quality of life for us all.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the studies that are done that just tell us information with no plan of correction.  Recently I read an article about the hardest places to live in the United States in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/upshot/where-are-the-hardest-places-to-live-in-the-us.html). What frustrates me about an article such as this is that it’s great someone took the time to collect this data, but what are we actually doing about it?  When you look at the map in this article, it is evident that there are more states that appear to be “doing worse” than “doing better”.  I can only hope that someone, somewhere, saw this article and has started a discussion in their community.

I find so many things we do to be in a reactive manner or in a crisis situation.  Working in a quality improvement mindset for much of my career makes me see  all types of areas where we should do something – together—to make things change.  I think that’s the key word.  Together…  Together we definitely get further faster.  Together…  Many hands make light work.

What’s happening in your community?  What is your wish list?  Who needs help?  I find that many times we know there are issues or problems but think, perhaps, the issue is too big; we just have no time to address it; someone else will take care of it; or how many times have we just thought “it’s just a shame” and then go back to whatever we were doing.  I have found, again and again, that people don’t pay attention to stuff that doesn’t directly affect them.  But, guess what.  In some way, everything eventually affects all of us.

Not one of us can single handedly “save the world”, but together… imagine what we can do.  I believe it’s time for us to band together to take action; not wait for others to do it; not wait for legislation to change it; and especially not just be a Facebook warrior.

This is the big idea behind the Enjoy Life Community Project, a way for us to work together in our own communities to make things change – for the better – for all of us – so we can all enjoy life.   I believe every one of us has something to offer that can help someone else.  Nothing is insignificant or too small.  We have all had experience or have some type of expertise to make change happen.

People helping people; Collaboration = success:  These are the principles that drive the time to play foundation.

It’s time to enjoy life.

Love,

Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

The Enjoy Life Community™ Project

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Enjoy Life Community

Enjoy Life Community Announcement at Brookhaven Town Board Meeting

I was privileged this past week to have our Enjoy Life Community™ committee and members of the Time to Play Foundation’s Business Advisory Board attend the Town of Brookhaven’s Board meeting to announce the Enjoy Life Community™ Project.  The first Enjoy Life Community™ is in the process of forming in Port Jefferson Station, New York.  It is an amazing concept, and something that I know people will embrace so we can ALL have a better life and enjoy life.

I cannot describe the feeling I had presenting this to the Town Board.  This project is something I have been working toward for many years.

Thank you to our community coordinator, Christian Dideriksen and our core committee Christina Grimes, Michael Dorn, Dina Simoes, Jacki Kirsch, Charles McAteer and Jeff Kito.  Thank to to our dedicated Business Advisory Board Members of the Time to Play Foundation Dr. Joseph Rella, Nick LaMorte, Kevin McCormack, and to the Business Advisory Board Victoria Molloy whose intelligence and energy never ceases to amaze me.  Thank you to Jennifer and Councilwoman Cartwright – your support is a driving force behind us.

The following is the LONG version of what I did want to say at the Town Board Meeting, but I only had 3 actual minutes to speak, so I had to cut it down significantly.  I figured I would post it here to give readers an overview of what we’re aiming to do.

If you would like to get more information, please email me at doreen@timetoplay.com or call our office at 631-331-2675.  We have a whole protocol which we would love to share with your community – and this is applicable for anywhere in the country (or international if there is interest)!

It’s Time to Enjoy Life!

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Good evening Supervisor Romaine, Town Clerk Lent and members of the Board.  My name is Doreen Guma, and I am the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.

I am here this evening to make you aware of a new community initiative called the Enjoy Life Community™ Program, the first of which is launching in Port Jefferson Station, my own home town.  I am currently in the process of introducing the concept to other communities, as it is believed that every community should be an Enjoy Life Community™ .

We acknowledge that there are many organizations in EVERY community that do wonderful things.  As a matter of fact, our current inaugural committee, our enjoy life ambassadors, are still in the process of contacting and explaining the concept of the Enjoy Life Community to the over 50 organizations in Port Jefferson Station.  Our inaugural group has met a few times, but it is the goal of the Enjoy Life community to include everyone and every organization – for example rotary clubs, civic associations, business improvement districts, volunteer fire departments, schools, PTAs, clubs, religious organizations, law enforcement agencies, girl scouts, boy scouts, healthcare providers, veterans service organizations, and our elected officials… we are all in this together.

The intention of the Enjoy life community is NOT to duplicate what is already being done by a community’s groups, but to provide an opportunity, through the enjoy life community coordinator, committee and enjoy life ambassadors, to prioritize projects and programs needed, collaborate together and achieve.  The enjoy life community will not focus on problems, but the goal is to proactively embrace what our community needs to enjoy life.

The enjoy life community also creates a cohesive way to disseminate the information about what our amazing organizations are doing and to identify ways to support each other and work together to identify ways we can make things better… and, then, to make it happen!

Therefore, the goal of the Enjoy Life Community™ is to bring ALL community organizations, groups and businesses together to focus on the needs of the community as a whole and not the problems; to encourage everyone to get involved, to spread the news of the good works community groups and people are currently doing; to eliminate the hopelessness or powerlessness feeling that people feel, and encourage them to believe that, as a community, we can achieve anything.

Another feature of the enjoy life community will be the welcome to our enjoy life community signs, which we envision installed throughout the community, to remind people of the importance to enjoy life.  It is hoped that the reminder will trigger a sense of pride and a positive momentum in the lives of all who live here.

The Enjoy Life Community will become a micro hub where we can create a wish list and everyone can pitch in so we can ALL enjoy life and make things happen.  Where we can focus on the positive of what we need to enjoy life, not the problems and negative, for example neighborhood watch communities which say “we have crime here”, or anti drug task force or anti anything which absolutely emphasize the issues and problems.  How amazing would it be to replace those “neighborhood watch” signs with “We are an Enjoy Life Community” signs.  We are not disqualifying the good works being done or discounting the value of these types of committees and functions.  We acknowledge that they may be necessary and that they may be part of the enjoy life community’s objectives… but, just think of the possibilities of turning to the positive and what the concept of the Enjoy Life Community™, can do.

Nothing is impossible when we work together.

The enjoy life community will also provide a centralized location, both online and off, to inform people of all the good work and great resources that are currently in our communities.  With every organization involved, the information about what’s going on and what the Enjoy life Community’s focus is will be easily communicated.

We believe that when people know the needs, goals and objectives of the Enjoy Life community™, we believe so many more will get involved in the initiative and be an active part of the good works being done and the good works that will be done, together.  We hope that people will feel good about and proud about where they live and become enjoy life ambassadors of their community, which is what we here, before you, are today.  I, and those next to me are the first enjoy life ambassadors for Port Jefferson station.

Each enjoy life community™ will have a coordinator and a committee made up of liaisons of all of the community organizations and any interested community members not yet part of an organization.  The enjoy life community will also act as a central repository for existing resources, and, together, the committee will develop a list of priorities where the community can work together to fill in the void where there is a need.

I am pleased to be joined tonight by an amazing and dedicated group – the first enjoy life ambassadors for the Port Jefferson Station community.  The committee coordinator is Christian Dideriksen, a lifelong member of Port Jefferson Station and volunteer firefighter.  Christina Grimes, Michael Dorn, Dina Simoes, Jacki Kirsch, Charles McAteer and Jeff Kito.  Also here tonight are some of our dedicated Business Advisory Board Members of the Time to Play Foundation Dr. Joseph Rella, Nick LaMorte, Kevin McCormack, and Board Chair Victoria Molloy, who fully support this initiative.

Over the last few months I have met with my Councilwoman, Councilwoman Valerie Cartwright, to inform her about the Enjoy Life community™ project.  We are looking forward to her participation at our first event and our first full committee meeting scheduled for 11/6.  It is our hope that the Town board will be supportive of this endeavor and that we will have opportunities to collaborate and partner in the future.

The Time to Play Foundation’s mantra is collaboration = success and people helping people.  We look forward to helping Port Jefferson Station and many more communities to Enjoy Life.

Thank you for your time.

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Enjoy Life Community™ Copyright © 2014 by Doreen Guma for the Time to Play Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to:  Time to Play Foundation, Inc., 1075 Route 112, Lower Level, Pt. Jeff Sta.,NY 11776 | 631-331-2675 | www.TimetoPlay.com | info@timetoplay.com

Remembering Those in Need

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Remember

Remember

This article was triggered by my frustration trying to help a lovely woman in need and my inability to rally people to help.  It breaks my heart how one person can give so much and can wind up so alone, fighting insurmountable obstacles. 

With this being Memorial Day, I started thinking broader about the silent plight of so many. 

I am a person who looks at an issue and sees the “big picture”, not just what directly affects me.  I continuously marvel about how today’s “problems”, in many cases, are not new.  Many of these issues are recurring in our society.  Time and again I marvel at how history repeats itself – it we let it – which I did go into greater detail in our book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life” (www.ifiknewthenbook.com).  

I continuously assume people will feel the same urgencies I do for certain things and about situations that affect us as a whole.  Time and again I wind up frustrated, disappointed or surprised.

With this being Memorial Day, I am reminded of a conversation I had with an elected official.  I asked him why we don’t hear daily reports about our military personnel or the plight of our veterans.  He told me that, unlike during the world wars when everyone was affected, only 1% of people in our country are currently connected to military personnel or situations. 

My family does not have anyone in the military, but I totally believe that we should care about the men and women who are protecting our freedoms, at home and abroad.  I believe we should know what they need, how to help, and how to care.  Not just on Memorial Day or Veterans Day, but every day. 

Did you know that 22 soldiers a day commit suicide?  http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/02/05/22-the-number-of-veterans-who-now-commit-suicide-every-day  Did you know that many Veterans are homeless? There are many articles that gave a statistics that approximately 58,000 veterans were homeless in the year 2013.  It is so hard for me to believe that someone could fight for our freedoms and end up in this manner. Through my work experience in healthcare I have learned that many don’t know where to get help or the resources available.

If you look into history, these situations that currently affect our Veterans are not new.  We still hear the term “the forgotten war”, and many talk about our current Veterans fitting into this same category. 

Working in quality improvement for many years, I have learned that you cannot ignore issues – things will only continue to get worse.  I have learned that it is better to weigh your options and implement the best possible solution when first identifying the problem.  This can be applied to anything; for example a hole in a pipe will get larger and larger (it won’t go away), health problems will continue to compound, or a car that is in disrepair will eventually stop working. 

I am acutely aware that one person cannot be involved in and deal with everything, but I am also aware that many people might just say, “That’s too bad” and move along in their day.  I believe there are so many things that get put on the back burner without getting the proper attention that it should.  In the end, issues will just get larger and continue to reappear.  Just watch our nightly news and the stories that we hear over and over.  We see the same situations, on a daily basis, just reported on with different names and dates.

With this being Memorial Day, please take a moment today to reflect on our Veterans, their dedication and sacrifice.  Perhaps do a quick “Google” search to find one of the many organizations working to help our Veterans.  Perhaps there is something you can contribute.  If each one of us does one little thing to help, we can make things better.  That’s the concept behind “people helping people” and Time to Play (www.TimetoPlay.com).

I’ll even inappropriately venture out on this Memorial Day and ask you to stop a moment to consider the plight of others, those who may not be Veterans.

In reference to my dear friend, she has been going through a horrible health crisis for almost a year.  She’s just one of many who are going through a crisis in their lives or the lives of their loved ones.  I had believed she had a stronger support group than she actually does have.  Maybe I just want to believe that everyone has some type of support group or a person they can count on in their time of need.  The more I’ve been working on the Time to Play project, the more I realize that just isn’t so and how many people are out there truly out there on their own. 

In this particular case, I’ve been trying to do a fundraiser for her with not great results.  Maybe it’s because she is not a young child, maybe people just have too much of their own stuff that they are dealing with.  Through working on Time to Play, many have said to me that, unless something directly affects a person, it is hard for them to wrap their minds around the plight of another. 

I will never be able to accept that. 

We all need to care. 

People Helping People.  Collaboration = Success.