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Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 09:32:50 EST
Subject: Essays on Excellence # 442

Good Morning Freedom Fighters and Truth Seekers,

Hope you will take some time today to reflect on your thoughts and feelings about the men and women of our armed forces who serve today and who have served their country and its citizens for over 225 years.  May God bless each and every one who serves now or who has served in the past.  Please thank them in prayer and ask for their safety and protection.


Americans live in freedom because of our veterans' courage, dedication to duty, and love of country. On Veterans Day, we honor these brave men and women who have served in our Armed Forces and defended our Nation. Across America, there are more than 25 million veterans. Their ranks include generations of citizens who have risked their lives while serving in military conflicts, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the war on terror. They have fought for the security of our country and the peace of the world. They have defended our founding ideals, protected the innocent, and liberated the oppressed from tyranny and terror. They have known the hardships and the fears and the tragic losses of war. Our veterans know that in the harshest hours of conflict they serve just and honorable purposes. Through the years, our veterans have returned home from their duties to become active and responsible citizens in their communities, further contributing to the growth and development of our Nation. Their commitment to service inspires all Americans. With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service men and women have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor veterans. Now, therefore, I, George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2004, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans to observe November 7 through November 13, 2004, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I urge all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through ceremonies and prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to encourage and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions, and the media to support this national observance with commemorative expressions and programs."
-- President George W. Bush


"It is sweet and honorable to die for your country."

"We make war that we may live in peace."

"To be prepared for War is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."
--George Washington

"If ever there was a holy war, it was that which saved our liberties and gave us independence."
--Thomas Jefferson

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse."
--John Stuart Mill

"The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth."
--Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson

"A really great people, proud and high-spirited, would face all the disasters of war rather than purchase that base prosperity which is bought at the price of national honor." --Theodore Roosevelt {} "No man can sit down and withhold his hands from the warfare against wrong and get peace from his acquiescence."
--Woodrow Wilson

"No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave."
--Calvin Coolidge

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory."
--George Patton

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
--Sir Winston Churchill

"[L]et us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us re-consecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain."
--Dwight Eisenhower

"The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
--Douglas MacArthur


"It's been my responsibility, my duty and very much my honor to serve as Commander in Chief of this nation's Armed Forces these past eight years. That is the most sacred, most important task of the Presidency. Since our nation's founding, the primary obligation of the national government has been the common defense of these United States. But as I have sought to perform this sacred task as best I could, I have done so with the knowledge that my role in this day-to-day-to-day effort, from sunrise to sunrise, every moment of every hour of every day of every year, is a glancing one compared to yours. ... But it's not just your fellow Americans who owe you a debt. No, I believe many more do, for I believe that military service in the Armed Forces of the United States is a profound form of service to all humankind. You stand engaged in an effort to keep America safe at home, to protect our allies and interests abroad, to keep the seas and the skies free of threat. Just as America stands as an example to the world of the inestimable benefits of freedom and democracy, so too an America with the capacity to project her power for the purpose of protecting and expanding freedom and democracy abroad benefits the suffering people of the world."
-- Ronald Reagan, 1989

Brian Grant - Companion in Courage
by Pat LaFontaine
Former Professional Hockey Player Excerpted from his book, "Companions in Courage"

Professional athletes do a lot of good in their communities, and I wish that they got more publicity for their efforts. The bad stuff always gets in the newspapers or on TV, but the hours spent helping others just don't seem to make a good story.

At least that's the way the media seems to look at it. I see it, quite naturally, from the athlete's side. And while I think players should be acknowledged for their positive contributions, I know that's not their motivation. They get plenty of cheers and applause elsewhere.

They do it to do good. The giving of their time and compassion comes back tenfold in emotional payoffs. And while I heartily support all the wonderful programs athletes conceive and execute, I'm most thrilled and moved when athletes dedicate themselves to children. That's how I learned about Brian Grant and why I'm proud to include him as a Companion in Courage.

Dash Thomas, a twelve-year-old boy suffering from cancer, first introduced me to Brian. During the NBA lockout in 1998 I heard Dash say that Brian, a forward for the Portland Trail Blazers, was his best friend. Because so many of the children that I met at Buffalo General's cancer ward numbered among my best friends, I decided I needed to know more about Brian Grant.

During the lockout Brian started driving to Sublimity, Oregon, a one-hour ride from Portland, to visit Dash, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer. Dash, a young white kid, and Brian, a black NBA power forward who wore dreadlocks, forged a firm friendship. They became each other's heroes.

When the lockout ended, Brian wanted to get Dash to a game. Unfortunately, that never happened. His young friend died in February. Brian dedicated his season to Dash Thomas.

The NBA lockout will be remembered as a labor dispute, a fight between millionaire players and billionaire owners. Brian Grant got something entirely different from it. "Because of the lockout, Dash died before he could come to a game. On the other hand, without the lockout, I wouldn't have had as much time to get to know him," he said. "There was something about the way he carried himself. He wasn't like a twelve-year-old kid. It was like he was older. His courage - everything about him - was amazing. He was an inspiration. My relationship with Dash changed my life."

During the playoffs, Grant battled the best power forward in the league, Karl Malone, to a standoff. During their epic struggle one of Malone's famous elbows caught Brian in the right eye, opening a gash that took six stitches to close. It also opened a window into his psyche.

While many of Brian's fellow NBA players played Amateur Athletic Union basketball and in the much-touted summer camps before being drafted, Brian was cutting tobacco and baling hay back in Georgetown, Ohio. He watched his dad and uncles weld boxcars - hard, nasty, physical labor. He saw them, with no first-aid kits available and no time to waste, slice potatoes in half and put them on their cuts to ease the pain from their burns. One night Grant's father came home with a bandage over his eye. He had been hit by a piece of hot metal.

So a six-stitch gash? What should that mean next to the struggles of Brian's father, his uncles, and a frail twelve-year-old named Dash, hospitalized in Sublimity, Oregon? Brian's attitude? "Stitch it up and let's play!"

Brian continues to excel in the NBA, though he now plays with the Miami Heat, but he also stands out in his work with children.

Brian has many young friends and a growing list of community leaders who respect him. His future holds so much promise. But he is never, ever far from his past, never really removed from family in Georgetown, Ohio, or separated from the memory of a boy named Dash.

Six Ways to Find a New Product
By Brian Tracy

There are many different sources of new product ideas for your business. Here are six of them.

Read About It
The first way to find a new product or service is to read newspaper stories, read articles, read advertisements, read the classified ads. Very often when people have new products or services available in a market or they're looking for someone to sell it or distribute it, they advertise in the classifieds under business opportunities. Read all US publications that are written for businesspeople. Look for potential in new products or services everywhere.

Study Specialized Publications
The second way to find new products or services is to read trade magazines, especially in your field of knowledge or expertise. Libraries usually have them all. Go down to the library, take a look at all the magazines and then subscribe to the very best ones.

Attend Trade Shows
The third way to find a new product or service is to go to trade shows. You need only a business card to get into a trade show and they hold trade shows everywhere all the time. You can have business cards made up for you in 24 hours.

Join the Participants
Present yourself as a retail buyer. Sign up at the beginning, pay the entrance fee, and present yourself as a buyer looking to buy the products offered in the trade show. Then go in and talk to the key people there. Find out what they're doing. What they're selling. Where the market is going. What the industry trends are. What is successful and what is unsuccessful and so on.

Ask Your Friends
The fourth way to find a new product or service is your friends. Tell them that you're looking for new product ideas. Tell them you're looking for something to sell, something to distribute. Have them keep an eye out for you. Sometimes your friends will see things that you won't see, or they'll see things when they're traveling and so on.

Look For Opportunities Everywhere
The fifth way to find new products or services is to read Entrepreneur Magazine. Read Success Magazine. Read Inc. Magazine. Read magazines where people advertise new products or services or business opportunities. Read The Wall Street Journal. Read Money Magazine. Read Fortune. Read Business Week. Read everything that you possibly can.

Look Overseas
The sixth source of new products is foreign publications. There are three foreign publications that you can get if you look around for them. One is called Made In Europe, which has hundreds and hundreds of products that are made by European corporations who are seeking US distributors. Sometimes the distribution rights for those products are available for the asking. There's also a book called Made In Hong Kong, which has hundreds and hundreds of products made by Hong Kong corporations. And then there's another catalog from the Taiwanese Trade Consulate that's available that lists hundreds of manufacturers of thousands of products who are looking for US distributors.

Remember, 95 percent of all products are never sold outside of the country that they're manufactured in. Sometimes all you have to do is find a product that is selling well somewhere else and bring it into your market area and that can be the start of your successful business.

Action Exercises
Here are two actions you can take immediately to find a product and get started in your own business:

First, do something immediately on at least one of these ideas. Buy and read magazines, visit trade shows or subscribe to foreign publications. The more information you have, the better decisions you will be able to make.

Second, ask for what you want. If you see a product or service for sale somewhere, write to the company and ask for the right to distribute it in your market area. You may be surprised.d when you travel around. Continue feeding your mind with a stream of high quality, educational and motivational material that moves you toward your goal.

Second, resolve to associate with positive, optimistic people most of the time. Get around winners and get away from negative people who criticize, condemn and complain. This can change your lift as much as any other factor.

Focus On Key Result Areas

by: Brian Tracy

“When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously.” (Norman Vincent Peale)

The Key Question For You To Ask
Why are you on the payroll? This is one of the most important questions you ever ask and answer, over and over again, throughout your career.

As it happens, most people are not sure exactly why they are on the payroll. But if you are not crystal clear about why it is that you are on the payroll and what results you have been hired to accomplish, it is very hard for you to perform at your best and get paid more and promoted faster.

Determine The Results Expected of You
In its simplest terms, you have been hired to get specific results. A wage or a salary is a payment for a specific quality and quantity of work that can be combined with the work of others to create a product or service that customers are willing to pay for.

Define Your Key Result Areas
Each job can be broken down into about five to seven key result areas, seldom more. These are the results that you absolutely, positively have to get to fulfill your responsibilities and make your maximum contribution to your organization. Your failure to perform in a critical result area of your work can lead to failure at your job.

There is essential knowledge and skill that you must have for your job. These demands are constantly changing. There are core competencies that you have developed that make it possible for you to do your job in the first place. But there are always key results that are central to your work and which determine your success or failure in your job.

You Are Responsible
A key result area is defined as something for which you are completely responsible. This means that if you don't do it, it doesn't get done. A key result area is an activity that is under your control. It is an output of your work that becomes an input or a contributing factor to the work of others.

Give Yourself A Grade
Once you have determined your key result areas, the second step is for you to grade yourself on a scale of 1-10 in each of those areas. Where are you strong and where are you weak? Where are you getting excellent results and where are you underperforming?

Here's the rule: Your weakest key result area sets the height at which you can use all your other skills and abilities.

This rule says that you could be exceptional in six out of seven key result areas but really poor in the seventh. And your poor performance in the seventh area will hold you back and determine how much you achieve with all your other skills. This weakness will act as a drag on your effectiveness and be a constant source of friction and frustration.

Decide To Become Excellent
The fact is that everybody has both strengths and weaknesses. Refuse to rationalize, justify or defend your areas of weakness. Instead, identify them clearly. Set a goal and make a plan to become very good in each of those areas. Just think! You may be only one critical skill away from top performance at your job.

Here is one of the greatest questions you will ever ask and answer: "What one skill, if I developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my career?"

You should use this question to guide your career for the rest of your life. Look into yourself for the answer. You usually know what it is.

Action Exercises
First, identify the key result areas of your work. What are they? Write down the key results you have to get to do your job in an excellent fashion. Give yourself a grade from 1-10 on each one. And then determine the one key skill that, if you did it in an excellent manner, would help you the most in your work.

Second, make a habit of doing this analysis regularly for the rest of your career. Never stop improving. This decision alone can change your life.


"It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.

"It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.

"It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

"It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."

-- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC

For those of us who have served we thank you for your prayers and support.

William Prouty, CLU RHU CBC CEC MBA PhD
CEO and Founder
Champions For Life Foundation
PO Box 989, Sun City, CA 92586-0989
909-301-0605  Phone
909-301-0606  FAX

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