A man who ran more than 15,000 miles in Forrest Gump’s shoes has completed yet another run across America, and topped it off with a proposal as he finished.
Rob Pope, 39, said he had a dream of running across America for 15 years. His mom has always told him “do one thing in life that makes a difference,” and it wasn’t until he caught “Forrest Gump” on TV that he got the idea to follow the route from the Oscar-winning 1994 film.
Beginning in Mobile, Ala., on Sept. 16, 2016, Pope, who was the same age as Tom Hanks when he portrayed the revered character, set out on the epic journey that would see him travel the equivalent distance of more than 590 marathons.
Averaging an astounding 40 miles a day, Pope took on ever-changing climates of blistering heat, treacherous rain, and relentless snowfall, raising nearly 37,000 GBP ($50,000) for his two chosen charities, the World Wildlife Foundation and Peace Direct.
Pope ran for a staggering 422 days, covering 15,607 miles in the process, before crossing the finish line on April 29, where he proposed to his very own Jenny — long term girlfriend, Nadine — in an emotional exchange.
“It meant everything to me to have Nadine and our newborn daughter, Bee, there at the finish line,” Pope said. “Nadine has been my rock. I couldn’t have done it without her — proposing in that moment felt right.”
In an emotional moment, Pope runs right up to Nadine and gets down on one knee as she begins crying.
“Seeing my daughter be born was even more motivation — having her and Nadine at the finish was a dream come true,” Pope said. “I’m unbelievably proud and still surprised to a degree that I actually made it.”
What you say to yourself matters. It’s what makes or breaks your happiness really. Bottom line: you are not only your worst critic, but also the one that keeps yourself from living the life you so deeply desire. It’s true in life and in business.
I came across a very cool article in Forbes from a woman who spent almost two decades in corporate America before embarking on a path as a success coach, writer, speaker and leadership developer. She points that an untold number of people in today’s working world keep saying things to themselves that keep them stuck in damaging environments and positions.
So, she points out five things you need to STOP saying to yourself (and to others) if you want a better career and a better life. They are:
1/“This is not so bad – I can tolerate it.”
So many people want to remain blind to how their daily work-lives are hurting them. They think that staying in sick, toxic and demoralizing environments and toughing it out will be the best choice. Sadly, it never is. The say to themselves that it’s ok and right to remain in pain, not doing anything to rise up and stand up for their lives. The question is, “Why do you think ‘tolerating’ your career is what you should be going for? What has happened in your past that has led you to think it’s OK to settle for and compromise on so much?”
2/“I’m too old to change this.”
I’m a firm believer that our main two motivators in life are LOVE and FEAR. One of top regrets of many in the corporate world is this: “I wish I hadn’t let my fears stop me from making change.” A key fear is that they’re too old to create a happier career now, and that joyful, rewarding careers are somehow only possible if we start them in our 20s. That idea is categorically false. Many, many people around the world have mustered the courage to pivot, revise or discard what isn’t working and build entirely new professional identities. And most were well out of their 20s and 30s when doing it.
3/“I’m just not good enough. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been fired (or laid off).”
This one particular self-message is so very damaging to your well-being and confidence. Thousands of people are being fired and laid off every year, and the majority are not “losers,” incompetents, or unable to do their work well. There are a myriad of reasons why people are let go, and a good number of them have much more to do with the culture and environment than with you. You can’t let what happens to you drown you in self-rejection. Nor can you take it all personally. Sometimes it’s a situation where you are a wrong fit for this culture, and being let go is the best thing that could ever happen to you. Whatever the situation, pick yourself up and get moving towards landing a happier role and professional identity.
4/“It’s just too hard to change.”
We all know people who refuse to make changes in their lives because the risk of change scares them. Fear of risk is an inherent part of the human experience. The reality is that so many simply won’t commit to doing the hard work of change.
What is hard about changing our lives and careers for the better? To make lasting change possible, you have to dig very deep within yourself, with as much bravery as you can muster, to examine with open eyes who you are, how you became that way, what shaped you, and what is no longer working for you. It’s critical to examine with fierce honesty your key mindsets, beliefs, behaviors, communication style, action style and so much more. Then and only then are you able to identify what no longer serves you at the highest level, and begin to release and modify it. That’s the toughest part of change.
5/“I’m an introvert and what’s required of me to be successful today is just not possible for me.”
For years, I’ve considered myself an extrovert, and recently my eyes have been opened to the challenges introverts face in today’s society and workplaces.
Here’s the challenge: While millions of people believe that introverts are the minority in our world, new data suggest that both introverts and extroverts are in the minority. It’s “ambiverts” (or people who are a balance of extrovert and introvert) who make up a half to two thirds of our population. Ambiverts are said to have a strong advantage – they can leverage traits within them of both introversion and extroversion to great success.
Studies have also revealed that how we perceive ourselves, and the internal stories we tell ourselves about who we are, will indeed shape our experiences. I’ve seen that those who say over and over to themselves “I’m an introvert and networking and advocating for myself is horribly hard for me,” are often buying into a myth about their own brand of introversion that keeps them stuck in an increasingly insular world. In other words, I’ve worked with self-reported introverts who have leveraged their introvert power and leadership to build fantastically successful careers. I’ve also seen how introverts have become powerful networkers, building inspiring communities that help them thrive.
In the end, what we tell ourselves will indeed shape what happens to and around us, and how we interpret these events and experiences.
If you’re not satisfied with your work or life experience, it is within your control to change it for the better. But only if you do the hard work of change. The first and best micro step to take is to watch very closely what you say about yourself (to yourself and to others…maybe keep a journal for a week?) and begin to revise all the limiting and self-sabotaging stories you tell, to allow you to embrace more power, authority and self-confidence in your life.
Does work seem to follow you home? And you feel like you just can’t shake it? Well, there’s something that you can do. A new study says that the more strife you’re dealing with at work, the more you need a fun, relaxing, or at least distracting cushion activity to jump into after work before you lock into your normal nightly routine. As simple as that might sound, the benefit can’t be undervalued: you’ll sleep better, and that can improve everything else you’re facing (including work strife).
Researchers surveyed about 700 employees of the U.S. Forest Service to find out the level of distressing behavior they experienced at work. What they found out was telling. Employees who experienced more difficulties at work, including verbal abuse, also experienced more insomnia. Nothing surprising there. But those who experienced work strife and had also developed the discipline of detaching after work with a relaxing activity of some sort tended to sleep far better. The type of activity didn’t really matter as long as it was a consistent go-to for decompressing before sliding into a nightly routine. Just going for a walk helped a lot, or even spending an hour listening to music. It’s really just about taking a mental break.
Drinking alcohol really doesn’t help. Believe it or not, alcohol is a potent sleep disrupter. Plus, drinking to mask feelings of distress can become a dangerous pattern.
What helps is getting separation from the drama and investing mind space in something else entirely. If the activity has a physical component, like walking or yoga, all the better.
The takeaway from this one is simple: if you’re dealing with tension on the job (especially if it includes heavy strife like rudeness and verbal abuse), a detachment activity after work can help to preserve your sleep, and that has implications for your overall health.
Get the full story HERE
So, you often read about the things that people with neat, clean houses do to keep their houses looking so neat and clean. But what about the things they DON’T do? I came across a neat blog post from someone who has done an informal study on the matter, and it’s pretty enlightening to say the least.
The blogger calls herself “The Nester” and here is her list of the 5 Things Tidy People DON’T do:
1/Tidy People don’t act like a slob all day, and then get their house tidy in one fell swoop.
Tidy People are smart she says, and they know that cleaning up all at once is hard and not fun. She says that the number one thing she’s learned from tidy People is how valuable it is to develop some simple, non-drastic, tiny habits that when added together will change the level of tidiness in your home.
2/Tidy People Don’t Run out of Cleaning Supplies. They find cleaning products they love and they are NEVER without them. She also recommends some cleaning products from a company called Grove Collaborative. She claims that Grove is her secret weapon for keeping a tidy and clean home.
Grove offers a huge selection of high-quality natural cleaning products, and you’ll never run out of products again thanks to their monthly shipment schedule (totally optional and super flexible she says).
And right now, Grove is running a limited New Customer Deal that’s too good to ignore if you’re ready to tidy up.
3/ Tidy People never let the sun go down on their filth.
You’ve probably heard this one before. When it comes to the cleanliness of your home, it’s better now than later. She says Tidy People don’t plop down in front of the TV when there’s a sink full of dirty dishes waiting to be washed. There’s different ways of tidying before bed. Maybe you enlist the help of your entire family. Whatever it is, establish that routine and “get her done.”
4/Tidy People don’t store things on the floor.
This is one of my favorites. Take a quick glance around the room you’re in right now. Do you keep stuff sitting on the floor? Well, tidy people don’t. They remove those big decorative baskets filled with throws, or that laundry basket that never seems to go where it should. Tidy people just don’t allow things to live on the floor of their home.
5/Tidy People don’t over decorate. They value a cleared off surface more than a highly decorated surface. She says she’s learned that having a bunch of pretty small things all over every surface was only making life more difficult as someone who was already prone to being messy.
She now aims for 1-3 decorative pieces per surface depending on the surface size. This allows your house to still look pretty but at the same time, it seems clean, even if there’s a layer of filth!
Maybe if you try these little tips, you’ll find that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Sure couldn’t hurt, right?
Prom season is here, and with it come heartwarming prom stories!
So, while most teens are searching for the perfect date, an 18 year old student in Texas already had the best one picked out.
Joe Moreno chose to take his mom as his date to prom.
He explained that his mom gave birth to him at 17, and dropped out of school to take care of him.
Since she never got the chance to go to her own prom, Joe asked his school staff if he could break some rules and bring his mother as his date.
They of course said yes and Joe gave his mother the night she always dreamed of!
Joe realized how many sacrifices his mother made for him and his siblings and explained how special it felt to give her the prom experience that she never had.
How’s THAT for an early Mother’s Day gift? Get the full story HERE
Believe it or not, according to a new study out of the University of Utah, your entire relationship hinges on who does the dishes. Yes, it’s true. The dishes. Researchers found that women do more of the chores around the house, especially the really difficult ones like cleaning the toilets and doing the endless flow of laundry . . . but doing the dishes is the one chore that REALLY breaks their spirit.
So when her significant other pitches in and handles the dishes, it makes everything better. Those couples are happier, their relationships are more stable, they argue less, and they even have better sex.
So from my lips to your ears, guys, just do the dishes. You’ll probably thank me for it later.
Get the whole story RIGHT HERE
One of THE most quoted pieces of marital advice you hear is “Marriage is about compromise”. But, what does that really mean? Most likely it means, you try to meet in the middle.
But you know what?
That means you each only get HALF of what you really want. Love and marriage are about meeting each others needs, and you can’t just meet HALF of someone’s needs.
For example: a husband and wife have a disagreement on what they want to do on their day off. The husband wants to sit and watch football all day while the wife wants to go on a long 7-mile hike. So they talk it out and meet in the middle of watching football for a couple hours and then going on a shorter 3-mile hike.
Now is either partner really happy? He had to cut the football game off at halftime and she didn’t get the nice long hiking workout she wanted.
What we need to do is learn what healthy compromise actually looks like.
Compromise is NOT about giving your partner SOME of what they want and need,, it’s about giving them ALL of what they want and need. It’s about SERVING your spouse. That’s what the most beautiful marriages look like. Two people serving one another.
It’s selfless. And if done with the right heart it becomes a beautiful cycle of “out-serving” the other person. The more selfless your spouse is toward you, the more selfless you want to be toward them..
Now someone has to start. You may not be living in a serving relationship now, but I bet that if you took that first step to serve him, he would want to join in. And so the cycle begins.
You’ve just discovered what it truly means to “compromise.”
Ditch meeting in the middle and take on the challenge of viewing compromise as serving the other person. So the next time you have a differing opinion or preference, I challenge you to be selfless out of love for your spouse.
Get the FULL ARTICLE HERE
She called it her “Bridal Shave”.
Instead of a traditional bridal shower, this Chicago woman hosted a party where she shaved her head to honor her mom, who died of liver cancer just two years ago.
Corinne Sullivan of Chicago buzzed off all of her blonde hair during a pub event hosted by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation earlier this month.
She says, “Shaving your head, it’s more than just raising money.” For me, it’s like showing solidarity, it’s very dramatic. It’s a very bold and eye-catching way to bring in the conversation all the time. Everywhere I go, people can’t deny it.”
Pretty great conversation starter, right?
Sullivan said she has been looking for a way to honor her mom ever since, but nothing seemed quite right until a friend walked into the bar she worked at with a shaved head last year.
After learning that he did it to benefit St. Baldrick’s, Sullivan agreed to do it as well.
She says, “My mom had been a pediatric oncology nurse so that had been something that was really important to her. People that do go through cancer, whether they’re children or adults, one of the things you struggle with is losing your hair. You don’t realize, as women, how much we identify our hair with our looks and how important our looks are to our identity.”
Sullivan decided to organize her shave to coincide with her bridal shower as a way to get her mom involved with some of the festivities.
In lieu of gifts, Sullivan had all her friends donate to St. Baldrick’s and after raising more than $1,350 online, she collected even more at the event itself.
Sullivan and Lyndon will marry on May 12, and declared it would be a giftless wedding. However, they are continuing to encourage their friends and family to support St. Baldrick’s.
To donate to their campaign, visit their St. Baldrick’s website.
Get the full story HERE.
One of the great benefits of traveling and living in other places in the world is the perspective we gain. Just ask Danielle Postel-Vinay. She currently lives in New York City, but as a teen, she met her first mentor in the French way of life, Jacqueline Manon, an antique shop owner, who took her under her wing and invited her into her home. After spending time in France, Postel-Vinay married a Parisian man, and her new French family and mother-in-law continued her education in the French way of keeping a home. Now, the writer’s sharing all of the secrets she’s gleaned from her French family and friends in her new book, Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of Making a Home.
Among the many tips and tricks of the French way of life, she shares five things the French know about doing laundry, that Americans don’t seem to know, or practice anyway. I’ll give you three, but you can get ALL FIVE RIGHT HERE.
1. Use Different Stain Fighters for Different Stains. Stain fighting is NOT a “one size fits all proposition”. Different stains require different chemicals. When Postel-Vinay lived in the South of France, she discovered that the French grocery store stocked small bottles of specialized formulas for treating every type of stain imaginable, and from a chemistry standpoint, it made so much sense. She says “Grass stains are not the same problem as ballpoint pen ink, and olive oil is utterly different on a silk blouse than coffee. How could one expect to remove all these different stains with the same chemical? Postel-Vinay bought a complete set of Stain Devils from Carbona ($32; carbona.com).
2. Air Dry (Don’t Machine-Dry) Delicate Clothing. In general, Americans machine-dry their clothing much more often than Europeans. From watching her mother-in-law’s method of washing clothes, Postel-Vinay learned that dryers are to be avoided, unless absolutely necessary. Instead, in an apartment, her mother-in-law would hoist clothes on a drying rack up to the ceiling, or in nice weather, on a clothesline outside. Not only is the dryer a waste of electricity and money, but it wreaks havoc on clothing. She says, “An electric dryer will fade, shrink, and deteriorate whatever you put inside it.” Want to try the French method? Set up a clothesline outside this summer or invest in a drying rack ($30; containerstore.com)—your clothes will thank you.
3. Iron Everything. You may roll your eyes on this one, but Postel-Vinay says her mother-in-law ironed everything (cloth napkins and bed sheets, included). This may seem too time-consuming for most American households, especially if you have children and daunting piles of clothing. As a compromise, opt for a small handheld steamer that you can pull out to prep your work outfit in the morning. You’ll still look polished, but won’t devote your weekends to ironing every single piece.
Good luck implementing some of these tips, and please DO let me know how it goes for you. Vive La France!
I’ve heard about this kind of thing before, but I’ve never gotten documented proof. Now I have.
A one-eyed dog saved her owner’s life by sniffing out a cancerous lump, just months after she was rescued.
Victoria, a Treeing Walker Coonhound, sniffed around a reddish lump near the nostril of her owner Lauren Gauthier, of Buffalo, N.Y., until she went to the doctor to examine further.
A skin biopsy came back to show the blemish was basal cell carcinoma, and if caught any later, could have developed into deadly melanoma.
“She’d been literally putting her nose onto my nose where the cancer was,” Gauthier told InsideEdition.com.
Recently, she noticed a small lump on her face, but dismissed it as a scratch. Victoria, seemed to notice instinctively that something was wrong.
“She started smelling a specific are of my nose to the extent that she would actually touch her nose to mine where the cancer is and lean back and look at me and smell it again and look at me,” Gauthier explained.
Gauthier explained that she and her husband, Benjamin, adopted Victoria just eight months before. Victoria came to them already having an eye injury they suspected was the result of careless hunting.
Gauthier had the spot diagnosed and underwent surgery to remove the cancer shortly after.
While her nostril is now slightly scarred, and she didn’t have feeling in her nose for several months, she said she is glad Victoria the dog caught the cancer early on.
So who rescued whom?