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The Power of Play (What I learned from kids at St. Jude’s today)

Today I rode down to Memphis with my friend, Tammy, and her 8 year old son, Robbie. In October of last year the doctors removed a lump from Robbie’s leg. After considerable amount of time and consernation on the part of many top doctors at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere he was diagnosed with a rare form of NK Lymphoma, one that has characterists of luekemia as well. Early last year he began an aggressive treatment plan that involved intense chemotherapy for 146 weeks and monthly trips to Memphis for treatment at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. I am writing this post from the St. Jude’s campus. So today I watched while child after child checked in here with their families. Some are in wheelchairs, some are bald, some are sporting bandages, but very few were crying or fussy. Kids take their lives as they come and they play and take what joy is available to them regardless. Robbie knows what he is facing. But even knowing what this trip holds, Robbie has joked around, giggled, watched movies, rocked out to Queen in the car, agreed to go out to Huey’s for dinner even though he was tired because Tammy told him I might not want to eat pizza in the room (I think SHE didn’t want to) and while he has had a few breakdowns he has mostly just been a kid. He has a light saber he takes everywhere (well not to dinner but everywhere else) and he still has a skip in his step. But he showed me his favorite piece of art - a stormy abstract...

What Lights Your Fire?

Do you ever ask yourself why some people seem to burn more brightly, stay fired up longer, bounce back faster, accomplish more and have more fun doing it? Like the bush that burned but was not consumed, they seem to burn the candle at both ends and come back shining brighter than ever before. Let me guess, you’re thinking “those are the people who are really passionate”, right? I would agree the “fire” begins with passion, the wellspring of energy. In a previous post about tapping into that wellspring and understanding passion I explored the connection between passion and joy and suffering. But at the end of the day what keeps your fire burning? What is the fuel? What gives it shape and direction? Let’s try this one; Purpose. From Latin, “pro” before or in front of and “posse” to put or place. Literally then “to place in front of”. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists The reason for which anything is done, created or exists A fixed design or idea that is the object of an action Conclusion; achieving your purpose requires that you understand your objective or reason and combine it with action or creation. What do you place before anything else? What objective do you have for striving or creating or taking action? For that matter, what is your reason for being – for continuing to get up every morning and tackle another day? What is your why? I’ve observed a lot of powerful people who are accomplishing great things (many of them are unsung angels but they still wield a...