Life Is Good!
December 16, 2015 by Lynn Faughey
Recently, Rose and I attended the PA Conference for Women, along with four other amazing women on our FlexPro management team, where more than 8,000 women gathered and listened to various motivational speakers. In light of the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, it was inspiring to hear from positive people who aren’t letting the evil in the world control how they feel about life. Their messages were very appropriate for this time of year as we all search for our own reasons to be appreciative and thankful.
While all of the speakers were excellent, I was most moved by John Jacobs, who is co-founder of the company Life Is Good. He’s from the Boston area, very close to where the Boston Marathon bombings took place. The past couple of years have been emotionally difficult for him with the bombings hitting so close to home and then the death of both his mother last year and his father this year. Through it all, John remains as optimistic as ever and seems to use the power of that optimism to propel himself forward. He was probably my favorite speaker of the conference in part because he was very casual and friendly and was wearing a T-shirt that said, “Spread Good Vibes”, and in part because I could really relate to his message. I love his quotes on optimism, a couple that I jotted down include: “Optimism is most powerful in times of darkness“, and “Optimism is simply a pragmatic strategy for achieving goals and living life”.
As Rose and I can also relate to, he talked about the difficulties of starting a new company (his brother is the co-founder) and the inevitable bumps in the road that occurred. Their “Life is Good” venture was wildly unsuccessful in its first five years, but they never stopped learning from everything that went wrong. It was clear to me that the word failure does not exist in John Jacobs’ vocabulary. I loved his thinking in regards to the fact that life is never perfect – which, of course, we all know. What struck me is the way he chooses to look at those difficult times as a series of successes and learning, never failure. Never, ever failure. As I sat there I thought to myself, for all the disappointments in life, I have never once come away from one without having learned something. So, in John Jacobs’ humble opinion, that in itself is a success. Tried and learned from my mistakes, always. Tried and failed, never!
The most powerful and influential part of his presentation for me was his recommendation on changing my mind set from saying I “have to”, to saying I “get to”. He had one slide that simply said “get to” in big letters. For example, instead of saying “I have to go to work today”, say “I get to go to work today”. Why? Because I am lucky enough have a job. I don’t have to pay my bills, I “get” to. My husband and I are privileged enough to be able to pay the mortgage that gives our family comfort and shelter. The place I call home with my loved ones. The place that holds the table that will hold the food that I’ll be thankful for over the holidays. Yeah, I “get” to do that. Changing up just one word seems so simple, yet so significant and I’m feeling pretty thankful for all of the other things I “get” to do.
As I was leaving the conference I bought a purple tee-shirt that says, “All we need.” with a smiling Jake below (the infamous Life is Good character) holding a heart symbolizing LOVE! 100% of the profit is going to kids in need. I “get” to help those kids. Can’t argue with that. Life Is Good!
Rose and I would like to wish you a very Happy Holidays. We’re thankful to have you all as part of our FlexPro family!
-Lynn Faughey, COO