Starting a Gift Basket Tradition

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Deep down we all want to be generous. I truly believe we all want to help others.

I know many people who go out of their way to help others. It is always inspiring to me to see the generosity of others in action and to hear about anonymous acts of charity. 

Years ago I read about a man who started a tradition of giving a gift basket to those less fortunate. He had received one when he was young, and that act of kindness and genorosity had made a tremendous impact on him. Many years later he started his own tradition of giving a gift basket away and it grew from just one basket to tens of thousands. Imagine that. 

Ever since I read that story, somewhere in the back of my head I have always wanted to do something similar. My family has been generous to other families, and we have our charities, but like the man I read about, I wanted to make a more personalized gift in the form of a gift basket. I think it would be rewarding and helpful to actually choose specific items that I believe could not only bring joy but make a difference as well. I want to include not only a few gifts, but some tools to help that family change the direction of their lives. 

This year I am going to start a tradition of giving away gift basket. I am inviting my family members and others to join in, if they feel so called. This first year, it will probably be only one basket, but maybe I can get mine to grow. If not, I am sure even this one basket, this one act, will be helpful. I am going to include a couple of gift cards, something fun, something tasty, a copy of my book Along Came a Leader because I know it can transform someone’s thoughts and actions, and some notes of inspiration and joy from me and my family. 

I know many will appreciate receiving a gift. I also know some people are in very tough situations and need real help. Others need direction; some people just don’t know some of the life lessons we do, and they would benefit from that advice. Many just need to know that other people care.

If you already do something like this I would love for you to comment and tell me what you include. That would be helpful. I’d also love to know how you choose the family.

If you’d like to join me in adding to my basket, send me an email or use the contact form. I think combining our ideas and resources could be fun and meaningful. I also think if just do it yourself and follow through on your own it may even be more meaningful. 

Here’s what I am thinking so far:

• a cash card.

• a bag of chocolates.

• a card with an inspiring note. 

• a copy of my book Along Came a Leader.

• a copy of another book that changed my life. 

• a gift card to a book store with a note to pursue a dream. 

• movie tickets for the whole family because everyone needs a night of joy. 

• a board game because it’s fun and has the potential to bring everyone in the house together. 

 

Kelly Croy  • Speaker, Artist and Educator • Invite Kelly to speak at your event!
www.KellyCroy.com  •  info@kellycroy.com  •  1-800-831-4825 

 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to a Successful Day:

Don’t be:

  • Successful daybitter
  • anxious
  • mean-spirited
  • a gossiper
  • negative
  • a worrier
  • wasteful
  • distant
  • late
  • sloppy

Be:

  • kind
  • happy
  • confident
  • productive
  • athletic
  • disciplined
  • grateful
  • resourceful
  • loving
  • positive
  • an encourager
  • present
  • prepared
  • a smiler

What would you add?

It’s amazing really how the removal of a single bad habit, or the start of a new, empowering habit, can make a tremendous difference in your life and the lives of everyone you come in contact. 

It’s Not Just Okay to Dream, It’s Required

I’ve always been a dreamer. Always.
As soon as I reach one goal or accomplishment, I am usually plotting three more.
My dreams are typically out of reach, far fetched, and unattainable. Still, I go after it, reminding myself even if I am off, I’ll be better for having tried. You know what? Sometimes I hit the mark.

I’m a big fan of dreamers too. I have always been fond of inventors and entrepreneurs who set their sights on big acccomplishments. Their epic-sized dreams impact the world and make a difference.

Currently, I am a big fan of Elon Musk. He’s this far-out thinking inventor-entrepreneur that created PayPal, the Tesla’s self-driving electric car, and rocket technology that lands itself on floating, moving barges, and he has been tapped by the United States government to assist on a Mars expedition. He’s a dreamer. His dreams have paid off. Why not mine?

Tesla has a big announcement for tomorrow: First of all, I want to declare that I am a dreamer and I am never, ever, ever correct about product releases. My track record is horrible. Now, with that being said, here is my prediction for tomorrow: a flying car.

Elon Musk is the closest thing we have to a Tony Stark. The guy has self-driving electric cars, has partnered with the USA to send people to Mars in his rockets, and has built self-landing, reusable rockets.

How difficult would it be for this genius to extrapolate our existing hobbyist, quadcopter technology (GPS guided drones Like the DJI Phantom 4), enlarge it, combine it with his existing technology, and show us a prototype tomorrow? My rationale: Musk does BIG things. He would want a flying car. He is not afraid of putting ideas out there.

While tomorrow the company will probably only deliver a software upgrade to the existing Tesla models… I will be dreaming tonight of flying cars.

Here’s your permission slip everyone: it’s okay to dream, so dream big.

6 Things Olympic Athletes Do That We Should Implement

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Image by David Schap

The Olympics are amazing, but while I am utterly amazed I think most of us still really have no clue to how incredible these athletes truly are.  I really like comedian Bill Murray’s recent tweet, “Every Olympic event should include one average person competing for reference.”

What makes these athletes so incredible? Well, I won’t argue that genetically they have a lot going for them, but you would be a fool to underestimate how much they do mentally and physically to help themselves stand out and excel.

Olympic athletes have amazing focus and discipline. What can we learn from these incredible athletes to help us live better lives?

Olympic athletes: 

1) Visualize Success: Olympic athletes don’t just think positively, the speak positively using affirmations and verbal mantras and goals. They try to involve all five senses in this visulaization. They do this regularly. They literally see and practice success. I write about this in my book.

2) Have great coaches: Maybe you can’t afford a coach, but you can afford a book, a CD, or conference attendance. What resource can you obtain now to help you advance?

3) Don’t Believe in Life Balance: Olympic athletes are ‘all in.’  They realize sacrifices must be made. This may not work for you and me on a regular basis, but from time to time we need to ‘fully commit’ to realize and accomplish a life goal. I’m sure you can recall a time you did this and it made the difference. What needs more attention in your life?

Conversations and a Gathering of Great Minds

Bag and hands by Alejandro Escamilla

Image by Alejandro Escamilla

I recently had breakfast with an old friend at a restaurant. He told me he meets there with a group of men regularly, and they talk about education, kids, curriculum, and the world. They even had a little brass plaque on wall with their initials engraved on it.  It was early, but the conversation put my mind in the right mode of thinking for the entire day. New perspectives were shared. I saw topics in a new light, and, well, I shared some of my ideas too.

Today, I was listening to a few minutes of a show titled GPS on CNN. I caught it just by chance. Just one of those moments where I was getting a snack when I shouldn’t have, and the TV was on in the kitchen.  What a great show! I’m not sure I am intelligent enough to grasp everything it covered, but I enjoyed the variety and richness of discussion. The show focused on solutions and big ideas.

I was inspired by the host’s guest too, “Homeless Billionaire” Nicolas Berggruen, who has recently  started a ‘think tank” where the top minds of the world will gather and well… think. He is building an institute that focuses on free speech, curiosity, and diversity. Nicholas calls this institute a “secular monestary” where scholars will live, work, host meetings, and talk about a range of topics from technology, philosophy to government, and more! He says he wants to give the world a place where people can have conversations.

These two events, my friend’s gathering at breakfast and the CNN story, are the same concept at different levels. Both groups, one big and one small, are focused on getting great minds together and having a conversation.

Are we doing this? Are we having discussions? This is more than liking pictures and status updates. These are face-to-face conversations in real time. This is setting aside a time to meet in person, spend time together, talk and then collaborate on solutions.

I was fortunate to have been invited to Berlin, Germany this summer to do just that with amazing educators from all around the world at the Apple Distinguished Educator Global Institute 2016. It was amazing and beneficial. This was thinking big on a big scale. This should happen often and so should smaller discussions too, at smaller levels.

How can we do more of this?  How can you or I get a group of thinkers together to talk and collaborate?

I challenge you this week to do just that. Start something. Join something. If you accomplish it online, well, I guess that is okay,  but if you can find a way to meet in person I think you will see many added benefits.

As an English teacher I am reminded of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and G. K. Chester meeting at a pub regularly for a talk. They called themselves The Inlkings. What came from these “talks” is some of my favorite literature and essays.

On my podcast I recently interviewed two authors about a trip they took home after a conference. They rode together in a car and talked. From this conversation sprang forth the idea for a book which was recently published on a very important topic.

These ‘think tanks’ or conversations are important. While they of course can “just happen” from time to time, imagine the results if we actually planned a few.

Kelly Croy  • Speaker, Artist and Educator • Invite Kelly to speak at your event!
www.KellyCroy.com  •  info@kellycroy.com  •  1-800-831-4825