“Life is short. You need to live each day as if it’s your last. So just do it and quit talking about it!” These were the wise words spoken to me by my father, Dr. Elton Hendricks, after hearing me discuss my interest in establishing a motivational speaking business. For many years. I’d been interested in the idea, but I’d failed to follow through. But life is short, and I am glad my dad and mentor expressed tough love in my best interest. He believed my voice could make a difference, and I took his advice and saw the idea into fruition.
My interest in motivational speaking was cultivated by my work as a social worker, by my role as a faculty member at Methodist University, and by my interests in volunteer and community work in the Fayetteville/Cumberland County area. It always bothers me when locals speak negatively about Fayetteville, our All American City. Any city is only as good as its citizens make it. We bloom where we are planted. As a local “Northside kid,” and Pine Forest High School graduate, I am blessed with friends and contacts who have supported my involvement in this new speaking venture and I am similarly interested in supporting the best in others, so that they can in turn make the world a better place; a place of inspiration, motivation and achievement. Recently I read a wonderful book, Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins, and in it he discussed how most people only tap approximately 40% of their capabilities. Goggins, a retired Navy Seal, calls this the 40% rule. His story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach his or her full potential. I definitely recommend this book for self -improvement, inspiration, and motivation.
In my own motivational speaking business I developed a series of topics that explore the relationship between inspiration, motivation and achievement. These topics include: “A Well Rounded Life: The Mind, the Body and the Spirit”, “Using Failure to Build Resiliency”, “Creating a Culture of Teamwork”, “Dreaming the Impossible Dream” and I’ve found these topics were of interest to a wide range of audiences and a variety of groups including church youth groups, elderly adults, human service organizations, educational agencies, and athletic teams. I often incorporate stories, videos, and open-audience discussion into my talks.
My business logo visually represents the mind, body and spirit approach to living with three linked rings with the colors of red, blue and yellow representing these various areas. Joshua Ryan, a Graphic Design major at Methodist University, designed my logo. I have known Joshua since he was a young boy, and it is gratifying to see him succeed.
One of my speaking topics, “A Well-Rounded Life: The Mind, The Body and the Spirit” is described in detail below:
The full and complete human life involves—I suspect requires—a supportive and creative union of body, mind, and spirit. Failure to attend to the needs of any of these three components of the complete and fulfilled human existence will result in limiting the effectiveness of one or both of the other two. The analogy of the stool with three legs is certainly appropriate. No matter how strong the other two legs, if one leg is too short, too rotten, or too weak, then the stool will be unstable and unworkable, perhaps even dangerous. Totally effective human living requires commitment to body, mind and spirit, the required components of successful human life.
In some of my talks I find myself quoting the 18th century British theologian, John Wesley, who led a nation-transforming religious revival in England. He was the author of one of my favorite quotes, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can , in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can as long as ever you can.” Wesley was attentive to the components of fruitful (and responsible!) human living. Moreover, he was intellectually inquisitive and read widely in history and science. He was particularly interested in the electrical experiments and discoveries of Benjamin Franklin. Wesley also paid attention to the needs of the human body, including diet and exercise. His eighteenth century focus on a vegetarian diet has an almost modern tone. For Wesley, not caring for the body was a fundamental sin. In his theology, the importance of a deep and meaningful spiritual life was nurtured and supported by beginning each day with extensive prayer and Bible reading. Personally I am a Christian, but like Wesley, I consider it important to be knowledgeable, interested in, and respectful, of all world religions including Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and others.
The result of Wesley’s fruitful union of these three required components of the complete human life not only transformed English society, but also gave rise to a man with full mental and physical energy up to the end of his eighty-eight years. His life, by the way, was a very long one by eighteenth century standards.
As Gandhi once noted “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” We have a responsibility to leave the world better than we found it. In the week when I was writing this short article I found myself dealing with a suicide of a friend, the death of an NBA superstar, medical issues with friends, deployed neighbors, mass shootings, homelessness, the Corona virus, individuals suffering in areas related to the mind, the body and the spirit, and a coach recovering from injuries sustained by a person suffering from a mental illness. Life is tough and surviving and thriving in our world takes a healthy dose of resiliency sprinkled with the mind, body and spirit approach to wellness. We must remain balanced in all three areas as we deal with a challenging and cruel world. The way we respond to challenges, relationships, jobs, and life difficulties makes all the difference in the world.
I look forward to speaking with your organization or business for I believe the best is yet to come for all of us. Please see my website at www.georgehendricks.net for more information on my personal journey of “Doing it and not talking about it.” As Pablo Picasso said, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
The article is published by Cityview Magazine