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“Retirement Reimagined” – Adulthood II – The ULTIMATE Road Trip Travel Blog #7 Day 22 of 90

Posted on July 29, 2015 under Retirement 101, Travel To Learn.

Greetings From Niagara On The Lake and Fort Niagara On Lake Ontario and The Falls

Miles Traveled:  2145

States “touched”:  8

Provinces’ Touched:  1

Days On the Road:  22

Blog Posts:  7

Beard Evaluations – Jury Still Out:  Grand Children – Negative; Spouse – Very Negative; Children – Non Committal (smart); GQ: Still Waiting To Hear Back  -  Think I’ll go the full 30 days and then decide.

Status of Marriage:  Still Solid

French castle at Fort Niagara 2.JPG

Don’t spend all of your time living confined without making new friends and taking new risks.

Neither one of us can figure out exactly how we ended up there, but back in 1984, BJ, Corey and I somehow found ourselves visiting the Hound Ears Club outside of Boone, North Carolina; had a great time – played a lot of golf, did some horseback riding, ate lots of s’mores, etc.  For that reason, we decided that a return to the HEC would one of our stops on Our ULTIMATE Road Trip.

And boy did it turn out to be a pleasant, eye opening experience.  Never have we met a group of folks who were more welcoming, outgoing, friendly, interested (in us and our trip), anxious to help  –  I could go on and on  –  and we were TOTAL strangers.  If I didn’t know better, I’d wonder if they all had recently been to a Tony Robbins session or taken an Earl Nightingale course.

Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.

Anyway, Thanks to our new found Hound Ears friends – we will be back.

*A special shout out to Karen and Bob McCammon (below) who ‘adopted’ us and helped us navigate the  friendly HEC  ’masses.’

Travel Quotes & Painted Elephants

Corning Museum Of Glass

Craig J McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
 

 

(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement

314-753-2802
 

 


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“Retirement Reimagined” – Adulthood II – The ULTIMATE Road Trip Travel Blog #6 Day 17 of 90

Posted on July 24, 2015 under Retirement 101, Travel To Learn.

Tag Archives: traveling quotestravel quotes

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

https://lnkd.in/e8AamKm

 We’re Off In The AM

Peaks Of Otter Lodge – Beauty & Tranquility Of The Peaks.

Beauty & Tranquility Of The Peaks. Book Online For Your Convenience.
Blue Ridge Parkway Lodging | Peaks of Otter Lodge

 Grandfather Mountain

Have a super weekend!!

 

Craig J McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
 

 

(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement

314-753-2802
 


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“Retirement Reimagined” – Adulthood II – The ULTIMATE Road Trip Travel Blog #5 Day 14 of 90

Posted on July 21, 2015 under Retirement 101, Travel To Learn.

Well, we are now 14 days, 3 states (not very impressive I know), and 1245 miles into Our ULTIMATE Road Trip.

We are still feeling remarkably blessed to be having this adventure; I think both BJ and I have become much bigger advocates for the value and role that Facebook can play in keeping friends and communities in touch; And, the marriage is still strong -

Check out this video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/SbH_sDyWZqo

FRIDAY’S ACCIDENT UPDATE – You’re not going to believe this……………………

We are both feeling better; at the insurance companies suggestion, we are going to a walk-in clinic today just to be checked out.  But, here’s a ‘living your worst nightmare’ scenario that might give you a smile.

We went to dinner at the Hound Ears Club on Sunday night and guess who the hostess was – you got it: the young woman who rear ended us.

Think she was taken aback to see us walk into the door?  Would you have been?  Actually, she was a delightful young woman (attending Appalachian State) who listened politely to BJ’s lecture on texting and driving and handled the situation with as much grace as I think any 19 year old could muster.

  

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM THE BLOWING ROCK

 

We are in North Carolina through Friday and then we head up the Blue Ridge Parkway to Peak of the Otter (Bedford, VA) to Grottoes, VA., and on to Gettysburg.

We have been watching the Ken Burns special on the Civil War to get ourselves ready.  Sadly, I must have slept through an awful lot of my American History classes – learning a lot.  Did you know there were “Viet Nam like” draft protests right after the Battle of Gettysburg?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_draft_riots

Stay tuned; thanks for following us; hope I am not boring you to death.

Craig J McConnell
“Entering Adulthood II”
 
(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement
314-753-2802

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Retirement Reimagined – Adulthood II – The “ULTIMATE” Road Trip Travel Blog #4 Day 8 of 90

Posted on July 15, 2015 under Retirement 101, Travel To Learn.

Greetings From Ashville, North Carolina (and day 8 of the beard*)

My long term goal continues to be to  insure that my brain doesn’t atrophy (too much) in retirement.  With that in mind (even on the “ULTIMATE” Road Trip),  I am going to try to learn something new everyday.  Since I’m going through this exercise, and you are being kind enough to follow us on our trip, I’m going to give you the opportunity to learn along with me.

I already shared with your former President Carter thoughts on the mistreatment of women (he is pretty impressive for 93 and has certainly had an impactful life after he left office); here it is again.

https://youtu.be/wfW3aZCFfLA

Here’s another one I felt was worth sharing.  Having lost both my Mom and my Dad in the last couple of years, I got a real ‘education’ on death and dying in America.  The guy giving the talk below is in my opinion a ROCK STAR.

TEDxUCLA – David Feinberg – One Patient at a Time.mov
http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxUCLA-David-Feinberg-One-P-2

Has It Been Too Long? What Are Friends For?  Perhaps A Longer Life?

Somebody famous (not me) once said:  “a good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”

So, you can’t have too many friends, right?  Not so fast!   Research actually shows that the human brain (even with social media, smart phones, etc.) is capable of juggling no more than 150 friendships and of these, only 5-8 will be very close.  And sadly, when we make new friends (new job, move, school, etc.), we all have a tendency to downgrade or even drop the old ones.

Other research shows that many of us overlook a powerful weapon that could help us fight sickness and depression, speed recovery when we fall ill, slow aging and actually prolong life:  our friends.

Since friends are such an integral part of our lives, why don’t we do a better job  keeping them around.

Are we just too egocentric?   Too lazy? Both?

As I admitted in post #3, I am as guilty as anyone about saying ‘let’s make sure we keep in touch’ and then doing absolutely ZERO to make it happen.  That being said, since life is far more interesting and much more exciting with friends around, doing ZERO seems just plain dumb.

Using FaceBook (and this blog) BJ and I are going to make an effort to reconnect with at least one old friend from our past per week (can you imagine how healthy we will be when we head back to Florida?):  12 weeks = 12 old friendships renewed.

Which brings me to the photos above.

On the left:  Jay Miller, Soccer Coach Extradinaire (and I am not kidding – Google it) and yours truly.

Back in the mid-70s, the University of Tampa was in the process of expanding and upgrading their athletic program.  I was fortunate to have been selected to create the swimming/diving program and Jay was brought in from the hinterlands of Pennsylvania to give credibility to the soccer program.  BJ and I and Jay and his wife Kit actually lived in the same neighborhood in South Tampa (New Suburb Beautiful).  Good times!  Wonderful memories! I won’t bore you with the details, but thanks to some good friends in Safety Harbor, we learned that Jay now lived in Big Canoe -  a mile from the house we had rented.  We had a great visit over breakfast (before Jay had to fly to LA to give a clinic) and hopefully (35 years later) we will figure a way to keep in touch.,

And as to the other shot:  most of you know the glamorous couple on the left;  to the right our kids Godparents and our oldest friends Michael and Louise McDermott (Atlanta); Michael and I have been friends since 1956 when we started swimming against one another – long time!  We see them often and this is an example of figuring away to keep in touch despite geography.  Always nice!

It doesn’t matter how you stay in touch with friends, only that you do.  Don’t put off that card, email, phone call, or date because you are too busy.  You can learn from your friends and acquaintances every day (notice how I segued back to the learning theme of the ULTIMATE Road Trip?) and your life only becomes brighter because of it.

ITINERARY UPDATE OUT OF ASHVILLE:   Blue Ridge Parkway, Grottoes, VA, Gettysburg, PA

Craig J McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
 

 

(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement

314-753-2802
 

 


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Retirement Reimagined – Adulthood II – The “ULTIMATE” Road Trip Travel Blog #3 Day 5

Posted on July 12, 2015 under Retirement 101, Travel To Learn.

As Promised, the Photos Above Are From Gibbs Garden, Ball Ground, GA  – Not The Missouri Botanical Gardens, but certainly well worth the $18 (Senior Discount of course) price of admission.

Reconnecting With Old Friends  -  How Long Has It Been?

Today is day 5 of 90 and we are feeling ‘fabulous’ and  very fortunate for having the opportunity to make this trip.

And,what a wonderful surprise we had this morning.  I intend to write more about it later in the week, but so that you don’t go catatonic with anticipation, the topic is going to be:  Since friends are such an integral part of our lives, why don’t we do a better job of  either letting them go or keeping them around.

Could it be that we are just egocentric and/or lazy or both?

Using FaceBook (and this blog) BJ and I hope to reconnect with at least one old friend per week (happily, and by pure chance, we got week one covered this AM). 

I am as guilty as anyone about saying ‘let’s make sure we keep in touch’ and then doing absolutely ZERO to make it happen.  That being said, since life is far more interesting and much more exciting with friends around, doing ZERO seems just dumb.

More on this later; enjoy your Sunday………..I am going on a hike.

Craig J McConnell
“Entering Adulthood II”
 

 

(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement
314-753-2802
 

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Retirement Reimagined – Adulthood II – The “ULTIMATE” Road Trip Travel Blog #2

Posted on July 8, 2015 under Retirement 101, Travel To Learn.

We’re Off!

Time in Car: 12 minutes

Miles Traveled: 10

Marriage Status:  SOLID

Image result for mark twain quotes with pictures about travelImage result for pictures dunedin floridaImage result for pictures dunedin floridaImage result for mark twain quotes with pictures about travel

 

Craig J McConnell

(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement

314-753-2802

“Entering Adulthood II”
 

 


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Retirement Reimagined – The “ULTIMATE” Road Trip Travel Blog #1

Posted on July 6, 2015 under Retirement 101.

July 8 Is The Day

Missouri’s favorite son (Mark Twain, Duh!) really put the value of travel into perspective when he said:

Mark Twain's photo.

He also said:

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So, with Mark Twain in mind, BJ and I are embarking on our first post-retirement ’road trip’.  Excursion #1 will be up and down (clockwise) the East Coast -  starting and ending here in  Dunedin. 

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The other night, over a couple of glasses of Smart Cookie (an excellent California Blend in case you might be interested), we started doing some math.  In our combined 80 years of working for a living we flew close to 2,000,000 miles, visited 45 of the 50 states, and ate enough airport food to last a couple of lifetimes.

But, keeping that 2,000,000 mile number in mind, we never took more than two consecutive weeks of vacation – shame on us.  Were we thinking our organizations (or our own companies) wouldn’t have survived without us? 

So, on Wednesday we head North on a 12 week, 4000 mile sojourn through 16 Eastern states, 3 Canadian provinces and a special visit to the last two Howard Johnson’s Restaurants in existence (Lake George, NY and Bangor, ME in case you were wondering; do you remember 28 flavors and fired clam plates?)

Image result for photos of howard johnson restaurantsImage result for photos of howard johnson restaurantsImage result for photos of howard johnson restaurantsImage result for photos of howard johnson restaurants

In my ongoing effort to stay relevant and to keep my brain from rusting, I’ve decided to use my PrintGrowPro/SalesGrowPro training blog as a ‘travel journal.’ 

I may bore you to death and the odds of  ‘losing’ some of  you (my faithful readers) is  a concern, but my goal, as always, will be to incorporate something into my ramblings that you might be able to use in your day to day efforts to grow and improve.

You’ll hear from me soon; enjoy!

PS: the link below has nothing to do with sales, my retirement, our road trip or anything else;but in my opinion, is the greatest “Stairway To Heaven” cover ever.

http://www.greenvillegazette.com/he-wrote-this-song-44-years-ago-but-when-he-hears-her-sing-it-he-cries/

Craig J McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
 
(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement

314-753-2802

 

 


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10 Choices You Won’t Regret in 10 Years

Posted on under Thoughts for the Week.

Sales 101: He/She Who Talks The Most Loses

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I don’t regret the things I’ve done.
I regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance.

In the end, more than anything else, we regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were too afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.

Think about it…

The big opportunity you procrastinated on.  That friend you never called.  Those important words you left unspoken.

You know what I’m talking about.

Every one of us has experienced feelings of regret.  But it’s not too late to set things straight.  We’re still here breathing.  Today we have an opportunity to change tomorrow.  Right now we can choose to erase regret from our later years.

It’s time to make the best of each and every day.  Here are some ideas to get you started – ten things you can start doing now that you won’t regret 10 years down the road:

  1. Explore what YOU love, and own it. – If you spend your life trying to define yourself by what someone else loves, you’re going to be miserable.  Try things – try everything.  Explore.  See what makes you hear music inside and what makes your heart swell, and then go do it.  Find out everything you can about it.  Find other people who love it too.  If you waste time pretending to like something just because other people you think are “cool” like it, you’re going to end up with the wrong people and circumstances in your life.  Love what you love and be yourself, and you will end up with a lifestyle and relationships that make you truly happy.
  2. Live YOUR idea of your life, every day. – As you’re working on point #1, you will inevitably meet people who want to steer you in a different direction – their direction.  Just remember, what’s right for them may be wrong for you, and vice versa.  The truth is that the world isn’t really as it is, but as we see it.  And we all see it differently.  If you end up living a boring, miserable life because you completely ignored yourself and instead listened to a parent, a peer, or some gal on TV telling you how to live your life, then you have no one but yourself to blame.  Honestly, the smartest and most courageous act is simply to think for yourself and listen to you own intuition.  It’s better to die your way, than live someone else’s idea of your life.  (Read Choose Yourself!)
  3. Wake up every morning and get the RIGHT things done. – The world does not owe you a living.  You owe the world a life.  So stop daydreaming and start DOING.  Develop a backbone, not a wishbone.  Take full responsibility for your life – take control.  You are important and you are needed.  It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday.  Someday is now; the somebody the world needs is YOU.  Focus on being productive, not being busy.  Don’t just get things done; get the right things done (and this includes things in your personal life too).
  4. Put down your smartphone and be more present. – Is there anything worse than getting somewhere and not realizing how you got there?  Even worse is only realizing how great something is after it’s gone.  Living in the present is a basic notion, but as with most simple things, we often find a way to complicate it.  But there’s nothing complicated about learning to appreciate and notice life as it’s happening.  There’s nothing complicated about being present.  You won’t remember the cool Instagram photo you saw on your feed anyway.  You will, however, want to remember the conversations you had and the stories you lived through.  So put down the darn phone.
  5. Practice relentless kindness. – Kindness is always the best response to any situation.  When you grow older and you look back on your life, you will inevitably forget a lot of the stuff that seemed so important when you were young.  You probably won’t remember what your high school or college GPA was.  You will look at your old classmates on Facebook (or some other online social network) and wonder why you ever had a crush on that girl/guy.  And you will have the toughest time remembering why you let certain people from your past get the best of you.  But you will never forget the people who were genuinely kind – those who helped when you were hurt, and who loved you even when you felt unlovable.  Be that person to others as often as possible.  (And, as you know, what goes around comes around.)
  6. Love yourself, too. – More likely than not, the first person who caught your eye wasn’t “The One.”  And the second, third or fourth probably wasn’t either.  You know why?  It’s because YOU are the one.  Love isn’t something out there somewhere that someone else can give to you.  It’s already inside you.  It’s that sacred part of each of us that makes us human.  And some of the best moments in life are when you truly connect with someone else and share the love you already have inside with them.  But don’t ever forget to love yourself, first.  When you start by loving and respecting yourself, it makes giving that love to other people infinitely better.  You’re going to meet so many amazing people in your life, and I hope you do fall in love with someone else.  Just remember to fall in love with your own life too, because no one else can do that for you.
  7. Work a little less and spend a little more time smiling with people you love. – You’ve heard the saying, “The best things in life are free.”  Well spending quality time with family and friends, enjoying the antics of a pet, seeing your son smile, experiencing intimate and heart-felt moments with your significant other – these times are precious and priceless.  Don’t get so caught up in the rat race, working 60+ hours a week, to the point where you are too stressed and exhausted to enjoy your closest relationships.  By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to live on less, and thus work fewer hours and enjoy more of what truly matters.  (Read The Joy of Less.)
  8. Say what you need to say. – Speak up.  Don’t hide your thoughts and feelings, especially when you can make a difference.  Be brave.  Say what needs to be said.  Many people suppress their feelings in order to keep peace with others, or to shield themselves from potential rejection.  As a result, they settle for a mediocre existence and never become who they are capable of becoming.  Even worse, many of these people develop illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carry as a result.  Don’t be one of them.  Hearts are often broken by words left unspoken, and this includes your own heart.
  9. Leave toxic relationships behind. – You deserve respect.  You deserve it from your family, your friends, your coworkers – from everyone in your life.  The best way to receive respect from others is to begin by respecting yourself.  Speak clearly and keep your head up.  Stand up for what you believe.  Make choices that you feel good about.  And if someone in your life is being disrespectful‚ call them on it.  If things don’t change, you need to limit the amount of time and influence they have in your life.  We need people in our lives who challenge us and disagree with us, so we can see things from new perspectives.  We don’t need to be constantly torn down by toxic people who don’t respect us though.  It can be difficult to leave a long-term relationship, even when our inner-wisdom tells us it’s time to let go.  But make no mistake, all failed relationships hurt, but letting go of a toxic relationship is a gain, not a loss.
  10. Let go of those who are already gone. – You’re going to mingle with a lot of people in your lifetime.  You’re going to have first kisses you feel all the way down to your toes and think “Oh my gosh, I love him,” but really… you loved the kiss.  You’re going to meet a friend you think you will know forever, but then something will change and you two will go your separate ways.  You’re going to explore different parts of your life with different people who aren’t in it for the long haul, and that isn’t a bad thing.  Life is a series of stories, and the way our stories intersect is remarkable.  Sometimes people are in our lives for the whole story.  Sometimes they are just a short chapter or two.  It takes a brave person to know when that chapter is over, and then to turn the page.  Be brave.  Embrace your goodbyes, because every “goodbye” you receive in life sets you up for an even better “hello.”

The bottom line is that it’s never too late to take a step in the right direction.  It’s never too late to become the person you are capable of being.  Things can change if you want them to, at any age.  Right now you have an opportunity to write yourself a future full of peace and free of regret.

Make it a great week, be memorable, and remember:  really think about the words you speak before they leave you mouth; they can and often do mean different things to different people (and ALWAYS be aware of your tone of voice – angry, happy, sad, frustrated, etc.)

Craig J McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
 
(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement

314-753-2802
 

 


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Happy 4th of July

Posted on July 3, 2015 under 4th of July.

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American Heart Association Unveils New CPR Guidelines

As the Holiday approaches (I guess in reality, it is already here) and you celebrate with friends and family, please share the story below and take one minute to watch the important video.

Chris and his wife, Debra, were hiking in the woods one morning near their home in Medford, Mass., when Chris suddenly collapsed.  He was unresponsive, so Debra called 9-1-1 and began CPR.  Debra had never taken a CPR class, but had recently heard a radio news story about the new Hands-Only™ CPR technique. She remembered that the correct rhythm for chest compressions was the same as the beat of the Bee Gees’ song “‘Stayin’ Alive.”’  She pumped on Chris’ chest for 15 minutes until the ambulance arrived and paramedics delivered a shock to his heart with an AED.  Chris was treated at the hospital and underwent angioplasty.  Now he’s alive, thanks to Debra and her CPR. The Baders’ share their story in the hopes that others will not be afraid to take action in an emergency.

The American Heart Association has made CPR even easier so anyone can help save a life. Hands-Only CPR – CPR using only chest compressions – has been proven to be as effective as CPR with chest compressions and rescue breathing.  Anyone can learn to save a life. And everyone should.  Please take a moment to view this short instructional video:

https://youtu.be/LLMkJ9dhjd8

Make a difference today, pay if forward, enjoy the Holiday!!!

Craig J McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
 
(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement

314-753-2802
 

rence today, pay it forward,  share the video, have a great Holiday and let’s remember the words of  Abraham Lincoln:  “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

 

 


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People Don’t Care How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care

Posted on July 2, 2015 under Sales Management 101.

Management 101:  How To Make Yourself Care

http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2015/07/02/how-to-make-yourself-care/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily Digest Horizon&utm_campaign=Daily Digest Send Test 2015-07-02

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Craig J McConnell

“Entering Adulthood II”
 
(Continuing to) Make Sales People Memorable
(striving to) Re-imagine Retirement

314-753-2802
 

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