July 4 Facts, Quotes and Sayings On Liberty and Freedom

Gorgeous Fireworks Display

Today is July 4, Independence Day in the United States.  Celebrations in the U.S. generally include cookouts, games, music, and, of course, fireworks.

Regardless where you reside around the world, it is a reminder to celebrate freedom and opportunity.

The founders of America led with classic leadership traits: determination, perseverance and an unwavering commitment to ideals.  Commitment to the cause meant risking everything.  John Hancock reminded the group that they must all hang together.   He was referring to the various states. Benjamin Franklin responded with one of his classic quotes: “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”  Leadership, at that point, meant risking it all.

Here are some facts, quotes, and saying about freedom and liberty.

 

Fact: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day: July 4, 1826

 

Fact: President James Monroe also died on July 4, though five years later.

 

Fact: President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872.

 

Fact: July 4 did not become a paid federal holiday in the US until 1938.

 

Fact: John Adams believed July 2 would be the day of celebration.

Life Lessons from Golf Great Annika Sorenstam

Annika Sorenstam is perhaps the greatest female golfer of all time.  Her many awards include ten Major Championships, 8 Player of the Year Awards, and 89 worldwide wins.  In 2013, the PGA of America named her the First Lady of Golf.  She’s the only female golfer to shoot a 59 in competition.

“There are no shortcuts to success.”  -Annika Sorenstam

 

Though Annika stepped away from competitive golf in 2008, she remains busy with commercial and philanthropic activities.  Her ANNIKA Course Design firm is busy around the world creating challenging courses everywhere from China to South Africa.  The ANNIKA Academy in Orlando is teaching players of all ages.  She is the creator of the ANNIKA Collection with Cutter & Buck.  She even created an accounting firm, ANNIKA Financial Group.  Outside of her business interests, there is the ANNIKA Foundation designed to help junior golfers.  She is active on Twitter and dedicated to her family.

“It just shows how you should never give up.” –Annika Sorenstam

 

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet Annika and her husband, Mike McGee.  In this brief 6 minute video, Annika shares:

  • The powerful words her father shared with her that motivated her throughout her career
  • How she was so afraid of public speaking that she purposely missed shots and lost games
  • How she took on the men in 2003 and how she is taking on a new challenge this year from the men’s tees at the American Century Celebrity championship
  • How she wants to give back and help others

 

“You just have to try and keep on grinding and hope that things will turn around eventually.” -Annika Sorenstam

 

“I was really never in any trouble.” –Annika Sorenstam

 

“I think it’s important for me to play well and set the tone.” –Annika Sorenstam

 

“If you think about it, the golf ball doesn’t know which country you’re in.” –Annika Sorenstam

 

“We have a challenge ahead of ourselves. You only get a chance so many times.” –Annika Sorenstam

 

“Most players practice until they get it right. Great players practice until they can’t get it wrong.” Annika Sorenstam

7 Essential Life Lessons From 7 Ancient Leaders

Academy Of Athens, Greece
Thai Nguyen is passionate about sparking personal revolutions in the lives of everyone he meets. A Professional Re-inventer: Thai is a 5-Star Chef, International Kickboxer, Writer, Speaker, and NLP/EFT Life Coach. If you are ready to stop dreaming and start living your Utopian Life, get connected with Thai today at TheUtopianLife.com.

 

1.  Embrace Change.

 

“Nobody ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and they are not the same person.” ―Heraclitus (545 BC – 475 BC)

Change is a reality weaved into the human experience. If there’s one thing we can guarantee will never change—it’s change. To move and evolve with our changing environment is crucial: keeping up with technology, advancing in careers, and constantly learning.

That’s not to say change jobs or buy a new car every year; it’s not change for the sake of change, but being more in synch with the seasons of life. Recognize when one door closes and another one opens.

 

“Nobody ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and they are not the same person.” ―Heraclitus

 

2.  Take the first step.

 

“Well begun is half done.” –Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)

Procrastination is often defeated with a single strike. It’s the first domino that knocks down all the rest. And yes, it’s always the most difficult. But as Aristotle emphasises, the finish line becomes a sudden reality once you launch out of the starting blocks.

A popular mantra for the entrepreneur is to start before you’re ready—everything has a way of falling into place after that.

 

“Well begun is half done.” –Aristotle

 

3.  Iron sharpens iron.

 

I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. –Plutarch (46AD – 120AD)

It isn’t easy to give and receive constructive criticism. It’s hard to even tell a friend they have spinach stuck in their teeth. But what’s unsaid can be more damaging than what is said. Particularly when our words can significantly impact our friends in a positive way.

Much better to tell our friends what they need to hear rather than simply what they want to hear.

 

I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. –Plutarch

 

4.  Listen more, speak less.

The Dangers of Always Trying To Be Right At Work

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In a previous post, I shared how the joy of being right can often be wrong.  Trying to be right at all costs comes at a surprisingly high price.

  • We waste time and energy.
  • We damage relationships.
  • We refuse to listen to the other side.
  • We cause others to stop sharing freely.
  • We stop listening as we develop arguments.

 

“Choose being kind over being right and you’ll be right every time.” –Richard Carlson

 

For all of those reasons and more, being right is not always worth the cost.

When you are right, what happens?  Others applaud your brilliance!  They nod to you as you pass them in the hall.  A gleaming trophy arrives for your new corner office, allowing everyone to know that you are “RIGHT.”

Ah, no. Not exactly.  Pretty much none of that happens.

It’s far better to allow others to be right.  Let little offenses pass.  Save the disagreements for the big things.

 

“Celebrating accomplishments is one of the fastest ways to change a culture.” -Skip Prichard

 

That’s my advice for individuals.  It happens in organizations, too.  When an entire organizational culture is centered on being “right,” what happens then?

You will find a culture:

With more meetings. Instead of having a conversation about an issue, everyone works hard to be correct.  That means that there are meetings to prepare for meetings to prepare for meetings.

With longer meetings.  Everyone needs time to share the “right” point of view.  Everyone needs the microphone to prove her point or to highlight his knowledge.  And we need time to point out the flaws in everyone else.

The Action Habit: 7 Proven Ways to Move from Deciding to Doing

Frog On A Log
Chris Shilling is the founder of Serve and Lead and an author, speaker, consultant, and leadership coach. You can download the latest e-book in his Learn and Lead series here. You can also follow Chris and Serve and Lead on Twitter and Facebook.

 

I have a simple math question for you.

5 frogs are sitting on a log.

4 of the frogs decide to jump off. How many frogs are left?

Did you answer 1?

The correct answer is still 5.  This is because there is a difference between deciding and doing.

 

Have you experienced this in your own life? We tend to make a lot of decisions. We decide to eat healthier, get another degree, or start a new business. However, all of these decisions really mean nothing.

In order to make a decision mean anything, we need to take action. 

This concept is so simple, yet most people never move from deciding to doing. They do not get into the habit of taking action and do not accomplish all they could be accomplishing. By getting into the habit of putting ideas and decisions into action, we are in a better position to achieve the results we desire.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts; your thoughts become your words; your words become your actions; your actions become your habits; your habits become your values; your values become your destiny.” –Unknown

Here are 7 proven ways you can move from deciding to doing:

1. Stop waiting until conditions are perfect.

If you are waiting for everything to be perfect in order to get started you will be waiting forever. Things will never be perfect. There will always be something that is not right or could be better. There is no perfect time; there is only the present time. You must take action now and you can make adjustments as you move along. I know the perfect time to start was last year. The second best time is right now.

 

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” -Chinese Proverb

 

2. Stop, get up, and do it.

Turn yourself into a doer. A doer is someone who has an idea and moves forward with it immediately. Have you ever said to anyone, “It is a great day to go to the beach,” and then sat around and watched TV? Next time stop, get up, and go do it. Do you want to begin exercising or present a new idea at work? Do it today. When we pause and wait, we lose the will to move forward and allow doubt to creep into our minds.

 

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” –Amelia Earhart

 

3. Stop over-thinking things

When we over-think things, we start to get paralysis of analysis. We start to analyze things to the point that we cannot move forward. We obsess over how conditions aren’t perfect, question the amount of time we have to commit, or come up with a whole host of reasons not to move forward.

 

4. Take continuous action.

Once you get started, continue to take continuous action. Make sure that you keep your momentum going by doing something productive related to your idea every day. This can be as easy as scheduling time to spend 15 minutes completing a small task daily. Those small tasks will add up quickly, and help you build confidence by seeing achievement.