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I have had a wonderful birthday month. I received a gift of voice recordings from 118 people that totaled a three-hour waterfall of love and blessings. I sat for the full three hours and listened and cried and laughed and truly "remembered". In addition there was approximately 1000 wishes from Facebook connections, not to mention the fantastic cards, letters, notes, and a plethora of gifts that ranged from purple jade earrings from Africa and 3 new birthday crowns, to a week in an ocean front resort on a Florida beach. My gratitude is truly unspeakable and better than anything it incites, excites, inspires, and determines me to living even more "full out", to give radically, to be the FOD. First, Only, Different.
I was interviewed by someone, who asked me to tell her things I have done that made me successful. Of course, I responded with a litany of things that contributed to any success I've realized. She later told me the thing that struck her the most was my saying that I have been willing to do things others were not willing to do.
When you reflect upon people's successes it is easy to see that a common denominator in success, somehow always includes—FOD. They were often the first, only, different and/or continues to be. This includes my friend Dave Dafoe. I was vacationing with Dave last fall in Hawaii and he was being profiled in Forbes magazine that week. We drove all around that island attempting to get the magazine to see it in our celebration and it was NO where to be found. Dave assured me he would get me a copy and send it to me. Months passed, I asked him again and he said he would send it with the family box of gifts he sends annually. To sum it up, I just now read the article. The article is fantastic of course, other than the one little comment about him being "rotund", which kinda stuck in my craw. Yes, it's true, just struck me as not being necessary for the story. My rotundness seems obvious also, I don't see that it is necessary to point it out or even its relevance. Pardon my tangent, I am back to reality.
Martha with the “Flavorman”, Dave Dafoe
Dave and his company have been featured on CNN, The Food Network, Huffington Post, Forbes, The Travel Channel, and Bizarre Foods. He is also runner up for National Small Business of the Year in 2016 and the winner of the Small Business of the Year for Kentucky. I expect Dave would list FOD as a reason for his success too. He continues to innovate, create, learn, and over and over is willing to do things others won't do. Beyond all the miracles that Dave has created, he is serving as an advocate for Restorative Justice Louisville, which keeps troubled youth out of the justice system and tries to redirect them and guide them out of trouble by showing them how their actions have harmed others. He is also on the Miami University Foundation Board, his alma mater, and planning for legacy miracles on the Norton Healthcare Foundation Board. What struck me most about the article in Forbes, particularly in the light of believing I know someone pretty well, was that he still carries a free lunch token from high school in his pocket to "remind him" of the past which helps him form his future and present. I can so relate to this in a myriad of ways. I too, do not want to lose touch with both polarities. I love, admire, and appreciate you Dave. You can read all about Dave and his company Flavorman at www.flavorman.com. He had a February birthday too and assuredly will be featured in more and more television, news, awards, miracle makings, ceremonies as he continues to value and live out FOD.
During one of the MANY birthday brunches with new friends in Ft. Lauderdale area, one of the men was a school teacher and talked openly about the challenges he faces with a classroom of students that are all below the poverty line. He didn't present it as judgmental, more factual and realistic with the struggles of kids when they are under stressful situations. I really connected to both the teacher and the student through that listening and I asked the teacher "to remember" that I was once one of those students and that we never know who is in the audience we are serving.
What would serve you to "remember" and to "remind you" of your path, the shared journey, the abundant blessings you've experienced in the forms of challenges, support, and the teachers before us who were willing to be FOD and show the way?
P.S. Please forward the newsletter to anyone you feel could enjoy it or benefit from it. Thank you.
“It took every single experience, not one more or one less, for my success.”
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