Everyone Needs a Hug!

Walking into the restaurant, my eyes locked with a lady sitting at a table with a mound of receipts in front of her. We smiled at each other. She was dressed in the garb of the workers, all in black. Her red hair was pulled back in a ponytail. Suddenly I had an intense urge to hug her. I walked over and said: “Hi, I need a hug.” She got up and chuckled: “I need a hug too!” I replied, “I know.” We hugged.

Then she shared with me that her husband is in the hospital. She was with him until 5:30 a.m. that morning and came directly into work. She was tired. I insisted that we hug again. I asked her for her name and her husband’s name. I told her that I would pray for them on my prayer line. She smiled at me, grasped my hand and thanked me. At that point another waitress came to seat my companion and me at a table. Not long after, I saw my hugger leaving.

I don’t know what prompted me to give her that needed hug. There I was tired from hosting an event for 118 people at the Division A Toastmasters Contests. I was drained and hungry because I hadn’t eaten all day. When I walked into that restaurant I was thinking about eating then going home to rest. I believe the Universal Spirit moved in me to show compassion towards my fellow hugger, but my leadership skills gave me the courage to approach her in the right way.

Leadership is about getting things done and inspiring others to do the things you need done. It is about being a visionary, being decisive and being strong in completing the vision. But it is also about being compassionate towards others. If you are not a compassionate leader, chances are you won’t have many people following you for too long. Showing that you care about others goes a long way in leadership. Add some compassion to your leadership bag today!

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Going the Distance

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

A friend of my son took a picture of him standing at the top of the trail of a mountain. I thought what a great shot and wished I was there also. Then it brought to mind that many people want to be at the top. Yet, are they willing to do the work it takes to get to the top? Are they willing to put in the sweat equity?

Henry Ward Beecher’s statement rings true to me. We often see winners at the top of their game, but we don’t take the time to see how hard they worked to get there.  It is Wednesday also known as Hump Day. Let’s strap on our own hiking boots and start walking our journey to the top. Let’s start going the distance! See you at the top!

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Marlene M. Bryan
Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters

The phone rang. I picked it up with some annoyance that it interrupted my preparation for my next meeting. It was the security guard in the building letting me know a package is waiting for me. I rushed downstairs to get it. With nervous fingers I ripped open the package like a kid on Christmas morning. I pulled out both my first book and workbook, cradling them like newborn babes.  The guard smiled at my excitement and said “Congratulations. That is a great accomplishment.”

Hmmm. I never that of it that way: an accomplishment indeed. After two years of dilly-dallying, I have finally completed the first book in the Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose series along with the workbook. When I started speaking about living a Diamond Life, I did not envision writing a book. I learned from my audience that they wanted to read about how to Live a Diamond Life; thus, I was compelled to write about it.

I didn’t do it alone. I had many people that helped me along the way. It is so great to know that so many good folks are willing to give time, feedback and encouragement because they believe in uplifting another human being. I am humble by their love and support!

Here is the description of the book:

Have you ever felt like something was missing in your life? You have a good job, house, car –all those material things that society says should make you happy. You still feel empty and wonder – What is my purpose in life? Many people struggle with these questions. Marlene M. Bryan utilizes the Diamond as a metaphor to demonstrate how you read more…

Click on the images to purchase your copy of the book “Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters” and the workbook.

Marlene M. Bryan
Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters
Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters Workbook
Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters Workbook

Live a Diamond Life a Life of Purpose!   Follow me on twitter: @marlenembryan.

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Phyllis the Diamond


Phyllis, you will be a contestant in the club’s Table Topics Contest,” I informed her as she entered the meeting room. “Marlene, I don’t think I can do it.” She replied. Knowing that she doubts her ability I insisted, “Yes. You can. I know you can. You have what it takes.” She smiled and said, “If you think I can do, then I will do it.”

Phyllis has the ability to speak, but she is fighting years of being told that she doesn’t have the potential to do anything well. Yet, each time she is given a gentle nudge to speak, she does it and better than she thought she could. I saw the opportunity to give her more self-confidence through the experience of competing in the club’s contest.  Phyllis not only entered the contest, she won first place.

She went on to represent the club in the Toastmasters District 47 Area 12 Table Topics Contest. Watching Phyllis using the tips (body language, vocal variety, eye contact) that we gave her along with her smile was a proud moment for me.  Knowing how much she doubts her ability and to see her take on the challenge of speaking in front of a room full of people is special to me. Phyllis won the second place award!

We hugged afterwards and she said, “Marlene, I want you to continue to coach me. I want to be just like you.” I told her, “No, Phyllis. I don’t want you to be just like me. I want you to be the best Phyllis you can be, the Diamond that I know you are.” She smiled broadly as though a light bulb went on above her head. She excitedly repeated, “I will be the best I can be.” Phyllis is on her way…shining bright like a Diamond.  Are you on your way?

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