Diana Hall: Different Ways to Be Clear

Written by Diana Hall on October 29, 2012

Diana Hall is an inspiring businesswoman based in Colorado whose company, Voice By Diana, “helps entrepreneurs find their marketing voice.”

After Five More Minutes With launched a few years ago, she and I worked together to craft succinct message points and questions for radio interviewers that helped me land appearances on programs across the country.

Diana also publishes Your Simple Clarity eZine, something I actually look forward to receiving in my ever-overcrowded inbox each week.

It’s exactly what it says –a simple and quick-to-read list of ideas to make your work and personal lives easier to understand and navigate.

Today Diana is generously allowing me to publish one of her articles (actually a poem): “Different Ways to Be Clear.”

In our busy, work-a-day world, thanks for helping to make our lives more simple and clear, Diana!

Different Ways to be Clear

A friend of mine, Harrison Phillips, is a poet. Much of his poetry is ethereal, and takes “book groups” to discuss and discern.

In this poem, Harrison very simply and clearly touched my heart.

I Look To The Day…

I look to the day…

When all our fears turn into hope

I look to the day…

When our inner self is more important than our ego

I look to the day…

When we realize the importance of humanity

I look to the day…

When we know we are a part of God and that God is a part of us

I look to the day…

When we know in our hearts, our mind, and our soul that there is no sense to prejudice

I look to the day…

When we can look at a man or woman and not see race, creed, or color

I look to the day…

When there is world peace

I look to the day…

When we realize we are all one with the universe and each other

I look to the day…

When we all love one another.–

Harrison Phillips

Let’s all LOOK TO THE DAY! 


More stories from: Featured Story,With God

Five More Minutes With “The Divinity of Dogs”

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on October 25, 2012

Are you familiar with my colleague Jennifer Skiff, author of the amazing book, “God Stories: Inspiring Encounters With the Divine?”

She is an award-winning investigative journalist and correspondent for CNN who has just released a new book entitled, “The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man’s Best Friend,” that promises to be as inspiring and well-regarded as her first tome.

In a recent email she says, “‘The Divinity of Dogs” is a book where people describe the moment they learned something spiritually profound about life from an experience with a dog. It’s also a memoir. I share many of my personal truths in it, for the first time.

“One of the stories is about the tragic death of 16-year old Josh Lander, and the puppy he picked out three days before his death. Yesterday his mother wrote to me. She said she was laughing and crying at the same time. She had received an invitation to a number of book signings from me. She looked at all the signings and then chose the one closest to her home (2.5 hours away).

“She then looked down at the date. The book signing is on her son’s birthday. Josh would have been 34 years-old on that day. For her, that was a message from him. She said she had been waiting a long time for confirmation he was with us. That was it.”

Jennifer describes writing her second book as  both “amazing and overwhelming” She says that, like “God Stories,” she knows this book will create positive change in the world.

Both books are very much in keeping with our Five More Minutes With zeitgeist, and I hope you will buy Jennifer’s books and support her in her ongoing, inspiring, and inspired journey.

You can order the book on Jennifer’s website, follow the book on the Divinity of Dogs Facebook page, and follow Jennifer on Facebook, too.

Five More Minutes With Loved Ones Who Feared He Was Dead

Written by Martha Marino on October 22, 2012

Our frequent contributor, Martha Marino, had an unusual experience on a recent business trip that reminded her of the Five More Minutes With zeitgeist.

Here’s her recounting of meeting up with the uncle of a bride whose wedding could only be termed a disaster. 

Today I took an airport shuttle from the Philadelphia Marriott to catch my flight back to Seattle.

The shuttle stopped at another hotel that was widely reported in national newspapers including USA Today, as well as radio and television news reports.
Last night at the Sheraton, a fight broke out at a WEDDING! Fists were flying, and it was a massive brawl at the hotel.

There was a fatality: the 57-year-old uncle of the bride died from a heart attack.

When we picked up our passenger at that hotel, we asked him about the news story.

Sure enough, at about 1 a.m. (“Nothing good ever happens after midnight,” he said), two men in the wedding party got into a heated argument and threw punches.

It escalated from there.

A bridesmaid took a fist in the face; others were injured; everyone else fled.

Police rushed to the scene to break it up, using a stun gun and billy clubs.

Who knows why it started? Alcohol just made it worse.

The man on our shuttle said he received dozens and dozens of calls.

He is a 57-year-old uncle of the bride – but of a separate wedding taking place in the Sheraton that night.

His friends and family, so distressed that he may have died, were relieved and told him how much he meant to them.

He joked that it was like being at his own funeral, hearing words of love and appreciation.

More stories from: Featured Story,With My Uncle

Inspiring Moment: Gateway Arch

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

Guest Columnist Brad Rex: 1,000 E-mails

Written by Brad Rex on October 18, 2012

In today’s post, our frequent guest columnist Brad Rex, weighs in on the importance of communication; specifically, answering e-mails in a timely fashion.

Now I don’t know about you, but it seems like e-mails stack up incessantly in my five (!) e-mail inboxes, not to mention Direct Messages sent via Twitter and Facebook that always seem to demand a quick response.

So 1,000 E-mails, an excerpted chapter from Brad’s recently released book, “The Surpassing! Life: 52 Practical Ways to Achieve Personal Excellence,” is sure to help all of us deal with today’s explosion in communication channels and the many ways we interact with friends, family, and coworkers.

The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.–Lee Iacocca

 But you, Timothy, man of God: . . . Run hard and fast in the faith.–Bible, 1 Timothy 6:11

It bugs me when I call or e-mail someone and don’t get a response. My mind considers the possibilities: Is their voicemail or e-mail not working? Is the person on vacation? Have I offended them and they are refusing to reply because of the offense?

Then, a few days later, I’m forced into new decisions: Do I contact them again? If I called last time, should I use e-mail this time? Should I check with someone else to find out if they are on vacation?

All of this would be unnecessary if people responded within 24 hours to their messages. I have set this as a personal goal, and find that it benefits me and the people who are contacting me, in numerous ways:

• It strengthens my personal and business reputation. People know if they send me an e-mail, I will respond, and respond quickly.

• It requires me to manage my schedule effectively, building in adequate time to reply expediently.

• It forces me to delegate in order to effectively manage the number of messages I receive.

• It prevents issues from escalating, as they are resolved swiftly.

• It reduces stress, as I don’t have e-mails and calls building up over time.

• It is efficient, as I handle the issue immediately rather than putting it off and having to familiarize myself with it again later.

• It keeps me on top of rapidly changing situations, rather than being several days behind others.

When I discuss 24-hour response, the usual retort is “Sounds like a great idea, but there is no way I could ever do that with all the e-mails I get. I must get 1,000 e-mails a day!”

I reply, “If you are getting 1,000 e-mails a day, you are either a significant micro-manager or on every spammers’ address list.”

If the quantity of e-mails you receive is overwhelming, you need to reduce it by critically reviewing every e-mail that you receive and decide:

• Do I absolutely have to handle this, or can I delegate it to someone else?

• Do I need this information on an on-going basis?

• Am I being “over-informed” by a person on my team, with many e-mails telling me everything they are doing in unnecessary detail?

• Is this junk e-mail that I can stop by unsubscribing to it?

With a goal of responding in 24 hours, you can easily monitor your success, and ruthlessly reduce your e-mail to meet the target. You may find your e-mails significantly reduced, as people don’t have to send you multiple follow-up messages, since you are now responding quickly!

Action Points

• Commit to reply to your e-mails and messages within 24 hours.

• Put in place a process to ensure you meet your commitment.

• Reduce the number of e-mails that you get by critically reviewing each one.


Less stress, a strong professional reputation, greater productivity.



Inspiring Poem: The Guest House

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on October 15, 2012

This inspiring poem was written by Jelaluddin Rumi, a13th century mystic poet, considered one of the most passionate and profound poets in history.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.


Guest Columnist John Paul Carter: Our Uncut Pages

Written by John Paul Carter on October 11, 2012

Today our frequent guest columnist, John Paul Carter, an ordained minister who writes for the Weatherford (Texas) Democrat, reflects on how, in our busy lives, we often overlook the obvious answer or solution to a problem.

Perhaps time to slow down and search for answers close at hand? Thanks, as always, John Paul!

Because my mother worked for the Baptist Book Store in Dallas, helping set up church libraries, I never wanted for good books. I think it must have taken half her monthly salary to pay for the books she brought home to me.

One of my favorites was a volume of sermons entitled “Iron Shoes” by C. Roy Angell, a Florida pastor, whose forte was the well-told stories with which he illustrated his homilies. One of those tales is as fresh in my memory now as when I first read it over 50 years ago. This is the story:

A father had given his student son a book for Christmas, some of whose pages were uncut. He urged the boy to read it as soon as he got back to college. The young man returned to his campus, disappointed because his father had not offered him money that he needed for extra expenses. He put the book on the shelf and forgot about it.

Several years later, pocket knife in hand, the boy got around to reading the book. Between two of the uncut pages, he found a generous check from his father.

I can identify with having unread books that I need to peruse – a few with uncut pages – but none with checks for book marks.

Angell’s story reminds me of John Bunyon’s Pilgrim who was locked away in the dark dungeon of despair. After days of anguish, he found to his surprise that the key that could unlock the prison door had been in his vest pocket all the time.

Sometimes, like the boy in the story and Pilgrim, I miss out on God’s grace by becoming so anxious about my problems that I fail to do what is at hand. Often, I later discover that the unknown answers about the future were hidden in the undone tasks of the present.

This month’s emphasis on scripture has reminded me that my Bible has too many uncut pages, although I’ve read it many times in my seventy-three years. I’ve sometimes missed God’s comfort and counsel when I needed it most because I foolishly assumed that I already knew what was there.

The curious thing about the daily reading of even the smallest amount of scripture is that you keep finding undiscovered treasures and reconnecting with old friends – light for the present and the future journey.

“Lord, thank you for the gift of your book about Jesus, your Word. Help me to leave none of its pages uncut. Amen.”

Inspiring Moment: With Nature

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on October 8, 2012

My dear friend Martha Marino, who has written about her grandmother for Five More Minutes With and also submitted Inspiring Moment photos in the past, makes an annual pilgrimage to Mt. Rainier, a 14,411-foot mountain near Seattle, to reflect, refresh, and set her priorities for the coming year.

Last year she wrote about her journey and sent along an Inspiring Moment photo that I posted.

This year she sent along three photos she took during her annual journey, which are so gorgeous I had to share them with you.

A field of wildflowers.

Snowy arch.

The Mountain (as Seattleites loving call it) and a babbling brook.

Thanks, Martha, for inspiring us with your photos!

44 Life Lessons: #33 to #44

Written by Regina Brett on October 4, 2012

These 44 Life Lessons came through my inbox late last week, and I posted the first 22 Lessons on Monday, September 24.

The Life Lessons were written by 90-year-old Regina Brett, a columnist for the Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland , Ohio.

She explained that, to celebrate growing older, she once wrote the 44 lessons that life taught her.

Turns out, it was the most requested column she’d ever written.

Today I am posting the final Life Lessons, many of which contain sage good advice for life/living. Thanks again, Regina!

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

40. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

41. The best is yet to come…

42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

43. Yield.

44. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

More stories from: Featured Story

44 Life Lessons: #22 to #32

Written by Regina Brett on October 1, 2012

These 44 Life Lessons came through my inbox late last week, and I posted the first 22 Lessons on Monday, September 24.

The Life Lessons were written by 90-year-old Regina Brett, a columnist for the Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland , Ohio.

She explained that, to celebrate growing older, she once wrote the 44 lessons that life taught her.

Turns out, it was the most requested column she’d ever written.

Today I am posting the next 10 Life Lessons, many of which contain sage good advice for life/living. Thanks, Regina!

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive but don’t forget.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.


More stories from: Featured Story