Quote of The Week: Yossi Ghinsberg, Adventurer, Inspirational Storyteller, Author: Heart of the Amazon

“Fear always shows you the way” - Yossi Ghinsberg

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Stephanie Decker Q&A: Facing Adversity and Boston Marathon Victims

It’s been a year since the Boston Marathon bombing changed so many lives. For example, Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who became a double amputee has been able to turned this tragedy into inspiration when she danced at the recent 2014 TED Conference. There are so many people like her, who were injured that day, and have faced long battles to overcome adversity. Thinking of those amazing individuals, we reached out to Stephanie Decker, who was a victim of a different event (a tornado cause her house to come down on top of her; while she saved her children, she lost both of her legs). We hope her answers provide some inspiration to these and similar people on this day.

 

Q: After finding out you were going to become an amputee, what was the first goal you set?

A: The first goal was to find out how I was going to walk again.  Having that freedom taken away from you can be overwhelming.  I needed to understand that I was not going to live my life in a wheelchair and that there was HOPE.  Hope of having everything I ever wanted out of life and just because an accident took my legs, this wasn’t going to stop me.

Stephanie DeckerQ: While you were attempting to accomplish that goal, was there something your were afraid of?

A:There is always fear, the fear of failure.  Without failure we don’t succeed though, right?  Things were never fast enough for me and I wanted to have it ALL back right now!  But sometimes we don’t always get what we want and that’s a tough lesson that we all have to learn at some point in our lives.

Q: How did you overcome that fear?

A: I overcame fear through motivation, determination and a “survivors” mentality.  I would never be a victim but rather a survivor and by dedicating myself to recovery, fear was not allowed.  When I failed or didn’t achieve a goal, I would analyze why I didn’t and then reevaluate that goal and find a way to achieve it. Fear is never a reason for quitting, it’s an excuse.  

Q: Is there any advice or encouragement you would like to send to the survivors who became amputees after the Boston Marathon bombing?

A: My advice to the courageous Boston Marathon survivors is to be patient.  The hardest thing for me was and still is to understand that the body takes time to heal and recover (and so does the mind for that matter).  As much as you want things back to normal, as fast as you can, sometimes you can’t, and that’s not easy.  It’s not easy to accept and it’s not easy to embrace, but if you do embrace it, you will find that it doesn’t mean you have failed, or that you have quit. You will find it motivates you more.  Pushing yourself is important, and pushing others around you is important, but knowing when to slow down, to stop and rest … that it’s okay to not have it all back right now will make you stronger and better than you ever thought you’d be.  Look how far you have come from a year ago!  That should speak for itself.

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The Elephant Of A Negative Attitude by Jones Loflin

Jones Loflin is an internationally-recognized author and speaker. His messages focus on change, motivation, leadership, time management and work/life blend. His article below compares the damaging power of a negative attitude to having the weight of an elephant on top of you.

images1I have discovered a new elephant in my life. Before I continue, an explanation is in order for those of you not familiar with my book, Juggling Elephants. In that book Todd Musig and I look at how the struggle of trying to get it all done is like attempting to juggle elephants-it’s impossible. In our training programs we have participants identify their “elephants” and these could include anything from an assignment at work to a strained relationship to personal health challenges.

I never really thought about a negative attitude being an “elephant,” but there is no question that having a less than positive perspective is a heavy weight when we are trying to move productively through our day. It adds a layer of resistance to tackling the tough tasks while creating unnecessary friction in our interactions with others. I don’t know about you, but I need every resource available to get my work done-not struggle with an unnecessary burden.

Once I recognized how my negative attitude was limiting the number of “standing ovations” I was getting from my circus (another concept from Juggling Elephants) I started making note of when I was feeding this elephant so I could take the appropriate actions to starve it. Here’s my current list:

When I forget that I can’t get it all done. I still have some days when I am not as intentional about prioritizing my tasks, and I just “wing it.” On such days I get caught up on number of tasks completed instead of the number of high priority tasks accomplished. It’s about being productive, not just busy.

I start substituting blame for responsibility. It takes so much less work to just blame a challenging situation on the economy, the failure of others to perform, or a hundred other things. As Mary Laskowski said to me, “You start finding fault with everyone around you and suddenly realize that they haven’t changed-it’s your attitude that’s different.” And I’ve noticed that if I start blaming someone or something for poor results in one area, it spreads to other areas quickly. In those moments of blame I have to remember another line from Juggling Elephants: You are the ringmaster of your circus. I am the one most accountable for my success or failure-not someone or something else.

I envy someone else. Be it celebrity, successful business person, or someone with the latest electronic gadget, wishing I had their status, money, or object diminishes my attitude of gratitude. Admiring others and their accomplishments is one thing…wanting to be them instead of you is quite another. Once I start making my list of the things for which I am thankful, I get a more proper perspective on my situation.

I stop engaging in proven routines. Almost every morning for the past eight years you could find me getting physical exercise. It has kept me mentally sharp during the day, kept my waistline in check, and prevented me from having to resort to medication to control my cholesterol. When I go just 2 or 3 days without the exercise, I find my attitude toward my work and life to be much less positive. I also try to have at least one conversation per week with someone who I consider a professional or personal mentor. When I neglect this routine, I find my world view getting smaller, and a sense of urgency to improve some aspect of my life wanes.

I fail to forgive. Dan Schroer, Superintendent of Greene County Career Center in Ohio, writes, “If you have been wronged by someone, you cannot move on unless you have forgiven that person. You harbor bitterness and anger. Also, you must forgive yourself. You can’t continue to dwell on past mistakes.”

I put self above service. I find tremendous joy in encouraging others. Whether it’s sending a personal note, congratulating them on an accomplishment, or just spending time in engaging conversation, I find that the enrichment to my own life is probably greater than what they receive. When I start saying to myself, “I don’t have time for such things,” I’m feeding my elephant a BIG meal.

What are the signs that you are feeding the elephant of a negative attitude?

 

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Quote of The Week: Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but it is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom of all just pursuits.” – Thomas Jefferson

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See How Your Love For Baseball Can Have You Win Big!

Open your season with Jim Abbott, Jim Morris, and Steve Garvey!

These former MLB players turned Motivational Speakers will be sure to thrill your audiences, teaching them how to overcome adversity, never give up on your dreams, and provide you with the necessary skills to work to your optimum level.

 #1. Jim Abbott:

jim-abbott-no-hitter-speakerDefying the odds is nothing new to Jim Abbott. Despite being born with only one hand, he went on to become the 15th player ever to make a professional debut in the Major Leagues, playing for the California Angels. Many considered the move a publicity stunt by manager Doug Rader, but after struggling early, Abbott proved his doubters wrong by winning 12 games with a 3.92 ERA in his rookie season.  In that first 1989 season as a professional he won more games as a rookie than any other previous player without Major League experience. 

Jim_AbbottToday Jim Abbott is a professional motivational speaker. He is an inspiration to all that meet him or have followed his career. More than his no-hitter, his 13-strikeout game, a seven game winning streak, overcoming an eleven game losing streak, Jim Abbott became a great baseball player and a great person. He learned to overcome adversity and be an inspiration to those around him.

 

#2. Jim Morris:

1987865769jim-morrisJim “The Rookie” Morris teaches an important lesson that it is never too late to follow your dreams. His life story is the inspiration behind the Walt Disney blockbuster film, “The Rookie,” starring Dennis Quaid. Jim, then a 35-year-old schoolteacher, made a bet that he would try out for the big leagues if his team won a district championship. When his team won, he followed through on his promise, going to a tryout where he threw 12 consecutive pitches at 98 mph! After signing with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Jim achieved his dream of pitching in the big leagues by striking out the first hitter he faced.

morris_jim_rookie_-photo_new-cToday, Jim Morris is one of the most sought after keynote speakers. Jim Morris can tailor his inspirational and motivational message to a corporate setting, to a school, an association/non-profit, or a church. He works closely with customers to deliver a great meeting and he is a great storyteller! Long after he has left, Jim Morris’ message will continue to resonate with your group.

 

#3. Steve Garvey:

Steve Garvey dodgersSteve Garvey is one of the most successful Major League Baseball players of all time. Steve spent eight years as the cornerstone of the Los Angeles Dodgers “fabulous four” infield that included Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, and Ron Cey. To this day, he holds the esteemed title as the longest standing and most successful infielder in Major League Baseball’s history, leading the Dodgers to a World Series title in 1981. He holds the record for the highest career fielding percentage by a first baseman and is the only player in the history of baseball to have an errorless season at first base.

Today, the man wgarvey1ho once played in 1,207 consecutive baseball games, now utilizes that same drive and leadership to motivate audiences around the world to become the best and most successful people or corporations they can become. Steve Garvey’s playing field has changed from the baseball diamond to corporate boardrooms and lecture halls, but the integrity, intensity and the devotion for which this future Hall of Famer is famous for is the same.

 

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Prove Your Love of Baseball by Participating in the Eagles Talent Baseball Giveaway!

How to Play & Contest Rules:
 
How to Enter:
1. Be a fan of Eagles Talent on Facebook.
2. Comment on one of  three #EaglesTalentBaseballGiveaway Facebook posts that will be published between April 9 – April 23, 2014.

Prizes: An autographed baseball from Jim Abbott, Jim Morris, or Steve Garvey.

Winner Selection: A winner will be selected at random from each #EaglesTalentBaseballGiveaway Facebook post & announced on Eagles Talents’ Facebook page.
Rules: No purchase necessary.  One valid entry per contestant.

You must be 18 years of age or older at time of entry to be eligible for this contest. This contest is void where prohibited by law.
Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
Employees of Eagles Talent, its respective parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising sponsors and promotional agencies, and the immediate family members of each are not eligible. Contest entrants agree to abide by the terms of these Official Rules and by the decisions of the contest commissioners, which are final on all matters pertaining to the contest. Entrants further grant to Eagles Talent the right to use and publish their proper name and state online and in print, or any other media, in connection with the Contest.
 
Each winner, by acceptance of the prize, agrees to release all Sponsors, and their parent and subsidiary companies, their officers, directors, employees, agents, shareholders, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, and advertising agencies from all liability, claims, or actions of any kind whatsoever for injuries, damages, or losses to persons and property which may be sustained in connection with the receipt, ownership, or use of the prize.Each winner is responsible for all federal, state and local taxes and will be required to complete an IRS form W-9. Sponsor reserves the right to withhold prizes until completed form W-9 is received.
 
Eagles Talent  reserves the right to change the rules at any time.
 
This contest is officially sponsored by Eagles Talent.

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World Health Day Hits Home for Eagles Talent Staff

Fighting malaria in Cambodia.Today is World Health Day. Established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1950, this day aims to recognize and combat diseases that plague the world’s population.

This year, the World Health Organization plans on recognizing vector borne diseases, diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, lymphatic filariasis, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever, caused by vectors such as mosquitos, sandflies, bugs, ticks and snails. Here are some facts about vector borne diseases and how you can help prevent them:

Vector-borne diseases account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases, causing more than one million deaths annually.

More than 2.5 billion people in over 100 countries are at risk of contracting dengue alone.

Malaria causes more than 600,000 deaths every year globally, most of them were children under 5 years of age.

Other diseases such as Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, and Schistosomiasis affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Many of these diseases are preventable through informed protective measures.

Access to water and sanitation is very important factor in disease control and elimination.

Tropical disease in rural area, ChinaI’ve had my own personal battle with malaria during my visit to Ghana. I was six years old when I contracted it, but luckily we had access to a hospital and adequate medicine, but many people aren’t afforded the same luxury. It is important to know the symptoms of this disease when visiting Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, as well as parts of South America, and Europe, among other places.

According to the World Health Organization, Malaria is a life threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitos. Though malaria infections have reduced by 42% since 2000, strides are still being made to eradicate the disease entirely. With more than 50% of the world’s population at risk, it is important to know the facts before you plan your next vacation.

…Interested in learning more about world issues? Be sure to browse through our Global Issues Speakers, as well as our Health and Wellness Awareness Speakers to book the perfect speaker for your next event. 

To learn more about World Health Day, visit the World Health Organization website at http://www.who.int/en/

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Meet Our Top Ten Dummies, for April Fools!

It’s April Fools, so it’s only appropriate that we dive into our entertainment vault and put together a list of our top ten favorite dummies, as well as their ventriloquists. This lists features some of the most popular entertainers who have performed on America’s Got Talent.

These hilarious puppets along with their owners are sure to show your audiences a good time. top10

#1. Peanut Peanut and Jeff Dunham took The Tonight Show by storm, making more appearances than any other ventriloquist! Along with other sidekicks, such as Jose Jalapeño, Woozle, and Walter, Jeff is always sure to amaze his audiences, a feat that earned him the “Ventriloquist of the Year” Award, twice!

Jeff Dunham
#2. Buffalo Billy How many dummies can say that they’ve performed for the President of the United States, as well as the Queen of England? Not many. Luckily, Buffalo Billy is a seasoned dummy that is sure to fill audiences with laughter. He and famed ventriloquist Ronn Lucas mix stand-up comedy, improvisation, audience interaction and astonishing voice gymnastics to delight fans worldwide.

Ron Lucas

 

#3. Camelot Camelot is truly one of a kind. He and his partner, Lynn Trefzger, make a lively duo, and together they have been entertaining audiences all over the globe with their sensational act.

Lynn Trefzger

 

#4. Steve, The Customer Service Guy Steve skyrocketed to fame as one of the most-recognizable dummies, thanks to his owner Andy Gross. In addition to Steve, his owner Andy also possesses the power to turn several audiences members into human puppets! He is able to captivate an audience with his honed stage presence, charisma, comedy, voice throwing, psychic phenomena and illusion.

Andy Gross

 

#5. Seville You probably know Seville as one of the more prominent dummies belonging to Jim Barber. Seville, along with his fellow dummy Diva, always provides the laughs at Jim’s events across the globe. Jim Barber’s refreshing approach to the art of ventriloquism and his incredible vocal skills have earned him the reputation as one of the most original talents performing today.

Jim-Barber

 

#6. Rex Brad Cummings has always had a fascination of ventriloquism. That’s how his famed dummy Rex came about. In addition to being a remarkable ventriloquist, Brad Cummings makes use of his extensive entertainment experience, becoming a favorite at corporate meetings and conventions around the world.

Brad Cummings

 

#7. Emma Taylor Not only is Emma a hilarious dummy, she does mind blowing impressions of famous singers, most notably Etta James. Emma Taylor, along with other dummies, helped skyrocket Terry Fator to the top of the competition on America’s Got Talent, where he became the first ventriloquist to win the $1 million prize. Terry Fator

 

#8. Brian It’s very rare that ventriloquists use humans as dummies, but that’s exactly what Michael Harrison did. This America’s Got Talent semi finalist knows just how to interact with the audience in order to deliver a solid show filled with gut-busting laughter.

Michael Harrison

 

#9. Bob You may recognize Bob from the comedy series “SOAP”, in where he partnered up with Jay Johnson in the role of Chuck and Bob. After 30 years of performing, Bob and Jay have become unstoppable, from comedy specials to corporate events. These two have exactly what it takes to amuse audiences.

Jay Johnson

 

#10. Leroy Cool Leroy Cool is one of the most unique dummies. His quick wit and humorous jokes are sure to captivate audiences everywhere. He and his partner Kenny Warren have appeared on every major television network, showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Kenny Warren

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Q & A Series for Women’s History Month Pt 4: High-Energy Motivational Speaker, Connie Podesta

photo_conniePodestaIn honor of Women’s History month, we did a Q & A with a few of our most inspiring woman speakers. We asked them several questions about what in their history, helped shape who they are today!

Women like …

Connie Podesta, a Motivational Speaker who is known for her amazing ability to “close the gap” and take people from where they are now to where they need to be to achieve the results they want and deserve. A comedienne and a therapist, Connie Podesta challenges people to make the kind of choices necessary for them to have happy, healthy, productive and successful lives, without losing their love of life and sense of humor. 

Q: My biggest challenge on the road to success was?

A: ME!  Bottom line: I had to learn how to get OUT of my own way.  Like many women, I can be my own worst enemy.  Even though I am usually quite confident and very much in control, my mind can sometimes get the better of me.  Doubts, worries, and even a bit of guilt now and then can come out of nowhere. (Sound familiar?) I’ve had to learn to deal with those feelings with a definite no-nonsense approach (just like I do with my clients) and move FORWARD. I can pretty much accomplish anything I put my mind to if (as can we all) when we get rid of the shoulda, woulda, couldas and replace them with strong, resounding affirmation like “I can, I will, I am!”

Q: My best business advice?

A: My best business advice came from the very direct (thank goodness) woman who hired me for my first speaking job.  I was so anxious to close the deal that I forgot every negotiation tool I had learned and gave her the moon.  Cut my fee.  Offered extra sessions.  Paid my own expenses.  You name it—she got it!  And she didn’t even ask—I just kept upping the ante in response to her silence.  I learned later that she was so quiet because she couldn’t believe the deal she was getting.  As she dropped me off at the airport, she took out my check but before I could grab it, she said, “Connie, I would have paid you five times as much as this check. Because you earned it.   However–this is the deal YOU made.  My advice to you is this…If you are ever going to succeed, you better know what you are worth and not be afraid to ask for it.  Plan for it.  Negotiate for it.  Even fight for it.” Believe me, I have never undervalued myself again!  Great advice!

Q: The advice I would give is: 

A: Be fair.  Be honest.  Be classy.  Be professional.  Be fun.  Be flexible.  Be open to new ideas.  Don’t gossip.  Don’t cry.  Don’t get your feelings hurt.  Don’t play games.  Don’t bring your personal life to work. 

Q: My biggest female role model: 

A: My biggest role model?  My grandmother.  She was the very first female School Superintendent in Missouri, quite an accomplishment in the 60’s. She was a first class lady who did more than just hold her own with all the guys—she was the one they looked up to for advice and leadership.  I used to love visiting her at her office and just watching her in action. I learned how smart and feminine can be a killer combo.

 Want more answers?

…then read what others, like Anne Mahlum, Stacy Allison, and Stephanie Deckerhad to say during  the Women’s History Month Q & A series.

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Republican Strategist Ana Navarro, Encourages Young Girls To Be Bossy!

Ana-Navarro-bossyQ: What do you get when you bring together the likes of Beyonce, Jane Lynch and Condoleezza Rice?

A: A campaign to “Ban Bossy.”

But is it really that simple? Ana Navarro doesn’t seem to think so. The “Ban Bossy” campaign, introduced by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, seeks to educate people on the harm of calling young girls ‘bossy’ in the schoolyard. The campaign suggests that this word causes young girls to be less assertive and ambitious, making them less likely to aspire to be leaders.

Political Speaker and Eagles Talent Exclusive Speaker Ana Navarro seems to have a different stance on this topic. “Be Bossy. Be very Goddamn bossy.” These are the words Ana that echoed at a keynote speech during the Ad’s Club annual Women’s Leadership Conference. To Ana, the word “bossy” isn’t derogatory; it is a term of endearment. 

Growing up during the Sandinista revolution in her native country of Nicaragua, Ana rose up against the ranks to become a boss in her own right. Not letting sexism or discrimination discourage her, Ana achieved immense success, becoming the head of former presidential canidate Sen. John McCain’s National Hispanic Advisory Council Co-Chair.

“The only boundaries are the ones you set for yourself.” 

Today, Ana is one of the most prominent Republican strategists, appearing numerous times on CNN, The View and other popular media outlets. Never one to back down from a challenge, Ana is the embodiment of a boss, someone who is not afraid to lead and refuses to take no for an answer.

“Women have got to get more comfortable saying, ‘I am woman, hear me roar. Do not be afraid to speak up, because if you don’t, someone else will do it for you.”

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Final Four Flashbacks: Our ‘Final 4′ Basketball Player Speaker Picks!

MFF_2013_LogoMarch Madness is running rampant and everyone is taking their pick at their predicted Final Four teams.

We put together our own list, of Final Four Basketball Speakers with game changing skills, that cemented their place among the best players in the league!

Check out these Final Four Flashbacks:

 

#1. Larry Bird:

NBA Legend 

Like the state he hailed from, Indiana, the name Larry Bird is virtually synonymous with the game of basketball. Larry Bird will always be remembered as one of the greatest basketball players of all time and among the top five or fewer “clutch” performers in NBA history. And his fans will never forget just how wonderful it was to watch number 33 in action! 

 

 

#2. Thurl Bailey:

Celebrity, Pro Athlete, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker

From the youth to the corporate world, Thurl Bailey inspires others to win whatever the odds or disappointments. Twice Thurl has led teams from far behind to win national championships. His courtesy and integrity both on and off the court and his strong sense of community service have led to numerous civic awards and earned him the nickname “N.B.A.’s Mr. Nice Guy.”

 

#3. Clyde Drexler:

10 Time NBA All Star, Dancing With the Stars Contestant 

One of the NBA’s all-time great guards, Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was known for his high-flying yet seemingly effortless swoops to the basket. Drexler twice led the Blazers to the NBA Finals. After almost a dozen seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Drexler left Portland with his name all over the franchise’s record books.

 

#4. Walter Bond:

NBA Player and Business Owner, No One Can Stop You But YOU! 

Like many young men growing up in Chicago, Walter Bond dreamed of becoming an NBA player. Facing injuries and other challenges with unusual determination, he rose from being a reserve player coming off the bench to become the first rookie Free Agent to start for the Dallas Mavericks.

 

Want more Basketball Speakers?

…then check out our Favorite ‘Final 4′ Coaching Keynotes, featuring Coach Don Meyer, Pat Williams and more! 

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Our entire Speakers Bureau team is passionate about helping corporate meeting planners shine. With over 30 years of hands-on experience and worldwide contacts, we give you access to acclaimed motivational speakers, celebrities and entertainers. We’re dedicated to helping you make the right choice and earning the right to serve you.