Chris Borland. 49ers. Self esteem.


Chris Borland. 49ers. Self esteem.

Self esteem.

Self esteem.

Self Esteem Comes from DOING Esteemable Acts, and it’s an Esteemable Acts to have the courage to make tough choices.

How many people, yet alone a 24-year-old, would walk away from a multi-million dollar NFL contract and the opportunity to make much more in the future? I bet not most folks.  Yet, that’s what San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland did on Monday.  Self esteem comes from doing Esteemable Acts. Amazing!

Chris Borland just completed his rookie season for the 49ers, when he announced that he was retiring from pro football. His reason: mental health and physical wellbeing.  He chose not to be one of the many NFL casualties, who suffered long-term repetitive head trauma due to concussions.  Head trauma and its severe consequences is not new to football, but of late, the issue has become more public.  And, a few young athletes have made the choice to walk away, rather than live life like a vegetable.  Chris Borland is walking away from a lucrative four-year contract, with the 49ers, worth about $3 million, which includes a $617,436 signing bonus.  Some call him crazy; I call him courageous and smart.  Self-esteem comes from doing Esteemable Acts.

Head injuries and the NFL.

Repetitive head injuries have become a major concern for the NFL over the past several years. Many ex-NFL players are suffering from chronic long-term neurological problems as result of concussions and head trauma they suffered during their careers.  Everyone knows this is a problem, yet money is more powerful than common sense.  In fact, how can any thinking person say if you repeatedly get banged in the head that you will not suffer severe injuries?  According to a PBS report from 2014, 76 of 79 deceased NFL players were found to have some form of “brain disease.” In 2013, the NFL settled a $765 million class action lawsuit brought on by ex-players who said they suffer from illnesses due to head trauma. The suit alleged that the NFL covered up the long-term effects of head injuries.

Chris Borland said he began having doubts about his NFL future after what he believes was a concussion he suffered during his rookie training camp. He played through the injury because he was trying to make the team. Borland told ESPN, “I just thought to myself, ‘What am I doing? Is this how I’m going to live my adult life, banging my head, especially with what I’ve learned and know about the dangers?” It was after consulting with concussion researchers and former NFL players and discussing his concerns with his family, he came to the decision to retire.

And what a gentleman, he has decided to repay the 49ers part of his salary.

Money vs. Health and Well-being?

How much money is a person’s long-term health worth? Would you risk debilitating illness for your entire life for a chance to make millions of dollars?

Feel free to join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts pageTwitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn


Love. Fear. Anger. Accountability.


Love. Anger. Fear.

Love. Fear.

Love. Fear. Anger.

Do you know what gets in the way of Love? Baggage. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s old emotional baggage, which began as fear, and morphed into anger. We’ve all been there, allowing a simple issue, with another person, to go unresolved and escalate into a war. Oftentimes it results in family, friends, or colleagues being estranged for years. And regardless of what you may think, a fractured relationship does affect you and your self-esteem.

Unresolved Conflicts. Personal Accountability.

I remember quite vividly that it took many years for me to resolve a conflict with someone, who had been my childhood best friend. I was invested in holding on to a deeply rooted grudge, which lasted until about 10 years ago. Throughout the years, I tried to make it all about her. I made sure everyone, who listened to my rant knew that she had done me wrong. I was often heard to say, “Had she not done [this and that] I would not feel like I do.” You know what I’m talking about, that victim mantra, “it’s your fault why I feel that way,” or “it’s your fault why I behaved that way.”

Once I started working on myself and focused on personal growth, it became impossible for me to point a finger at her (or anyone) without noticing that there were three fingers pointing back at me. That is what happens when you do the work, you are no longer a victim. Personal accountability will do that to you.

What I discovered along the way was that it was fear, not anger that created the block between us. Fear manifested itself as anger and I carried that emotional baggage around for a long time, until one day it just got too heavy.

We all have our own opinion as to how to deal with anger and fear. For me the answer is simple, face these demons head on. The first thing for me is to acknowledge my feelings. Nothing positive ever comes from denial. Then I must be willing to see the part I played in the demise of the relationship. Contrary to popular belief, we almost always have a part. Owning it is the next step in getting past it. Finally, I must be willing to move through the pain to the solution. I always have a choice. If I want to stay stuck, I will.

What about you, have you ever been mad at someone and allowed that anger to last for years? Why? Did you get through it, and if so how? Join my conversation at Attorney Francine Ward; Esteemable Acts Twitter Page, Esteemable Acts Facebook Page, Google+, LInkedIn

Profanity. Curse Words. Speeches. Motivational Speakers.


Profanity. Curse Words. Motivational Speakers.

Profanity. Curse Words.

Profanity. Curse Words.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. While commonplace, profanity, the use of expletive curse words is rude and offensive. No doubt many folks love it, and laugh when they hear curse words. But in truth, unless you are giving a talk to a bunch of drunken frat boys, it’s just not appropriate.  And  especially for someone who gives speeches, whether you are a business speaker, 0r in the class of people who give speeches called motivational speakers, cursing is offensive. On the other hand, if you continue to get paid to offend, why would you not do so. If I was a meeting planner, I would never hire someone who cursed. And if they were hired and then  cursed, not only would I never bring them back again, but I would tell every other meeting planner I knew not to hire them as well.

I just finished reading an article in the June issue of the National Speakers Association (NSA) Speaker Magazine. The article was, “What the “BLEEP” Did He Just Say?” Because this is a topic close to my heart–profanity, and using curse words, I decided to write a post on it.

Profanity. Curse Words.

Profanity, the use of curse words openly in public settings, has become as common place as breathing, smoking cigarettes on TV, sex on TV, and violence on TV.  No longer do polite folks say, “Excuse me,” when they curse. Instead, they just keep on keeping on.  The other day i was in Whole Foods and a youngster cursing at his mother caught my attention. He was likely no older than 10, and yet by his slick and vile tongue, you thought he was an adult. His mom and dad just looked and him and turned their head. Then the mom said to the dad, “these kids are so F___ unbearable.”  Then it hit me, no wonder the kids curse, their role mode;s have taught them how, and when they do curse, no one says “Don’t do that.” And how could they chastise their kids for using such fowl language if they are the role models.

Obvious in this world of anything goes, I have become a part of the minority. How interesting considering that until I was about 30, you could have washed my mouth out with soap, and still not gotten it clean. My mouth was vile and out right disgusting. I cursed so much you would have assumed I knew no other words. Perhaps I didn’t. Then, because of the courage of a mentor named Louise Robertson, I changed.  She called my attention to my gross mouth, and encouraged me to change the way I speak. In fact, she was the first person  who taught me that self-esteem comes from doing Esteemable Acts. She said, “It’s not how you feel, it’s how you behave.” She would repeat over and over again, “How we behave says more about us than what we say. Talk is cheap,” It took me a while, but I learned that lesson.

I cannot tell you the last time I used a curse word in public, and I would most definitely never use a curse word from the platform—any platform. You do not hear curse words in my speeches. Some may call me Pollyanna; I call me respectful of myself and those listening to me.

Justify Bad Behavior.

One argument folks who justify cursing make is that’s just who they are.  They are being real.  Others justify profanity, especially from the platform when giving speeches, by saying, you have to speak to folks in a way they can hear.  What silliness.  To get people to relate to you you must talk down to them. What an assumption about human beings that is.

My belief is that when you curse, you take the focus off of your message and place it on you. That is a good ploy if you have a messy and unimportant message.  But if you have something useful to share, then it seems you want people to hear the message, not get distracted by curse words.  My other belief is when folks curse people laugh.  So, if you are so insecure that you are willing to do anything to get attention, then cursing is the way to go.

Join the Conversation.

One day at a time I choose not to curse, and that is an Esteemable Act. What do you thunk? Join the conversation on my Esteemable Acts Fan Page, Esteemable Acts Twitter Page, in a Google+ Circle, or in one of my LinkedIn Groups.


Golden Gate Bridge. Suicide. Suicide Hotline. $76 Million on a Net.


Golden Gate Bridge. Suicide.

Golden Gate Bridge. Suicide.

Golden Gate Bridge. Suicide.

The Golden Gate Bridge caused 46 suicides in 2014. Or at least, that is what the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District board would have you believe. They voted on Friday, June 27, 2014 to approve a $76 million project to install a safety net on both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge. Why? Apparently to avert suicide. (How ironic, considering the economic opposition to a high speed rail through California, yet $76 million for a net is okay). Am I dreaming or what? In a state that screams poverty, because we do not have enough funds to provide services to those in need, we dare spend $76-million on a suicide net. Not $76 or even $7,600, but $76 million dollars to build a net around the Golden Gate Bridge, ostensibly to prevent suicide. Why not spend some of that money to beef up the suicide hotline, or seriously address the mental health (including substance abuse) issues.

It’s reported that $27 million would come from the federal Surface Transportation Program, $22 million from the federal Local Highway Bridge Program, $20 million from its own reserves, and $7 million from California Mental Health Service Act money.

Suicide. Suicide Hotline. Golden Gate Bridge.

The District’s general manager, Dennis Mulligan said, “People committing suicide by jumping from the bridge has been a problem for many years… in 2013, 46 people committed suicide on the bridge.”

The irony is that the Bridge District members, who unanimously approved this measure, obviously believe the bridge cause suicides. Anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide knows, where there is a will there is a way.  If someone really wants to take their life–they will. If they can’t jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, they will go to the Bay Bridge, or the Dumbarton Bridge, or the San Mateo Bridge, or the Benicia Bridge, or any number of other bridges in the Bay Area. And if they really want to take their life and no bridge is available, they will find a more immediate and lethal option. I personally know that all too well.

Instead of spending $76 million to build a net around the Golden Gate Bridge, why not spend some of that money of health care provisions and counseling for those who want to commit suicide? Or why not invest in changing the conditions that drive people to want to commit suicide?  Invest in a suicide hotline. Make the suicide hotline a truly valuable resource. The issue is not the bridge.

What do you think? Join the conversation on one of my Facebook Pages, Twitter Pages, Google+ Circles, or in a LinkedIn Group.



Self-esteem. Esteemable Acts. Derrick Coleman. Live Your Dreams.


Self-esteem. Esteemable Acts.

Self-esteem. Esteemable Acts.

Self-esteem. Esteemable Acts.

Self-esteem comes from doing Esteemable Acts. And, it’s an Esteemable Act to have the courage to live your dreams.

Living your dreams requires a deep seated belief that anything is possible, even if the dream feels out of reach. It also requires a willingness to stay the rough and rocky course, regardless of the detours you encounter along the way. Self-esteem is a result of right living. Self-esteem comes from taking a stand for what you believe. It’s an Esteemable Act to go for the gusto!

Derrick Coleman.

One of my new favorite public figures is Derrick Coleman, a fullback with the Seattle Seahawks. Derrick has been deaf since he was three years old. And despite one person after another saying he couldn’t do certain things, he has consistently proven them wrong. Indeed, he is an NFL football player. A recent Duracell commercial says it all—Trust the Power Within.

It’s people like Derrick who have consistently inspired me to move past my fear, toward my dreams. I remember when I decided to become a lawyer, I knew the road ahead would be difficult. I was a high school dropout, with a colorful past. People like me didn’t become lawyers, we paid lawyers. Without question, there were many people who held that same belief about my ability to succeed. One day at a time with a big dream and a willingness to do the work necessary, my dream became a reality.

This year I celebrate 25 years since graduating from Georgetown University Law Center, and 23 years of practicing law. Who would have thought?

What about you…what do YOU dream about? A new career? A book deal? A screenwriting opportunity? A far-away trip? A new home? A new car? Improved education? Enhanced skills? Your own business? It’s all possible. With a big dream, some focused effort, and a willingness to—at times—be uncomfortable, your dreams can become a reality.

If you need a little help at getting started and are open to some coaching, give me a call.

In the meantime, feel free to share your dreams on either my Esteemable Acts Fan Page, Google+ page, Twitter page , Pinterest, or in one of my LinkedIn Group discussions.