A place to share the great experiences that have happened as a direct result of Positive Thinking. Also quotes and inspiring stories to encourage others. Need a boost? This is the place to get it! All positive thinkers are welcome!
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  • Food 4 Thought
    Are you an Eagle or a Duck?

    This is an excerpt from: The Simple Truths of Service,
    by Ken Blanchard and Barbara Glanz

    Great Service is a Choice

    No one can make you serve customers well. That's because great service is a choice. Years ago, my friend, Harvey Mackay, told me a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point. He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey. He handed my friend a laminated card and said:

    "I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk, I'd like you to read my mission statement."

    Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said:

    Wally's Mission Statement:

    To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest, and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment

    This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

    As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, "Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf."

    My friend said jokingly, "No, I'd prefer a soft drink."

    Wally smiled and said, "No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice."

    Almost stuttering, Harvey said, "I'll take a Diet Coke."

    Handing him his drink, Wally said, "If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustratedand USA Today."

    As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card. "These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio."

    As if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of the day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights, or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

    "Tell me, Wally," my amazed friend asked the driver, "have you always served customers like this?"

    Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. "No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'

    "That hit me right between the eyes," said Wally. "Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more."

    "I take it this has paid off for you," Harvey said.

    "It sure has," Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action."

    Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.

    Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like a duck and started soaring like an eagle. How about you?


  • just read Dawn Harvey's post. thanks for the welcome, my fellow Canadian! when i go to Voice 2010, i may wear a Saskatchewan pin or T-shirt. i am excited to be starting on this new life-path at age 59. my friends from my old job have been most supportive of my dreams, which helps a lot. in fact, i discovered that the son of one of those friends is, also, a voice actor. small world, eh?
  • I received this lovely email from new member, Sterling. I asked if I could share it with the group and she agreed. Read on and you'll know why I wanted you all to see it.


    I just read your story, and I cried and cried, and AM crying as I write ths, because I am 47, and I hear those same negative voices in my head. And I ask myself, how can something that feels SO right, hurt so much? Perhaps it IS regret; I have many.

    In 1980 (age 18), I was Juilliard candidate. I SO wanted to go and audition -- wanted to be an opera singer. So I went to my Father and I said, "Dad -- I want to go to NY and become an opera singer." He was reading, and looked up over his glasses and said: "Pull your head out of your ass! You can't do anything with a music degree! Why don't you go and be an accountant?"

    I was crushed. I pursued recording engineering, - going to trade school and ultimately obtaining an AS in Digital Electronics Technology & Computer Science because an electrical background was a prerequisite for the school I wanted to attend -- and by the time I was ready, the price had gone up $10,000 per semester. "I can't afford that!" my Dad said.

    Eventually I ended up landing a job with Exxon, and worked with them for 20 years as an electrician, technician, and programmer. In 2005, however, everything changed. I came to work one Sunday morning and sat down in a brand new office chair that had been purchased for our shop. It was defective and a leg snapped off. 3 years of medical treatments and PT "couldn't put Humpty back together again" -- and whilst I could sit at a desk (for short periods of time), "my" job was out in the field, climbing towers, stairs, walking, carrying tools. And my doctor said, "no way."

    In January 2009, I was medically retired, and deemed to be "totally disabled". So... let's be real -- who's gonna hire you, right? So... I went back to what I love: singing, writing (I'm writing my first novel) and voice overs. I've had my studio for a couple years now, but haven't seen a ROI because the negative wizards in my head, and the energy I feel from my Dad, keep me from believing I can't do this. You see... to him this "isn't logical", and afterall... I'm 47!

    Fortunately, I have a wonderful husband who supports me 100%. He reminds me of all the voices in my head that I've used to make announcements at ExxonMobil. He reminded me that out of the blue last week, I said, "mean old Mr. Gravity" as Tweety-Bird (when some tupperware slipped out of my fingers and hit the floor) -- and I didn't realize I had. And he reminds me that when I sing, my voice moves people to tears.

    I'm sorry this is so long, but part of 'healing' is releasing. I've come to the realization that music and voiceover HAVE no age limit, and if Mick Jagger can still strut his stuff, well.... okay so I can't strut my stuff anymore, but my pipes ROCK! And the voices in my head have been screaming to be let out -- so why not?

    I believe that everything happens for a reason, a season or a lifetime. And I believe that YOU and VO Universe have come into my life, at this moment, to validate the gifts I have been given, and to give me the strength, the energy and the love to combat the demons and negative wizards, so that I can do what I was supposed to do all along.

    Thank you Penny, for telling your story. You truly are an inspiration, and like I said, my blessing for today.

  • Welcome Darla, you lovely fellow Canadian! See you at Voice 2010. We should all wear Vancouver Olympic hats or mitts or something to identify ourselves!
  • What a lovely thought to start the day! Thanks, Heather!


  • Good Gracious Morning ALL! Here in the Mid West, signs of spring are appearing. Hope of it comes with showers. Today, think on the waters that come into our lives. Each type- from tears to rain- washes, cleanses and brings about a new way of seeing life, whether we seek it or not, it brings on growth and renewal. Namaste'
  • Hello to Connor Carson Heim: in answer to your question - i am practicing narrative of African folktales to help improve my story telling skills. i also add one minute of reading to the narratives so that i can toughen myself for long narrative reads. i'm looking forward to attending VOICE 2010. it will be my first experience with VO actors/artists outside of Canada.
  • Hey Connor, I am hoping to take a week long intensive w/James & Penny. I would love hear your experiences. When you get some time could you share??? Blessings:)
  • Good morning positive thinkers! I had a wonderful weekend with Penny and James at their weekend performance workshop. Met some other very, very talented folks there as well.

    Today's question: what are you going to do TODAY to propel your VO career??
  • Hey everyone, here is a phrase that my 70 something mom learned from her AARP driving refresher course: FIDO; "forget about it and drive on". I am using this phrase anytime I come up against something I can't control. It has helped me to focus on the positive. Hope this helps you. Blessings:)
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