Tag Archives for " Inspiration "

Were your grandparents optimists or pessimists? – SCN Encourager

By Tom Page, SCN Founder | The Encourager

The fact that you are “up and about” answers this one.

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 4.52.12 PM

According to futurist David Zach, we’re both walking, talking, real-world proof that our ancestors consistently looked ahead to the future with hope in their hearts.

I do think that if Zach knew my grandparents, he’d be forced to acknowledge that the power of prayer and keeping one’s “fingers crossed” often helped keep that hope alive.

For sure, my brothers and I – over the course of two and a half decades – probably caused my grandparents to re-assess their optimistic view of the future many times.

But the misbehavior of my younger brothers aside, Zach is right.

The hope our ancestors had for the future is a primary contributor to the success and lifestyles we enjoy today… and now we’re similarly duty-bound to pay-it-forward to support and encourage the next generation.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 4.07.25 PMZach’s been right before, you know.

Seven months ago, I wrote about his insightful presentation at NSPRA 2000 in San Antonio.

A few weeks after this I was lucky enough to score a copy of Zach’s book.

His keen quick peeks into a wide variety of topics have never failed to improve my thinking.

It was Worth Remembering – the future value of old ideas that jarred me into wrestling with the role our grandparents are still playing today.

Zach’s format offers an effective blend of old and new.

On every page, he highlights an old quotation or two, and then attaches his own commentary.

For example, he featured this quote from Arnold Bennett (1867-1931):
Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just a agreeable as optimism.

Then Zach mused:

People often ask, “Are you an optimistic futurist?” and I suspect that few would hire me if I wasn’t. Sure, I have my fears and doubts, but I believe that optimism is both practical and preferable and the virtue of hope is something of a moral imperative. If people of the past still held hope through all of the trials (they must have, because we are still here) then we must do the same.

Sounds good to me.

We don’t have to be the richest, the slimmest, or the wittiest to make a positive contribution to the future.

We just need to choose to be hopeful.

This I can do.

And it might even motivate me to “titlejack” Zach’s wonderful book and write one of my own –

Hardly Worth Remembering.


carFRI 101014

What’s at the core of a turnaround? – SCN Encourager

By Tom Page, SCN Founder | The Encourager

A great college football coach breaks it down.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 4.18.24 PMAnd not just any coach – this is a coach with deep roots in our state.

Butch Jones is 46. He was born in Saugatuck, MI, which located about 10-12 miles away from my own school district’s southern border.

Both Saugatuck and Holland Public are members of the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District.

Now, I don’t know Jones personally, but there’s a lot to admire about him, even for a Spartan fan like me.

Before he began his coaching career, Jones played college football at Ferris State.

And his rapid ascension up the head coaching ladder also included a successful stint at Central Michigan.

This fall Jones is guiding the charge to rebuild the Tennessee Volunteers football program.

He freely admits that the word “turnaround” has to be prominent in any description of his current task.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting.
Continue reading

The big “so what” about Tech Tip Tuesday – SCN Encourager

By Tom Page, SCN Founder | The Encourager

A lesson from mingling with WordPress developers and designers

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 10.40.39 AMI attended WordCamp–Grand Rapids last Saturday.

It’s a conference geared for WordPress developers, website designers, and coders.

If you’re wondering why I signed up for this event – so did my wife.

I’m none of these things, obviously.

But with the Tigers mired in a slump, I figured what the heck?

It can’t hurt to keep learning new things and new ways.

But it did sting a little, I’ll tell you that.

When you’re one of the oldest people at a conference full of tech-savvy go-getters, you’ve really got to concentrate.


But the opening remarks from successful California entrepreneur and business start-up specialist Chris Lema made the pain involved with my attempt at lifelong learning worthwhile.

Imagine sitting in an auditorium with about 120 other people while a self-professed tech geek steps onto the stage and picks up the microphone.

I had to say it, but I had my doubts about Chris.

I was worried that he’d talk about a ton of stuff I wouldn’t understand… and if he talked about anything I actually understood, it would be boring.

Talk about lose-lose.

But Chris surprised me – and he came out swinging.
Continue reading