What You Can Expect During Eclipse 2017

So you think you’re ready for the once in your lifetime total solar eclipse 2017?

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  • You have 1-3 pm blocked off on your calendar so you won’t be interrupted during the eclipse.✔️
  • You’ve purchased your ISO certified solar eclipse glasses. ✔️
  • You’ve scouted a perfect location to view the eclipse. ✔️ 

Great job preparing for Eclipse 2017!  

But, do you know what to expect? Do you know what to look for as this grand spectacle unfolds? 

Tom Martin Coaching

New Website Coming Soon

The Tom Martin Coaching website is about to have a new look, more features, and will offer new information and resources designed to help clients prosper in business and thrive in life.

TomMartinATL-Coaching-Website-Under-Construction

Tom Martin Coaching Website

This website conversion has been a work in process since July and the final modifications are almost complete. Trent Phillips and his team Bizography have worked hard to turn vision into reality and the grand unveil with take place in a matter of days. The end result will be a website which serves as both a guide and resource to prospective clients considering coaching and existing clients who are fully engaged in the coaching process.

False Alarm….It’s All Good!

Based on the comments, emails, and private messages I received all day it would appear that my poor choice of words led more than a few folks to worry unnecessarily about the place I was in this morning after reading my Facebook update about a new post to this blog. 

When facing adversity you always have a choice, succumb to it or rise above it…..I’m trying to rise above it and I could use your help today!

The better choice of words would have been…..this is my way of rising above it…..and then went on to describe how I felt my fundraising project for Charity Water was an example of that.

If you didn’t get the chance to read the post, please take a minute to do so and consider partnering with me to help build a well which will bring clean drinking water to a place where this is none.

While my choice of words might have led to some to possibly doubt my mental health;  for me there is NO DOUBTING how much support and prayers I have coming my way on a daily basis, something which humbles me to the point of not really having the words other than to say: 

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, one and all!

Which brings me to something I want and need to ask YOU…..

How can I be praying for you?

One thing I’m learning in all this is, for me to be able to leverage my faith in the midst of cancer, my focus has to be redirected from within and shifted UP and OUT.

By UP, I mean my focus has to be on God and the lessons He wants me to learn.

By OUT, my focus has to include the community around me, especially the relationships both old and new from which I draw so much strength.

So would you please allow me the opportunity to leverage my faith by letting me know how or what I can be praying for you?

  • One way would be to leave a comment at the bottom of this post which would allow the entire Leveraging Life community the opportunity to pray for you….something I think would be incredible especially when those who do prayed acknowledge it with a comment like so many of you did for me today on Facebook.
  • If you would like to keep the prayer request private click here or on the contact tab at the top and it will stay between you and me.

Thanks again traveling this journey with me!

trust God period!

~Tom

trusting God period

 

Will you help make a difference?

The most important Friday Favorite ever!

Most Fridays I feature a website or a blog that for me has become a favorite. 

Our Friday Favorite for September 24, carries far greater importance than anything I’ve posted on Leveraging Life. For me it speaks to the core of what I believe Leveraging Life calls us all to do…Leverage our life experiences and life lessons for a good greater than ourselves.

 

  [cancer]  me + You =Charity:Water

The formula listed above is something that began earlier this summer when I learned my cancer had spread. As I came to terms with another surgery, more radiation, and possibly chemotherapy I fought the frustration by trying to find the silver lining, the lesson that was to be learned,  a way to turn lemons into lemonade.

And this is where my story, your story, &  charity water all intersect….at a WELL….eclipsing briefly one disease by preventing  other diseases simply by providing clean drinking water where there is none.

Please take a few minutes to watch the videos in this post and learn more about the work charity water is doing around the world.

The Turning Lemons to Lemonade campaign comes to an end on September 30 and $5,000.00 is needed to build a well or 100% of what is collected will be combined with other groups to build a well, so it is a “win-win” situation either way!

Is it possible to raise $4,130.00 in a week? That’s not for me to say and only time will tell. But I do believe anything is possible when you have Trust & Faith in God and a group of people put His words into action.  So really this has as much to do with honoring Him by acts and deeds as it does in the final number.

Please take 3 steps right now to make that difference.

  • Boldly pray for the effort and pray for the outcome.
  • Use the share buttons to the right and share this effort with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, & via email by providing a link to this page.
  • Make a donation, remember $10.00 or $20.00 makes a significant impact in the overall picture and the $870.00 raised thus far will change the lives of 43 people.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, for your efforts to share the formula & this story, and for partnering with me to leverage life for a greater good!!

~Tom

trusting God period

And the winner is……{name this} Contest

Puff the merkel cell Dragon

 

The winning entry comes from Dave in Fresno who is part of the merkel cell google group I am a member of and is also a mcc survivor himself. Dave said the machine resembled a dragon, an invisible fire breathing dragon, set out to kill any straggler cancer cells that surgery might have missed.

For any other cancer survivors out there dealing with radiation, feel free to adopt the name during your treatment, and just fill in the blank.

Puff the any cancer  Dragon

I have 18 more encounters with Puff over the next three weeks, so at least now I can greet him by name and challenge him to get the job done.
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In describing the story behind the lyrics for Puff The Magic Dragon, Peter Yarrow has frequently explained that “Puff” is about the hardships of growing older, he has also said of the song that it “never had any meaning other than the obvious one” and is about the “loss of innocence”.  Ifound this after selecting the winner but it does actually reinforce the selection because, as the lyrics suggest, cancer truly is a hardship of growing old and anyone who has experienced radiation treatment will attest there is a loss of ones innocence! 
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Thanks to everyone who entered and those who continue to share Leveraging Life with friends on Facebook and Twitter, those efforts help make this difficult season of radiation more tolerable!

~Tom

trusting God period

Cancer Life Lessons

No one issued me my cancer playbook when I got the news I had cancer. But I soon found out there were plenty of cancer life lessons to learn before my treatment season began.

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Reactions vary when you get the news cancer has entered your world but most the reaction is some form of fight or flight. Those who lean toward flight can withdrawal or move into forms of denial as it takes time to process this news. Those lean toward fight can be using it to mask their denial. Either way you most process the news fully before moving forward in a healthy way. Looking back now, I know moved into the “fight” mode too quickly and did not process how the news of my diagnosis would impact my life. I simply thought I would beat it by powering through whatever cancer through at me. So much like preparing for a big football game, I said let’s do this…Game On!

Scouting

Most football teams have scouts who learn everything there is to know about the opponent with the hope of finding weaknesses that can be exploited. Research was my way of scouting merkel cell cancer (mcc), unfortunately there is little published about this relatively new type of cancer, and there is even less focus by the cancer community from an awareness and funding perspective due to the low number diagnosed each year. Despite the limited information, my scouting/research confirmed enough of what had already been discussed with the medical team I was assembling to move forward with my game plan of surgery, skin graft, sentinel node dissection, and 6 weeks of radiation.

 Team Meeting

Another component of my Game On involved those difficult conversations with family and friends who needed to be told. I approached those talks under the false belief, that if my attitude was positive and upbeat it might somehow lessen their concern and worry. In my eyes I did pretty well; as I had my facts together what mcc was and what the medical team planned to do about it, that was until I spoke with my brother Mike. As I was telling him the news in my best upbeat spiel, an image of my 3 nieces flashed in my mind followed by another image where I was missing their proms, graduations, and weddings. I’m not sure if he caught me starting to choke up, but I’d have to admit that was the shortest of all my Game On conversations.

Intangibles

Work was a different type of Game On, similar to a player trying to convince his coach that despite being at 80% he could still contribute to the win. For me it was important to reassure the owners of my company that I regarded this only as a bump in the road with minimal disruption at the dealership. But I knew it would open the door, and for the first time in my career, where my ability to do what they hired me to do would be evaluated not only on talent but also on availability, something I  had little say or control over.

You Have Cancer

Tom, “You have cancer.”

you-have-cancer

When you find out you have cancer everything changes. There’s an expression, “you could have heard a pin drop,” not something people normally experience but something which describes those surreal moments in life. But on the day the doctor told me, “you have cancer, I swear you could have heard a pin drop. And when you find out you have cancer the pin which drops is more like the pin of a hand-grenade.

Defining moments are the times in our lives where time stands still, and one of my defining moments occurred when I was told I had cancer!

Your defining moment might have been when finally got your diploma, or it could have been the day you said “I Do”, or it maybe it was the day you held your first born child. These life changing moments become defining when the world as we know it is forever changed and our life takes on a new trajectory.

You Have Cancer Moment

Such was the case for me on December 12, 2009 when phone call led to a defining moment for my life. I was leaving a shopping mall after doing some Christmas shopping when I noticed I had a missed a call and there was a voice mail. I recognized the number as it was from a doctor who had recently done a biopsy for me and figured the call was a formality with news there was nothing to be concerned about. Unfortunately the message received was not what I expected as my doctor called, rather than her PA, with instructions to call her as soon as I possible.

Catalyst Conference

leverage-your-life-now-friday-favorite

On Friday I feature a website or a blog that for me has become a favorite. It maybe a favorite resource, a source of inspiration, or just some distraction I frequent. Give the Friday Favorite a look, read, or listen, and please share your favorites in the comment section; who knows maybe it will be the next Friday Favorite.

Since inception, over 90,000 leaders have made the annual trek to Atlanta to participate in the Catalyst Conference experience, and this October, once again over 12,000 leaders will gather to experience Catalyst up close.

While I know not everyone can take the time off from work to attend the conference, the Catalyst team generously makes a great deal of their content available for free to those with a visit to the Catalyst website podcast section. So if you lead an organization or aspire to a leadership position in any organization you need to be visiting Catalyst each month.

One quick scan of their podcast page lists includes the likes of Rick Warren, Tony Dungy, Seth Godin ,Malcom GladwellJohn Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Craig Groeschel, Erwin McManus, and many more.

For those who desire to lead effectively and leverage their gift of leadership I can think of no better resource available to address such a broad variety of topics like organizational leadership, personal leadership, integrity, character, relationships, and teamwork; all in the midst of such a fun and creative environment.

After you have a chance to check out some of the podcasts, leave your comments, leadership takeaways, and a recommendation of which podcasts really meant the most to you.

~Tom

trusting God period!!

Programming Note: Be on the look out for part one of a series of posts called Life Lessons-where the focus revolves around how I’m leveraging my faith in the midst of cancer.

Did you know there is a way to receive Leveraging Life | Now updates via email? All you have to do is click here to subscribe. (It’s free)

Connections Community Causes

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I love the internet! I love the way it connects people to causes they believe and creates communities which can do more together than they can do alone.

“As of 2009, an estimated quarter of Earth’s population uses the services of the Internet, according to Wikipedia.  In 1960’s, when the Internet was conceived, the intent was to facilitate the exchange of information between networks of computers. Today information is still exchanged but what dominates the Internet landscape is the connecting of people. Take a look at the top 10 US websites , half are exclusively community building websites; and it could be argued that actually 9 out of 10 utilize enough group and chat dynamics within their websites that foster community as well.

Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast

leverage-your-life-now-andy-stanley-leadership

Most Fridays you will find a something posted here which is a favorite of mine or something recommended by a contributor to the Leveraging Life community. It’s the type of site you go back to over and over because it’s become a resource, a place you find inspiration, or just someplace you enjoy what they serve up. Give the Friday Favorite a look, read, or listen, and I hope you’ll share a few of your favorites for the rest of us as well…and who knows maybe your favorite will show up as a future Friday Favorite.

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The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast  (also can be download on iTunes)

Obviously I’m biased as Andy Stanley leads North Point Community Church and I attend North Point’s Buckhead Church Campus in Atlanta. Anyone who is part of  or is leading any type of organization regardless industry can benefit from the wisdom Andy shares each month on his podcast; “a conversation designed to help leaders grow further faster.” 

Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of content, just dive in where you have an interest in a topic. Or if you want my recommendation can start with: Listening, Learning, and Leading. You will find so much useful information that will be of value now and in the future.

  • What and who you listen to will determine what your do.
  • Leaders are attracted to environments where their opinions are heard.
  • Leaders who refuse to listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing important to say.
  • You’re probably not the smartest person in the organization you are just the leader. 

Those were a few of my takeaways from Andy’s most recent podcast, Listening-Learning-Leading, please share what you found noteworthy in the comment section below.

~Tom

trusting God period!

Did you know there is a way to receive Leveraging Life | Now updates via email? All you have to do is click here to subscribe. (It’s free)