More on Life Balance Seminar…

The relatively new Life Balance Seminar is increasingly popular. The most recent Life Balance Seminar I conducted was on March 23, 2013 (about 4 weeks ago) at the University of Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The Lakeshore Chapter of the Project Management Institute sponsored the 4-hour event. There were 90 attendees after only about four weeks of promoting the event—a great accomplishment by Richard Steer, Senior Vice President of the PMI Lakeshore Chapter, and his team. I absolutely love conducting this seminar which is all about life and the captured wisdom of 25 senior Americans as documented in the book: The Gift of Wisdom: Lessons for a Lifetime. Each seminar has many attendees that have personally told me that they experienced “ah-ha” moments of joy, warmth, inspiration, hope, ideas and so much more that can help them be more deliberate in order to achieve more effective, balanced and full lives—both at work and personally. Here is a sample of what seminar participants are saying:

  • What a powerful and thought-provoking seminar! It is applicable to many areas of life: work, home, past (lessons learned) and future.
  • I was transfixed on every snippet of wisdom and story that Neal shared. I did not miss a word and wished that the seminar was longer.
  • If I would have been exposed to this seminar earlier in my career—and had the foresight and maturity to have taken it to heart—I would be further along in my career. I believe that everyone needs this booster shot every few years.

See for the date and location when the next Life Balance Seminar will be offered to the public.

Will I likely agree with the views expressed in the book?

You will not always agree with the contributors’ points of view. In fact, many of the contributors had opposing views in some areas. But by listening to and considering what they have to say can help you examine your own philosophies and beliefs. The result can be you becoming more conscious in who you choose to be, how you choose to think and the actions that you choose to take to have a more successful and satisfying life. There are some topics, such as spirituality and family/parental, that you may find to be especially personal for you. Other than to encourage you to maturely question your thoughts and actions as well as those thoughts and actions of people around you, it is not my intent to sway the reader in any particular direction.

Will I read philosophies, thoughts and advice that will be new to me or will it mostly be what I already know?

Without knowing your life experiences and the lessons that you have learned from them, I cannot know the value that you can gain from the philosophies, thoughts and advice offered in this book. There are hundreds of snippets and many of them may be new to young people. However, people with more years often need reminding or reinforcement of what they once knew—particularly if they never heeded the advice the first time it was encountered. Moreover, we all face new obstacles from time to time and the book can offer support in those times of need as well.

Life Balance Seminar

The Life Balance Seminar is described on this web site by selecting Seminar in the top menu. To date, I have conducted over a dozen of these 4-hour seminars and have several booked as I write this. In all cases, many attendees approach me afterward and tell me that they needed to hear some of these life lessons at this point in their lives… regardless of their age or life experience. Whether the topic was about improving their effectiveness at work, relationships, managing finances, pursuing a dream or losing a loved one, there are always nuggets of wisdom that can help a person live a more happy, prosperous and successful life. The seminar has already given inspiration to hundreds of participants. The seminar is based on the book, The Gift of Wisdom: Lessons for a Lifetime.

Lessons for Children

A personal story: When my book, The Gift of Wisdom: Lessons for a Lifetime, became available, I sent a copy to one of my doctors. A few months later, I find myself in his office for a scheduled appointment. When he enters the room, the first thing out of his mouth is, “My wife and I love your new book. We spend two nights a week reading passages and discussing them with our sons (ages 7 and 11).” I have since heard from dozens of parents who have said they are discussing the wisdom in the book with their children. When I wrote the book, I had not considered its treasures being shared in this way. This has been a warm and welcomed bonus to me.

Award-Winning Book

I am excited to share that my latest book, The Gift of Wisdom: Lessons for a Lifetime, has won a Living Now book award. For those who may not know what the award represents, Living Now book awards recognize books that help readers help themselves, pursue their dreams and to find balance in their lives. The book, my seventh, is a departure from my usual leadership- and project-management-related books. I have to say that my wife, Barbara, deserves a lot of the credit… she entered the book for the award. Thanks, Honey!

About the topics that the base questions addressed in The Gift of Wisdom?

The topics came from a broad range of life including areas related to philosophies that drive you, relationships, family/parental, spiritual, finances, health, education, workplace, stress, pursuing your dreams, losing a loved one, retirement, goals going forward, doing it all over again and so much more. See the book’s contents for a high-level list of topics covered.

How I chose the people who contributed to The Gift of Wisdom

I interviewed 25 people from across the United States who were willing to share their thoughts and experiences in a book so that others might benefit from their life’s adventures up to this moment. Most of these people I did not know beforehand. All the people are from within three degrees of separation from me who met certain criteria such as being at least 65 years of age, American citizen (but did not have to be born in the United States) and from a certain demography. The contributors are both males and females from a cross section of America—folks that roughly represent the ethnic, race and religious cross section of America from a wide range of vocations, educational backgrounds and life experiences. I want the book to be a reasonable representation of the melting pot of America—as much as 25 people can do so. I was not interested so much in what these people did for a living but what they learned from their life experiences.

What was the purpose for writing The Gift of Wisdom?

It is four-fold.

  1. In America, it is my view that we typically do not recognize, respect, honor or draw upon the tremendous wealth of wisdom that resides in our elders. I want to contribute to turning this thinking around by capturing that wisdom, albeit only a slither, and making it available to the populace—no matter the age.
  2. I want to provide a source of inspiration and help to all peoples so that they may have access to the experience and wisdom of their elders so their lives may benefit in some positive way.
  3. I want to offer a forum to encourage people to think for themselves. There is too little of this in our world. Too many people blindly follow others and/or act irrationally without questioning their own actions and the consequences of those actions on themselves and on others.
  4. The contributors to this book often had differing views and, arguably, none were incorrect. I want to show the diversity of a cross-section of America and, although we may have our differences, we have far more in common. America’s diversity makes us stronger as long as we demonstrate tolerance and seek to understand one another.

What is the The Gift of Wisdom about?

Most people are constantly in search of the proverbial “silver bullet”—that something spoken or written that can give them comfort, maybe even confidence, as they live their lives each day. They are looking for advice from someone who has been there and persevered, someone who has the scars but also can share the encouragement and wisdom of their journey. We have all been inspired, touched or consoled by a quote or story that came our way at just the right moment when we most needed to hear it. Those words lifted us or comforted us or caused us to reflect on our present journey.

This book is intended to do just that plus more—to help you live a more successful and satisfying life by offering the gift of wisdom from people who have, by most measures, lived a long life and have accumulated a treasure of experiences and lessons. These are people who have experienced many special friendships and losses, victories and defeats, setbacks and challenges and opportunities, and acquired a plethora of moments and memories that have left them with an invaluable wisdom that cannot otherwise be possible. These people represent treasured resources from whom we all can benefit.