Accepting diminishing capacity with power and grace.

I love my work at Happy Living!

For the last fifteen months, I have been preparing an agenda and leading thought-provoking discussions with Privately Inspired People twice a month. This invitation-only group provides an environment full of ideas, encouragement, and support to help one another take inspired action to live our one wild and precious life to its fullest, because…

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. 

Proverbs 27:17

Growing Old With Power and Grace

Our meeting on Thursday, Mar 21, 2024, focuses on accepting diminished capacity.

In the summer of 2023, I was invited to give a motivational talk to the residents of the Brookridge Retirement Community. It’s the wonderful assisted-living community where my 86 and 87-year-old parents live. I love giving motivational speeches and I especially love inspiring others to dream big. My work is to help people believe they can make a plan and generate all the power they need to create the unique and distinctive life of their dreams. So, this was a challenge for me. What could I say to motivate elderly people in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90s+plus? How could I inspire them to believe, as I do (in my 60’s), that there’s always something they can do better tomorrow than today? What could I say to create an optimistic, gentle but powerful, and continuous uplifting of their life, day after day, until their very last day?

Our group will discuss these four aspects of accepting diminishing capacity with power and grace.

  1. Daily Gratitude
  2. Continuous Improvement
  3. Complete Acceptance
  4. The Power Of Spirit

ONE | Daily Gratitude. During the summer of 1984, as I was training for the Los Angeles Raiders, I received some advice that transformed my life. I’d just been cut from the Saskatchewan Roughriders and desperately wanted to play professional football. I was seeking advice, looking for magic. A friend introduced me to Randy McClure, a former professional player for the Houston Oilers. When we met, I asked him about his career, and how he made the leap from college to the pros. I asked him what advice he could share that could make a difference for me. Of course, he had no magic to offer. He told me to keep doing what I was doing. He reminded me that at each step of the game, through four years of high school and 4 years of college, I had done what was needed to succeed. He told me to keep working hard, trust my abilities, and just be myself. As we parted, he shared a quote that has profoundly impacted my life. It read “Your day belongs to another’s dream.” Coach McClure was trying to shift my perspective — from chasing more and wanting life to be different, to being grateful and accepting my life as it was. The quote influenced me in ways that went far beyond football. It has been my reminder ever since that there are people in this world who can only dream of my daily experience as an American man, living in a country with the freedom to create the life I desire, and the opportunity to pursue my dreams. It’s a constant reminder to be grateful for whatever I have, in the moment. It helps me maintain perspective about the highs and the lows of life with humility. Here’s good news about living with gratitude; the decision is all yours. You don’t need permission, money, skill, or experience. It comes from inside you. And you can decide right now! #DailyGratitude #GratitudeMindset #PerspectiveShift #LifeTransformation

TWO | Continuous Improvement. I love the beautiful Japanese concept called Kaizen; small incremental improvements add up over time to yield BIG results. More importantly, I love the power it brings to my life. Kaizen is the idea that there is always something that you can do better tomorrow than you did today. A practice dedicated to continuous improvement increases your commitment to a lifetime of learning and trying new things. What you decide to improve upon at any given time can vary widely – it may be a craft, an art, a physical skill, or a spiritual practice. It could be expanding your capacity for kindness, becoming a better listener, or accepting others more graciously. It might be trying to sleep, exercise, or eat, better. It can be big or small. It can be anything that you want to do better. Again, the decision to begin a practice of Kaizening your life is completely yours to make, at any time and any age, because it also comes from inside you. #ContinuousImprovement #Kaizen #PersonalGrowth #SelfDevelopment

THREE | Complete Acceptance. While working on my book, Turning Inspiration Into Action, my oldest daughter told me, “It felt like you were pushing us to be the best, the toughest, to work the hardest, even more than the other kids, or what our coaches asked of us. And if our effort faltered, or if we didn’t believe in ourselves, that was “unacceptable!” — a word that even as an adult, I only hear in my mind from your voice!!!” Yikes. That was tough to hear, and it made me wonder: why don’t we totally accept others? A few years later, while researching for a 2018 New Year’s post, I found this powerful quote by Adyashanti, he said, “A total acceptance of yourself brings about a total transcendence of yourself.” And I wondered…why don’t we totally accept ourselves, either? Seriously, why does it have to be so hard? Recently, I’ve been working hard on totally accepting the people in my life, starting with the ones I love the most. And the good news? They didn’t have to do anything because the decision to begin a practice of total acceptance is completely our own to make, any time, and with anyone we choose because it also comes within. #CompleteAcceptance #SelfAcceptance #InnerPeace #PersonalGrowth

FOUR | The Power Of Spirit. Years ago, I read Half Time, a wonderful book written by Bob Buford. A story in the book tells about a group of Americans going on a pilgrimage to India to meet with the spiritual master, Sai Baba. When they arrived, they learned that the guru had just suffered a broken hip and was in the hospital recovering. The doctor told the visitors that Sai Baba would see them but not to expect much because he was in extreme pain. When he was rolled out in his wheelchair, the Americans saw a peaceful spirit beaming with love and joy. One of the group asked, “Sai Baba, how can you sit there seeming so peaceful and happy when the doctor says you are in extreme pain?” Sai Baba replied, “I am not my body. My Life is My Message.” When I first read this, I glommed on to the second part, “My life is my message.” It encapsulated my belief that my actions and choices can have a profound impact on others and the world. It was my way of hoping to lead others with my actions, not my words. But now, ten years later, I realize the powerful impact the first part, “I am not my body,” can have on accepting diminishing capacity with power and grace. The Indian guru was teaching his students that our bodies are finite and will eventually diminish from full power and life to no power and death. A fact that can not be escaped. However, the spirit is infinite. It can grow stronger and stronger day by day, from the beginning to the end. A person can be at their spiritual peak on the final day of life. So, there he was. His body was racked with age and broken into pieces, yet he was a spiritual powerhouse showing his students that the power of their spirit is boundless. And yes, the decision to begin a practice of living from the spirit is completely our own to make, at any time and any age, because it, too, comes from within each of us. It doesn’t require permission, money, skill, or experience. And you can decide right now! #PowerOfSpirit #SpiritualGrowth #InnerStrength #LifeIsMyMessage

The choice is yours to make, and once you’re ready to begin, say it out loud as a promise to yourself, “I’ve decided to begin my lifelong practice of accepting diminishing capacity with power and grace.”

In preparation for our meetings, I generally recommend that each member ponders over a quote or a few and does a little bit of light homework (reading a blog post or two and sometimes viewing a video, too). This is the prep work for our March 21, 2024 meeting.


“Your day belongs to another’s dream.”

Randy McClure

“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.”

Max DePree

“A total acceptance of yourself brings about a total transcendence of yourself.”


“I am not my body. My Life is My Message.”

Sai Baba

“If you’re lucky enough to get old, I think you should celebrate it.”

Iris Apfel



What I Have Learned… So Far – Gratitude

Economies of Scaling a Kaizened Life

The Total Acceptance of My Self


If you want support from a group of Privately Inspired People that you can count on to encourage you and help you along this journey to your best life, please email me directly at [email protected] or write to me in the comment section below.

With love,