How to Become a Hero c.j. hayden
   How to Become a Hero
   You Are the Champion the World Is Waiting For

   C.J. Hayden, MCC

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Laura Whitworth, we'll miss you 

Many of you who read this blog have known and loved Laura Whitworth, co-founder of The Coaches Training Institute, Co-Active Leadership, and The Bigger Game. Laura passed away this afternoon after a long battle with lung cancer, at the age of 59.

Laura was my first coaching mentor and made many contributions to my life, to the lives of thousands of other coaches (and their clients), and to the development of the coaching profession. Among a host of other gifts from Laura that I could name, it was she who gave me the original idea that led to the creation of Get Clients Now! in 1995.

Below are some additional details about Laura's passing. The best places to find out about her memorial service and how to send condolences or share memories are Laura's blog and the Co-Active Network discussion list.

From CTI co-founder Karen Kimsey-House:
Dear Fellow Coaches:

I write this email with a heart that is both heavy and full. As most of you know, our beloved co-founder Laura Whitworth has been battling advanced lung cancer. With astonishing courage and commitment, she has fought a good fight, calling us all forth to Fight for Life and to Live Strong.

Over the past few days, Laura's condition has worsened and the doctors have said that she is in liver failure will be passing over in a matter of days.

Currently, Laura is in Mexico with her life partner Judy. They are working to get Laura transported via helicopter to San Diego and then on home to her Meadow House in Sebastopol.

Please join me in holding an intention of peace and ease for both Laura and Judy.

The family has requested that they not be contacted directly by phone or email at this time. Instead, I would invite you to visit Laura's Blog for the latest information or to post messages of love and support.

With deep sadness and awe at the Great Hoop of Life,
Feb 28, 2007 10:35am

And from Karen Kimsey-House later today:
Hello everyone:

After a long and arduous battle with lung cancer, our beloved Laura left this life today on the airplane ride towards home. Her dear partner Judy was by her side.

In true Laura fashion, once she got clear about the direction that she was traveling, she didn't waste any time. I like to think that she just got high up in the air and decided to keep going.

There will much to grieve, celebrate and honor in the days and weeks to come. I'll continue to keep you posted as things unfold.

All my love,
Feb 28, 2007 3:47 pm

Laura, the world will miss you. You still had so much more to contribute to us, and we mourn your leaving us so soon.

I would tell you to rest in peace, but the word "rest" was never in your vocabulary. I can see you now, gathering the angels in a circle and asking them what their bigger game is.

I'll be watching for a bolt of lightning from an unexpected quarter very soon, letting us know that although you are done with moving earth, you are now moving heaven.


A poverty of ambition 

Listening to Barack Obama's podcast recently, I heard a talk and Q and A session he gave for Partnership for Public Service interns last July, where he referred to a "poverty of ambition."

It's not the first time Obama has used this compelling phrase. Here's a quote from his commencement address to Knox College in 2005: "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. You need to take up the challenges that we face as a nation and make them your own. Not because you have a debt to those who helped you get here, although you do have that debt. Not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate than you, although I do think you do have that obligation. It's primarily because you have an obligation to yourself. Because individual salvation has always depended on collective salvation. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential."

It seems to me that a poverty of ambition in our modern world afflicts much more than young people making career decisions. We each must choose -- not just once, but many times throughout our lives -- whether to act purely on our own behalf, or to raise our ambition to something higher than our immediate wants and needs. Too often, we choose simply what serves us in the moment. I'm not talking about just you and me making decisions that affect our own lives and those of our families. Our political leaders, business leaders, and community leaders, more often than not, are limiting their ambition to choices that are poor in every sense of the word. And we're letting them get away with it.

When we raise our ambition to seek out solutions that benefit everyone instead of settling for those that help only a few, we call forth the amazing richness of our human potential. By expecting more -- of ourselves, our leaders, and our communities -- we raise the bar for what is acceptable. A raised bar causes us to stretch our capacity, to explore new ways of doing things, to sometimes simply leap, and by leaping, set a new record for what is possible. In this rich territory of stretching and exploring and leaping, we not only discover what we were already capable of, we make ourselves more capable than we ever could have been without the challenge.

Realizing our true potential as people, as leaders, as a nation, and as a global community requires a higher ambition. It is by growing ourselves that we can truly grow rich.

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Five reasons why to stop global warming 

Amy Wilson is a woman on a mission. In the spring of 2006, she sold most of her possessions, cashed in her retirement savings, and set out on a quest to do something about global warming. Amy's project is called Five Reasons Why, a documentary film about how global warming is affecting people's daily lives, and what they are doing to stop it.

In Alaska, Amy interviewed indigenous people who told her that their traditional way of life is ending. "The fish are no longer good to eat," a village elder said. "The warmer water rots their flesh." Warmer temperatures are melting the ice and bringing more powerful storms to the coastline, causing people's homes to fall into the sea. Because of the warmer winters, spruce bark beetles are surviving year round, and killing trees by the thousands.

But the children of Alaska aren't waiting for adults to do something about it. "This is the biggest issue our generation faces," a young man in Anchorage told Amy. They have formed the organization "Alaska Youth for Environmental Action" and collected signatures from over 5,000 young people concerned about the future of their state. The kids raised money to fly to Washington and speak with legislators directly, and even purchased carbon credits to offset the environmental impact of their flight.

You can see a trailer for Five Reasons Why on Amy's site and learn about her plans to interview community members in four other states of the U.S. about what global warming is doing to them and how they plan to fight it. What Amy needs to finish her film is, of course, money. In addition to asking for individual donations, she is currently looking for people willing to host house parties and invite their friends to contribute.

"America is in denial about our warming planet," Amy warns. If nothing is done, "the consequences of America's inaction will be experienced by the entire world." Amy's heroic mission is to give a voice to those who are passionately engaged in taking action about global warming, and wake people up to the truth.

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