If This Is a Secret Why Am I Telling It?: Thirty-One Secrets to Living Life with Passion and Purpose

If This Is a Secret Why Am I Telling It?: Thirty-One Secrets to Living Life with Passion and Purpose

by Russell L Drake


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Its not always easy to make the best choices, to live values that reflect your lifestyle, to manage time, to balance life, and to speak without fear. In If this is a Secret, Why am I Telling It?, author Russell L. Drake explores the activities and actions that color and shape our lives.

Employing a humorous and common sense approach to life, Drake offers a fast-paced narrative that touches on facets important to living a life filled with passion and purpose. If this is a Secret, Why am I Telling It? provides thirty-one suggestions, tips, and ideas which include:

Learning to love yourself
Investing in your future
Developing values to live by
Navigating through failure
Going after lifes successes by setting goals
Inspiring others
Expanding your memory

With the use of personal examples and stories, Drake covers a variety of topicsfrom values to networking to professionalism and friendshipthat become the building blocks for achieving amazing results in life. If this is a Secret, Why am I Telling It? shows how our ability to help others and ourselves grows exponentially when we embrace each day with passion and purpose.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426919381
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Publication date: 11/13/2009
Pages: 174
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

Russell L. Drake received a B.A. from Case Western Reserve University and an M.P.A. from Kentucky State University. His previous books include A Walk in the Park and The Sounds of Truth. He is an engaging speaker and Toastmasters International member. Drake lives in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. Visit him online at www.russelldrake.com.

Read an Excerpt

If This Is A Secret Why Am I Telling It?

Thirty One Secrets to Living Life with Passion and Purpose
By Russell L Drake

Trafford Publishing

Copyright © 2009 Russell L Drake
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4269-1938-1

Chapter One

Love Who You Are

Love yourself. You are unique. You are one of a kind. Your life is fullest when you are able to help others. Here's the catch. You need to love yourself to effectively help others.

A mother fox had a large litter during the winter. Every day she would venture into the woods to find food. Day by day she fed her litter but neglected herself. Undernourished the mother fox died leaving the litter unprepared to fend for themselves. They perished too.

The mother fox hunted for her litter and did so unselfishly. She did not however take care of herself and sacrificed the survival of her litter.

Flight attendants instruct parents to put their oxygen mask on first when it drops and then assist their child. Why? To be sure the parent will be able to assist their child. If the parent blacks out who helps the child?

Are you starting to get my drift? Loving who you are is like the foundation of a house. In order to build a sturdy house you must have a solid foundation.

Believe in yourself. You must be confident in who you are and how you act. Believe that you are a person capable of receiving and giving love.

We get in our own way. We listen toothers rather than believe in our selves. There are people who are uneasy with the idea of loving who you are. They characterize this approach as selfish. Selfish is being concerned chiefly or only with oneself, without regard for the well being of others. You are not selfish when you love who you are because you have a higher purpose that includes others.

Trust your instincts. Sometimes you just know. You may not be able to explain it. You have this deep feeling within yourself. Go with it. If you were given information from someone you love and trust what would you do? Chances are you would accept the information and act on it accordingly. Why not do the same thing with your self? Trust your instincts.

Make time for yourself. I know what you are saying? Here he goes again. Me. Me. Me. Yes, you are correct but this is about recharging and refreshing you.

My laptop has a rechargeable battery. It will give me good service for a limited time. However, after a certain period, I will get a warning to plug in the charger or else I could lose all my work. Did I just compare you to a laptop? Yes I did. You have to recharge and refresh in order to do what you need to do. For you that may mean a good night's rest, reading a book or any number of activities that help you recoup your strength.

"Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matthew 22:36-39)

So in order to love your neighbor you must love yourself. Your own love is the foundation that supports your love for your family and others. Love who you are.

Chapter Two

Invest in Your future

Investments come in many forms. You should invest in education, your financial health and your community.

Invest in education as a life long endeavor. Education transforms us. In early America, slaves were forbidden to learn how to read or write. Why? Knowledge fed dissatisfaction and spawned unrest against the unjust system that held them.

Education can change ones circumstances no matter who you are. The desire to learn will help you become whatever you want to be.

Our state educational systems are set up so we can get a free public education. Anyone can get an education if they want one.

Traditional schools are not the only way to learn. There are fashion design schools, technical schools, vocational schools, church schools, charter schools, and apprenticeship programs. Current technology has developed many on-line opportunities as well. No one has to take the same path to learning.

We learn from daily activities. Children learn respect for others in the way they interact with their playmates. We all learn how to get along with others by participating in clubs, churches, and social organizations.

How many times have you said, "I didn't know that?" and are truly amazed at what you just learned? That joy is yours for all of your life.

Epictetus the Greek philosopher, whose philosophy of Stoicism emphasized freedom, morality, and humanity said, "Only the educated are free."

The educated are free to make choices that affect their daily lives.

The one constant in education is reading. Read everything you can to expand your horizons. I read that if you read a book a month on any one subject for three years you would become a world expert. I do not know if that is true but think of the possibilities! Reading transports you to faraway places - running of the bulls at Spain's annual festival of San Fermin in Pamplona (Navarre, Spain), sailing the seas with Captain Ahab, and exploring the Amazon jungle or the secrets of the Nile. Discover the world through newspapers, magazines, periodicals and books - fiction and nonfiction and on-line. Reading introduces and familiarizes you with issues that affect you and your future.

David Cox said. "If you can read and don't, you are illiterate by choice."

Next, secure your financial health. Sound financial decisions play a huge role in how you invest in your future. We live in a credit/consumer driven society that shouts - BUY NOW PAY LATER!! Growing up my grandmother used to tell us to save for what we wanted because it did not make sense paying any "carrying charges". That was good advice that unfortunately I ignored. I was caught in that buy now cycle for years. I faithfully paid my creditors on time with minimal payments and was happy that I had "good credit". I finally saw the light and eliminated my consumer debt. Get out of debt!!

Another crucial element in securing your financial health is to save a portion of your paycheck. Pay yourself each month just like paying a bill. It does not matter in the beginning how much. Just start the habit of saving. What a great investment in your future. There are many reputable institutions that can help you invest you savings. I will leave that discussion to them.

Finally, invest in your community. This idea supports your connection with society at-large. The Bible says, "... we reap what we sow". Invest in your community is a philosophy that creates a cycle that refreshes and sustains the community. When the community prospers so do the constituents. And you as a constituent will also reap the benefits.

John Donne wrote "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main ..."

You should develop your talent and determine how to use it to help others. Give freely of your time and knowledge and the community that you are helping will become better and you will become better. You can look in your own past and see people that have invested their time in you. Remember the teachers, clergy and relatives that have helped you to learn and improve. The same responsibility is passed on to you.

Volunteering is a way to help others and learn more about you. My daughter, Cescili, as a freshman in high school volunteered at the local hospital to be a Candy Striper. Her volunteer experience expanded her interest in medicine and she pursued a medical career. She is now a doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her volunteering was an activity that helped her nurture her interests and what an investment in her future!!

Time spent in education, financial health and community service will secure a handsome return your future.

Chapter Three

Values to Live By

Values mean different things to different people. Everyone has their own idea of what values mean. The definition may depend on if you are talking about family values, American values, personal values or "old time values". Heads start nodding in a knowing fashion when values are mentioned.

Allen Cox said, "Values are guiding devices to enhance our ability to achieve our purpose."

How would you answer the following questions in determining what you value?

What personal convictions do I have?

What rules guide my life?

What shapes my life?

What is significant in my life?

What do I represent?

What do I need to fulfill my passion and purpose?

Your values must reflect what you believe. You cannot be passionate and purposeful if you believe one thing and do another. Stick to your values no matter the resistance.

There are two types of values: Values we live by and values we aspire to. They are differentiated by our personal behavior. If I profess that I value a healthy lifestyle while exercising and eating nutritious meals then I am living that healthy lifestyle value. However, if I am sedentary and eat junk foods then the healthy personal lifestyle value is one that I aspire to.

Honesty and truth are values that my Mother taught me at a young age. Of course, she did not call them values. She called them "doing what was right". I was a good student and enjoyed going to school. I recall an afternoon in fifth grade taking a history test and for some reason could not figure out the answers. Unconsciously, I turned my head and looked at the test of the student to my left. When I realized what I had done, I looked up at the teacher but she had not seen me. I felt guilty. I felt so guilty that I stopped taking the test and turned it in. I told the teacher that I had cheated. I went back to my desk and put my head down. In a movie of the week I might have gotten a second chance for being honest. In real life I failed the history test but, I passed my Mother's test - "doing what's right". I made sure I was better prepared for history thereafter.

The following exercise has a list of possible values. The list on the next two pages is designed to help you identify your values and determine your highest priority values. This list is not comprehensive so feel free to add your own.

Step one - Choose twenty values.

Step two - Next choose your top ten values.

Step three - Choose your top five.

Step four - Rank the top five.

You will have your top five priority values.

Achievement Knowledge Advancement Leadership Affection Loyalty Belief System Love Challenging problems Money Character Meaningful work Creativity Originality Competition Organization Commitment Patience Citizenship Passion Discipline Peace Discovery Prestige Education Persistence Empathy Personal strength Environmental awareness Pleasure Entertainment Personal development Fame Power Financial Security Playing Sports Friendship Role Model Family Safety Honesty Showing expertise Helping others Spirituality Inspiring others Stability Respect Simplicity Integrity Tolerance Independence Truth Inner harmony Wisdom Introspection Working alone Justice Working with others

The last step is to determine what type of values you have prioritized. Do you live these values or do you aspire to these values? If you live them, that is great. If you aspire to them you now have a guide.

Chapter Four

Imagination is Creation

Imagination may be described in two ways: a space not limited by our sense or reason that we can unquestioningly embrace or a capacity for ground-breaking thinking and creative expression.

Children make-believe all the time and imagine all kinds of possibilities. We should reach back to that time of endless possibilities and grab the wishes we passionately longed for and make them happen in our lives. The fun part of imagination is that there are no rules but the ones you create. If you can imagine a green sky with blue trees and red grass, then so be it.

"I paint things as I think them, not as I see them" Pablo Picasso

I don't remember ever having an imaginary friend like a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit, in the movie classic "Harvey" starring Jimmy Stewart, but I had an active imagination. My father was in the Air force and at one time did in flight refueling. I imagined what it would be like to be in the air doing his job. Or what it was like to fly the airplane itself. My mother, when I was in elementary school, subscribed to a monthly National Geographic program that sent slides for a manual viewfinder. Every month my sister and I were transported to far away places like Egypt, London, China or Africa. I learned a lot and imagined what adventures I would have in these exotic locales. Later, when I fell in love with comic books, I became Superman or Mr. Fantastic or Daredevil and yes I dreamed I could fly.

"Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence." Norman Podhoretz

Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio believed in human powered flight - they imagined a man could fly. On Dec. 17, 1903, with Orville at the controls, the Flyer, a flying machine of spruce, ash and muslin, lifted off from Kitty Hawk and flew 120 ft. The seed of that dream has grown into air travel today that more than likely is beyond the Wright brothers' wildest dreams.

"The man who has no imagination has no wings". Muhammad Ali

Can you imagine a box outside of a bank that will give you money? In 1939, Luther George Simjian started patenting an earlier and not-so-successful version of an ATM machine called Bankmatic. Don Wetzel, however was the inventor of the modern automated teller machines. Can you imagine what it would be like today without the convenience of an ATM?

We are all blessed with a spark of creation. We have the ability to imagine our future, create outcomes that we want and imagine some more!!

"Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surplus, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed." Joseph Addeson

Try this exercise: Imagine something that you passionately desire. Examine that outcome using all your senses.

How do you describe it?

What sensation do you get when you touch it?

How does it sound?

How does it smell or taste?

Is it clear in you mind?

Do you still want it?

If so, then go for it!!

You can use this exercise or make up one on your own. Remember, imagination knows no boundaries.

Chapter Five

Navigate through failure

Failure is good. There are four elements that will help you understand how to navigate through failure.

1.) You have taken a risk or attempted a task

2.) You know that approach does not work

3.) You gain a different perspective

4.) You have the opportunity to start again

The first element - You have taken a risk or attempted a task means you are active. You knew what you wanted and attempted to get it. Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States of America, in his Citizenship in a Republic speech at the Sorbonne, Paris characterizes this best when he told his audience:

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who, at worst, if he fails at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

The second element - You know that approach does not work. In the words of Bill Murray in the movie Stripes - "That's a fact Jack." Thomas Alva Edison was asked how it felt to have failed 10,000 times before inventing an electric lamp. Edison corrected the inquiry by saying he had not failed 10,000 times but he had found 10,000 ways not to invent the electric lamp.

"It is on our failures that we base a new and different and better success." Havelock Ellis

The third element - You gain a different perspective. Failure is in the eye of the beholder. My son, RT, played cornerback on his Pee Wee football team. One Saturday morning he was playing a team that ran the power sweep like the Old Cleveland Browns when Jim Brown was a star in the AFL. Sweep after sweep the team would come around the corner and RT would get wiped out. RT and his teammates were only able to stop the sweep a few times. I was standing on the sidelines trying to figure out how to console him for his failure to contain or slow down the power sweep. The game mercifully ended and I waited for RT to come off the field. I prepared a little pep talk about trying his best and better luck next time. When he got to me I asked him about the other team's power sweep and what did he think? He looked at me and said, "I know why they were running the sweeps all day." I was curious and asked him to explain. He said, "They ran the sweep because they were afraid to pass against me." Wow what we learn out of the mouths of babes. I learned a lesson that day.


Excerpted from If This Is A Secret Why Am I Telling It? by Russell L Drake Copyright © 2009 by Russell L Drake. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Love Who You Are....................1
Chapter 2 Invest in Your Future....................3
Chapter 3 Values to Live By....................7
Chapter 4 Imagination is Creation....................11
Chapter 5 Navigate through failure....................15
Chapter 6 Goals - GOing After Life's Success....................19
Chapter 7 Listen....................23
Chapter 8 Inspire Others....................27
Chapter 9 Friendships can last a lifetime....................31
Chapter 10 Examine Leadership Principles....................35
Chapter 11 Wise choices....................41
Chapter 12 It is about You....................47
Chapter 13 Time is on Your Side....................53
Chapter 14 Health-Love it or Lose it....................59
Chapter 15 Pursuing performance that Pays....................65
Chapter 16 Assess Your Assets....................69
Chapter 17 Study the Areldee Window....................75
Chapter 18 Self Affirmations....................79
Chapter 19 Isolate 15 minutes a day....................83
Chapter 20 Overcoming Obstacles....................87
Chapter 21 Networking....................91
Chapter 22 Avoid Attitude Misunderstandings....................95
Chapter 23 Negotiate Your Outcomes....................99
Chapter 24 Deconstructing the Twelve Inch Rule....................103
Chapter 25 Professionalism and You....................109
Chapter 26 Unleash the Power of Your Name....................113
Chapter 27 Relationship Building....................117
Chapter 28 Put it in Writing....................121
Chapter 29 OldSchool....................125
Chapter 30 Speak without Fear....................133
Chapter 31 Expand your Memory....................137

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