Tag Archives: Inspirational

Character: The Ultimate Success Factor

Character: The Ultimate Success Factor

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Character: The Ultimate Success Factor demonstrates how character, expressed through perspective, action, and resilience, determines success. Based on the personal, corporate and military experiences of Dr. J. Phillip (“Jack”) London, a successful defense industry executive, as well as many other real-life examples, the book presents the time-tested lessons behind character-driven success.

The book insightfully explains that while a variety of factors form our abilities and influence the events in our lives, character is the key to long-term success. Character is a unique set of moral and ethical qualities that define what you believe in, what you stand for, and what you expect of yourself and others. London asserts that how you act on these qualities – your statement of character – will determine how far you will go; if you succeed or fail. Success is also uniquely defined as acting with honesty and integrity, performing to the best of your ability, and appreciating the people who helped you achieve your goals. Enduring success is never gained by unethical or unlawful means, for dubious purposes, or at great moral cost.

The development of character-driven success is unveiled in 17 lessons grouped into five progressive sections. Based on the architectural wedge-shaped piece at the summit of an arch that holds the other pieces in place, the first section is titled Keystone: Character.  Expressions of character, from personal behavior to the role and influence of others’, form perspectives about success. The second section called Blueprint: Vision, adds the next step of deciding what you want to achieve. While taking the strategic steps of setting out the big picture, character is also developed by using judgment, dealing with change and the unexpected, and identifying unique opportunities to be distinctive. Structure: Action, the third section, focuses on the frequent challenges in achieving goals, such as struggles with taking the first steps, decisiveness, self-expression, and taking the lead. The value of our efforts is examined in the fourth section called Appraise: Resolve. Every so often we need, or are forced, to stop and assess things. Sometimes, it’s assessing a risk. Other times, it’s assessing whether to go any further. The final section, Build: Momentum, discusses the most important lesson; that we are building ourselves and our future, because we are all a work in progress.  This is success in its most genuine and most realistic form.

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Let There Be Light | Creating A Life Worth Living

Let There Be Light | Creating A Life Worth Living

Available Now as paperbackhardback and ebook.

Order at Barnes & Noble

From the author, Dr. Demetrius S. Carolina

There are two important points to make about human beings:

  1. We all have an expiration date. No one knows how long they have on this Earth. What we do with the time we do have is what matters.
  2. There is a difference between existing and living.

 A couple of critical things to give some thought to. Wouldn’t you agree?

 Think, also, about this.

 Who, ultimately, is responsible for your life?

 You—of course!

 And “You” are the biggest commitment you’ll ever make in life.

For the rest of your life to “work well”… and for you to be able to help others… you have to focus on yourself first. But, in order to do that, we all need help and guidance along the way.

And that is the purpose of this book… to offer practical guidance on how to get from where you are to where you want to be in your spiritual life—and we all know that what is in our heads and hearts can be manifested in the real world.

What you will take away from this book is how the things you control are the key in creating a life worth living and having a relationship with yourself and others that is fulfilling and sustainable… one that can last… forever.

I have served others as a counselor, pastor, teacher, leader and friend for many years. In that time I have seen good people, who were well intentioned, go through life—just getting by—existing rather than truly living it to the fullest. There are many reasons for this situation; the most prominent being that human beings are creatures of habit. We are most comfortable with what we are most familiar.

Left on our own, it’s often very hard to make changes to improve our lot in life. In fact, for many it’s hard to even pinpoint what’s really wrong without some sort of outside stimulus—some prod—that goads us to evaluate or assess ourselves. And while everybody is responsible for their own lives; it certainly helps to have something or someone that becomes a catalyst to break through your life routine and be the “kick in the pants” needed to take action.

Life is short and too often many have a voice inside that says, “I wish I had…,” or “If I only…,” or worse it’s whispering to you, “You’re just not good enough… not smart enough….” The voice in and of itself is not a terrible thing. I believe all humans have heard it inside their head at some point. The tragedy is when that voice becomes a constant—never ending—drumbeat in your head that becomes a question you can’t answer or a statement that you can’t refute. It becomes something you believe about yourself that is only true if you let it become true.

I just shared with you something that is worth an incalculable amount of money if you take it to heart. Things, bad and good, become true only if you let them or make them come true.

In this book we’ll talk about letting light come into your life and creating a life worth living.

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In Development | Remember Me in Blue

From Dennis Lowery |

A story of how a death led to saving a life.

One of my personal projects in development–planned for publication in 2013.

Remember Me in Blue by Dennis LoweryExcerpt from the development draft:

She fought the mortal coldness of a soul without hope; it lapped around her, rising higher. “What to do… what to do!” she screamed inside her head. It hadn’t even been a matter of love, at least for him. The shock that came with realizing she was on her own in this numbed her even more than the cold wind flailing the station platform.

She glanced around… so many people that seemed to have no place or purpose; they drooped and shuffled as if the gusts shoved them from here to there. Others moving with clear direction—clearly they had jobs to go to or the prospect of one that made them move so steadily or stand so firm with shoulders squared and head up. There were children, too, many homeless and abandoned by their parents—left to shift for themselves. She noticed one bright-haired girl, coatless in a once-bright blue dress as she shivered from person to person, a trembling tray of apples to offer them, “Apple, Sir?… Apple, Ma’am?” No takers, though and she watched her smile dip and then struggle to rise as the girl bravely approached the man next to her. “Trains coming,” she thought, glancing down the track, as the sound grew and people started to press together ready to board and escape the bitter wind. As if giving it one last try; the little girl lifted her tray to the man who not deigning to see her brusquely pushed by causing her to stumble and fall from the platform. The train’s screech covered her scream and that of the little girl as the engine’s steel wheels swallowed the girl spitting shreds of red-dampened blue fabric to the side of the rails. In the cold silence looking away from the girl’s body she saw an apple at her feet. Stooping she picked it up gently, as if cradling the girl to ease her pain, and as she stood, though not clearly formed, the seed was planted for what she must do for the life she carried within.

Story Premise:

An unwedded young woman who finds herself pregnant in a time when society would condemn and ostracize her witnesses a tragic event that changes the course of her life and that of the child she carries. Instead of secretly having an abortion she decides to have the child and to raise it no matter the repercussions.

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In Development | The Heart in the Box

From Dennis Lowery |

One of my personal projects in development–planned for publication in 2013. A story of life, love, loss and learning.

Excerpt:

The letters were sharply creased from years in their envelopes stacked tightly in the small box barely large enough to hold them. Thirty of them, about ten pages apiece, each dated the same month and date a year apart. The one on top dated the day the man was found dead and hand written on the nursing home’s stationery.

Brittle in her hands, easy to tear, as she read them what unfolded was a realization life was as delicate as the paper she held in her hand.  They spoke of love and cruel loss and what happens when we let our dreams die. They told of a secret that should have died aborning, choices and decisions made and not made that shaped what was to come.  “Secrets, choices and decisions,” she murmured, which brought her squarely back into her own life. “Damn…”

Box 400w

Story Premise:

At a nursing home, a resident dies with no next of kin and with his personal effects is found a box of letters. Curious, a new employee at the home, tasked with gathering his belongings, decides to keep the letters—she takes them home with her and begins to read. The early letters are typed on plain paper and in business size envelopes, the middle letters are a mix of typed and handwritten on different paper and various kinds of envelopes, the later letters are handwritten—with the final letter dated the day of his death written on the home’s stationary. From his records she knew he hung on to life seemingly to reach the date to complete his letter. When done he sealed and put it away with the others and died.

Many of the letters are smudged, use a mix of pencil and different ink (obviously written at different times but kept to finish on the date for the letter). The last letter is blotched in places; some ink runs as if water had dropped on the letters as he wrote.

Each letter talks about moments in his life at that time and speaks to his wife and children. With the section for each child specific to their age and what they might be going through at that point in their life. To his wife he talks about the beauty they shared, the hardships of life, the challenges their children face in life and worries about the world around them.

As the man’s story unfolds through the letters she tries to find out details about him and his family. She finds that address on the letters does exist, but no one there knows the man. If he or his family lived there at all.

Interspersed with the story behind the letters is the story of this young woman trying to find her way in life and dealing with estrangement from her own family.

And in finding herself – she also discovers the startling truth of the man and his letters.

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In Development | Thunder, An Elephant’s Journey

From Dennis M. Lowery and Erik Daniel Shein |

Thunder - An African Elephant's Journey

It’s an epic journey of danger intermixed with the joy of reuniting with loved ones, the delight of making new friends—and most importantly—it’s about growing up and understanding and accepting responsibility for one’s actions.

The story of a young adolescent elephant, Thunder, who is separated from his mother and herd by poachers. Strong-willed and known for how he stamps his feet (it sounds like rolling thunder and that’s also how his mother calls to him… by stamping her own feet in a unique rhythm); Thunder, in a fit of temper, runs away from the herd. Thunder’s angry charge causes the herd to be discovered by nearby poachers. Some of his herd escapes but many are killed for their tusks and Thunder is taken by the poachers.

As they travel to where they keep live animals that have been poached, they discover that Thunder likes to draw (the spot him drawing very lifelike/realistic pictures in the dirt). They figure they can sell him to a rich private collector who would pay a lot of money to own an elephant that can draw and paint. But Thunder escapes and crosses central Africa to be reunited with his mother and to lead what’s left of the herd to Hearthaven, a secluded valley, not known to humans, that he learns of in his travels. There they can live in peace.

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In Development | Aurora, Spirit Bear of the North

Aurora the Spirit Bear of the NorthThe book and animated feature, Aurora, Spirit Bear of the North, besides being a compelling story that represents the best traditions of this art form, also strongly connects us to the most important tangible asset we all share: Mother Earth.

 Aurora gives vitality and support to the growing worldwide trend for conservation and preservation of the natural world, a movement that in our feature highlights the wonderful richness of the spiritual, earth-centered beliefs and actions of the Indian peoples of the Pacific Northwest. Although the adventure unfolds in this verdant wonderland, it represents completely a universal awareness of the value and fragility of life on Earth. A ‘green’ European, a Maori of New Zealand, a citizen of a city like Tokyo, an aborigine of Australia, a Dogon tribe member of Mali, and a person living in the heartland of the American Midwest, all can share a common awareness of the growing imperatives associated with declining animal populations and environmental degradation. These concerns are global and the issues have an impact on us all.

Each of the protagonist characters of Aurora are heralds that support the care and concern for our world’s living treasures (flora and fauna) and their preservation; something that any thoughtful and intelligent person can admire—regardless of where they live.

The antagonists of Aurora are the people who represent the forces of exploitation, greed, and indifference to suffering; those who always look for opportunities to make a dollar, regardless of the consequences. Innocent people and animals pay for their avarice. In Aurora they expose themselves through their thoughtlessness and cowardice as they seek to exploit these lands by stealing their precious animals. An awakening sense (and demand) for justice for animals is slowly spreading across the planet. Our feature strongly supports this emerging belief.

The key characters of Aurora embody the wisdom of a teacher who is intimately in touch with the earth and it’s wonderful, but vulnerable, children and creatures. These teachers are everywhere and appear in myriad cultural contexts with different names, but, at the end of the day, they all espouse the need to protect our world’s animals and resources in order for Man to have a sustainable future.

In development from Erik Daniel Shein & Dennis Lowery (and their respective companies).

Adducent

 

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In Development | Darwin – A Galapagos Love Story

DarwinDarwin is an adventure, where a group of unlikely friends, some of the rarest creatures on the planet, attempt to rescue a wise and infinitely kind Galapagos tortoise. This great creature, Darwin, is the rarest of the rare, and his driving passion is to continue his endangered line. But he can’t find a mate!

To the Galapagos inhabitants, Darwin represents the soul of their world, a living monument to the power of nature and evolution. To sustain his breed (Pinta Island Tortoises) Darwin’s friends: a marine iguana named, Admiral Ignatius, Esmeralda, a pink iguana, a blue penguin (who’s always cold), a yoga-loving lava lizard (addicted to working out) and a messenger sea turtle join forces to find his potential mate and perhaps more of his kind.

However, there are those who would wreck their fragile environment and prevent Darwin from meeting his true love. They are selfish, thoughtless and are motivated only by their shortsighted needs.

The Galapagos Islands, inhabited by extraordinary living wonders of nature, are also filled with peril from active volcanoes and other natural dangers. This sets the stage for a powerful drama, one that also elaborates on the pressing environmental issues of our time.

Darwin presents a unique and a memorable set of characters in a thrilling adventure and quest for true love.

In development from Erik Daniel Shein & Dennis Lowery (and their respective companies).

 Adducent

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In the News | Author, Jim Zumwalt’s son receives Bronze Star

From Dennis Lowery |

James E. Zumwalt receiving the Bronze Star

James E. Zumwalt receiving the Bronze Star

I am very proud to announce that my good friend and author, Jim Zumwalt‘s, son James was recently awarded the Bronze Star.

James, who left the service last year and now works for a defense contractor, served two tours in Iraq with EOD teams that were routinely exposed to sniper fire and deadly explosives. His citation reads: “for exceptionally meritorious service in Iraq in 2010 with a Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team.”

James is the fourth generation of Zumwalt’s to receive the Bronze Star. You can read an article on that at:

Bronze Star for four generations of Zumwalt family

 

 

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Coming Soon | Profiles in Patriotic Leadership

From Dennis Lowery |

I’m proud to tell you a little bit about a new book we’re publishing (coming in July) from Greg Slavonic, author of Leadership In Action:

“Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”

- Harry S. Truman

Profiles in Patriotic LeadershipLeadership is a word heard in the news every day.

It has received more emphasis in the past four years than ever before due to what some would say a failure of leadership by many in positions of authority within our government and corporate America.

The need for leadership has perhaps never been more important than it is today.

Leaders who come from a military career or have previously served in the military have a perspective on how to lead and how to be effective. In the military, when a person is given the responsibility to lead, he or she does exactly that – they lead.

Those serving under them can trust and believe in what they say. Their word is their bond.

Today we need such honesty… we need such faith and trust… more importantly we need our leaders to do the job required of them.

That’s what this book is about.

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Memorial Day | Something more than a three-day weekend

From Dennis Lowery

Our veterans and current service men and women know a side of life that someone who has not served may not grasp fully. It does not mean that one has lived or lives a life that is less or more than the other but rather that their scope of life and perspective is different contextually. We judge everything by experience and military service by its very nature brings with it unique experience (to say the least).

I recall vividly the day I entered boot camp, the day I reported to my ship and the day when lines were cast off for my first deployment, my first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, onboard the USS Montgomery (FF-1082) in 1979 headed to the Middle East. These were all “beginnings” for me–they were steps into new worlds and new experiences. Serving in the United States Navy, and those I served with, taught me more about myself than I could have ever possibly learned in any other way. It put me on the path to becoming who I am today, which is not how I might have turned out otherwise.

This Memorial Day please think of it as something more than a three-day weekend (for many people). Pause at some point during your possibly hectic plans for the weekend and honor the memory of those who have served and to appreciate those who continue to serve.

I wrote the following recently and realized that my first conscious thought of what I came to believe about much in life was when I made that first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean:

“A tiny thing is Mankind, on the scale of the Universe, but in some people their soul is the Universe.”

We are all small in the grand scheme of things but some have within us the power to make our reality much larger… much more complete and to our liking. We see not just who we are, but who we can become. We appreciate what we have yet still reach towards a goal or objective. Stretching ourselves.

Those of us who were not born perfect know that each day of our life is an opportunity to learn more, do more and be more. Even if it’s only a small step, a bit of progress or when your personal circle of enlightenment expands slightly to push back the shadows and darkness of the path ahead and that borders the sides of the road we travel in life.

The above thought comes to me as part of my own set of memories and reflections for this Memorial Day. So I leave this with my best wishes for you and the following poem (that many of us can relate to about life and service).

Invictus (by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

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