The 19th Hole: It’s Just About… Life

Wogo 6
WOGO VI

They say in life it’s the moments that take your breath away, but sometimes it’s simply the moments you get away.

Want to have a happier, more fulfilling existence? Then take time to rest, relax and hang out with friends. Recharge, reconnect…and shoot for par.

That’s the whole idea behind the annual golf trip I take part in called WOGO, (Worthington Overlook Golf Outing). This year was another outstanding trip, WOGO VI, (Roman numerals make everything look more important don’t they… even a golf trip!) The couple of days were expertly planned out by planner extraordinaire Mitchell Platt.  The golf this year was challenging, not that golf is ever not challenging…18 holes a day for three days, you do the math, I’m too tired.

And while every super long drive, birdie putt, (no eagles I heard about), or winning a round is a big part of the three days, it’s the time after the round ends that makes the trip, the time that levels the playing field for everyone, no matter what your handicap, year after year. The time to hang out, share a good laugh, actually many of them, a few beers, (sometimes many of those as well), is what makes the annual outing special. Spend some time with friends, those you see often, or those you don’t get to see much at all, everyone is ready to kick back and relax.

It’s the realization that when the clubs are back in the car, the golf shoes are off and the only place you really need to be is… well, nowhere, that nowhere can sometimes be a good thing. Especially if you are there with people you like.

WOGO 2 More
A Few of the Founding Fathers of WOGO

In his book, The Charge, Brendon Burchard says: “Your friendships have as much bearing on your happiness in life as does the kind of work you do, or the amount of money you make.” So you might as well at least focus some of your energy beyond just work, and spend some time on your drive, your short game, and your ability to connect with other people. Because while you may never join the PGA Tour, if you’ve got some friends to help find your last drive in the woods, the tall grass, or show you where the drop zone is, AND help you find your way back to the hotel after a long night out, it’s all part of the game of life. :)

That is a round worth talking about.

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.

Mark

Mark Brodinsky, Author, Huffington Post Blogger, (www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-brodinsky), Financial Services

#1 Amazon Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
(www.spouses-story.com)

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The Sunday Series (34), with Mark Brodinsky

When life comes at you on a curve, you adjust your swing, change your approach, maybe alter the way you live your life and the way you share that life with others.  You show courage, channel hope and  inspire by your example.

The Sunday Series (34): Get Your Motor Runnin’

kaitz on bike

Get your motor runnin’ , head out on the highway. Looking for adventure in whatever comes our way. – Lyrics from Born To Be Wild

Robert Kaitz put it off for way too long, it was barely an issue, besides he’s a man. Kaitz was owner of a successful computer business with 500 clients and 5000 computers worldwide.  A tough guy, member of a motorcycle club, loved to party and have fun. When you’re a man like that, there’s not much that can hold you back or take you down. Certainly not a minor ache or pain.

Besides Kaitz had experienced acid reflux for years, but as he kept banging on his chest to stop the indigestion, something was unsual. Just below the left nipple, a tiny bump. Probably just another cyst Kaitz thought, besides he had had several removed from his back, not a big deal. But when the bump eventually got painful Kaitz reluctantly went to the doctor.

“I’m pissed I didn’t go sooner”, says Kaitz. “But I didn’t think guys could get it.” He’s right, in a way, because the odds are only one-in-1,000 for men, not like the 1-in-8 like for women. But the odds in life are not always in your favor. For Robert Kaitz he was suddenly odd man out…breast cancer.

john nick breast cancer logo

Surgery was scheduled immediately to remove the cancerous tumor, which by now was Stage 3. A radical mastectomy, 25 lymph nodes removed, 5 of them positive for cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation next, and a new lease on life. Kaitz was ready to share his story, but it wasn’t easy, still isn’t. Kaitz says, “people look at you funny when you say you have male breast cancer.  People smile like you are kidding when you tell them you have breast cancer. But hopefully we are making a difference.”

male mastectomy

The difference is in how Kaitz spreads the message and that is without fear, or embarrassment. And it would be easy to be uneasy. As part of the treatment for the breast cancer Kaitz was given tamoxifen, the same drug prescribed to women who experience the same disease. Kaitz was dealing with the same side effects women do, sweating, hot flashes, and mood swings. “When I first got diagnosed and received treatment and then tried to get out here and tell people, many were surprised”, says Kaitz. “I got up in front of a bunch of bikers, men and told them about the breast cancer and the side effects of the medication I was on. No one could believe it. But if I can help one guy not be a stubborn ass**** like me, then I have done a good job.”

And Kaitz job wasn’t over yet. In 2009 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Because he had genetic testing after the breast cancer, the prostate cancer was caught early and his prostate removed. Kaitz says if he hadn’t had the testing it might not have been noticed.  The double whammy only served to make Kaitz more determined to share his story.

robert kaitz

In December 2009 he sold his computer business and now travels the country, on his motorcycle or in his big RV, raising awareness, especially about the male breast cancer and early detection for any disease. His journey has received national attention. Kaitz was invited to visit the The Dr. Oz show, in a program which aired in January 2010 and helped to shine the spotlight on diseases which typically are associated with women, but can also affect men. Kaitz says there was a woman in the audience who said she came to the show but her husband refused to come. Kaitz told the female audience member, “when you are intimate with him, feel his breast and if you feel a lump grab him like a fish on a hook and drag him to the doctor!”

And this is where part of the problem lies, says Kaitz. “The biggest issue with male breast cancer  is men are dying from it. “Only one-percent of men are diagnosed each year, but twenty-five percent of those men die from the disease because they catch it so late, they are simply not aware.

male breast cancer

And too late is no good for Kaitz. His experience with cancer has taught him a couple of things, besides his desire to share and educate others. Kaitz is a member of the Legion Motorcycle Club, (http://www.legionmc.com/), everyone in the club has a nickname, his is Atlas.  Kaitz says, “because I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. I will give the shirt off my back for anyone to help them. If you get out of bed and you hate the day ahead, come talk to me.” And Kaitz doesn’t just talk the talk, he leads by example. If there’s one thing Kaitz says he’s learned, it’s to live life and enjoy, because life is short.

kaitz and seven

Kaitz says, “don’t put something off that you will do another day, that you want to do, because you will probably never do it. Don’t sweat the small stuff, if you don’t worry too much it works out. Work it out and move forward.”

A big part of that forward progress is Kaitz’ participation in the John W. Nick Foundation, (https://www.malebreastcancer.org/) an organization dedicated to male breast cancer and to the man, John W. Nick, who died from the disease at age 58. Awareness could have saved his life and Kaitz is on a mission to save the lives of other men. “Do normal checkups and get physicals and stay on top of everything”, says Kaitz. “The key is catching this stuff early, if you don’t catch it early then there is trouble. If you find it now you can fix it, if you find it later, it might be too late.”

Just like the lyrics from, Born to be Wild, Kaitz is gonna make it happen, take the world in a love embrace. If he can save even one life, or make that life better, then the ride is worth it.

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.

Mark

Mark Brodinsky, Author, Huffington Post Blogger (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-brodinsky/), Financial Services

The Amazon #1 Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story (http://www.spouses-story.com/)

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Sincerely, Not Seriously: It’s Just About… Life

Laughing Matters

It never fails if you pay attention, if you are aware, that someone else will inspire you with their words or actions. It happened the other day at my networking group, BNI, when Jason Lusby of the Lusby Group got up to do a presentation about his business of helping others acquire or sell commercial real estate.

Jason said he doesn’t live life seriously, he lives it sincerely.

Love that. If you can’t laugh at life then you are in trouble, because life  itself will bring trouble to your doorstep at some point. If you can maintain a sense of humor about it, realize that the storm will pass, that it’s never as bad as it seems, then you can make it through.

Bring a smile to the table, even when you don’t feel like it. A big smile makes the person you meet feel better and makes you feel better in return. It’s the very action of a simple smile that makes the world just a little bit brighter. If you can laugh as well, and not take everything so seriously, then that laughter, the very sound of it, ripples through the world. It’s the butterfly effect.

Then all that’s left is to be sincere. Have sincere respect and humility for everyone you meet because you don’t know their back story and everyone has one. Sincerity in all you do can literally impact the world because if you approach people and situations this way, they will be attracted to your core and want to be part of your world. A sincere persona and a smile are a powerful combination.

So have a good laugh at your own expense. Don’t take it all so seriously. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Pack a sense of humor and a smile with you every day, everywhere you go.

Live life in the example of others who impart great advice, even when they might not realize they are doing so. Jason did it for me by proving once again that words have power.

Sincerely, not seriously. Brighten the world with that mantra every step of your way. Then we all win.

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.

Mark

Mark Brodinsky, Author, Huffington Post Blogger (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-brodinsky/)

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The #1 Amazon Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story (http://www.spouses-story.com/)

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Change, Dance & Hoover: It’s Just About… Life

dance on beach

It might not seem like three words in the title of this blog belong together, but for some strange reason they do. And remember three is a magic number :)

One of the former CEO’s of the PepsiCo corporation used these words as part of a report to reveal the secret of his success for helping to improve profits of the corporation. He said, “love change, learn to dance and leave J. Edgar Hoover behind.”  Marc Allen took that phrase and made it one of the keys in his book, The Millionaire Course.

Change is inevitable, growth is optional. Change will happen, everything will change, but if you embrace it and are open to it, then life can change for you. Life and change are intertwined, nothing stays the same, though we want it to, you must adapt, accept and find the way to make those changes your friend, your partner.

Which is why, “learn to dance” is all about partnership. The greatest successes in life do not come not from going it alone, the most incredible solo performances are a facade, there was definitely someone else, or even a team that helped train, shape or teach that person to enable them to accomplish a feat the world marvels at, or to even change the world. So dance with people, work with them to give them what they need, find the win-win solutions to every problem ,or obstacle and encourage and motivate them and yourself, to be remarkable.

Then there’s J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover was the legendary director of the FBI and he ruled with an iron fist, a top-down mentality where he had the power, he had control and everyone else was on a rung lower, sometimes much lower, on the ladder of power and success.  That type of rule doesn’t work anymore. As Marc Allen describes in is book, you need to “flatten the pyramid”, in business and in life. Work in partnership with employees, or with family, with those closest to you to find solutions, to come up with the answers that are right and for the greatest good of all.

There’s such a great lesson in all of this to truly embrace the inevitable which is change, find a way to grow and adapt to it, find others who will help keep you in step, who will dance with you, who will partner with you, who will share your vision to create something truly incredible. And remember to leave Hoover behind, work in service to others, find those who share your vision and consider their thoughts and ideas.  It’s not the me first, you follow mentality, but living in partnership with all which can truly change the world.

Love change, learn to dance and leave J. Edgar Hoover behind.

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.

Mark

Mark Brodinsky, Author,Blogger, Huffington Post Blogger (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-brodinsky/)

The #1 Amazon Best-Seller:It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
(http://www.spouses-story.com/)

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