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Being Your Very Best!

Striving for Personal Excellence: Being the Best You Can Possibly Be!

‘Karen and Jay share thoughts on the importance of ‘being your very best!’

It starts with commitment.  And it’s not easy. But in the journey of life, the pursuit of personal excellence is a fundamental aspect that shapes not only individual destinies but also the fabric of society. Striving to be the very best 'you' is a commitment to self-improvement, relentless dedication, and the pursuit of extraordinary achievements. We often think of famous figures – perhaps athletes – who strive to be the very best.  But the truth is that any of us – in whatever role we play – can dedicate ourselves to the quest for extraordinary performance. 

History is replete with examples of individuals who have devoted themselves to excellence, leaving an indelible mark on the world.  For instance, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., whose relentless pursuit of perfection in design and innovation revolutionized the technology industry. Jobs' commitment to excellence, attention to detail, and refusal to settle for mediocrity are testament to the transformative power of personal dedication.

Yet, it's essential to recognize that dedication to excellence is not limited to high-profile professions. Everyday heroes in seemingly ordinary roles also embody the spirit of personal achievement. The skilled plumber, ensuring the seamless functioning of essential utilities, or the vigilant crossing guard, safeguarding the lives of schoolchildren, are unsung champions of their domains. Equally, the devoted mother managing the complexities of family life or the diligent receptionist maintaining organizational harmony contributes immeasurably to the collective tapestry of success.

To achieve one's very best self, individuals often adopt certain practices that set them apart. One key practice is the cultivation of a growth mindset. Embracing challenges, learning from failures, and persistently seeking opportunities for improvement are hallmarks of those who attain personal excellence. Additionally, effective time management, setting realistic goals, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance are crucial for sustained success.

Furthermore, fostering resilience in the face of setbacks is a common trait. The ability to bounce back from failures, learn from experiences, and adapt to change contributes significantly to achieving the very best version of oneself. Seeking mentorship and surrounding oneself with a supportive network also plays a pivotal role in personal growth, providing guidance and encouragement during challenging times.

So, as you think about your own life, why not ask yourself – what’s my special role?  My purpose? And then, whatever the answer - get excited about it – and set about to make yourself the very best you can possibly be.  If you do this, you are almost certain to feel a sense of pride growing within you – and a self-fulfilling prophecy takes hold.  The virtuous circle is put in motion, and you find yourself on the way to being the very best ‘you’ that you can possibly be!

A True Story - Being the Best at What You Do – No Matter Your Walk in Life!

One day, about 23 years ago, while serving as an Assistant Store Manager for Walmart, a Sunshine colleague was tasked with the responsibility of interviewing and hiring a cart pusher. At that time, this Walmart location was perhaps the smallest in New Hampshire, approximately one-third the size of a typical Supercenter. Despite its size, the role of a cart pusher was crucial, as customers needed carts readily available upon entering the front door, and relocating carts to corrals or the front of the store helped prevent damage to vehicles.

During slower periods, the individual in this position would assist in loading and unloading items for customers or perform various tasks throughout the store as needed. Several candidates were interviewed, but one individual truly stood out – David. David was born with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and as such his defining qualities weren't immediately apparent. Yet, what first caught one's attention was his infectious smile and remarkable attitude.


Sometimes, you encounter people who exude a genuine commitment to doing an excellent job. It's not boasting about multiple degrees or big accomplishments or using well-rehearsed phrases like "you can count on me." With David, there was an instinctive feeling that he was the right fit for the job, and they decided to hire him.


As the years passed, David's life took new turns. He married Shay, who coincidentally shared the same birthday, October 11, as his work anniversary. Together, they welcomed a child into the world. Unfortunately, Shay faced health challenges and passed away a few years ago. Despite the hardships David Poudrier has encountered, his positive attitude remains unwavering.


Today, David is well-known among both current and former colleagues, as well as the local community in Gorham/Berlin. While he may not be a Hollywood celebrity, David takes immense joy in his work and the daily service he provides to people. After all these years, one can still rely on him – a testament to his enduring commitment and resilience. Thank you, David for being who you are!  And thank you for being a role model and a living example of the principle of being the very best you can be – at whatever your position!

The Team at the Eagle Times…and What a Team!

“Teamwork makes the dream work”, as stated by clergyman John C. Maxwell, is entirely accurate. Football teams collaborate to execute plays and score in the endzone. Companies establish teams to find solutions. Even Microsoft recognizes how important working together is, as they established their commonly used application - TEAMS!


Karen and I are blessed to work with many great teams, not only in our businesses but also in the good we are trying to do in the community. One group, in particular, that I want to recognize (promising to highlight more amazing teams in future Sunshine Reports) is the crew at the Eagle Times – the exciting daily newspaper based in the Claremont-Newport, New Hampshire area that is on a quest to become the ‘best local newspaper in the country!’


We have an amazing team. Our drivers, who deliver the paper, are up in the wee small hours of the morning to deliver our latest editions to drop points in over 36 locations spanning two states. This isn't just dedication and commitment; it's passion. It's a passion to ensure the readers of the Eagle Times are always informed and have an amazing product in front of them.


Another group I want to highlight and single out are some of the staff members who truly are the glue of the organization. Please note this is just the tip of the iceberg in the amazing talent we have in Claremont and be on the lookout for more articles featuring this dynamite team and how local news is back!


Rich Girard defines the definition of local news. As a former radio host, news personality, and longtime public servant, Rich has more experience reporting the stories that matter most than any national news outlet. His commitment to seeing local communities succeed and have the latest greatest news is probably why he coined the phrase "News is your own backyard." From uncovering the most interesting things about a budget to highlighting rising star athletes, Rich is the heart that produces the lifeblood of local news.


Celebrating the key players, such as Stephen Cheslik, a true professional – who serves as the central coordination point for making it all come together.  Deanna Kern, who is playing a vital role in growing the ‘business of the paper.’  Katlyn Proctor, designing special editions on health and education and more. Mary Carter, an expert on local history and a superb storyteller.  Chris LaClair, our sports editor, whose leadership is delivering the best local sports coverage imaginable.  And Sydney McAllister – a real team player whose graphics and layout are critical to the paper’s success.  


And of course, Virginia Drye is committed to all things local and ensuring the history of our backyard is shared. A native of Sullivan County, Virginia brings passion to preservation and a love for showcasing the many great things we can all be proud of. Virginia doesn't just write about it; she does it. As an Executive Council intern and with her background in historical research, Virginia established the program to see a permanent marker installed on the state house lawn to honor the trail French General Marquis de Lafayette traveled during his time in the Granite State to help aid the Revolutionary War. From the First-in-the-Nation Primary to historical society doings, Virginia is making sure all know and appreciate our Granite State traditions.


Chris Frost, News Editor, came to the Eagle Times by way of a successful career in the newspaper industry in California and Colorado, owning the Tri-County Sentry in Lamar, Colorado. However, he started his career as a chef in New York City. After his kids grew up, he decided to go back to school and get a degree in communications. He is the on-the-ground face of the paper for news and events and plays an internal part in the change of the hyper-local focus that the paper is doing. He knows how important papers are for local businesses and readers. No topic is too big or small for coverage.


Rob Thompson, Digital Editor, plays a very exciting new role at the Eagle Times! Newspapers may seem limited in punctuality, but not anymore! With our new digital offerings, you will be seeing the Eagle Times more and more. Rob is responsible for promoting our partners and stories digitally for widespread coverage through video. A local resident, Rob, has big ideas for involving the community in projects with the paper, like a cooking show and special events. If you see the videos on our social media, that is Rob behind the camera, highlighting community events.

Because of this selfless passionate teamwork at the Eagle Times, readers in the area are now getting ‘real local’ news that matters – to them!  And it all comes together because of a shared team commitment – to being the very best!

Positive Profile of the Week: NH Secretary of State – David Scanlan

This week, we are delighted to highlight a leader who truly exemplifies a commitment to ‘being the very best’ - New Hampshire’s 54th Secretary of State, David Scanlan, as our ‘Profile of the week.’

In New Hampshire, the Secretary of State plays a vital role in our elections. The Secretary oversees the electoral process, ensuring that the primary runs smoothly and fairly.  The Secretary also manages candidate filings, election laws, voter registration, and overall administration.  Moreover, the eyes of the nation focus on New Hampshire every four years – during our First in the Nation Presidential Primary.  And, as such, we here in the Granite State are committed to doing the very best job we can to ensure that it is a success.  Thankfully, David Scanlan is at the helm and leading the effort to further solidify New Hampshire’s reputation for a fair and honest primary election that is executed flawlessly time after time.


As you may know, the New Hampshire primary has a long history dating back to 1916. New Hampshire passed a law in 1913 requiring a direct vote for presidential nominees, leading to its primary status. And our primary gained prominence in 1920 when it became the first primary in the nation.  Since then, every four years, our primary has played a pivotal role in the direction of our nation. 


And, thankfully, we have a man of David Scanlan’s knowledge and expertise to continue to guide the process.   David has a keen understanding of government – developed through years of highly relevant experience attained prior to his tenure in the top job.  Very importantly, David served as Deputy Secretary for a number of years – working closely with the legendary Bill Gardner, the longest serving Secretary of State in the nation.  Like myself, David served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and in his case, rising to the role of Majority Leader and helping the chamber in a bipartisan fashion to tackle some of the state’s toughest issues.


To be the best, you need to strive for excellence. David Scanlan does just that and truly is ‘the best,’ preserving the importance of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary and ensuring that the commitment to open and honest government is being fully and faithfully executed.

Quotes of the Week:   Being the Very Best 

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will." - Vince Lombardi


"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather, we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." – Aristotle


"The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle." - Steve Jobs


"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." - Thomas Jefferson


"Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs


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