All posts by Glenn Plaskin

The X-Factor, Soon To Become A Book

In a world riddled with continuous strife and violence–school shootings, terrorist attacks, nuclear threats, foreign wars, and personal acts of hatred—-what is the true CAUSE of it all?

What’s driving this madness?

Is it just politics? Philosophical or religious differences?  Xenophobia? It goes even deeper.

In order to heal underlying causes of all this craziness, the inner demons that plague our culture, we must first identify the elusive X-factor affecting every human interaction we have. What is it exactly?

“It’s our MENTAL HEALTH, our sense of inner well-being, notes Pastor Gregory Dickow, the acclaimed spiritual leader of Chicago’s renowned Life Changers International Church.  

The charismatic  54-year-old, known as one of America’s leading Bible teachers, is also the author of THE POWER TO CHANGE TODAY, a compelling Christian-based self-help book which offers the secrets to the satisfied life (a book I proudly worked on as its editor.)

In a fascinating phone conversation with Pastor Dickow, he makes a convincing argument about the need for greater public awareness of psychological health:

“Every single thing that happens to us, every headline in the news, is a product of MENTAL HEALTH–the ‘state of mind’ of  our leaders, our families, our congregations, and, in fact, all 7 billion people on earth.”

As we know, people are suffering everywhere–experiencing clinical depression, anxiety, obsession, compulsion, substance abuse and addiction, you name it.

And there are millions of others who are stressed out, often feeling down or discouraged or without faith in the future.

The statistics of mental illness are staggering. An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about 1 in 4 adults –suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Many suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

“And it’s not only adults, adds the Pastor. “What about the 10% of elementary-aged children who self-injure themselves. Why? Because they’re in severe emotional pain or, ironically, almost numb to it and attempting to  feel something.”

Obviously, some of these disorders require specialized psychiatric and medical treatments, on multiple platforms. That’s for sure.

“But many people,” says Dickow, “do not need psychiatric medications or medical interventions, but instead greater faith, enhanced awareness, an emboldened outlook, family and peer support,  and down-to-earth prescriptive actions.”

Joining his other insightful books, Pastor Dickow will soon reveal the secrets and techniques to attaining greater inner peace in a new trailblazing book about mental health and how to nurture it.

As we all know too well, poor mental health left untreated can lead to complete chaos.

“Can you believe that 1 million people commit suicide each year worldwide?” asks Dickow.

“People who are not receiving the love and support they need can become unhinged.”

Indeed, with no inhibitions, their primal urges and demonic impulses begin to dominate their psyches.

Some turn inward and hurt themselves, while others begin to out their rage.

So they pull out a gun. They unleash a bomb. They mow down a crowd with a van. They barricade themselves in a hotel room and shoot out the window, killing innocent concertgoers. Or they invade a school or a place of worship.

All this vitriol is violently unleashed in their twisted minds, causing death, heartache, murder, suicide, you name it. So tragic.

Pastor Dickow’s genius is knowing how to blend the lessons from the Bible with practical prescriptions that can result in a renewed outlook, helping others throughout the world to regain the loving spirit that God planted within each of us.

In parting, he reminds me of the classic Biblical story in Luke 8:27, in which Jesus comes upon a demon-possessed man, and restores him to mental health. The demons are pulled from this man and transferred into a herd of pigs.

If only we could do the same with a terrorist or murderer or child abuser, or school shooter, or someone who feels depressed or tortured.  But the story, of course, is a metaphor, teaching us that we can release these demons. Yes, we can experience titanic emotions but we can also learn to let them go, knowing that God can certainly do for us what we can not do alone.

Pastor Dickow and wife, Grace, who is co-founder of Life Changers International Church

The Dickow Family, everyone involved in the mission at Life Changers

Pastor Dickow and his ministry is leading the way, so his upcoming book on healing mental illness and illuminating a path of love will be a must read.

 

The Glory Days Of Gateway

Leading any community organization can be both fulfilling, incredibly creative, and also taxing too. And I never thought I would do it. But as an author and journalist, I ultimately found it invigorating to transfer my communication skills into a new volunteer-driven venue.

So from 2007-2017–I became actively involved in our neighborhood’s advocacy group (Gateway Plaza Tenants Association), serving as its President for six of those years.

Over a decade, our remarkable board proactively built relationships with the 4,000 tenants–and interfaced with our political leaders, the Battery Park City Authority, and the ownership of our complex–which is the largest residential building in scenic Battery Park City.

We created special events, featuring Lifetime Achievement Awards for such figures as NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Senator Daniel Squadron, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Senator Chuck Schumer, and more. It was a mob scene of enthusiasm.

My successor, The Bright Light of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association: Karlene Wiese, a 30-year veteran

There were also community forums, rallies, periodic meetings with management, regular tabling in the lobbies, and incredible holiday events, with hundred of tenants and political leaders in attendance. 

All of our various missions–the continuance of rent stabilization and the renovation of the complex infrastructure–were chronicled by our community newspapers, including The Broadsheeteven TV coverage of our movement to protect our dog population.

Our web site documented all press coverage to preserve a history of our group (though perhaps a technical mishap wiped all the historic media links and photos from the revamped web site.)

By the time I voluntarily left my role as President in the fall of 2017, our Association was at the peak of its influence.

There were letters of support from the likes of Hillary Clinton and Corey Booker and appearances with everyone from U.S. Senators, to the NYC Public Advocate, Borough President, Comptroller,NYC Fire and Police Commissioners, state officials, including our new charismatic Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, and beyond.

We can only hope that the glory days of Gateway will return, with the new board focused on tenant advocacy issues.

Fortunately, all the improvements to the building–new windows, new heaters, new electrical systems, new intercoms, new roofs, security measures and more–were overseen by the board I was proud to lead.

And fortuitously, we also left behind all the terms needed for the continuance of rent stabilization.

Indeed, we must, and will, have an extension of the stabilization agreement that protects long-time tenants, which includes a population of the elderly, disabled, retired persons, and a legion of young families with a growing number of children, who together add to the diversity and stability at Gateway.

Former BPCA Chairman Dennis Mehiel did a superlative job in absorbing the needs of our community and working with us to attain a better quality of life. His successor, George Tsunis, is doing an equally top-notch job in his role.

They understand, as we do, that  there is no community in NYC that is more congruently unified than Battery Park City.

Gateway Plaza In All Its Glory

Gateway pictured from the Jersey Coast

This is partly due to the terrors of 9//11, and its lingering effects to this day.

And sadly, some of our Gateway residents have died from the effects of 9/11 (like my wonderful neighbor Patti), while others are currently  battling cancer and other physical illnesses. No matter what, for those of us who remained here, Gateway is home.

Board Members Who Become True Friends

And surrounding us is every amenity. Battery Park City is truly in renaissance, demonstrated by the wonders of both Brookfield Place and The Oculus, two of the jewels of the neighborhood.

So all in all, when it comes to Gateway, it’s not just a “rental,” but a close-knit community, the centerpiece of South End Avenue.

In fact, for anyone looking for an apartment , I always encourage them to move to Gateway, because of its proximity to the water, accessibility to shopping, and most important, the sense of camaraderie.  It’s like living in a little resort, with people truly knowing one another.

Incomparable Board Member Peg Wallis

In fact, I’ve written a book all about it. 

 

Marla Maples: In A Chapter From My Memory Book

On a warm spring day in Manhattan, the doorman in my Battery Park City apartment building rang me up on the intercom phone to announce a very unusual guest.

“Glenn,” said Felipe, sounding taken aback, “Marla Maples is here!”

“Send her up,” I said, anticipating my famous visitor.

And so began a very private interview, given by Maples during the Donald-Ivana-Marla tabloid triangle, a spectacle that was then rocking New York.

Because Marla was the biggest news media draw in America in 1990, she would have been mobbed by paparazzi had we conducted the interview anywhere else, so my apartment was the unexpected choice for an exclusive sit-down, the chance for her to talk thoughtfully about her new-found notoriety.

As a magazine reporter at the New York Daily News, I felt fortunate to have gotten the interview at all, which happened thanks to Donald Trump’s recommendation, since I had months earlier interviewed him for the News.

And it wouldn’t be long before I’d interview him for the cover of Playboy Magazine

During the wide-ranging 2-hour chat, Marla, the most unflappable, articulate 24-year-old, spoke eloquently about her relationship with The Donald, and maturely faced down the judgments of those who criticized her:

“What I’ve learned,” she mused, “is that nothing is black and white. Sometimes, our biggest fears and hypocrisies come back to haunt us—to teach us lessons. I absolutely believe that my higher power put this in my path—so that I would learn not to judge, just to love.”

At one point during the conversation, she got up and went into my bedroom, closed the door, and called Donald on a break.

If all this seems surreal now, back then, who could have ever guessed that Donald Trump would one day become President?

A few years later, Marla, of course, would marry Trump at the Plaza Hotel and have a daughter with him, Tiffany Trump, though that union would eventually end, with Marla moving to California as she pursued a career as an actress.

In fact, two years after my first interview with Marla, she made her impressive Broadway debut as the star of the Will Rogers Follies, which yielded another cover story interview with her.

As she laughed: “The last thing I wanted to do was get up and play what could have been looked at as a light blond role; but I watched it and saw it was a demanding, comedic part. And, finally, after all the time and money I’ve spent on getting rid of my Southern accent, now I can use it!”

Just a few months after this interview she kindly agreed to appear with me on The Oprah Winfrey Show in October 1992, to promote my book, Turning Point: Pivotal Moments In The Lives Of America’s Celebrities. She certainly had a pivotal moment to discuss!

And on the show, which also included Angie Dickinson, Rod Steiger, and Annette Funicello, she spoke in very frank terms about her relationship with Donald Trump.

And now, decades later, Marla, at 55, is still startlingly youthful, proven by her appearance on Dancing With The Stars, where she displayed a physical grace that defies any age.

As for me, I can still see her sitting on the white couch in my living room, talking quietly about her hopes for a happy future, one that she has certainly achieved on her own terms—as a dedicated mother with a college-age daughter, and a multi-talented woman who has found her center.

With more than 15 films roles (Happiness, Black and White, Executive Decision), numerous TV appearances (Liv and Maddie, Spin City, The Nanny), Broadway shows (The Will Rogers Follies, Love, Loss and What I Wore), and dozens of magazine covers on her resume, Maples firmly secured her place in popular culture.

Nowadays, in her various pursuits, the actress, singer, social activist advocates both physical and spiritual health, with fantastic recipes on her web site describing a diet that has kept her happy and healthy.

Her charitable devotion is legion: Having contracted  Lyme Disease as a teen, Marla has been honored for her work with the Global Lyme Alliance. In addition, she remains committed to supporting a multitude of non-profit organizations including AWARENYC.org, Spirituality for Kids, The Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine, The City Of Hope, and Kids Creating Peace. Through it all, she maintains a dignity and resilience that have become her trademarks.

As she said in a recent interview: “I think life is about being ready for anything, and where are you going to find the positive in all things,” she said. “I choose not to judge anybody else. I don’t want to be judged, so how can I judge another human being? I say to my friends, let’s help lift this world, not bring it down.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 28: Marla Maples (L) and Tiffany Trump have dinner at Sumosan on July 28, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)

 

How To Confront and Heal Domestic Violence and Childhood Abuse

Oprah interviewing two of Michael Jackson’s victims

In HBO’s shocking new documentary, Leaving Neverland, we witness the horrifying spectacle of pop star Michael Jackson allegedly sexually abusing young boys, preying on them with his fame.

Not to mention ongoing revelations about legions of Catholic priests who have sexually abused children over decades. All this bad news is yet another reminder that the world must protect its children.

Psychologist Linda Olson

Nobody knows this better than renowned clinical psychologist Linda Olson, who has committed the last 30 years of her medical practice to treating survivors of childhood sexual abuse, violence and trauma.

Having founded the nation’s first regional chapter of the Childhood Domestic Violence Association, Dr. Olson knows about childhood abuse from the inside out, having been a victim of childhood domestic violence herself, among 40 million Americans who are:

“UNICEF,” she notes, “calls childhood domestic violence (CDV) one of the most pervasive unaddressed human rights violations in the world, an epidemic affecting 275 million children globally.

“One out of seven children grows up witnessing violence between their parents or caregiver, or experiences physical or emotional abuse directly.”

Imagine little kids being slapped, punched, kicked, thrown down stairs, choked or bit, not to mention verbal threats, intimidation and coercion. This leaves them in constant terror, feeling alone, hopeless, helpless.

The consequences of this multi-generational disease are tragic ones: “Kids who grow up in violent homes are six times more likely to commit suicide, 50 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and 74 times more likely to commit a violent crime. And most importantly, CDV is the single biggest predictor of becoming a victim or perpetrator later in life.”

Dr. Olson is no exception—having grown up in a violent home with parents who were constantly fighting, her out-of-control mother both physically and emotionally abusive to all six children: “She slapped and hit us in the face, pulled our hair, choked us, pulled out pants down to beat us with a belt, always chasing us around, beating us up. Bloody noses were very common.”

As the eldest of the siblings, Linda learned to protect her siblings and later turned her nurturing temperament into a commitment to heal others by becoming a therapist. But in her personal life, she perpetuated the cycle of pain by choosing violent men:

“I always chose very angry, judgmental, super bright men who were sexually, physically, and emotionally abusive.” Her 22-year-old marriage fell into this pattern, “and I kept thinking he would change or that I could ‘fix’ him. I was in massive denial.”

With sons Robbie, Ryan, and Andrew

Ultimately, Dr. Olson was able to break free from her husband and divorce him only once she saw the effects the violence was having on her three sons.

While she escaped the cycle of abuse, two of her younger sisters were not so fortunate, the violence they endured as children having tragic consequences.

Dr. Olson’s youngest sister, Anne, 25, was shot and killed at gunpoint by a violent boyfriend. Her other sister, Mary, was in and out of abusive relationships. “And she died of a broken heart,” says Dr. Olson, ” homeless and alone at 50, her depression and borderline personality disorder never treated. She felt completely worthless. Both of my sisters were victims of childhood domestic violence and it ultimately killed them.”

The wreckage of her own marriage and the tragedy of her sisters’ fate has only strengthened Dr. Olson’s resolve to shine a light for all those affected by CDV.

Inspired by the trailblazing book about childhood domestic violence, INVINCIBLE, written by crusader and philanthropist Brian Martin, Dr. Olson hopes to write an inspiring memoir of her own, based upon her childhood years and her clinical experience. She also plans to write a children’s book to comfort those who are in the midst of such trauma, as no such book currently exists.

Joe Cohen’s book about a GREAT parental relationship

Nurturing Dr. Olson along in this process is Joseph Cohen, cocreator of Empowered Fathers In Action, encouraging positive relationships between fathers and their children. Olson has also been supported in her mission  by veteran media specialist Tom Martin, who worked for years at CBS Sunday morning as a producer.

To comfort kids around the world, Dr. Olson has also founded Project Hope Bear, intended to help grieving children and families find hope after loss and/or witnessing domestic violence. The organization provides an adorable teddy bear to kids, as studies have shown that a cuddly stuffed animal reduces a sense of loneliness and anxiety for anyone who has experienced trauma, violence and loss.

Wouldn’t you like to make a contribution to fund this teddy bear program, so children who need that tenderness and comfort can get it?

We’re lucky to have a Dr. Olson on the job!

BOOK LAUNCH: Tips on Throwing a Publication Party

When my dog memoir, KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL was published, Hachette Book Group, my dog-loving agent Jan Miller, our book publicist and I spent nearly a year planning that launch event.

Legendary Host Calvin Klein

It was a military operation, that included pinpointing the right New York City venue, MacKenzie-Childs, procuring our celebrity host,  Calvin Klein,  and creating a guest list that included everyone from NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Judge Judy to bestselling authors Mary Higgins Clark and Barbara Taylor Bradford. Not to mention 350 guests and 15 photographers. It was indeed a night to remember.

The purpose of such an event is to create advance buzz for your book radiating out from your home base to media reporters and online influencers, all in an effort to get sales at B&N and Amazon booming!

So, for first-time authors who want to raise their profile and celebrate their book’s publication, here are 12 launch tips:

(1) Choose a THEME for the event (in my case everything dog-related) that can carry through in the food, decor, invitations, and gift bags

(2) Have a graphic artist design your invitation (printed and/or elite) and make it a keepsake, in full color with an image of the book on it, advance testimonials, and an online RSVP.

Gift Bag Line-Up

(3)Provide Gift Bags: Every book party must provide takeaway gift bag for its guests, with a complimentary copy of the book and other little goodies (in my case the bags contained a chocolate dog bone, a hand-painted Christmas ornament also in the shape of a dog bone, a medical kit for dogs, and a cuddly stuffed cocker spaniel doll, you name it! Be creative.)

(4)Pick the right day and time: The typical book party should be a cocktail Reception from 6-8. Avoid Friday, Saturday or Sunday: Weekdays ideal so people can come after work

(5) Create the perfect MENU: A full bar is not needed and too expensive. Instead, serve wine or Champagne and  possibly beer. Only serve easy to pick up finger food (one bite treats) preferably passed by waiters, or alternately displayed on tables on trays. (You must have at least one vegetarian choice, one meat, one fish, one cheese.)

(6) Compile Your Invite List: Invite 3 times the number of people you actually want to appear. That’s typically the response ratio. Compile of list of family, friends, colleagues, former schoolmates,  press, local celebrities, politicians (try to get the Mayor to come), anybody you can think of. This is the ultimate NETWORKING event to spread the word about your book.

(7) Hire a photographer and videographer to capture the event, media that can be loaded onto your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

(8) Procure Appropriate Sponsors:  Find charitable or corporate organizations that match the theme and mission of your book. This is essential. Placing their logo on your invitation adds prestige and glamor to the evening. To motivate a sponsor, give them something they want–publicity, potential profits from book sales, whatever might enhance your public profile. (PS: Get THEIR list of party guests and merge it with yours)

(9)Order a customized step-and-repeata free standing blow-up of the book,  a centerpiece that can be used at other events, such as book readings, conferences, and media appearances

(10) Liaison with the Press: Invite radio, tv, magazine, newspaper personalities and social media influencers in your home town. You’ll be amazed how many of them will want to attend a book launch. This will pay off in subsequent interviews and mentions.

(11) Invite Adults Only: Much as everyone loves kids, this is a grown-up cocktail party, not a wedding, so hire a babysitter.

Mom and Me

(12)Plan a Post-Party Dinner:  Invite a small circle of close friends and family to join you for an elegant fun dinner after the reception. You’ll be starved by then and ready for a full meal!

A Check Up From The Neck Up

Ever feel like you’re going C-R-A-Z-Y?!

Stress is coming at your from every direction. So instead of feeling confident and in control, you’re frazzled and highly reactive to events around you. Like a car skidding on ice, your emotions are driving you, instead of the other way around.

Forget anti-anxiety drugs and years of psychotherapy.

Instead, try out the powerful treatment offered by renowned brain coach Paula Oleska, who has created a life-changing pathway to unleashing what she calls your Maverick Mindset:

“Imagine what it would be like,” she says, “ to have the inner strength to sail through conflicts… to be unaffected by other people’s incompetence, lack of cooperation, or hostility… to go home at the end of the day relaxed and ready to have peaceful interactions with your spouse and your children”

Sounds great, right?!

“Instead of feeling like you’re floundering, unmotivated, and frustrated with your unending ‘to do’ list, I get you back on track, with crystal-clear focus and enhanced motivation so that you can finally gets things done effortlessly.”

But how? All the answers are in Paula’s revolutionary audio program, Your Secret Brain. In it, Paula teaches how the three layers of the brain are driving everything we think, feel, and do.

The first brain “layer” is the Reptilian, the Behavioral Brain, the oldest of the three, that controls our body’s vital functions and the instinct for self-preservation. It’s our gut meant to keep us safe and secure.

Then there’s the Limbic brain that controls emotions, empathy and parental reactions. That’s our heart.

So often, people report that when they become emotional, their emotional reactions hijack their ability to think clearly and make rational decisions, which leads to…

…the third layer of the brain, the Neocortex, or the Thinking Brain, which controls logic and abstract thoughts.

Paula gets you acquainted with all part of your brain! And in just hours, by integrating mind-body techniques and four very simple gentle physical activities, her program modifies extreme emotional reactions, calming down the Limbic brain and restoring our ability to think clearly and make better decisions.

So anytime anger or fear or intense resentment surface, using her 15-minute program, Paula leads you to having all three parts of your brain work in harmony, so that you can achieve the results you want in life. You will even feel physically healthier, since so many ailments are related to emotional distress.

As for those intense emotions, they’re triggered, she says, by a need that is not being met.

“Once your discover what that need is underneath the emotional reaction, you can learn to meet that need, so that you will never have that emotional again in that situation.”

Voila: Master your emotions and you will be able to resolve conflicts, improve your communications, and have better relationships in business and in your personal life,” she says. It’s a stunning promise. The result is a calmer, more confident, stress-free you.

To see Paula in action and learn more about her transformative work, don’t miss her New York City appearance on March 15th at the Maximize Your Influence Conference. I’ll be there too, talking about how writing a book is a tremendous marketing opportunity. 

POWERFUL MARKETING: THE MAGIC OF A BOOK!

What do an international rap star, the world’s pre-eminent peak performance coach,  a Chicago Pastor, an Emmy-Award winning CNN producer, and a Shark Tank billionaire all have in common?

First, they have been among my roster of clients. Second, they all wanted a book written.

But why? Beyond financial gain, the real purpose was to EXPAND THEIR BRAND, to give them a higher platform to stand on.

So whether it was my collaboration with a triathlon lawyer, the creator of the nation’s largest youth sports franchise, or the CEO of a multinational corporation that manufactures an incredible product for women–they all wanted to be published.

That’s because a book is an indispensable marketing tool for anyone, no matter what your business.

I’ll tell you all about it at Maximize Your Influence, a powerful one-day conference for entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners to be held in New York on March 15th.

As you’ll see, whether it’s recounting your life story or the history of your company, using a book as a legacy tool, or offering a prescriptive program that makes you unique—your book is a passport to success, an effective marketing tool for the following reasons:

#1: A BOOK IS YOUR BILLBOARD: It’s a portable, tangible calling card that can be sold or given away as a promotional tool at any professional association, national trade show, convention, community group, business conference, you name it.

#2: A BOOK GIVES YOU INSTANT CREDIBILITY: Once you write a book, you get a “halo” effect from your rise in credibility and prestige. Now you’re an expert and the eyes of the world are upon you. As the author of 7 books, I’ve had the honor of having my books featured on Oprah, The Today Show, Larry King, Joan Rivers and beyond; and they have been reviewed in such publications as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The L.A. Times, The London Times, Time and Newsweek. That kind exposure is priceless and will always lead to new opportunity. It did for me.

#3: A BOOK LEADS TO MEDIA APPEARANCES: Once you’ve recognized as an expert in your field, you will be amazed how television, radio, newspaper, podcasts, and social media influencers will call upon you to appear in these venues. Whether you hire a corporate public relations firm or a digital marketing expert, it’s easy to seek out media opportunities once you have a book to talk about. Again, you’re now an expert and a book commands instant respect.

#4: A BOOK PROMOTES YOUR SPEAKING CAREER: Your value as a public speaker is always solidified by having a book, published, which makes you an EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD.

i9 Founder Frank Fiume’s book will be released by Greenleaf Book Group in October

#5: A BOOK GENERATES BUSINESS LEADS, ALLOWING YOU TO CLOSE MORE DEALS: No explanation needed. Nothing sells like success, and I’ve often sent my work to prospective authors who can hold an already-published book in their hand and instantly visualize holding their own.

#6: A BOOK PROVIDES BRAND CLARITY: Having a book that lays out the core models or principles of your business helps potential clients understand what you’re about and how you can be valuable to them.

CEO of Diva International, Carinne Chambers-Saini, an industry disrupter with a book on the way

#7: A BOOK ALLOWS YOU TO COMMAND HIGHER FEES: Not least important, public exposure always leads to an increase in your overall value, making your command a fee commensurate with your skillset and effort.

A life-changing book about fulfilling our true potential, coming out soon!

Remember: The value of a book as a marketing tool isn’t the number of books sold but the marketing ability the book provides.

Pastor Gregory Dickow, Chicago’s Best, founder of Life Changers Church, offers a message of emotional abundance

As one business author said: “One new client pays for the entire project.”

A Book To Turbocharge Your Life

Have you ever felt stuck in life? And disappointed about the way things are going?

The dreams you imagined for yourself have not yet come to fruition. Why not? What’s truly holding you back?

“The real obstacle to fulfillment is the way we’re thinking about ourselves, our limiting beliefs,” says health and prosperity coach Chris Salem, a renowned corporate strategist and keynote speaker who offers a powerful program for aligning health and wealth.

In his bestselling book, Master Your Inner Critic, the former sales executive-turned wellness advocate reveals the secrets to turbo-charging every aspect of life.

He directs our attention to what he calls the 8 Pillars Of Wellness: social, emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, intellectual, occupational, and environmental.

For example, if we’re not hitting home runs in our love lives, finances, or careers, why not?

“Inevitably, the force holding us back,” says Salem, “is not fate or bad luck or lack of talent or opportunity. The obstacle  is limiting beliefs,” unconscious negative messages absorbed in childhood that persist into adulthood affecting everything we do.

 

In his revealing book and in seminars, Salem shows you how to pinpoint the “root cause” of that limitation, usually a childhood event or a relationship with a parent or authoritative figure. What happened back then must be understood and healed in order for us to thrive today.

“Otherwise,” he says, “we live on autopilot, plagued by negative emotions like anger, shame, guilt, jealousy, envy, or any combination.”

In fact, he notes, “we often recreate situations to re-experience those same feelings without even realizing we’re doing it.”

In Salem’s case, he used to get angry very easily, triggered by traffic or almost any life situation that irritated him. Eventually, he discovered that the ROOT CAUSE of his own limitation was the unresolved anger and resentment he felt for his father, which was being sublimated onto others.

To assuage the pain of feeling it,  he battled drug and alcohol addiction for 12 years. Ultimately, it was only through a combination of 12-Step recovery programs, Eastern meditation, and journaling that he finally healed his childhood demons and recovered in order to fulfill his greatest potential.

Happiness today with wife Maria and son CJ

 

“So often, our inner critic is thwarting our happiness,” he says. “What we need to develop is our inner champion, that positive voice that reinforces the best in us, encouraging us forward in life to create the consistent habits and discipline that lead to prosperity.”

As a master of emotional intelligence, Salem nowadays brings these kinds of insights into companies in order to enhance workplace engagement and communication and company morale too.

As a committed dad who realizes the profound impact of parenthood, he has also co-partnered to create a revolutionary movement called Empowered Fathers In Action. Read all about it here. It boosts the spirit and morale of every father and child.

But most important, it’s your own morale that counts today, so register for the next seminar Chris is giving—or invite him into your company. In the meantime, check out his radio podcast, DISCOVER YOUR TALENT, DO YOU WHAT YOU LOVE.

A Happy Father And Son

Chris can be the positive voice in your ear–the coach, the dad, the mentor you’ve always wanted.

Writing Your Family Story

My Dad and me

Fathers and sons can be incredibly close, the connection between them the most powerful bond in the world.

But when I was growing up, I was actually closer to my mom–because Dad was almost never home, instead consumed by his business, a popular men’s and boy’s clothing store.

We understood his absences, but I think he regretted it. In fact, this beautiful letter from Dad to me recently fell out of a scrapbook, and said it all:

Backstage at ABC studios

His apparent guilt was truly unwarranted because I still felt his love in a myriad of ways: The affectionate brush of his hand across my cheek;  bending down to teach me how to make a tie; taking me skiing on Sundays; the way he carefully fitted my clothes at his store; getting me my first car and driving me to college; and standing backstage with me years later at a TV appearance.

As the years passed, and my career as an author developed, he was incredibly proud: “Glenn,” he’d tell me, “I don’t know how you do it. You’re great.” He was always encouraging me, strategizing about business deals, believing in me, providing that magic potion called unconditional love.

Toward the end of his life, when he was almost 98, as a tough-minded Marine whose slogan was “adapt and overcome,” he was still working out at the gym and driving his car, getting back and forth to the parking lot by using a power chair. A total inspiration. We talked almost every day. And without him now, left behind is a huge vacuum that will never be filled.

Joseph and Jared Cohen

I really miss him. So seeing his letter reminded me of a brilliant new book that captures the depth of a father son relationship. It’s called:  Write Father, Write Son: A Bond-Building Journey. It’s a series of poignant letters from father to son, written over a period of a decade, filled with fatherly advice and words of wisdom, messages from the heart.

The attentive Dad,  journalist Joseph Cohen, shows his son, Jared, how to develop as a man, writing candid notes that provide takeaway values and lessons. As each year passes, Joe  skillfully steers an adolescent boy into becoming a sensitive young man of integrity. Every boy in America needs a Dad like Joe.

Beyond the book, Joe has also co-created a revolutionary movement called Empowered Fathers in Action, a cutting edge non-profit designed to impact the connection of fathers and sons, and in the process empower young men to contribute to their communities. With a solid relationship to Dad, they feel better about themselves, and thus happier in life.

Christopher Salem and Davey Williams

In this, Joe has partnered with renowned prosperity coach, Christopher Salem, the author of Master Your Inner Critic,  who is the CEO and Co-Founder of EFA. Also on board is speaker and coach Davey Williams, Jr. the charismatic Director of Community Relations for the EFA. It’s a powerful trio of talent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why am I so interested? As we all know, boys today are bombarded with social media and impossible expectations, crushed by a competitive vibe that begins in kindergarten.

Through it all, the anchor of Dad can be profoundly stabilizing.In fact, one principal reason I support EFA is their commitment to reducing bullying incidents and decreasing the rates of teenage suicide and school shootings across the world.

What could be more important than that? I can tell you that, as a kid, I was traumatized in school by bullies, often humiliated in gym class, so I totally relate to the power of fatherly support, which can boost  self-confidence and lead to better self-esteem. The masculine influence is vital.

Joe, Chris, and Davey are true pioneers in a movement that will touch every father and son in America, motivating us all to watch closely over those we love the most.

An Autobiography To Be Remembered

Sometimes you can write an entire book about just ONE friend, and I know the perfect person–the ebullient Bud Klauber, a 96-year-old who is the youngest person I know.

He’s nicknamed Broadway Bud by those familiar with his passion for theater, which started in the l920’s! (And he’s not missed a single major production since.) His other passions range from art and music to baseball and travel (especially cruises, more than 20 of them), not to mention volunteering for decades on the GMHC AIDS Hotline.

In short, he’s thrown himself into life and he’s done it with style.

Having spoken to him almost every day for the last 20 years, I can tell you that he’s almost always in a great mood. That’s why I once wrote an article for Family Circle magazine titled WHAT MAKES HAPPY PEOPLE HAPPY.

In it, Bud shares the true secrets to happiness, which include gratitude and passionate involvement in life, always concentrating on the positive:

“We all have more gifts than defects,” he says wisely. “The secret is maximizing them.”

As a retired fashion executive who worked with U.S. First Ladies, he’s typically dapper in a snappy bow-tie and a wide smile. Although he has faced divorce, alcoholism, and a bout with cancer, the native New Yorker has an upbeat, uncomplaining nature.

 

 

“Keeping my attitude up is from training,” he says. “It’s something I learned at an early age from my mother, a very practical, grateful woman, who lived to be 97. Neither she nor my father would tolerate much complaining. So I wasn’t brought up with pessimism or a lot of whining.”

On a cruise reading KATIE!

Happiness, he says, is fostered by being around those who have a positive outlook, which helps exorcise the demons that can bring anybody down–resentment, anger, guilt, or shame.

Bud’s son Ricky and grandson Jason

“I actually police those demons, and don’t allow them to penetrate my soul. Instead, wherever I go, I’ve got my eyes open for a dose of smiles.

Just yesterday I saw a baby on the street was beaming up at me from her carriage. It was just as if I was getting a huge dose of positive thinking from this smiling infant, who had no clue what happened yesterday, no regrets or worries like we do.

Grandson Jason and Pop

Happily Married, Bud & Kim

“In order for me to be happy, I feel grateful for what I have and don’t pine for what I don’t have.

“I have a lot of younger friends who keep me vital and energized. That’s key. I also have my husband, Kim, the foundation of my happiness. He is pure giving, unconditional generosity and loyalty–a person with real empathy.

“I also have a very close relationship with my son, Ricky, my lovely daughter-in-law Ryn, as pictured above, and my grandson, Jason. And now, I’m even a great-grandfather now to adorable Theodora.

All this keeps my mind churning and learning. Sure, I’m human and I have mood swings–life isn’t Cinderella.”

Indeed, there were some very rough years: “When I was much younger, alcohol used to take away some of the pain that resulted from my not being able to achieve goals I had imagined for myself. There was also a broken marriage and work pressures, leading to panic attacks and depression.

“But all this changed with sobriety. My confidence and my interest in other people skyrocketed. I became more alert, more industrious. I came out of my funk and let go of the ‘poor me,’ and stopped obsessing on things I had no control over.

“Now the simplest things make me happy. I focus on listening to great music. Talking to friends. I turn to flowers, to Central Park, to a song that recalls a happy moment, to meditating, praying—and to ALANON, the 12-Step program that totally turned my life around.

“Even when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I didn’t shut down at all and continued my activities. I was grateful it was discovered early and underwent radiation and chemotherapy with confidence. The cancer is now undetectable.

Bud and Glenn

“All in all, I don’t feel 96. I feel GOOD! So the chronological number doesn’t matter to me. I handle loss realistically. When my contemporaries get sick or pass away, it’s very sad.

“But I’m still functioning and can’t let it get me down. It’s just another sign to maximize on today, to make every minute count!”