Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama is a copy-cat...

Hi Max!

The title of today's blog post is said tongue-in-cheek as I'm sure parents have written letters to their children before I started this blog. Borack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States yesterday and he wrote a letter to his children, Malia and Sasha telling them why he began his run for the presidency. Here it is:

"Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you’ve both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn’t have let you have. But I also know that it hasn’t always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn’t make up for all the time we’ve been apart. I know how much I’ve missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential—schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college—even if their parents aren’t rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you’ll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country—but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free—that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better—and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It’s a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you’ve had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much—although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you—to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That’s why I’ve taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad"

His words are full of wisdom. I've certainly seen my goals take a step back and your care and attention take a step forward. I'm still working on the delicate balance of being an excellent father, being an excellent team leader and real estate professional, while also being an excellent speaker and writer. It's a tough balance, but you're worth it. When in doubt, your interests come first and that is most evident in my actions and changing of plans. I see a world of opportunity in you and we are so blessed to live in the United States, a place where any dream can be believed and achieved. 

I love watching you grow daily. 

To Your Success, 


P.S. I've had a couple people mention the closing "To Your Success". That is my role in your life. I can't make you happy. I can't make you a professional athlete or dancer. I can't make you succeed even. But I CAN put an environment in place that 

1) provides unconditional love

2) provides tremendous support for your failures 

3) helps you understand right and wrong

4) provides the power of discipline, both external and self-discipline

5) helps you go from dependent to independent to interdependent

That's not in any book anywhere, but that is my role. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Balboa with bambino...

Hi Max!

You will find that your dad has a strong affinity for Rocky movies. All of them, except for 5. There are few films as good as Rocky 1, 3, or 4. We'll watch them together soon. Here is a great excerpt from Rocky Balboa (Rocky 6 basically) which is very inspirational and embedded with the truth:


Max's Dad (Michael)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Epilogue from January 12 post...

Hi Max, 

A miracle occured in New York to give us a great example of Excellence. 

 Kathy Burchfield from beautiful North Carolina re-posted our January 12 blog post on Facebook (

Here is my response:

Michael J. Maher at 11:43am January 17

“First, Kathy, I am humbled that you posted my blog post. Thank you for that and Max says "fank yew" as well. =0) (Max, I tried to make that sound like you and sorry to put words in your mouth, but I tried to be as close as possible to what you might say, if you could talk. =0). 

Here's an additional thought from my last blog post (on January 12)? Who do you want as your pilot for your next flight? How about someone like Sully Sullenberger of US Airways and the Hudson River Miracle? The more you find out about Sully Sullenberger, the more you will find out that he was perfect for the job of landing that plane on water! Chesley B. Sullenberger, III is part of a Plane Safety Research Team. The Hero of Flight 1549 was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He studies planes and their safety! He was "born to be a pilot" according to his wife. He has dedicated himself to Excellence. He owns a company called Safety Reliability Methods, Inc. He eats and sleeps plane safety! Who do you want piloting your plane?!

Now look at your clients. Who do they deserve as their Realtor, Attorney, Mortgage Professional or in your profession? Is it you? Is it YOU?! If not, what do you have to do to become the one they deserve? If it seems too daunting, perhaps a change of profession is in your future? Ouch! 
(Sometimes I hit people with a truth so brutal it stings, but if that is what it takes for someone to live the rest of their life pursuing their passion and their why, then I have served a purpose.)

Lastly, find your passion, find your why, and passionately pursue your why!”

To Your Success, 

Max's Papa (Michael)

P.S. Here is my e-mail to Sully Sullenberger: 

"Hello sir,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note to applaud your efforts, not only on the day of January 15, but for all the events before January 15 - all your research on safety and reliability, all your paying attention during training, and all your dedication to Excellence so that January 15 could happen without fatalities. The miracle isn’t that you made that plane walk on water, it was that you were piloting that plane, a uniquely qualified expert on plane safety and a person dedicated to Excellence in his profession. You are not only a role model for all pilots, but for all people who pursue Excellence in whatever they do. 

Take care and God bless, 


Monday, January 12, 2009

We Pursue Perfection Catching Excellence on the Way - Michael J. Maher

Hi Max!

A couple of great quotes came across my desktop today: 

"Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves."

- Dale Carnegie

"If you are called to be a street sweeper, sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.' "

- Martin Luther King

Two terrific quotes. This is Martin Luther King week with Martin Luther King Day next Monday. The next day, Barack Hussein Obama will be inaugurated as President of the United States. How very appropriate! It truly shows that anybody can attain anything in this country. You are not limited by color, name, or experience. Here's an example I use at my presentations for my comment: "It is Easier to Be Excellent than it is to Be Mediocre."

Let's say you had brain surgery. Luckily you have insurance that will be paying for you to have this surgery. There is a 50-50 chance of normalcy post-surgery. Who would you choose for your surgery? Would you choose the best in your area? How about the best in the country? Would you choose the best in the World? Yes, you would. You want the best when it comes to your most valuable organ. 

Would you care if the brain surgeon is black, white, green, female, male, didn't speak your language, wasn't your religion, or was a midget? You wouldn't. And why not? Because of Excellence.

Also, do you think that this surgeon has to go out and look for clients or do you think clients find him? Do you think he or she has open time in his or her schedule or do you think his schedule is as full as he or she wants?  When they say, I can't see you until next week, how many "clients" do you think they lose? 

Excellence Attracts. Mediocrity Chases. 

Align everything within you to be geared for Excellence. 

Raise your standards of performance to Excellence. 

Don't settle for less. Do less things, but do them better. 

If you are going to do it, do it well. 

Commit vs. Involve. The difference between Commitment and Involvement can be found in the typical breakfast: Ham and Eggs. The Chicken was involved. The Pig was comittted. All in.

Whether you are going to be a street sweeper or a surgeon, dedicate yourself to Excellence. It's not just in one of us or a few of us, but all of us. 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Are you going to Smile all day?

Hi Max!

I love you. Just thought I would say that first. We have started a little ritual. I may be an idiot, but it's working on you. Before I leave for the day, I grab your little hands and with a stupid grin on my face say, "Are you going to Smile all day?" 

"Are you going to Smile all day?" 
"Hmm, are you going to Smile all day?" 

Invariably, you eventually give me the most fantastic little grin that turns into a great smile and eventually gurgling happiness. You really have me where you want me now. What a great little morning ritual. :)

For entertainment I did some quick numerology. I do this only for conversation's sake. I believe we make our own fate to an extent. Everything happens for a reason and our choices based on what happens to us makes us what we are. Thank you for making the choice to sit here and read this now. 
Name: Michael Maxwell Maher
Birthday: 10/25/2008 

Your Life Path Number is 9
Your Life Path Number represents the path you should take through life and the talents and skills you have to make your journey a rewarding one.

Having a 9 Life Path makes you very compassionate and tolerant towards the world around you. You strive to serve the better good, sometimes at the expense of your own desires. You have the ability to attract people from all walks of life.

Positive Traits
Compassionate, Tolerant, Benevolent, Intuitive, Mystical, Charming, Idealistic
Negative Traits
Stingy, Impulsive, Intolerant, Insensitive, Effusive
Tarot: Hermit
Astrology: Sun,Virgo, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Sagitarius
Rune: Jera
I Ching: #20 Kuan
Tree of Life: Jesod, Foundation
Hebrew Letter: Teth, Tzaddi 
Shamanism: Squirrel, Snake, and Reptiles 
Element: Fire 
Alchemy: Earth and Gold 
Aura: Fall Colors 
Colors: Yellow-Gold, Indigo 
Gemstone: Opal 
Crystal: Quartz 
Month: September 
Week Day: Monday 
Lucky Numbers: 1, 5, 6, 9, 18, 27, 36, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90, 99, 108, 
Flora: Holly, Magnolia, Buttercup, Sycamore, Oak

I can't wait to look at this when you are 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, etc. to see how "accurate" this is. 

For grins I did mine as well: 

Name: Michael Joseph Maher
Birthday: 6/11/1969

Your Life Path Number is 6
Your Life Path Number represents the path you should take through life and the talents and skills you have to make your journey a rewarding one.

Your Life Path Number makes you a both a healer and a provider. You maintain a balanced life and are looked upon by others as a stable and trustworthy person. You are sympathetic and caring, which makes you a good listener and counsellor. You are able see the best in people around you.

Positive Traits
Nurturing, Responsible, Dutiful, Family Oriented, Kind, Stable, Devoted
Negative Traits
Intolerant, Discontented, Dictatorial, Dogmatic
Tarot: Lovers
Astrology: Venus, Virgo, Gemini
Rune: Wunjo
I Ching: Sung
Tree of Life: Tiphereth, Beauty
Hebrew Letter: Vau, Samekh
Shamanism: Duck, Snake, and Lion
Element: Earth, Air
Alchemy: Air
Aura: Rainbow
Color: Blue
Gemstones: Pearl, Sapphire, Diamond
Crystals: Blue Tourmaline
Month: June
Week Day: Friday
Lucky Numbers: 2, 3, 4, 9, 15, 24, 33, 42, 51, 60, 69, 78, 87, 96, 105
Flora: Tulip, Rosewood, Chrysanthemum

Yeah, I don't know. My lucky number is definitely 12. Color is Black. I like those gemstones though. I guess it is interesting that the Yin and Yang is in effect here as you are a 9 and I am a 6. Let's see what Sheri is!

Name: Sheri Lynne Soetaert
Birthday: 4/22/1974

Your Life Path Number is 11
Your Life Path Number represents the path you should take through life and the talents and skills you have to make your journey a rewarding one.

Having the Master Number 11 as your Life Path makes you an inspiration to others. Your high energy and enthusiasm is both contagious and magnetic. You are on a journey of spiritual exploration and those around you await the answers you find.

Positive Traits
Intuitive, Sensitive, Bright, Visionary, Spiritual, Uplifting, Creative, Inspirational, Optimistic
Tarot: Justice
Astrology: Sagittarius, Aquarius, Uranus, Neptune, Mercury
Rune: Tiwaz
I Ching: #63 Chi Chi
Tree of Life: 
Hebrew Letter: Kaph
Shamanism: Hummingbird 
Element: Air 
Alchemy: Air and Diamonds 
Aura: Blue and White 
Colors: Ruby Red, Violet, Iridescence, Silver 
Gemstones Topaz
Crystals: Mother of Pearl
Month: November 
Week Day: Sunday
Lucky Numbers: 29, 38, 47, 56, 65, 74, 83, 92, 101
Flora: Lilly

I've always told Sheri that on a scale of 1 to 10 she was an 11 and now I have proof! There is a lot of balance to our family 6 11 9. Rotate that 180 degrees and it's the same. Interesting.

I wonder what the readers think. What do you think of this numerology?

To Your Success, 


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

<-- Max on New Year's Eve making like Al Bundy. =0)

Hi Max!

Happy New Year 2009!

I know you'll Let Your Light Shine in 2009. You are a child with everything in front of you.

I hope you'll keep your curiosity, your open-mindedness, and your innocent trust forever.

Your dependence will gradually become independence, then inter-dependence.

Your unconscious incompetence (you don't know what you don't know) will become conscious incompetence (you realize that you don't know) which will graduate to conscious competence (you know what you know) and to finally unconscious competence (you're in the zone, excellence just comes out of you without you thinking about what you are doing).

I'm looking forward to helping you along the way. Empowering without enabling, giving you rope, but not enough for you to hang yourself, and helping you discover new adventures while guiding you away from danger.

What an exciting year this is going to be!

Happy New Year!

To Your Success,