February 20

Motivation Mondays: Honoring Presidents’ Day

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“To leave the world a better place … to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Motivation Mondays: Honoring Presidents' Day
Motivation Mondays: Honoring Presidents’ Day

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln
If the great American people will only keep their temper, on both sides of the line, the troubles will come to an end, and the question which now distracts the country will be settled just as surely as all other difficulties of like character which have originated in this government have been adjusted. Abraham Lincoln

How are you honoring Presidents’ Day? What do you know about Presidents’ Day Origins?:   Every year, on this special day, we gather to honor the memory and accomplishments of two of this nation’s greatest presidents; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. These men were motivated to serve their nation because they believed in its greatness, our fundamental freedoms, and wanted to pass that on for posterity. Lincoln lost his life in service to this nation and so we must approach this day with reverence. What triggered the holiday? This federal holiday which celebrates and honors two of America’s greatest Presidents came into being in 1968, when the 90th Congress voted to shift three federal holidays, including George Washington’s Birthday to the 3rd Monday of February. Initially, there was some resistance by those who felt that one day shouldn’t be designated in exchange for merging the birthdays of two great leaders. They objected to the idea as they preferred separate days of celebrating our founding fathers. After much debate and delay, the designated day became law in 1971. Another important aspect of this day is that some states celebrate it as George Washington’s birthday and may/may not include Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

Even though we call it Presidents’ Day, each state reserves the right to include or exclude all 45 Presidents  in their celebrations. Some feel that because its genesis started with the celebration of George and Abraham’s birthdays, it would be best to maintain that distinction and not include all of our 45 presidents. Another point of confusion is the way we write it. Some refer to it as President’s Day though the more appropriate term is Presidents’ Day in honor of two not one President; both have birthdays in the same month. That said, one fallout of this holiday is the huge commercialization that occurs and the endless invitations to shop till we drop with nary an educational insight on the presidency. I have a few questions for you: What do you know about the American presidency? Who was the oldest President in office? Who was the youngest? Which Presidents served more than one term in office?  Who served the longest in office? Who served the shortest term? Share your answers in the comments section.

Stories: There are many fables/stories attributed over the years to specific presidents. Two that stand out are “The 20 Year Jinx” & “The Fable of George Washington and the Cherry Tree.” The 20 year jinx, also known as  The Curse of Tippecanoe, was purported to be a curse placed on American presidents that every 20 years a president in office would die. While it seems that many did, the curse was believed to be broken when Ronald Reagan survived an assassination attempt while in office.

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for January and February 2017 are:

JANUARY
01/01   –  01 New Year’s Day, Hanukkah ends, 06 Epiphany, 06 Three Kings
01/08   –  08 Golden Globes Award,  11 Human Trafficking Awareness Day, 12 Full Moon
01/16   –  16  Martin Luther King Day, 18 Winnie the Pooh Day, 20 Inauguration Day
01/23 –  27 Commemoration Victims of the Holocaust, 28 Chinese New Year
01/29  –  29 Inspire your heart with art
FEBRUARY

0/6 – Lame Duck Day, 12, Lincoln’s Birthday
0/13 – 14, Valentine’s Day, 15, Constitution Day,
0/20 – 20, Presidents’ Day, Washington’s Birthday, 24, Carnival/Flag Day, 26, New Moon
0/27 – 27, Clean Monday, 28, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday,

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2017?

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– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.

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— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

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“Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak and esteem to all.” President George Washington

Motivation Mondays: Honoring Presidents' Day
Motivation Mondays: Honoring Presidents’ Day
Motivation Mondays: Honoring Presidents' Day
Motivation Mondays: Honoring Presidents’ Day

Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse. George Washington
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. George Washington

 What type of leader do you imagine yourself to be? Today is Presidents’ Day and it is an important time to revisit the history of this great country and contemplate the qualities of leadership. One thing that should be clear by now is that each leader leads with a unique set of qualities and qualifications. Some of us think a leader should be perfect, charismatic and supremely qualified.  We are all flawed and perfection is unattainable. What a leader needs is a long list of qualities that include wisdom, vision, fairness, and a Spirit of Service.  Each of us can be leaders in our own way through service and decisive action.

 What is your leadership style? Are you a collaborator? A Pacifist? A Dictator? Think about it and then consider the best way you can lead through service to others. Be clear. Be bold. Be prepared. Leadership is not reserved for a special group of people because we are all special in our own way. We can bring our life experiences and vision to a position or a role and impact others in the world. I believe that no matter where we are on the leadership ladder, the hot seat of influence, the food chain of authority as it were, be it at the bottom or the top, We can make a difference in the lives of others. To lead, you must learn to serve. Good leadership requires qualities such as trust, authenticity, vision, integrity, and service.

To lead effectively, you must examine your motivations and then decide what type of leader you will be. Some lead to make a difference, others lead for power and position, a few have it thrust upon them, and yet another group lead for self discovery. How we lead is a choice we all get to make. It is important that we are clear about our desire to lead and, like every successful goal we achieve, we must have a plan and purpose. If you believe that you are not deserving of certain roles and responsibilities then, your wish will be your outcome. We must be motivated to change the things that hold us back and pursue what we desire. Wish yourself and others well and then move forward with your plan of action. Enjoy this Presidents’ Day by reviewing your leadership goals and style.

 

Have a Happy, Healthy 2017!

Any Zen Antics stories via Goodweb.cn

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Positive Motivation Tip: Presidents’ Day is a reminder to us all of the importance of a focused mind and the value of our freedoms.  Honor them.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
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PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos –   via Wikipedia, and/or  Valentine’s DayValentines via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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#MotvnM, 45 Presidents of the USA, American history, leadership, love of country, Motivation, Motivation Mondays, motivational stories, positive attitude, postaday, service, US Presidents Day, Zen Stories


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  • Great post! I tend to be a dictator when it comes to leadership in my home haha. Happy presidents day!

  • Makes you wonder – on a historical day like today, what’s going on in America? Everything that the constitution stands for and our forefathers so carefully curated, is being questioned.

  • We don’t celebrate that kind of day here, or maybe we have a different date for it. No matter, I think it’s important to honor the past presidents for the work that they did, even if sometimes we don’t really agree with that president. I love how you talk about leadership, I’ve had plenty of bosses in the past who needed to double check their leadership styles, lol.

  • I do find it disturbing that every holiday is a chance for retailers to have a sale. It takes away from the true meaning of why we’re celebrating. Somehow I don’t think Washington or Lincoln would be honored by 20% off at Macy’s.

  • I personally think that President’s Day is mainly a day to celebrate our first president, George Washington. Although, I do feel that it is also a day to celebrate Abraham Lincoln and some other presidents who have accomplished so much for this country. I would say I am a pacifist and just want nothing but peace. I believe that violence is not the answer.

  • Love this post. Not very many people really stop and take a minute to think about the meaning behind this day. And what you said about Leadership Style. When I used to teach, I had my students share how they would go about leading through service.

  • What a wonderful post. I kinda feel bad because we didn’t really do anything today. I had my niece and nephew over to play with my daughter and my mom stopped by but that’s about it.

  • Happy Presidents Day!!! I love that you write posts for each holiday and give us a historical background for each one. We drove home from a family visit today but the night before we were talking about this years election.

  • I agree with the phrase your mentioned “We must be motivated to change the things that hold us back and pursue what we desire”. We don’t have Presidents’ day here where I lived but it’s good to learn about the history in this post.

  • I can’t say that I celebrate this day. Not because I don’t appreciate what our presidents have sacrificed for our country, but because like most “holidays” it is too commercial.

  • I’ve never really had a desire to be a leader. I am more of a collaborator or teammate. I feel that being a leader is a very large responsibility. I do know that President Harrison served the shortest term in office and that FDR served the longest term in office. Trump is now the oldest at the time of assuming the office of the Presidency but Reagan was the oldest President in office.

  • There are two people running the Honey and Fox blog. You could say Honey and I are co-leaders in addition to best friends. What helps us keep the blog running smoothly is that we have the same mission and we are working towards it constructively. We aren’t afraid to discuss problems with one another.

  • We can be leaders and serve our country in our own little way. We have much respect for our presidents and it is just right to know the history of their service as a leader and as a person. Honoring President’s day is one way of showing respect in recognition of their achievements.

  • its nice to know about presidents. if we study their lives , we can learn leadership skills and also how to conduct ourselves properly in a diplomatic situations.

  • I am not from the US but I love your post 🙂 It an amazing one 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • I’m Italian, so Thanks for sharing your traditions.
    I’m very interested about them!

  • This is really informative. I think it’s a great idea to honor our presidents and especially our freedom. I spent my day with two sick children.

  • my family admires both late Presidents. I’ve heard a lot of story about them and it is very different from today. I love reading posts like this! i like it

  • This is such a great information to know and remember. I enjoy reading your posts so much!

  • What a great way to look at Presidents’ Day, examining your own leadership style! I agree, everyone is leading and motivating someone else, whether they think so or not! You never know who is watching and who you might inspire by your actions, whether good or bad! In 2017, I’ve been really taking a harder look into my actions with my goals and trying to renew my mind by learning, growing, and relating! Your articles always give me more insight!

  • i like the part where you ask: what is your leadership style? it makes me think of what kind of a person I am. very interesting post!

  • this is our family’s topic earlier. i would love to show this post later tonight! very interesting to hear what they can say about this.

  • “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” Happy Presidents day!
    Katja xxx

  • i love learning new information about the history of our country, which includes our Presidents. I like to think my leadership style would be based on kindness and peace.

  • My leadership style would be collaborator. I’m not a huge fan of taking charge but I’ll do it if need be.

  • Being from Canada, we do learn quite a bit about American History – but I definitely learned alot from your post. I like knowing things so it was a great read. 🙂

  • It sounds silly but I never knew that ‘honoring presidents day ‘ existed and that is possibly because I am in the UK. It is great that it does exist though, hope you enjoy your celebrations!

  • i agree! that to lead effectively you must examine your motivations! everybody needs motivation for effective leadership! it’s nonsense to lead a country if you dont have motivation or inspiration!

  • Happy presidents day to you in the USA! Here in Canada we do not celebrate this, we should have a prime ministers’ day.

  • I’m in Canada so don’t really know a lot about Presidents day. this was very interesting to read about

  • This is really well written. The quotes are really inspiring. In a divisive world today we need strong leaders. Otherwise the world order just falls apart.

  • Happy President’s Day – It’s not something I’ve heard anything about living in England (seriously didn’t know the day existed) so I’ve learned something new today!

  • Presidents Day is so important. We need to teach our children what these men mean to our country.

  • I’ve always found American history interesting. We don’t have presidents over here in the U.K. I’ve learnt something I didn’t know about Presidents’ Day. I know on the Wendy show they spoke about this day but this concept is just so foreign over here. But it’s really nice to see this carried throughout.

  • Fantastic post, I learnt something new today! I’d heard of Presidents’ Day but never truly knew what it was. On a side note, the first quote you have here by Lincoln, chills me, given today’s political climate.

  • I really like how you transitioned this post from Lincoln to Washington, and then to leadership in general. I also appreciate how you addressed presidential quality and leadership (and the fact that good leaders come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and varieties) without being overly “political.” This was a great post!

    • Thank you Brandi! As I said in an earlier comment, it is a piece on the history of the presidency, the different forms of leadership styles, and what motivates/drives us to serve. It is NOT a political post.

  • Presidents Day is a special day. To honor all our former Presidents is very important. They lead our nation.

  • I honor President’s Day with the respect of the office. I can’t imagine the stress you are under running a country. Like with our soldiers serving their country, serving as president is a honor.

  • I always look forward to your post, you continue to educate me on things I’ve never knew. This was a great read on Presidents Day and what it means to be a president and leader, loved it!

    • Thank you Sondra! I’m very pleased with the feedback because it shows me that most folks actually read the post and came away recognizing that it is a piece on the history of the presidency, the different forms of leadership styles, and what motivates/drives us to serve. This is NOT a political post at all. Thank you!

  • Presidents day just comes across as totally American to me. We don’t really have a similar celebration in Australia, although I guess we do celebrate the Queen’s birthday. I’m not sure there’s all that much to celebrate for you guys this year.

  • Ahhhh Presidents’ Day! I thought this was such a silly day when I was a kid! Now reflecting on this day as an adult, it definitely has you reflecting on all the different leadership directions our country has taken since the beginning

  • I love this quote from Abraham Lincoln America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln

    I sure hope that we will not have such divisiveness in our country as we had during the Civil War ever again.

  • I always love your posts! Presidents day is so important. We celebrate what our country means and the presidents who made it what it is. I have high hopes that it gets better.

  • Naturally, I’m a dictator because I’m pretty much OCD. As a pharmacist, I try to let little things go so I don’t nit pick my technicians but it drives me crazy that I cannot work until it’s fixed !! However, I’ve been trying to be a collaborator to where I won’t drive myself crazy and learn to let things go as much as possible xoxo

  • I hate to admit, I don’t know a whole lot about any of our presidents. I know a few fun facts about a few…but my Mom (who was a 5th grade teacher) could recite the presidents in order and knew all sorts of oddball trivia about each of them! lol

  • I guess I thought I knew about this holiday, but I definitely do not! I need to brush up more on my history and use holidays like this to teach my son and encourage a thirst for knowledge. I didn’t know about the Tippecanoe curse. Very interesting.

  • I so agree that this day is a day to remember our freedom. I love the quote to leave the place better than you found it.

  • I agree on this statement: To lead effectively, you must examine your motivations. Also, I think I am more of a collaborator than a dictator.

  • The job of being the President is really, really tough. We cannot put all the country’s troubles onto the shoulder of one person. It is the collective effort of all the citizenry to move forward and work together for the good of everyone. Let us be thankful for all the past Presidents who did their best to lead our country.

  • This was an interesting read for me!!! No, I didn’t know the actual story behind Presidents’ Day. We pretty much grew up knowing the day as simply a day observed as a federal holiday. No school, no mail carrier, etc. That was pretty much it. I appreciate you for sharing this. So many cool facts. I bookmarked this post to read with my kiddos after dinner.

    • You are right that most know it as a day off school or work but it is much more. It is a fascinating history and, as an educator, I believe all of us ought to have access to this information

  • FYI All Visitors/Readers: This post celebrates Motivation Mondays and Presidents’ Day. It is a piece on the history of the presidency, the different forms of leadership styles, and what motivates/drives us to serve. This is NOT a political post. Thank you to all who have taken the time to read the post and comment on its contents! <3 🙂

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