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Mom’s Lasting Legacy

Mother’s Day is bittersweet both for us since our moms have passed on. But their memories are always with us along with the lessons that we learned from them. That’s the lasting legacy of all of our moms.

Here are three lessons we each learned from our moms:


Be confident in who you are.
I remember coming home from school one day in tears because some girls on the bus had made fun of me. Mom told me it doesn’t matter what other people say. She told me to walk away and ignore them. Don’t stoop down to their level because two wrongs don’t make a right. Then she hugged me and told me how special I was and how much she loved me.

Be willing to sacrifice.
Mom encouraged my sister and me to be in any extracurricular activities in which we were interested. She provided the rides – dropping us off and picking us up. She willingly gave of herself for us.

Think rainbows and butterflies, not gloom and doom.
This was one of mom’s sayings. She encouraged me to get in touch with my creative side and imagine the possibilities. She wanted me to feel free in that happy place. You can’t achieve your dreams if you’re in a gray, stormy place hiding under cover. I use this to this day when I’m having a down day.


It’s better to give than receive.

Mom always had this desire to help anyone in need. Even towards the end, as long as she was able, she would do anything to serve others. I remember one time she said that she had driven this “little old lady” to the doctor. Knowing that mom was about 85 at the time, I asked how old this woman was. “Oh, she’s about 87, I suppose.”

Make the most of your money.
Mom was a prodigious saver. She could stretch a penny further than anyone I’ve ever seen.  One way she did this was to make ordinary things extraordinary. There were a number of meals that I thought were something special as a kid. It turned out they were leftovers or made with food that was going to go bad if she didn’t do something with it.

Don’t act your age.
I alluded to this earlier with the “little old lady” story. You’re only as old as you feel. Mom was 43 when I was born. I remember one of my friends coming over when I was a teenager. Mom got out and shot baskets with us. My friend commented on how cool my mom was because his mom would never do anything like that. Just so you know, his mom was at least 20 years younger than mine!

Turning memories into a gift for your mom
On the show, George shared a fantastic gift idea that was his sister Pat’s idea. Along with their two other sisters, they each wrote roughly 90 memories and gave it to their mom so she had a memory to read each day of the year. George said he doesn’t think his mom ever got a gift that made her so happy.

Obviously, it’s too late to do something like this Mother’s Day. But you could give your mom the gift of a memory e-mailed to her every day for the next year. It’s an amazing idea that’s very inexpensive yet very personal. 

Tell us about the lessons you learned from your mom!
Leave us a Comment below!

Our bigg quote today is by Nancy Friday, who said:

“When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child,
I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself.”

So thanks, Mom … and Happy Mother’s Day!

Next time, we’ll discuss why you should quit jumping on me like a dog. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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A Mother’s Day Letter: What I Wish I Could Say to Mom Today

By Bigg Success Staff

Life Changes


Dear Mom,

It’s another Mother’s Day so I wanted to write you this letter. I wanted you to know that, if you were still here, I would spend the entire day with you. I can’t imagine anything else that could be more important today. We’d talk and laugh and just bask in the joy of being together.

I would tell you …

… how special you always made me feel.

… how much I love to see you smile.

… how you helped me become who I am.

… how much I enjoy talking with you.

… how happy it makes me when I think of our times together.

… that you are the best mom anyone could ever have.

… how lucky I feel to be your child.

… that I love you.

I would thank you …

… for teaching me right from wrong.

… for being so patient when I was so impatient.

… for standing up to me when you thought I was making a mistake.

… for being a role model to me.

… for being so giving, not just to me but to everyone you cared about.

… for showing me what it means to be a good person.

… for preparing me for life.

… for loving me no matter what.

I would ask you …

… how you could be so tough and yet so loving at the same time.

… if there is anything you need, because I know you won’t tell me otherwise.

… to tell me stories of your life, even ones I’ve heard before so I never forget them.

… to tell me more about our family, so I always remember my heritage.

… for advice on anything and everything, but especially for raising your grandchildren.

I would take you …

… to your favorite place so we could just hang out.

… for a drive just so we could spend time together.

… to the park so we could enjoy the beauty of nature.

… for a walk so we could talk alone.

… in my arms and give you a big hug and a kiss.

Mom, if you were still here, I would linger with you … wishing that I never had to leave. I miss you, but I want you to know that your memory will always be with me, and …

… most of all, I’ll always wish we had just one more moment to spend together.

With much love,

Your “Kid”

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Mothers Possess the Single Most Important Leadership Ability

By Bigg Success Staff

Leadership Skills

The single most important leadership skill is the ability to determine what’s most important. Managers focus on doing things right; they are into efficiency. Great leaders focus on doing the right things; they concern themselves with effectiveness.

Because of all the demands on them, mothers learn to prioritize. They quickly separate what’s most important from what’s not important. Then they put all of their energy into what they have determined is essential.

They constantly process new information and responding accordingly. Along the way, they realize that priorities may change. So they adjust – tending to a sick child is more important than cleaning house, demands at work may take precedence over a home-made dinner.

They realize that sometimes some things have to give. So carry-out will allow the family to still be together at dinner without requiring preparation time. That special dinner she was going to make can wait until tomorrow. Being together matters; what’s for dinner tonight doesn’t.

So mothers, like great leaders, set priorities knowing full well they’re priorities will change as they receive new information. When that happens, they’re ready to adjust as necessary to keep working on what’s most important.

By constantly focusing on what’s most pressing and spending all their valuable time working on just those things, moms provide an essential lesson for anyone wanting to be a great leader.

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A Rose That Made A Lasting Impression

By Bigg Success Staff

Timeless Principles


The following story, from The Holiday Spot, illustrates how much we can learn from children:

A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing.

He asked her what was wrong and she replied, "I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother, but I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars."

The man smiled and said, "Come on in with me. I'll buy you a rose."

He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother's flowers.

As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home.

She said, "Yes, please! You can take me to my mother."

She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother's house.

Mother’s Day is a time to honor one of the most special people in our lives. We show our moms, and all of our loved ones, what’s important to us by how we spend our time. On Mother’s Day and every day.

Our actions speak louder than words, flowers, or anything else we can do short of making time to be with the ones we care about the most. As the little girl showed the grown man, we may not always have the opportunity we have today!

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Got Milk? Young Mom Finds Her Mission

By Bigg Success Staff

Inspirational Stories


Jill Youse had a supply problem – she had too much! She had been freezing extra breast milk for her new baby girl, but she knew she didn’t need it all. So she searched the internet for a place to donate her reserve milk.

She only found one organization in South Africa that provided breast milk to orphans. So she contacted them, but they told her that they couldn’t make it work logistically.

But Jill Youse is a very determined person. She found a way to make it work, and in doing so, launched the International Breast Milk Project (IBMP).

Now two years later, she has been featured on Oprah and ABC News, in Women’s Health and Time , by Daryn Kagan in her book What’s Possible, and on well-known web sites such as Freakonomics, Gimundo, and now Bigg Success!

According to UNICEF, babies in the developing world are six times more likely to survive their first two months if they are fed breast milk. The IBMP says that approximately four million infants worldwide die before they reach four weeks in age.

Breast milk helps boost their immune system better than any other alternative. Delaying breast milk feeding just one day can double the infant’s chances of dying before one month.

The IBMP was the first organization in the world to provide breast milk from the United States to orphans in Africa. Today, approximately one-fourth of the milk donated goes to Africa. The rest goes to critically ill infants in the United States.

This IBMP makes money from the milk that stays in the United States to support other initiatives – such as funding rain water harvesting tanks and a water purification system for a children’s home in Kenya and a healthcare center in Tanzania.

Jill’s organization has received the Charities Review Council Seal for meeting all sixteen of its Accountability Standards. According to the IBMP’s web site, 99 percent of all monies received go to programming, with less than one percent for management and fundraising expenses. Now that’s efficiency!

The IBMP’s next shipment is scheduled for this month – over 55,000 ounces of mothers’ milk will be delivered to Africa. That’s the result of thousands of woman donating their excess breast milk. In the process, they become philanthropists who are making a bigg difference.

You can help out the IBMP by donating milk, money or mind power! They are growing rapidly and need any resources you’re willing to offer. Check out their web site for more details!

Jill started with a small problem and turned it into an opportunity to solve a large one, ounce by ounce. She’s a mom on a mission! 

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