My Five Biggest Birthday Gifts

Posted by Duane Cummings on 01/31/2019

#1 SPAM

            We have a winner!!! It’s not necessarily the best of gifts, but definitely the one I received the most of. 

            I’m sure you know the message. It goes a little something like this…“Happy Birthday Duane. I want you to have an amazing day, so I’m giving you a gift (insert link here to website, product, opportunity or to sign up for a list) hope to hear back from you soon.

            Oh well, as they say, “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.” So, THANK YOU to everyone who gave me SPAM again this year.  If only I could fry it all up.          

#2 A Day at the Beach

            When it comes to my happy place, first is anywhere I’m with my wife (including jail if need be) and second is at the ocean, regardless of the weather. 

Fortunately, I received both this year, which was certainly my BEST GIFT! (Sorry to my son Chris, who did get me an amazing hand strap for my camera)  My wife and I had an amazing time, even though it was overcast and rainy.  

#3 YOU---My Friends

            To me birthdays are no longer about cake, presents, and the number of years I’ve walked this earth. Birthdays are about the people in my life and the relationships I’m blessed to have.  You can see a quick video from yesterday and I promise there’s no sign up or selling involved.

            The gift of thousands of messages, calls, texts, cards, letters, and shout outs came in just a hair behind being with my wife at the beach. You are all truly special to me and I’m forever grateful to have you in my life.

#4 Clarity             

There’s something about the sound of crashing waves that soothes my soul and calms my mind, which so often provides the space for clarity. That was the case yesterday. 

As many of you know, I’m set to release another book soon, still speak publicly and from time to time continue to take on consulting projects.  But underneath it all, I’ve been yearning for something more---something a little different and yet very familiar to me.  

            So, after my wife and I spent time at the beach talking about birthday wishes and the future, she gave me the gift of clarity by saying, 

“Duane, you love athletics, it’s in your blood, and you always said you’d go back after our children were grown.”   

~~~Me on the right as the Head Coach of the Oklahoma City Slickers. Very scary mustache and I needed to get those pants hemmed.~~~

            The catalyst for this conversation was several recent opportunities that had been presented, but not taken. Well, I’ve been away from athletics for a couple decades, our kids are grown, so together we made the decision to fully open our eyes & ears and pursue a return to athletics in some form or fashion. I’m not sure where that will take us, but I’m excited to once again put my gifts and talents to use serving a university, organization, team, or franchise in the future.  Yes, I'll keep writing, speaking and mentoring others...that too is a big part of who I am.

#5 Peace & Calm

            I’m a very lucky man! For my last 32 birthdays, (and in reality every day in between) I’ve received the gift of Peace & Calm from my amazing wife. Regardless of how hectic things may get, she has this special way of slowing me down and silently reassuring me that everything will always be great. 

            AAAAHHHHHHHH!  So, there they are…My Five Biggest Birthday Gifts of This Year.  If you get the chance, I’d love to hear about your gifts. OH---and I wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Minus the SPAM, unless you’re in Hawaii! 

Author Biography:

Duane Cummings is an Author, Advisor & Advocate. As the former CEO of Leadercast, he redefined the title as "Constantly Elevating Others" and as the Co-Founder of The Speakers Guild of America, Duane continues to help people find their own unique voice. 

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Duane Cummings