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Destiny Is A Choice!

It’s Not a Matter of Chance

Karen and Jay share thoughts on excitement for 2022 and the opportunity for each of us to seize control of our destiny.

As we start the new year, we often say things like, “Well, I wonder what the new year is going to bring?” Or, “I wonder what’s going to happen to me in the coming year?’’ As we embark on this fresh new year of 2022, how about considering a different approach? A much more EMPOWERING way to think about our future? Please take a moment to absorb the following quote that the famous American political figure William Jennings Bryan shared more than one hundred years ago:

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

With this in mind, let’s resolve to make 2022 – not a matter of chance, but a preconceived destiny that we are committed to turning into our reality. Interestingly, I have heard it said that “You are your destiny. That there is a positive energy in your being and in your body that radiates, emanates and connects with other people, creates a feeling of goodwill – and becomes your destiny.” What better way to start the new year than to radiate positive energy and set out on a mission to create your destiny for 2022.

To illustrate the idea of ‘creating your destiny,’ I want to take you back to the year 1985. In one of the most famous scenes from Robert Zemeckis’ blockbuster classic Back to the Future, two of the main characters George McFly and Marty McFly (George’s son who has been accidentally transported to the past) hatch a plan to make sure George ends up dating and ultimately marrying Marty’s mom, Lorraine. They come up with a speech George is supposed to say to Lorraine that will win her over, and hopefully from there, it’s ‘happily ever after.’ Well, when it comes time for George’s biggest moment, he nervously walks up to Lorraine to say his piece, famously asking for a milk, chocolate milk, stumbling with his words, saying Lorraine is not his ‘destiny,’ but his ‘density.’ Ultimately, he corrects himself, but Lorraine still isn’t convinced. As the movie progresses, George wavers in his belief that he is meant to be with Lorraine. And if he doesn’t end up with her, Marty will cease to exist! In the end, George ends up believing in this destiny that Marty has shared with him. In the final scenes, George comes to the aid of Lorraine in a moment of distress, and finally, the two fall in love and live happily ever after.

It’s quite a set up, and though it’s a movie, there’s a lesson in there about realizing our own destiny in real life, how it isn’t simply a game of chance, but a series of choices we make to ensure it becomes a reality. We’re often led to believe some things ‘are the way they are,’ that they simply happen, that we don’t have a say in the matter. If we accept that narrative, then by all means, our destiny becomes a game of chance. A recently published study from the University of Bath in the UK demonstrates that those who believe in creating their own luck and who believed they had a say in how they manifested their own fate or destiny, achieve it more often than those who don't. Real life evidence that what took place in Back to the Future isn’t simply reserved for the movies, but something we can practice in our own lives. Sometimes all it takes is taking the time to imagine our best possible lives, everything from our relationships, work, leisure time, even the condition of society, taking time to write about everything as we want it to be. By taking the time to reflect, we give ourselves perspective on what we truly want, and in doing so, we’re encouraged to take action to fulfill the future we imagine.

Like anything though, it’s all part of a process that takes time and things won’t magically appear overnight simply by writing them down or thinking about them. However, by regularly acknowledging what we truly want, we create intentions that give us direction, direction that leads to action, action that manifests the things we desire into reality. More often than not, when we do this, we give ourselves the strength to make decisions, some that are difficult, but do have the power to drastically change our lives in the way we desire. As George McFly says in the closing moments of Back to the Future, when you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

Nashua – ‘Gate City to the Future’

Nashua is New Hampshire’s second largest city with a population of over 90,000 people. Nicknamed ‘The Gate City,’ Nashua has actually had many names over the nearly 300 years of its existence. Nashua is one of the oldest towns in the state and actually predates the founding of New Hampshire. Nashua was originally called Dunstable. But it was not Dunstable, New Hampshire, it was Dunstable, Massachusetts. That’s right, Nashua was originally a part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts before New Hampshire was state and it was much larger (by landmass) than it is today. When New Hampshire became a state and had the Massachusetts border set, Dunstable was divided and then occupied territory overlapping the border in both states. Slowly over time, parts of the portion of Dunstable located in New Hampshire broke off to form the surrounding towns of Hollis, Hudson, Litchfield, and Merrimack. In fact, Nashua was not formed out of Dunstable, but with what was not claimed by the new surrounding towns. It was essentially built out of the remainder.

What did the newly formed Nashua do? It broke itself in half and formed Nashville (no connection to Tennessee) in the north and kept the name to the south. Eventually they reconciled and came back together, and Nashville (now known as French Hill) was no more.

Like many of New Hampshire’s towns on the Merrimack River, the city was a manufacturing powerhouse, second only to Manchester. Unfortunately, much like Manchester, Nashua also experienced a decline in manufacturing as many of the mills began to migrate south and overseas. Nashua was then faced with a real set of problems. It was experiencing the economic issues also affecting so many of the other mill towns in New England, but also coupled with big city problems. However, in true Nashua form, and ‘Granite State Spirit,’ it was not afraid to adapt to the times and is now a magnet for tech, software, and financial services firms – offering the economic advantages of being located in New Hampshire while also providing a friendly, supportive lifestyle for families and those who enjoy all our beautiful state has to offer. It has been reborn – ready to grow and prosper now and going forward. With its wonderful rebirth, Nashua truly is ‘The Gate City to the Future.’

Stories That Inspire: Eileen Doyon

Recently, I became acquainted with a local author who is determined to support veterans and help them reflect on their emotions. She also knows how to communicate the love and affection that dogs can bring to our lives – and much more. Eileen Doyon is an accomplished writer of children’s books and resides here in Portsmouth. She and I both grew up in small towns and today call Portsmouth home. A few years back Eileen lost her father, a veteran. Make no mistake about it, no matter how old we are or how many kids we have, when we lose a parent, we all feel the same sense of emptiness. Rather than wallow in the grief, Eileen’s experience inspired her to start what is known as ‘Unforgettable Faces and Stories.’ This series of books, ranging from pets we love, to honoring our first responders, allows us all to reflect and express our emotions in a very unique way. Her published works share stories of missing loved ones and how it's important that we all share our stories in a way that allows us to grow emotionally and potentially have a positive impact on others.

One of Eileen’s recent publications is titled "Lucky...Little Guy, BIG Mission"

The book is based on a true story of a disabled veteran who raises Lucky to be a service dog. Lucky would join the over 500,000 dogs helping our veterans and the disabled enjoy a good life. These four-legged companions are there not only for endless love and devotion but help make people’s lives a little bit easier.

The book, ‘Unforgettable Faces and Stories’ is truly inspiring. I encourage everyone to visit and learn more about it, order a book, and join Eileen in making a difference.

In closing, as you may know I love dogs, and as I suspect you likely have already figured out, every chance I’m able, I enjoy sharing stories about dogs here in the Sunshine Report. I know you will love Eileen’s work and the amazing story about Lucky. Meanwhile, I would be remiss if I didn't also give a little plug here for Hero Pups, a NH based organization specializing in training service dogs and placing them with military families and others in need of love and support. I invite you to visit their site and learn more about this terrific organization: Am sure you will find their mission to be uplifting, positive and worthy of support!

Positive Profile of the Week: Amy LaBelle

This week we are delighted to highlight one of New Hampshire’s most inspiring entrepreneurs – a great friend, Amy LaBelle.

Most notably, Amy, along with her husband Cesar, has established a most remarkable destination winery with three locations, Amherst, Portsmouth, and most recently now in Derry.

For those who travel west on Route 101 past Bedford, I’m sure you have seen the amazing building and landscape that is Labelle Winery. The vision for this facility and its’ amazing wines comes from none other than founder Amy LaBelle. You see Amy didn't come from a wine background nor does she hail from the wine country of the west. In fact, prior to diving into the LaBelle Winery, Amy was an accomplished corporate attorney for Fidelity Investments. It was a vacation to Nova Scotia and visit to a winery there that inspired her to begin her own winery, resulting in a company with multiple locations, thousands of customers and has earned the respect of people from all across New England and beyond.

While working full-time Amy took four years of courses to learn the science, marketing and business operations of producing wine. In 2005, Amy produced her first commercial production of wine. In just six short years, her output grew by leaps and bounds. She purchased 11 acres of land in Amherst to grow her grapes and the growing demand then called for the next step in her venture, the LaBelle Winery on Route 101.

This ‘one of a kind’ facility in NH, is a ‘must go’ spot for great food, terrific wine, hosting an event and getting together with friends. Amy and her husband Cesar along with their several hundred employees work non-stop to create an experience that is second to none. Both Amy and Cesar are warm and inviting hosts, and you can tell they are truly passionate in their desire to make sure every guest at LaBelle’s has an outstanding experience. And, in addition to all the hard work at the business, both Amy and Cesar are active members of their community, volunteering their time for many charitable and educational initiatives.

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit and tour Amy’s newest location, the LaBelle Bistro in Derry, NH. Amy and Cesar showed me their amazing facility that not only includes a fantastic restaurant for dining, that would put most big city (Boston and New York) restaurants to shame with its quality and excellence, but an event space for meetings, a nine-hole golf course and even a most inspiring display of art to honor our veterans. I was visiting the facility to attend an event they hosted on extremely short notice just prior to Christmas. They generously rearranged their schedules to welcome former Vice-President Mike Pence, and host a reception sponsored by the NH Federation of Republican Women. They did this to showcase women in politics, just one of the many things they are involved in. Year after year, Amy has hosted multi-day seminars to encourage young women to follow their dreams and pursue their passions.

As the author Guy Finley has said, “If you don’t leap, you’ll never know what it’s like to fly.” Amy has proven that when you do leap, your flight to follow your dreams is not only possible – but can definitely be achieved – with hard work, faith and a positive spirit. Our heartfelt thanks to Amy for her leadership and her contributions as an outstanding, inspiring role model for others to follow. We are indeed honored to have Amy and Cesar as great friends and leaders here in the Granite State!

Quotes of the Week: Destiny

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” William Shakespeare

“You are not the victim of the world, but rather the master of your own destiny. It is your choices and decisions that determine your destiny.” Roy T. Bennett

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” Gautama Buddha, Sayings Of Buddha

“That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.” Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain


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