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Strength Through Purpose!

Our Purpose is the ‘Why?’

Jay shares thoughts on how we derive strength through a ‘sense of purpose.'

Have you ever found yourself energized, motivated and determined to achieve a result? When there was an inner force driving you to make something happen? Chances are you were being motivated by a ‘purpose’ – a cause or an outcome larger than yourself and wanting to have an impact on the world around you. It’s this ‘sense of purpose’ that gives us extraordinary strength – especially when compared to situations where that purpose does not exist – those times when you find yourself simply ‘going through the motions’ – with no clear idea why? We all yearn to find meaning in our lives, and it’s this ‘sense of purpose’ that generates positive energy and a force that radiates and gives us the strength to do amazing things.

This sense of purpose is seen in many individuals who may come from modest backgrounds but then go on to do achieve unparalleled levels of success in whatever profession or discipline they pursue. One great example involves a young man who grew up in the segregated South. Born in Columbia, Mississippi, as a child he grew up with an alcoholic father and did not seem destined for great things. He had an interest in music, played the drums in the marching band and it wasn’t until his junior year in high school that he found his way on to the football field. But, when he did, he felt he had something to prove. He felt a purpose and it gave him extraordinary strength.

In fact, so much so, that this young man developed a work ethic second to none. During his junior and senior years in high school, he went to establish himself as one of the state’s leading rushing backs. Despite this, he did not get an invitation to play football from any of the SEC college programs. Instead, he had to settle for a college football career at Jackson State, an Historically Black College. And, not surprisingly, while there, he excelled through a real sense of purpose. He became a role model for his work ethic as well as his contributions to the larger community as well.

So, when the Chicago Bears drafted him in 1975, his aspiration, his purpose, was to achieve such a level of excellence that he would be widely recognized as the greatest running back in NFL history and help the Bears win a Super Bowl Championship – an almost unthinkable task, since the Bears perpetually seemed to occupy last place in their Division.

So, to accomplish all this, he took on a work ethic unlike that of any other. He would work out every single day – even during the season. In fact, he would start each day by running an enormously challenging hill – sloped at a 45-degree angle, 92 feet high – and do this time after time. In fact, these workouts became so legendary that after his playing career was over the town of Arlington Heights, Illinois, dedicated the hill in his honor.

Thankfully, all this hard work, driven by strength of purpose did pay off. He did help the struggling Bears win their first Super Bowl Championship in their NFL history.

And, importantly, his dedication to activities off the field was widely recognized as well. He led the way for NFL players in establishing programs and giving back to the community. In fact, so much so, that today, the most cherished and respected award presented by the NFL is named in his honor. The Walter Payton Award is presented each year to the player who distinguishes himself with ‘Excellence on and off the Field.’

So, when you take a step back and look at your own life, it’s a worthwhile exercise to ask: What’s my driving purpose? What is going to motivate me to fulfill the fullness of my potential? And then once settled, watch yourself go after it with reckless abandon. And, like Walter Payton – be the very best you can possibly be.

New Hampshire – Trusting Citizens, Not the King!

The Granite State has a long tradition honoring freedom and protecting the rights of the individual. No surprise that our State Motto is ‘Live Free or Die.’ What may surprise many, however, is the extent to which this commitment to protecting freedom from government authority pervades our unique form of government here in New Hampshire and how long it has persisted. Case in point our powerful Executive Council, sometimes also referred to as our Governor’s Council, enshrined in our State Constitution, originally adopted in 1783, and established to protect us.

In fact, the roots of this distrust and the formation of an Executive Council even predate our State Constitution. Having a mistrust of the King of England’s appointed Governor over the colony, in 1679, the province of New Hampshire split away from the colony of Massachusetts and established an executive branch Council to oversee the governor and outvote him on many decisions. Originally, the head of the Council was named the President of the State and, during the American Revolution, the President of the Council became the Governor of the State.

While Massachusetts has a Governor’s Council, it is merely an extension of the Governor's office working as an advisory board to the Governor, and only approves appointments and pardons. In New Hampshire, the Executive Council is completely independent of the Governor's office, and only three votes out of the five councilors are needed to approve or deny appointments, contracts, and pardons in the state. The Council votes on every contract in the state that is over $10,000. The Council also oversees all departments and directors of state agencies.

The Executive Council has had many notable members, such as the first woman on the Council, Dudley W. Dudley, and the longest-serving councilor, Ray Burton from the North County. Both have their portraits inside the State House to honor their service. Several other former members of the Council include Congressman Chris Pappas, State Senator Lou D’Allesandro, former U.S Senator Judd Gregg, political icon and children's author Ruth Griffin, and Governor Christopher Sununu.

Some today may see the Council as a bottleneck to efficiency in the state, but a natural distrust of government is a part of the heritage of New Hampshire. The Executive Council is yet one more piece of the puzzle that makes New Hampshire the unique and special place that we love.

Maple Syrup Season – It’s ‘Maple Weekend in NH!’

Around this same time each year, New Englanders look forward to the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring with its warmer temperatures and some much need sunshine piercing through the clouds. In fact, we are now about to enjoy ‘Maple Weekend’ in New Hampshire – March 19th-20th. We are embarking on the unofficial kickoff of this season - the annual tapping of the maple trees to make our favorite treat - maple syrup. While Vermont tries to claim the title of best maple syrup in New England, real New Englanders know that New Hampshire makes the best maple products.

‘Sugaring Teams need to move quickly as the time window for tapping trees is limited and the product can spoil quickly often putting in over a hundred hours of work in a week in a blitz to finish their product. But sugaring isn’t limited to those who do so professionally. It’s a also fun-filled family activity for many throughout the Granite State. From setting the taps to collecting and then boiling, it’s a long process that takes time and builds family bonds. In my hometown of Newport, Bryan Huot and family have made it a rich family tradition. And, my longtime great friends, the Stetson’s, have an awesome maple sugar operation right next door in nearby Lempster, NH.

So, when you are coming out of the winter slumber this year and you see the little tin pails on the tree, know that someone somewhere is about to be enjoying New England’s favorite food!

For more information and to find a location near you, please check out the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association at They have an awesome website, listing more than 350+ members.

Positive Profile of the Week: Beno Lamontagne

This week, we are delighted to highlight a hardworking and truly dedicated advocate for economic development, Mr. Beno Lamontagne.

If you do business in the North Country of New Hampshire, you know Beno. His passion and commitment to the success of economic development are second to none. As a former small business owner of not one but two RadioShack franchise stores in the North Country, Beno knows firsthand the importance of a steady and dependable workforce as well as the needs of small businesses in the North Country. Beno also knows that a local economy can only succeed if local businesses have support from the community. With his deep experience and knowledge, Beno is always there to ensure that the resources are available for businesses to start and maintain operations in Northern New Hampshire.

For instance, Beno played a key role in expanding high speed internet access to the North Country. He has also continued to work across numerous constituencies as an advocate for small towns by ensuring funding for transportation and economic development and making sure that workforce development programs are accessible to and devoted to the North Country.

Importantly, recently, Beno also helped bring a rubber glove company to Colebrook which will create up to 400 new jobs for the North Country. He worked with utility companies, stakeholders, and community leaders, bringing them together to move quickly and ‘united as one team’ in order to bring this amazing opportunity to the North Country. Truly a ‘game changer’ for the region.

The list of positive stories and solid achievements spearheaded by Beno goes on and on. Without a doubt, however, if you are ever fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with Beno you will be amazed! On behalf of the North Country and indeed on behalf of all of New Hampshire, we are truly blessed to have Beno as a driving force for economic development.

Quotes of the Week: Purpose

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

John F. Kennedy

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

Robert Byrne

“True happiness... is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

Helen Keller

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

Albert Schweitzer

“The climb might be tough and challenging, but the view is worth it. There is a purpose for that pain; you just can't always see it right away.”

Victoria Arlen


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