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Great Accomplishments > New Journeys

Matthew Tennant

As I approach my birthday (today) I always take time to reflect, this time I’ve decided to share some of my thoughts.

Life is a beautiful gift, sometimes we forget the simplicity of it all.  We break our life into compartments of personal and professional, often time they bleed together, we then break time into years, months, days, minutes and seconds.

In the commotion we forget how to slow down, stop, and be calm in the moment.  Which is important, because in these moments its truly when you can be fully focused and have clarity on your path forward.  I’m challenging myself to remember this daily and would also ask you challenge yourself.

Professionally I left my position at McDonald’s a few weeks ago, as a leader it’s important to understand when it’s time to depart to your next journey and that time had come.  I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity, one of the hardest I’ve had to drive digital transformation in a 60-year-old decentralized company but the memories and the what I’ve learned will only empower my next step!

To the incredible team we built from 2 to 40+, THANK YOU nothing would’ve been possible without your hard work, I look forward to watching you grow and build and hope to work together someday in the future.

My next steps professionally are unknown, I’m going to take some time off and travel to center myself and find the next step.  But a special thanks to all the mentors who have guided me and helped push me to become who I am today, you know who you are!

Personally my main observation is that I allowed my professional circumstances to bleed over to my personal life and influence aspects of my life I wasn’t even aware of until I’ve removed myself.  At the end of the day a job is just a job.  Life is life, I only have one of these so it must be embraced and lived to the fullest.  It isn’t about finding myself, it’s about creating myself.   I still stand true to my mantra I inherited from my grandfather:

“Do what you love, love who you are, be good to others and the rest will follow”.  For now I’m focusing on myself for the next 30 days and creating happiness and stability.

Chicago is an amazing city, I’ve meet some great people and I’ll continue to call it home. I’m forever thankful for all the friends I’ve made in Chicago and the many amazing friends, mentors and family I have support me from all around the world, THANK YOU and thank you for all the Birthday energy and wishes!

I’ve never been more excited for where I am in life and for the journey ahead, it’s going to be amazing and I’m thankful and humbled every day to be living it!

Be Present > Wandering into it...

Matthew Tennant

As the new year closes I bring silence to reflect, where I was and in this present.   Last year I didn’t share publicly a New Year’s post , but I did write a birthday post giving my light of wisdom of self-soul searching and love – in these words brave, honest, open/experience, gentle/kind, driven and trusting.

Now I add; be present and wander into it.  And my focus for self-improvement for 2016.

Every year I reflect on everything I did and didn’t accomplish (mostly of what I didn’t accomplish) and kick myself on what was on the bucket list that hasn’t been completed.  I’ve learned that it is best to relish in your achievements and growth spend less time on what you didn’t accomplish. 

Let me explain what I mean by be present and wander into it.  

Being Present is what we experience when we are completely at peace with this very moment. It is a life journey where we constantly grow our inner peace. 

Those who know me well understand that I’m a thinking and a dreamer; so being present doesn’t come easy.  But what it has helped me do is not ask or try to understand those silly questions that the answer is out of your control, for example; when am I falling in love?  Here are some tips.

Wander Into it, not everything in life needs to be planned nor perfect.  Sometimes you just need to let go and let god or just let things happen naturally.

This year has been a year of change and growth, I left a city, friends and a job as I embraced New Beginnings>Dream. Believe. Achieve. This has sent me on a busy year where I spent a lot less time focusing on myself and a lot of time building the future of social at McDonald’s.  Professionally we have accomplished a lot as we pave the future of social for McDonalds, for those who have welcomed me into the McDonald’s family, I thank you!  To my team who has recently joined, buckle up for 2016, I look forward to accomplished 3X more J 

Personally my life has taken the backseat but that will change in 2016, to my new Chicago friends who have welcomed me, introduced me and created amazing memories with me I thank you and look forward to the coming year of many more.

Happy New Years to all of you, thank you for who each and every one of you have done to make me who I am today.

And remember  brave, honest, open/experience, gentle/kind, driven, trusting, be present and wander into it.

Matthew

FARM>McDonald's>BUILDING

Matthew Tennant

As the newly appointed Global Director of Social at McDonald’s, I’ve joined a fantastic team of digital masterminds, eager to advance customer experience in the digital era. Launching McDonald’s first Global Digital Brand Hub, I’m looking to recruit top talent to join the team. Scaling Brand engagement will be driving our global vision, and the Global Hub team will be indispensable to our transformation. 

If you are a unique innovator who wants to change the digital landscape of customer service at a global level, I encourage you to apply for the following open positions:

Global Brand Hub Consultant
Global Social Engagement Data Scientist Manager
Global Social Engagement Intelligence Manage
Global Social Engagement Newsroom Editor
Global Social Engagement Campaign and Advocacy Manager
Global Social Engagement Digital and Social Tools Consultant
Global Social Engagement Hub Services Consultant

With my new position at McDonalds, my life has truly come full circle. Yes, that is me (below), clowning around in the most serious way possible—as a loyal McDonald’s fan. 

As a boy growing up in Washington, I spent significant time with my grandfather who was a potato farmer which supplied McDonalds.  My childhood was largely shaped by my grandfather’s influence —his devotion to succeeding, fighting the odds, and inspiring those around him with an infectiously positive energy which has been instilled in me.

In 2015, I was appointed to McDonald’s Global Digital team.  If my life were a novel critiqued in high school English classes, let’s just say…there would definitely be some discussion about foreshadowing.

I’ve found incredible success, but it’s safe to say that it hasn’t come easy. I joined the social media revolution when Twitter emerged and combated naysayers who thought that social media could never be transformed into a reputable brand-marketing channel. I am always motivated to push the envelope—create the rules, rather than follow them, and this is what enticed me about social media. It was new, immense, and relatively undefined. 

Working at Microsoft, what began as a tiny concept of mine transformed into an innovative team of 60+ people. I saw social media as something more than an extended network of friends. I saw it as a business opportunity to connect with consumers and establish valuable relationships with customers across the globe. 

I had confidence in my idea, but I also had trepidations, concerns and insecurities. The biggest lesson I have learned in life is that it is so important to take these types of risks, to invest fully in your passions, and to inspire others to pursue their own paths.

Joining McDonald’s Digital Team was a bold undertaking for me. My ultimate goal at McDonald’s is to make a difference through innovative collaboration. Right now, McDonald’s is in an interesting position, and I am on a team that is eager to reinvigorate, push, and reestablish the brand’s vision.

With the newly built Global Brand Hub and a growing team of employees dedicated to connecting with and listening to customers – as the customer is at the heart of everything we do, change is on the way — and my team is ready for the challenge. I joined the social media revolution some time ago, and my commitment to the movement is stronger than ever. Social media evolves every day, and my job is to evolve with it by discovering new solutions and new strategies that will propel our vision forward.

At the end of the day, staying true to yourself is key to success, which is why I live by my personal motto: DO WHAT YOU LOVE, LOVE WHO YOU ARE, BE GOOD TO OTHERS, AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW!

Matthew

 

New Beginnings > Dream. Believe. Achieve.

Matthew Tennant

My Motto:  
“Do what you love, Love who you are, be good to others and the rest will follow.”

 

New Beginnings

As a dreamer, leader and builder it’s important to know when it’s time to hand over the reins of what has been achieved to continue to build new things, pushing yourself and the industry.

I’m excited to announce I will be joining McDonald’s as the Global Director of Social Operations, reporting to Atif Rafiq the SVP of Global Digital. I will slowly be transitioning and relocating to Chicago over the next few months.  Although it is bittersweet to be leaving the #CICEmpire and Microsoft, what has been built is setup for success and growth.  You should expect to continue to see great things from McDonald's.  What can I say...I've been a fan for awhile. 


Dream and Believe

My grandfather taught me much of who I am today, over my professional lifespan I've been able to use the lessons he taught me, especially in the last five years while at Microsoft. I've learned how to make my dreams reality, truly believe and achieve great things. In February 2012 an idea was created to build a center that would empower Microsoft to respond to customers on Social Media.

It started small with a few of us...we had the dream, we found unused tables, chairs, monitors and a corner to sit in. We started by showing the insights of activity across social to gather the case that we should respond to customers, we start to respond with Lync then Office and we become a handful and a team was born. 

Needless to say our success grew quickly, in August of 2013 our team had grown to 30+ people and the #CICEmpire was born. We found a new office that could fit us with room to grow, I've never had to order and furnish an office, which might be the biggest splurge of online shopping I will ever do.

Achieve

The team is now 50+ people and span across functional areas of engagement, reporting, content and paid, all supporting 18 core Microsoft brands and services. We have successfully supported various new product launches ranging from the announcement of Windows 8, the launch of Microsoft Surface, Xbox One and many other key moments for the company; but most importantly we are talking to large amounts of our customers all over the world, where we weren't three years ago. What we’re doing, and what we've built has now been expanded across Microsoft globally.

All of this speaks to if you Dream. Believe. Achieve. Anything can be done.  There are many who have contributed, believed and built – Kyle, Ariel, Brock, Jeff, I could type pages, but you know who you are, you are #CICEmpire family.  


Soul Searching: 30ish Years

Matthew Tennant

As I approach a birthyday my sense of emotion has been heighten - the feeling is hard to explain explain because I feel holistically grateful, blessed, humbled and excited all in one breath. 

I’d like to think I’ve learned something in my time in this life and what I’ve learned is to be brave, honest, open/experience, gentle/kind, driven and trusting.

Be Brave

The path of our lives are mostly build on a bumpy road that isn’t always easy.  To understand the complexity of our paths, direction and ultimate goals takes bravery to force forward. Worry only about the things that are in your control, the things that can be influenced and changed by your actions, not about the things that are beyond your capacity to direct or alter.  This ability features of ancient Stoic wisdom — features that remain powerfully suggestive for modern times. Most notably the belief in an ultimately rational order operating in the universe reflecting a benign providence that ensures proper outcomes in life.  Thinkers such as Epictetus did not simply prescribe “faith” as an abstract philosophical principle; they offered a concrete strategy based on intellectual and spiritual discipline.  The key to resisting the hardship and discord that intrude upon every human life, is to cultivate a certain attitude toward adversity based on the critical distinction between those things we are able to control versus those which are beyond our capacity to manage.  The misguided investor may not be able to recover his fortune but he can resist the tendency to engage in self-torment. The victims of a natural disaster, a major illness or an accident may not be able to recover and live their lives the way they used to, but they too can save themselves the self-torment.   In other words, while we cannot control all of the outcomes we seek in life, we certainly can control our responses to these outcomes and herein lies our potential for a life that is both happy and fulfilled.

Be Honest

The key to this is to first be honest with yourself, when you are open and free to be honest with yourself you can ultimately be honest with those around you and the universe.  Be a Responsible Human Being. Approach yourself with honesty and thoroughness; maintain a kind of spiritual hygiene whatever that may be for you; stop the blame-shifting for your errors and shortcomings. Be honest with yourself and be prepared to assume responsibility and accept consequences. This technique comes from Pythagoras, the famous mathematician and mystic, and has special relevance for all of us because of the common human tendency to reject responsibility for wrongdoing. Very few individuals are willing to hold themselves accountable for the errors and mishaps that inevitably occur in life.  Instead, they tend to foist these situations off on others complaining of circumstances “beyond their control.” There are, of course, situations that occasionally sweep us along, against which we have little or no recourse. But the far more typical tendency is to find ourselves in dilemmas of our own creation — dilemmas for which we refuse to be held accountable. How many times does the average person say something like, “It really wasn’t my fault. If only John or Mary had acted differently then I would not have responded as I did.” Cop-outs like these are the standard reaction for most people. They reflect an infinite human capacity for rationalization, finger-pointing, and denial of responsibility. Unfortunately, this penchant for excuses and self-exemption has negative consequences. People who feed themselves a steady diet of exonerating fiction are in danger of living life in bad faith — more, they risk corrupting their very essence as a human being.

Be Open and Experience

Examine life, engage life with vengeance; always search for new pleasures and new destines to reach with your mind.  Always know you can grow, you can build and become better in oneself and any situation in life. It echoes the verses of ancient Greek philosophers and most notably those of Plato through the voice of his hero, Socrates.  Living life is about examining life through reason, nature’s greatest gift to humanity and the even bigger gift of being alive and living. The importance of reason in sensing and examining life is evident in all phases of life– from the infant who strains to explore its new surroundings to the grandparent who actively reads and assesses the headlines of the daily paper.  Reason lets human beings participate in life, to be human is to think, appraise, and explore the world, discovering new sources of material and spiritual pleasure.

Experience True Pleasure in all greater forms. Limit shallow and transient pleasures of short gratification. Keep your life simple. Seek calming pleasures that contribute to peace of mind. True pleasure is disciplined and restrained. In its many shapes and forms, pleasure is what every human being is after. It is the chief good of life. Yet not all pleasures are alike. Some pleasures are kinetic—shallow, and transient, fading way as soon as the act that creates the pleasure ends. Often they are succeeded by a feeling of emptiness and psychological pain and suffering. Other pleasures are catastematic—deep, and prolonged, and continue even after the act that creates them ends; and it is these pleasures that secure the well-lived life. That’s the message of the Epicurean philosophers that have been maligned and misunderstood for centuries, particularly in the modern era where their theories of the good life have been confused with doctrines advocating gross hedonism.

Be Gentle and Kind

We often forget to look around us and see the world, the people and our friends in situations.  Take the time to show Kindness towards others it tends to be rewarded. Kindness to others is a good habit that supports and reinforces the quest for the good life. Helping others bestows a sense of satisfaction that has two beneficiaries—the beneficiary, the receiver of the help, and the benefactor, the one who provides the help.

Many of the world’s great religions speak of an obligation to extend kindness to others. But these deeds are often advocated as an investment toward future salvation — as the admission ticket to paradise. That’s not the case for the ancient Greeks, however, who saw kindness through the lens of reason, emphasizing the positive effects acts of kindness have not just on the receiver of kindness but to the giver of kindness as well, not for the salvation of the soul in the afterlife, but in this life. Simply put, kindness tends to return to those who do kind deeds, as Aesop demonstrated in his colourful fable of a little mouse cutting the net to free the big lion. Aesop lived in the 6th century B.C. and acquired a great reputation in antiquity for the instruction he offered in his delightful tales. Despite the passage of many centuries, Aesop’s counsels have stood the test of time because in truth, they are timeless observations on the human condition; as relevant and meaningful today as they were 2,500 years ago.

You will have situations that may cause you to become upset…but don’t turn to Do Evil to Others. Evildoing is a dangerous habit, a kind of reflex too quickly resorted to and too easily justified that has a lasting and damaging effect upon the quest for the good life. Harming others claims two victims—the receiver of the harm, and the victimizer, the one who does harm.

Contemporary society is filled with mixed messages when it comes to the treatment of our fellow human beings. The message of the Judaeo-Christian religious heritage, for instance, is that doing evil to others is a sin, extolling the virtues of mercy, forgiveness, charity, love, and pacifism. Yet, as we all know, in practice these inspiring ideals tend to be in very short supply. Modern society is a competitive, hard-bitten environment strongly inclined to advocate self-advantage at the expense of the “other.” Under these conditions, it is not surprising that people are often prepared to harm their fellow human beings. These activities are frequently justified by invoking premises such as “payback,” “leveling scores,” or “doing unto others, before they can do unto you.” Implicit in all of these phrases is the notion that malice towards others can be justified on either a reciprocal basis or as a pre-emptive gesture in advance of anticipated injury. What is not considered here are the effects these attempts to render evil have upon the person engaging in such attempts. Our culture has naively assumed that “getting even” is an acceptable response to wrongdoing — that one bad-turn deserves another. What we fail to understand is the psychological, emotional, and spiritual impact victimizing others has upon the victimizer.

Be Driven

Master Yourself. Resist any external force that might delimit thought and action; stop deceiving yourself, believing only what is personally useful and convenient; complete liberty necessitates a struggle within, a battle to subdue negative psychological and spiritual forces that preclude a healthy existence; self mastery requires ruthless cador. One of the more concrete ties between ancient and modern times is the idea that personal freedom is a highly desirable state and one of life’s great blessings. Today, freedom tends to be associated, above all, with political liberty. Therefore, freedom is often perceived as a reward for political struggle, measured in terms of one’s ability to exercise individual “rights.”

The ancients argued long before Sigmund Freud and the advent of modern psychology that the acquisition of genuine freedom involved a dual battle. First, a battle without, against any external force that might delimit thought and action. Second, a battle within, a struggle to subdue psychological and spiritual forces that preclude a healthy self-reliance. The ancient wisdom clearly recognized that humankind has an infinite capacity for self-deception, to believe what is personally useful and convenient at the expense of truth and reality, all with catastrophic consequences.  Focus on yourself, without distractions and you will succeed.  

One of my hardest things to achieve is to Avoid Excess. Live life in harmony and balance. Avoid excesses. Even good things, pursued or attained without moderation, can become a source of misery and suffering. This rule is echoed in the writings of ancient Greek thinkers who viewed moderation as nothing less than a solution to life’s riddle. The idea of avoiding the many opportunities for excess was a prime ingredient in a life properly lived, as summarized in Solon’s prescription “Nothing in Excess” (6th Century B.C.).  The Greeks fully grasped the high costs of passionate excess. They correctly understood that when people violate the limits of a reasonable mean, they pay penalties ranging from countervailing frustrations to utter catastrophe. It is for this reason that they prized ideals such as measure, balance, harmony, and proportion as much as they did, the parameters within which productive living can proceed. If, however, excess is allowed to destroy harmony and balance, then the life worth living becomes impossible to obtain.

Be Trusting

You will get hurt, you will get let down…but continue to be trusting.  Treasure Friendship, the reciprocal attachment that fills the need for affiliation. Friendship cannot be acquired in the market place, but must be nurtured and treasured in relations imbued with trust and amity. According to Greek philosophy, one of the defining characteristics of humanity that distinguishes it from other forms of existence is a deeply engrained social instinct, the need for association and affiliation with others, a need for friendship. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle viewed the formation of society as a reflection of the profound need for human affiliation rather than simply a contractual arrangement between otherwise detached individuals.

Understanding all aspects of life is very complex and not something that most can comprehend.  Understanding one self, mind, reflection and purpose requires an inner comprehension that takes a unique and adaptive ability to search, understand, grow and reflect.  To this end I’m excited to for the next 30 years of life, living and love.

2013 - Life is Enough

Matthew Tennant

In tradition of ending a year with a blog post I was inspired by my friend Joanna Lord’s post “When love isn’t enough…but then again…it is sometimes.”  I really did embrace my 2013 dedication and have truly understood the meaning of Self-Love; having a large heart sometimes love can be too much, it must be contained and controlled.  I’ve learned that my family, the close and immediate friends and above all else myself are what matter the most.

“2013 is a dedicated to my grandfather and all those who have influenced me in life who are no longer with us.  May I live my life in humbled respect for the seconds, minutes, hours, days and years I’m continued to be blessed with and may I take what I’ve learned from them and others to bring good to those in my life and to the world.”

This year started out on a negative note passing of my grandfather, my biological father and a friend.  Although a sad start this gave me a great appreciation for those surrounding me and for each and every moment I have had in 2013. 

In a world full of noise, distractions and negative energy and distractions it is sometimes hard to focus, look inner and develop self-love and understanding.  I can’t explain how important I believe this is and how it can change your whole direction in life.  A few things that might help you develop this understanding;

1.       Keep a Journal:  Write down every morning what you want your devotion for the day and every night write down everything you are thankful for in the last 24 hours; it takes 5 minutes.

2.       Surrender to Silence:  Silence can be a beautiful thing if you let your mind go there; when you wake up and go to bed do it without technology!  You’d be amazed how you can surrender your thoughts when you do this. 

3.       Get Honest:  None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes, get past them.  Let go of numbing your feelings. Shopping, eating, and drinking are examples of avoiding discomfort, sadness, and pain. Mindfully get past these feelings and emotions.

This year has so many great moments it’s hard to know where to start!  Words cannot begin to express how humbled, grateful and loved I have felt in 2013; Life is enough within this we create everything.  Our journeys are stories of our life that we create in every second, minute, hour, day and year so make it powerful and beautiful. 

“2014 is dedicated to me, to continued beautiful life moments.  To making Life Enough surrounded by love, amazing friends & family.  Checking off the bucket list, creating a family and living in continued humbled appreciation for each breath and with each exhale creating positive influence to the world surrounding me.”

Fall into breathe...

Matthew Tennant

Life is a beautiful thing, something I've realized moving into the fall season is to find my breathe, collect my thoughts.  No one person is perfect but we should strive to be better in every breathe, interaction and moment we have in each day.  This is something I've lived by for sometime now, but in the the past didn't.  I often times reflect and try to figure out how to fix those historical pieces of what was a misplaced life.  What does one do leave them?  Go back in history to them and re-visit them.  Hard questions.  But for now all I can do is move forward in the right direction with clear goal of doing and becoming better.

Happy Fall to all of you, I appreciate, love and care for you all very much.

My Birthday Reflection - Thank You!

Matthew Tennant

365 days of life is beautiful blessing – on this birthday I've had a simple realization. The small moments comprising of days, hours, minutes and seconds and the simple interactions within them is what really make life. Although I've been devoting myself to work so much has been accomplished!  But someone recently reminded me to  – stop – and celebrate success in the moment.

1.jpg

The image to the right I posted on Facebook around my birthday last year.

You can never cross the Ocean unless you have Courage to lose sigh of the Shore.

The last 365 days I've pushed myself professionally like I haven't before - the team I work with are the brightest people in Social and it's truly a blessing to work with friends.  Personally was a rough year with the passing of my grandfather - a man who truly shaped who I am as a person both personally and professionally.  There are three things I believe he truly instilled in me:

1  -  Be Genuine, Kind & Caring / in every moment
2  -  Do good hard-work / and you will be rewarded
3  -  Live Life Full / be humbled in what you have

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.

Words cannot explain the positive emotion I feel this birthday - I'm thankful, loved, inspired and humbled.  A HUGE thank you to my team, my friends, family and the world for the amazing positive energy.  I can't wait for the next 365 days to spend with all of you...

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. ~ Dalai Lama

Matthew Tennant

  1. “No answer”
    Throughout the Buddha’s life he sometimes gave no answer to some questions (or resolve quarreling between two groups) which was later known as his “Noble silence”.  His silence had power, and you can use that silence also in certain situations.  When we experience silence in our daily lives during a conversation, we have this uncontrolled want to fill that ‘void’ with talk even when it does nothing to help.  By using silence when there is no best answer, you allow them (and you) to have the mind ‘slow down’ and either discover the question has no real answer, or it can help them find the correct and peaceful solution.
  2. “Human happiness and human satisfaction must ultimately come from within oneself. It is wrong to expect some final satisfaction to come from money or from a computer.”
    We have seen this time and time again, a big lottery winner receives millions and is wealthy overnight.  Yet, they are often broke in a year and miserable.  What happened?  With the influx of money they discovered new problems they thought it would solve such as people wanting money and losing their ‘grounding’ in daily life.   Most importantly, the material possessions they are now able to buy doesn’t fill that void like they thought it would.  The same can be said for anything else you crave after (a friend, lover, home, promotion, phone, etc.) as the constant craving for something when finally caught leads to other troubles.  When you get what you want, you also fear losing it (especially if it is expensive or beautiful).  Wanting (craving) can deprive us happiness and the content life we can live.  So, be happy you don’t always get what you want!
  3. “If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding.”
    It’s easy to be tolerant with a friend or loved one, but what about someone you despise or have very strong negative feelings for?  They are your best teacher at tolerance.  ”How dare they!” you may be thinking as your feelings swell.  But can you be tolerant and compassionate with them?  The more your learn to use your “enemy” as a teacher, you will be able to rid yourself of the mindset of “enemy” and begin to plant the seeds of loving kindness in your mind.  When people are not able to control your emotions, they won’t be able to control your mind.  You can then build upon love and kindness that may actually turn that enemy into a friend and learn why they acted that way in the first place as there is usually a reason you didn’t know at the time.
  4. “A truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively [or hurt you].”
    We sometimes think as compassion as an emotional response, but it’s not.  For example when you see a commercial with injured animals you may feel that emotionally you are reacting and compassion results.  While this may be true at some level, true compassion is “a firm commitment founded on reason”.  So what if in that commercial you saw a dog that looked “ugly”?  Would your ‘compassion’ decrease?  True compassion results in your belief that all beings want happiness and don’t want suffering.  If you are able to apply that mindfully always, the visual and perceived notions of “beauty”, “social”, etc., lose their meaning and you can truly practice compassion.  This helps you because this true compassion becomes your love for all beings, which in turn is one of the many steps in achieving enlightenment.
  5. “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
    Have you ever thought that you are “just one person” and that you have no impact?  The issues of the world are just too big?  You can have an impact with something as simple as writing your elected officials (who actually do take the number they receive into consideration), to practicing compassion with someone who is upset.  While it may be easy to distance ourselves and just worry about ourselves, we do a disservice to others and yourself.  Be engaged and practice helping others, but not if helping will actually hurt them.  So if they don’t want to talk to you, it’s ok to walk away as that can be compassion for that person at that particular time.

To my grandfather...

Matthew Tennant

Read at my grandfather Walter Leo Tennant funeral January 10, 2013 -  

Life is made up of millions of moments, moments of impact and how they change your path forever moments like this.

As we gather and memorialize my grandfather, a devoted grandfather, great-grandfather, father, brother, husband and friend to all let us reflect on those millions of moments of how he impacted our life’s.  The biggest lesson he taught me is that on adversity - some when faced with adversity give up where others take it as a challenge to overcome – 20 years ago this May when he suffered his first stroke he took it head-on, over-coming outcomes living each moment in humbled appreciation with the continued drive to challenge himself, work, teach and show us all that with will power, help from an amazing medical team, wife and family along with faith and devotion anything can be overcome – truly embracing the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.   

My memories are countless – what he gave me is who I am today.  He taught me that anything can be done – no really, noone ever understands why I never take no as an answer but now I have a good excuse – my grandpa taught me this, so just listen. 

As we continue down our paths building these millions of moments that turn into minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades let us never forgot what he taught us, who he was and what he stood for and let us sprinkle his blessings around us.  Let us take his lesson on adversity to this moment and live in humbled appreciation of the moments we are living, the friendships and families surrounding us and the almighty power of our heavenly father until we meet again grandpa, I love you.

Full Obituary here:  http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Walter-Tennant&lc=6913&pid=162236840&mid=5373829&locale=en-US

Goodbye 2012 - Hello 2013!

Matthew Tennant

For me New Years is a time to briefly reflect on the past, respect and cherish the current and plan for the future.  My life is made of moments, spent in millions of different ways with joys and sorrows all lived one second at a time which eventually make my life.  The beautiful thing about all of this is that each second of our journey is controlled by us.

As I sit and reflect briefly on the past reading my journal entries it’s amazing how we transform in growth.  For perspective – 15 years ago and before I was working on a farm doing something, 13 years ago I started working at a fast food chain called Taco Maker, 14 years ago I started working at Othello Community Hospital all of which going to school 8 years ago I moved to Seattle.  Along this journey I have had many influential friends, colleagues and people who have shaped me into the mold of a person I am today.  For me it is important to for me to say thank you to them as my heart is thankful for the guidance they provided to get me to my current being.

As I look back, the end of 2011 was a hard point in my life losing my biological father then biological grandmother thereafter.  Looking back on 2012 it has been one of the greatest years of my life as I continue to mature as a human and work thru tribulations in this state.  2012 has reiterated that the importance of life is that you surround yourself with what matters every second of life.  What I’ve learned is that we can’t expect others to give what they are unable to – rather the moments that matter are around us every second of the day.  Love surrounds us throughout this path and it is up to us to embrace it and bring it into our hearts and out thru our actions in the world.

As I look at the current being just having lost a good friend and now watching a man who has been like a father to me, my grandfather slowly leave this earth – I am heartbroken.  This man who had his first massive stroke 19 years ago with several in-between was always a rock, never giving up – rather always showing he was stronger in a different way.  For him the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ is something that is in our blood.  As I write this he is slowly leaving us and I pray for peace for him, my beautiful grandmother, myself and the rest of my family.

I am humbled and thankful for my current job – for bosses who always believe in me for a rockstar team that is beyond words and for the ability to work on so many amazing products all while doing what I love to do, tweet and facebook!  To my friends, family, coworkers and everyone who surround me – the energy you provide is what makes life as beautiful as it is.

As I look forward – 2013 is a dedicated to my grandfather and all those who have influenced me in life who are no longer with us.  May I live my life in humbled respect for the seconds, minutes, hours, days and years I’m continued to be blessed with and may I take what I’ve learned from them and others to bring good to those in my life and to the world.

I love you, know that I am always hear for all of you and wish you the BEST in 2013!