6 Powerful and Inspirational Quotes I Love

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I’ve been asked, “What are you currently reading and what do you recommend?”  

My answer?

Nothing and zip. (Well, I could recommend these books, but that might be a tad self-serving!)

But seriously, I’m not a big reader.

What has meant a great deal to me, though, are specific quotes. I’ll share them here and then ask you to give us a favorite quote. Here we go!

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Careful, Making Assumptions Is Costly!

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The Story

In 1984, while living in Great Falls, Montana with my wife, Karen, and our sweet one-year-old, Kristin (actual house and child pictured), I wrote a letter to the local paper. Much to my surprise, it was published.

The piece confronted, probably with a defensive and immature tone, how Montanans viewed the Miller’s home state of New York.

I was attempting to counter the myth held by westerners that New York is a “concrete jungle.” In reality, New York is millions of acres of rolling hills, mountains, streams, lakes, forests, farms, and dairy cows.

For Upstate New Yorkers like Karen and me, “The Big Apple” does not define our home state.

Once published, though, I wondered if my letter might make some Great Falls’ locals none-too-pleased with me.

The next morning, I found out—or so I assumed. Overnight, someone had placed on our porch a homemade wire cage containing one …

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Not Nearly As Thankful As I Should Be

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Overflowing Abundance

Cereal. We all love cereal. There are “kid” cereals and “adult” cereals—and the truth is adults don’t mind a bowl of Fruit Loops or Captain Crunch now and then, do we? Come on, admit it!

But seriously, when it comes to cereal, do we have amazing choices in America or what?!

You know, I’m not one of those guys who attempts to shame people into feeling thankful for all we have in this country—but I do need to be personally accountable in this area and work on me.

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Accountability and American Role Models

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Note: I did not write this piece from a political view, so let’s not go there. This blog is about responsibility, integrity, leadership, and great parenting. Enjoy!

Politicians Aren’t Our Role Models

“What do we tell the children?” is a question some have asked since the U.S. presidential election. It’s a question that takes me back 18 years.

In 1998, the wall-to-wall news was about President Bill Clinton and a 22-year-old intern named Monica and their Oval Office activities. It was the story, day in, day out. The Miller children werole models-america-parenting-QBQ-personal-accountabilityre 15, 13, 10, and 8 years old.

Impressionable ages, would you agree?

But what I can tell you from the heart is this: The Clinton affair didn’t cause my wife, Karen, and me to wonder what we might tell the kids. Not even for a moment.

Because we’re perfect parents? No. Because of our political party association? No. Because we don’t follow what’s going on in the world or have opinions? Nope!

We didn’t think about it because we’d already come to a parental conclusion, possibly subconsciously since we don’t recall discussing it. Here it is:

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Election Alert: Changing the World Is Still MY Job!

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It’s a dangerous time to be involved in a world that didn’t exist 15 years ago: Social media.

The Story

In 2013, I made a mistake: I voiced a political opinion on social media.

I made mention that I disagreed with a policy put forth by the Obama administration. I foolishly posted it on our QBQ! Facebook page.

Within minutes, a woman I didn’t know wrote, “You’re racist!”

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Outstanding Customer Service — Easy As 1-2-3!

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Tara, #2 of seven Miller offspring—a mom with two kids of her own— watches for examples of the QBQ! book in the world. She just sent me this example of outstanding customer service, with succinct commentary:

“Dad, this is QBQ! all the way!”

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Junior Olympics Gymnastics, Brighton, CO

The Story

Tara’s 3-year-old, our spunky and most chatty granddaughter, McKenna, attends “Tiny Tots and Tumblers” classes at Junior Olympics Gymnastics in Brighton, Colorado.

The owner, Jen Chase, sent all the parents this email:

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Flip the Switch: Unleash the POWER of Personal Accountability

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Over the past week as The QBQ! Workbook, the 5th edition of QBQ!, and Raising Accountable Kids all launched, Kristin and I did a bunch of radio interviews.

(All found here: QBQ.com/News)

One interviewer asked a very astute question. He said, “So, isn’t it true, John, that when we don’t engage in personal accountability, we give away our personal power?”

I said, “Bob, you couldn’t be more on target.” Then I went off on a two-minute “radio rant.”

Using the word POWER as an acrostic, let me communicate the POWER of the QBQ! book and its message of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY.

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15 Years Later: The Enduring Power of Personal Accountability

October 18, 2016: Everything Is New At QBQ! Full Display here.

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Launch Day: Then and Now

On a sunny Colorado April day in 2001, the Millers posed for some pics of each of us holding the brand new QBQ! book. I’d just picked them up myself at the printer in Boulder. Self-published author!

My favorite image is little 2-year-old Tasha (lower pic, in Kristin’s arms)—now a senior in high school—pushing the book to the sky! So proud, I’m sure.

And then 3-year-old Jazzy—now in college—hiding behind her book down in front!

Fun stuff.

Little did we know that fine day that 15 years later we’d be able to hold up another version of the QBQ! book—the fifth one.

In the image below (left to right) you can see the five editions:

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  1. That original 2001 smallest hardcover, made in Boulder.
  2. The 2002 paperback buyers still ask for now and then.
  3. The first edition by Penguin in NYC—returned to hardcover in 2004
  4. The rewritten and improved 2012 version by Penguin/Putnam.
  5. The best edition—rewritten again with a fresh look—hot off the PenguinRandomHouse press on Oct 18, 2016!

Can’t do a family photo with #5, though, since so many Miller kids have grown up and moved away, becoming parents themselves. Rounding everyone up isn’t an option.

Just. Too. Much. Change.

But one thing that has not changed and never will is this:

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PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY: Be a Jerk Today!

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Yesterday, I was “The Jerk.”

Do you recall the 1979 Steve Martin movie “The Jerk” where he, as Navin Johnson, jumped up and down excitedly exclaiming, “The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!”

He was soooo thrilled! He was in the new phonebook!

A classic movie moment here. (only 41 seconds)

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Accountable Parenting: Strong Is Not Wrong

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Jill and Tim Taylor in Home Improvement

In a 1995 episode of Home Improvement, Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor and his buddies discuss “The Look,” defined as the facial expression an unhappy wife employs to send a serious message to her husband.

During the scene, Tim’s sidekick, Al, chimes in with, “Oh, man, I hate ‘the look.’” When someone points out he’s not married, the still-living-at-home-forty-something says, “I get ‘The Look’ from Mother.”

Parents, have you mastered The Look?

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