Fred: He’s Not Your Ordinary Mailman.

We were presented with the book Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn (with a foreword by John C. Maxwell) and a vague, short set of directions. (follow this link to hear the story of the inspiring, extraordinary mailman named Fred)

The text was not a required reading, so we’ll skip right to the short set of directions, as we did the same. A group of seven leadership driven students determined to change the world were asked to simply aid in a little part of that. Sounds easy, huh? The short set of instructions left out the “how” part, leaving us to rely on our creative minds.

Being near the time of Halloween and residing in Barnes Hall, we came up with the concept of Barnes Booing, alike the Booing done in various communities, with added various positive notes about the residents. Although our intentions were good, the end result we were looking for was a lack there of.

So, following the wisdom of William Edward Hickson , ‘Tis a lesson you should heed: try, try, try again. And just that we did.

We came up with the concept of: Pillow Fights + Smarty Pants
(I highly encourage you to follow the above link for our homemade video footage^)

We helped fellow students throughout the campus of Central Michigan University relieve stress through spontaneous pillow fights, and gave Smarties with inspirational saying attached to them, especially to students studying late at the library (slightly cheesy I know, but I thought it was kind of punny).

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There are four different factors that go into making a person a Fred:
1. Everyone makes a difference
2. Everything is built on relationships
3. You must continually create value for others
4. You can reinvent yourself regularly

Our project satisfied those four principles because:
(1) Our Smarty Pants told them that they are important and what they’re doing makes a difference
(2) We were able to meet new people through fun and interactive ways
(3) The pillow fights served as a fun stress relier
(4) Spontaneously pillow fighting someone requires both sides to step outside of their comfort zone, as well as handing out Smarty Pants to random library goers

For fun sharing, reading, insight and enjoyment, here’s a personal interpretation of what I think it means to be a “Fred” in the funky format of an acrostic poem:
F – Friendly: easily approachable
R – Ready-to-serve: constantly on ‘stage’
E – Euphoric: characterized by intense excitement and happiness
D – Different: willing to go out of their comfort zone and out of their way to better others

We all made the pledge to be a Fred in our everyday lives. I challenge you to do the same! Make a difference in the lives of those around you. Even the simplest of gestures can turn someones frown upside down. Be the reason to bring more smiles to more people. (-:


In an interview, Fred said the only thing he worries about when laying down in bed at night is, “Did I waste any of the day that I just finished?” The author of The Fred Factor encourages us to fear nothing but to waste the present moment. Let’s take that to heart. Live in the moment. Seize today’s opportunities. Enjoy the small things. Be the reason for more smiles in the world. It starts with a smile on your own face today (-:


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