ForeverMissed
Born: August 14, 1935, Detroit, MI
Died: May 10, 2020, Galloway, NJ
Bonn, Germany
Written: 13 May 2020
 
Our mother, Barbara Sher, died last Sunday. She was one of the great thinkers of our time. She would have been 85 this August 14th.
 
She was born in Depression-era Detroit. Her parents, like many of their generation, lived in fear and believed that the American Dream would equally apply to all and protect them from the horrors of past generations in Europe.
 
Mom had other plans: she moved to 1960s New York and raised two little boys by herself, starting on welfare and doing social work to feed us. She knew that dreams are fragile and can easily go to their graves with their unfulfilled dreamers, unless they are nurtured and supported by others (“Isolation is the Dream Killer”).
 
She decided to stop allowing the people who came to see her for counseling to dwell in the rooms of their past—the going trend—and instead to focus on realizing their wishes. (She used our last money to take out a full-page ad in the New York Times in the late 1970s that read, “Realizing your dreams can be more therapeutic than analyzing them.” The giant photo of herself in the ad was beautiful and powerful. Mom was neither self-absorbed nor vain, rather fully engaged in every moment, especially when it came to Danny and me.

Barbara Sher wrote, “What you love is what you are gifted at, there is NO exception.”

She taught the world this simple truth:

We were put on this earth to do more than use up natural resources. You are here to do what you are—not what your parents thought you should be—and you owe your gifts to the rest of us for the gift of being alive. We need the LOVE you feel when you are using your talents, as if all our lives depended on it (which they do, now more than ever).

At every one of the many retreats she and I ran together, she would say, often with tears in her eyes, “One of the saddest things I have ever heard is, ‘most of us will go to our graves with our music still in us.’” Mom did not. She did not believe that anyone, regardless of where they came from, should be forced to dream for small things. What she loved what was she was gifted at, and the world is a better place because of what she brought to the party.

Rest in Peace, Mama
I love you,
Bunny

Posted by Bernadette Greggory on June 25, 2020
I had the great pleasure of meeting Barbara in person twenty years ago. I had already read most of her books by then. Her story gave me a thrill and I took her words to heart. I was inspired by her wisdom and sense of adventure. She could make something seem so simple and easy just by laughing at it. It made me feel like I could do anything. And I did. I cannot think of her without smiling. She was a great influence in my life and I cherish what I learned from her. Thank you for everything, Barbara.

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Posted by Bernadette Greggory on June 25, 2020
I had the great pleasure of meeting Barbara in person twenty years ago. I had already read most of her books by then. Her story gave me a thrill and I took her words to heart. I was inspired by her wisdom and sense of adventure. She could make something seem so simple and easy just by laughing at it. It made me feel like I could do anything. And I did. I cannot think of her without smiling. She was a great influence in my life and I cherish what I learned from her. Thank you for everything, Barbara.
her Life
Children:
  • Daniel Pearl
  • Matthew Pearl
Books:
  • Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want, 1979
  • Teamworks!: Building Support Groups That Guarantee Success, 1989
  • I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It, 1994 (NY Times Best Seller)
    Live the Life You Love: In Ten Easy Step-By Step Lessons, 1996  (Winner, Books for a Better Life)
  • It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now: How to Create Your Second Life at Any Age, 1998
  • Barbara Sher's Idea Book: How to Discover What You Really Want (Even If You Have No Clue), 2004
  • Refuse to Choose!: A Revolutionary Program for Doing Everything That You Love, 2006
PBS Shows:
  • Creating Your Second Life After 40, Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network, 1998
  • Live the Life You Love, KCTS, 2001
  • Barbara Sher's Map to Success, KCTS, 2001
  • Barbara Sher's Idea Party, Iowa Public Television, 2003
  • Refuse to Choose!, WMHT, 2006
Programs and Courses Created and Still Running:
  • Sher Success Teams, operating worldwide
  • Hanging Out, an online Barbara's Club program
  • WriteSpeak, a year-long Barbara's Club course

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