Grab Another Plate

Having just returned from the QuickBooks Connect technology conference in San Jose, CA, I am more mindful of possibilities.

As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), I was trained in probabilities — however, life is best encountered and enjoyed in the realm of possibilities.

At any conference, many times we learn as much outside the formal sessions as we do sitting in them. A presenter’s opinion is relevant to a specific topic — yet, the surprises usually come at the lunch table.

For our physical nourishment, yes, the provisions were spectacular. Even better were the conversations, which offered food for thought — to stimulate mind, heart, and soul.

Grab Another Plate - Feast

Two Sets of Seven

Two sentences of seven words each are the Alpha and Omega of Success.

  • All We Do Begins With A Thought
  • Start With Nothing and Build Something Special

The in-between journey is a multi-faceted Story, requiring a step-by-step and brick-by-brick endeavor. Many are the whiners and few are the shiners. Because, it is easier to complain about what is wrong, rather than create the opportunities leading to a life of our dreams — Heaven on Earth.

Every single one of us will experience the spectrum of life — ups and downs, highs and lows, triumphs and defeats. We all wake up to the same world each morning. The difference is in what we do with the 24 hours.

The secret to pushing through all events and past the naysayers we encounter each day are these two acronyms — ATM GAP.

At That Moment — Grab Another Plate

Challenges

Moving along through the buffet line of life, we have two choices — take what is offered, or move on past. Moment by moment we make decisions, which determine what accumulates on our plates.

If we forgo an item of opportunity, we might never see it again. However, if we choose unwisely, we have burdened our plate with something unsavory.

Those people who complain about a plate of scarcity let opportunities slip by. Those people who complain about a plate of undesirables chose those brussels sprouts — which, now, take up space and crowd out the desserts.

In the vernacular, we might classify the above actions, or lack of action, as “mistakes” (mis-takes). We simply mistook an item unfit for consumption, or we didn’t take an opportunity available to us.

Grab Another Plate - Colors

Beyond the things that we do to ourselves are these four challenges, which confront us all — and the plates in our hands.

  • Theft
  • Betrayal
  • Benevolence
  • Fate

We can have the most beautifully constructed mobile feast and, then, someone decides they will take what is ours. Let them have it — ATM GAP.

At That Moment — Grab Another Plate

We can carefully select the choicest of morsels, with the intent of sharing them and, then, someone stabs us in the back. Let them have it — ATM GAP.

At That Moment — Grab Another Plate

We can prepare and look forward to enjoying the goodness on our plate to, then, discover a poor unfortunate soul. Let them have it — ATM GAP.

At That Moment — Grab Another Plate

We can diligently harvest the banquet table to, then, be surprised when our plate bends, or breaks. Let the hand of Fate have it — ATM GAP.

At That Moment — Grab Another Plate

Banquet of Life

The richest individual is not the one with the greatest wealth — it is the person most happy with what they have.

Yes, we all enjoy the proverbial Thanksgiving feast of abundance. Yet, there are times when the horn of plenty is less than full. It, really, doesn’t matter — if we focus on what is.

In the darkest of hours, there is always a glimmer of hope — and in the most trying of times, there are seeds of opportunity.

Success is a State of Mind.

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

Napoleon Hill

So, my friends, when misfortune has overtaken you, or you have become burdened by your choices, please, remember ATM GAP.

At Those Moments — bridge the gap of disappointment, take a leap of faith, and — Grab Another Plate.

Stewardship

The difference between rich and poor is not money. It is the ability to manage the resources available. Many have inherited great amounts of wealth to die broke. Others were born into little and leave behind a legacy.

In the annals of history and the stories of today, Captains of industry are less influential than the Stewards of relationships. In other words, the Empire is less important than the Builders. Regardless of what is built, it is temporary and limited in effect. Those who touch hearts and souls, today, influence the future for many generations.

As we consider our “ships” of families, friends, and communities, why is our role of “steward” important; and, who, really, is the ultimate beneficiary?

Taking Care

Let’s take a look at what stewardship is.

Historically, stewardship was the responsibility given to household servants to bring food and drinks to a castle dining hall. The term was then expanded to indicate a household employee’s responsibility for managing a household or domestic affairs. Stewardship later became the responsibility for taking care of passengers’ domestic needs on a ship, train, and airplane or managing the service provided to diners in a restaurant. The term continues to be used in these specific ways, but it is also used in a more general way to refer to a responsibility to take care of something owned by someone else.

Taking Care of People

At the moment we fully embrace the reality of our temporary existence, our view of life changes. In the simplest of terms, our focus shifts from Stuff, to People.

Our thinking changes to embrace the concept of Service over Self. To do so, we abandon any desire to have power over another. We take inventory of our gifts and work to multiply their effectiveness by mentoring, nurturing, and sharing in authentic ways the best of all that we have been given.

Specifically, great Stewards:

•  Share Information
•  Are Accessible
•  Keep Their Hands Engaged
•  Stand For Something
•  Banish Superficial Distractions
•  Make Everything Better
•  Coach, Mentor, and Serve

To share, we must, first of all, possess something of value. We have all been entrusted with unique gifts and have a fiduciary responsibility to enhance them into more powerful tools.

Taking Care to Share

People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. We must be willing to move to where others are to guide them to where they want to go.

The mind cannot forget what the hands have learned. To fully understand the process, we must engage our hands to enlighten, empower, and encourage the mind.

We learn to walk by falling down. Those most appreciative of standing are those who have been beaten down and, yet, refuse to submit their ideals to the vulgarity of others.

The outward appearance is less important than the inward character. Rather than become copies of societal propaganda, it is imperative to enhance the unique image of who we are.

The Better Way

There is always a better way. What got us here will not take us to where we need to go. Good, Better, Best — Never let us rest, ’til our good is better and our better, best.

The greatest enduring gift of love is a chosen, purposeful effort, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.

In summary, stewardship is a dynamic focus on home, abundance, and the responsibility to give of ourselves to receive the best of all that the universe has to offer!