The definition of genius by Albert Einstein is more apt today than then.
Genius is making complex ideas simple.
Technology is adding complexity to our existence exponentially at warp speed. However, recent encounters with the architects of some of that brilliance have reminded me of another Einstein gem.
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
And, that my friends, brings us to the opportunity du jour. When technicians want to hide behind their dysfunctional “code” and make excuses, the time has come to examine that stinkin’ thinkin’.
Yes, or No
The “problem” (opportunity in disguise) that we face are those individuals who believe there are three choices to any situation:
However, the Universe and computer Code doesn’t work that way. It simply obeys the progression of an event through two channels: (Choices) Yes, or No — (Numerals) 0, or 1
There is absolutely no wiggle room of:
Does the Serenity Prayer come to mind?
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
Yes, life is really that simple:
The absolute beauty of this inherent Universal Principle is we have a guarantee to move forward through life — without the fear of going in circles, round-and-round the Mulberry Bush.
Genius comes from the Latin word of the same name, meaning “guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth” or “innate ability.”
We are all — each and every one of us — a genius. We are unique to the Universe, one-of-a-kind, broke-the-mold, temporary as a snowflake, beautiful in design, a creation engineered to be able to deliver that “wizardry” of creative value to everyone in our sphere of influence.
Action requires that we are able and willing. So, the only question remaining, “Will we — make the complex simple?”
I believe we will — if we apply “pure” genius, which is Love.
“What’s love got to do with it?!”
Everything — because, it’s hard to always clearly state our intent and, then, commit our actions to a life of Yes, or No. So much easier is the way of Try, Maybe, and Someday.
Love, the greatest gift, is a chosen, purposeful effort — often done in the face of fear — to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.
Every moment of every day, we must decide whether an action will benefit:
For the narcissists among us, their choice is easy — they always choose ME. For the rest of us, we struggle to believe — it is more blessed to give than to receive.
More times than not, though, we remember Karma is 100% accurate in delivering what is earned — and we do the right thing. We think, plan, and do — while considering what is best for YOU.
I wish you well in your wizardry — and I am available to enlighten, empower, and encourage. It’s the pure genius of our thoughts, planning, and actions which will provide the way for all to enjoy heaven on earth.
In the vernacular of today, legacy has come to be equated with money and the bequest of little empires to heirs. What might surprise you is that the word originally was used to denote an envoy or ambassador.
For those tying their hopes and dreams to material possessions, good luck with that. We’re physical, temporal beings stuck to a spinning orb in the vastness of the universe and history bears record that empires come and go.
So, what is a legacy — and how do we create one?
The answer to the what and how comes immediately after the why.
Passion At The Core
Why do you do what you do?
Short, silly question — yet, an important one. To make it personal for each of us, maybe, this is better phraseology, “What is the passion at the core of everything I do?”
Wrap your arms around the answer and, then, we’re ready to begin creating a legacy.
Two x Seven
Builders know about a board size of 2″ x 6″ and the secret to our success in building a legacy is found in the 2 x 7. Two sentences of seven words, each.
All We Do Begins With A Thought.
Start With Nothing and Build Something Special.
Each letter is one step forward to building something special.
Largess has a reference to the same secondary definition as legacy, “gift, something acquired without compensation.” However, the primary descriptor of largess, “liberality in bestowing gifts; extremely liberal and generous of spirit.”
Education is the key which opens many doors, for ourselves and others. We don’t know what we don’t know — until we open our minds to the vastness of the universe. We learn by doing and the fun is in the doing. So, let’s have fun learning.
Goodness minus an “o” and the “ness” at the end directs our attention to the Source. We are simply the conduits to deliver those heavenly gifts to those in our sphere of influence. And, nobody else can deliver with our individual and unique style.
Action is the prerequisite for results leading to success. Similar to faith without works is stagnation, thoughts without actions are daydreams. A universal principle: people in motion will stay in motion until acted upon by an outside force.
Compassion flows from the Light side of the two forces influencing our thoughts and actions. Darkness is extinguished by a single flicker of Light. For those without hope, a kind word can bring cheer and a loving embrace will end their tears.
Youthfulness is a choice. We are encouraged to be childlike – not childish. The irresponsible are burdens to society. However, we seek to see the world through innocent eyes. We choose to believe in the magic of Fascination and Curiosity.
Legacy is much more than the genealogy of lineage or the accumulation of stuff. Far beyond the constraints of a single Family, we enjoy the vast opportunity to change lives for the better around the whole wide world.
We do that by making sure we have much to give. And, we do that by building a Legacy. By implementing the LEGACY steps, we will grow and expand our knowledge and resources.
Rather than waiting for someone to tip over someday, we can immediately go to work in focusing on the why, what, and how to serve others. That’s where we experience the real joys — highs and lows — of life.
Beginning & End
As we have discovered, legacy is not something we get — it is the manifestation of what we give. It begins with a thought and ends at the construct of something very special — LOVE.
Love, the greatest gift, is a chosen, purposeful effort — often done in the face of fear — to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.
I wish you well in your creations — and I am available to enlighten, empower, and encourage. I will always be your envoy or ambassador, representing the One who provides for us to enjoy heaven on earth.
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.
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
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.
Beyond the things that we do to ourselves are these four challenges, which confront us all — and the plates in our hands.
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 areseeds 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.
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.
Begin creating something of value and watch what happens. The dark forces of the Universe and people of that disposition will gather their armies in a relentless pursuit to attack YOU — and your creation.
Because it’s much easier to destroy than to build. Those individuals who won’t build anything special of their own don’t want you to, either.
The War of Art
One of the best explanations for this phenomenon is offered by author Steven Pressfield in his book The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle.
He describes how the attacks will come from others — as well as from ourselves. Unless we’re afflicted with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, generally, we feel unworthy to create.
Our thoughts, usually, are, “What do I have to offer to others?”
Then, about the time, we discover our passionate purpose and offer gifts of great value — a new creation never before thought, or done — we will hear the naysayers find fault. Our insecurities take control and we shrink back into our comfortable shell — that comfortable rut (grave with the ends kicked out) and routine of everyday drudgery.
Freedom To Be
As long as we allow our lives to be dictated by the whims of society, we will be living just like everyone else. We will fit in with the masses, or be beaten down into servitude — by those with an agenda for our lives and resources.
Or — we can choose to be free – to be – a creative force in the Universe.
The funny thing about freedom is that it is not free. We must decide who, or what, we will serve. There are really, only, two choices: Good, or Evil; Light, or Darkness; Creation, or Destruction.
Once we have discovered the purpose for our existence, the fun begins.
We learn by doing and the fun is in the doing; — so, let’s have fun learning.
You might ask, “Learn what?”
My response is, “Everything!”
The more we learn, the more we know; The more we know, the more we sow; The more we sow, the more we grow.
Because the attacks on our creations will always come from outside, we must be vigilant to protect the mind, heart, body, and soul.
All we do begins with a thought.
The greatest threat to ourselves and what we choose to create will be the influences we let into our mind. It is impossible to thwart the assault — a thought will penetrate our consciousness. Our response will determine if it has a fertile bed to sprout, mature, and become malignant.
At that moment of consciousness, we can choose to refocus on our purpose — and replace evil with good. The difference is a world of our creation — or, not. We can enjoy Heaven on Earth.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
There is no guarantee, or definition, of happiness in that statement.
Each of us — individually — are free to determine what happiness is.
My hope is that YOU will engage with a relentless pursuit — to build something special for YOU and your Family.
In an ordered Universe, these four — in this order — would be the performance realms: Goodness, Thought, Action, and Feelings.
Goodness would fuel our Thoughts, which motivate us to Action, resulting in warm fuzzy Feelings.
However, we live in a time with slogans similar to, “If it feels good, do it.“
So, we begin this Story upside, down.
Genius is taking the complex and making it simple — which, then, means Stupidity is taking the simple and making it complex. Let me illustrate the silliness of this hampster-wheel existence.
If we being with feelings, the analogy is of a person on the beach, who discovers a small rowboat. They’re in the mood for sun-bathing and the calming effects of water motion — so, they give the boat a push into the ocean, hop in, lay down, and float away on the waves.
Next, let’s picture another individual as a fitness guru. They know the action of their muscles can power that rowboat. So, they search about for a set of oars, before launching. They row furiously to work those arm and leg muscles — yet, we find them rowing in circles, for hours at a time.
Now, here comes someone to that same little rowboat with a map and a plan. They have put thought into their upcoming voyage. In addition to oars, they have brought the appropriate provisions for the trip. They set their compass for a destination of their choice and set sail.
Finally, we have an individual who boldly strides into the theatre of our mind exercises, with goodness in mind. In other words, they have a purpose when approaching the little boat on the beach. As a result, they have brought an Evinrude outboard motor — and off they go.
Begin With The End In Mind
Then, this challenge comes from the clueless, “What end?!”
And… that’s the point of this presentation, “We need a source of goodness to establish a purpose — that’s so dang exciting and challenging — we are inspired to go all-in and give all.”
The complexity of this challenge can be simplified into three words.
Why How What
Why are you thinking about doing something? Does it complement your purpose in life? Will it provide happiness and joy? (People)
How will you accomplish your goal? Are you able to make the sacrifices necessary to let go of the old habits and develop new ways? (Process)
What will be the benefit to you and others in your sphere of influence? Is this legacy adequate for your mark on the world? (Results)
Back To The Story
Whatever became of the individuals we left on the boat?
For a while, the feelings person enjoyed the warmth of the sun and the motion of the waves. In time, they dozed off to sleep — and, then, awakened to the blackness of night, tossed to and fro by the hand of fate.
Our action Jackson figure sure enough built a few more muscles, for his own admiration. Because, after all, he was alone in that boat with his oars and paddling like a riverboat gambler — going nowhere fast.
Since all we do begins with a thought, that individual was at least headed to a specific destination they had chosen. Might be an adrenalin rush to get there — yet, once there, boredom is apt to set in.
Designed for greatness, engineered for success, and motivated by goodness our Captain of Destiny is courageously headed into uncharted waters to serve the multitudes.
From The Top, Down
There is an order to the Universe and it is this simple.
Spiritual Mental Physical Emotional
Regardless of belief, we are not the center of the Universe. Contrary to the modus operandi of the narcissist, there is a higher power — and Karma is deadly accurate in the delivery of what is earned.
All we do begins with a thought — and we have the freewill to choose what influences our thinking. Just like a radio dial, we can select the media flowing into our minds — good, or evil.
Yes, actions speak much louder than words. After sharing our intent with talk, we must make the walk — to deliver for the benefit of others. As we perform, The CARE Credential guides our conduct.
Guaranteed we will, then, experience natural highs better than any illegal street drugs. There are no side effects, crashes, or withdrawal symptoms. And — the beauty is — we can reach these euphoric states at any time.
Undeniably, there are two competing, unseen, forces in our society. Just like the concept of gravity, words are useless to describe the intangible — yet, the effects are very tangible.
To keep things simple we will acknowledge these two influential sources as — Good and Evil. The wavelengths of each are there for us to tune into.
Those of an older generation will remember a time when we were lucky to have three TV channels — maybe, one good and two with snow (white flickers on an otherwise black-and-white picture). Naturally, the clear black-and-white channel was watched the most.
Between the forces of Good and Evil, there is not a third choice. There is no maybe to this spectrum of choice. As analogies, a skydiver is either in the airplane – or, out; a woman is either pregnant – or, not; and we either believe – or don’t.
If we choose Good over Evil, we become conduits of goodness for the treasures from above to flow through us for the benefit of those below.
All great thriller movies have this in common — there are four heroes, each with a different and extreme temperament type, who are brought together by the hand of fate to overcome impossible odds.
During the adventure, it becomes clear to us that all four of those different and extreme temperaments — combined into one powerful force — were absolutely necessary for good to triumph over evil.
For each of us, individually, the same principle holds true — we must incorporate the four temperaments into our hero persona to be well balanced and successful in our ventures.
Types of Thinkers
There are three dimensions to human Thought: Flatliners, 2-D, and 3-D.
Flatliners are just that — draw a line, from left to right, and that represents the Zombies of the world. They don’t think — they just exist. If we let that flat line represent the horizon, there is never anything on it. No ideas, no plans, and no sense of direction, or purpose.
2-D Thinkers have a horizontal and vertical axis — in addition to left and right, they have an up and a down. Now, we get a picture of who they are. Literally, as we view any work of canvas art, we have a sense of the creators’ style, taste, and intention.
3-D Thinkers have a depth to their thoughts. That flat picture image we admired for a moment, now extends backward and forward, to offer an exciting opportunity for us to engage with that individual.
There are many variations of the Quadrant Philosophy. For the sake of this presentation, I’ll offer two — which I believe will enlighten, empower, and encourage you to invest time in your own discovery.
“Discovery of what,” you ask?
“Of you and how to connect with me,” I say.
Imagine a map of the United States. Now, draw the horizontal and vertical axis (big Plus sign) across the Map. Each of us lives in one of the four quadrants. Then, think about where your friends live. Do you, always, expect them to cross those axis lines to visit you? Or, is it more fun to go visit them?
The point: we study Relationship Strategies to understand how to get to where others are —because three-fourths of them do not live in our Quadrant.
One prominent personality profiling model is DISC — which is the acronym for these four profile types Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.
For a small fee, you too can discover your location in the Quadrants by testing here.
Please, remember, we go through this exercise not to obtain a “label” — but, instead, to increase our understanding of how to better connect with other people. I believe in leading the way to make the path easier for those who choose to follow — so, here are the results of my DISC Classic 2.0.
So, let’s simplify DISC by using the analogy of target practice with a rifle, the performance of which is best achieved by: Ready, Aim, Fire.
A “High C” sharpshooter (remember, that’s your favorite SageTalk author) will do this: Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim, Aim, Aim (while considering distance to target, weight of bullet, grain of powder, composition of target, wind velocity, barometric pressure, etc). Somewhere in this sequence, probably after about the third Aim, your head is about to explode! Our bad. We — me, a “High C” — need data, lots of data. Because we intend to be precise in the result — when we, eventually, commit to squeezing the trigger.
I have many “High D” friends. Their approach to our target practice is: Fire! ~ Ready, Aim. In fact, they’re probably using their semi-automatic to blast away. “No worries, mate! Knock ’em all down. We’ll sort out the pieces, later!” Their motto is, “Just get it done and get it done, now!”
Oh, look. Here comes an I, a “High I” at that. Dressed to the nines in his sporting jacket, puffy pants, fancy cap, high-top boots — and, he has a designer shootin’ iron draped over his arm. He’s ready for the party, drinks, and conversation — after we punch a few holes.
And, yes, that’s a “High S” standing off to the side making sure all the spent cartridges are gathered and wondering if we, really, need to make this much noise.
Bill Engvall has the right idea for the galactically stupid people of the world — and, expresses it in his comedic routine — Here’s Your Sign. Yet, by considering the insight, above, the question becomes, “Are they really stupid?” Or, are they just doing the best they can with what they know and the resources available to them? And, is it possible that because their DISC sign is different from ours, they’re thinking we’re the “stupid” ones?!
Now, let’s have even more fun with a different set of Quadrants — King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover.
Yes, once again, I have whacked a path through the thickets for us.
As much as I wanted to be a King — because, after all, the meaning of the name Kim is Chief. And, many of my friends, when we’re working together, affectionately use that term quite liberally.
So, my first time through the assessment was Thursday, April 19th — during that week after Tax Season, when I had time for me. As I surveyed my kingdom through the large windows of my Red Lodge home — of which, the 18th Fairway was an extension of the backyard — all was well in the Realm. Sure enough, at that moment, I was a King.
Then, the next week, it was back to work. After a few days off, evidently, the Forces-That-Be decided I was ready to be engaged in new adventures. It was a Wednesday, April 25th, when I made it back to the castle, after a busy day of slaying Dragons. I thought, “Let’s take that silly KWML test, again — because today was a typical day in my universe.” Hello Spartacus.
A force of nature, Warriors have the power and confidence to conquer any task.
Confident, competitive, and analytical, you are a fierce and steady protector of your friends, family, and all things you hold dear. You’re extremely ambitious, targeted, and determined—almost to a fault of being self-centered—and are an undeniable force of industriousness.
While you’re logical, orderly, and respect the rules like the King and Queen, you’re much more assertive and always ready to dive into action or conflict. Because you prefer to be somewhat isolated, you tend to have few very good friends, but these friends definitely count on you whenever there’s a task to be done with precision.
Location on the cognitive-emotional spectrum: Located in the lower left quadrant of this spectrum, your personality reflects your strong emotional sense of confidence. Your style of thinking tends to be more left-brained — logical, sequential, rational, and objective.
“Give up the battle to win the war:” Dare to be occasionally weak to be seen as “real” to others and find that enemies can become friends if you let them have a bit of the power.
Again, the only reason I share this with you is to encourage YOU to understand where you are in relationship to other People.
Released to theaters in 1985 (same year as the birth of my daughter, Lindsey), the movie Silverado is a family favorite. The heroes are Emmett, Mal, Jake, and Paden.
In thinking about sharing this Story with you, I practiced the outline with my son, Ryan, a few days ago. He helped me identify the King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover from the cast of Silverado.
Now, even as I type that out for us, do you see the pattern in the types of roles each of these four actors choose and for which they are best known?!
I rest my case.
There is something special about the KWML quadrants.
Four In One (CCPT)
Often, I’m asked, “What’s the difference between a Coach and a Consultant?! The simple answer is, “One asks all the questions and the other has all the answers.”
My mom offered daily prayers that I would go to Ambassador College and be trained as a Preacher. I have always wanted, though, to follow more in the footsteps of my dad and became a Teacher.
Coach They ask questions with the belief that eventually you’ll tap into your inner child and find the wisdom to deal with your own dang problems.
Consultant They show up on the scene to fix what is broken and bring with them the solutions to all of your problems.
Preacher They are passionate in the crusade to persuade you to believe you can enjoy heaven on earth, now – if you are willing to sacrifice your ego.
Teacher They will share with you all of the tricks and tips from their vast libraries of education and experience to assist in your journey of learning how to fish.
Cowboy Poet & Philadelphia Lawyer (CPPL)
The self-proclaimed label of Cowboy Poet is to honor the importance of heroes and the power of words. As a kid, I wore a fancy, tied-down, two-gun rig, with which to dispatch the bad guys. Now, I rely on the proverb, “Truly, the pen is mightier than the sword.”
I received the title of Philadelphia Lawyer from my dad when I was about ten years old. We were unloading sacks of cow salt out of the pickup into the granary one evening — and, I was doing my twenty questions routine.
Evidently, I lost track of the number — and, it must have been a long day for Dad. In exasperation and with a smile, he declared, “Kim, you ask so many questions that I’m sure you’re going to grow up to be a Philadelphia lawyer!”
He didn’t miss the mark by much. When it comes to putting together the conference room deals of our society, attorneys and CPAs are usually sitting side by side.
Fifty years after Dad’s observation, that natural curiosity has grown exponentially. The questions have become more focused and the intent is pure. I want to help YOU build something – special.
The mental image of a Cowboy Poet & Philadelphia Lawyer is one of ostensible contradiction. Yet, these four words remind me that life is best experienced on a spectrum. So, think of a sphere. Then, imagine the axis lines holding it symmetrical from the inside, out.
Like the four points of a compass — as far as the East is from the West — opposite ends of the axis lines are required for balance.
Growth occurs when we push the artificial limit of where the internal axis lines end — which, are at the edge of who we currently are. As we stretch the boundaries, the result is a greater sphere of influence for the benefit of many.
These spectrum’s of life stretch to infinity — if we have the courage to let our minds become open to the vastness of the universe and the unlimited potential of each individual.
The cornerstones of my heritage are Spurs and Books. What rowels are to spurs, vowels are to words. They are the jingle of rhythm and points of meaning.
A Cowboy (Warrior) is a man of action and defender of principle. The thoughtful approach of a Poet (Lover) casts a soft and gentle hue. Philadelphia (King) is symbolic of friendship and brotherly love. When those attributes are absent in a relationship, a Lawyer (Magician) intends to discover the facts, and just the facts, ma’am!
As we begin to summarize these different Quadrant Philosophy variations, I want the KWML to be our true North. Therefore, I’ll restate the order of DISC, CCPT, and CPPL to match King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover.
The bold words are the primary strengths I will bring to any relationship.
I hope these stories about the study of Relationship Strategies and the application of Quadrant Philosophy have inspired you to think about your role in meeting others where they are.
To push the boundaries of who we are and to better serve those in our sphere of influence, we must be relentless in applying all four temperaments.
Ask, seek, and knock on doors of opportunity, until you discover a Master to offer their version of the Three-E’s | Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage. Otherwise, you will be left in the dark, with no tools, and a feeling of hopelessness.
Many people are simply trudging through life — enduring each day. Because they are waiting for someone to save them from their earthly troubles. They have been led astray, by wolves in sheep’s clothing, to believe they must wait for the Kingdom of Heaven.
And, that dear Friends, is the importance of little words. There is a world of difference between of and in. Think about it — of denotes “belonging to” and in specifies “location.”
It is impossible for any of the scholarly ministers in their whited sepulchers to show me even one scripture reference to the exact phrase Kingdom in Heaven.
Let’s move around those in our way and claim the treasures promised to us.
A Better Way
Saddle up and ride with me.
The four horsemen of Silverado have shown us what is possible:
A misfit bunch of friends come together to right the injustices which exist in a small town.
There are two types of People in this world — Builders and Janitors.
There are three types of Builders — Constructive, Creative, and Conscientious.
There are three types of Janitors — Lazy, 9-to-5’ers, and Trust Fund Babies.
Those Who Maintain
Lazy is a condition of idleness. For the hard-working men and women, this is a daydream of ours. To kick back and take it easy. Yet, when we do, there is an underlying uneasiness — of wondering, “What’s so great about this?” Imagine a lifetime on the couch with a clicker. No joy there.
9-to-5’ers make it through each of their days, doing what is asked of them — and, no more. They work for a paycheck and have no interest in making the world a better place. They are self-absorbed and, simply, wait for their shift to be over — so, they can pursue a hobby of their choice.
Trust Fund Babies are born on third base — believing they hit a home run. They are full of arrogance and ignorance, which makes them dangerous. They play not to lose and have no clue how to win. Since they have no idea of how to make anything of value, their favorite tactic is to nickel-and-dime everyone else.
The Good News
Before we examine the lives of Builders, let’s offer hope to the Janitors.
We have been created with freewill — the ability to choose our destiny. At any moment, at any time, we can make a choice to have a different life. The world is what we make of it — if it doesn’t fit we can make alterations.
Able and willing are two, very, different concepts — because, even, though we are able to do something does not guarantee we will be willing.
A mind changed against its will — will be of the same opinion still.
As an eternal optimist, I believe in possibilities. I just don’t believe the odds are very good — that Janitors will choose to become Builders.
Those Who Create
Constructive builders have something to show for their hard work at the end of their days. Every tangible blessing we enjoy has been built by the hands of the industrious. Up before dawn to draft their Blueprints, driven through the day to produce Value, and through the evening they review their Accomplishments.
Creative builders operate in the realm of Intellectual Property. Their goal is to build up People. In the intangible realms of mental, emotional, and spiritual, the creative types bring into existence thoughts never before shared with the World. From those Thoughts, flow Decisions, and Actions for the good of humankind.
Conscientious builders oftentimes can be found at the end of a shovel, or broom. Maybe, because of the hand of fate – or, by design – these individuals are diligent in their high calling — to Serve. They are not servants. They do, however, offer themselves in service for the good of all. Whatever their hands find to do, they proudly do it with their might.
One, Or The Other
In today’s society, many individuals seem to be zombies trudging through their days with an attitude of Fifty Shades of Grey. To them, there is no light or dark — their world is, simply, various shades of dullness.
If distressed jeans are any indication to the mood of the wearer, then, we have many distressed individuals, today. Through the 24/7 propaganda machine of the media, these individuals have become convinced they are powerless to make a decision. So, they float back and forth on the spectrum of choice. Which shade of grey will it be, today?
Yet, they have the ability to make a black and white choice – a decision – for a different ending to their life Story. They can shun the grey pale of drudgery, turn their back against the dark forces, and open their minds to the colorful goodness of heaven on earth.
I Can Hear The Whining
Those happy in their ruts (graves with the ends kicked out) will start their chorus of whining — about what they don’t have, what they can’t do, and how they are the victims of the victorious.
On the other hand, I can hear a few – putting their foot in the throttle – who are determined to wind up the RPMs (until their engines whine), catch some gears, and make progress down a road toward their new destinations. I love the sound of Progress. 🙂
DNA, or DME (Doesn’t Make Excuses)
I’m a Builder. My dad was a Builder. His dad was a Builder. And, his dad escaped from a life of luxury on the East Coast to homestead in Fishtail, Montana. Yes, he was a Builder, too.
So — the question becomes, did my son, Ryan, have no choice but to be a Builder? As the owner of Crosswire, Inc. is it simply a matter of DNA? Maybe, although, I’m more of the belief it’s because of his DME. He doesn’t make excuses — because, Builders don’t.
Builders accept responsibility for each of their decisions. They want to earn Respect.
Janitors, on the other hand, want to be Liked. They have no idea how to earn anything, so they manipulate. In the simplest of terms, they truly are wannabes.
Unless we are growing, we are dying — the default condition of the physical realm is decay.
How do we escape?
Start with nothing and build something special.
Too simple for the complexity of our modern world?
There is one powerful concept often ignored by the masses, “Keep It Simple Sweetheart.” — affectionately known as the KISS Principle. Try it, you’ll like it.
By bringing into existence that which was formerly unknown, YOU become a creator. Since we’re made in the image of a Higher Power, a small leap of faith brings us to the realization that the Joy is in the building, the creating, and the serving.
Birds Of A Feather
Have you noticed that Eagles do notcavort with Turkeys? Or, that Bluebirds don’t spend much time visiting with the Pigeons? And, that the Meadowlark has no use for the Prairie Hawk?
So, evidently, it is true, “Birds of a feather flock, together.”
If we choose a life of doing, we escape the Thanksgiving table fate of the Turkey.
“I am amused that you continue to ask for me to explain — what is not and never was.”
That was my response to an attorney, who wanted me to explain the unexplainable. He had taken a course of action, which transformed the simple into the complex. In fact, the potential exists that he has endangered a Family by encouraging them to, unintentionally, break the law.
How often do we fall into the trap of letting our thoughts and energies be consumed by the not of what is?
In other words, how much of our day is wasted by thinking about what is behind us — or, what is outside of our control? That’s the purest and craziest definition of — what is not and never was.
If we’re standing in the light of what is right, there is absolutely no reason to explain the darkness of another person’s wrong. To do so changes our thinking from, what is — to, what is not.
This Is What Is
1.) Law provides order to what otherwise results in chaos. Every structure of dynamic goodness functions within the parameters of principle.
2.) Activities of growth and purpose occur in the Present — moment to moment — because of a thoughtful plan for the Future.
3.) We are Captains of our own Destiny, who sail the seas of the unknown and find our greatest happiness in the Journey of enriching the lives we touch.
That’s plenty to keep us busy.
Understanding the core principles of right and wrong is one thing. Living a life of principle is another. Sometimes, we do what we know not — and, then, forget to do what we know. Eventually, we sync knowledge with action, to discover a higher dimension — of thought and being.
Focusing our attention on one thing at a time can best be remembered with this mantra — “Whatever our hands find to do, let’s do it with all our might.” And — if those efforts are constant and consistent with a purposeful plan, the result will be a Reality of our Dreams.
Believing in a future beyond our imaginations unshackles us from the safe harbor of what is known. In fact, belief in a Higher Power becomes the wind in our sails. As with all destinations, Ports-of-Call come and go. What endures, forever, are the impressions made on the souls aboard — and, beyond.
Forget about the small minds chained to the chaos of — what is not and never was.
Remember the power of Understanding, Focusing, and Believing in — What Is.
Imagine your favorite action movie. The ground is crumbling behind our heroes and heroines as they run toward the only escape available to them. Our heart is in our throat, as we encourage them to go, quickly, forward.
Life is like that. There is no standing still. There is no going back. The only direction to safety is forward.
The Story of a Friend
I lost a dear friend of twenty-plus years because he made a choice to be comfortable in a rut. The definition of a rut is – a grave with the ends kicked out. Yes, it’s dark, damp, and depressing down there. My friend exploded upon being reminded of the only two choices we have: Grow or Die.
He assured me in no uncertain terms that he was not depressed. (The fellow doth protest too much, methinks.)
As recently as, November 15, 2006, this is the complete text of the Testimonial he offered when asked to document our business relationship — Client and Certified Public Accountant.
While reflecting on the past years of business growth … the ups and downs; the trials and tests; the hard work; and, never-ending commitment to push forward … I come to realize that you have been a vital part of that growth. You have been with us all the way.
The accounting profession has truly been honored by your steadfast commitment to serving, to advise … to help direct my thoughts in the financial decisions of our company. It has made my job as CEO much easier.
We are in our 15th year and looking forward to working with you in the years to come.
Fast forward to September 14, 2011, and this is my goodbye to a business relationship, which was enjoyed by that friend, who (at one time) was closer than any brother.
The purpose of this letter is to document the essence of our phone conversation, yesterday.
At the end of that conversation, you wondered if your message was adequately communicated by asking, “Is that clear?!” My response, “Perfectly.”
It is crystal clear that there is a difference in core philosophies.
You believe and have stated quite clearly, numerous times over the last few months, that you and your Company are at the mercy of the Hand of Fate. In essence, you are tethered to a fixed set of practices, which have brought you success in the Past — and, now, are frustrated that the Present is less than accepting.
I believe life is what we make of it, friend — if it doesn’t fit, make alterations. My purpose in business is summarized in four words: Building Bright Financial Futures. I have gone to great lengths to promote this idea to the world via every digital means possible. I have clearly communicated this core belief to you via an email conversation thread from May 17th to July 20th.
My last email request of you was for one hour of your time to discern how we might build a dynamic business relationship. Having heard absolutely nothing from you, I called yesterday with an offer for year-end planning. In the past, you welcomed the opportunity for us to talk about your Company.
You chose to refuse my offer. You have that right. I also have the right to choose.
As of today, we no longer have a business relationship. You are encouraged to engage other professionals to provide services for your financial fiscal year (and, payroll calendar quarter) ended September 30th. Documents in your Client File Portal will be available to you and your representatives until December 31st.
What happened between November 15, 2006, and September 14, 2011?
We will never know. To be judgmental toward my friend and all he has experienced in the last five years is the wrong thing to do. I can, though, tell my story. In the past, I have first-hand knowledge and experience of what it’s like to be stuck in a rut. It is dark, damp and depressing.
Rest of the Story
Since this is my story, I’ll finish telling it my way.
The darkest times in my life began, at the moment, when I started to think that I had arrived. Thinking that I had reached my destination and could quit — or, coast — or, savor the rewards — or, otherwise think I had, really, become somebody. You see, the focus had shifted to thinking, believing, and acting as if, the world revolved around me.
In the simplest of analogies, my life had gone off a cliff. The ground was, literally, crumbling beneath my feet as I tumbled into the chasm of darkness.
Recovery from the pit was only possible by acknowledging, “There but for the grace of God go I” … further down into the abyss. At that moment, there was a Rock on which to cling and a view of the hard work necessary to climb from the rubble into the brightness of opportunity, once again.
Don’t Look Down
There is nothing new under the sun.
There’s a story of a guy walking on water. His name was Peter and he was a cocky fellow, with relatives from Missouri (the Show Me state). He enjoyed the companionship of a friend, who cared deeply about the growth of others.
So, one day Peter challenged his friend with, “If you’re really as good as you claim, ask me to walk on water.” Guys being guys, the friend accepted the challenge and said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water. But, when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink.
Moral of this story: Don’t look down.
Children Grow Up
In fact, don’t look back, either. The ground is crumbling behind us. There is only one safe path — Forward.
There’s another story of a guy pondering the progression of life. His name was Paul and one of his many attributes was that of a Philosopher. He observed, “When I was a child, I talked like a child. I thought like a child. I had the understanding of a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
Moral of this story: Children grow up.
At this point in my story, there is at least one person just aching to challenge this thesis of — Forward motion being the best direction and Growth being a prerequisite to a rich life. They will posit that “going back” has its merits.
We miss a turn at the intersection and need to go back.
We forget something when leaving on vacation and need to go back.
We neglect to learn a lesson and need to go back (for another dose).
We ignore an opportunity, which is good for us, and need to go back.
Going Back & Moving Forward
I agree. There are legitimate times for us to go back and recover from frailties of the human condition. “Thank God for Good Directions and turnip greens!” (by Billy Currington and his album Doin’ Somethin’ Right) Turn up your speakers and enjoy this tune.
For the astute scholars among us, I will acknowledge their point that we are encouraged by the Good Book to go back. As we examine this riddle to the very essence of life, the answer is simple. We are encouraged to be childlike, not childish. There is a difference.
So… at the moment, when there is the temptation to think we have arrived and can stop growing — Look up, think forward, and really focus on the hard work to take the next step.
Go ahead — do it. Now, that we are big kids — older and wiser, with all of our education and experience, hurts and betrayals, safely archived in the memory banks —do it. Be innocent, be sweet, be open, be humble, be accepting, be trusting, and believe that we can experience heaven, here on earth.
All we need to do is to take that next step — often into the unknown — forward, to grow.