Reverse ABC’s

Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

Most of us are familiar with one of the great speeches of all time, “I have a dream…” by Martin Luther King. As I listened to the speech, I was reminded of another period of time in our great country, the United States of America.

For eight years, January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017, we listened to the oratory of another fellow promise great things. Heck, he even had the masses mesmerized by his magnificent dreams.

One Little Word

We can all dream — and we do.

In fact, dreams without action are known as fantasies.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
If turnips were watches, I’d wear one by my side.
If “if’s” and “and’s” were pots and pans,
There’d be no work for tinkers’ hands.

Scottish Proverb

Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

One little three-letter word “and” stands between dreams and achievement. Fantasies and oratory are easy — dare I say cheap. What is very hard and of great value is Belief.

Count The Times

Out of curiosity, I downloaded the typewritten speech given by Martin Luther King and used Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to recognize the text. Then, I did a “search” for the word believe. — and to my surprise it only appeared three times — in the negative tense. See for yourself. (CLICK)

  • But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.
  • We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults…
  • …a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

Only a wish, “…somehow this situation can and will be changed.”

I’m not interested in what someone doesn’t believe. I want to know what they do believe — and that’s missing from a speech to 250,000 people on August 28, 1963. Here in Montana, that’s known as all hat and no cattle.

Anyone can complain about a problem — only a select few can “believe” in a solution. However, those select few offer real hope for the future and inspire change in behaviors. They are the Inspirators. Let’s examine their beliefs.

One More Time

Believe in Splitting Stone

After many blows of the hammer, I wanted to ask, “Why — are we doing this?!”

Yet, I settled for, “When do you think it will split?”

As he always did, my Dad just grinned and answered, “I don’t know. That’s what makes this fun.”

Before beginning anything, Dad always knew the “Why” of producing the intended result. I believe that’s what kept him swinging and believing.

A full measure of belief is necessary to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.

See You At The Top

See You At The Top ~ I Believe

Another hero of mine, Zig Ziglar, came from humble beginnings and influenced many. As a cookware salesman, he learned and taught, “People buy what they want — not what they need.”

As a twenty-something Entrepreneur, the cassette tapes of Zig Ziglar captured my attention and motivated me to serve the public in ways which, before, were unimaginable.

I was inspired to believe that if a pots and pans peddler from Yazoo City, Mississippi, could achieve his dreams — then, I could, too.

You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

V-8 Power

Belief in a V-8

There’s a story about Henry Ford wanting a V-8 engine for his automobiles. He asked his engineers to make one. After several months, they returned to say it couldn’t be done.

Henry explained why it was important for families to travel in safety, with the increased power of more horses under the hood.

Off the engineers went, to try, again. After many more months and with conviction, they reported that the task was impossible. Henry said firmly, “Boys, you don’t understand. You can either build me a V-8 engine, or I will find someone who can.”

They built Henry his V-8.

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.

Believe and Succeed

The strangest secret is, “We become what we think about.” However, only 5% of the population is thinking — the other 95% are conforming. After the conception of a goal, all we have to do is put forth the effort to create.

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Conceiving an idea (dream) is worthless, unless we act on it — with purpose and faith (belief).

What you believe will be done for you.

The Word

Easy, or Hard?

Which is easier to say?
1.) I believe.
2.) I have a dream.

Which is harder to do?
1.) Believe
2.) Dream

I Believe

  • All we do begins with a thought.
  • Service to others is love made visible.
  • We receive in proportion to the way we give.
  • Things work together for the good of those who LOVE.
  • Fascination and Curiosity can overcome resignation and despair.
  • In starting with nothing (but a dream) and building something special.
  • Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

What do you believe?

Pure Genius

The definition of genius by Albert Einstein is more apt today than then.

Genius is making complex ideas simple.

Genius - Complex To 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

Genius Explain It Simply

The “problem” (opportunity in disguise) that we face are those individuals who believe there are three choices to any situation:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe

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:

  • Try
  • Maybe
  • Someday

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:

  • Fix
  • Not

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

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.”

Genius - A Creative Wizardry

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?”

Pure Genius

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:

  • Me
  • You

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.

Genius Has Its Limits

Lucky

Recently, someone frustrated with their life blurted, “You’re so lucky!”

I almost responded with, “Those who work the hardest are the luckiest.”

Instead, I simply replied with, “Yes, but if you only knew my story, you might think differently.” I went on to mention, “You’ve heard the proverbial theory of gathering people around a table to share their problems. After looking around the table, everyone grabs back their own.”

She replied with, “I’m so envious of you. You’ve been in love, got married, had children, and enjoyed success in business. My mother has used you as an example of who I should be.”

That individual was consumed with the drama of their existence and was not interested in my Story. So, I’ll share it with you.

Believing Is Seeing

Yes, that’s a word play on the old expression, “Seeing is believing.” However, our eyes can deceive us — or, maybe, better stated, “We can believe in what isn’t there if deception, or preconception, is involved.”

Magic has taken deception to an art form. “Smoke and Mirrors” is a common phrase to describe the sleight of hand. Even in the realm of professionals, we have lawyers doing the same thing in a courtroom.

Societal propaganda has taken preconception to the realm of fantasy. According to the 24/7 bombardment, the rich and famous are the ideal. The agenda to be a celebrity has trampled on the concept of freedom to choose.

On the other hand, “Believing Is Seeing” encapsulates the worldview of making the best of every situation. Even though there may be no evidence of goodness, every opportunity has seeds necessary for our new learning.

Research

Speaking of evidence, research has documented the skills of lucky people. Richard Wiseman, the Professor of Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, in the United Kingdom, discovered four main principles:

  • maximizing chance opportunities
  • listening to your intuition
  • expecting good fortune
  • turning bad luck to good

Strategies employed to increase – by 80% – the happiness and luck of ordinary people are:

  • meditation to enhance intuition
  • relaxation
  • visualizing good fortune
  • talking to at least one new person every week

As the good professor explains, “That’s why lucky people appear to have an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time and enjoy more than their fair share of lucky breaks.”

Third Grade

I needed eyeglasses in the third grade to see the chalkboard at the front of the classroom and got them as a sophomore in high school. Texas was funny that way — they wanted me to see the highway when I was taking Driver’s Education.

The reason I can remember the third grade is that was the first time I brought home anything other than A’s on my report cards. I’m pretty sure those two B’s would only have been deserving of a reprimand from my mother. That C, however, was cause for a “Come to Jesus” session, with her.

It was so bad, I, to this day, vividly, remember going into our small bathroom at Big Timber, kneeling down, and asking God for His help. I was going to need it — I couldn’t see the chalkboard, and I didn’t know what to do.

I remember praying for wisdom. Solomon was a hero of mine. I figured if it worked for him, it might work for me. Sure enough — all A’s from that point forward.

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to listen and discovered the benefit of having a “friend” in a very High Place.

Moving All Over Creation

Those six years of grade school at Big Timber, Montana, was the longest period of time at any one school. Dad worked on ranches owned by Trust Fund Babies. As a result, after he had been used and abused, when he was no longer part of their grand plan, we were asked to leave.

Within a month of starting first grade at Lavina, we were on the move to a ranch at Big Timber, MT. We were there for six years. Then, we began an adventure in the foreign country of East Texas. It was a four-year stint of horizon broadening.

My junior year of high school provided the opportunity to be the new kid on three different playgrounds: Long View, TX; New Underwood, SD; and, Lavina, MT. Since I graduated from high school at Lavina, I can proudly proclaim that I started and finished school there.

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to be the new kid on a playground and still have friends scattered coast-to-coast.

Cowboy Dreams

All of those years of good grades resulted in a full-ride four-year scholarship to any university in Montana. I turned that down to pursue my dream of being a cowboy.

Fifteen months later, I knew I didn’t have the same love of horses and cows as my dad. Although, those years of living the notion, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” came in handy. This poor kid had a new dream of going to college.

In the course of managing my fledgling business as a twenty-something entrepreneur, the counsel of an older client friend cut short my whining. He exclaimed, “Kim, your problem is not that you were born poor. Your problem is that you were born with ambition. Many are born poor and stay that way. You want something else.”

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to never, ever look a gift horse in the mouth and to appreciate the investment to earn an education.

The CPA Exam

Having started work for a CPA firm in the middle of my junior year of college, I thought, “How hard can it be to pass that silly CPA exam? I’m educated and experienced — that ought to be enough.” Wrong!

After two years and four attempts, the victory was mine. So, naturally, I believed those Partners of the CPA firm, for whom I still worked, that they would honor their promise to consider me as a partner. Wrong!

For four years, I had made them lots of money and opened a satellite office. So, in their mind and stated opinion, “Let’s keep the relationship as it is and you can keep on doing what you’ve always done.” Wrong!

My dream had been and was even more vividly clear — I was going to be my own Boss and serve the agricultural community in a better way than they ever imagined.

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to be a good employee (and a better employer) and the importance of believing in Dreams. 

Husband and Father

For twenty-four years, the Community viewed us as the perfect couple — and then eventually the perfect family. Having “found” a Higher Power in the third-grade, those vows, “Til death do us part” meant something to me.

Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” whether love was ever a reciprocal emotion. I had conceived, believed, and achieved a Family unit, so as for my worldview — yes, love was offered to wife and children.

Added to the mix of responsibilities during this season of life was the role of “Good Son” providing a retirement for parents, who because of fate and hate (of savings) found themselves without the support of the Cult.

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to give without expecting anything in return and developed empathy for those abused by narcissists.

Comfortable Rut

Contrary to the Country song, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Hard work and “good luck” found me comfortable in a rut — which, by the way, the definition is: a grave with the ends kicked out.

I’ve always believed we travel through life on the two legs of Family and Work. Family gives purpose to our Work — Work provides opportunities for our Family.

After the divorce, one leg was crippled — so, I hopped… and hopped, for thirteen years, until my birthday, October 26, 2015. I was sixty years old and burned out — sick to death of Tax Returns and third-generation Juniors.

For 35+ years, I had helped Grandpa build his little empire, which he turned over to Dad (my generation) to maintain (work of a janitor), which then showed up on a silver platter for little third-generation Junior to waste.

Junior was born on third-base and will lie to convince you that he hit a home run. Arrogance and ignorance are a volatile mixture — when thrown in the face of education and experience.

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and giving IT all away provides a path to true freedom.

One Lucky Guy

So, she’s absolutely right — I am one lucky guy. My journey is not much different than your own, or hers. The only possible difference is I have chosen to make the best of whatever the situation.

Although trained in probabilities as a CPA, my mind is open to the possibilities of good fortune — Seeds of Opportunity.

Legacy

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.

LEGACY

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.

Changing Lives

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 specialLOVE.

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.

Legacy Coach: Kim Foard, CPA

Fix Thoughts

How important is it for us to find a way to fix Thoughts?

There is a battle raging for our souls and it is life-altering to acknowledge that our thoughts are the only thing within our control.

We cannot change the political climate, celebrity morals, Mother Nature, Father Time — or, even, your neighbor’s yapping dog.

Yet, we can be the Captain of Destiny — as we create a future of our choice.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

Reverse Genius

Genius is taking the complex and making it simple — which, then, means Stupidity is taking the simple and making it complex.

There are moments, as we stare in disbelief at the absurd, when we ask, “What the flaming heck were they thinking?!”

The problem is just that, “They probably weren’t thinking.” And, that, my friends, is why we find ourselves in the Danger Zone. The majority of civilization in any society, at any time, are not thinking. They are, simply, going with the flow — of what propagandists want them to say and do.

On the other hand, the real geniuses have always been considered crazy — for going where angels fear to tread. Because they push against what the majority consider normal (generally, the lowest common denominator), the innovators of the world happily bear the ridicule of the masses.

Fix Your Thoughts

Now, you’re thinking, “Did he slip a cog. What’s up with this notion of happily bear ridicule?!”

Happy are the people who understand this secret.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

WTF Thoughts - Anyway

If goodness is out of vogue, happy people don’t care. What they do CARE about is truth, honor, righteousness, purity, love, and admiration for the 100% accuracy of Karma delivering what is earned.

By thinking about excellence and praiseworthy topics, happy people create their own destiny. With words, it is impossible to capture this principle, which is more magical than logical.

YOU must experience it through your actions.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

Paradoxical Commandments

Some things are better explained by the experts. In keeping with the concept Less Is More, I’ll direct you to Dr. Kent M. Keith.

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Love Your Enemies

Yes, when reminded to do this, I tend to balk, too. However, recently, I read the Rest of the Story to realize, “We’re not alone in our daily effort to fix — what is broken.”

When someone with the Power to heal the deformed is condemned by the local yokels, then, we find ourselves in extraordinarily great company.

He looked around at them one by one and then said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At this, His enemies were wild with rage and began to discuss what to do with him.

Short version of the story is they killed Him.

But before they did, our Hero had this to say, “To you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”

WTF Thoughts - Think Differently

That is the way to fix Thoughts.

Do we change the character of our enemies, the haters, the vulgar, or the abusers? Simple answer: No.

Why, then, are we encouraged to Do It?

Because it is tonic for our Thoughts.

Into The Unknown

We don’t know what we don’t know. Or, in other words, how do we navigate a course never before traveled? Simple answer: Faith.

In leaving the shores of the old behind, we embrace the horizons of new beginnings. We sail forth by changing the way we think.

Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

Will we make “mistakes” that will be harshly judged by the naysayers as a representation of our foolishness? Of course! That is the exciting element of this great adventure into the unknown — we will grow, while the rest of the world stagnates in their comfortable rut (grave with the ends kicked out).

What is LOVE, anyway?

This definition works for me.

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.

Love can also be measured by seven attributes.

LOVE
Is patient,
Is kind,
Rejoices with the truth,
Always protects,
Always trusts,
Always hopes,
Always perseveres.

As you might have noticed, Love is a verb — framed as a gift and delivered by action. Which means we must grow in stature, resources, and wisdom to have something to offer others.

The more we learn, the more we know;
The more we know, the more we sow;
The more we sow, the more we grow.

Isn’t life grand?!

Opportunity To Create

Designed for greatness, engineered for success, and motivated by goodness as Captains of Destiny, we are courageously heading into uncharted waters to serve the multitudes.

Simply, we have been offered the opportunity, by a Creator, to create.

I know you’ve had the experience of a HUG.

On occasion, you have served another person — who, with their eyes, expressed a newfound Hope, Understanding, and Gratitude (HUG) of life, once again.

YOU did that for them.

That is the way to fix Thoughts!

Opinionated Feedback

The last step in the Journey to build sterling Character is to welcome and accept Constructive Feedback.

Constructive Feedback is the other side of the coin from Reinforcing Feedback. We all love the feedback that sings our praises of a job well done, that acknowledges a situation handled nicely, or that recognizes the dent we’re making in the world.

So, those are the two kinds of feedback — between two people with knowledge of facts, situations, and measurable observations.

What about the third kind of feedback — which comes out of the blue from a third wheel, loose cannon, if you will — from someone with a badge that reads, Sidewalk Superintendent?

Opinionated Feedback — (OF)

Tiny, little, powerful, two-letter words — aren’t they something? One of my favorite expressions, “If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me.”

of
to indicate a point of reckoning
to indicate origin or derivation
to indicate the cause, motive, or reason
to indicate the component material, parts, or elements
to indicate the whole that includes the part
to indicate belonging or a possessive relationship
to indicate the relationship between a result and function
to indicate something from which a person is delivered
to indicate a particular example belonging to a class
to indicate apposition
to indicate the object of an action
to indicate the application of a verb
to indicate a characteristic or distinctive quality
to indicate the position in time of an action

So — if the last step in the Journey to build sterling Character is to welcome and accept Constructive Feedback, what about the Sainthood effort required to accept Opinionated Feedback?!

And — when I say, “Accept,” I define that as, “Accept it for what it is, glean the kernels of truth, and let the chaff blow away on the winds of fickleness.”

Feedback That Never Was

This story, so far, has been framed around the beneficiary of feedback. But, what about the individual offering the feedback? If you’ve ever been in a role which required formal feedback to be given, you know how difficult it is — To Do.

Now, imagine the poor fellow who is sharing his thoughts with a couple of new friends and is, then, accosted for asking a few simple questions.

Remember the Story about me and the two women — the cute one and the other one? We’ve already discussed how I responded to the challenge from the other one, who asked me to be her Accountability Partner (after, I clearly communicated on a public forum that my partner must be a “brave soul.”)

What is it that YOU want from this email? To point out? To challenge? To encourage the why + what do I want thinking?

For the students of communication theory, all of their mental bells, whistles, and alarms have been triggered. “Email?! Doesn’t he know that only 7% of communication can be accomplished with words?” Yep, I knew it going in — but, that’s my modus operandi — going where even the angels fear to tread.

The cute one is a very successful Life Coach, with a variety of programs that she offers for the benefit of those individuals wanting to expand their horizons, improve levels of accomplishment, and grow into better Citizens. My kind of gal — so, since I was invited to her game (Program), I signed up.

When I zinged my serve over the net, the other one caught the ball to examine it for defects. Life Coach patiently waited through the other one’s challenge of my intent and then offered this.

I value feedback from people I know, I am always looking to improve in my life and my work, and I am also a huge proponent of done being better than perfect. The Program is what it is and serves its purpose for most people. It is not meant to be the answer to everyone’s problems, nor is it meant to be a spiritual based program.

Say what?!

So, I went back and read, again — very slowly — my original email to see if I had used the word Feedback, or made any reference to the Trinity. Nope, not even once.

Communication Is What The Listener Does

Although, in my email, I had asked this question, “What is the passion at the core of everything you do?

During those 35+ years serving the public as a CPA, I learned to ask this question of every prospective Client. Those who were animated in their response enjoyed working with me. Those with a deer-in-the-headlights response were graciously ushered back to the door from which they came.

So, I fully understand the responses I received from the Life Coach and the other one. One was scared silly because I dared to ask such a question — the Life Coach felt threatened.

For most of my life, I have been overly concerned about everyone’s feelings. Recently, however, the light came on, “Other people’s feelings are beyond my control. Unless, I’m rude, or crude, they have the responsibility to manage their own dang feelings.”

And, it’s true — no one can make us mad, sad, happy, or glad. It’s our individual right and responsibility to create the emotions pleasing to us.

It’s perfectly fine that the Life Coach wants no part in my philosophy, or efforts, to be a Conduit of Goodness.

What Did You Learn?

Because — she did offer this.

You’re kind enough to offer feedback to others, my feedback to you might be to include a bit of framing when you give that feedback so others better understand what your intention and expectation is – especially when they don’t know you well.

As a builder, I know exactly what she’s suggesting. After establishing a solid foundation, framing is the next phase to Build Something — Special. And, with no apologies to the Life Coach, or anyone else, my way of preparing a foundation on bedrock is to ask questions. The one question about “the passion at the core” is the first of ten initial steps to a solid foundation.

In visiting with a long-time loyal friend, on the phone last night, she asked, “So, what did you learn?”

Oh, we laughed! Because — I’ve lost track of the number of verses to this same old song. She gently teased that maybe the time has come for me to learn the lesson. 🙂

Curse of Knowledge

The beauty of Opinionated Feedback is that it comes from an outsider, who is not encumbered by the “Curse of Knowledge.” Reinforcing Feedback and Constructive Feedback happens between two individuals, who know all the “facts.” The outsider is not burdened with any preconceived notions about the Ego, Expectations, or Emotions. They can be honest in offering their opinion.

I did not offer feedback to the Life Coach — I did, however, share my thoughts which were perceived by her to be feedback.

Her feedback to me is spot on correct. I know it, and I’m working on getting better at it. It defined as — stop scaring the living bejeezus out of timid souls, with too much, too soon.

Speed of Belief

I’ve had people suggest that I wear darkened eyeglasses — because my gaze is too intense. It’s true — I’m intensely passionate about my purpose in life. And — I thoroughly enjoy that far-left lane, designated Speed of Belief.

Remember, when we were first learning to drive, how we had to keep staring at all the gauges to make sure our speed was right, the engine had oil pressure, and the coolant was staying cool. Now, we seldom think about it — we glance, every now and then.

Same song, second verse — I’m operating at the Speed of Belief — not by sight, but — by feel. Because of the Curse of Knowledge, I assume (yes, I know, makes an ass out of u and me) everyone else is comfortable with their hair blown back. (As a side-bar, that’s why I wear my hair in a crew-cut.)

What We Learn, Together

Coach John Wooden — in Pyramid of Success — has this encouragement, “What a leader learns after you’ve learned it all counts most of all.

As a believer in the ASK Principle — Ask, Seek, and Knock — I hope you will help me: Ask, so love can be given; Seek, so wisdom can be found; and, Knock, so doors of opportunity swing wide open.

I’ve noticed that my friends are reluctant to give Feedback of any kind. Yet, my enemies, are eager to bury me in Opinionated Feedback — and, I appreciate it very much.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome. Please, schedule a time for us to visit in a phone conversation, or a Zoom Meeting, by making an Appointment. (CLICK)

Slap It Back

If you think the World is out to get you, you’ll make that come true.

If you believe in making a dent in the World, that’s what you will achieve.

Same YOU and same World. What’s the difference?

Attitude

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.
~ Henry Ford

It all begins with The Want To.

What do “Y-O-U” want?

If you’re ever in need of a conversation starter, just look right into the eyes of another person and ask this question, “What is the passion at the core of everything you do?”

One of two things is guaranteed to happen: Immediate animation, as the person begins to share that passion with you. Or, a deer-in-the-headlights look, with a really long, awkward, pause, as the individual painfully looks for a way to escape.

Escape from what — their own life?! All we want is to understand what makes them tick — that which empowers them to take a licking and keep on ticking.

Can YOU answer the questions, above, quickly, boldly, and confidently?

The Match

Recently, I was invited to participate in an open-court event. Rarely do I get invited by a beautiful woman to play games, so, naturally, I accepted. As I showed up to play, there were two women on the other side of the net. So, being a guy, I thought, “Double the fun!”

We volleyed back and forth to warm up. Everything was grins and giggles. Then, it’s time to begin. So, naturally, being a guy, I zinged one over the net.

And, that’s when the ship hit the sand…

What is it that YOU want from this email? To point out? To challenge? To encourage the why + what do I want thinking?

Now, my idea of tennis is, “When the ball comes to you, slap it back over.”

Nope, the beautiful one watched her friend catch the ball, study it for defects, and then cheered her for questioning my “intent” behind the serve.

I thought the idea was for us to have fun and improve our game.

Silly me!

My Response

Dumbfounded, I stared at that email wondering, “What the H-E-Double-Toothpicks just happened?” Then, I remembered, “This is just a game. Let’s have some fun with this. So, I grabbed another ball and slapped it on over.

I want nothing — from you. I was “sharing” my thoughts. After clicking Send on the email below, I discovered your recent Upload into our portal, Rohn Guide To Goal Setting. So, I downloaded a Copy, highlighted areas important to me, and uploaded my Copy back into the Portal.

I am pointing out that the theme of Jim is consistent with the diction of Kim.

I am challenging nothing, and nobody, (to a duel, or otherwise). I am stating my beliefs — boldly and confidently.

I am passionately offering my Three-E Formula — Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage — to the whole wide world. You are a beneficiary of that. I know for a fact: Some people will love it — and, others will hate it. That choice is theirs. Either way, I’ll continue to give — my Best.

Because I loved this graphic when I first saw it, I shared it with them, too.

When I Give

Three Types Of Players

There are those who take up space, rigid as a post, frozen in time, and watch the ball dribble right on by. There are others, like the two above, who catch the ball and stop the fun. And, finally, there are those who are determined to improve — themselves, their game, and the other participants.

There’s another way to state (in reverse) the available Options, above.

1.) Do it right ~ Have fun and slap the ball back over the net.
2.) Do it wrong ~ Catch the ball and examine it for defects.
3.) Do nothing ~ Absolute Void – Mother Nature hates that.

So, you see, my experience with the two women could have been worse.

With time to feel their way through the logic of my response, each of them replied graciously — and, the Game continues.

These Three

Success – Happiness – and, Love

What do these three concepts — Success, Happiness, and Love — have in common?

Yes, I agree — we want all three.

What else?

They can’t be bought with money, they can’t be chased down, they won’t magically waltz into our lives — and, if found, they can’t be captured and bound.

Yet, what is the most important facet of these three gems?

The Answer

We must create them.

Yep, it’s that simple — to say; much harder To Do.

The secret, though, is just that — We Must Do.

You ask, “Where do we begin?”

I say, “Let’s take a flying leap of faith into the future we desire.”

Eyes Wide Open

I was going to say, “Now, close your eyes…” but, wait, don’t do that, not quite yet. Keep reading, first.

When you do close your eyes, imagine the world of your dreams. It’s your dream — paint it your way — in vivid colors for some and in more subtle hues for others. Once the Background is in place, set all of the Things where they belong — and, then, for the most important feature of your dream, invite the People with whom you want to share your life.

Whatever the mind can conceive, it can believe and achieve.

Baby Steps

Do you believe?

You conceived it.

If you believe, how can  “IT” be achieved?

The secret is to focus on small steps.

Mile by Mile it’s a Trial
Yard by Yard it’s Hard
Inch by Inch it’s a Cinch

A month ago, I got tired of my Wranglers® being tight. So I made an appointment to visit a Nutritionist. She explained away some long-held mysteries about food and “we” formulated a Plan. My next session with her was scheduled for a month away.

Silly me, for the first three weeks, I cleaned the cupboards of unhealthy food — but, pretty much kept doing what I’ve always done. And, I got the same results that I always have. Purest definition of Insanity, right?

Doing the same things over and over again, expecting a different result.

I thought, “How hard can this be? I’m a smart guy (more thinking). Surely my mind can bend the rules of physics into submission!” Nope, didn’t work. So, I went to Target and bought a Digital Scale.

To manage, we must measure.

So, now, I’m making the pounds come off ounces at a time.

Baby steps, my dear.

These Three

For the scholars among us, they have rushed ahead and spoiled my conclusion — because, the Good Book talks about these three — Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Same song, second verse.

We must create — and, then live — them.

These three — and, the greatest of them is Love.

All In

If you have the passion for building something special (Attitude) and you have done the challenging work to define who YOU are (Boundaries), then, the final step to success is YOU must go All In (Commitment).

Success

Success is not going to magically waltz into our lives. It is not a destination, at which to arrive. Daily, we must create success — the unique version each of us has determined to be right — for the benefit of ourselves and the rest of the world.

The reason people join cults and gangs is that they want someone else to provide the answers to Life. In other words, they want to shirk the responsibility of making their own choices — and, of being held accountable for their own decisions and actions.

All I can say is, “Good luck with that.” I’ve seen how those stories end — and, it’s never pretty. There is a better way. We get our Attitude right and we get our Boundaries right. Then, we go All In — by sacrificing all of the other options, for a single choice — with Commitment.

Got Me Thinking

When I challenged my son, Ryan, recently as to “why” he was letting customers use him as a banker and “why” he was not asking for a deposit on larger projects, he pushed back with, “Well, you’ve always said people want to pay for results.”

As much as I love hearing my own words quoted back to me, I had to grin — because a complete response was going to require some time for thought.

Rest of the Story

Yep — it’s true — people do want to pay for Results, rather than pay by the Hour. However, there’s more to the psychology and ethical business practices than letting the customer determine the degree of our success.

People only do business with those they know, like, and trust. Ryan is a lot like his Grandpa Jim Foard — in so much both of them ooze charisma. Men and women were naturally attracted to my Dad — and, I’ve watched Ryan bask in the glory of his aficionados.

So, for those two men, the Know and Like elements are a given. Trust is a matter of character. I do not have a single memory of my Dad ever saying one thing and doing another.

If Ryan is uncertain about being trustworthy, then I can understand his reluctance in asking for money, before the work is completed. However, if he builds a reputation of being true to his word, then, in the minds of his customers there will be no concern if the project will get done. It will, only, be a matter of when — and, they will know the ETA of that will be ASAP.

In time, Ryan will learn that the very best way to test the commitment of a customer — to the engagement — is to ask them for money. The good customers will already have a check written — and the bad ones will whine.

Old English

Generally, I steer away from the old King’s English, but because of childhood exposure to the Good Book, my memories of that are recorded in KJV. So, when I did the Google Search for “double-minded man” an authorized version was discovered.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

What caught my eye is that the word “is” is italicized — as in absolutely no doubt about it.

New World

Now, I know that I can attract narcissists like moths to a flame. By definition, they are chameleons. Love bombing their victims, today — and, kicking them to the curb, tomorrow. I’m curious, though, have you, too, experienced a plethora of bad actors, lately? For me, in a single month, there was the Pet Dragon gal — and the Trust Fund Baby geezer.

Along with the multitude of other Zombies, the modus operandi of these two was identical — refuse to make up their mind and then explode, when I ask, “Why do you say one thing and do another?”

Mother Nature and Vacuums

Mother Nature hates a vacuum. No, it’s not that she has anything against a clean Earth. She refuses to allow nothing to exist. In any field, we have a choice, plant good seeds — or, weeds will grow.

Our minds are fertile beds waiting for us to tend them. Plant productive thoughts — and, success is guaranteed. Leave our minds unattended — and, vile imaginings will appear.

The choice is ours. Either go All In — or, the world will go All Out to destroy our potential. In other words, we either draft a Blueprint for our lives — or, others will have a game plan for us and our resources.

This is more important than any other “game” we will ever play. This is not a hand of cards in a Poker game — that even if we lose, it is only money. This is the real deal — the future of our Life.

Choose A Master

Each of us will serve someone, or something — either by choice, or hand of fate. If we go All In, we will achieve one, or the other, of these results: 1) a goal will be accomplished, or 2) a lesson will be learned.

Either way, we will be growing, learning, and loving the adventure of discovering who we are — and the value of our contribution to the world.

Seeds of Opportunity

When adversity, failure, and heartache are part of my day, the first reaction is not, “Oh, great! What a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow.”

Yet, the definition of opportunity is:

When the situation is right for you to do something you’re interested in doing, you have the opportunity to do it. The word comes from the Latin phrase, ob portum veniens “coming toward a port” which refers to a favorable wind blowing ships into the harbor. Think of an opportunity as something a good wind blew your way.

When problems raise their ugly, fire-breathing, dragon heads, I’d much rather gather up the black balloons, invite some whiners, crawl off into a cave to lick my wounds, and throw a grand ‘Pity Party’ — all for me.

Timeless Principles

Recently, however, I fumbled into an old audiobook download in my Audible library, by Napoleon Hill, of Think and Grow Rich fame. When I use ‘old‘ as an adjective, it’s because the season of his major thoughts and famous books was from the late 1920’s through the late 1930’s.

Although, in keeping with the principle of, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” I’ll mention that the concepts presented by Napoleon Hill are timeless. Read through his biography and notice how many times he, in the eyes of the bystander ‘failed.’ Yet, he — like Thomas Edison — simply, believed he had found one more way that doesn’t work and had discovered a stepping stone to future success.

All of the great Thinkers share this one noble premise, “Success is a State of Mind.”

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Two Very Different Worldviews

I know you’ve heard the story about the two boys on Christmas morning. One boy is taken to the barn by his Dad and surprised with a pony. The young fellow is upset — because, he wanted a motorcycle. The other boy, when the stable door is opened, is greeted by a large pile of sh!t. Excitedly, he jumps right in and announces to his Dad, “Somewhere in this large pile of manure must be a big horse!”

Or, in the words of Napoleon Hill,

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

Odds are good our young entrepreneur didn’t find a horse in the dung heap. Yet, his Dad probably commended him for his attitude and effort. And, then, introduced him to a steed beyond the boy’s imagination.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

When we’re confronted by a Problem, can we immediately turn our minds from thinking, “Oh, darn!” — to believing there is a hidden Opportunity?

If we’re struggling a little, we can listen to this encouragement.

Regardless of what you think about Garth Brooks — or, his lifestyle choices — there is undeniably a resonance with the lyrics of that song for each of us.

There have been times in each of our lives when we thought we knew best. Other times, when we asked, “Why me Lord?” And, many times when we endured the laughter of the judgemental enjoying the pain of our mistakes.

One Man’s Mistake Is Another Man’s Harvest

Were they, really, mistakes, or seeds of opportunity?

Think about it. If you’re a gardener, you know seeds are necessary to grow anything. To have a harvest, seeds must be planted and nurtured. It’s a small leap of faith to see that we are given seeds — for our personal growth. What we do with them is our choice.

Speaking of gifts, here’s another thought. If flesh and blood, imperfect specimens of earthly Fathers have an aching desire to give the best to their children, it’s pretty easy to imagine a Higher Power having our best interests at heart.

The Man In The Arena

Speaking of heart, here are the words of a hero, Teddy Roosevelt.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Cold and timid souls will delight when we stumble. They will envy our success — and, the galactically stupid of them will, literally, swear at us, as we offer to help them in their journey.

At the very best, 50% of the world will love us — and, the other 50% not so much. If we boldly share our beliefs and courageously defend them, guaranteed, we will make enemies of those with different beliefs. Because — birds of a feather do flock together.

It is not the end of the world when we face adversity, failure, and heartache. It is, simply, the end of one, very long, bad day.

Framing Is What Builders Do

Because success is a state (or, frame) of mind, all we need to do is ‘re-state‘ — or ‘re-frame‘ — the situation from a Problem to an Opportunity.

And, “No,” this Story is not about defining Success by how much Money can be accumulated in a bank account. Remember, you are a unique creation — and, quite capable of defining Success in your way and on your terms.

Later in the life of Napoleon Hill, he had this to say,

Only by working harmoniously in co-operation with other individuals or groups of individuals and thus creating value and benefit for them will one create sustainable achievement for oneself.

We do that by planting the seeds of opportunity harvested from adversity, failure, and heartache. Then, we tend them with the greatest gift (love), which is a chosen, purposeful effort — often done in the face of fear — to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.