The thoughts that got us into our present situation will not be the thoughts that get us out of it. And — I’m talking about good situations and bad situations.
If all is well in our world, it’s easy to become complacent. Or, in simpler language, we find ourselves in a rut — the definition of which is a grave with the ends kicked out. So, we need to enhance our thoughts to move beyond where we are — to where our passion is pointing.
If all is not well in our world, then, it’s obvious to the whole world — except maybe ourselves — that we’ve engaged in some stinkin’ thinkin’ somewhere in the recent past. So, we need to change our thoughts to move out of the ditch we find ourselves, up to a solid footing and foundation, upon which to Build Something — Special.
We come into this world hard-wired in certain aspects of our worldview. Some babies seem to be, just naturally, happy — others need a little more attention to their self-inflicted dramas.
As a result, I believe our minds come pre-tuned to certain wavelengths — or, channels if you will. Just like in the olden-days when AM radios had a dial for a tuner, slowly, we can move the dial to find a better channel to influence our thoughts.
As a hero of mine quite often said, “For the same reason we shower every morning, our minds need a daily dose of motivational thoughts.”
We are affected by our surroundings and the people in them. Without any thoughts, whatsoever, old beliefs and habits move us through the day. A lot of individuals are on autopilot — they’re not thinking about anything. As a result, Thought Influencers can have their way in the lives of the zombies.
In addition to the 24/7 propaganda from television and social media channels, friends are part of the list of our chosen Thought Influencers. Unconsciously (to us), they can tear us down — or, build us up.
If our life has become cluttered and chaotic, there is a solution — we must be ruthless in taking out the trash.
Change nothing — Nothing changes
There are two ways to change our thoughts:
• By do-it-yourself (DIY) Reading.
• By asking for compassionate Coaching.
The school of hard knocks is a very effective institution for higher learning. And — it’s true — we can reinvent the wheel every time we want to learn about a new method of transportation for our lives.
On the other hand, why DIY when someone else has, already, whacked their way through the thicket? They can suggest safer routes for YOU.
Click right Here — to schedule 60 minutes with theBest Coach. 🙂
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
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.
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!”
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.
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 featherdo 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.
Generally, I write at a PG-13 level — for minds of an impressionable age.
However, this article is intended, only, for mature audiences.
My definition of that, for this conversation, is anything north of 30 years old. By the age of thirty, we have gained a wealth of education and experience. We have been suckered into believing things that, simply, were not true — by people who intentionally wanted to cause harm. And, we have, probably, been betrayed at least once.
Searching and Speeding
As a result, we have searched for that fine line, between — wanting to believe the best about everyone and protecting the integrity of our soul. For each of us, that fine line of distinction will be different. So, our search for answers will have been unique.
During that search for answers, odds are good that we read a few books. One of them might have been Speed of Trust, by Stephen M. R. Covey.
Catch a gear is my euphemism for —
grab a gear
turnin’ and burnin’
runnin’ full stack
mashin’ and a gassin’
All of which are Trucker terms of endearment for — going faster.
Marbles In The Jar
As twenty-somethings, we were invincible — with no thought for tomorrow. In fact, we didn’t even think about the end of days, because we were consumed with squeezing every last drop of fun out of each day.
The idea of going faster was a joke — because, we were already running around with our hair on fire, billowing black smoke, and going in big circles. Yet, past that doorway threshold of thirty into a bit of dimness in energy, the light came on.
As thirty-somethings, using the math of Threescore and More (score is twenty), we felt a sense of urgency and discovered a jar half empty — or, half full. Either way, time became a more precious resource and priority in our thinking.
Imagine A World
Think about what our world could, should, and would be like if, only, the truth was spoken, there was adherence to moral principles, and sincerity of belief accompanied every action. In other words, rather than some individuals striving to be characters, everyone became self-disciplined in nurturing righteous character.
Just imagine the new frontiers…
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
Are you uptight about any event, thing, or individual — who has caused you grief?
For most of us, the answer is, “Oh, let me count the ways!”
Yet — there is a secret to calming ourselves.
For the sake of conversation, pick an item, above. Odds are good that, if it’s: 1) an Event, you’re replaying the video in your mind of some action, or inaction, that might have gone better, 2) a Thing, you’re reminded of the expression, “We don’t own things — things own us,” and 3) an Individual, you’re either plotting revenge, or impatient for Karma to deliver their just desserts.
In other words, we feel trapped in a world beyond our choosing.
But… what if, I can guarantee to change that feeling — immediately?
That’s right — simply, unconditionally, accept what is – iiWii – It Is What It Is.
That event you’re replaying over and over in your mind. Stop it! Wrap your mind around this, “Forgiveness is letting go of the notion that there can be a different, or better, yesterday.” The event is done, over, and in the Past — where it belongs. Move forward into the Present and set your mind on a dream of the Future.
That thing you’re obsessing about. Fix it, give it to someone less fortunate, or be as happy with it as the day you bought it. And, if none of that works, absorb the lesson of, “Beware the impulse shopping purchase and sleep on any major decision requiring resources of time and money.”
That individual you’re imagining in Hades. Let them go. They have made their choices — now, make yours. Decide that you can’t fix Stupid. Take back the power you have given them over your Thoughts. Change their role in your life and think this, “When I give, I’m all in — but, when I’m done there’s no looking back.”
Forgoing All Others
There is something magical about making achoice. Notice the adjective “a” — singular. While there are multiple options, we are stressed — uncertain about which one to choose. At the moment we pick one, we forgo all other choices.
Again, it’s radical acceptance of that one option.
Doesn’t it feel good?
It is our Independence Day.
We have found freedom from the outside influence of anything or anybody.
“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.
What would you do if someone screamed, “You’re a Dumb F#cker!” And, then went on to yell, “I have no respect for you!”
Yes, I know, that paragraph is missing the “?” at the end. Yet, the experience for me was more about the “!” — or, in other words, the exclamation of ignorance and arrogance.
If one is an incident, two is a coincidence, and three is a pattern, then I have a Story to share with YOU.
Three Times In Three Months
The first time was in February — when a Teenager had been asked to keep their stuff gathered into somewhat organized piles. Perfection was not the standard — simply the traditional courtesy of keeping foreign objects out of the travel paths of other inhabitants of the Family abode.
When multiple requests were ignored, I asked that young fellow what he was ‘thinking’ — because, I know for a fact, “All we do begins with a Thought.” Well, he shared what was on his mind — which was to find fault with me, for asking.
The third time was in April — when a Marine sought my participation in helping him start a new business. After 26 years as a Gunnery Sergeant and 6 years as an Air Traffic Controller, this Middle-Age fellow seemed to be an excellent candidate for my Coaching Services.
One problem was he wanted to constantly present his Resume and refused to Listen to some pretty good advice. Then, the cherry-on-top was catching him in a lie — which we had wasted a large amount of Time discussing the solution to what, really, wasn’t a problem, at all.
The second time was in March — when a third-generationMillenial rancher was planning a Family transition without the participation of his Parents. Yes — I participated, briefly, thinking, “Although not the best way to start, at least this might be the first step toward something good for the Family.”
2.) Dad (with the help of Mom) was expected to maintain what Grandpa built. Maintenance men are commonly known as Janitors.
3.) Junior was born on third base and thinks he hit a home run. Although he is the Janitor’s son, the rest of the world recognizes him for what he is — a Post Turtle. (click the hyperlink — it’s a good story)
Nothing New Under The Sun
I do believe things today are about like they have always been. In other words, I get it — sometimes misunderstandings happen because of generational differences. The educations and experiences – of each generation – create a different worldview in its participants.
Yet — that to which I’ve been making reference — disrespect is a character flaw. And, the way these Stories end is never pleasant.
Once, there was an old fellow who was on a Mission to give the inhabitants of a County a heads-up. He had an old-fashioned name — Elijah. His successor had another old-fashioned name — Elisha.
In the vernacular, the ship hit the sand when 42 young men decided to have great sport with Elisha. They did not hurl sticks or stones — they simply used words (which, regardless of the schoolyard rhyme, do hurt more than sticks and stones). They received immediate consequences for their disrespect.
Gaslighting Is Pure Craziness
Narcissists are big on gaslighting us in an attempt to disorient and confuse us. They do this by using denial and projection, usually under the pretense of being concerned — in order to make us feel even more perplexed. If they succeed at this, they can then grandstand us by saying, “See, you are crazy and out of control!”
Introduction To A Narcissist
A narcissist’s weapon of choice is often verbal — by slander, lies, playing the victim (in flipped tales of who was the victim and who was the abuser), gossip, rage, verbal abuse, and intentional infliction of emotional pain.
Think of direct, clear communication (The Truth) — especially when it is about the manipulation itself — as the psychological equivalent to holding up a cross to a vampire. Most manipulators recoil in the face of being “busted,” and the air goes out of the pressure they are trying to create just as easily as it escapes a punctured balloon.
Narcissists will capture our attention — they are the swashbucklers cutting a wide swath with their theatrics. They are manipulative and easily angered, especially when they don’t receive the attention they consider their birthright.
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder believe they are superior or special, and often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way. This association enhances their self-esteem, which is typically quite fragile underneath the surface. Individuals with NPD seek excessive admiration and attention in order to know that others think highly of them. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat and may be left feeling humiliated or empty when they experience an “injury” in the form of criticism or rejection.
That young, ignorant, arrogant, and clueless fellow at the beginning of this Story, has chosen to enroll in the School-of-Hard-Knocks — his classes are about to begin.
Similar to the consequences in the story about Elisha, I see bears in the future of this foul-mouthed childish imp. One bear I see approaching is a Market less than bullish — and, another bear even more ferocious is a rate of Interest greater than zero.
You see — I invested hundreds of hours for the benefit of this guy and his Family. Scattered on their little farm, there’s lots of new green paint (John Deere Green) — which can never possibly be paid for with current management practices.
So, I guided him and his wife to an understanding of Balance Sheets, by using the basic Accounting Equation of Assets = Liabilities + Equity. Or, another way to state the same set of facts is Assets – Liabilities = Equity. (which can be Negative)
When the light (Truth) was shown on his misadventures (Too Much Debt), he literally hissed all around the house, as the air from his little balloon (Ego) was punctured.
We want what we don’t have.
If we have it, we don’t want it.
Granted, there are a few individuals, who purport that they have risen to a higher level of existence, by not wanting anything. They claim to be perfectly happy with nothing.
Making the best of whatever the situation — in which we find ourselves — is different than doing nothing. Those who do nothing are stuck in a rut, regardless of the rationalization for their inactivity. And, you do know the definition of a rut: A grave with the ends kicked out.
To lead ourselves and others to higher levels of awareness and success, we must grow.
We grow and become of greater value in service only as much as we choose.
Each and every day, each and every decision, our choices are determined by the answers to these two questions:
• Can I do IT?
• Is IT worth it?
In other words:
• Am I Able?
• Am I Willing?
Am I Able ~
All we do begins with a thought. Change nothing and nothing changes. The easiest thing in the world is to find reasons why something can’t be done, which results in no leadership and no growth. Simply, by believing IT can be done, our minds begin finding ways to achieve.
Am I Willing ~
Where there’s a will, there is a way. Our willingness is governed by two raw emotions — Pain and Pleasure. Given enough pain, our will becomes stronger. Offered enough pleasure, our will finds a way. The beauty of will is that IT resides within our sphere of influence.
A mind changed against its will,
Will be of the same opinion still.
How do we persuade our minds to choose the greater motivator of pleasure?
One way is to tempt it with Riches. The better way is to feed it with Purpose.
Oh, I know, that money trick is a quick-and-dirty way to get our attention. To hold it, though, requires the intrinsic higher rewards, which originate from doing the right thing.
Sometimes, we know what that Right Thing is. Other times, we struggle to DO IT — right. That’s when we remember the Three-E Formula — Enlightenment, Empowerment, and Encouragement.
Enlightenment is the catalyst for believing we can do IT.
Empowerment is the motivation for choosing to do IT.
And, from time to time, our confidence is bolstered by the Encouragement — of family and friends — for us to be Able and Willing.
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” John Wooden, Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach
All We Do Begins With A Thought
To achieve success, there must be: “The Want To” — That’s the thought.
Then, there must be: “The Want To, Do” — That’s the action.
Knowing and Doing are two very different aspects of life. One is passive. The other is active. One is a state of mind. The other is the motion of the body. One without the other is of little value.
Recently, a story about Coach Wooden grazed my consciousness. Then, it began to burrow deep into my soul. Now, that thought has become an action — to share my discovery with you.
From the book Great by Choice is a compelling narrative about Coach Wooden. He started each new college basketball season with the same comment, “We will begin by learning how to tie our shoes.”
Just imagine the freshman players thinking, “Why?!” The seniors eagerly participated in the lesson How to Tie Our Shoes, because they knew, “There was a way to do everything.”
In the words of one player, “By the time the games came along, they just became memorized exhibitions of brilliance.”
That high level of excellence was built — block by block — from the blueprint of Coach John Wooden. It was much more than a game plan. It is a philosophy of life and competition. As timely today, as it was for his century of performance, Coach appropriately named it a Pyramid of Success.
At the heart of everything I know about Coach Wooden, he was respectful of Time and Tone. Practices began and ended like clockwork (Time). He opened the first moments of practice in a quiet voice (Tone). The passion at his core produced Planning, Preparation, and Progress to reach Goals.
All We Do Begins With A Thought
The thought was to encourage the development of their best — from everyone within his sphere of influence (the Goal). The actions were focused on Planning (Pyramid of Success), Preparation (How to Tie Shoes), and Progress (National Championships).
Thought without action is worthless. Action without thought is dangerous.
Be sure to click on Pyramid of Success, at the top of this page. Coach starts his building process, at the lower left corner. Industriousness is the first cornerstone in the foundation of the Pyramid of Success. The second cornerstone, to the far right, is Enthusiasm.
Click on each building block for the rest of the story.
In our daily conversations, with one another, we Talk about these principles. Funny, though, isn’t it? So easy to say — yet, so, very, hard to Do.
Coach simply inspires and encourages us to remember and do.
This is a humor Kim moment. Please, read all of this paragraph, act upon it — and, then, continue with the Rest of the Story. Close your eyes and relax. Be the most authentic YOU possible. Finish this sentence beginning with, “I am …” Now, with eyes wide open, write down what that little voice in your head just told you.
Thoughts lead to Decision and Action
Is it a Positive or Negative statement? I hope it was Positive. Because, if you look around, our life’s situation is a reflection of that Thought.
I imagine these are some of your Statements:
• I am Strong and Courageous.
• I am Kind and Generous.
• I am Gentle and Forgiving.
• I am Wise and Persuasive.
• I am Smart and Funny.
If perchance, a few of you let that little voice in your head — the one that speaks to us constantly — generate a negative Statement, then, here is an Opportunity. At this moment, we can change the course of our Life. Fire that negative rascal and replace the naysayer with a ‘Bold and Confident’ advisor.
Have you noticed how the World, especially our enemies, wants to stick us with a Label? Their sole purpose for doing so is to Judge us. We can speak Boldly and Confidently to ourselves, constantly. And, then, use that motivation as a Measurement in our progress toward who we really are and want to become.
Every decision and every action will be supportive of our I AM statement.
You will be like a Rock in a stream. The issues and dramas of daily Life will part and go around YOU.
Remember, there is only ONE unique creation of YOU.
Be the best YOU possible, according to your gifts and abilities.