Chutes and Ladders

Once upon a time, the game was Chutes and Ladders. Now, as older kids, we cope with Funnels and Pipelines. When we were children, the original game was fun. The twisted version not so much.

In today’s marketplace, we are often the unwitting object of Sales Funnels and Leads Pipelines. To many companies, we’re nothing more than a target to tip into the Sales Funnel, to move through their Lead Pipeline, and to have our hard-earned money siphoned into coffers of the unscrupulous.

I speak passionately about the topic, because yes, I, too, have been tricked when I clicked — on the enticements lurking within the hucksters Landing Pages. So, what’s the answer to these modern-day snake-oil salesmen?

Up, or Down?

The answer — and protection against the scurrilous — is one question, “Am I assisted in my effort to create goodness in my life — or, am I being tempted to accept an easy way out, or through?”

Creation of value requires effort. Just like movement up a ladder — one rung at a time. One step at a time, one brick at a time, one board at a time, one swing of the hammer at a time, and one brush-stroke at a time is how all creative masterpieces take shape. There is no easy path to building a Legacy.

Here’s the comparative difference:

Up
Ladder
Lift
Hard
Outward
Light

Generous
Expansive

Valuable
Build

Focus

Down
Funnel
Vortex
Easy
Inward
Dark

Selfish
Limited

Cheap
Destroy

Fantasy

You get the idea. Everything on the left (Up) will be evident if YOU are making a creative choice. Everything on the right (Down) will be the feeling you experience if a predetermined outcome is planned for your resources.

I encourage each of us to customize a comparative list of our own — to be used in testing the propaganda messages broadcast 24/7 into our senses. We have a choice to readily accept the goodness and ruthlessly reject the trash.

“Love – Hate” Relationship

We hate to be Sold — yet, We love to Buy.

What is “Sales” anyway? Not the visibly corrupted process we experience at the auto Dealership nor the subtly disguised version implicit in Funnels and Pipelines . What’s your definition? What do you want the experience to be?

I believe, “The purpose of the Sales effort is to match YOU with something you want at a price you need.” That effort requires listening, understanding, and a professional CARE credential.

Value and Light

Mother Nature will not tolerate a vacuum. As a result, the Slick Willies of the world will not leave on their own. To remove them, they must be pushed out by their antithesis. In other words, light is required to extinguish darkness. The same is true of value, which brings to submission the worthless.

How are the two qualities of value and light similar?

  • People are attracted to them.
  • They encourage creative efforts.
  • Must be created — or help YOU create.
  • What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)
  • Any amount calms emotions — of fear and despair.

Build It

There is truth to the expression, “Build it and they will come.” The things we enjoy in our advanced technology universe have never existed, before. Until someone had a thought, “I wonder what might happen if …”

And, that’s all it took for an adventure up the ladder into another realm.

I wish you well on the adventures of your choice.

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!

Performance Realms

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.

Reverse Engineering

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.

The Secret

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.

It’s as simple as that.

Thoughts

All We Do Begins With A Thought

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.

Heredity

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.”

Environment

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.

Big Idea

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 an appointment with the Best Coach. 🙂

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

Catch A Gear

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.

Let’s catch a gear. 🙂

Respect

RESPECT

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.

Thankfully for both of us the proclamation in the first paragraph, above, was made in a phone conversation. Otherwise, I might have been tempted to persuade him to respect his elders. I have to say, though, this guy is Number 1 in my book. In 35+ years of serving the public as a CPA, I had never heard those words. First time for everything, I guess.

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 teenager 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-generation Millennial rancher (the one with the foul mouth at the beginning of this story) was planning a Family transition without the participation of his Parents. Yes, I briefly participated, while thinking, “Although not the best way to start, at least this might be the first step toward something good for the Family.”

Post Turtle

What Begins Twisted, Ends Twisted

Here’s the reality:

1.) Grandpa (with the help of Grandma) built something special.

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 will lie to convince you that 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 because 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 for its participants.

However, regarding the common theme woven within the three episodes at the beginning of this presentation, 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 Country 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) and received immediate recompense for their disrespect.

Gaslighting Is Pure Craziness

Gaslight

Narcissists are enthusiasts of gaslighting (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 Weapon

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 and 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.

Three Chords and the Truth

Boundaries & Respect

Respect is only possible with clearly defined boundaries. The sovereignty of a country is defined by its border. As individuals, we are citizens of one.

Self-respect is everything that goes on within our boundaries. Respect for others occurs at the border and according to mutually acceptable customs.

Profitable interactions occur through doors of opportunity that swing on the hinges of “No, thanks.” and “Yes, please!”

Grown Adults

Never Accept Disrespect

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.

Pop Goes The Weasel

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. 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 around their little farm operation, there’s plenty 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 through the telephone connection, as the air from his little balloon (Ego) was punctured.

To this day, I remain amused.

Truth and Consequence

For every cause, there is an effect.

For every pebble, there is a ripple.

For every action, there is a reaction.

For every effort, there is a result.

For every choice, there is a consequence.

The question becomes, “What is Truth?”

In the simplest of terms, “The seed planted yields a harvest in kind.”

Judgment of Others

Don’t do it. Those who do will receive the same. What is given is received. The caveat, though, is not to waste what is precious on an individual who is content with filth.

Goodness is not appreciated by those wallowing in a rut. They will attack anything and everyone representative of a better way.

Effective Requests

Persistence is the secret. To do is to ASK.

Ask to receive — Seek to find — Knock to have the door of opportunity swing wide open. Children know to ask for what they want and need. Parents joyfully respond with good gifts to those requests.

We — older kids — can do the same.

The Golden Rule

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.”

Narrow Gates

No Pain–No Gain. Easy is Hard–Hard is Easy. Follow the crowd and complain about the destination — or, lead the way and discover new frontiers.

Trees and Fruit

As the twig is bent, so the tree grows. Eventually, though, mature trees are known by what they produce. Good trees produce good fruit. Worthless trees produce nothing. In the same way that trees display their value, people express their worth by what they do.

Actions trump words.

Wise Students

Talk is cheap. Only those who do the homework assignments pass the exams.

Education is the enlightenment to know what to do. Experience is the empowerment to do the right thing. The combination of the two is an encouragement to learn by doing and to have fun learning.

Solid Foundations

Storms will come. Those who listen and do are the equivalent of a home built on a rock. Those who hear and reject are the equivalent of a tent pitched on the sand.

Rock vs. Sand — it’s Obvious which will Stand.

In Summary

Truth is everywhere. It begs and pleads to be discovered. On bended knee, it offers rewards to those who will listen and receive. The journey is not one of passivity — it is one of active engagement.

This courtship requires a, daily, best effort experience in the arena of life to gain an education from the consequences of our choices.