Thursday, June 26, 2008

Success Through One Mans Eyes = Part III

The second element in the "Success" acronym is Unselfishness or what I will call "Selfless" living.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church at Corinth, defines my portrayal of selfless living as he detailed the characteristics of Love in Corinthians chapter 13. The family of believers there would come to know how to recognize and demonstrate this true form of love. He said in the 5th verse, "It is not rude, it is not self‑seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." The "it" Paul was referring to was not what the majority of our society refers to as love; it was an extraordinary compilation of traits found only in the perfect Love of God.

Selflessness was made the model of Love by Yeshua (Jesus' Hebrew name). This chapter in the Bible is often cited by Clergyman at weddings, Preachers in their sermons and even at times, counselors with their patients, and with good reason! Without love, relationships are meaningless and life becomes a never ending battle for more for the self to which we attach our minds.

Like the bridge in the photo above (White Oak Canyon - Sedona, AZ) an unselfish attitude or character provides a means of reaching the other side of a great chasm. Without this bridge, White Oak Canyon would be extremely difficult to cross, if possible at all. The canyon represents the obstacles of life, of relationships and hardships of all kinds. Without unselfishness, which I call the bridge of love, we would not be where or what we are today.

Following the example Jesus set for humanity selfless living is the art of giving of ones self, consciously, without malice or forethought. It's a matter of developing the habit of giving first, for the benefit of the person and for no other reason than to edify or please them, or to help them grow.

An unselfish spirit is an incredibly difficult trait to master but will go a long way toward mending or healing broken relationships, and a most affective way to convey love.

Humbly, I admit that I have not yet reached mastery of this almost lost art of giving. (My wife Debbie might even say, "you've got a long, long way to go.") Though I profess to work on techniques that will bring me closer to understanding and better execution I recognize that I do still fall woefully short. Please excuse the commentary but, honestly coming to terms with reality helps diffuse any inkling of pretense or arrogance.

Selflessness produces success because it places us in right relationship with those around us. Zig Ziglar would say, "You can anything you want if you will help enough people get what they want." You see, others come before we do in the business world too! If we will learn this application, if we will change the perspective we have of the order of our desires so that they follow the will of God to serve others first, then we will receive the blessings associated with the law of the harvest which says we reap what we sow. And so, it is with the bridge of love - the art of selfless living!

Shalom my friends until the next session when we discover what it means to be "Chosen," the first of the two "C's" in "SUCCESS."

Peace Be with you!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Success Through One Man's Eyes - Part II

Peace be with you!

Welcome to Part II of "Success Through One Man's Eyes." In this segment we will begin to break down, element by element, the 7 criteria I use to help define success "for me." I hope, by the end of this multiple segment article, you can express exactly what success means for you too. I challenge you to discover for yourself what success means so you can recognize it as an unintentionally produced byproduct of your journey to significance and not just some milestone to be obtained as an end.

The first element in my success line-up is "Single Mindedness." It's not something I use it's something I am, at least when I'm at my best. Being single minded, in my humble opinion, is yesteryears version of what is known today as focus. I hope I didn't scare off any multi-taskers. Being singled minded has more to do with your purpose or calling than not being able to do multiple projects simultaneously. In fact, you must be able to see the big picture and all of the elements of it working simultaneously within it. You must be clear about where you are going or you will go everywhere and nowhere. Eventually, time will become your enemy. It will erode your enthusiasm and I assure you it will cause you great pain.

Of course you may disagree, and that's okay because in this blog I get to determine my own arguments. (Chuckle) I do, however, recognize there are a number of schools of thought here. This just happens to be mine and I am guided by my experience, both the good and the bad, the achievements and the failures. I have learned how to learn from both of them.

Some say...focus on what you want, others say you can try too hard, you can concentrate too much! Well, I'm in the single minded school, primarily because I do believe that your energy follows your greatest other words your energy is somehow funneled to whatever you focus on. That's where the action is, after all nothing just happens. First there are thoughts, then there are actions. I've only experienced focused energy once, as a young man in sports. Great exhilaration accompanied that feeling and I will never forget it. I also know what it's like to spread my thoughts and energy out like a shotgun and although it's fun at times, it will not produce the type of achievement they write about in books and magazines.

So, I must conclude that single mindedness or focus is critical to success no matter how one views the end result, especially as it relates to a vision or purpose in your life Of course focus does not, by itself, define success. It is, however for me, an integral element and a lack of concentration dilutes the energy necessary to accomplish our dreams.

I encourage you to decide what your focus will be as early in life as possible; to prepare yourself with great zeal and to take immediate and prolonged action to develop yourself. Recognize the value of time and the role it plays in developing your purpose with single minded precision. Learn how to invest energy and time into yourself. When you do you will create a positive force, a life energy producing that which you focus on again and again. Oh, and by the way, write everything down. Leave no detail out! Open your mind to limitless awareness and thinking. I plead with you not to let your life energy dissipate by diluting it with the garbage of the world. Time is running out. You may think it to be infinite, but without a healthy respect for it and it's never ending movement you will only fool yourself into watering down one of your most powerful and exhaustible resources.

I have enjoyed these few moments with you. It is my privilege to be a part of your journey. Next time we get together we'll discuss how an unselfish heart determines what type of soil you'll be planting your seeds of success into.

Until then,

Peace be with you my friend!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Success Through One Mans Eyes

Peace be with you my friends!

What is success? How would you define it? How does a two year old with a pair of 50's plaid shorts and a six shooter define success? Or, does he merely contemplate the present he can see and hear and touch? Well, there will only be a million more questions like these for this little guy as time runs swiftly by him, and many of them will go unanswered. They will remain a mystery.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." As I look at myself through the eyes of experience I see something very important. What I imagined to be important during much of my adult life really wasn't and what I have today is much like what I had as a child; a love for life, the very simplest of things, like being myself, acting goofy, making my mother smile just by being who I was, 'lil 'ol toy six shooter - me!

So what the heck does this have to do with SUCCESS? Nothing and everything, I suppose. I guess it's just my way of illustrating how much our perceptions change as we grow and development, not all for the best, either. I believe I have come almost full circle and what I define as success today seems more like where I started than where I was for the majority of my adulthood. So I guess I want to provide this acronym for success, if for no other reason that to cause those who are looking for significance in their lives to know you are not alone. There have been many before us and there will be many after us who have experienced this hormonal imbalance in men! (Sorry, I just couldn't resist)

I developed this acronym to remind me of what is really important to me and to keep me grounded in the truth I saw as 'lil 'ol six shooter - the purest eyes I've ever seen through. Yes, even better than today with all the wisdom I've gained over the years. Thank you Lord!

S ingle-minded
U nselfish
C hosen
C hallenged
E xcellent
S incere
S haring

Unfortunately that is all I have time for this evening! This is a great place to stop and contemplate. Tomorrow I will continue my definition of success and how the process of defining success relates to our attainment of it.

My thought for this evening is - Success is not something we ascribe to or attain but something we experience on the way to significance. It is not a destination but a by product of being that which we are gifted for and designed to be.

Until tomorrow, peace be with you!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

When The Road Narrows

What would you do in this situation? Of course it would depend on the circumstances; what lane you were in; which direction you were heading; what other vehicles were on the road at the same time, etc, etc.

There is a clue in the lower right hand corner...a small sign that reads "DO NOT PASS."

This photo is and optical illusion. Of course this road does not narrow as the picture suggests but, this is a great visual aid to describe something that happens every day of our lives.

It doesn't matter what the circumstances of life are. If we are to be successful, no matter how we define that term, we must align our thoughts, actions, and behaviors with Universal Laws that cannot be broken regardless of the conditions.

Whether there is a sign to warn us of impending trouble or not we have to stay in our lane or we run the risk of a deadly consequence. The same is true of life's choices. we cannot violate the universal law of gravity and expect not fall or drop down. We cannot expect to receive that which we have not sown. It just doesn't work that way.

Just as in this instance above you may get away with passing in a no passing zone, but this is especially dangerous when the road narrows. In this case it is wise to obey the law and when you are facing life situations, especially those which may not necessarily be what they seem, it is critical to once again understand that may also be severe consequences to your thoughts, behaviors, and actions.

So whether there is a warning sign or not, keep in mind the universal laws that apply to all of life's situations. Don't know what those universal laws might be? A little be of research and a passion and curiosity and they will be revealed.

Until the next mountain to cross is before us...peace be with you

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Granted, this isn't the best photo of the Grand Canyon, but it is one I was able to take personally and it is significant to me. As I stood on the edge of the Canyon I saw two images. One, was the image of a vast, powerful and incredibly awesome work of God. The second was an image of an obstacle that was foreboding beyond comprehension yet I was standing on it's precipice and dreaming of conquering it.
The images were clear metaphors about my life, in fact, all of our lives.

I too, was created to be an awesome work of God and the obstacles I place in my way can be, and often are, as foreboding in depth and breadth as the Grand Canyon itself. But, as I stood staring across this test of time I realized that I have received an equal share of grandeur and I can produce the same effect on the world as this Grand Canyon does if I will receive, as it does, the presence of God in it.

It is a matter of perspective and attitude. My perspective was opened wide, as the Canyon, and my attitude is now that I can overcome any obstacle, even one a enormous this much observed phenomena! It is a simply a choice, a decision, and I choose to see myself in the present as a man created by the same creator that molded and shaped this awe inspiring spectacle.

I hope that one day you too, will come to this place; in person and in spirit!
Of course, that choice is yours!