"the story is not yet finished"
Max Lucado tells this story that is profound (thanks to my friend Steve Schroeder for sharing it)...
Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before—such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.
People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused. “This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them. “It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend?” The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.
One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see him. “You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”
The old man responded, “Don’t speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?”
The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.”
The old man spoke again. “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?”
The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was fool; if he wasn’t, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.
After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. “Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.”
The man responded, “Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don’t judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of a phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?
“Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is a fragment! Don’t say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don’t.”
“Maybe the old man is right,” they said to one another. So they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned with one horse. With a little bit of work, the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.
The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.
“You were right,” they said. “You proved you were right. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever.”
The old man spoke again. “You people are obsessed with judging. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments.”
It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again.
“You were right, old man,” they wept. “God knows you were right. This proves it. Yours son’s accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever.”
The old man spoke again. “It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows.”
The old man was right. We only have a fragment. Life’s mishaps and horrors are only a page out of a grand book. We must be slow about drawing conclusions. We must reserve judgment on life’s storms until we know the whole story.
I don’t know where the woodcutter learned his patience. Perhaps from another woodcutter in Galilee. For it was the Carpenter who said it best:
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”3
He should know. He is the author of our story. And he has already written the final chapter.
1 Ecclesiastes 7:8
2 Romans 12:12
3 Matthew 6:34
"Don't Take an Offense"
"Yeah they talk, yeah they talk/ They don't walk the walk I walk/ Yeah, I won't stop 'til I drop, until then I reach the top/ I'mma walk to where I need to be, walk the path of destiny/ Definitely been neglected but God is always testing me/ Rest in peace to all the men that died that were protecting me/ Objectively, I need to tell you what just gets the best of me/ Essentially, people in this world just want to let it be/ John Lennon made it different/ Don't just let it be, set it free/ Never be scared too make change, effectively/ Always look at things in different ways, prespectively/ Every person in this world can do good/ I just want this message understood.” Justin Bieber responds to his haters
How You and Justin Bieber Respond to an Offense Makes ALL the Difference.
Justin Bieber has fans that love him and just as many non-fans usually called "haters".
How Justin handles those "haters" will determine his long-term health and personal success. You cannot move forward with your life when you are still locked into yesterday.
You cannot look forward and look back at the same time...
Which is it going to be... look back at your haters or forgive the offense and look forward. YOU get to choose. And therefore you get to choose your future. While the jury is still out on Justin Bieber, you get to choose your destiny and it is in your hands.
"And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us..."
"Don't believe the Lie"
Life Tips Come and Go...but this is a classic.
Everyday we get into conversations that are negative. The strange thing is that if we were to have that same conversation with another person...they would likely be surprised by what comes out of our mouth.
The conversations I am referring to is our inner "Mind Chatter". We believe this "mind noise" as though it was gospel. We believe everything! We accept it, receive it and make it part of ourselves. If someone said the same things to us that say to ourselves...we would likely find someone else to talk to.
Don't believe the lie.
Challenge your thought life. "Where did that come from? "
"Is it true? "
Have a good ole - fashioned argument with yourself before you allow your thoughts to become your DNA.
A man reaps what he sows.
Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. Galations 6: 7,8
What destiny are you choosing?
Here again we are in the driver's seat of life. We get to choose how we want our life to look like.
If we plant kindness...we will harvest a ton of kindness back to ourselves.
If we plant negative attitudes...wonder of wonders...we harvest negative attitudes.
If we are stingy with all we have...what do you think will come back to ourselves? Don't think for a moment that we going to have a ton of folks wanting to be your friend!
Your thoughts and following actions will reap your destiny.
But it is your choice. YOU get to CHOOSE.
If you choose to be forgiving...forgiveness is given back to you.
If you are generous...others will be generous to you.
Your future is based on how you think and act today. Do not for one minute think that your actions have no consequence.
It all starts with our thinking. Guard your thoughts. Our good thoughts we sow become good habits and reap a good harvest.
Sow goodness and goodness will come back to you. But be mindful...whatever you sow it will come back to you...it is yours to choose!
You become like those you hang-out with...
Perhaps no greater indicator of success is best identified by the company you keep.
Think about it.
If your friends are into school...you will likely be into school.
If your friends are responsible...you will likely be responsible.
If your friends are wealthy...you will likely be wealthy.
Similarly the list is endless that has negative associations.
If your friends do drugs...you will likely do drugs.
If your friends are smoking...you likely will be a smoker.
If your friends are dishonest...you will likely be dishonest.
So why is this so powerful a determinant?
If has been said, "Birds of a feather---flock together."
Teachers will tell you that if a new "bad" student arrives at school...by the end of the day he will have found his or her "bad friends". It is like they are comfortable with each other. They understand each other. How does this so easily happen.
A favourite Proverbs says: Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the wits of another. It is likened to peer pressure that can either be positive or negative. Positive peer pressure could be sharpening in that it encourages you to "lift more than your comfort zone" in the Gym. Whereas negative peer pressure would be to cheat on an exam as all your friends are.
From this we can take from it that our relationships can sharpen us for good...or for bad. So who is sharpening you? Is that friend sharpening you for "good"?
The big learning here is that it seems like we are in the drivers seat on this one. We get to choose who we get to hang-out with. We know the people who are good for us and we know the ones we should stay away from. We are chooser's ---- we get to choose and therefore we must choose wisely...as its resultant effect on us will be great...either for good or for bad.
What Can I Learn From Tsunami's.
Consider the Tsunami of 2005 that hit Indonesia...places like Puket became household names on that fated day. Many people died that day...that need not have had they been able to understand the signs and then take appropriate action.
But first lets consider the concept of "drawback" (click on the link to review it before you go further)
Essentially, all the water on the beach is 'drawn back' and for a short period of time the seabed is open to view. You can see the bare seabed which was underwater only minutes ago. Many find this intriguing and go out onto the seabed to explore...not knowing of the impending danger that will soon beset them. Even more sad is that many tourists will ask the locals..."what is all this about". They too, were unable to interpret what is happening. In the picture attached to this entry is a shot of family that were unable to interpret the times...they went exploring when they should have been seeking higher ground.
Leaders of all roles and responsibilties, whether it be in the home or in business or government...must be able to interpret the signs of the times and make decisions that will make a safe harbour for their followers.
The tsunami did not arrive without first providing some "signs" that it was coming. Many "signs" today announce that change is coming (like the "drawback") but will we be wise enough to interpret them or will we miss it and risk losing our lives and those we lead?
What are the warning signs that you need to heed?
What are the warning signs that our society needs to heed?
What you going to do today about it?
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Welcome to Canada...Make Us Better
"Welcome to Canada...Make Us Better" was the words spoken to a young Irish immigrant by a the last person to stamp their immigration papers upon entering Canada. The young mans name was John Furlong...the President of the 2010 Vancouver Whistler Olympic Games.
John Furlong has met the call to make this country a better place.
The question..."How can you and I do the same?" The answer..."One person at a time."
Welcome to my friendship...Make me better
Make me better. There you go. You have my permission.
I answered this question by starting up Maveriks. As I look back on my life when I am 80 years old...sitting on the porch thinking about my life...I want to make sure I have made a difference. I want to look at lives lived...and know I had a part in them.
It is said that "feedback is the lifeblood of an organization" and I would say that it is for individuals as well. Just like a coach for sports team...the coach observes and makes suggestions for you to optimize your performance. This feedback is not easily seen or observed by the individual. But is he or she not grateful for someone who "told them the truth" about their performance?
When you see something in someone...take the time to "make them better". If you don't...they may never know...and how sad is that.
Good Feedback...we never tire of hearing it....so make sure you offer some.
Negative Feedback...a quiet word of correction, spoken with kindness is something we all need...but do it only with the attitude that you want the person to be better in the end. It will bear great fruit...and make our world better...one person at a time.
It's the Revenues, Stupid VS...IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID
With Innovation as your focus... Revenues followThis is a key success principle for us all on the micro and macro-economic sides of life. Individuals / families can only cut so much form their budgets. I am assuming they are lean, frugal machines...in that they are not spending more than what they make, etc. In challenging times, families will go without holidays and new clothes, wait a while longer between haircuts. This is all on the expense side of the Income Statement. It is not much fun to live this way over the long-term...but we get by hoping for a brighter day. On the macro level...big business and governments, cut management and the labour force, halt new hires and new initiatives are shelved.
All the world needs is for us all to be accountants. It takes little to no creativity to cut from budgets.
(Again, I am assuming in a perfect world that they are lean fighting machines...bear with me for a little longer.)
Thankfully Our Father, did not make us all robots and accountants...he gave us freedom...and with it responsibilty...and its fruit is innovation. REVENUE is the key to success. Instead of cutting costs all the time... spend time figuring out new products for new and current customers.
Families, small business, big business and big government need to consider new revenues to lead them into success. Doing what everybody else is doing is not very creative and certainly "sucks life" from everyone. Agree to spend as much time on the Revenue side of the income statement as you do the Expense side.
As yourself the innovation question; "What would you do if your core business disappeared overnight?"
"Innovation distinguishes between a leaders and a follower."
My Work is My Play
The original title of this was going to be, "Play Every Day".
However, I was reminded of an early mentor of mine who was one of the founders of the Holiday Inn chain of hotels. This was his mantra that he lived by and from what I have read he looks like he had life balance and life success. If you need some business encouragement read all you can find on the Holiday Inn story and its co-founders Wallace Johnson (Work is my Play) and Kemmons Wilson (Half Luck and Half Brains).
So what if you really struggle with the concept of work being that much fun. My suggestion to you then is to;
1) seek another opportunity. In doing so you will be "alive" and that is what this world needs. People who are fully engaged and alive.
2) plan "play time" into your schedule. Book holidays and down time. We must always remember that this life is a journey, Our destination is heaven...so that is taken care of...but our time here on earth is all about the journey. Make sure you live a life of adventure. It is all over too soon...so make your life count each day.
A recent holiday bought me in touch with an local entrepreneur. He told me that his Dad played with him all the time and then when the business got too busy, he stopped playing. My entrepreneur friend decided that he would never do that...he would play all the time with his kids. He has invested in boats and ATV's and has never regretted the family time he has had with his children. This was helpful for me because I look at these as "boy toys" and it has given me freedom to relook at investing in a Sea-doo for my family and friends enjoyment. (I will let you know the outcome of what happens on that one.) We are all learner's on this journey.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...so make you have a "play" time scheduled in advance.
Our dream is to see you live to your full potential. Success is defined as doing your personal best each day. You can do it!