“What are we going to do today?”

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“What are we going to do today?”

I’ve been asked that question by my kids on weekends, and on vacations (and you probably have as well).  It’s a great question for a number of reasons.
For one, they are looking to me to give them direction to what we’re going to do?
Another reason is that it shows they want to be with me.  They are wondering what we are going to do together.
Another reason is that there something adventurous in the question.  Its like there is something unexpected, something exciting awaits for us to discover.

“What are we going to do today?”

In kind of an interesting twist to that question, I actually found myself  being asked by the Holy Spirit that very question the other day when I woke up.
I’m aware that the Holy Spirit miraculously lives within me as a follower of Jesus Christ.
I’m aware that He wants to counsel me, comfort me, advise me, convict me, re-assure me, inspire me, and so much more.  He is there all the time doing life with me  (how awesome, right!)

I was kind of startled by that question I received from Him because it challenged me.  Was I going to be living my life that day looking to Him to be a kind of genie fulfilling every selfish desire I have (I know those requests will not get answered as I want (James 4:1-3)?

So, what did I want to do today?  Well, I think the question was a good one to lead me to the understanding that I did not want to do anything that the Holy Spirit was not directing me.  I wanted to seek to be a follower of Him, rather than me taking the lead and seeking to fulfill my desires (Romans 8:5-8, Galatians 5:16-25).

I felt very confident and contented knowing that those who come to Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder for those who seek Him–Hebrews 11:6.

So, “what are we going to do today?” was I turned back on God.

I want Him to give me direction.
I want to do life with Him.
I want to live my life as an adventure (believing that He is able to do far more abundantly than all I could ask for or imagine for His glory)

What are you going to do today?

Something I learned from IMPROV—–join in!

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Not too long ago, I was at a company-wide outing where we learned what IMPROV was all about.  It was really an enjoyable time, passing imaginary objects to one another, learning the value of keeping things positive, the importance of really focusing on another person, and so much more.  One of the group exercises was in creating a story, where one person says a phrase and then the next person adds to the story with another phrase, and so on.  It was fascinating to see how the story progressed and the unexpected surprises along the way as different people added their creativity.

Well, for roughly the next month, I would like to do a social media -group project as an experiment.  I think it will be fun and am curious where it ends up.  I am going to start a story and I would like to ask you all, the readers of this post to add to the story.  Please keep your contribution to under 250 words.  After you contribute your piece (by clicking on this live link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CaQQO5P7SK9a10i9PnT-rqD4Db14OeZNWAEVp_gA4NI/edit?usp=sharing ) please give someone else an opportunity to add in something, but then you are more than welcome to once again add in another piece of writing.  I think it will be fun and very interesting, so here goes:

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                                                                                                     Chapter 1
Slowly, ever so slowly the man’s eyelids began to open up. With increasing clarity, awareness of it being a new day came to his mind.

It was Friday morning, and the thought of having to endure just one more day at work brought the middle-aged man hope and energy.  Then, he would have the weekend to sort through all the craziness that was happening in his family with his wife, Rhonda, and twins, 17 year-olds, Andrew and Laura.
Patrick O’Brien was a good man, however recently he felt like his world was crashing in all around him. He wondered to himself, “how much longer could he carry the weight of all the pressures he was experiencing?”
After putting on his “casual-day” Friday clothes for work, he made his way down to the kitchen where his wife was cooking breakfast.
Rhonda was a beautiful, confident, and quiet woman, however, as soon as  Patrick saw her, he noticed that she had been crying.. With very deliberate steps, he moved closer to her, not quite sure how to convey his concern.
“honey, are you alright?  what’s going on?”, Patrick asked.
She looked back at Patrick, as her tears began again to flow, and said, “
Now, its your turn, Keep the story moving.   Please try to add your thoughts to this story (keeping your word count at 250 words or less). You can add to the story as many times as you want, but please let someone write their next contribution, then you can go ahead again and offer another contribution to the story.   The goal of this project is to see how consistent to details and flow,  a story can be produced with many different writers.  Have fun with this and contribute often.     We will keep this project going for only one month, before a new potential story is developed.

Wise words from YODA

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I won’t embarrass or frustrate any one I personally know on this one, but there are some individuals, I can see their faces now that if they say they will do something, I know it will be done. I can just count on them. Their word is gold.

Unfortunately, I also know some others that if they tell me they will do something, I have a great uncertainty it will get done (if ever). These individuals are so frustrating because they are so unfaithful. It drives me crazy.

“Do, or do not.  There is no “try”.    a quote from Yoda to Luke Skywalker.

I love these words from the fictional character, YODA (he is fictional, right?) because they speak of resolve and commitment.  It’s an “all-in” mindset that if I say I will do something, it will get done.

How well does this describe you?

Does your word matter?

Maybe it’s because I’m a goal-oriented person, but I love this saying from Yoda because it conveys to me the idea of vision and priorities.  It challenges me to set my mind on accomplishing something to experience some desired result.

But it takes it one step further.  What Yoda’s quote suggests to me is even something more than just wanting to see a completed goal because any one can wish for good things to happen in their life.  Can’t you?  If you were to take just a few minutes to look at all the things going on in your life, can’t you just imagine improvements or desirable things to make your life better?

Of course you can.  I can too.  But what Yoda’s quote says to me is that besides seeing a vision of good things, it conveys to me the issue of setting priorities and being intentional.  It means moving beyond vision and mere talking about accomplishing some desired result one day (just “trying” in a “whatever” kind of attitude”) to the idea of commitment –I’m going to make adjustments in my life to make this happen.  I love that resolve.

So, my friend, are you willing right now to listen to the advice of a little, green person and stop saying “I’ll try….” to “I will …” ?

Are you willing to start getting very purposeful about accomplishing the things that are most dear to your heart?

“Do, or do not.  There is no “try”.

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As a further help to you in striving for excellence and being intentional about meeting your goals in life,  please check out my Foundations Life Management app (and do it with a friend):

(If you have downloaded the app and are using it, I would so appreciate you telling a friend (s) about it.)

You can visit either the App Store (for IPhones) Foundations Life Management app for IPhone devices

https://appsto.re/us/ejC7fb.I

or go to the Google Play Store- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.FoundationsLifeCoach.Foundations&hl=en

 

“Are you really giving your ….?”

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One of the fascinating things I enjoy about being a reader is the common things that tend to surface.  For instance, hard work, having a “serving others first” mentality,  and perseverance are just some that come to mind.
Another great lesson that is often seen in great leadership is to emphasize focusing on the job at hand (our responsibilities), rather than on results.  Too often, whether it’s on a sports team, or a business there can be such a focus on short-term results that excellence and long term health are sacrificed, often at great peril. Do the right thing–today!
With that in mind, I love this quote from John Wooden, hall of fame coach with UCLA’s men’s basketball program:
“STRIVE to always  bring a winning  attitude and steady effort to practice and competition. Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result  of self-satisfaction in knowing  you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming”.
Get the idea here?  If you are doing all you are capable of doing, what more can be expected of you?  Regardless of what others might think, you have the peaceful satisfaction of knowing you gave it your all.   The challenge for each of us though is, are we giving it our all?   Are you really giving your best to become the best you ?
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As a help to being your best, please check out my Life Management App and consider using it with a friend:

You can visit either the App Store (for IPhones) Foundations Life Management app for IPhone devices

https://appsto.re/us/ejC7fb.I

or go to the Google Play Store- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.FoundationsLifeCoach.Foundations&hl=en

Glimpses of Hope began to Displace the Depression

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Who doesn’t want to live a life of “no regrets”?

Who doesn’t want to get better in all the areas of their responsibilities?

My passion is to help people be their best.  I’ve created an app (the Foundations Life Management app) that helps a person create goals and monitor their progress.

In addition, by using the Dashboard option, a person can easily text their results to a friend who can offer  encouragement, accountability, prayer, and support.

 

Here are two Dashboard screens that a friend of mine, who I meet with, sent to me to show me his progress:

This is how my friend initially evaluated how he was doing in all his areas of responsibilities: (notice the concerning “red” areas that were causing him much turmoil and depressing thoughts):

initial-meeting

Using the app as a resource to help me encourage my friend as we met, this is how he evaluated his progress in our most recent time together: (notice the movement from the red (concerning issues) to the yellow (okay, but in maintenance mode):   As a side note, his enthusiasm in seeing his progress was tangible.

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Coaching (mentoring)  is about relationship and helping another person make progress.

If you haven’t already, let me encourage you to check out this app, and try it with a friend to see progress occur in both your lives.

If you have downloaded the app and are using it, I would so appreciate you telling a friend (s) about it.

You can visit either the App Store (for IPhones) Foundations Life Management app for IPhone devices

https://appsto.re/us/ejC7fb.I

or go to the Google Play Store- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.FoundationsLifeCoach.Foundations&hl=en

If you have any questions about the app, please just let me know.

Blessings.

Walter

A crucial hidden truth of leadership is…

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The bottom line for leaders is they want to lead well and want to produce victories. Whether it’s in sports, or business, or in the arts, leaders want their teams to be successful.

Because of that desire to “win”, the truth is that a leader might not really like a person, or people on their team, but are willing to tolerate them because of their talent.

So, what does that mean for you and I?  First of all, it means, as I mention so often in these posts, always try to be your best. Don’t worry about what’s in your future, but concentrate on being your best in all you do—today!  With that “continuous improvement” mindset , whether it’s in business, or personally, you will be amazed at the doors of opportunity that will open up for you in the future, as leaders look for people who have the abilities to solve their problems and help them achieve successes.

Second of all, as your talent improves in whatever area you’re concentrating, you do not have permission to act like a jerk.  Yeah, your skill level will open doors of opportunity, but understand that people will only go so far in their desire to win.   If your personal morals, or personality are so “over the top” offensive, you will be asked to leave the team because the annoyance and frustration of working alongside you outweighs the positive feelings that come from team success.

Let me share a story with you that illustrates this principle of people overlooking their own hesitance with liking a person, but seeking that talented person out to help them with their difficulties.

There once was a man named Jephthah.  He was the son of a woman who was not his dad’s wife.   As he got older, his half-brothers, the sons born to his father and his father’s wife, basically turned on Jephthah (as well as the elders in the community), and kicked him out of their town because of Jephthah’s illegitimate birth.

However, Jephthah was a mighty warrior and developed quite a reputation for his battlefield successes. As years went on, Jephthah’s home town, Gilead was being attacked. The leaders of the community realized the weaknesses in their defense and in desperation sought out Jephthah to be their military leader and to help them defend their town.  It seems like the people in Gilead were willing to put aside their previous criticisms of Jephthah because of their desperation for his help with their current problem.  Jephthah told them if they would accept him back in to their community he would help them. The town’s leaders accepted his offer and Jephthah, did in fact lead them to victory.

So, to summarize the heart of this post, it’s this:  First of all, your character matters in all you do. Please don’t limit any opportunities you have because of offensive things you do to alienate others.  Second of all, strive to be your best and fight the urge to want “success” now. Continue to be the very best you can be.  Rather than focusing your energies in dreaming of the future, concentrate on developing your skills, and trust that in time,  the opportunities will find you.  I believe they will.

Note:  The story of Jephthah is told in “The Book of Judges”- chapter 11 (in the Bible)

spectacular achievement is always preceded by …

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I believe we all have had, some time in our lives, these two experiences.

In one situation, whether its taking a test, or giving a speech, we come into it, unprepared.  For whatever reason, we didn’t prepare and we go into that event nervous, stressed, and not confident.  We knew we blew it and we can just hope we can wing it, well enough to get by.

In the other situation, again, whether its taking a test, or giving a speech, we go into it well-prepared.  We almost go in with a cockiness because we know our stuff.  We are at ease, almost anxious, and definitely feeling like “we got this”.

What’s the obvious difference–it’s the preparation that was put in.

To me this subject of being prepared is one of the most powerful activities leading to success and the applications for it are almost limitless.  Sure there are the tests, and speeches, but what about anticipating how you will act when you walk in the doors of your home after a long day at work.  Will you take your work troubles home with you or will you be able to leave it at the door, so that you can concentrate on the needs and opportunities of your family.

What about doing your preparation work before you start a home project that you don’t have to run back to the store mid-way through your work?

What about preparing a personal budget ahead of time so that when you near the end of the month, you are not caught up in that awful feeling that you have no more money to pay the monthly bills?

Think about your life—this day, in what areas of your life can you do a better job at preparation?

“spectacular  achievement  is always preceded by spectacular  preparation”       Robert H. Schuller