Was this man “sleep-walking” through life?

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Picture this story:

A middle-aged man, driving in his luxury car, pulls around the corner of the street where he lives.  He looks at the houses of his neighbors and thinks to himself that at some time he should probably get to know them.  Actually, he thinks to himself that in some ways it’s surprising that after 20 years in this neighborhood, he would have by now.

Down the driveway he goes admiring his beautiful landscaping and thinks to himself that he has hired a quality service to handle this tedious work.  As he gets out of his car and make the long walk to his really large house, which he never seems to tire of gawking at, he finds himself huffing and puffing a bit more than usual.  He also notices his chest puffing out as he congratulates himself pridefully, for all the efforts he has put in: the long hours worked and the many, many business trips he has taken.

As he walks in the house, the one thing that seems the most noticeable is the silence.  His wife and two children are nowhere to be seen. “Quietness”, he thinks, “is in some ways nice, but in other ways, it’s so depressing”.

 

So, what is the point to this story?  Its this perspective about success.

After reading through this story would you say this man is successful?   Some would, actually many would. Why would we say that? It’s because he drives a luxurious house, owns a large house, and uses a landscaping service.

Outwardly, this man has some very nice things. Let me be the first to say that there is nothing wrong with owning and enjoying nice things. God has given us those things to enjoy.

My point is to question this man’s perspective on their importance and what he was willing to sacrifice to get them. It’s that perspective of success that I so desperately want to keep wrestling with for myself and I would encourage you to battle along with me.

Why? Too often, we can see someone on tv that has all the wealthy merit badges of life: the nice cars, the trophy wife, the big house, etc. and something can stir in my heart: jealousy and envy. I know I have those feelings. Too quickly, I find myself trying to justify why I’m still okay with my pauper existence compared to this wealthy person I’ve just been watching and hearing about.

The issue of jealousy and envy is my own problem no one else’s. I’m needing to deal with that on a regular basis. But the focus of this post is not really about my challenges with envy, or pride, or a critique on enjoying and striving for nice things.

It’s about striving for success in one area. Whether it’s an over-emphasis on being successful at work, or at your church, or with your family, or with your personal health, my plea with you this morning is to be careful about over-emphasizing one area of your life so much that without realizing it, you inadvertently are neglecting other areas of your life.

Life is difficult. It’s really hard. You don’t need to be reminded of that, but you may need to be reminded that there are seven areas of responsibility in your life. How are you doing in each of them?  When is the last time you took the time to evaluate how you’re doing? 

I would like to encourage you this weekend to take just a few minutes and review these seven areas of responsibility in your life and ask two questions: “How am I doing in each specific area?”   and “In what ways can I do just a little bit better?”

Oh, one last thing—you might be wondering why do this personal inventory?  The simple reason is that your life impacts others in every one of these seven areas. Do you know that?

Like a person who is a sleepwalker, taking actual steps, but not even recognizing where they are going, some times, I can be living my life (and maybe you do too) where I’m doing life in certain, dazed kind of way, not even recognizing those areas of responsibility that I am tuned out of, totally neglecting….and that will cause regrets, painful ones.  I want to help you avoid those.

As a way to further help you strive for excellence in all areas of your life so that you live a life without regrets, I’d like to encourage you to consider the content of this post, but also to consider downloading the Foundations Life Management app in I-Tunes, (Android calls it Foundations Life Coach) that has the red, yellow, green dashboard like above.   For the price of a cup of coffee (and more significant and lasting positive consequences) from it, I believe you will be pleased that you took this minimal risk:


You can visit  either the App Store (for IPhones)     https://appsto.re/us/ejC7fb.I

Google Play Store- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.FoundationsLifeCoach.Foundations&hl=en ;
www.foundationslifecoach.com

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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

By doing this it brought incredible success

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Recently, I was in a conversation with a young man who mentioned to me some things he wanted to accomplish in his life.  As an fyi, we’ve been meeting together every couple of weeks in a mentoring kind of relationship.

As I reflected later about our conversation, I got to thinking that I hear much of the same thing at each of our meetings.  I hear “I wanna do this, or that”, but each time we get together minimal progress is made and many “I wanna do this or that’s” are said.

I believe the issue for my friend is his intentionality about setting up a plan and making the necessary adjustments in his lifestyle to accomplish his goals.

With this current situation in my mind, I came upon this brief excerpt from Keith Ferrazzi’s excellent book, “never eat alone” and thought it so  interesting:

“In SUCCESS magazine, there was a study where researchers asked Yale’s class of 1953, a number of questions.
-three had to with goals:
Have you set goals?
Have you written them down?
Do you have a plan to accomplish them?

-it turned out that only 3% of the Yale class had written down their goals with a plan of actions to achieve them. 13% had goals, but had not written them down. Fully 84% had no specific goals at all, other than to “enjoy themselves”.
In 1973, when the same class was resurveyed, the differences between the goal setters and everyone else were stunning. The 13% who had goals that were not in writing were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84% of students who had no goals at all. But most surprising of all, the 3% who had written their goals down were earning on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of graduates combined!”

So, what is important to you?

Have you identified you long-term goals?

Can you think of some small steps you can take to accomplish these goals?

Have you written these goals down?

Have you shared your goals with a friend to receive from them encouragement, accountability, prayer, and support?

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As a further help to accepting responsibility for all the areas of your responsibilities (and building close relationships as you do), check out this App I’ve created:

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