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Thursday, September 29, 2011

The story behind Leading with Passion

An excerpt from
Leading with Passion
by John J. Murphy  

Light a match in a dark room and watch as the light instantly overcomes the darkness. Observe the power and grace of that single, solitary flame dancing with life. Now light several candles or kindle a fire and experience the added warmth and comfort extending from that first, vulnerable flame through others. This is the heart and soul of leadership - the essence of inspiring others. It is about courageously casting off fear, doubt and limiting beliefs and giving people a sense of hope, optimism and accomplishment. It is about bringing light into a world of uncertainty and inspiring others to do the same. This is what we call passion, the fire within.

Passion is a heartfelt energy that flows through us, not from us. It fills our hearts when we allow it to and it inspires others when we share it. It is like sunlight flowing through a doorway that we have just opened. It was always there. It just needed to be accepted and embraced. Under the right conditions, this "flow" appears effortless, easy and graceful. It is doing what it is meant to do. It is reminding us that we are meant to be purposeful. We are meant to be positive. We are meant to be passionate. We feel this when we listen to and accept our calling in life. We feel it as inspiration when we open the door of resistance and let it in.

Inspiration springs forth when we allow ourselves to be "in-spirit," aligned with our true essence. Stop and think about it: When you feel truly passionate and inspired about someone or something, what frame of mind are you in? What are you willing to do? What kind of effort are you willing to put forth? How fearful are you? Chances are, you feel motivated to do whatever it takes, without fear or doubt, to turn your vision into reality. You grow in confidence. You believe you can do it. You are committed from the heart and soul.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Our Words Create Our Worlds

An excerpt from
An Enemy called Average
by John Mason

What we say is important. Our vocabulary should be filled with words of hope and dreams. Be known as someone who speaks positively.

Recently I saw a sign under a mounted large mouth bass. It read, "If I had kept my mouth shut I wouldn't be here." How true! Don't jump into trouble mouth first.

Let me pose this question for you: Starting today what would happen if you changed what you said about your biggest problem, your biggest opportunity?

I don't know if you've had this conversation or not, but last month I turned to my wife, Linda, while we were sitting together in our family room and said, "Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state dependent on some machine. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

She immediately got up, walked over and unplugged the TV.

"Our words create our worlds," says Dean Sikes. Your words have the power to start fires or quench passion.

Don't be like the man who joined a monastery in which the monks were allowed to speak only two words every seven years. After the first seven years had passed, the new initiate met with the abbot, who asked him, "Well, what are your two words?"

"Food's bad," replied the man, who then went back to his silence.

Seven years later the clergyman asked, "What are your two words now?"

"Bed's hard," the man responded.

Seven years later - twenty-one years after his initial entry into the monastery - the man met with the abbot for the third and final time. "And what are your two words this time?" the abbot asked.

"I quit."

"Well, I'm not surprised," the cleric answered disgustedly. "All you've done since you got here is complain!"

Don't be like that man; don't be known as a person whose only words are negative. If you're a member of the "negative grapevine," resign.

Contrary to what you may have heard, talk is not cheap. Talk is powerful!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

First Thing Every Morning

An excerpt from
First Thing Every Morning
by Lewis Timberlake What do you do when your whole world crumbles? I grew up in Texas and married Georgia Ann, the most beautiful girl in my hometown. I enjoyed a successful career in the life insurance business - even became president of the company. I was president of civic organizations and involved in running campaigns for governors. I'd won awards and honors and life was good. My first two children were simply amazing, and my third child, Craig, offered the same promise.

But at age 10, the doctors said he would be blind in two weeks' time. How could that be? Craig had never been sick - never even had a headache.

We discovered there is a gene that can "go bad." It causes Wolfram Syndrome. There is no cure. When it goes bad, bad things happen. First his optic nerve began to die, and I watched my 10-year-old son go blind a little each day. God blessed me with an amazing wife, three phenomenal children and a successful career. But when Craig went blind, my world crumbled. How do you get through that? What do you do?

I cried out in desperation and despair. There was no help available; nobody in high places could sort things out. Then radio broadcaster Paul Harvey told me, "In times like these, it's good to remember that there have always been 'times like these.' You can get through this better and stronger, and more able to live life victoriously - if you will do some things that help you get through each day."

I realized you must find a way to begin each day in a way that prepares you to say, "Whatever takes place, I shall win."

That's when I realized I needed to start every day, even challenging and difficult days, with a positive focus. I needed to do the things unsuccessful people don't do. I actually learned, "How you begin the day controls how you go through the day."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Walk The Talk

An excerpt from
Walk the Talk
by Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura 
QUESTION: What does "courage" have to do with being a person of good character...with someone who stays true to their principles and their values?


You see, being values-driven means two things:

Doing what's right - following our conscience; refusing to compromise our principles, despite pressures and temptations to the contrary, and

Taking a stand against what's wrong - speaking out, whenever we see others do things that are incorrect or inappropriate.

Unquestionably, both of those require guts and fortitude...they require courage.

Courage is...

Following your conscience instead of "following the crowd".
Refusing to take part in hurtful or disrespectful behaviors.
Sacrificing personal gain for the benefit of others.
Speaking your mind even though others don't agree.
Taking complete responsibility for your actions...and your mistakes.
Following the rules - and insisting that others do the same.
Challenging the status quo in search of better ways.
Doing what you know is right - regardless of the risks and potential consequences.

I'd like to share the "Cadet Prayer" that is repeated during chapel services at the U.S. Military Academy:

"Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole truth can be won. Endow us with the courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy."

That is truly the essence of courage.