Stretching Your View

In our daily world, most of us have become use to seeing the same ole visual images caped in different clothing:

 

  • The same tribal office work colleagues in dressed different apparel
  • The same neighborhood that transitions in different seasons of the year
  • The same apparel of clothing we have in our closet, but we mix and match them according to the weather
  • The same usual routes we drive around our neighborhoods, yet we may drive different streets when road construction impedes our way
  • The same summer visits with family and friends
  • The same summer vacation destinations

 

Yet very few of us will desire frequent changes in life.  I heard a church sermon some years ago and the topic was “Do You want to be a Pioneer or a Settler?”  Here are some key highlights I remember from this sermon:

 

  • Pioneers are pacesetters; they pave the way for others and find themselves often exploring new territories
  • Settlers’ mission are to reach a point and stay at the place forever

 

Early in my adult life, I once had the belief that I would “settle down” and: (1) earn a formal education; (2) become satisfied with a level of wealth; (3) get married and have children; (4) work a traditional 8 to 5 job with benefits and meager vacation days.  I accomplished at least three of the above four ‘settled’ objectives.

 

But later in my life, I always wanted something much better.  I didn’t know exactly what it was specifically, but I always attempted to stretch my view….my mental view that is.

 

Stretching your mental view causes you to:

 

  • Think harder
  • React faster/often to issues stirring in your heart
  • Question or Challenge the Status Quo
  • Pray even more
  • Question the law of humanity
  • Have a sense of understanding the world a little bit better

 

Traveling around the world excites me, especially when wanting to meet new people!  Having simple conversations with others allow me to become better as a listener.  The sound waves and pitch patterns of various human voices echoing through my ear canal creates a hunger for knowledge and understanding.

 

I believe the opposite of ‘not’ wanting to stretch your mental view can lead to:

 

  • Stagnation
  • An unwillingness to learn, which can close your mind to an ever changing world
  • Isolation
  • Being Argumentative

 

Because I have such a passion for making a different in my world, I found several ways to “Stretch My View”

Local View

Global View

  Take in a new ethnic restaurant

See an independent film

Take a foreign language class

Help at a refugee crisis center

Study world history/cultures

  Travel to a different vacation spot each year

Have dinner in a home of locals

Sign up for global affairs events

Go on a short-term mission trip!

Let’s go people and do some good!

Advertisements

The Intersection of Passion and Vision

Last month, I delivered a speech entitled “Visionary Leader” at my local Toastmaster club. The purpose of the speech was to challenge the members to assess their vision barometer. Here are some engaging questions I asked the audience – can you see greatness in the future of your professional career; can you imagine the possibility of doing better; or could you develop ways to plan your destiny?

 

I began the speech by defining the word ‘vision’ – the ability or an instance of great perception, especially of future development. The act or power of sensing with the eyes.

 

Next, I illustrated what Visionary Leaders are – and are not! Let’s start with the qualities that are not becoming of a Visionary Leader:

 

  • Lovers of preserving the ‘Status Quo”
  • Individuals who are stuck in the past or have a “we’ve always done it this way” mindset
  • Generation excluders
  • Present day Managers

 

Now let’s look at the qualities of a Visionary Leader:

 

  • Individuals who pushes the envelope or address new creative ideas
  • Advocators who see it, say it, and show it
  • Those who see invisible futures
  • Futuristic builders

 

Days after the speech I took a moment to examine the intersection of vision and passion. Passion of course is defined as any powerful or compelling emotion of feeling. Hhmmm, the two words seems to connect with a common word – “power.” Such an interesting way to view the two words:

 

Passion – the power to thirst

Vision – the power to grasp

 

Do you possess a sensible appetite to thirst for something (passion)? Do you possess a sensible appetite to grasp for greatness (vision)? If you answer yes to both questions and find a need (or power) to do so, then your passion and vision intersects! Take a moment to view the illustration below.

 

Let go people and do some good!

Image

 

 

The Anatomy of Your Actions

Every day, we find ways to move about and get things done. Ordinary things like waking up to go to work in the morning, to helping your child with homework in the evening – we carefully calculate each step of our actions. When we attempt to link our true God-given purpose and mundane actions, the balancing of the two can be challenging. I believe there is an occasional need to examine the skeletal anatomy of one’s action. Let’s take a closer look shall we…

The Head of your Action
The late CBS news correspondent Andy Rooney said this and I quote, “The easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am” – end quote. I’ve often heard that ‘if you surround yourself with a crowd, behave like the crowd, talk like the crowd, you get no further from crowd!’ Advancing yourself to grow requires a head-strong decision to pursue higher learning. Until you expose yourself to something better or different, your current actions will always be kept caged in the current life you live today.

The Shoulders of your Action
“Responsibilities gravitate to the man who can shoulder them and the power to him who knows how” – Elbert Hubbard (20th Century American editor, publisher, and writer). As a mentor to a several young men and an uncle of many nieces and nephews, I often think about my decisions. These self-made decisions I make for my life can and will have some impact on their lives! This philosophy holds true to parents, grandparents and adult guardians. Workplace managers too will have to make decisions for the direction of the company – their decisions will also have an impact to motivate other workers.

The Spine of your Action
Country Star Singer and Actress Reba McEntire said this and I quote, “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone! – end quote.” Making solid decisions has direct ties to your ethics/character profile.

The Legs of your Action
“If God breaks your leg, He’ll teach you how to limp.” African [Ghana] Proverb. This is where you carry forth your decisions and moving them into action. For example: To lead a lethargic horse, a racing jockey has to influence the behavior of the horse by the motion and movement of their legs. Here are some theories for the race jockey:

1) Leg actions are to create impulsion – when to firmly squeeze/un-squeeze onto the abdomen and flank of the horse
2) Leg actions are to lead the horse – how to slightly bend your legs on the girth to balance for speed of the horse
3) Leg actions are to ask for specific task – developing a personal code between you and the horse
4) Leg actions are to frame and reassure the horse – like how a guitar is strum, the jockey’s repetitious pattern onto the frame of the horse gives directions to go left, right, slow or fast

So by connecting all of these progressive skeletal parts, we can provide a greater sense of becoming more purposeful in our actions.

Let’s go people and do some good!

Secret Ingredients to Launch Your Life’s Purpose!

Some people throughout their life on Earth will discover various tactical ways to bring their life’s purpose into reality. Everyday thousands of upstart businesses are birthed or commissioned for business. The first days/weeks/or months of operating in your ‘purpose’ may feel like a ‘honeymoon’ phase. Everybody will join in the celebration of your achievement, recognition and praise will soon follow, and people from unknown places will come to lend support. Then all of a sudden the strong winds of reality will set in – this is the ‘marriage’ phase of the vision. You’ll have ups and downs – yea-players versus naysayers – highs and lows – increase in revenue and decrease in sales.

Whatever you are purposed to do, these homemade ingredients will help you become an achiever!

     1.   Life Purpose Ingredient #1 – Learn from the Experts!

One movie [I believe] that perfectly demonstrates how to learn from an expert is the 1984 filming of “The Karate Kid.” This movie depicts a teenager who has a desire to become a professional martial artist. It took a level of tolerance and patience for the young teenager to achieve great results and self-fulfillment. Today, I’m going through an apprenticeship training with my mission director – learning all what I can to lead small teams on international mission tours each year. 

  1. Life Purpose Ingredient #2 – Conduct Self Assessments

From time-to-time it’s good to evaluate yourself or look inward and assess your on-going strategies. This process may prompt you to re-calibrate your goals and review the methods by which you hope to gain measurable satisfaction. Ideally, pray and ask for guidance so that your motives should always be genuine and not self-centered. 

  1. Life Purpose Ingredient #3 – Have a Preparedness Plan

At all times, be prepared to face various obstacles along the way. Stephen King, an American author of contemporary horror/science fiction was quoted saying “there’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” In all business affairs that I invest into, I try to look beyond ‘today’ and ask myself ‘what if.’ In the final report of the National Commission on 9/11 Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, the committee was quoted saying that our very own intelligence agencies ‘lacked imagination.’ Who could’ve imaged such a terrible plot that unfolded the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001? I didn’t mean too negative on this ingredient, but you get the point…  

  1. Life Purpose Ingredient #4 – Focus on the People

Be a great listener – Move away from focusing on ‘self’ and draw closer to the interest of ‘people.’ Successful businesses constantly read through individual market studies, consumer behaviors and buying trends, and focus groups. This vital assessment is compiled to deliver the best product or service to a targeted audience.  

  1. Life Purpose Ingredient #5 – Become a Servant Leader

A person who has a vision or purpose to do something requires constructive responses and reaction from others. Relationship building is necessary for your life’s purpose to flourish. The benefit of leadership growth comes from serving others. One of the best examples of this comes from Super Storm Sandy that occurred in the fall of 2012. After many New England communities suffered tremendous storm damage, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie led the way in making sure adequate life-saving resources reached his constituents. He was able to orchestrate and implement the local and state emergency management teams to provide relief and medical assistance to those in need. He also requested help from the Federal government and large-based corporations to participate by donating, sending in-kind items, and mobilizing heavy transport equipment and machinery to clear and correct thoroughfares within effected communities. He was fully interlaced within the purpose of his life to do well by his fellow man.

So by using these ingredients, you too can see your life’s purpose expand beyond your own dreams!

Let’s go people and do some good!

Moving from the “Talk of Doing” to the “Action of Doing”

The brain is the most integral organ of the body.  Without the brain, I can imagine us being mindless creatures with no purpose – just like the apocalyptic zombie characters wandering around in AMC’s cable television epic thriller “The Walking Dead.”  Weighing between 2.87 and 3.1 lbs., the adult brain physiologically functions to exert control over the other organs of the body.  The sensory of “thought” rouses our intelligence to react or perform, especially when we want to execute on a set personal values.

Our creator masterfully designed us with the ability to think and feel; His design was and is for us to have dominion over the creatures of the Earth (Genesis 1:26) – this of course carried a huge level of responsibility.  We were created with a desire to take care of ourselves and those around us.  We were gifted with the ability to articulate to one another.  We were intelligently built to produce and exchange tangible commodities or consumer durable goods to satisfy our lifestyle.  Lastly, we were given the chance to prove our well-being to make a difference for others.

It is a great opportunity to live in a democratic society where you have the freedom to talk and express the things manifesting in your heart.  Your heart has been aching for a long time to do something purposeful, now it’s time to program the brain to move on that very thing!  Now is the time to transform what you’ve been talking about and put it into ACTION.  The city of Rome wasn’t built in a day, but what you build now could eventually outlive you and/or grow beyond your wildest imagination!

Take A.C.T.I.O.N!

A = Active the Brain

  • Stimulate your thoughts.  Carve out some time each day to brainstorm the idea you have.  For me, the best setting is usually early mornings.
  • Read, research, and review.  Spend quality time to gain knowledge from books, workshops/conferences, leading experts, or even your place of work!

C = Challenge Yourself Daily

  • Do something that you’ve never done before.  If you have developed a homemade product to sell and want to share it with your friends, be willing to use the product on yourself first for a period of time.  You are your best customer.
  • Dare to be different; take on a new hobby that connects with your idea or vision.

T = Tell Your Story

  • Showcase the idea to those you feel will help you win the track lap of victory!
  • Be prepared to disclose your formula to a respectable venture capitalist as in ABC’s television show – “Shark Tank.”  On this particular show, entrepreneurs who dare to enter the “Shark Tank” must try to convince the tough, self-made, multi-millionaire/billionaire tycoons to part with their own hard-earned cash and give them the funding they desperately need to jumpstart their business ideas.  You might say to yourself, “My chances to meet a successful business millionaire is slim to none.”  I say, don’t undermine the prospects of meeting a person of wealth.  It could happen!

I = Initiate the Idea

  • A solid business plan will solidify your future wealth-plan.
  • Create SMART Goals: Are your goals Specific?  Are your goals Measurable?  Are your goals Attainable?  Are your goals Realistic? Are your goals Timely?

O = Outline the Benefits

  • List the benefits/awards of your Idea.  Your idea should: uplift someone, empower the un-inspired, raise a person’s esteem, enhance an individual’s lifestyle, or compliment a customer’s well-being.
  • List out the people who will benefit from your Idea.
  • Surround your idea with positive-encouraging words.

N = Network and Negotiate

  • The word network as defined by Merriam-Webster means interconnect with group or system.  Nearly all ideas need some level of work between groups of idealist and pragmatist.  Before you every launch an idea, you should carefully select individuals who possess pragmatic thinking skills.  A pragmatist leans on grounded/sound logic above anything else – whether the answer is pleasant or not, while idealist has the hope that all things yield a positive end result, even in the face of chaos or defeat.  In this process, balancing the two actions are essential to ensure your idea has been tested thoroughly.

Now are you ready? Great!

Let’s go people and do some good!