Category: #Purpose

Strength-How do you measure it?

My granddaughter is a tiny girl. She is 14 years old, and her goal is to reach 5 feet tall. The doctor told her she would not make it and would fall short (no pun intended) by a few inches. She knew she was in for a genetic battle when all of her aunts were under 5 feet.

Her determination is impressive, so she makes up for it in other ways. After spending some time in the weight room preparing for volleyball tryouts, she was excited to share with us her accomplishments. “Everyone was impressed with me today. I can leg press….wait for it…390 lbs.” What? Are you kidding me? Wow! “That is not all; I did 20 pull-ups, but I was embarrassed by the crowd watching me.” Alright, little girl!

Strength can be deceiving! We never know our strength level until we are pushed to use it. Strength comes in many different forms and types. The pillars of strength are physical, mental, emotional , and spiritual.

  • Physical strength: Describes an individual’s ability to apply force or resistance-To to lift, move, carry, or pull objects—the state of being physically healthy and strong-physically fit.
  • Emotional strength: The ability to embrace, respond and process in an open and vulnerable way in the face of intense emotional experience. To transition from one response to another with awareness of emotions, feelings, a sense of comfort, and confidence.
  • Mental strength: An individuals ability to deal effectively with stressors, pressures and challenges and perform to the best of their ability, irrespective of the circumstances in which they find themselves. A willingness to continue to learn. Figuring things out, curiosity and to learn even when defeated.
  • Spiritual strength: Spirituality involves our capacity to dig deep and find the greater meaning in life, to align ourselves with a purpose that extends beyond ourselves, to find relationship and unity with something greater such as nature, God, or the transcendent. An individuals commitment to personal values, virtues and core beliefs to guide decisions.

We have many things to consider when thinking about how to measure strength, how to celebrate the strength, and how to admire others for the strengths they have. If you can get for point A to point B with very little work, is it the same as someone who traveled the same distance with many obstacles, challenges, and hardships?

Take an Inventory

When you have a little time, begin to take an inventory of the strengths you have as a leader. No need to hit the weight room for training like my granddaughter, but taking a look at what areas you have as strengths is an important inventory to take.

Are there areas in your completed inventory you would like to tune-up? Do you find any gaps? Are there areas you would like to improve? It is also important to ask others what they believe your areas of strengths are as you evaluate strengths. Others may recognize strengths in you that you did not realize you had, or they may point out that the strengths you think you have are a weakness.

How to build your strength:

  1. Focus on purpose
  2. Don’t be afraid to make changes
  3. Don’t overthink what you are doing
  4. Stretch yourself and don’t be afraid of discomfort
  5. Set simple short-term goals daily
  6. Develop habits to nourish your mind, body and soul
  7. Exercise your willpower and self-discipline at least once a day
  8. Take care of yourself, positive self talk
  9. Think positively
  10. Meditation and yoga are tools you can add
  11. Look for deeper meanings in what you see, hear, and read
  12. Get out, walk, enjoy nature, travel
  13. Read, ask questions, time to think
  14. Get plenty of rest
  15. Listen deeply
  16. Watch carefully
  17. Engage with others
  18. Experience new things often

Pieces will fit

Do you have a childhood memory of something you did with your family? One of my memories is opening a box full of different shapes, colors, and a picture to follow as you put the pieces together. Putting jigsaw puzzles together was one of those memories from my childhood. We enjoyed many hours working together to fit the pieces together to finally see the pieces fit together to create the picture on the box.

My daughter was able to enjoy this with her grandparents and with us. Now it is passed down to my grandchildren. When working on fitting the pieces together, you can accomplish so much more!

Building together

In our “connected” world today, we forget how to make the connection with the people in our lives through face-to-face time. Building time together can be valuable, and we must prioritize this as a non-negotiable time. Sitting around a table together thinking, problem-solving, talking, laughing, and engaging in real-time conversations is essential in building trusting relationships.

The puzzle pieces are not just on the table in front of you, but in the makeup of the relationships, you are forming with those sharing the table with you. Inviting those to share a seat at your table is the first step in fitting the pieces into positive relationships.

Two Rule Philosophy

Two Rule Philosophy helps everyone to be safe and good. Two basic needs we all have, want and strive to achieve. It is my passion and purpose to provide everyone with the tools they need to incorporate this into their lives and most importantly into every school setting to ensure every child is safe. There are many tools, resources, steps, and approaches to take to make this happen, but it is as easy as one, two.

My first tool for you to utilize in your school, workplace, home, organization is one I carried with me from my childhood. I hope to work with Shutterfly to incorporate some additional ideas in my book to present to you to utilize, but currently I would like you to try this tool.

We all fit together!

Currently, you can utilize Shutterfly to upload a picture to create a puzzle. This is a fantastic opportunity to work on building relationships with your team, co-workers, and volunteers. In addition, this is a great way to help your family work to have a scheduled family time with purpose as you work together to put your family picture together. You can use this to discuss a family memory you had on a trip, celebration, or special event. I have done this for each of my grandchildren as a way to work on building up each one by talking about the strengths they have and what we enjoy about who they are as individuals.

Two Rules aim is to have everyone working together to help All feel safe and good. When we can build together, we can tear down the walls we have been building up over the many years and look through the many lenses to see solutions instead of problems.

Complete the puzzles in connecting with All in order to build a collaborative environment where everyone is welcomed, and feels safe and good.

Who’s in the Lead?

Graduations have been held or are being held for high schools across the United States and also at the college level. These young adults find themselves at a crossroads in life. However, they are not alone in wondering what is next. Which way do I go? Do I follow the leader? Who’s in the lead?

Some people are retiring from jobs while others say I better not because the economy is not looking good and everything is costing more. What should I do? Follow others? Who’s in the lead to follow?

“Would you tell me please which way I ought I out to walk from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where-“said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way to walk,” said the Cat.

These remarks are taken from the story of Alice in Wonderland and it is such a great adventure! The point is clearly made if you have no direction of where you want to go, then you will continue to move in circles. Thinking with the end in mind from Stephen Covey is the best advice we can provide. You are the leader of your life.

You are the Leader

Leader is not an official title someone gives you. You are a leader. Maybe you are only at this moment leading yourself, but you are leading. You are in the driver’s seat of the car of your life and not the passenger. As you continue in your life, you may pick up passengers you will lead.

Choice is a word I believe is another powerful word we have and sometimes do not utilize it fully. If you do not choose to be the leader of your life many others will try to choose for you as they work to influence you in many different ways.

Crossroads of Choices

No matter your age thinking with the end in mind does not mean you have to plan out every detail of your life. It is establishing the choices of the pathway you determine to take today can affect you for the rest of your life. The longer you live the more you can reflect on the choices you have made in life to lead you to the place you are today.

The crossroads continue to move you forward. We can reflect, but never take time to try to stay in the past steps traveled or try to retrace those steps with the “what if” remarks of regret. The important fact to remember is the choice we have to continue to move forward on our journey with a pathway of our choice.

Lead your way

  • Set your goals to be reachable
  • Know what you stand for
  • Have confidence in yourself
  • Ask questions often
  • Establish your core values
  • Appreciate the value of others and the differences we all have
  • Be authentic
  • Actions speak for you

Be the solution daily in a world that needs you!

On fire! Are you? Who Is?

“This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She’s walking on fire
This girl is on fire”

“Looks like a girl but she’s a flame
So bright, she can burn your eyes
Better look the other way
You can try but you’ll never forget her name
She’s on top of the world”-Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire

Do you ever take your temperature? Not your body temperature, but the temperature of your attitude and drive. What would you describe your temperature as you go about your day? Are you a girl on fire or lukewarm? Alicia Keys’ song Girl on Fire was the first song that came to my mind when thinking about ways to describe the temperature of our attitudes, drives, and approaches to work, life, and overall experiences. You can change the wording to accommodate your gender, but the meaning is still behind our temperature to approach life.

There are many songs you can connect to weather and temperatures to help teach lessons or discuss feelings, motivation, and attitudes. “You’re as cold as ice. You’re willing to sacrifice our love. You never take advice. Someday you’ll pay the price.” Lyrics from Foreigner, Cold as Ice.

I love using music to demonstrate meanings about issues we need to discuss. Music is a great platform to utilize as a way to connect all of us. Every generation has utilized music to share feelings about social issues, political views, traumatic events and celebrations.

I started with fire, and I would like to end with it. My favorite song is “Pass It On.” The lyrics to this church hymnal are: It only takes a spark To get a fire going, And soon all those around Can warm up in the glowing That’s how it is with God’s love. A newer version of a Christian song includes a portion of the lyrics I will leave you with to enjoy. I think it is essential to take your temperature and those around you. Let’s get a spark started to finish strong, begin strong , and never lose sight of the effects on what we do daily. Why not start a fire in the hearts of everyone? #Bethesolutiondaily in a world that needs you!

Punching a ticket on the train

When Billy Graham was 92 years-old, he was struggling with Parkinson’s disease. In January, a month before his 93rd birthday, leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham to a luncheon in his honor.

Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because of his struggles with Parkinson’s disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, ‘We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.’ So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the podium, looked at the crowd, and said:

“I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train, when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets.

It wasn’t there.He looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn’t find it.

“The conductor said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.” Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car,he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

“The conductor rushed back and said, ‘Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are; no problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.’Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.”

Having said that Billy Graham continued, “See the suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit. My children, and my grandchildren are telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion. You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. But when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I’m wearing. I want you to remember this:

“I not only know who I am. I also know where I’m going.” May your troubles be less, your blessings more, and may nothing but happiness, come through your door. “Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil – it has no point.”

May each of us have lived our lives so that when our ticket is punched we don’t have to worry about where we are going.

I did not write this story, and I am unsure who to give the credit. I found it in one of my files as I was working. The inspirations in my writings come from my daily devotions and in writings, others share with me. In these stories, promises, hopes, and wisdom, we can gain so much to apply to our own lives.

Rev. Graham was a leader I grew up knowing, watching, and listening to often. I look around today, and I know his son is doing amazing things today. I do not see the hunger, desire, passion, and grit to live life as I know he ministered to us.

How do you live? My post asked a question, sparking a thought, providing some ideas and hopefully a new way to look at life. Maybe this one will give another opportunity to look at life through the lens of a man who knew who he was living and where he was going.

Blessings to all of the opportunities you have on this glorious day.

How do you live?

I am all about asking questions. I enjoy asking questions to spark conversations, engage with others, and learn. My grandson Abram has always asked me thought-provoking questions from a child’s point of view. “How do they make leather shoes? Where does the leather come from?” Not a typical question from a then four-year-old.

My question is, “How do you live?” Answering this question can gain a variety of viewpoints. Does it mean physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually? How do you look at the question?

I have heard people say, “I want to be remembered by….” “I want my legacy to be…” or “I want to leave this place better than I found it.” Do you think of statements like this? Maybe your thoughts are about what you are looking forward to in life and the afterlife.

When do you think people begin to start thinking about how they live life? Is it when they are preparing to retire? Is it when they receive news of a terminal illness? Do we begin thinking about how we live life on the day we are born?

No more questions

I have provided many questions to allow you to ponder over many thoughts. I will provide you with my thinking on when we begin to think about how we live life.

Life is a precious gift we receive. On the day we are born, I believe life is mapped out for us with a purpose. Our brains provide us with the ability to learn at our pace and to discover our freedom to make choices. In many other countries, the privileges we have in the United States are not the same, and we can recognize this with the power of choice.

We go through our lives making decisions multiple times throughout the day. It is through those choices our life develops shape. The core values and beliefs are designed as a foundation based on the surroundings, which influence our choices.

Using myself as an example, I feel very blessed to have been raised by parents who were uneducated, hard-working, service-oriented individuals who encouraged many things in my life. I went to church regularly, was involved in outside activities, education was a priority, and I learned how to work early.

I do believe people do not think about their lives until they are faced with the reality of retirement, nearing death, or a traumatic event. As I have watched people for some time now, I have observed people going about life as usual, and something happens to cause a significant change—a sudden loss of a spouse, job change, accident or illness, and life changes.

Measuring Up

In our lives, we are always looking at others. We compare ourselves to others regularly. Judging others, well, this is done all of the time. It drives me crazy! I have battled against this judgment and being compared for decades now! We need to stop comparing and judging now.

Today begin looking at life differently. As you wake to greet the morning sun, pause to be thankful for a day full of opportunities. We do not want to only look at the days in our life as a measurement of length. In each day, we will find in those opportunities the width of our reach in providing support to others, sending strength to those in need, or planting seeds of growth covering many countries. Along with each day, the depths of our blessings are measured in the volumes of water served to those who are thirsty as wells are dug. Our innovative ideas reach into the depths of space and travel through connections to every sparsely populated place on earth as we keep communications open in times of need. Life is measured not in days, length, width, or depth but in living fully in each moment: no judgments, comparing, or hate. Every life is a gift with a purpose. Choose to live yours!

Know yourself- Do you?

I have written about growth several times. It does not matter what age you are, where you are in the process toward “retirement, or if you are retired. As an individual who is getting up each day to be part of the glory of the day, you are growing!

No, I am not talking about the scales for your weight or the tape measure for your height! Although, my granddaughter has set the goal to be 5 feet tall. I hope she makes it! The growth I am referring to is in your mind and spirit.

We are constantly doing things in our lives to enrich ourselves daily. We use the intention to focus on the things that enhance areas we desire to improve. Longevity of life is sought after, but it is the quality of the life we live that matters the most. What are we doing in the time we are blessed to enjoy?

What are the strengths you have? What are the areas you would like to grow in? Is there something new you would like to learn?

Know Yourself

“In Ancient Greece, the philosopher Socrates famously declared that the unexamined life was not worth living. Asked to sum up what all philosophical commandments could be reduced to, he replied: Know Yourself.”

Understanding ourselves is a first step in avoiding mistakes in several areas of our lives and is also essential in our abilities to establish goals. If we cannot identify our strengths and weaknesses, it isn’t easy to move forward. When we are true to ourselves, our relationships and work improve—getting to know ourselves better increases our growth over time.

The answer is hidden in the question!

Do we take the time to get to know ourselves? Are we so busy in our lives pleasing others, taking care of things, and doing tasks we forget to take note of ourselves?

Begin or end each day with a question for yourself. Keep a journal with the answer to the questions. This is how you begin to understand who you are and to get to the why of what you do. Being self-aware is critical to the success of life.

  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What is your favorite color
  • Do you like cold, hot or warm days?
  • What is the biggest mistake you have made?
  • Who or what comforts you?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • If you had only one wish, what would it be?
  • What are you worried about?
  • Name something you like about your job?
  • What is your happiest memory?
  • What values do you have?
  • What do you believe in?
  • Where do you feel the safest?
  • If you were not afraid, what would you do?
  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What matters most to me?
  • What short-term goals do I have? Long term?
  • What is my favorite food?
  • If I am feeling stressed, I_________?
  • When am I angry I_________?
  • Who are my support people?
  • I am ashamed of_______?
  • Am I a night owl or a morning person?
  • Am I passionate about___________?
  • I like being around people, or I’m not too fond of it.
  • My thoughts tell me I am not good enough or can do it.

Keep adding to your questions to dig deeper into who you are as you get wiser in understanding how to continue to grow.

Hidden Blessings-Lesson 2 “True North”

Lesson 2: No matter what, follow your “true north.”

Daniel Bauer shares his philosophy. It is your core values that drive who you are and maintain your focus on what you want to achieve.

“I have a personal philosophy: Be an intentional impetus. I have five personal core values:

  • Turning Pro
  • Purple Cow
  • Ripple Effect
  • Forest from the Trees
  • Sponge that Scales

I have worked hard to identify these values and my philosophy. They act as a personal Obi-Wan Kenobi. In times of success, they remind me to celebrate being true to my values.”-Daniel Bauer

Do you have a personal philosophy? What about your core values? If you do not have them or are unsure, it is time to solidify them. It isn’t easy to stay the course if you do not have a solid foundation. How do you know your direction or your “true north” with uncertainty?

My Two Rule Philosophy is a foundation I utilize to help students understand the power they have with choice. Once you know you have the ability, you need to realize with power comes great responsibility and accountability. This leads to developing the five core competencies that help grow their ownership into disciplined individuals with balance. The competencies support social-emotional learning as well as building academic growth. Students’ self-discipline develops naturally as they regulate their actions with the choices they make. They align all of this with their established goals, reflected in their day-to-day activities.

Five Core Competencies

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-management
  3. Social-awareness
  4. Relationship Skills
  5. Making Decisions (Responsible, Positive, Solution-Focused)

As for my core values and philosophy, I can confidently express them with ease and clarity.

I am a service leader striving to help others daily. I intend to find ways to provide solutions, guide in developing skills, and inspire, motivate and supply resources. My core beliefs are my faith, hope, integrity, and trust. I believe in all, I never give up on others, and I give more than I hope to receive. The team is how I work best, and I always want more opinions. Providing value to others, celebrating everything, and always looking for positives are what I love best! It is when we have gratitude; what we have is just enough.

Check out Leading at a Higher Level by Ken Blanchard. He is one of my all time favorite leaders. His work will inspire you, make you think and help guide you.

Develop your leadership point of view? What is a leadership point of view?-a leader’s personal elevator pitch—is the essential message a leader wants to communicate to the world. A leadership point of view reflects your journey, values, goals, and expectations of others. Write one out to see what you have.

What kind of Noise do you make?

Noise Turn up your volume and enjoy this noise!

“Turn down the TV!”

“I can hear her coming home, the car radio is so loud!”

“What are those sirens for?”

“The wind is blowing and the wind chimes sound so beautiful.”

What is noise? Noise is defined as unwanted sound found to be unpleasant, loud, or disruptive to hearing. The brain receives and perceives a sound. There is no distinction between noise and desired sound, as both are vibrations through a medium such as air or water. Our brain sends signals to respond to the noise we receive.

Do you think there is more noise today than ten years ago? How about five years ago? How about just within this year? Many people are talking, yelling at times, and have so much anger. The noise level is high, in my opinion.

So, what kind of noise do you make? My friend Becky Robinson just released her book Reach, where she guides in helping others to get their message, thoughts, and ideas out to as many people as possible. I recommend reading Reach as a great tool to help you overcome the noise of the world. Order Reach today to help your voice be heard. We need your voice, thoughts, ideas, and message.

How do you get your voice heard in all of this noise? Every voice is needed! You matter! I had the opportunity a year ago to attend an event with Berrett-Koehler Publishers. It was the best experience for me. I met incredible people, learned amazing things, established friendships, and gained a “family.” This event is being offered again this year and I recommend attending. You do not need a book written at this time to listen and learn. It is a way to learn, grow and cut through the noise to be heard. This is the first step in living your purpose, delivering your message, and bringing value to a world that needs you.

Join us for the two-day Virtual BK Nonfiction Book Marketing Workshop: Cutting Through the Noise to Sell More Books on June 8–9, 2022, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm PST / 11:00 am to 6 pm EST.

This event is open to the public and will have content for aspiring, new, and experienced authors, as well as book marketing professionals. We encourage all attendees to set up an “out of office” email and be present in the event, but if you have to miss any of it, we will be recording the entire workshop so that you can watch it later at your convenience. 

Sign up by the Early Bird deadline of April 30 to access special pricing.

You can see the agenda of speakers and topics here.

Mark your calendar and plan to join us to experience a breakthrough in your effectiveness in reaching your audiences with your work.

Register

We look forward to seeing you!

The BK Authors Workshop Committee

Chair: Becky Robinson 

Committee: Dianna Bensch, Gwen Cooper, Kristen Frantz, Stacey Hall, Bob Miglani, Nikki Soulsby, Brenda Wensil, and Brenda Yoho