One More Time

Splitting Stone

When Will It Split?

After many blows of the hammer, I wanted to ask, “Why — are we doing this?!”

Yet, I settled for, “When do you think it will split?”

As he always did, my Dad just grinned and answered, “I don’t know. That’s what makes this fun.”

Before beginning anything, Dad always knew the “Why” of producing the intended result. I believe that’s what kept him swinging and believing.

Today, though, I look around and wonder, “Where are the believers?” You know… those individuals willing to keep on swinging and swinging — and, swinging some more — until their mountains become manageable pieces.

Maybe, it’s the absence of belief in one word: perseverePersevere Definition

A full measure of belief is necessary to, “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success”.

Pardon the pun, but a couple of the synonyms are “hammer away” and “leave no stone unturned”.

Do you recognize the “hardness” of the word?

Thoroughly SevereThere’s a reason for that, because the heritage of persevere comes from the Latin words meaning “thoroughly” and “severe”. Variations are “very strict” and “abide by strictly”.

In other words, this is serious business — to finish what is begun.

For each of us, it’s fun and games to come up with an idea and begin it. Somewhere in the middle, the thought seeps in, “Maybe, this is too hard and not worth it.”

The choice is ours to make — Persevere, or Quit.Persevere On The Decline

Sadly, from the late 1800’s to today, the word persevere has gone out of vogue. A generation of Baby-Boomers and the following XYZ Generations, generally, have missed the opportunity for an Education and the Experience of what the word even means, or how to apply it.

The good news is that life swings on a pendulum. Because we have the need to learn, opportunities will be presented to persevere.

My hope is that each of us are tough enough to swing our hammer — one more time.

It Couldn’t Be Done
BY EDGAR ALBERT GUEST
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

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Harvest Time

Harvest Time

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

Because only 2% of our society works the land, we’ve become disconnected from the Farmer Philosophy.

Simply stated, “Mother Nature hates a vacuum. Plant good seeds — or, weeds will grow.”

So… for 50 plus years, I’ve been preparing, planting, tending, nurturing — and, dealing with the result. The bins were stretched to the limit and I was wondering, “Why am I so tired?”

Was I tired of the goodness? Was it, simply, too much of a good thing? Was there, even, any purpose in all this business and busyness?

The answer was discovered in violence. It came in the form of a real threshing — to beat, to flail, to separate, to thrash, to examine, and to toss.

Paradoxical Commandments

Do It Anyway

You see, there’s a maximum from the Paradoxical Commandments, “If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.”

Long ago, I discovered the 50/50 Rule — Half of the world will love us and the other half will hate us.

I’ve always been amused by the true enemies. What they meant for harm has always resulted in more goodness. The weapons they formed against me silenced them. The enemies gave their best to condemn and the Master offered honor.

As an eternal optimist, with my rose-colored glasses, I’ve — now — come to realize the problem (opportunity in disguise) of my tiredness was because of my naivety and those false friends.

They knew — for a fact — they were the beneficiaries of Education and Experience freely offered. In other words, they wanted what I had. And — they expected me to listen to their whining, endure their disrespect, and do for them what they were unwilling to do for themselves.

In the simplest of farming terms, they were chaff, light-weights, shriveled, and cracked — the winnowed waste only fit for chicken feed.

Action speaks louder than words.

When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them

Yet, for some crazy reason, I couldn’t bring myself to blow them away. What I couldn’t do was done by the One who can.

To winnow means to force air upon the good and bad — to separate. Again, we forget the process required to put quality grain in the bin. The modern combine harvesters are beautiful monsters eating their way through ripe fields of plenty. Yet, inside their bellies, the process of separating the wheat from the chaff is a violent operation of beating, flailing, shaking, thrashing — with air used as a force to blow away the final remnants of impurity.

After all of that violence, what remains is the kernel of opportunity — to be used in baking, or in planting the next crop.

So… if you feel beaten, flailed, shaken, and blown upon by the winds of fate, take cheer — there’s A Time for Everything.

A time to plant and a time to harvest.

If you have planted and enjoy a crop meriting attention, then, know a harvest is required.

As I did, you’ll discover quality at the core of your character and you’ll discover who your true Friends, really, are!

www.kimfoardcpa.com

Desires and Fulfillment

Difference between Want and Want To
Since desire is never satisfied, why is our society focused on the thing — rather than the being, doing, and growing into a priceless dynamic creation of value to others?

For more than fifty years, the focus has been on the want — rather than the want to.

In fact, the mantra has been, “I want, what I want, when I want it.”

Ego has become a god unto itself.

The propaganda of appeasing the appetite for careers, houses, and money has dulled our inner sense of fulfillment and happiness.

Let’s take a look at the difference between the want and the want to — of service.

Do we want a career? Or, do we want to grow and teach?

Do we want a fancy house? Or, do we want to provide a sanctuary of love, which protects and nourishes our families?

Do we want money? Or, do we want to enrich the lives of others, until the marketplace returns priceless rewards?

We all know this fact, “Wants are optional.”

There is another universal principle, “Needs can, only, be fulfilled through relationship.”

Go ahead, test the hypothesis.  Think of a pure need — sustenance for your wellbeing — and the discovery is relationship with another will be the solution to a problem. The other will be family, friend, neighbor, community, church, and probably even Nature herself.

It is impossible to satiate desire — because, we want what we don’t have.

Furthermore, the higher Power of the universe refuses to give us what we want.

We attract to ourselves the harvest — of what we deserve — from the seeds we have planted. Like attracts like and we receive more of who we already are — until, we decide to change.

Lack will attract scarcity — Richness will attract abundance.

The ultimate question, then, becomes, “Do we want? Or, do we want to — serve?”

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What Is

The Wind In Our Sails“I am amused that you continue to ask for me to explain — what is not and never was.”

That was my response to an attorney, who wanted me to explain the unexplainable. He had taken a course of action, which transformed the simple into the complex. In fact, the potential exists that he has endangered a Family by encouraging them to, unintentionally, break the law.

How often do we fall into the trap of letting our thoughts and energies be consumed by the not of what is?

In other words, how much of our day is wasted by thinking about what is behind us — or, what is outside of our control? That’s the purest and craziest definition of — what is not and never was.

If we’re standing in the light of what is right, there is absolutely no reason to explain the darkness of another person’s wrong. To do so changes our thinking from, what is — to, what is not.

This is what is:

1.) Law provides order to what otherwise results in chaos. Every structure of dynamic goodness functions within the parameters of principle.

2.) Activities of growth and purpose occur in the Present — moment to moment — because of a thoughtful plan for the Future.

3.) We are Captains of our own Destiny, who sail the seas of the unknown and find our greatest happiness in the Journey of enriching the lives we touch.

That’s plenty to keep us busy.

Understanding the core principles of right and wrong is one thing. Living a life of principle is another. Sometimes, we do what we know not and, then, forget to do what we know. Eventually, we sync knowledge with action, to discover a higher dimension — of thought and being.

Focusing our attention on one thing at a time can best be remembered with this mantra — “Whatever our hands find to do, let’s do it with our might.” And — if those efforts are constant and consistent with a purposeful plan, the result will be a reality of our dreams.

Believing in a future beyond our imaginations unshackles us from the safe harbor of what is known. In fact, belief in a Higher Power becomes the wind in our sails. As with all destinations, Ports of Call come and go. What endures, forever, are the impressions made on the souls aboard — and, beyond.

Forget about the small minds chained to the chaos of — what is not and never was.

Remember the power of Understanding, Focusing, and Believing in — What Is.

www.kimfoardcpa.com

Perfect Imperfections

Perfect ImperfectionsThink about the person you most admire.

Why do you admire them?

Isn’t it because they are calm, cool, and collected? Nothing seems to bother them. They are like a Rock — waters part and go around them. Regardless of the craziness swirling around the situation, they focus like a Laser on the points of meaning.

And — the point on which our heroes focus — “Play the cards you’re dealt.”

Seldom is there the “perfect” hand of cards. In fact, the greatest “sport” is in playing the less-than-perfect hand. The adrenalin rush from the courage and skill required to navigate uncertainty trumps the monotony of the sure thing, every time.

Why, then, do we judge ourselves to be less than someone else? Maybe, they are pretty. Maybe, they are talented, in one thing. Maybe, they are intimidating, in speech, dress, and mannerisms. Who cares? They are not perfect — and, never will be.

Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

An old farmer lived in a small village with his teenage son. He worked hard in the fields and his meager possessions were limited. The most valuable of his belongings was a work horse, which he used for tilling his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills, seemingly lost forever.

The man’s neighbors visited and sought to sympathize with the old man over his bad luck. “We are sorry for your bad luck,” they would tell him, shaking their heads in sympathy. The farmer, lifting his hands, gently as if balancing a scale, replied softly, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Two days later, the farmer and his son were working in the fields. The sun was slowly creeping behind the hills in the distance. They caught sight of a horse cresting the mound. Their horse had returned with a herd of other wild horses. The son quickly corralled the horses and the neighbors were in awe of the farmer’s good luck. He responded with the same reply as before, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

The next day, the farmer’s son attempted to tame one of the wild horses. As he rode in the corral, he fell off the horse and broke his leg. As you can imagine, this was believed by all the neighbors to be very bad luck. However, the farmer, once again, replied …  “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Several weeks later, the army commanders entered the village seeking every able-bodied youth they could find to fight in the war. As they came to the old farmer’s home, they had no use for a boy with a broken leg. He was dismissed … “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

And — so, it goes. Who knows?

You can — that’s who.

You can know this — LIFE is a journey to be enjoyed, in the moment. Going back is impossible and the future is uncertain. Accept what is and the game becomes more fun.

So — why not — live in the moment, with all of the “imperfections” inherent with it.

Let’s stop whining about everything outside of our control and start smiling about the opportunity to play through.

In the game of golf, there’s the general rule of, “Hit it where it lies.”

Good shot? Bad shot? Who knows?

Swing away!

www.kimfoardcpa.com

Dance of Equals

Dance of EqualsAt first glance, your thought might have been, “How do eagles dance?”

The eagles might have another word for it. Yet, it’s done in their very own little piece of heaven. That’s what I want for us – to soar like eagles, as equals.

To prepare for a launch into the wild blue yonder, here’s the pre-flight checklist of one question:

“Are you able to intellectually engage in a conversation about a future result that is mutually beneficial and willing to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result?”

Is that a tough question? Yes, it is.

In fact, the inherent magic of this thought exercise is that there are only two possible answers: Yes, or No.

Are there tender rewards waiting? Yes, there are.

Eagles will lift off to explore the unknown, while Turkeys continue to peck in the dirt.

If you just made an aerial circle to test your wings, congratulations. For those confused and timid souls happy with the way things have always been, please, stop reading, now – before you become completely offended by the Rest of the Story.

Life is a continual series of choices – Yes, or No – This, or That – Left, or Right, at Oak Street 🙂

Since you’re right here, at the tip of my wing, you understand this Universal Principle. For us to be flying, together, we purposefully chose to leave the ground – Off the ground, or On the ground. Choice is ours.

Within this pattern of absolutes, we are either Growing, or we are Decaying. Comfortable fence-sitting is not an option. You know this – I’m preaching to the choir.

And, that opens the vista of where I want to go with a Partner.

I believe in the Promises made by the One who created the playground of heaven, for us. Even beyond the Future fulfillment, we can enjoy heaven on earth – right here, right now.

“Are you able to intellectually engage in a conversation about a future result that is mutually beneficial and willing to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result?”

A whole new world waits for us — let’s dance!

www.kimfoardcpa.com

One to Five

Five by Five

Let’s start in the middle.

What is the most powerful three letter word in the English language?

YES ran a close second. Yet, it can also be the most dangerous word — if not accompanied by NO.

So, again – standing on its own – what is the most powerful three letter word?

ASK

See how powerful it is? If we need, or want, to know something, we simply ask. By asking, now, you know my opinion.

While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, please, let me share the reason for my belief.

The three letters of ASK are actually an acronym for Ask, Seek, and Knock. If we Ask, we will receive answers. If we Seek, we will find opportunity. If we Knock, doors will swing wide open.

Now, let’s count down, from three, to one.

DO is the most powerful two letter word. In fact, knowing and doing are two entirely different concepts. We can ask to know, which empowers us to act for the benefit of others. Yet, until we do, our knowledge is worthless.

I is the most powerful one letter word. It is the only Individual over which we have absolute control. Beyond our fingertips, any semblance of control ends. For the narcissists among us, this isn’t all about you — there’s the rest of the story.

WORK is the most powerful four letter word. Taking personal responsibility for ourselves is the greatest gift we can offer. Because, only, then, can we share the excess bounty from our efforts with those less fortunate.

SERVE is the most powerful five letter word. Want to be happy? Simply, focus on taking care of the wants and needs of one other person. Want to be, really, happy? Passionately, help enough other people get what they want and we can have everything in life we want.

It Is What It Is —But, It will become what you make It.

I
DO
ASK
WORK
SERVE

From top to bottom, life really is that simple.

By bending a knee in service to all, we will receive everything our heart desires.

www.kimfoardcpa.com

Do the Work

Do the Work

I’m always amused by those, who have done nothing — yet, they presume to know everything.

Evidently, the one thing which has escaped the cauldron of their arrogance and ignorance is an understanding about the Buckets of Knowledge.

Bucket 1 — Those things we know that we know.

Bucket 2 — Those things we know that we don’t know.

Bucket 3 — Those things we don’t know that we don’t know.

If we’re totally honest with ourselves, there’s a little bit of “ac-knowledge-ment” about what’s in Buckets 1 and 2. We’re clueless about that big Bucket 3.

Simply, “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

A closed mind is a dangerous thing to encounter. The dark, swampy, stewed mixture of arrogance and ignorance emits a stench from which to flee.

All we do begins with a thought.

Until we choose to believe that we have much to learn, actual learning is impossible.

After adopting new thoughts, we must embrace a new habit,

Say what we are going to Do and Do what we Say.

Since we learn by doing and the fun is in the doing, let’s have fun learning, together.

In fact, if our minds wander back to the regrets of the Past, or if they race ahead to the anxieties of the Future, we can calm them by focusing on the task “at hand” in this Present moment.

Yes — simply, by putting our hands into doing something, our minds engage in helping our hands be successful in this new adventure. Any “mistakes” are simply acknowledged as measurements on this Journey of Progress.

From the Sage of the Ages,

Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all of your strength.

From the One of the Word,

My Father is always working — and, so am I.

By doing the work, we learn. We are also humbled — to be honored — in more fully understanding how little we know.

At that moment, we join true Leaders in the chorus,

What you learn — after you’ve learned it all — counts most of all.

In other words, let’s forget about the Buckets of Knowledge and open our minds to learning, more — by doing the work.

www.kimfoardcpa.com

Peace of Mind

Peace of MindThis narrative is quite different from the experience of hearing an antagonist exclaim, “Let me give you a piece of my mind!”

In fact, this is the greatest gift we can give ourselves – peace of mind.

The funny thing about this gift is that it comes as a result of what we don’t think about.

If our thoughts are about the Past, we’ll find regrets there. If we let our minds sneak into the Future, we’ll meet anxiety of the unknown. Right here, right now – in the Present – it’s great to be alive.

If someone asks us to not think about pink elephants, what do we do? We think about pink elephants. So, let’s eliminate the negatives. We can, simply, remove the word “not” and its contractions from our vocabulary.

Mother Nature hates a vacuum. Plant good seeds or weeds will grow. We remove the habit of dwelling on the regrets of the Past and stressing about the anxieties of the Future, by focusing on the Present.

Mindfulness is the fancy term for living in the moment.

Seems kind of silly to, even, state the obvious – in the blink of an eye, this moment will be history and there are no guarantees that we will take the next breath.

There is a guarantee, though, that we can enjoy each and every moment, if we embrace a Code.

Say what?! You know, in the words of John Wayne, “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.”

Whatever the Code, it keeps us focused on living up to those standards. Every thought, every decision, and every action is measured against the Code. Our mind is fully engaged, in each and every moment, to living in the Present.

Since our minds are optimized to remember Three, here are three examples of Codes important to these individuals:

Code of the West (James P. Owen)

1. Live each day with courage.
2. Take pride in your work.
3. Always finish what you start.
4. Do what has to be done.
5. Be tough, but fair.
6. When you make a promise, keep it.
7. Ride for the brand.
8. Talk less and say more.
9. Remember that some things aren’t for sale.
10. Know where to draw the line.

Two Sets of Three (John Wooden)

1. Never lie.
2. Never cheat.
3. Never steal.

1. Don’t whine.
2. Don’t complain.
3. Don’t make excuses.

Decisions for Success (Andy Andrews)

1. The buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future.
2. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others.
3. I am a person of action. I seize this moment. I choose now.
4. I have a decided heart. My destiny is assured.
5. Today I will choose to be happy. I am the possessor of a grateful spirit.
6. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive myself.
7. I will persist without exception. I am a person of great faith.

We can admire the Codes, above, for their inherent qualities of character. Yet, knowing something and doing it are two, very, different engagements. To move from understanding to belief requires insight – literally, a look inside of who we are, individually, and all alone.

A daily practice of the ABC’s (Attitude, Boundaries, and Commitment) can enlighten, empower, and encourage each of us to develop and implement our own, personal, Code.

Attitude ~ Which attributes of Character are most important to me?

All we do begins with a thought. To build, we need a blueprint – a plan – to guide our actions. A positive approach to each step will result in positive creations.

Boundaries ~ How can I ensure dynamic Communication?

As soon as we define who we are and what we believe, our friends will encourage and our enemies will challenge. “Yes, please.” and “No, thanks.” are effective gatekeepers.

Commitment ~ What is the passion at the core of my Commitments?

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. Heaven on earth is possible, if we are determined to take the next step, forward.

By choosing a mindfulness to live with purpose and create a legacy built on a foundation of principle, the result is goodness for all and peace of mind for each one of us.

www.kimfoardcpa.com

People Over Process

People over Process

Do you want to be a star? Someone who is a sparkling speck of celebrity? Someone who can tip off the stage and be swept around the arena on the hands of raving fans?

Here’s the secret: Always, keep People over Process.

Think about it. Process is created for efficiency. People are created for growth. As soon as an individual grows, the process no longer fits the occasion. The rules must change to reflect the new person.

POP: How many definitions come to mind? A father figure is a POP. There’s snap, crackle, and POP. Maybe it’s the sound at the beginning of a race. Or, it might be the crack of a whip. Sweet to the taste is a soda. Pick your favorite, to remember, People over Process.

How do we build relationships with People? Let’s use just a little bit of Process to break down the word and discover the steps up to the stage of becoming a bonafide PEOPLE star.

Present ~ Be present. When given the opportunity of another person, be with them.

Enlighten ~ Think light. Be bright, lead the way, and most importantly, give warmth.

Open ~ Be vulnerable. Put a little skin in the game and get prepared to be bruised.

Powerful ~ Offer the very best in sacrifice of time and resources for the benefit of others.

Listen ~ Stories are the channels to deeply connect and experience the flow of a soul.

Enjoy ~ The talk and walk are less important than the music and dance. Feel it!

Now, the final question, “Do we need a stage on which to perform?”

Yes, and No.

No, in the sense, that we hone our gift in the garages and basements of life. We work diligently with a select few, out of sight and out of mind, until our talent is ready for presentation to the whole wide world.

Yes, in the sense, that we must be visible to offer our best to the most. We climb high to project our songs to many. Guaranteed – by choice, or fate – each of us will, eventually, tip off of that stage.

And — when we do, we will know whether we have kept People over Process.

There will be the POP of a body hitting the ground, or the POP of fingers keeping time to the chorus of voices from adoring fans, as we are carried in loving arms to a place of safety.

www.kimfoardcpa.com