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.

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

Emotion Follows Motion

Emotion Follows MotionSo … there you are, wanting to feel in love, and wondering why Prince Charming is not riding in to sweep you off your feet.

For the faint of heart, stop reading, now. For the tough and tender, brace yourself and be prepared to laugh, with me.

First of all, that Prince Charming fellow is a caricature of Fairy Tales. The script is way too predictable: He gallops in on a white steed to save Damsels in distress. Now, really! Are you in distress and in need of saving?

Furthermore, pedestals and ivory towers are dangerous. Those perched high above the common folk were placed there by someone, are useless while up there, and, without help to get down, are stranded. Now, really! Does that sound like fun?

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

Since I grew up in a sea of cowhides, that Prince fellow will need to tighten his cinch. While he continues the dysfunction of slaying Pet Dragons, I practice the Three-E Formula to Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage.

Enlighten ~ If you’re happy in a rut, which is simply a grave with the ends kicked out, I will frustrate the heck out of you. Since we don’t know what we don’t know, I’m constantly asking, “Why?” and, then, “Why, not?!”

Empower ~ If you’re happy being a victim, I will unceasingly tease you. The world is what we make of it; if it doesn’t fit, make alterations. By learning from the stories and experiences of others, I believe in building dreams into reality.

Encourage ~ If you’re happy taking without giving, I will show no mercy. Serving is the foundation on which all other noble traits of character are displayed. Character matters. Doing the right thing can be made easier by the catalyst of a kind word.

Speaking of which, these are the attributes of the Love that I want us to feel: Kindness, Patience, Honesty, Protection, Trust, Hope, and Perseverance. As we DO each of these, we BECOME kind, patient, truthful, courageous, vulnerable, optimistic, and willful in our desire to share Love.

Love begins with Motion and ends in Emotion.

www.kimfoard.com

Take the Next Step

Take the Next Step

How many metaphors are there, for Life?

Life is a journey.
Life is a dance.
Life is like riding a bike.

Yes, and, many, many more. Yet, these three offer food for thought. Each of them involve choice and movement.

Pedal, or tip over.
Shift balance, or fall down.
Take the next step, or stay stuck.

In other words, the mantra for successful living is, “Up to, and through.”

Yep. The secret is to step right up to the edge of fear and push through to the other side. Oh, does that ever feel so, very, good! And, then, if we bask in the glory too long, regrets of the Past and anxieties of the Future sneak up on us.

This is the magic elixir to replace fear with courage.

Take ~

Life is what we make of it. Grab the bull by the horns and the tiger by the tail. Hop aboard the carousel and reach for the brass ring. The best way to receive all we want and need is to take the time to serve the wants and needs of others.

The ~

This is it folks. This moment will never happen, again. Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive. Those who hesitate are lost. The early bird gets the worm. The victory goes to the quick. There is no time like the Present.

Next ~

Forget the Past. It’s gone. Ignore the Future. It will be there patiently waiting. Ask any bull rider their secret and you’ll hear, “I just ride ‘em jump for jump.” Their mind is centered on that one jump, which follows the last and comes right before the next.

Step ~

Action is the catalyst to move from Here to There. Increase the action and results increase, too. For every cause, there is an effect. Want warmth? Throw wood on the fire. Want friends? Act friendly. Want to be happy? Smile.

At some point in the journey of life, many of us have been guilty of wanting to arrive. You know, “Set a goal, work hard, get there, and, then, desire to camp out, rest, coast, play, and otherwise goof off.” Then IT happens, regrets of the Past and anxieties of the Future sneak up on us.

Or, there are those who can’t make up their mind. They take forever to make a decision and, then, are quick to change direction. Whatever direction the wind is blowing, they drift with it. In contrast, are the achievers, who are quick to decide and slow to change course.

In setting a course, peaks trump plateaus. To reach any peak requires a climb from the valley below. The view from the top is an opportunity to see higher vistas. Then, down we go, coasting into another valley, to begin the ascent to higher levels of accomplishment.

Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

Let’s boldly take the next step.

www.kimfoard.com

Able and Willing

Able and Willing

We want what we don’t have.

If we have it, we don’t want it.

Granted, there are a few individuals, who purport that they have risen to a higher level of existence, by not wanting anything. They claim to be perfectly happy with nothing.

Making the best of whatever the situation, in which we find ourselves, is different than doing nothing. Those who do nothing are stuck in a rut, regardless of the rationalization for their inactivity.

To lead ourselves and others to higher levels of awareness and success, we must grow.

We grow and become of greater value in service only as much as we choose.

Each and every day, each and every decision, our choices are determined by the answers to these two questions:

  • Can I do IT?
  • Is IT worth it?

In other words:

  • Am I Able?
  • Am I Willing?

Am I Able ~

All we do begins with a thought. Change nothing and nothing changes. The easiest thing in the world is to find reasons why something can’t be done, which results in no leadership and no growth. Simply, by believing IT can be done, our minds begin finding ways to achieve.

Am I Willing ~

Where there’s a will, there is a way. Our willingness is governed by two raw emotions: Pain and Pleasure. Given enough pain, our will becomes stronger. Offered enough pleasure, our will finds a way. The beauty of will is that IT resides within our sphere of influence.

A mind changed against its will,
Will be of the same opinion still.

How do we persuade our minds to choose the greater motivator of pleasure?

One way is to tempt it with Riches. The better way is to feed it with Purpose.

Oh, I know, that money trick is a quick-and-dirty way to get our attention. To hold it, though, requires the intrinsic higher rewards, which originate from doing the right thing.

Sometimes, we know what that Right Thing is. Other times, we struggle to DO IT, right. That’s when we remember the Three-E Formula: Enlightenment, Empowerment, and Encouragement.

Enlightenment is the catalyst for believing we can do IT.

Empowerment is the motivation for choosing to do IT.

And – from time to time – our confidence is bolstered by the Encouragement, of family and friends, to be Able and Willing.

www.kimfoard.com

Family Center

Family CenterI was headed downtown to enjoy a little lunch, when one small sign on a large, windowless, commercial, brick building, stopped me in my tracks:

Center for Children and Families.

Really?!

In the olden days, that was affectionately known as a Home.

Much more than brick and mortar, love was nurtured there. Around the kitchen table, enjoyment was discovered in meals, games, and conversation. Within the sanctuary of that home, dynamic relationships flourished.

There has been a multi-generational attack on home and family.

Love grows in small homes, not McMansion laboratories.

Lessons spring to life in creative homes, not Propaganda mills.

There is a solution to the dysfunction of a society hammering square pegs into round holes.

How ‘bout we encourage men to engage in their hard-wired desire to provide and women to benefit from that purpose? The expression “barefoot and pregnant” is the jaded attack on a truly liberated woman. From the comfort and warmth of home, she enjoys the freedom to pamper her family.

Pampering is a multifaceted activity. It is not a one-way street of service to others. It is, also, the ability to bask in the purposefully provided time and resources, made available for growth and development, as decided by each woman.

Just let a man come home to the rejuvenation of that loving family environment and his life becomes one of purpose. For the benefit of his family, he is focused on becoming the best dragon-slayer, ever. As a result, the marketplace benefits from his commitment to serve.

By serving all in his sphere of influence, a man with purpose achieves a high level of success in every arena. The rewards of his effort are the resources which will provide opportunity for his family. The circle is complete, as he steps across the threshold into the loving arms anticipating his return home.

That’s the reality.

Home is the center of Children and Families.

Any other building making that claim is, simply, a Counterfeit. Yet, we know the building, itself, did not attach a sign of proclamation; an individual did. With pure intent, that individual, their compatriots, and those many Taxpayers providing the resources, are doing the next best thing.

The best thing for you, me, and all of our families, is for men and women to make every sacrifice to establish real Homes, not centers, for Children and Families.

www.kimfoard.com

Authentic Hero

Authentic HeroFrom time in memorial, humans have been in search of a Super Hero.

You know: That omnipotent character, who can answer every question; the mighty one, who can save the day and those weaker souls among us. (Heck, even we tough guys welcome a little time off from the daily struggles.)

In a political season, there are at least a couple of candidates proclaiming to be the solution to every problem. Flip a coin, pick the winner, and what you have is an individual just like you, and me, and a few billion other people: just, another regular person.

If there are no, real-life, Super Heroes, what are we to do? Give up? Tremble in fear? Trudge through each day with resignation and despair?

The simple answer is, “No.”

You, my friend, have everything required to be an Authentic Hero. Authentic trumps Super every time, because Super is a figment of the imagination, while Authentic is the heart and soul of greatness.

Okay, I realize some are reluctant to believe. So, let’s start with the undeniable. A comes before S in the English alphabet. Unless you’re the lead dog, the view never changes. Let’s take a look at what makes an Authentic Hero.

They are big believers in the KISS Principle: Keep It Simple Sweetheart. As a result, the character attributes of the Authentic Hero are: Desire, Humility, and Courage.

Desire

Authentic Heroes have The-Want-To. They know that all we do begins with a thought. By guarding their hearts, positive thoughts are captured and nurtured into plans of action. With diligent preparation, those plans — one at a time — are implemented with precision.

Humility

Authentic Heroes, on bended knee, seek engagement to build mutually beneficial relationships. Theirs is an attitude of service for the greater good of all. They know that the joy of life is discovered in the Doing. Their purpose is to Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage.

Courage

Authentic Heroes accept the creed that there is no greater love than to give their life, so others might live more abundantly. They boldly face each day, knowing full well mistakes will be made. Criticism is accepted as a badge of honor for the lessons learned.

Long after the Super narrative of the narcissist is forgotten, the life of the hero offered in Authentic sacrifice will be remembered, forever.

www.kimfoard.com

Leadership

Money does not a leadership problem fix.

In fact, a problem is simply an opportunity in disguise.

We grow — when confronted with the impossible. It is that defining moment of decision. Many will quit. A few will do what others say can’t be done.

Leaders will accomplish what has never been attempted, before.

Those who do are the leaders among us. Those who talk are not necessarily the followers. Talk is cheap and those who blather, generally, complain about all of their problems. Unknowingly and unwittingly, they are complaining about themselves.

For the entirety of human existence, accumulation of wealth has been the measure of empires. The Golden Rule has been disenfranchised into a barbaric slogan, “Those who have the Gold make the Rules.”

Rules and regulations do not an Empire make. In fact, Empires come and go — because, their leaders abdicate the responsibility to set an example. We, the People, learn by doing.

Leadership is not a cult-like mission of forcing others into compliance. Leadership is a deep-felt passion of guiding everyone to the best individual choices.

Say what?! Doesn’t a leader, by default, need followers?

For a moment, forget about following and let’s focus on leading. Leaders believe in the power of one. They understand life is best experienced from the inside, out. They are true to themselves, by constantly improving the character at their core.

Leaders make absolutely sure they have much to give. What they offer to the whole wide world is the Three-E Formula to Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage.

Enlighten

We don’t know what we don’t know. Leaders share the best of what they have learned with all who are accepting. The story of their journey is the inspiration for broadened horizons and myriad options of choice. Leaders communicate the saga and color that vision of abundance with broad strokes and vivid detail.

Empower

Knowing what to do and doing it are two, entirely, different things. Leaders offer the tools to build something special. We all want and need something different. Leaders are the ultimate teachers through explanation and demonstration, then asking for imitation, offering correction, and expecting repetition.

Encourage

The best teachers have humbly learned from the School of Hard Knocks. They can share many lessons learned the hard way and know, for an absolute fact, their Students need a few of the same experiences. Leaders patiently wait for new lessons to be learned, all the while supporting that effort.

True leaders always have a following. Hundreds, maybe even many thousands, are watching the silent example of their heroes. Actions speak so much louder than words. A life of character, generously offered to others — through consistent choices to build mutually beneficial dynamic relationships — is the legacy of leaders.

The choice is free, for us to make.

The results are priceless, for future generations.

Let’s accept the challenge of leadership.

www.kimfoard.com