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

Conversations

We all love to talk.

Yes; some more than others.

The expressions of our thoughts, opinions, and stories give definition to who we are.

More than that, by expression, we fully feel our existence and a desire to share that aliveness.

Acknowledging the value of every conversation, there are only two types:

Conversation without Price is a social exchange.

Conversation with Price is an introduction to dynamic results.

Every syllable, sentence, and paragraph of personal conversations is of benefit in acknowledging the value of two individuals: the Talker and the Listener. Since communication is what the listener does, the social exchange works best with feedback. The listener becomes the talker and returns a volley of thought.

All we do begins with a thought.

What is required to transform thoughts into actions?

Answer: Price.

There are only two elements of any contract: Mutual Assent and Consideration. In other words, there must be an Agreement about Price.

What’s the difference between Cost and Price?

We’ve all heard of “Opportunity Cost.” I propose that we take a look at the other side of the coin, which is “Actionable Price.”

It is true; we are encouraged to “count the cost” before we begin. Otherwise, we begin things without finishing them. We, then, become the objects of ridicule for the sidewalk superintendents.

It’s one thing to avoid failure. It’s quite another to pursue success.

Costs are the inputs, the disposables, and the everyday consumption of resources. For example: utility expenditures to keep our homes comfortable. Price is the investment in a long-term benefit, which is either tangible, or intangible. For example: the asset of our homes; or, our educations, experiences, and relationships.

We can suffer Costs by passively doing, absolutely, nothing. In fact, opportunities can come and go, inflicting a heavy cost on body and soul. Or, we can run around in circles, with our hair on fire, billowing black smoke, and incurring tremendous amounts of expense, with absolutely nothing to show for the effort.

On the other side of the coin is the Price we pay for every action. By choosing this, we forgo that (all of that, every other option). Over time, the Price of our choices represents the investment we have made in ourselves and what is important to us. It is the value representation of every brick in the structure of who we are.

Whether simple cabin, or splendid mansion, we are the result of every choice we, individually, have made.

All we do begins with a thought.

Now, when sharing our thoughts with others in conversation, remember:

Conversation without Price is a social exchange.

Conversation with Price is an introduction to dynamic results.

We can banter to our hearts content. To accomplish the desires of our hearts, we must always consider the Price and offer it for Acceptance.

Then, we can expect mutually beneficial dynamic results. The catalyst for committed and disciplined actions are the two elements of mutual assent and consideration; an Agreement about Price.

Let the conversations begin!

www.kimfoard.com

To Be

To BeWhat do you say to the person struggling with the question, “To Be; or, Not To Be?”

The dark side of the human condition is eloquently captured by William Shakespeare in the Hamlet Soliloquy: “slings and arrows of an unbearable situation, sea of troubles, heartaches, thousand natural miseries, whips and scorns of time, offences of tyrants, contempt of proud men, pain of rejected love, insolence of officious authority, and the advantage that the worst people take of the best.”

I propose that we accept the darkness as necessary for us to fully appreciate the light.

Rather than fear the unknown of death, let’s celebrate life. Rather than “sweating and grunting under the burden of a weary life” as cowards trapped in paralysis by analysis, let’s consider what is necessary to enjoy rich, full, vibrant, meaningful lives.

Although unique in our melodies and verse, we share a common chorus. The best part of life comes after an event of near death. Each story will be different; yet, we will all, eventually, experience the realization, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

It is a defining Scene in the Act of Life.

By choosing life, we turn our back on the darkness of defeat. We set our mind to living.

These are the Seven Secret Serenades:

1.) Everyone is responsible for their own happiness.

By accepting that we are responsible for choosing our individual happiness, we acknowledge the same for everyone, else. In other words, it is not our responsibility to make and keep happy, or otherwise entertain, anyone. By offering the best of who we are to another, we have fulfilled the letter and spirit of this universal law!

2.) We must be true to ourselves.

As a unique, one-of-a-kind, original image, it is just plain silly to think that it is right to copy any other person. It is one thing to be open to advice and wise counsel; it is something entirely different to let our decisions be influenced by the opinions of others. We get what we allow; and, we teach others how to treat us!

3.) Live in the Present moment.

We can eliminate from our mind regrets of the Past and worries about the Future, by focusing all of our senses on this moment. Really see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the Right Here Right Now to experience a delightful gift. It is either a pleasurable moment to be savored; or, the valley of opportunity to climb another mountain!

4.) Accept what is.

Everything happens for a reason. At a minimum, in every situation, the reason is to remind us of our freewill. We get to choose how we respond: Resignation and Despair; or, Fascination and Curiosity. Stress is caused by the dissonance between what we want and what is. Acceptance wraps our arms around what is possible!

5.) Be a conduit for goodness.

What goes around comes around. Happiness is guaranteed by: Loving and being loved; Purposeful work; and, Anticipation of an event. These three components are within our control. By choosing to share with others, we become a vessel for delivering value. Flowing through us for the benefit of others are our gifts!

6.) Focus on the distant horizon.

Straightened shoulders, lifted views, and deep breaths facilitate our ability to keep things in perspective. Dizziness, and other forms of queasiness, can be mollified by taking a bigger, longer, and broader view of the situation. When faced with the impossible and insurmountable, remember, “This, too, shall pass!”

7.) Think about opportunities and possibilities.

All we do begins with a thought. Imagine where you want to be. Now, look back from that magnificent place to where you are. Can you see the steps from here to there? Sure you can. Whether you think you can, or can’t, you’re right. Right now, the journey begins for each of us To Do what we can and To Be who we are!

www.kimfoard.com

Offer & Acceptance

Offer & Acceptance

A friend remarked, “Ninety-plus percent of intimate personal relationships are based on nothing more than business transactions.”

At the time, I found her comment distasteful. Since then, I have taken off the rose-colored glasses and actually seen how couples behave in their relationships. Increasingly, I have noticed more of the quid pro quo inherent within what many fantasize to be a loving relationship.

As I listen closely to their words, the intent of their heart is expressed, “Yes, he is the leader of our family, because I say so.”

What?!

Recently, I have been able to weave the last few years of observation into a theorem, which proves my friend wrong in prognosis. The vast majority of personal relationships aren’t based on business principles. In fact, they don’t, even, rise to that level of common courtesies.

For those desirous of building dynamic relationships, consider this:

Give our Best
Pause to Rest

Guaranteed, this article is multifaceted. It will thoroughly thrill and consciously chill, you, with a wonderful blend of logic and emotion.

From the annals of history comes an accepted parable of wisdom, “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?”

The simple answer is: No.

By default, then, for two people to walk together, or do anything together, they must be in agreement.

The de minimis requirement for a valid business contract is agreement.

Contract law is based on the principle expressed in the Latin phrase pacta sunt servanda, which is usually translated “agreements to be kept” but more literally means “pacts must be kept”.

As a means of economic ordering, contract relies on the notion of consensual exchange and has been extensively discussed in broader economic, sociological, and anthropological terms. In American English, the term extends beyond the legal meaning to encompass a broader category of agreements.

Common Law jurisdictions recognize a high degree of freedom to contract, with the parties largely at liberty to set their own terms. In other words: Freedom of will to choose what is right for the individual. There is, only, one person who knows what that is: the individual.

The elements of a contract are mutual assent and consideration.

Mutual Assent

Mutual assent is typically reached through offer and acceptance; in other words, when an offer is met with an acceptance that is unqualified and does not change any of the terms. The result is a concurrence of wills or ad idem (meeting of the minds).

Consideration

Consideration is something of value given by a promissor to a promisee in exchange for something of value given by a promisee to a promissor. Typically, the thing of value is an act, or a forbearance to act when one is privileged to do so. The purpose of consideration is to ensure that there is a present bargain, that the promises of the parties are reciprocally induced.

In most systems of law, parties have freedom to choose whether or not they wish to enter into a contract, absent superseding duties. In American law, one early case exemplifying this proposition is Hurley v. Eddingfield (1901), in which the Supreme Court of Indiana ruled in favor of a physician who voluntarily decided not to help a patient whom the physician had treated on past occasions, despite the lack of other available medical assistance and the patient’s subsequent death.

Such a simple concept: Freedom to Choose.

We think nothing of claiming the right for ourselves. Do we graciously extend the same right to others? Or, do we make an offer and accept it for them? Laughable?!

Consider the last time you did something nice for another person and they rejected it. What was your reaction? Offended? Thinking, “How dare they?!” Here is the issue: Your definition of nice may not be the same as theirs.

The root of dysfunction in any relationship is the bad belief that we know what is best for another person. It is Our Bad to believe another person could, should, would (all of the ‘ould words denote an aura of judgment) accept what we are offering. That belief is bad, not the individual who says, “No, thanks.”

Give our Best
Pause to Rest

Let’s take a look at the ABC’s of building dynamic relationships.

Attitude

The foundation for success is an attitude of service to others.

Offer to fulfill a need, satisfy a desire, or fix a problem and a relationship is possible. This initial effort to give value begins the circular motion for acceptance to be received.

The sphere of benefit and influence will grow relative to the effectiveness of our communication. Crystal clear transmissions, static free receptions and a dedicated channel of feedback produce a synergy of unlimited potential.

Knowledge, wisdom and understanding are required as a prerequisite to valuable exchanges. We learn, grow and dream by focusing on Facts of the Past, Choices in the Present, and Vision for the Future.

Purpose in life is discovered by acknowledging a power greater than ourselves; delivery of value is possible by being a conduit for timeless and priceless gifts.

The greatest gift is a chosen, purposeful effort, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth and the growth of others!

Boundaries

The walls of success are plumb and square because of a clear definition of ourselves and an understanding of others.

Until we clearly define and communicate what we want for the present and future, it is futile and even dangerous to pursue long-term relationships. Our individual commitment to a course of action is necessary before others can offer to help.

Definitive expectations allow another individual to make a judgment for themselves if they are able and willing to be a complement. We each have the right to say no to anyone, anytime, anyplace and for any reason.

Respect is only possible with clearly defined boundaries. The sovereignty of a country is defined by its border. As individuals, we are citizens of one.

Self-respect is everything that goes on within our boundaries. Respect for others happens at the border and according to mutually acceptable customs.

Profitable interactions occur through doors of opportunity that swing on the hinges of “No, thanks.” and “Yes, please!”

Commitment

The crowning glory of success is the courage to always do the right thing.

Until one is committed
There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,
Always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
There is one elementary truth,
The ignorance of which kills countless ideas
And splendid plans:
That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
Then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
That would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision
Raising in one’s favor all manner
Of unforeseen incidents and meetings
And material assistance,
Which no person could have dreamt
Would have come their way.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

In the great state of Montana, we have an expression and tradition: “Good fences make for good neighbors.”

Those fences mark the boundary edges of ownership. They are the fine lines of distinction between what is mine and what is yours.

Now, consider the title of this article: Offer & Acceptance.

That little “&” sign is the difference between a healthy, vibrant, dynamic relationship and one that is dysfunctional. It is representative of a Montana fence and the fine lines we walk in life.

On the one side is my right to Offer; on the other is your right to Accept, or not. Depending on what I’m offering, your answer will be, either: “No, thanks.” Or, “Yes, please!”

One, or the other. Moment by moment; step by step; offer by acceptance: we choose to walk together, or not. One is not better than the other. What is important, though, is that we have an honest relationship.

Two mature individuals deciding what is best for ourselves, communicating that boldly and clearly, while mutually giving our best, and the freedom to choose, to our partner.

Give our Best
Pause to Rest

www.kimfoard.com