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

Vowels of Leadership

Vowels of LeadershipWhat rowels are to spurs
— vowels are to words.

They are the jingle of rhythm
— and, points of meaning.

On a road trip when the kids were young, my son responded in exasperation to the parental coaching with his comment “Today, I want to be my own boss!”

To be successful in that desire, he became a leader of one and, eventually, many more. So must we.

Attitude

All we do begins with a thought. Whether we think we can, or can’t, we’re right. The secret is not to wear rose-colored glasses. It is to wrap our arms around the reality of what Is and, then, choose to make the best of It.

Example

Our actions speak so much louder than what we say. Words might motivate. Deeds inspire. For the naysayers who claim it can’t be done, the debate is easily won, by doing It. Courage is defined as, always, doing the right thing.

Inquisitive

Fascination and Curiosity have discovered more new frontiers than Resignation and Despair. Asking “Why?” prompts others to answer our questions. When the answers stop is where the fun really begins!

Original

Unless you’re lead dog the view never changes. Authenticity in Thought, Word, Deed, Habit, and Character, is where we discover our Destiny. We only get one chance to make a good first impression. To blaze new trails, we must push past the fear of the unknown.

Understanding

All of the Logic in the world is of little value without an equal measure of Emotion. Beyond the basic education and experience of Knowledge and Wisdom, is Understanding. It is much more powerful than empathy, because it wants to fathom the deepest part of another person.

Add in the Consonants from the many other facets of leadership and the world changes. First, we change — then, others change in response to the new person we have become. The ripple effect improves our lives and all whom we touch.

Good, better, best.
Never let us rest;
Until our good is better,
And, our better, best!

www.kimfoard.com

School of Thought

Creative BrainAsking the right Question is much more important than having all of the right Answers.

At one time in the recent past, the Question: “What is found at the end of freight trains?” was deserving of the Answer: “Caboose”.

For one generation, that fond memory is now an antique safely archived in Railroad museums.

For our current, high-tech, digital generation, the Text message of curiosity to their friends to ask for an explanation might be in the form of “Cab—what???”

Question: Why, then, do our formal programs of education test for a finite answer to a limited set of questions?

Answer: It is big business to sell the dysfunctional idea that one person has the answer to another’s question.

As a result, we have several generations of gifted and talented individuals waiting to receive guidance for their lives from a clueless academia. No one has the right answers for anyone, else. At best, our educators might be brave enough to explore what is right for one person, themselves.

It is the height of arrogance for anyone to believe they have all of the answers. The most important facets of life cannot be explained by mere mortals. The answers discovered, today, for yesterday’s questions are guaranteed to be wrong for the new opportunities of tomorrow.

Since we learn by doing and the fun is in the doing, let’s focus on having fun as we learn. The journey to the choice of our individual destinations begins, right here, right now.

In fact, the secret to asking Questions is inherent in the discipline to practice the ABC‘s.

Attitude:  Whether we think we can, or can’t, we’re right. As a creative genius with an 8th Grade formal education, my Dad believed: “If a man made it, I can fix it.” And, he did. Time, after time, he accomplished the impossible.

Boundaries: Those are the fine lines defining our growth, to date. They are the demarcation between where we end and another begins. Self-respect runs unabated within; Respect is generously offered to those without. Mutually beneficial transactions occur at the border.

Commitment: Choosing one and foregoing all others is the first step to moving forward. Forsaking the un-chosen focuses all energy on the, one, most important, choice. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

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In our human condition, we will make MISTAKEs. This is the ultimate Question: aM I Seeking To Ask (and) Knock Effectively? Intelligent people are always ready to learn; their ears are open for Knowledge. To acquire Wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish Understanding will prosper.

Life is simply an exercise in practice techniques: Amateurs practice until they get it right; Masters practice until they can’t get it wrong.

All we do begins with a, creative, thought!

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

All We Do

ThoughtWhether we think we can, or think we can’t, we’re right.

All we do begins with a thought.

How powerful is a thought? A negative thought can bind a mind and body in ways superior to physical restraints. A positive thought can be the catalyst to propel beyond the physical into realms beyond the wildest imaginations!

At some time in our life, we have all walked into a closed door. Maybe, it was as a youngster learning about patio and screen doors. Maybe, it was in the middle of the night in navigation to the bathroom. Remember the combination of logic and feeling rushing from the experience?  Oh, wow!  That hurt.

Now, think of your last encounter with a closed mind. Same deal, right?!

If a person has arrived at their beliefs in an objective journey of discovery to discern what is best for them as an individual, that closed mind can be respected, as an honest container of beliefs. If a person has been manipulated into a belief system for the benefit of someone else, that closed mind is a danger to the individual, and others.

Let’s take a quick look at Belief Systems and Mind Control.

Why Bad Beliefs Don’t Die

Because senses and beliefs are both tools for survival, our brain considers them to be separate but equally important purveyors of survival information. The loss of either one endangers us. Without our senses we could not know about the world within our perceptual realm. Without our beliefs we could not know about the world outside our senses or about meanings, reasons, or causes.

This means that beliefs are designed to operate independent of sensory data. In fact, the whole survival value of beliefs is based on their ability to persist in the face of contradictory evidence. Beliefs are not supposed to change easily or simply in response to disconfirming evidence. If they did, they would be virtually useless as tools for survival.

As far as our brain is concerned, there is absolutely no need for data and belief to agree. They are designed to be able to disagree.

When data and belief come into conflict, the brain does not automatically give preference to data. This is why beliefs – even bad beliefs, irrational beliefs, silly beliefs, or crazy beliefs – often don’t die in the face of contradictory evidence. The brain doesn’t care whether or not the belief matches the data. It cares whether the belief is helpful for survival. Period.

Coercive Persuasion Programs

Coercion is defined as, “to restrain or constrain by force…” Legally it often implies the use of PHYSICAL FORCE or physical or legal threat. This traditional concept of coercion is far better understood than the technological concepts of “coercive persuasion” which are effective restraining, impairing, or compelling through the gradual application of PSYCHOLOGICAL FORCES.

The advances in the extreme anxiety and emotional stress production technologies found in coercive persuasion supersede old style coercion that focuses on pain, torture, drugs, or threat in that these older systems do not change attitude so that subjects follow orders “willingly.” Coercive persuasion changes both attitude AND behavior, not JUST behavior.

Programs have in common the elements of attempting to greatly modify a person’s self-concept, perceptions of reality, and interpersonal relations. When successful in inducing these changes, coercive thought reform programs also, among other things, create the potential forces necessary for exercising undue influence over a person’s independent decision-making ability.

Coercive persuasion programs are effective because individuals experiencing the deliberately planned severe stresses they generate can only reduce the pressures by accepting the system or adopting the behaviors being promulgated by the purveyors of the coercion program. The relationship between the person and the coercive persuasion tactics are DYNAMIC in that while the force of the pressures, rewards, and punishments brought to bear on the person are considerable, they do not lead to a stable, meaningfully SELF-CHOSEN reorganization of beliefs or attitudes.

Relationships come in a myriad of forms: one-on-one with another person, individual with group, spouse with spouse, and child with parent. While each combination will have unique dynamics, there are universal themes inherent to all relationships. The factors at work to mold the minds of cult members are similar to those used by men to control their wives, women to change their husbands, and parents to alienate children.

When there is a combination of Bad Beliefs and Coercive Persuasion at work in minds, the result is: FEAR and WAIT.

False
Expectations
Appearing
Real

Wielding
An
Intrinsic
Terror

In other words, Paralysis by Analysis based entirely on Lies!

While giving full consideration to the principles: Patience is a virtue and Discretion is the better part of valor, I suggest we examine the foundation of our beliefs and muster the courage to take bold steps, forward.

Are YOU afraid to make mistakes?

The “whiners” of the world are the only ones who have never made a mistake. Just listen to them. In their minds and statements, they assure themselves and everyone else that they have done everything perfectly. If, only, the world had agreed with them, placated them, understood them, and otherwise given into (and, given more to) them, they could be recognized for the Saints they believe themselves to be.

On the other hand, the truly successful men and women of the world have made many mistakes, learned from them, and grown into leaders of industry, and builders of relationships.

Are YOU, still, reluctant to change?

Consider this: We go where we look.

There’s a story about a stretch of Interstate highway in Kansas. It is straight as an arrow across the flat land of farms on either side. In the wintertime, the snow blows across the highway to form a four-lane skating rink. The only thing of danger to the cars sliding off the highway is a power-line running parallel.

Since 8 out of 10 cars were smacking poles, a Kansas state trooper took it upon himself to discover “Why“. Because, the odds were better that they missed the poles and hit open space.

As he interviewed the drivers of those cars with noses freshly pressed against a pole, he asked them, “Do you remember what you were thinking as you left the highway?” Every one of them answered, “Oh, yes sir. I was thinking that I surely didn’t want to hit one of those poles.”

All we do begins with a thought.

A negative thought about “not” doing something is as powerful as a positive thought about doing the very same thing. You see, those Kansas drivers were thinking about the poles as they looked right at them and, eventually, wrapped their cars around one.

All we do begins with a thought.

Thoughts lead to actions; Actions develop into habits; Habits accumulate into character; and, Character becomes our Destiny.

Let’s lift our heads from the drudgery of toil, raise our eyes to the broad horizon of opportunities, choose a bright path to travel, surround ourselves with cheerful people, and experience a fresh sensation of soaring spirits.

Whether you think you can, or can’t, you’re right!

www.kimfoard.com

Post Turtles

Post Turtle

Pedestals, Ivory Towers, and White Horses

A country doctor is suturing a laceration on the hand of an old Montana rancher.

Rancher: “At least this hurt comes from building something. Just imagine the pain of a post turtle.” 

Doctor: “Oh? What is a post turtle?” 

Rancher: “Well, when you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top. That’s a post turtle. You know he didn’t get there by himself; he doesn’t belong there; he can’t get anything done while he’s up there; and, without help to get down, he’s stranded!”

How often do we get stuck?

Do we ever consider: “Why?” Is it because we allowed someone to place us on a pedestal, in an ivory tower, or on a white horse? It is one thing to work hard to earn our place in the world; it is quite another to be placed somewhere. Even more dangerous than the physical geography is the mental fantasy. It can be our mind playing tricks on us; or, the imaginations of another.

From our earliest memories we are indoctrinated with the propaganda that, to be somebody, we must rise above. Movies, novels and childhood stories revolve around the themes of a princess in an ivory tower attracting the knight in shining armor who gallops in on his white stallion.

What goes up must come down. Down to the reality that the greatest joys in life are found by serving; not swooning. Life is all about attitude; not altitude. Love is defined by giving; not getting. Let’s all get down, to the business and pleasure of accepting others for who they, really, are; not who we want them to be.

While the grandeur of heights is intoxicating, the grounded efforts of servants produce harvests of abundance. Those who are the greatest, purposefully, take the lowest rank. They are recognized as true leaders by their efforts to serve.

They are the ones who know where they are; how they got there; why they are there; what they are doing there; and, who have absolutely no fear of falling down. When they stumble, it is to learn a new lesson on their way to another opportunity, of service!

www.kimfoard.com