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 maxim 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!

kimfoard.com

Peace of Mind

Mindfulness is the fancy term for living in the moment.

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 (truly, it is a Gift).

Since our minds are optimized to remember Three, here are three examples of Codes — which, are 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.

kimfoard.com

Emotion Follows Motion

Love begins with Motion and ends in Emotion.

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

Boldly Humble

Humility is necessary before we can learn and earn honor.

Boldly Humble

In the Land of Narcissists, who is the greatest?

Who earns the respect of those within their sphere of influence?

Is it the pompous, arrogant, ignorant fool who, if they knew half as much as they pretend, would know twice as much as they really do? Or, is it the quiet, listening, thoughtful individual who learns new and better ways to serve?

Of all the many sparkling facets of greatness, there is only one foundational base within which the gem is anchored: Humility.

Humility precedes honor.

Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Beginning with the end in mind, distinguishing characteristics of honor are: principled uprightness of character and code of integrity — which, results in reputation, distinction, privilege, and special recognition.

What is required for each of us to get honor?

Quite simply, we must be willing to give ourselves in service.

There is only one way to do that — by, bending a knee in humility. Humility is necessary before we can admit, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” Following that proclamation, is the simple request, “Please, teach me what I need to know.”

At that moment, the Universe goes out of its way to instruct. When the Student is ready, the Teacher will appear. The more we learn, the more we realize there is so much more to learn. As we learn, we begin to teach. In time, the Student becomes the Teacher.

Yet, the great Masters continue to humble themselves at the feet of even greater Teachers, who humbly accept the guidance of Infinite Wisdom. In other words, there is always more to learn.

One of the Natural Laws is that we harvest what we plant. Humble souls work hard to have something of value to share with others and are guaranteed to receive an abundance. As a farmer bends a knee to plant, so too can we humbly prepare our fields for rain.

How do we humbly prepare?

All we need to do is to boldly ASK.

Ask for what we need and want. We will be given.
Seek for what is important to discover. We will find what is right.
Knock on the doors of opportunity with courtesy. They will open to abundance.

Humility precedes honor.

www.kimfoard.com

Stand Right

Which attributes of character are most important to you?

Stand for what is Right, even if you stand AloneAs a thought experiment, ask a dozen individuals this question: “Which attributes of character are most important to you?”

The people you ask can be your close friends, your worst enemies, or random transients on the street. The odds are very good that nearly every one of them will include with their answer: “Honesty.”

Why, then, do we struggle so much to be honest with ourselves, and others?

One of the greatest statesmen of all times was known by his moniker, “Honest Abe.”

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”

Abraham Lincoln
American 16th US President (1861-65)

How many times are we tempted to cheat (just a little) to win?

How many times are we tempted to take (just a little) advantage to succeed?

How many times are we tempted to go along to get along (with wrong) to fit in?

That word choice by Abe: bound. Sure feels constraining, limiting, and subservient. Doesn’t it?

Yet, Abraham Lincoln knew true winners set their mind in thought and engage their hands in action to be honest to whom they are at the core: “I am bound to be true.”

Achievers know they are wonderfully made, unique, and one-of-a-kind, with much to offer the whole wide world. They believe, “I am bound to live by the light that I have.”

Yes, I know, easier said than done.

In fact, knowing something and doing it are two, entirely, different things. One is fairly easy; the other is extremely difficult. Actions speak so much louder than words, though. Hard is easy; easy is hard.

What is Right? And, then by antithetical definition, what is Wrong?

One absolute truth is that Right and Wrong cannot be legislated. Every group, clan, civilization, and country sets forth a Code of Ethics. Yet, individuals make choices from their heart and soul.

Please, invest the time to discover the answer to this question, for yourself:
“What is my deepest innermost value?”

Once we identify our (individual) value, we can be true to ourselves and live by our light.

We must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with them while they are right, and part with them when they go wrong.

www.kimfoard.com

Successful Failures

Push through the failures to the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.

Ask the average person if they want to fail and the answer is, generally, an emphatic, “No way!”

Please, take just a moment to grab a piece of paper and pen. On the paper draw a Dot representative of YOU. Now, write the two words Failure and Success on your paper.

Did you write Success above YOU and Failure below YOU?

Or, is your diagram more like a fork in the road, with Failure to the left and Success to the right?

Or, maybe your drawing is that of a straight-line, with YOU stuck in the middle between Failure and Success?

Many of us have experienced the frustration of paralysis analysis. Do we go up, or down? Do we go left, or right? Or, maybe we’re just stuck: not wanting to slip backwards into Failure; yet, fearful of the steps, forward, toward Success.

Query any successful individual about their journey and, inevitably, you’ll hear stories about “trips through the desert.” Only, through the obstacles, disappointments, mistakes, and (Yes!) failures did they learn the lessons resulting in, eventual, success.

There are choices, we make, about the roads we travel. Character does matter. Those who choose the high-road of service will experience the benefits of a marvelous destination. The view is better from the top.

Although … the destination matters less than the journey. In fact, when enjoying a life of abundance, we never do fully arrive. Learn, grow, stretch, and climb as far as we can and, guaranteed, there will be new vistas to explore.

Examples are everywhere of individuals failing their way to success: Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, and many, many, others. There is a common theme to their success.

Edison: One day, an assistant asked him why he didn’t give up. After all, he failed over a thousand times. Edison replied that he had not failed once. He had discovered over 1000 things that don’t work.

Jordan: I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And, that is why I succeed.

The, only, way to success is through failure.

Are people laughing at you, because of their judgment of your failure? Smile right back, because they can’t do what you will accomplish. Somewhere, beyond the lessons learned, is something important to you. Push forward, take the next step, and you will arrive.

When you do (what others claim to be impossible), then what? What is success? Is it a destination, or is it a journey? One of the better definitions, by Earl Nightingale: Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.

Now, we have the secret to why so many are stuck in paralysis analysis. They’re trying to decide which way to turn, when all they really need to do is: Dream big, have belief, take the first step, and then the one after that.

Those who do sacrifice the compulsion to talk for an investment in action. One of their beliefs is that short-term pain is the price to enjoy the value of long-term pleasure.

The pleasure will not be in arriving. It will be in the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. And, when that dream morphs into reality (through the journey of many steps), a successful person lifts their eyes to the horizon of new opportunity.

They smile, again, as they take the first step toward the next failure waiting on the road to another success.

Let’s boldly run in the direction of our dreams. Between here and there will be many failures of our efforts. Beyond the failures is success. In time, we proudly wear the badge engraved with our status: Successful Failure.

Forever, we march forward in progressive realization of a worthy ideal.

www.kimfoard.com

Authentic Hero

The character attributes of the Authentic Hero are: Desire, Humility, and Courage.

Authentic HeroFrom time immemorial, 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 dragon slaying.)

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. They’re 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. 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 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 there is no greater love than to give our 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 to be 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