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

Mind Propulsion

Mind PropulsionEvery time a jet leaves the gravitational pull of earth, those below stand in awe and those aboard marvel at the miracle. The miracle is our Human ability to harness Universal principles.

Why, then, do we have a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (with a Map to get there); yet, not a single Google search result for Mind Propulsion Laboratory?

Which is greater: The creation or the creator; the jet engine or the mind that imagined it?

We readily acknowledge that, individually, we are one-of-a-kind. As unique and temporary as snowflakes, each of us has a short time to make an indelible mark on this world. The best way to do that is to use our mind, for the benefit of many.

Jet engines do not miraculously appear. They are built. The same is true of our mind. Piece by piece and neuron by neuron, our minds become the engine of what we accomplish.

We have a choice in the direction of our lives. It’s a simple matter of programming. Today, we are the cumulative result of every choice to this point in time. We go where we look. The future will find us arriving at the destination of our, individual, choice.

As simplistic as it sounds, the reality is certain: Choose no direction; go in circles.

My recommendation: Choose a worthy pursuit.

Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity, and honor.

Pursue indicates a passionate desire to achieve.

Here is the point of no return; the fork in the road; the real choice to be made. Will we be a Go-Getter, or a Go-Giver? Achievement for the sake of ego is less than noble. Accomplishing mutually beneficial results is a worthy goal.

Speaking of which, success can be defined in a myriad of ways.

Here are two:

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. ~ Earl Nightingale

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable. ~ John Wooden

To arrive, we must begin. To reach a destination, we must have one. To navigate, we must be able to measure our progress.

Remember, our mind is the engine of our craft. The manner in which we fuel it will determine its performance.

Let me ask a very simple question: If we (You and I) are strapped into the nose of a rocket, what quality of fuel do we want in the tank? Great minds do think alike. We want the very Best; Premium; Grade-A; Number-1; Super-duper; Fill-‘er-up-to-the-top!

Same thing for our minds: Let’s pour in the Good-Stuff.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

There are few guarantees in the pursuit of righteousness and love. This is one: By training our minds to Think this way, the odds of success increase astronomically.

How can we remember this daily propellant for our minds?

I’ll guide us into a flight pattern.

Think: Three-P’s. (Philippians)

Think: Two sets of Four equal Eight (4 and 8); begin with True, take a LEAP.

True (4)
Noble (5)
Right (5)
Pure (4)

Lovely (6)
Excellent (9)
Admirable (9)
Praise (6)

Think: What’s up with the Numbers?! Add ‘em up (the number of letters in each word); the sum is 48 (4 and 8). Separate the digits and that’s Chapter and Verse. (Philippians 4:8)

Then, our minds begin processing other relationships between the Letters, Words, and Numbers. For instance … look at the P’s (middle two of the Three-P’s) at the bottom of the Two sets of Four: Pure and Praise. And … since N comes before R, the two-5’s are in sequence: Noble and Right. Flashes of thought are igniting in minds, everywhere!

What was difficult to remember a few minutes ago is now etched into our minds.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

If we, daily, step into the Mind Propulsion Laboratory, for the express purpose of Research and Development, our orbits of influence will increase exponentially!

www.kimfoard.com

Truth and Freedom

Truth and FreedomIn the journey from childlike innocence to adult discernment, one trait requires a metamorphosis.

Naivety contains the seeds for discovery and destruction.

As to which we will nurture, that choice is within our control.

To fall under the influence and control of another person is dangerous. A lack of worldly experience and understanding can result in harm, to ourselves and others. Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment. Discretion is the better part of valor.

Yet, these are the naive qualities all children enjoy and we, older kids, can continue to practice:

  • Free from guile, cunning, or sham
  • Absence of complexity, artifice, or pretentiousness
  • Childlike directness, simplicity, and innocence
  • Spontaneity and freedom from self-consciousness
  • Sincerity and unaffected simplicity
  • Absence of insidious or treacherous cunning

As we practice the pure qualities of naivety, there is one, very, large caveat: Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. In other words, the Machiavellians, Narcissists, Borderlines, Histrionics, and Manipulators do not subscribe to a mutually beneficial Code of Honor.

To combat the scurrilous tactics of these Con Artists, only one weapon is required: The Truth.

Before we engage in daily interaction with the Disturbed Characters, the Truth empowers us to be Free.

  • Our conscience is free from regret and blame.
  • We boldly step through the doors of new opportunity.
  • The benefit of our actions lifts the spirits of all in our care.

From the book, Who’s Pulling Your Strings?, by Harriet B Braiker, PhD, comes this powerful observation:

Think of direct, clear communication—especially when it is about the manipulation itself—as the psychological equivalent to holding up a cross to a vampire. Most manipulators recoil in the face of being “busted,” and the air goes out of the pressure they are trying to create just as easily as it escapes a punctured balloon.

Direct, clear communication is just another way of making reference to: The Truth.

From the sages of old is this simple request: “I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!”

The truth will set us free.

www.kimfoard.com

Count the Cost

Count the CostIn every decision we make, two resources are at risk: Time and Money.

One, or both, will either be consumed, or invested.

The management of each is within our control.

We choose whether to spend, or invest.

We either choose, or the world will choose for us.

In fact, even when we choose, the world is prepared to laugh at us. That’s OK if we have put forth the effort to become all of which we are capable. The laughter of others, then, is simply their opinion of our effort. Success is the peace of mind in knowing we did our best.

Our best is only possible with Planning, Preparation, Practice and Performance. In any endeavor, these components form a circle of learning and growth.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

These seven magic words (above) ending in a seven letter word (THOUGHT), with U in the center, are the Alpha and Omega of the Four P’s.

In the beginning, is a Thought; the bigger and bolder, the better. Because, that initial thought becomes a target, a Goal if you will, worthy of what we choose to Do. The Four P Horsemen of Planning, Preparation, Practice and Performance will carry our effort through to a result and the appropriate Celebration of accomplishment, at the end.

This is the natural progression of a single Thought:

1.) Goal
2.) Planning
3.) Preparation
4.) Practice
5.) Performance
6.) Celebration

All We Do Begins With A Thought

From the moment we have a Thought, all the way through the process of what we Do, there will be a Cost to every choice we make, guaranteed.

From the Good Book, comes this encouragement:

But, don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, “There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!”

In every decision we make, two resources are at risk: Time and Money.

Of the two, Time is the most precious. Those who consider themselves Idea People, with runaway thoughts, fail to recognize the Cost for their flavor of the moment. If they are thinking about This, it is impossible to think about That.

There’s a Price we pay for, absolutely, everything.

As the progression of activity moves forward through each stage, from Thought, to Planning, Preparation, Practice and Performance, there is either an actual monetary Price, or an opportunity Cost of forgone alternative options. Even, the occasion of joyful Celebration requires the resources of Time and Money for the opportunity to tie ribbons and bows around the accomplishment.

Guess what, though? With accomplishment, come even bigger dreams. They will arrive in the form of more and different thoughts about new opportunities, heretofore, unseen. The cycle of learning and growth repeats.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

Please, count the cost.

www.kimfoard.com

Truth and Consequence

Truth and ConsequenceFor every cause, there is an effect.

For every pebble, there is a ripple.

For every action, there is an reaction.

For every effort, there is a result.

For every choice, there is a consequence.

The question becomes, “What is Truth?”

In the simplest of terms, “The seed planted yields a harvest in kind.”

Judgment of Others

Don’t do it. Those who do will receive the same. What is given is received. The caveat, though, is not to waste what is precious on an individual content with filth. Goodness is not appreciated by those wallowing in a rut. They will attack anything and everyone representative of a better way.

Effective Requests

Persistence is the secret. To do is to ASK. Ask to receive; Seek to find; Knock to have the door of opportunity swing wide open. Children know to ask for what they want and need. Parents joyfully respond with good gifts to those requests. Older kids can do the same.

The Golden Rule

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.”

Narrow Gates

No pain; no gain. Easy is hard; hard is easy. Follow the crowd and complain about the destination; or, lead the way and discover new frontiers.

Trees and Fruit

As the twig is bent, so the tree grows. Eventually, though, mature trees are known by what they produce. Good trees produce good fruit. Worthless trees produce nothing. In the same way that trees display their value, people express their worth by what they do. Actions trump words.

Wise Students

Talk is cheap. Only those who do the homework assignments pass the exams. Education is the enlightenment to know what to do. Experience is the empowerment to do the right thing. The combination of the two is an encouragement to learn by doing and to have fun learning.

Solid Foundations

Storms will come. Those who listen and do are the equivalent of a home built on rock. Those who hear and reject are the equivalent of a tent pitched on sand. Rock vs. Sand: it’s obvious which will stand.

Truth is everywhere. It begs and pleads to be discovered. On bended knee, it offers rewards to those who will listen and receive. The journey is not one of passivity; it is one of active engagement. This courtship requires a, daily, best effort experience in the arena of life to gain an education from the consequences of our choices.

www.kimfoard.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

A Way

Easy Way, or Hard WayImagine that a close friend announces, “I’m going away.”

What is our response?

I know what mine is. I launch into my Philadelphia Lawyer shtick with the: Why, What, When, Where and How questions!

The intent is pure.

I want the best for my friends and am desirous of understanding: Why are they making that choice? What will they be doing there? When will they leave? Where are they going? How long before we are together, again?

Going away is one thing. Going toward something is entirely different!

Wherever we go, there we are. Moving away from one set of circumstances is no guarantee of a blissful life. Moving toward a vision of the future is the best way to arrive at where we want to be!

Life is what we make of it, friends; if it doesn’t fit, make alterations!

To get from here to there, we do need A Way, to go; one which ensures an enjoyable journey and a successful arrival at the new destination.

Have you noticed that everyone has an idea for you and your resources?! They sincerely believe that they know best the path for you. They don’t. Only, YOU do!

Yet, how do we, each of us, individually, know the way to go? Actually, that is quite simple. We begin by sifting our many options through the filter of these three words: Right, Just, and Fair. Before we take the first step, let’s ask these three questions: Is it Right? Is it Just? And; Is it Fair?

Sometimes, the answers will be obvious and we can respond with a resounding “Yes!” to all three. Other times, the way will be more obscure. If that’s the case, then, we add these attributes to our matrix of questions: Patient, Kind, Generous, Honest, Humble, Happy, Protective, Trusting, Hopeful, and eternally Optimistic.  In other words, “Will we exemplify these facets of character as a result of the choice we are about to make?” If so, then, let’s go!

All we do begins with a thought!

Thoughts manifest in words; Words lead to actions; Actions develop into habits; Habits accumulate into character; and, Character becomes our Destiny. The catalyst for this chain reaction is a single choice at the beginning to decide. Individually, we choose. The result is who we are at this very moment!

Although impossible to write a new beginning to our life story, we can at any time begin to write a new ending! The secret? We must begin! It is by our decision, to take a single step down a path right for us, that we find the courage to take more.

That first step will be a failure, or a success. Either way, it is a beginning for us to find a better way. You see, in order to find a better way, there must first be a way!

There are few guarantees in life. This is one: Hard is easy; Easy is hard.

By choosing a path of righteousness, justice and fairness, we have chosen a journey of guaranteed thrills. There will be bumps and curves, ups and downs, tummy-ticklers extraordinaire. This road is not for the faint of heart. It is for those strong of will. It is for those who set their eyes on the horizon of opportunity, knowing full well that long-term growth is a result of short-term pain.

There are no short-cuts, or easy ways, to success. The easy way is always a temptation and it is always a dead-end cul-de-sac. Going in circles is a fitting metaphor for those running away! To break free from the insanity, they have this choice:

Stay and Decay?
Or, Away and Play!

The answer will be found in a new WAY. What way?! This better way of asking the hard questions, of themselves: Why Are You … Thinking, Saying, Doing, Behaving, Repeating, and Believing this WAY?!

Yes, I know; we will never look at the word WAY in the same way, ever again! Because, we will all be asking this question of ourselves: Why Are You …

www.kimfoard.com

The Carpenter

The CarpenterEmpires come and go; Builders last forever.

The thing built is less important than those doing the building.

In fact, the real value in anything is the individual.

Because the physical is temporal, we find comfort in measuring the creation. Less comfortable is acknowledging the intangible value of the creator.

Silver Bullets and Silver Platters are two of the greatest dangers known to humankind. The idea that Magic and Coattails can remediate anything holds us back from our true destiny. We learn by doing and the fun is in the doing!

Regardless of how we define success, there is a Secret to its acquisition: It must be built.

Happiness, peace of mind, abundant resources, ample opportunities, great relationships, and contentment are included in my definition of success. All of those attributes are a choice to be made each morning and their achievement is only possible by my conscious decision to produce. As my head touches the pillow each evening, only I can know the quality of effort for that day.

Others will judge what they can see and measure: the Empire. Regardless of what is built, it begins to decay at the moment it is finished. Within families, I see this every day. Senior builds an empire and then expects Junior to maintain it. How silly! We all want to be builders. More than what is built, the joy in is the how and why of doing the construction.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a song is worth at least a million. For those who are builders, this song by John Conlee from his Harmony album reminds us of the value:

The Carpenter

Let us now praise the carpenter and the things that he made
And the way that he lived by the tools of the trade
I can still hear his hammer singin’ ten-penny time
Workin’ by the hour till the day that he died

[chorus]

He was tough as a crowbar; he was quick as a chisel
Fair as a plane, Lord, and true as a level
He was straight as a chalk-line; right as a rule
He was square with the world; he took good care of his tools

He worked his hands in wood from the crib to the coffin
With a care and a love that you don’t see too often
He built boats out of wood, big boats, workin’ in a shipyard
Mansions on the hill and a birdhouse in the backyard

He was tough as a crowbar…

He said anything that’s worth cuttin’ down a tree for
Is worth doin’ right; don’t the Lord love a two-by-four
If you asked him how to do somethin’, he’d say just like Noah built the ark
You got to hold your mouth right son and never miss your mark

And you’ll be tough as a crowbar…

Maybe that’s why, two thousand years ago, the Son of a carpenter encouraged others to build. At His death, the physical creations left behind began their decay. What continues to grow to this very moment, and beyond, are the relationships He formed in love.

We have the opportunity to build on that foundation. What we build is our choice. How we do it is more important. Why we make our choices will be the legacy of memories. Long after our masterpieces become relics of the past, the relationships we form, today, will be the beginning of foundations for those who are influenced by our commitment to build.

Empires come and go, because they are made of stuff.

Builders last for forever, because their actions are making the world a better place.

That, my friends is a legacy for all of eternity!

www.kimfoard.com

IIITB, IIUTM

If It Is To BeIf It Is To Be,
It Is Up To Me

I’m amazed at the whining that goes on, because one person is waiting for other people to change. Change, as in: who they are, what they do, and how they think. Good luck with that!

Wherever we go there we are. It has taken a lifetime to arrive at this moment in time. We have made every, single, choice along the way to be, exactly, where we are. Why, then, is it such a stretch to believe that everyone else has done the same?!

If we nurture a belief that we, individually, are a child of God, do we extend the same courtesy to others? When we see, experience, or are otherwise affected by another person, different in belief from ours, do we accept them, or judge them?

Judging is so much easier and more fun to do. In fact, it comes naturally to find fault with others. There they are, right in front of us, behaving stupidly. Do we ever consider that they are looking at us and thinking the very same thing?

Accepting others is a daily challenge. Embracing the explicit independence of another is entirely different than being a punching bag for their dysfunction. There is a fine line between respect and folly. Discretion is the better part of valor, in regards to boundaries.

Speaking of boundaries, do we know where we end and another person begins? Have we done the hard work to define ourselves to the point of an “elevator speech” introduction to the rest of the world? Are we willing to listen, and accept, the eight seconds offered by others?

If the narrative, above, has yet to make sense and you are struggling with anything in your life, please, go look in the mirror. The individual staring back at you is the one responsible for how you feel and what you think. Change that individual and the whole world will change!

Not enough time to do the things you want? Change your priorities.

Not enough money to do the things you need? Change your patterns.

All of us have 24 hours in a 7 day week and the same 52 weeks in 1 year. We are all given the same opportunity. Are you jealous of those who successfully manage their time and money well?

The secret: Different choices; different results.

Begin with the end in mind. A crystal clear vision of the future encourages us to make choices, which move us forward in that direction. As we advance, other exciting opportunities along the way broaden our horizons of awareness.

The more we think and do, the more we learn and grow. As we stretch through the pain of change, we find even higher peaks of adventure, just, waiting for us. Those who have chosen to remain stuck in their rut are no longer of concern to us.

We have discovered that the fun is in the doing!

If It Is To Be,
It Is Up To Me

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