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

Mistakes

OopsA recent experience with an international, multi-billion-dollar Company has been quite enlightening, as to their very broad definition of: Mistake. Is the issue merely one of semantics? Or, is there a deeper taint on our societal moral code of behavior?

Is it a “mistake” to intentionally obscure the truth and deliberately tell lies to cover up bad judgment and hurtful actions? Or, is that an unethical breach of conduct?

First of all, a quick look at the definition:

Mistake [mɪˈsteɪk]

n

1. an error or blunder in action, opinion, or judgment

2. a misconception or misunderstanding

vb -takes, -taking, -took, -taken

1. (tr) to misunderstand; misinterpret “she mistook his meaning”

2. (tr; foll by for) to take (for), interpret (as), or confuse (with) “she mistook his direct manner for honesty”

3. (tr) to choose badly or incorrectly “he mistook his path”

4. (intr) to make a mistake in action, opinion, judgment, etc.

[(meaning: to do wrong, err): from Old Norse mistaka to take erroneously]

Problems are opportunities in disguise. Mistakes are like that, too. We all have them (problems) and we all make them (mistakes). In fact, we learn by doing. So, the secret is to make lots of mistakes and embrace the opportunity to learn from them.

There is a difference, though, in the “Oh, oops” moments and the “I’m so very sorry” occasions. The first is when we make a mistake and no one else is affected by our defective actions, opinions, or judgments. The latter is when our poor choices hurt another person and we quickly ask their forgiveness, while offering to make them whole.

We learn to walk by falling down. Falling down is a mistake, if we’re desirous of walking. This kind of mistake, made in the process of learning, is of the first variety. As toddlers, we made the mistake many times, hurt no one (else), learned from it, and moved on to running.

One-on-One, as individuals, we know when the second variety of hurtful mistake is made. Generally, we recognize our folly and, immediately, apologize. Sometimes, we are unaware of the impact of our choices on another person. If that other person perceives a mistake by us, that becomes their reality and our opportunity to grow.

Relationships are built by caring about, listening to, and understanding the reality of another person. Many times, the catalyst for strengthening a relationship can be our unintentional mistakes. Mature individuals will freely communicate their perception of the impact of our choices on them. As a result, we bask in the happy moments and ask to mend the hurtful ones.

Why then does that dynamic change when an individual is an employee of a Company?

For the great sport of it, the next time you’re in an animated conversation with the representative of a Company, who is playing semantics with your emotions, and you have heard the words “mistake” and “process” one too many times, ask this simple question: “What is more important: your Company processes, or People?”

The silence will be deafening.

In that instant, a Company employee becomes an Individual, once again, and realizes that their Customer is an Individual, too!

With the situation re-framed as a relationship of One-on-One, the original “mistake” (to take erroneously) can be fixed. The stage is also set for the appropriate apologies of conduct less than ethical. If none are offered, the individual Customer will do business elsewhere; and, in time, the odds are good that the employee hiding behind the bureaucracy of Company processes will find themselves as an individual, one more time, without a Company and a Job.

Regardless of the semantics, mistakes provide the opportunities for us, individually, to grow. Mistakes will be made, guaranteed. They are the defining moments for each of us to do the right thing and build a dynamic relationship!

www.kimfoard.com

Code of Action

Code of ActionAccording to John Wayne, “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.”

Behind every computer process are miles and miles of code. It is purposefully written to achieve a specific result.

What is your code? Do you have a creed to live by?

Mother Nature hates a vacuum. Unless we have diligently trained our mind and protected our heart, we are operating on a program designed by another. Rather than being the Captain of our own ship, we might be on autopilot.

Consider this jingle, “If it feels good, …” By rote, we finish the sentence with, “do it.” Why, do we? Grab the controls of your life and let’s examine our codes.

On March 3rd, 2010, the state of Wyoming accepted into law a bill declaring The Code of the West the official state code of ethics. The ten principles come from author James P. Owen and his book Cowboy Ethics.

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.

There is nothing new under the sun. It, even, seems strange to reference the unwritten that was the guiding light for the early pioneers.

Yet, these principles were also chronicled by the famous western writer, Zane Grey, in his 1934 novel The Code of the West, and by Ramon Adams, a Western historian, in his 1969 book, The Cowman and His Code of Ethics. The Cowboy Code has been communicated in a variety of ways, by an army of fictional and real life heroes.

Knowing what to do — and, Doing it — are two, very, different concepts.

Since the hedonistic programming of our society subtly soothes our selfish nature with the mantra of If it feels good, do It, we might not even know what we are doing.

A better approach to our growth (and, the growth of others) is possible by understanding, If it is good, do it — with Passion.

Speaking of which, let’s consider a simpler way of remembering all of the Code necessary for a life of joy and purpose. One four-letter word contains the foundational elements of good Code — LOVE.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

Take all of the code, the perfect lists of ten, from the many tough men, and you will find the true abode, for peace of mind and purpose of will. It is discovered in a Code of Action.

www.kimfoard.com