Dance of Equals

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?

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!

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

Straight Talk

Honesty in thought and action is a perquisite for building trust and respect.

Straight Talk

How many times last week did someone tell you one thing — and, then, did something entirely different?

Have you ever made plans with someone, who at the last minute changed their mind and did not participate?

Why is it essential to say what we believe and believe what we say?

Reputation is what others think about us. Character is who we truly are — at the core. Sterling qualities of these attributes are nurtured into existence as a result of consistency in word and deed.

John Wooden in his book, The Wisdom of Wooden, shares with us what his father shared with him.

Two Sets of Three

1.) Never lie.
2.) Never cheat.
3.) Never steal.

1.) Don’t whine.
2.) Don’t complain.
3.) Don’t make excuses.

Words, if inconsistent with actions, are blatantly misleading. Recipients of this deceit are cheated out of belief. The most precious of resources — Time — is stolen.

As a result, the cover-up is camouflaged with a combination of whining, complaining, and excuse making.

Take a few moments to imagine a world in which individuals are careful with their commitments.

By default, commitment is entirely void of one word — Maybe.

In fact, commitment is either — This or That.

Just say a simple, “Yes, I will.” — or, “No, I won’t.”

Then, after giving our word — one way or the other — just, “Do it.”

The only downside risk of doing what we say is that the Drama Kings and Queens will need to find another venue for their acting. Because, if we desire a pleasant diversion from reality, we’ll attend the theatre, or go to a movie.

Honesty in thought and action is a prerequisite for building trust and respect.

Straight talk — and, a straight walk — lead straight to dynamic relationships!

www.kimfoard.com

Three To Be

People will come and people will go. Remember, though, there is only one YOU. You are a unique creation, no better than any other; yet, just as good as all the others.

Three To BeFor every ending, there is a new beginning.

Leading the way into a bigger word is a little one: Be.

See it?

Be-ginning!

Shakespeare asked the questions, “To be — or, not to be?”

There, really, isn’t a question of our existence. The answer is in the exploration of what it is, “To Be.”

Sterling Character

Yes, the adjective is subjective. Nobody wakes in the morning to believe their character is bad. Yet, do we wake to the Wooden Creed? “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.”

Again, some might want to argue that ‘best‘ is subjective. It is, if we compare ourselves to others. It is not, if we judge ourselves to a higher standard. Through all of civilization, there have been Codes of Conduct. The best of them are simply a map to guide us in The Journey to the highest quality of life.

Passionate Commitment

Knowing something and doing it are two, entirely, different concepts. In fact, choosing one and forgoing the many is the purest definition of commitment. Contempt for failure and death is another measure of being, all in — or, all out — if we consider the example of the skydiver.

At the moment of jumping from a perfectly good airplane, the skydiver is committed to reaching the ground. They have two choices: Dead — or, Alive. In other words, if they have a passion for life, their entire focus is on a successful landing.

Dynamic Communication

Before babies can say a single word, they are effective communicators. By facial expression, tone of voice, and body language, they command attention. They know what they want and how to ASK for it. Why are so many adults dysfunctional? They stopped learning. Literally, the answer is that simple.

We are either growing — or, we are dying. Entropy is the natural physical condition. There is a higher realm, which requires pushing beyond the resistance of what ‘Is’, — to what can ‘Be.’ All we do begins with a thought. We learn by doing. The fun is in the doing. Let’s have fun learning.

In the course of a lifetime, people will come and people will go. There are chance encounters, whereby strangers become friends. There are diabolical missions of deceit, whereby wolves appear to be sheep. In between, are all other opportunities for new relationships.

There is a season for all things. Remember, though, there is only one YOU. You are a unique creation, no better than any other — yet, just as good as all the others.

As others seek a relationship, begin with the end in mind — 1.) Sterling Character,
2.) Passionate Commitment, and 3.) Dynamic Communication.

Three To Be — Free.

www.kimfoard.com

Anatomy of a Victor

Deep within the heart of every victor is a burning desire, to serve. They have asked this question of themselves, “What is the passion at the core of everything I do?”

Anatomy of a VictorTwo words, six letters each, exactly opposite in meaning and world view: Victim and Victor.

All individuals on the face of the earth are in one camp, or the other — There is no DMZ, or middle ground.

Every person has made a choice to be, exactly, where they find themselves at this very moment.

Why?

Because —

We all have a story to tell.
And, we do tell it so well.

This last week was interesting. Personally, I was engaged in a battle for the future. Right in the middle of the whole dang show was lunch with someone, who is victim, wouldn’t you know — anchored to the past, miserable in the present, and morose about the future.

Why?

Since fire-breathing dragon stories are more interesting than melancholy tirades, this is my story about conquest and victory.

After a year of experimenting with secure Client File Portals for the mutual benefit of my stakeholders, there was an increasing uneasiness about the Hosting Service that I had chosen. The portals were fully functional, my Clients were successfully using them, and I was comfortable in the routine.

(Alert — possible misspelling of routine. Maybe, r-u-t? And, the definition of rut: a grave with the ends kicked out.)

Real danger? Or, just the ever vigilant, vivid, imagination of a Warrior?

All we do begins with a thought.

I was thinking, “There must be a better way.”

In fact, each day, each of us has a choice: Grow, or Die. Remember, there is no DMZ — or, safe middle ground.

I was ready to move forward.

Some of the many benefits of a Client File Portal (personal vault in The Clouds) is 24/7 access to digital Documents — and, the ability to provide copies of files, to stakeholders with a vested interest in building mutually beneficial dynamic relationships.

The only constant in life is change. Over the last twelve months, ShareFile has become a robust service provider of file sharing and portals. By clicking on the hyperlink above, access to their website provides a better understanding of features and support.

Ready and Committed are two, very, different things. Although ready, I was not, yet, committed to move forward. This is the introduction to the next important step on our journey to victory. We need to properly plan and meticulously prepare.

Thought without action is as worthless as a dream without a plan — a blueprint, if you will. Researching viable options and studying the technological landscape was the primary focus in my quest for a better way — and, a better Client File Portal.

This is the time in every dragon-slaying story where the weak may want to seek protection. The battle scenes are for mature audiences, only. The most fertile ground and coveted piece of real estate is between our ears. For me, in that moment, that’s where this war was being waged.

I had invested a year of my life establishing functional, yet primitive, Client File Portals for my stakeholders. I wanted to enjoy the dividends from that investment. What would everyone think, if I changed my mind? And, therein was the answer — moving forward was the right thing to do.

Yet, the enemy persisted. The cost of the old way was less than the price of the new, uncertain, and unknown future way. What if I ‘failed’, again? And, therein was the answer — failure in my earlier choice had resulted in a valuable education and experience.

That darn dragon refused to go down! He charged at me, again. This time, he plucked at the heart-strings — by camouflaging his attack with my favorite words, “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you. Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.”

That monster of a dragon was about to die.

Deep within the heart of every victor is a burning desire, to serve. They have asked this question of themselves, “What is the passion at the core of everything I do?”

Picture a vibrant, radiant, pulsating, source of energy within the Warrior. The mechanical, physical, heart is warmly surrounded by a glowing and dynamic membrane of higher power. Love is one name given to the unexplainable — it is a powerful force for doing good.

My love — of those I serve — was the strength behind the final thrust of my sword into the beast.

I was committed to move forward.

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 not 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, magic, and power in it.

Begin it now.

—W. H. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

Although illuminated by the warm glow of first love, the beginning of anything is ugly. For builders, it’s the serious business of excavating a hole in the ground and the hard work of pouring a solid foundation. In the realm of technology, it’s the learning of a new foreign language and carefully navigating into uncharted domains.

Although encouraged by early results, the middle of anything is a slog. Begin, and begin again — one step in front of the other. The safe shore of our launch has long passed from view and the destination is many days away. One Client File Portal after another will be established and made available to those I serve — the best Clients (and Friends) — those who give so much to me.

Sometime, in the near future, a celebration beckons. All of the new vaults in The Clouds will be available, as another mutually beneficial tool, with which to build dynamic relationships. The victory will be a time of jubilee, because it will provide the opportunity for other new beginnings — yet, unseen.

In stark contrast to the jubilation of a victor was the sullenness of my lunch-time partner, The Victim. The story I heard was one of the entire world using and abusing them. Granted, the hand of fate deals its nasty blows to all of us, from time to time. Curious, though, I asked, “Where were you — and, what were you thinking and doing through all of this?”

The victim’s response (slightly paraphrased), “I was right there playing the role of saintly martyr.” Seemed fitting for me to say, “We get what we allow.” Lunch was over.

Waiting for me, on the other side of the battle with my fire-breathing dragon, were two, new, wonderful relationships.

On my left side is Christopher Doll, a ShareFile sales executive, who graciously accepted my offer to make a GoToAssist remote connection with him. We played, we laughed, and I purchased. On my right side is Kelley Figg, a ShareFile account manager, extraordinaire — she is patient beyond belief, generous at the core, and a caring professional.

Two words, six letters each, exactly opposite in meaning and world view: Victim and Victor. All individuals on the face of the earth are in one camp, or the other. There is no DMZ, or middle ground. Each person makes a choice to be, exactly, where they find themselves at this very moment.

As for me, I choose victory.

www.kimfoard.com

Cornerstones

We can select and nurture dynamic relationships, which exemplify energy, motion, change, activity, progress, intensity, vigor, variation, personality, ambition, and new ideas.

Cornerstones

What are the four attributes of every mutually beneficial dynamic relationship?

Relationships with those people we like are the most enjoyable. Yet, think of the relationships we also have with those less friendly. Think about every dynamic relationship.

In fact, think about this: we either have a relationship with someone; or, we don’t. There is no maybe to it.

So, what are the four attributes of every dynamic relationship?

The secret is in the adjective: dynamic.

  • Of or relating to energy or to objects in motion
  • Characterized by continuous change, activity, or progress
  • Marked by intensity and vigor; forceful
  • Of or relating to variation
  • An interactive system or process
  • A force
  • Characterized by personality, ambition, energy, new ideas
  • Expressing action rather than a state of being; not static

Relationships are mutually chosen. In other words, it is a bond between two individuals, who mutually choose to connect. It is of freewill and unlimited in potential.

These are the Cornerstones:

  • Core
  • Courtesy
  • Commitment
  • Communication

Core

Before we waltz out to establish a relationship with another person, it is imperative to know what is at the center of the individual. Not the other person; ourselves. Not in the plural sense. Singularly: Who am I? What do I believe? Why? When will my world view be challenged? How did I get to this point in my journey? Where am I going?

Courtesy

Once thought to be “common,” a simple Please and Thank You open the doors for Trust and Respect. Joining them are the character traits of Patience, Kindness, Truthfulness, Protectiveness, Hopefulness, and Perseverance. By simply caring about another person, we find the right, just, and fair things to say and do.

Commitment

Life is a series of ups and downs. Some days we’re the windshield; some days we’re the bug. Yet, through it all, we have the choice to be happy, or sad; pleasant, or rude; optimistic, or pessimistic; engaged, or disconnected; flexible, or rigid; open, or closed. The ultimate choice is whether we can be true to ourselves and definitive in expressing, “I will.”

Communication

Talk to me; let me listen; then, accept my thoughts. Three phases to each exchange: Transmission, Reception, and Feedback. We all love to talk. Listening requires discipline. Feedback can only be done with the courage to be vulnerable. Communication is what the listener does. Please, hear and understand me. Simply, share you to be heard and understood.

If a structure is designed to have four supports, each must be solid and relatively equal in substance. Think of the last time you sat on a chair with one leg shorter than the others. You wobbled. If that weak leg is substantially defective, a crash is imminent.

Four at the corners is the foundation for a mutually fun, beneficial, chosen, dynamic relationship. By building on these cornerstones, we can select and nurture relationships, which exemplify energy, motion, change, activity, progress, intensity, vigor, variation, personality, ambition, and new ideas.

A force to make a difference in the lives of two, and many more!

www.kimfoard.com

School of Thought

The answers discovered, today, for yesterday’s questions are guaranteed to be wrong for the new opportunities of tomorrow. All we do begins with a, creative, 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