Take the Next Step

Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

Take the Next Step

How many metaphors are there, for Life?

• Life is a journey.
• Life is a dance.
• Life is like riding a bike.

Yes, and, many, many more. Yet, these three offer food for thought. Because, each of them involve choice and movement.

Pedal, or tip over.
Shift balance, or fall down.
Take the next step, or stay stuck.

In other words, the mantra for successful living is, “Up to — and, through.”

Yep. The secret is to step right up to the edge of fear and push through to the other side. Oh, does that ever feel so, very, good?! And, then, if we bask in the glory too long, regrets of the Past and anxieties of the Future sneak up on us.

This is the magic elixir to replace fear with courage.

Take ~

Life is what we make of it. Grab the bull by the horns and the tiger by the tail. Hop aboard the carousel and reach for the brass ring. The best way to receive all we want and need is to take the time to serve the wants and needs of others.

The ~

This is it folks. This moment will never happen, again. Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive. Those who hesitate are lost. The early bird gets the worm. The victory goes to the quick. There is no time like the Present.

Next ~

Forget the Past – it’s gone. Ignore the Future – it will be there, patiently, waiting. Ask any bull rider their secret and you’ll hear, “I just ride ‘em jump for jump.” Their mind is centered on that one jump, which follows the last and comes right before the next.

Step ~

Action is the catalyst step to move from Here to There. Increase the action and results increase, too. For every cause, there is an effect. Want warmth? Throw wood on the fire. Want friends? Act friendly. Want to be happy? Smile.

At some point in the journey of life, many of us have been guilty of wanting to arrive. You know: Set a goal, work hard, get there — and, then, desire to camp out, rest, coast, play, and otherwise goof off. Then IT happens, regrets of the Past and anxieties of the Future sneak up on us.

Or, there are those who can’t make up their mind. They take forever to make a decision — and, then, are quick to change direction. Whatever direction the wind is blowing, they drift with it. In contrast, are the achievers, who are quick to decide and slow to change course.

In setting our course for the journey of life, peaks are much better than plateaus.

To reach any peak requires a climb from the valley below. The view from the top is an opportunity to see higher vistas. Then, down we go, coasting into another valley, to begin the ascent to higher levels of accomplishment.

Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

Let’s boldly take the next step.

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

Dare

These are the lessons the wannabes can learn from a young man who dares to be responsible for himself and those in his sphere of influence.

DareRecently, I enjoyed the opportunity to ask a young man the secret to his success.

He continues to thrive while others failed to survive.

His three responses lock into, and rhyme with, one word: Dare.

To have the courage — To challenge someone to do something requiring boldness — To confront or oppose boldly — To be courageous, or bold, enough, to do something; A challenge.

Two years ago, as he accepted the challenge to give his life in service to many, he quickly observed and shared this pearl of wisdom, “In school, the attitude is that no one can fail. In our business, failure is deadly. If we make a mistake, people die.

From the abstract of academia, to the fantasies of the political realm, false propaganda is postulated as, “Too big to fail.” Although — the reality is — pride does go before a fall. Arrogance mixed with ignorance is a volatile combination.

Those clamoring for national leadership positions have much to learn from those on the front lines of life. These are the lessons the wannabes can learn from a young man who dares to be responsible for himself and those in his sphere of influence.

This young leader of men and producer of wealth has a story to share, encapsulated in these three words:

Aware

Prepare

Care

Those three words rhyming with Dare are mine. Yet, this is his story. When asked about the top three lessons gleaned and what might keep others safe, this is what I learned from him.

Aware

Don’t believe what anyone says, until you check it for yourself.

The world is what we make of it — if it doesn’t fit, make alterations. In other words — if it is to be, it is up to me. Talking about something, or what might be tried, someday, is a worthless substitution for getting it done.

Prepare

Don’t become complacent in what is working — imagine it all coming apart.

Those who are builders put it together one piece at a time. They understand what it takes to make it hum — while it does, they’re less than bum. In their minds, they break down the systems — to build them again, until they’re glistening gems.

Care

Don’t think there are any unimportant details — pay attention to absolutely everything.

Every small cog is of importance. Fix it before it breaks. Measure it to manage it, effectively. Tools in the hands of those who know how to use them receive tender loving care. The hands of those hard workers have earned their compensation. Much more important than the money is the compassion for people.

In watching his eyes and body language, I was reminded of earlier days. Always, his heart has been generous, attitude respectful, and spirit strong. From the very beginning, I’ve heard, “Dad, I’m a hands-on kind of guy.

Much more than hands on, he dares to be Aware, Prepare, and Care.

For that, we’re all thankful.

www.kimfoard.com

Game of Life

We, individually, choose our game – the one we are able and willing to play. By making our choice, we can enjoy the great sport of life.

GamesAs encouragement for those struggling with a daily frustration, I will gently offer, “Just play the hand you’ve been dealt.”

Fairly good idea for these reasons:
• This, too, shall pass.
• Your cards might, actually, be better than anyone else’s at the moment.
• And, the fun is in the doing.

Before we launch off into the actual sport of the game, there is one question which has infinite possibilities, “What is the passion at the core of everything you do?

Your response will be different from mine. Mine will be different from anyone else’s. And, therein, is the secret to the Game of Life.

Each of us has the opportunity to choose the games we play.

Since life is the hand of cards to which we awake each morning, I admire those who play theirs with grace and poise. Strength of will and courage combined with the flexibility of thoughtfulness and humility results in a creativity that trumps bitterness every time.

Does that mean we play the games chosen for us by others? The simple and definitive answer is, “No.”

We, individually, choose our game. The one we are able and willing to play. Unless we choose, everyone will have an idea for us. That’s just a Universal Law of human nature.

Unless you’ve encountered a narcissist — enamored of their own visage in the mirror — each of us spends the day looking outward. As a result, it is so much easier to see the foibles of others and what they should do.

Reality check — Who is the only one within our sphere of control? (Hint: not anyone else.) Yes! The answer is a question:

“What is the passion at the core of everything you do?”

You — Me — One person at a time. We answer that.

Or, do we? Have YOU?

If so, then, you have chosen your game. You have studied the rules. You have engaged the competition. You have failed. You have succeeded. You have grown. You have learned.

You have studied even more — this time much harder. You have discovered what you didn’t know – before. More engagement, more failures, more successes, more growth —  and, now, you’re ready to teach.

Passion drives YOU forward.

Each day it will always be something — some days it’s just nice to know what ‘IT’ is.

Because we thrive on the challenge, nothing can upset or frustrate us. We know and have embraced the premise, “What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.”

Let the games begin!

www.kimfoard.com

Three-E Formula

More effective than a Magic Wand, this is E-ven better. The ability to Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage leads us to a formula for success.

Do ItGreater than a Magic Wand to wave at the hand of fate, this is E-ven better.

This is E times 3.

Enlighten

Empower

Encourage

The prefix forming verbs of “En” and “Em” are expressions of action and doing, defined as:

To put into;
To go into;
To cover with;
To provide with;
To cause to be;
Thoroughly

In the simplest of terms — Just Do It.

Some may ask, “Do, what?”

Let’s examine the Three E words above — Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage.

Do ~ Light
Do ~ Power
Do ~ Courage

The smallest speck of light destroys darkness. To clearly see the next step on our journey of life, we focus to Do what is right, just and fair.

Whether we think we can – or, can’t – we’re right. We have the freedom to choose whether – or, not – we use willpower to Do what is right, just, and fair.

The strength to change the things we can and to forgive impossible people requires the fortitude – always – to Do what is right, just, and fair.

Some might ask, “Where’s the magic in that?”

To quote:

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,

To help them understand the insights of the wise.

Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,

To help them do what is right, just, and fair.

The catalyst for being of service requires the components of Wisdom, Discipline, and Understanding. The result is a successful life of Doing what is Right, Just, and Fair.

Knowing + Doing = Building Dynamic Relationships

www.kimfoard.com

Let Go & Hold On

Somewhere between a white-knuckle grip and a laissez-faire attitude is the secret to enjoying life’s journey!

Let Go & Hold On

To some, letting go is synonymous with giving up. It is not! In fact, letting go is the only way to leave the Old and embrace the New.

The O at the end of Let Go is a reminder of the Old. The N at the end of Hold On is the focus of efforts to achieve the New.

The best definition of forgiveness was received in a place far removed from a religious setting. Yet, it personifies the journey of sacrifice and redemption: “Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.”

Human nature is comfortable in the ruts worn deep by habit. So many times, the dysfunction of the known is chosen over the uncertainty of the unknown. When the realized pain of the Present exceeds the imagined discomfort of the Future, we change.

The purest definition of insanity is: “Doing the old habit and expecting a new result.” Change is, only, possible when we purposefully leave the Old actions and warmly embrace the New thoughts. Why is it, then, that so many want to drag the Past along, like a ball and chain?

For the sake of discussion, consider the dynamics of walking. To take the next step forward, we must lose our balance from where we have been and catch our balance at the present spot, while focusing on where we want to go. We learned to do that before our earliest memories. Now, that we are older, we tend to forget that simple philosophy.

Balance in our stride is achieved by understanding: “Discretion is the better part of valor.”

While commitment is necessary to Let Go, courage is required to Hold On. The lessons learned are important; the uniqueness of who we are is irreplaceable; and, the value that we offer to the world is priceless. Individually, we have the responsibility to preserve our integrity and defend the core of our character.

To move from where we are, we must know why we are leaving and what we want for the future. Many are those who are running away from their past. Problem is: they have no idea of a destination for the future. They are easy to spot and best to avoid; because, they are going in circles. Join them and dizziness awaits.

In summary, imagine your favorite Road Trip. Do you enjoy it by staring in the rearview mirror? Or, do you soak up the goodness of what is filling the windshield, each and every moment? Rhetorical questions, I know. We focus our eyes forward, with a glance behind.

We enjoy the trip because we Let Go of the miles behind and, as the Captain of our ship, we are happy to Hold On to the possibilities of what might be around the next curve!

www.kimfoard.com

ASK

Courage is a three letter word: ASK — Asking, Seeking, and Knocking are the keys to unlocking treasures of goodness, discovering paths of growth, and swinging doors of opportunity wide open!

Ask, Seek, Knock

Courage is a three letter word — ASK.

In fact, the acronym comes with built-in promises.

Ask and it will be given to you; Seek and you will find; Knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; those who seek, find; and, to those who knock, the door will be opened.

Within the last week, I have been reminded of how powerful one little word can be. As a parent, words are inadequate to describe the appreciation for two young adults, who are boldly making the world a better place. More than words, these two young people are living the principles — and, that takes courage.

Two children with different approaches. Yet, they are using the same Universal Tool to receive goodness into their lives, discover new paths of growth, and have doors of opportunity swing wide open. All because they show up each day and do their part — to ASK.

One has been enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks (pardon the pun) for the last two years. The education and experience ranges from building log homes, pouring concrete foundations, driving beet truck, guiding dudes on hunting trips into — and, back out of — the wilderness, creating barbwire works of art, managing a crew of rednecks, tending bar in a cowboy saloon, busting broncs, and spurring hair off of bulls.

Upon deciding to begin work on his graduate degree in finance, he went to where new wealth is being extracted and asked to be part of the action. By the time he made it back home, a Company wanted to know more — about him. After one five minute interview and a week’s worth of passing tests, this young man is across the threshold into a new adventure of fracking oil wells, in North Dakota, for Sanjel.

His older sister, while more conventional in approach, is just as non-traditional in her own way. A high school math teacher once described this marvelous combination of logic and emotion, straight-line thinker, and creative genius, with this statement, “She does everything asked of her and some things just for herself.”

Directly out of high school, she marched into college. At the beginning of her junior year, she doubled down by starting a full-time job — and, adding another facet to her degree program. Towards the end of four years, a few credits were standing between her and graduation. With a faculty open to negotiation, the delivery of a little extra work earned the equivalent of a five-year degree in four.

For the last two years, education has continued with a ‘Master Certification’ in customer service — and, the experience has broadened to managing technicians into productive roles, for the benefit of all. Wanting to be closer, geographically, to a ‘Special Someone’, she is carefully considering a variety of new opportunities.

A dad’s response to their effort — to ASK — “Wow!”

www.kimfoard.com