Spectrum of Life

Spectrum of Life

In the simplest of terms, a spectrum is the range of possibilities.

From here to there, the rainbow is a spectrum of color and a reminder of the enduring hope inherent within the human spirit.

Imagine the arc of a rainbow divided into thirds. From the left to part way up is the first third, the center portion is the second third, and the remainder to the right is the final third. If asked to discard one (or more) of the thirds, which do you choose?

Seems absurd to ask, doesn’t it?

Yet, how many people do you know who are content with the spectrum of their life?

There are always three parts to the story of each life. We have no choice to the number of Acts in this Play, which makes no provision for rehearsals, or encores. We do have choices in the script. In fact, we are the writer, director, producer, and actor of this Play of Life.

Act I ~ Honoring the Past

Act II ~ Respecting the Present

Act III ~ Trusting the Future

In listening to people for more than half a century, my discovery is that many of us get stuck in a single Act.

For those with a rich family heritage, the Past is a comfortable place from which to boast. For others, empire building is an obsession for every moment of the Present. For those poor souls enduring the hand of fate, only the Future offers solace.

The result of one-act Plays is the same as a Rainbow missing any of its parts: limited range of color and story.

Act I ~ Honoring the Past

We are social creatures designed for community. No one can be an island, or god unto themselves. In fact, we only exist because two people decided to Tango. Then, there were many others from the moment of birth to this very point in time, who bent our twig and shaped us into who we are.

Act II ~ Respecting the Present

Blink and you’ve missed it. What was is gone and what was to be is, now, this very moment. Because of its preciousness, many remark that it is a Gift. Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive. This is where we make our decisions and do our good work. We are on stage for the entire world to see and enjoy.

Act III ~ Trusting the Future

Fresh and clean, tomorrow waits patiently for us to embrace the joy of the undiscovered. To do so, we must boldly take the next step forward into the unknown. That uncertainty will separate the fearful from the faithful. Heroes are chiseled into legends through their effort to do what others say is impossible.

Now, the questions become:

“What storylines will flow through the script of your life?”

“Which directions will provide the variety of paths to your discoveries?”

“How many productions will provide the resources for financing your dreams?”

And, the most important question of all:

“Are you ready to share with the world all of YOU?”

The one who is good and bad, beautiful and ugly, precocious and cautious, the one-of-a-kind, broke-the-mold, unique creation of YOU is the only one who can present the Acts and Spectrum of your life!

www.kimfoard.com

Quick Draw

Quick DrawWith the flick of a wrist, the portrait emerges. In a matter of moments, a new creation takes form: first, in broad outlines; then, in stunning detail. Last week, I was the subject of a Quick Draw lesson.

Woven into the storyline, though, is another Quick Draw analogy. In the western sagas are the images of the gunslinger and frontier Marshall standing in the street. One is intent on chaos; the other with a belief in law and order. At their hips are the holstered six-shooters.

The tension builds as we wait for the Quick Draw.

Back in February, I acquired a Motorola Android X through Verizon. While some accountants refer to that time of the year (from January 1st through April 15th) as Tax Season, I prefer to think of it as the Season of Three P’s: People, Phone, and Paper. Regardless of the name, it’s a serious and dangerous game.

There is not much time for playing with new toys. So, I focused on the working aspects of my new Smart-phone. It made calls, received calls, made cute noises, and displayed the Car-Dock Application every time it was removed from the beautiful, Verizon-branded, leather holster on my left hip. Yes, I was practicing my Quick Draw.

“Problems” are simply “Opportunities” in disguise. With the new Summer Season and a little time to play, the investigation began as to “Why” my Droid thought I was a Car in need of a Dock! Rather than regale you with the serendipitous path of discovery, which wound its way through a variety of Self-Experimentation and Motorola-Technicians, let’s pick up the story with the Quick Draw episode.

With a stud in his ear, a tattoo on his hand, and a furrow between his brows, the Verizon manager thought it time to intervene in the puzzled look of his sales associate. “What’s the problem?” he asked. “We need to exchange the case,” she replied. By then, he was reaching out to take my Droid and Holster from her.

Sure enough, just as I had experienced and passionately described, the phone displayed the Car-Dock App when slipped from the leather case, with a magnet secured flip-lid.

The manger looked at me and said the “silliest” thing, “Put the phone in the case the other way.” Evidently, the deer-in-the-headlights look from me was the catalyst for him to begin speaking slowing and demonstrating how to place the phone in the leather case screen-side out, rather than in. As he started the second demonstration, my frustration had grown.

“Yes, I understand!” was my contempt laden response. “Problem is that I don’t want to do it your way. I want to slip the phone into the case my way.”

Funny thing happened in that moment: He realized that I wasn’t stupid; and, I realized that my behavior was!”

As I received the Droid and Holster from him, holding the phone in my left hand and case in the right, I quickly realized the absurdity of the situation. That phone was not going to change its response to magnetic fields and the holster was not going to change its composition. I had a choice: to change; or, continue the insanity of doing the same thing while expecting a different result.

The five “its” of Quick Draw Change:

Admit

Before a problem becomes an opportunity, reality must be accepted. Admission is the first step to crossing the threshold into a new world. Whether the price of a ticket or the vivid acknowledgment of the situation, we must admit there is the need for change.

Omit

With the realization that there must be a Better Way, comes the temptation to stay stuck. Until the pain of the present exceeds the fear of the unknown, we wallow in Stinkin’ Thinkin’. To choose a new path, we must omit the distractions of all other variables.

Submit

To bend a knee in deference is the hardest physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual task known to a human. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. To learn and grow, we must be able and willing to submit and sacrifice our ego on the altar of humility.

Commit

Talk is cheap and options are many. The secret to accomplishment is choosing one and then doing it. All thoughts and actions become focused on that singular goal. To take the next step forward, we must commit to shifting our balance from the past to the future.

Habit

Ruts are nothing more than graves with the ends kicked out. Everything we do has been learned and practiced into a pattern of life, with which we are comfortable. No pain, no gain. Any new habit is developed over time, with a certain amount of awkwardness.

As I stood there in the local Verizon store, with Droid in one hand and Holster in the other, I had to admit that I wanted my phone to behave differently. By choosing to omit the options that didn’t work, I was left with one viable possibility.

Darn it was hard to, humbly, accept the advice of someone who had been through the same frustration and was offering such a simple solution.

Yet, I did submit to the iiWii reality (It Is What It Is). By then, I was in commit mode: the past was left behind for a more functional future. The new habit is, actually, fun to practice.

With a flick of the wrist, that Droid, literally, leaps from the Holster into the hand of a new creation.

I have become a Quick Draw artist!

www.kimfoard.com

Creating to Creation

Creating to CreationSince we learn by doing and the fun is in the doing, learning is fun!

Doing is the secret path to discovering happiness. In fact, the power of “ing” brings into existence the “ion“.

All we do begins with a thought. Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.

Thinking produces action, doing produces education, and creating produces creation. One is the process; the other is the result. From its Greek origin, ion is defined as something that goes.

The premise of this treatise is that any accumulation of stuff during our lifetime will go, away.

To continue this thought experiment, we will consider a two-word phrase: Building Empires. The first word, Building, is the process; the second word, Empires, is the result.

Let’s begin by experiencing the feelings, which flow through us, when thinking about an Empire. What a headache, right?! Who protects it? Who maintains it? What do the subjects need and the royalty want? Where are the borders and are they secure? How many turf wars are there between the politicians? When will enough be enough? The answer: Never.

In fact, we are encouraged to remember:

Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.
Be wise enough to know when to quit.
In the blink of an eye wealth disappears,
For it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.

Now, let’s experience the feelings from thinking about the process of Building. Oh, what excitement! There is the initial sense of adventure and discovery. Then comes the dreaming, the planning, the preparing, and drawing of blueprints. Anything is possible! Next, begins the actual construction. Messy at the beginning; yet, still exciting: the hole in the ground, the ballet of activity to pour footings and foundations. And, on it goes, until: we have a new creation.

If we focus on the doing, the learning, and the growing in our individual lives, it is guaranteed that action, education and a new creation will emerge. By engaging in the process of creating, creation will be the result.

We learn by doing; the fun is in the doing. Let’s, continue to, have fun learning!

www.kimfoard.com

Innovators

InnovatorsNew Creations

Doers are focused on Giddy-up Go!

Naysayers are happy with the Status Quo.

“Because something has been done a certain way,”

Is cause for the effect of “the same results each day.”

Those, seeking for a better way, know,

The secret to success is a passion to grow.

Doers are an enigma to the Naysayers.

Those who Do are ostracized by those who Can’t.

The ones who say, “It can’t be done.” are, by choice, in a rut. They might be comfortable there; yet, they have stopped growing. When individuals decide to stop growing, they start dying. The purest definition of a rut: a grave with the ends kicked out.

Let’s break down the word Innovator to see that of which they are made.

In-no-vator

In: They are all in, as in Committed. We might think of the Poker player, who goes “All in.” Or; we consider the athlete, who is “In the game.” Maybe, even, the warrior engaged “In battle.”

No: They are motivated by this little word. At the precise moment they hear it, they gear up. Where, just a heartbeat before, they were tempted to give up, think the goal impossible, believe the effort futile; now, they focus on doing what others say can’t be done.

Vator: They are a fearless combination of Darth Vader and Stealth Raptor. For those of the Star Wars generation, that fictional character was mysterious; for those patriotic souls with a belief in our national symbol, the swiftness and grandeur of the Eagle in flight is exhilarating.

All things new begin with a thought, by an innovator who believes in the “magic” of discovery. A sage proverb advises against stitching new onto old. That which has become old is no place to display that which is new; the new appears out-of-place and, in fact, makes the old look bad. The greater lesson is that, when stress is applied, the new will tear away from the old; the value of both will be diminished.

The moral of this story: For those happy in your ruts, look up to the edges of the known to observe those discovering new frontiers. For those innovators wondering why your efforts are received with less than enthusiastic response, remember and be encouraged: The joy is in the Doing and we learn by Doing; we will, always, enjoy the rewards from learning and growing!

www.kimfoard.com

Rocking Cradles

Mother's Day BouquetChanging the World

Mothers make the world better for days by planting flowers; they improve it for years by planting trees; and, they change it forever by planting ideals in the minds of those they touch.

In the blink of an eye, they bring the greatest gifts into our world. As those little babies are blinking to focus on the new people in their world, parents are thinking about the wonder of life. Words are, always, inadequate to explain feelings. How does one describe this miracle of new birth?!

One thing is for certain, though, mothers have a special bond with their children. From the moment of birth, through nursing, nurturing, laundering, shuttling and care-giving, the fact is: Mom is first in the hearts of their children. Dads, everywhere, marvel with admiration on a facet of parenting accomplished with such grace by Moms: multi-tasking!

Since my son joined his sister, who was three years of age, in the year of 1988, this story is best told by Steve Wariner, who earned a Grammy nomination for Best Country & Western Vocal Performance-Duet with Glen Campbell for “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” in that same year.

He got here red and wrinkled, scared and cryin’
Then, she took him up and held him to her breast
And he sure was glad to get what mama offered
Then he went to sleep and put his fears to rest

It didn’t seem to matter what he needed
He could always count on mama to supply
And regardless of the sleep she might be losin’
He always found a twinkle in her eye

There ought to be a hall of fame for mamas
Creation’s most unique and precious pearls
And Heaven help us always to remember
That the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world

She taught him all the attributes of greatness
That she knew he couldn’t learn away from home
And by the time she wore the cover off her Bible
Her hair was gray and her little man was gone

There ought to be a hall of fame for mamas
Creation’s most unique and precious pearls
And Heaven help us always to remember
That the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world

Yes, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

To all the women, who are changing the world, one child at a time:
Happy Mother’s Day!

www.kimfoard.com

iiWii

To the Power of E

The “Wii” is recognized as, “Games that are easy to play and fun for everyone.” Less well known and recognized is “iiWii”. According to the Urban Dictionary, it is the acronym for, “Kind of Zen-ish generic response to a wide range of stupid what and why type questions.”

It Is What It Is

The definition continues:

iiwii – pronounced (‘e’-‘wee’) – It Is What It Is. 1) An all encompassing short word to sum up an agreed upon and or well understood simple and obvious situation or action. 2) A simple reply to an obvious statement of fact of which there is little or nothing that can be done to change the situation or action.

Many times, the response to an unpleasantness is expressed by, “Well, you can’t fix stupid.”

Or, in other words an acceptance of, “It Is What It Is.”

Does anyone actually believe they are stupid? We, all, do “stupid” things. Does that make us stupid?

Reality is our perception of it.

From our vantage point, we see “stupid people” every day. Or, are they (just like us) doing the very best they can with what they know and what they have? I’ve taken the time to interview a few and, sure enough, they assure me they are doing their best!

The point is: They think they have done their best. I think they are behaving stupidly.

It Is What It Is

For a fact, the beliefs are different. By default, they must be: We are unique creations, one-of-a-kind, broke-the-mold, and very special in the greater scheme of the Universe.

Yet, we are not the center of that universe. We have this “perch of a view” that is uniquely ours. Think about the stories of: an accident, where everyone has a different account of what happened; a tax return, where a dozen accountants each come up with a different result; even, this tome, which will touch each person differently.

If the question is: Why? The answer is: We all see it differently because of our individual, and unique, education and experience. Same set of facts: different conclusions by each and every participant.

It Is What It Is

This is what It is:

I Give

You Decide

You give; another decides. The power to give is within our control. What another does with the gift is outside our control. Our gift may be accepted, or rejected. We give what we are able and willing. Others accept what is pleasing to them. Simple as that.

In keeping with the proverb, “The greatest love is that which is given,” there is a secret in the Karma of “what goes around comes around.” There is a power freely flowing from the Universal Principle involved. We give; we receive. The more we give; the more we receive.

It Is What It Is

Comments from Wikipedia:

Ninetendo’s spelling of “Wii” with two lower-case “i” characters is meant to resemble two people standing side by side, representing players gathering together.

The company has given many reasons for this choice of name since the announcement; however, the best known is: Wii sounds like ‘we’, which emphasizes that the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.

Just we. E-We.

Think of that first E as representing the word “Empower”.

Then, when tempted to judge another, remember:

Good, better, best.

Never let it rest.

‘Til our good is better,

And, our better is best!

It Is What It Is

www.kimfoard.com