One to Five

By bending a knee in service to all, we will receive everything our heart desires.

Five by Five

Let’s start in the middle.

What is the most powerful three letter word in the English language?

YES ran a close second. Yet, it can also be the most dangerous word — if not accompanied by NO.

So, again – standing on its own – what is the most powerful three letter word?

ASK

See how powerful it is? If we need, or want, to know something, we simply ask. By asking, now, you know my opinion.

While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, please, let me share the reason for my belief.

The three letters of ASK are actually an acronym for Ask, Seek, and Knock. If we Ask, we will receive answers. If we Seek, we will find opportunity. If we Knock, doors will swing wide open.

Now, let’s count down, from three, to one.

DO is the most powerful two letter word. In fact, knowing and doing are two entirely different concepts. We can ask to know, which empowers us to act for the benefit of others. Yet, until we do, our knowledge is worthless.

I is the most powerful one letter word. It is the only Individual over which we have absolute control. Beyond our fingertips, any semblance of control ends. For the narcissists among us, this isn’t all about you — there’s the rest of the story.

WORK is the most powerful four letter word. Taking personal responsibility for ourselves is the greatest gift we can offer. Because, only, then, can we share the excess bounty from our efforts with those less fortunate.

SERVE is the most powerful five letter word. Want to be happy? Simply, focus on taking care of the wants and needs of one other person. Want to be, really, happy? Passionately, help enough other people get what they want and we can have everything in life we want.

It Is What It Is —But, It will become what you make It.

I
DO
ASK
WORK
SERVE

From top to bottom, life really is that simple.

By bending a knee in service to all, we will receive everything our heart desires.

kimfoard.com

Do the Work

Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all of your strength.

Do the Work

Those who have done nothing always amuse me — because, they presume to know everything.

Evidently, the one thing which has escaped the cauldron of their arrogance and ignorance is an understanding about the Buckets of Knowledge.

• Bucket 1 — Those things we know that we know.

• Bucket 2 — Those things we know that we don’t know.

• Bucket 3 — Those things we don’t know that we don’t know.

If we’re totally honest with ourselves, there’s a little bit of “ac-knowledge-ment” about what’s in Buckets 1 and 2. We’re clueless about that big Bucket 3.

Simply — “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

A closed mind is a dangerous thing to encounter. The dark, swampy, stewed mixture of arrogance and ignorance emits a stench from which to flee.

All we do begins with a thought.

Until we choose to believe that we have much to learn, actual learning is impossible.

After adopting new thoughts, we must embrace a new habit,

Say what we are going to Do — and, Do what we Say.

Since we learn by doing and the fun is in the doing, let’s have fun learning, together.

In fact, if our minds wander back to the regrets of the Past, or if they race ahead to the anxieties of the Future, we can calm them by focusing on the task ‘at hand’ in this Present moment.

Yes — by putting our hands into doing something, our minds engage in helping our hands be successful in this new adventure. Any ‘mistakes’ are merely acknowledged as measurements on this Journey of Progress.

From the Sage of the Ages,

Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all of your strength.

From the One of the Word,

My Father is always working — and, so am I.

By doing the work, we learn. We are also humbled — to be honored — in more fully understanding how little we know.

At that moment, we join true Leaders in the chorus,

What you learn — after you’ve learned it all — counts most of all.

In other words, let’s forget about the Buckets of Knowledge and open our minds to learning, more — by doing the work.

kimfoard.com

Trinity of Choice

Life is so much more fun when seasoned with the Rewards and Risks of action.

Verily, it is almost a religious experience to ask a simple question and to receive a simple answer.

Why is it that so few people know what they want?

Why do they complain about who and where they are?

Why are they reluctant to provide the answers to questions?

Listen carefully to one-hundred individuals and about five of them are happy, content, and at peace with the world. The other ninety-five will be complaining about something. Why?

Happy people take full responsibility for the: Who, What, Where, Why and How of their existence. In fact, they understand their life is the result of every single decision they have ever made.

We get what we allow. If there is something in our life, we put it there. If there is something missing from our life, we have purposefully kept it out. By the selective process of Yes and No, we have made our life, exactly, as it is, or isn’t.

The really whiny individuals of the world will counter with an argument that they didn’t decide. I thank you for the opportunity to state the obvious: A decision to not make a choice is still a decision.

When given the opportunity to choose, we can:

Do the right thing.
Do the wrong thing.
Do nothing.

That’s the trinity of choice. Imagine a fork in the road: Left, Right, or Paralysis. Imagine an elevator: Up, Down, or Stuck. Imagine a simple question: Yes, No, or Maybe. You get the idea.

Do the right thing.
Do the wrong thing.
Do nothing.

Doing the right thing garners inherent rewards.
Doing the wrong thing reveals inherent risks.
Doing nothing does nothing.

Do nothing, be nothing. Do nothing, get nothing. Do nothing, go nowhere. Do nothing, answer nothing. Do nothing, accomplish nothing.

Zero times anything results in a zero-sum game. Life is so much more fun when seasoned with the Rewards and Risks of action.

When facing a choice, make it.

Do something, even, if it’s the wrong thing.

Better, yet, do the right thing!

www.kimfoard.com

King Ranch

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

King RanchThe question was a simple one: How does a guy get ahead?

It was expressed with emotion and a twinge of frustration.

His eyes and body language were communicating the same, legitimate, curiosity about life. I realized he was serious and I was at a loss for words.

Sitting in front of me was a young man of twenty-three, who had accomplished more in the last two years than many get done in a lifetime.

Far beyond the six-figure salary that society uses to measure success, this young man is responsible for the lives of two dozen men, many who are more than twice his age. He manages millions of dollars of trucks and equipment for the production of billions of dollars of revenue.

Even more important, than the money and resources for which he is held accountable, is the character at his core. And, I guess that’s where words fell short of providing the best answer possible. All I could say in the moment, “Just keep on doing what you’re doing. You’re doing it right.”

We both knew that wasn’t the best response either one of us ever heard and, in time, there was apt to be more to the story. Two weeks later, I had a few more thoughts to share. This is the Rest of the Story.

At age twenty-three, empires are enticing. Courageous young men are determined to build one. And, that’s a good thing for them and all in their sphere of influence. The secret that awaits our crusaders is that the process of building is much more fun than the empire, itself.

The young empire builder and I have common knowledge of individuals sitting in the middle of wealth they did not earn. In this newly tuned conversation, I asked that we mentally separate those men from their inheritances. Then, we examined the individual ability to produce: those who appear to have it made vs. those who actually get-‘er-done.

The list is pretty dang long of the things this young man of twenty-three can do. Because of his humility, he was reluctant to begin taking inventory of his attributes. I gently reminded him, “It’s not bragging, if you can do it.”

Then, we considered what the “Born on third-base ~ Thought they hit a home-run” types can do. That didn’t take long: very, short list.

For a couple years now, I’ve been on this kick: All We Do Begins With A Thought. So, with time to think about his excellent question, I knew a better answer was possible. In fact, the answer was in the question, “How does a guy get ahead?!”


There it was: “A Head”: a noggin which is constantly thinking about splendid dreams. Thoughts without character are as dangerous as ships without rudders. And, that my friends, is when it dawned on me, that as much as my first response was adequate, the best answer recognizes the power of mind and heart.

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.

We are a combination of our heredity and environment. Undeniably, we slip into this world hard-wired a certain way and, then, parents bend our little twigs.

Communication is what the listener does. Stories provide food for thought.

As we were sitting in Red Robin, munching on our hamburgers and fries, I began a story about Volkswagens, Road-trips, and Ford Pickups that I had been rehearsing in my mind for two weeks.

My dad worked on ranches owned by others. He made $200, per month, cash wages, the equivalent of $2,000 in today’s dollars. Half a century ago, the tradition was for Moms to be homemakers. So, one household income provided funds for the daily necessities and a two-week trip in the fall to exotic destinations.

Well … for a kid who lived twelve miles from the nearest semblance of civilization the other fifty weeks of the year, places like Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe, California, seemed like another world. From the prairies of Montana to the wonders of the Sierra Nevada, and beyond, miles of road stretched before us like ribbons around the best surprise.

The year was 1965 and my parents had just purchased a brand new VW Bug. Not the Super Beetle introduced in the mid-1970s, or the Daisy Mae sedan sporting a flower vase; this was the original bug: Pregnant Roller Skate in the vernacular. I was 10 and my little sister was 3.

Looking around Red Robin for a way to describe the cabin size of that classic automobile, my eyes measured the four-person booth at which we sat. Perfect; the size of the table top was approximately the same amount of space in that VW Bug for two little kids and luggage for a Family of four.

My dad had an eye for packing and a creative mind. By removing the backrest from the rear seat, he could stack suitcases and travel totes to create a wall of luggage and a replacement backrest for his passengers. Our little bottoms, somehow, fit on the eight inches of seat visible and available.

Off we went on our adventure. As an experienced truck driver, Dad knew to adjust his speed according to road conditions and the weight of his cargo. In September, the highways are absolutely perfect. Yet, we were heavy. I remember leaning over to peek between the front seats to see the speedometer needle stuck on 45.

With four on the floor (manual stick-shift transmission) and four in the rear (cylinders in the air-cooled engine) maybe that was top speed. I don’t know. What I do know is that it was an era before audio books and iPods. Lucky for us, though, we had the real deal and an iMom. She read books, lots of books, to us.

The first Interstate Highways were being constructed. They were wonderfully straight and smooth. Cars and trucks passed us as if we were standing still. On the narrow, two-lane, roads, we backed up traffic for miles. Two little kids, with noses pressed to side windows that didn’t open, witnessed many middle-finger salutes.

I closed my eyes and dreamed about fast cars.

Fast-forward to 1971 and we were living in the foreign country of East Texas. I was 16 and running a tractor and brush-cutter for a farmer. He let me use his newer model Ford pickup to haul diesel fuel out to the field for that little John Deere tractor. For some reason, I imagined him giving me that pickup.

I closed my eyes and dreamed about fast pickups.

Then, in the spring of 1972, Dad decided he missed the open country of the North. We were headed home to Montana, kind of. A job was available on a ranch near New Underwood, South Dakota. For the month that we lived there, I rode to school with the kids of the family who owned the ranch. They all drove newer model Ford pickups.

I closed my eyes and dreamed about a fancy Ford pickup of my own, someday.

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.

From the dream of many years ago to the reality of what I drive, now, a 2011 Ford Lariat King Ranch pickup, I told the story for the merit of the journey, not the destination. The value of the Builder is much more important than any Empire.

Rocky Mountain High

As I looked into the eyes of my lunch partner, he seemed to understand the moral of the story: To get ahead, the mind and heart are our greatest resources. Of all the men I know, if push came to shove, the one I want watching my back is this young man with great questions.

He has dreams of a ranch, cows, and horses.

His grandfather and I came down from setting roof trusses on the day this young dreamer brightened our world. As a Leo, he is a King and I believe a Ranch will be his, someday.

www.kimfoard.com

A Penny Doubled

If you were offered 1 Million Dollars, today; or, 1 Penny, with the opportunity to double it for 31 days; which would you choose?

A Penny DoubledIf you were offered 1 Million Dollars, today; or, 1 Penny, with the opportunity to double it for 31 days; which would you choose? We all do it; we go for the immediate gratification and forfeit 9 Million Dollars!

Granted, instant wealth is a secret fantasy of us, all. The next best dream entertained is to receive compound interest on a passive investment. Least favorite is to, actually and actively, earn our way to wealth.

Since the odds of winning a lottery are slim to none and interest rates are little better, let’s take a look at the return on smart thinking and hard work. Passive investments hope to earn a percentage on what already is. Active efforts yield bountiful harvests from the whole seed, planted for the benefit of future growth.

Real treasure has nothing to do with money and everything to do with the lessons learned on the journey of Life.

Speaking of which, a rich Fellow had business obligations in a far away country. Before leaving, He entrusted money to three of his servants in proportion to their abilities. Two of them went to work and earned double what they were given. The third one dug a hole and hid the gift.

Upon the rich fellow arriving home, the servants were asked, individually and separately, to give an account of how they had used the money. Two of them replied, “Master, you gave me wealth to invest and I have earned double the amount.”

Their master was full of praise and to each of them said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.You have been faithful in handling this small amount; so, now, I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”

The third one recognized the Farmer Philosophy inherent in the principle of the matter; yet, did nothing to increase the principal of that within his sphere of influence. His response, “I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.”

No percentage. No harvest. No celebration.

After the disrespectful excuses and tepid tirade, the fearful one was quizzed by the benefactor, “Why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.”

It’s not about the money. It is, all, about the lessons learned on this journey of Life.

You see, the rich fellow didn’t really care about the money, or the percentage of its increase. He was more interested in providing opportunities for growth. That only happens by smart thinking and hard work.

Then, he ordered, “Take the money from the lazy one and give it to the one who harvested the most. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given; and, they will have an abundance. But, from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”

All, we do, begins with a thought and the fun is in the doing!

www.kimfoard.com

Little Things

When standing nose-to-nose with the Monster, we have two choices: 1.) Forfeit our dreams and the prize — 2.) Chisel the beast down to size.

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

All for the want of a horseshoe nail.

All of us encounter big challenges throughout our lives. Some are of our own making — others, from the hand of fate. When we are standing nose-to-nose with the Monster, there are two choices. We can either forfeit our dreams and the prize — or, chisel the beast down to size.

Mile by mile, it’s a trial,
Yard by yard, it’s hard,
Inch by inch, it’s a cinch.

Little things make a big difference:

1.) In the entire universe, there is only one YOU. The fingerprint of your touch is unique in the lives of those, within the sphere of your influence.

2.) While respectful of the very tangible Role Power by those in authority, you hold in your hands the greater intangible Relationship Power to enlighten, empower, and encourage.

3.) The person most mature in any relationship will lead the way by being proactive, patient, and kind. You have the ability to break down dissenters — by, loving them to pieces.

4.) All good things in life must be built. By doing your planning and preparing to succeed — in being a good steward of Time and Money — the sanctuary of a home nurtures innovation.

5.) Construction is an ugly business. From the bits and pieces of a beginning, masterful creations are the result of your passionate brick-by-brick effort, to deliver value to the world.

6.) By asking, seeking, and knocking — you will hear ideas, find truth, and walk through open doors. Each person has something to share.  Care abundantly, Listen intently, — then, Do good.

7.) Focus only on changing ‘Things’ within your control. ‘People’ change, only, when they make the decision to behave differently. Forget about pleasing others. Work on yourself.

Big things and big people have their reward in the daily headlines. They are so proud of their largess. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Salvation of the realm will be done by the little people — who humbly tighten the nails to save the shoe, save the horse, save the rider, save the day, and preserve the kingdom for the benefit of everyone.

www.kimfoard.com

IIITB, IIUTM

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.

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. In regards to boundaries, discretion is the better part of valor.

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