Perfect Imperfections

Perfect ImperfectionsThink about the person you most admire.

Why do you admire them?

Isn’t it because they are calm, cool, and collected? Nothing seems to bother them. They are like a Rock — waters part and go around them. Regardless of the craziness swirling around the situation, they focus like a Laser on the points of meaning.

And — the point on which our heroes focus — “Play the cards you’re dealt.”

Seldom is there the “perfect” hand of cards. In fact, the greatest “sport” is in playing the less-than-perfect hand. The adrenalin rush from the courage and skill required to navigate uncertainty trumps the monotony of the sure thing, every time.

Why, then, do we judge ourselves to be less than someone else? Maybe, they are pretty. Maybe, they are talented, in one thing. Maybe, they are intimidating, in speech, dress, and mannerisms. Who cares? They are not perfect — and, never will be.

Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

An old farmer lived in a small village with his teenage son. He worked hard in the fields and his meager possessions were limited. The most valuable of his belongings was a work horse, which he used for tilling his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills, seemingly lost forever.

The man’s neighbors visited and sought to sympathize with the old man over his bad luck. “We are sorry for your bad luck,” they would tell him, shaking their heads in sympathy. The farmer, lifting his hands, gently as if balancing a scale, replied softly, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Two days later, the farmer and his son were working in the fields. The sun was slowly creeping behind the hills in the distance. They caught sight of a horse cresting the mound. Their horse had returned with a herd of other wild horses. The son quickly corralled the horses and the neighbors were in awe of the farmer’s good luck. He responded with the same reply as before, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

The next day, the farmer’s son attempted to tame one of the wild horses. As he rode in the corral, he fell off the horse and broke his leg. As you can imagine, this was believed by all the neighbors to be very bad luck. However, the farmer, once again, replied …  “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Several weeks later, the army commanders entered the village seeking every able-bodied youth they could find to fight in the war. As they came to the old farmer’s home, they had no use for a boy with a broken leg. He was dismissed … “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

And — so, it goes. Who knows?

You can — that’s who.

You can know this — LIFE is a journey to be enjoyed, in the moment. Going back is impossible and the future is uncertain. Accept what is and the game becomes more fun.

So — why not — live in the moment, with all of the “imperfections” inherent with it.

Let’s stop whining about everything outside of our control and start smiling about the opportunity to play through.

In the game of golf, there’s the general rule of, “Hit it where it lies.”

Good shot? Bad shot? Who knows?

Swing away!

www.kimfoardcpa.com

One to Five

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.

www.kimfoardcpa.com

Take the Next Step

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. 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 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 a course, peaks trump 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

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

Family Center

Family CenterI was headed downtown to enjoy a little lunch, when one small sign on a large, windowless, commercial, brick building, stopped me in my tracks:

Center for Children and Families.

Really?!

In the olden days, that was affectionately known as a Home.

Much more than brick and mortar, love was nurtured there. Around the kitchen table, enjoyment was discovered in meals, games, and conversation. Within the sanctuary of that home, dynamic relationships flourished.

There has been a multi-generational attack on home and family.

Love grows in small homes, not McMansion laboratories.

Lessons spring to life in creative homes, not Propaganda mills.

There is a solution to the dysfunction of a society hammering square pegs into round holes.

How ‘bout we encourage men to engage in their hard-wired desire to provide and women to benefit from that purpose? The expression “barefoot and pregnant” is the jaded attack on a truly liberated woman. From the comfort and warmth of home, she enjoys the freedom to pamper her family.

Pampering is a multifaceted activity. It is not a one-way street of service to others. It is, also, the ability to bask in the purposefully provided time and resources, made available for growth and development, as decided by each woman.

Just let a man come home to the rejuvenation of that loving family environment and his life becomes one of purpose. For the benefit of his family, he is focused on becoming the best dragon-slayer, ever. As a result, the marketplace benefits from his commitment to serve.

By serving all in his sphere of influence, a man with purpose achieves a high level of success in every arena. The rewards of his effort are the resources which will provide opportunity for his family. The circle is complete, as he steps across the threshold into the loving arms anticipating his return home.

That’s the reality.

Home is the center of Children and Families.

Any other building making that claim is, simply, a Counterfeit. Yet, we know the building, itself, did not attach a sign of proclamation; an individual did. With pure intent, that individual, their compatriots, and those many Taxpayers providing the resources, are doing the next best thing.

The best thing for you, me, and all of our families, is for men and women to make every sacrifice to establish real Homes, not centers, for Children and Families.

www.kimfoard.com

Three Chords

Three Chords

Many times, less is more.

There is merit to the KISS principle:
Keep It Simple Sweetheart.

For music aficionados, the minors and majors add a dimension of emotion to the foundational key. Variety is the spice of life. Yet, the basics of scale and note must exist before flavor is added.

So, it is with the melodies of the heart.

We can achieve harmony with a commitment to always: Honor the Past, Respect the Present, and Trust the Future.

The Basic Functions of Harmony

At its core, all music can be considered an interplay of tension and release. The degree of tension can come from dissonance vs. consonance, orchestration, dynamics, or a hundred other musical elements. The key to using tension and release is balance. With too much tension and no release the tension can become unbearable and the music unlistenable. On the reverse side, if the music is too neutral with little to no amount of tension it can be dull and lifeless.

The Perfect Country Song

He sits with his elbows on the table, mellow and relaxed. He smiles a lot, and his deeply lined face is dominated by serene brown eyes. “A lot of country music is sad,” he notes softly. “I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times. It applies to music. Three chords and the truth — that’s what a country song is. There is a lot of heartache in the world.”

Honor

We are the beneficiaries of those who have gone before. By their sacrifice — the blood, sweat, and tears of their effort — we enjoy opportunities, otherwise impossible. Everyone has done their best, with what they have known and the resources available.

Respect

Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive. This is the only moment to boldly make our decisions. By setting aside the regrets of the past and the anxieties of the future, we can focus on the choices available at this time.

Trust

With preparation, comes opportunity and success. By doing our best to become all of which we are capable, we can confidently look forward and know that goodness waits for us. It might be in the form of lessons to be learned; or, it might be a celebration of accomplishment. Either way, it will be right, for us.

Three chords and the truth is the melody of a life to be enjoyed.

For generations to come, that song will endure.

www.kimfoard.com

Contentment

Contentment

As surely as the pendulum swings, the only constant in life is change.

From the harshness of winter comes the vitality of spring. The productivity of summer provides the harvest of autumn. Then, Nature rests once more, before the cycle begins, again.

Such is life. Why, then, are we surprised at the cycles and seasons of our emotions?

If we’re riding the natural highs and lows, there will be periods of vigor and production. There will also be times for pause and rejuvenation. One season is not better than the other. Both are important to achieve the symmetry between action and rest.

At the edges of the pendulum swing is a definitive pause, right before the change in direction. Then, the bob begins its journey to the other side. That action is guaranteed to result in a pause, before another actionable cause.

We only want what we don’t have. Once we have it, we don’t want it anymore.

By default, then, if happiness is a pursuit, it can never be achieved. Once we have the object or subject of our affection, purposeful work, and the attainment of an anticipation, what then? Naturally, we want something else!

Maybe that’s why the old-timers documented for our benefit this observation,

Human desire is never satisfied.

They went on to offer this encouragement,

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.

Danger is always at the extremes. That’s why guardrails were invented. Edges are important. They identify where we give pause and remind us to focus our actions on the safe, middle, ground of the highway.

Off in the ditch is no better than speeding toward oblivion. The secret is to keep putting one foot down in front of the other on a purposeful journey of discovery. Guaranteed, there will be Highs and there will be Lows.

Since our steps have direction, we can focus on the present moment. We peacefully accept,

Why try to understand everything along the way?

If the moment is less than pleasant, our thought is, “This too shall pass.” If the moment is an adrenalin rush, we joyfully exclaim, “Wow!”

We can be happy by, simply, enjoying who we are, in any moment, in any place.

As a hero of mine frequently encouraged, “Whatever the situation, make the best of it.”

www.kimfoard.com

Pro Verbs

Pro VerbsWhen push comes to shove, what do you do?

The first natural reaction is to Freeze, while a response is chosen to Fight, or take Flight.

The decision to Fight is made with an affirmative answer to this question, “Big enough to matter and small enough to win?”

The decision to take Flight is, generally, made within the context of, “Run away to live another day.”

At the moment you’re scared silly, who cares the most about your life? Remember, the rest of us are busy slaying our own dragons and enjoying periods of calm between bouts. Does anyone else really care about your anxiety attacks?

People turn to the professionals. Surely, they have a magic wand to calm frayed nerves and to keep the monsters at bay. Nope. Sorry. Contract professionals are hired guns. They are paid to be very good in specific areas of expertise. They are not magicians.

So… we’re back to you and your choice. What do you do?

Within the question is the answer.

Let’s take a look at the simplicity:

You
Do
What
… ever, to create the life You want.

You become the Professional, the one who cares the most about your dreams, your goals, your vision, for YOU.

Once your arms are tightly wrapped around the reality that the world is what You make of it, the Pro is ready for Action.

Ready, Fire, Aim?

As a professional, you know better. Activity without purpose is dangerous. You are, definitely, Ready. Is your immediate Target crystal clear in your sights? If so, squeeze.

Will you miss the mark, at times? Yes. Will you FAIL (First Action In Learning)? Yes. Will you, eventually, waltz into a reality beyond your wildest imaginations? Yes!

There are few guarantees in life. This is one.

If you become a PRO in caring the most about the passion at the core of you and DO your best to share that with all in your sphere of influence, YOU will enjoy an abundant life.

You will be a person of action, a living example of a Verb: The part of speech that expresses existence, action, or occurrence in most languages.

In other words, YOU will be a Pro-Verb: A word or construction (creation) that takes the place of a verb or verb phrase, such as do in the sentence, “She likes ice cream and I do, too.”

YOU will become a PRO-fessional DO-er: someone skilled and confident in the daily practice of life. As you give your best in service to others, fear retreats and faith advances.

When push comes to shove, remember, you’re in good company. There’s a whole book dedicated to the brave men and women passionately committed to this discovery:

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.

You guessed it. The name of that book…

Proverbs

www.kimfoard.com

Mind Propulsion

Mind PropulsionEvery time a jet leaves the gravitational pull of earth, those below stand in awe and those aboard marvel at the miracle. The miracle is our Human ability to harness Universal principles.

Why, then, do we have a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (with a Map to get there); yet, not a single Google search result for Mind Propulsion Laboratory?

Which is greater: The creation or the creator; the jet engine or the mind that imagined it?

We readily acknowledge that, individually, we are one-of-a-kind. As unique and temporary as snowflakes, each of us has a short time to make an indelible mark on this world. The best way to do that is to use our mind, for the benefit of many.

Jet engines do not miraculously appear. They are built. The same is true of our mind. Piece by piece and neuron by neuron, our minds become the engine of what we accomplish.

We have a choice in the direction of our lives. It’s a simple matter of programming. Today, we are the cumulative result of every choice to this point in time. We go where we look. The future will find us arriving at the destination of our, individual, choice.

As simplistic as it sounds, the reality is certain: Choose no direction; go in circles.

My recommendation: Choose a worthy pursuit.

Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity, and honor.

Pursue indicates a passionate desire to achieve.

Here is the point of no return; the fork in the road; the real choice to be made. Will we be a Go-Getter, or a Go-Giver? Achievement for the sake of ego is less than noble. Accomplishing mutually beneficial results is a worthy goal.

Speaking of which, success can be defined in a myriad of ways.

Here are two:

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. ~ Earl Nightingale

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. ~ John Wooden

To arrive, we must begin. To reach a destination, we must have one. To navigate, we must be able to measure our progress.

Remember, our mind is the engine of our craft. The manner in which we fuel it will determine its performance.

Let me ask a very simple question: If we (You and I) are strapped into the nose of a rocket, what quality of fuel do we want in the tank? Great minds do think alike. We want the very Best; Premium; Grade-A; Number-1; Super-duper; Fill-‘er-up-to-the-top!

Same thing for our minds: Let’s pour in the Good-Stuff.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

There are few guarantees in the pursuit of righteousness and love. This is one: By training our minds to Think this way, the odds of success increase astronomically.

How can we remember this daily propellant for our minds?

I’ll guide us into a flight pattern.

Think: Three-P’s. (Philippians)

Think: Two sets of Four equal Eight (4 and 8); begin with True, take a LEAP.

True (4)
Noble (5)
Right (5)
Pure (4)

Lovely (6)
Excellent (9)
Admirable (9)
Praise (6)

Think: What’s up with the Numbers?! Add ‘em up (the number of letters in each word); the sum is 48 (4 and 8). Separate the digits and that’s Chapter and Verse. (Philippians 4:8)

Then, our minds begin processing other relationships between the Letters, Words, and Numbers. For instance … look at the P’s (middle two of the Three-P’s) at the bottom of the Two sets of Four: Pure and Praise. And … since N comes before R, the two-5’s are in sequence: Noble and Right. Flashes of thought are igniting in minds, everywhere!

What was difficult to remember a few minutes ago is now etched into our minds.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

If we, daily, step into the Mind Propulsion Laboratory, for the express purpose of Research and Development, our orbits of influence will increase exponentially!

www.kimfoard.com

Pearls and Pigs

PearlsHave you ever been attacked for offering goodness?

Have you ever been condemned for doing right?

Has another person ever trampled you into wondering, “What’s up with that?!”

There must be a better way.

In the realm of human nature, literally, there is nothing new under the sun. Things today are about like they have always been. Amazing, though, when it’s our pain, the hurt is real.

When managing our emotions, this one encouragement is a reminder of the power that is ours: We get what we allow. In other words: If we do what we have always done, we will get what we have always got.

Tired of being attacked? Sick to death of being condemned? Crawled out of the mud, for the very last time? Want a better Way?

Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy.

Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!

They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

Who are PIGS?

People
Intently
Glorifying
Self

What are PEARLS?

Precious
Exquisite
Arrangements
Reflecting
Life’s
Secrets

The precious gem of your multifaceted life story deserves to be shared with the world. Just, because a few ugly creatures are ungrateful, does not diminish the value of YOU.

Accept the responsibility for offering your gifts to the wrong people, move beyond the pen of PIGS, and offer your PEARLS to those patiently waiting for the one and only, unique, creation of YOU.

www.kimfoard.com