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

Plan To Do Good

Two words can be a constant reminder of our life’s purpose: Loyalty and Kindness.

Loyalty and Kindness

All we do begins with a thought.

The gift of thought raises the human condition above the animal kingdom.

Without the ability to think, we would react as all animals do — with instinct.

With the freedom to choose, we are able to be the Captain of our own destiny.

Although able to choose, the question remains,
Will we?”

Able and Willing are two entirely different concepts. The first is an inherent gift. The second is, literally, a moment to moment decision. Often, the next step is taken with furrowed brow and gritted teeth. By sheer determination and courageous will, action follows thought.

In other words, the ability to think and talk must be followed by the willingness to wink and walk. Thought without action is simply a fleeting fantasy of imagination.

The bridge between thought and action is a plan — a blueprint — if you will. Great plans result in great results.

If you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.

A certain amount of brick-and-mortar is necessary for a comfortable life. Food, clothing, and shelter are the basics to survive. What is required, if we want to thrive?

The surprising answer is not something we accumulate for our own comfort. Yet, we benefit the most by giving them to another: Loyalty and Kindness.

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.

We must choose to believe in the merit of these two words and all they can produce. Constant in our thoughts, they are of value only when practiced. Knowing and Doing are as different as Able and Willing. Education and Experience are required to draft the next great plan of action.

If you search for good, you will find favor.

Mother Nature abhors a vacuum. The only way to displace the unpleasant is to fill the vessel with goodness. That requires a conscious thought, a plan of action — and, a commitment to do so.

Your kindness will reward you.

As the uncertainty of current events swirls around us in a torrent of conditions beyond our control, let’s focus on the jewels around our neck and the journals of our heart.

Two words can be a constant reminder of our life’s purpose: Loyalty and Kindness.

Let’s plan to do good!

www.kimfoard.com

Doing The Impossible

He started to sing as he tackled the thing that couldn’t be done and he did it.

Doing The ImpossibleTwo fellows stand side by side at the Train Station.

One has just arrived to board the train.

The other has been there for quite some time.

In fact, day after day, he reiterates this belief, “Well, here comes the train, but it probably can’t get stopped.” As the train gently stops and passengers board, his comment is, “Well, somehow it got stopped, but it probably won’t be able to start, again.” Then as the train throttles down the tracks into the distance, he watches it go with a declaration of, “Well, that’s the last we’ll ever see of that train.”

Securely attached to his bad beliefs, that fellow is left behind.

The first fellow watches the same train come into view with the belief, “This is an opportunity made possible by the teamwork of many.” With confidence, he steps aboard in eager anticipation, “Those who serve me are deserving of my deepest appreciation and respect.” As the journey begins, he focuses on his purpose, “What goes around comes around. I intend to offer my best to everyone.”

It Couldn’t Be Done

By Edgar Albert Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Two fellows are given the same opportunity.

One is tethered to a distorted perception of reality.

The other is destined to make a difference in the lives of many.

All we do begins with a thought and a bit of a grin.

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

Less Is More

The accomplishment of a harvest is the “Ribbons and Bows” around the planning and preparation that transforms thought into action.

Less is MoreMuch more dangerous than failure is success.

With success comes loss.

There is a loss of striving to reach the goal.

After the empire is built, then what?

Last week, in the course of a three-hour conversation with an empire builder, he was most proud of one story.

It was not about the treasures of the empire — it was about the joy of doing. The story epitomizes the essence of this Universal Principle: the fun is in the doing.

As his eyes danced back to the memory of a time long ago, he spoke of a harvest. Earlier in the conversation he had briefly mentioned the juggling act of doing the seeding — in and around the other duties, of caring for his cows. His first love is the livestock — he farms to care for them.

He smiled as he reminisced about an accomplishment only a few can appreciate. As a member of his club, I enjoyed the verbal portrait he presented. It was one of a cowboy, a combine (without a cab and with a 14’ header), a small straight truck, 320 acres of 20 bushel wheat, and 11 days.

Just imagine hot August days — with hardly a breath of air — sitting in the open on a bouncing seat, above the spinning reel of the header, as it sweeps the standing stalks into the cutting bar. The moving aprons catch the fallen individual stems — with heads of grain — and gently rolls them to the center of the combine.

This continuous river of wheat flows under the driver into the threshing cylinder at his back. More dust and more roar, as metal fingers pluck wheat kernels from heads of grain. A cowboy, a combine, and a cloud of dust creep back and forth through the field.

The field is 320 acres. That’s one mile long and half a mile wide. A mile is the equivalent of 5,280 feet. With the combine traveling at two miles per hour, two trips across the field can be made in one hour. Each swath measures 14’ across. Since the cowboy, the combine and a cloud of dust have 2,640 feet (one-half of a mile) to traverse, that’s about 200 trips back and forth across the field.

Two trips per hour, nine hours per day, for eleven days was the time required on a bouncing seat, in the heat of August, through a fog of chaff, for our cowboy to earn the right to tell his story. In addition to the time in the driver’s seat, effort was also required to grease, fuel, and repair the iron beast. That was done throughout the stops to unload each hopper of grain into the truck for transport to the bin.

Short story — long lesson: the fun is in the doing.

Really?! Eleven days of slogging through the discomfort of heat, dust and itch. Fun? Yes! Because, the accomplishment — of a harvest — is the “Ribbons and Bows” around the planning and preparation that transforms thought into action.

Actions accumulate into a manifestation of success — the treasures of an empire. The stuff will come and go. The legacy will last, forever.

The legacy is, simply, to say little and do much. A little bit of verbiage can be powerful — by speaking only the truth. Yet, actions speak so much louder than words.

By giving our best, each and every day, we honor those pioneers of long ago — and, encourage the beneficiaries of tomorrow, to discover their own path to destiny.

www.kimfoard.com

Count the Cost

From the moment we have a Thought, all the way through the process of what we Do, there will be a Cost to every choice we make, guaranteed.

Count the CostIn every decision we make, two resources are at risk: Time and Money.

One, or both, will either be consumed, or invested.

The management of each is within our control.

We choose whether to spend, or invest.

We either choose, or the world will choose for us.

In fact, even when we choose, the world is prepared to laugh at us. That’s OK if we have put forth the effort to become all of which we are capable. The laughter of others, then, is simply their opinion of our effort. Success is the peace of mind in knowing we did our best.

Our best is only possible with Planning, Preparation, Practice and Performance. In any endeavor, these components form a circle of learning and growth.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

These seven magic words (above) ending in a seven letter word (THOUGHT), with U in the center, are the Alpha and Omega of the Four P’s.

In the beginning, is a Thought; the bigger and bolder, the better. Because, that initial thought becomes a target, a Goal if you will, worthy of what we choose to Do. The Four P Horsemen of Planning, Preparation, Practice and Performance will carry our effort through to a result and the appropriate Celebration of accomplishment, at the end.

This is the natural progression of a single Thought:

1.) Goal
2.) Planning
3.) Preparation
4.) Practice
5.) Performance
6.) Celebration

All We Do Begins With A Thought

From the moment we have a Thought, all the way through the process of what we Do, there will be a Cost to every choice we make, guaranteed.

From the Good Book, comes this encouragement:

But, don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, “There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!”

In every decision we make, two resources are at risk: Time and Money.

Of the two, Time is the most precious. Those who consider themselves Idea People, with runaway thoughts, fail to recognize the Cost for their flavor of the moment. If they are thinking about This, it is impossible to think about That.

There’s a Price we pay for, absolutely, everything.

As the progression of activity moves forward through each stage, from Thought, to Planning, Preparation, Practice and Performance, there is either an actual monetary Price, or an opportunity Cost of forgone alternative options. Even, the occasion of joyful Celebration requires the resources of Time and Money for the opportunity to tie ribbons and bows around the accomplishment.

Guess what, though? With accomplishment, come even bigger dreams. They will arrive in the form of more and different thoughts about new opportunities, heretofore, unseen. The cycle of learning and growth repeats.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

Please, count the cost.

www.kimfoard.com

Laws of Motion

Individually, deep down, in our heart, soul, and mind, we can feel the forces, which influence the Universal Principle, “What goes around comes around.”

Laws of MotionWhen an idea is tested and verified, it becomes much more than the original thought.

It moves past the semantics of a suggestion to a full-fledged law.

Now, I know that Political Correctness has disdain for the notion of law.

Yet, we fully appreciate the law of gravity. It is a recognized force on our bodies 24/7 and provides the security for us to stick on this spinning orb of Earth.

Sir Isaac Newton is the fellow given credit for “discovering” the Law of Gravity and the three Laws of Motion. Since he was able to put words around these ideas, let’s give thought to why these principles affect our relationships.

Universal Gravitation

Gravity or gravitational forces are forces of attraction. Every object in the universe that has mass exerts a gravitational pull, or force, on every other mass. The size of the pull depends on the masses of the objects.

We attract the attention of others. Everyone within our sphere of influence is affected by our choices. The effectiveness of the pull depends on the size of our character.

First Law of Motion

The first law says that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion, with the same direction and speed. Motion (or lack of motion) cannot change without an acting force.

Habits are so easy to form and so, very, hard to break. Whether stuck in a rut, or constantly searching for the next adventure, people continue on a distinctive path.

Second Law of Motion

The second law says that the acceleration of an object produced by an applied force is directly related to the magnitude of the force, the same direction as the force, and inversely related to the mass of the object.

Less is more. Size of ego will have an inverse relationship on acceleration to growth and opportunity. Large egos seldom budge from their grandiosity.

Third Law of Motion

The third law says that for every action (force) there is an equal and opposite reaction (force). Forces are found in pairs.

The ebb and flow, the give and receive, the yin and yang, creates the harmony of the universe and enhances our interaction with another person.

The common denominator inherent within all of these laws is a Force. In every culture, religion, and belief system, there is an underlying premise of Right and Wrong. No formal reference to an authority is necessary to state the obvious.

Each person knows this to be true. Individually, deep down, in our heart, soul, and mind, we can feel the forces. One is light — the other is dark. One is love — the other is hate. One pulls us up — the other pushes us down.

The force, which we choose to act upon us, will determine our:

Pull ~ Effectiveness of our efforts on those in our sphere of influence.

Progress ~ Effectiveness of our dynamic actions, direction, and speed.

Prospect ~ Effectiveness of our responsiveness to new opportunities.

Performance ~ Effectiveness of our dance into the hearts, souls, and minds of those we love.

All of these ideas, theorems, and thoughts can be summarized into one statement of this Universal Principle, “What goes around comes around.”

www.kimfoard.com