Peace of Mind

Mindfulness is the fancy term for living in the moment.

Peace of MindThis narrative is quite different from the experience of hearing an antagonist exclaim, “Let me give you a piece of my mind!”

In fact, this is the greatest gift we can give ourselves – peace of mind.

The funny thing about this gift is that it comes as a result of what we don’t think about.

If our thoughts are about the Past, we’ll find regrets there. If we let our minds sneak into the Future, we’ll meet anxiety of the unknown. Right here, right now – in the Present – it’s great to be alive.

If someone asks us to not think about pink elephants, what do we do? We think about pink elephants. So, let’s eliminate the negatives. We can, simply, remove the word “not” — and, its contractions from our vocabulary.

Mother Nature hates a vacuum. Plant good seeds — or, weeds will grow. We remove the habit of dwelling on the regrets of the Past and stressing about the anxieties of the Future, by focusing on the Present.

Mindfulness is the fancy term for living in the moment.

Seems kind of silly to, even, state the obvious — in the blink of an eye, this moment will be history and there are no guarantees that we will take the next breath.

There is a guarantee, though, that we can enjoy each and every moment, if we embrace a Code.

Say what?! You know, in the words of John Wayne, “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.”

Whatever the Code, it keeps us focused on living up to those standards. Every thought, every decision, and every action is measured against the Code. Our mind is fully engaged, in each and every moment, to living in the Present (truly, it is a Gift).

Since our minds are optimized to remember Three, here are three examples of Codes — which, are important to these individuals:

Code of the West (James P. Owen)

1. Live each day with courage.
2. Take pride in your work.
3. Always finish what you start.
4. Do what has to be done.
5. Be tough, but fair.
6. When you make a promise, keep it.
7. Ride for the brand.
8. Talk less and say more.
9. Remember that some things aren’t for sale.
10. Know where to draw the line.

Two Sets of Three (John Wooden)

1. Never lie.
2. Never cheat.
3. Never steal.

1. Don’t whine.
2. Don’t complain.
3. Don’t make excuses.

Decisions for Success (Andy Andrews)

1. The buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future.
2. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others.
3. I am a person of action. I seize this moment. I choose now.
4. I have a decided heart. My destiny is assured.
5. Today I will choose to be happy. I am the possessor of a grateful spirit.
6. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive myself.
7. I will persist without exception. I am a person of great faith.

We can admire the Codes, above, for their inherent qualities of character. Yet, knowing something and doing it are two, very, different engagements. To move from understanding to belief requires insight — literally, a look inside of who we are, individually — and, all alone.

A daily practice of the ABC’s (Attitude, Boundaries, and Commitment) can enlighten, empower, and encourage each of us to develop and implement our own, personal, Code.

Attitude ~ Which attributes of Character are most important to me?

All we do begins with a thought. To build, we need a blueprint – a plan – to guide our actions. A positive approach to each step will result in positive creations.

Boundaries ~ How can I ensure dynamic Communication?

As soon as we define who we are and what we believe, our friends will encourage and our enemies will challenge. “Yes, please.” and “No, thanks.” are effective gatekeepers.

Commitment ~ What is the passion at the core of my Commitments?

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. Heaven on earth is possible — if, we are determined to take the next step, forward.

By choosing a mindfulness to live with purpose and create a legacy built on a foundation of principle, the result is goodness for all and peace of mind for each one of us.

kimfoard.com

The Word

Two little words: “Yes” and “No”. They are the two sides of the same coin. Once we understand their power, we can choose the appropriate response to any question, or situation.

The WordAll we do begins with a thought.

Each thought is given substance with words.

Thoughts become manifest in words. Words lead to actions. Actions develop into habits. Habits accumulate into character. Character shapes  our Destiny.

At the beginning, from a single thought, our destiny is assured. At any point in our journey, the evidence is undeniable — the inspiration for our ultimate destiny is framed within the parameters of words.

How important are Words?

They are the essence of who we are.

In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
And, the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
And, nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
And, his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
And, the darkness can never extinguish it.

The importance of a Word? Life and Death — Light and Darkness.

Why
One
Real
Delivers

~ Why

Mother Nature hates a vacuum. We either plant good seeds to produce a crop of value — or, weeds will grow. We discover the secrets of life and the passion at our core, by asking, “Why?”

~ One

If it is to be, it is up to me — Me and God. That’s it. Really — it’s as simple as that. Life is experienced from the inside, out. Sure, it’s fun to dance with others. The music, though, is inside each of us.

~ Real

Authenticity is the new cool. Funny thing, though, there’s nothing new under the sun. The next fad will soon pass. Enduring, as a legacy, are the gifts that only we, individually, can offer.

~ Delivers

Results are all that matter. What we do speaks so much louder than what we say. The summation of all that matters: Say what we intend to do — then, do what we say.

Things, today, are about like they have always been. Two thousand years ago, a fellow by the name of Paul was assuring those in his sphere of influence that his intentions were honorable. Those finding fault with him:

» Said that Paul’s letters were hard to understand.
» Claimed that Paul was fickle.
» Thought that Paul had a domineering attitude toward them.
» Felt that Paul wanted to show who had the upper hand.

You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? As surely as God is faithful, my word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says.

At that same time in antiquity, James was sharing the Farmer Philosophy and encouraging patience for those who chose to listen.

You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. And since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes, or no. Just say what is true.

Critics use many words. Their stories go on and on — like the endless desert. Their favorite words are: Try and Maybe. After finding fault with everyone and everything, the critics do things, entirely, differently than what they say. Their word is no good.

We can follow the example of The Ultimate Yes by committing to, always, do what we say. By saying “Yes” to Life and Light, we can boldly say “No” to Death and Darkness.

Two little words: “Yes” and “No”. They are the two sides of the same coin. Once we understand the importance of The Right Word, we can choose the appropriate response to any question, or situation.

Let our “Yes” be Yes — and, our “No” be No.

www.kimfoard.com

Inspirators

Life is about the doing; and, the fun is in the doing. Actions speak louder than words and bright lights make, absolutely, no noise. Inspirators silently motivate by example!

Inspirator
We are well past the Point of No Return and headed into uncharted territory.

Literally, all of the graphs and maps of the past are of little value as we navigate into this new frontier of uncertainty and opportunity.

Beyond the time for leaders — this is a time for Inspirators.

Inspirators provide a breath of fresh air while inspiring the next bold step, forward.

Each day, we have a choice to:

1.) Give in and give up to Resignation and Despair, or

2.) Set a course of discovery with Fascination and Curiosity.

Let’s break down one word to build up our spirits to new heights.

I ~ Ideas, beliefs, and thoughts are the very fuel for the engine of the Inspirator. Not just any old idea will do, either. An Inspirator will collect, process, and file the stories of others until they find one concept that can change the lives of many. They give the rest of their life to make a difference in the lives of many.

N ~ Novel approaches to old problems and new opportunities are the Trademarks of the Inspirator. They refuse to be bound by the insanity of doing the same old things to achieve the same old results. Inspirators break molds to create, heretofore, unknown beauty.

S ~ Singular focus on a target results in a laser-like power to melt away the distractions and objections standing between mediocrity and greatness. Although they are dogged in determination, Inspirators are flexible in philosophy. They adhere to the proven — right up to the moment of innovation.

P ~ Passion is at the core of every breath an Inspirator takes. They inhale the chaos contaminating their world and exhale solutions. First, they listen — then, they generously share in word and deed what is necessary to make a difference. Much more than a desire “To do and die,” theirs is a passion to “Live and guide.”

I ~ Inherent faith, hope, and love of a Power greater than themselves is the catalyst for every successful launch of new endeavors by the Inspirator. They accept the physician’s creed of primum non nocere, (First, do no harm) as a reminder of physical limitations. Inspirators understand the Latin phrase is “a hallowed expression of hope, intention, humility, and recognition that human acts with good intentions may have unwanted consequences.”

R ~ Radiate one small speck of light and darkness is destroyed. Inspirators understand the premise — from the inside, out. They are conduits of goodness for the benefit of all. They purposefully manage their wake to ensure that the ripples from their actions lift others to the beaches of new opportunities.

A ~ A, B, C’s — always maintain an aura of excitement for the Inspirator. Those simple letters are a reminder of the importance of a strong foundation of Education. They are also the trinity for the Experience of building dynamic relationships. Attitude, Boundaries, and Commitment are the cornerstones of life — because, life is all about the people.

T ~ Teaching, coaching, and mentoring are the ways Inspirators transform the “Why” of their existence into the “How” of guiding others to “What” their students want and need. Theirs is not a one-way street of pompous dictation. Inspirators learn, grow and develop from the feedback, insight and creative challenges of other viewpoints.

O ~ Open to constructive criticism is the greatest attribute of an Inspirator. It will be one of the last character traits accepted and practiced. It is the difference between good and great. Because optimism is easy for the Inspirator, acceptance of negatives is hard. No one enjoys receiving honest suggestions for improvement. Inspirators, eventually, accept the importance of understanding the real impact they have on others.

R ~ Releasing the past, letting go of hurts, and offering forgiveness brings the Inspirator to the present belief, “Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive.” They are enlightened, empowered, and encouraged to manage everything within their control for the express purpose of building bright futures for everyone within their sphere of influence.

S ~ Serving is a present tense — action — verb. It is what Inspirators do. While freely giving of their life in service, Inspirators are not doormats to be used and abused. They know and will defend to their last breath the Universal Principle — giving is the secret to receiving.

Those claiming to be “leaders” are a dime-a-dozen. In fact, leadership has become nothing more than a synonym for narcissism. Listen to those touting themselves as leaders and you will hear a chorus of accolades about their own greatness. Pedestals are dangerous — for those on them and for those below.

In fact, life is not about the empires — empires come and go. Life is about the doing — and, the fun is in the doing. Actions speak louder than words and bright lights make, absolutely, no noise.

The difference between leaders and Inspirators is the difference between words and Deeds. Please, tune out the static shrill of self-professing leaders and follow the example of an Inspirator — to become one.

Your life and the lives of many will be positively changed to make a difference!

www.kimfoard.com

Loyalty and Kindness

A ripple and a wake emanate from every action we take. The journey to frolicking in the companionship of accomplishment requires patience, kindness and loyalty.

Loyalty and Kindness“When two men always agree, one of them is unnecessary.”

The quote above is attributed to William Wrigley, Jr. and was, probably, used as adjusting feedback for a subordinate, who was being political rather than productive. Because we are, each, unique individuals, it is impossible to agree on everything, all of the time.

In fact, put two people in the same vicinity and there will be conflict.

Since disagreement, and the resultant creative friction, is a reality and the catalyst for change and discovery, how do we manage it?

Imagine a tranquil setting with a pond as its centerpiece. Overhead, the sun is radiant in a sea of blue and, all around this natural oasis, sounds of life saturate the freshness of the air. That’s the picture before placing two humans on opposite sides of the pond. Before long, one of them will begin throwing rocks.

Since the pond is large, there is no danger from the rock, itself. It is the ripple caused by the rock as it hits the water, which becomes the annoyance. In the course of life, we all make a ripple and leave a wake, behind every action we take.

The real question — How much control do we have over another person’s wake making? Simple answer — absolutely, none.

The only thing within our control is our ripple-making efforts — strength of arm, size of rock, number of rocks, purpose of throw, direction of target, style of delivery, and attitude of approach. We cannot stop another person from throwing rocks — yet, we can influence them by our example. Not by the words, we say — but, by our actions and results.

In the imaginary pond setting created in our mind, consider the possibility of one rock-thrower watching the other until a decision is made to approach with a proposition — let’s share thoughts and techniques for the mutual benefit of achieving synergy of effort and joy of growth.

Before long, the rock throwing morphs into more enterprising thought and effort, until … who knows what might be possible?!

The journey from opposite sides of the pond to frolicking in the companionship of accomplishment will require the patience of a Saint. In fact, it will require a point of reference and a frame of mind:

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

Easier said than done — because, when we find ourselves in conflict with another person, it is so much easier to see their faults and what they could do to improve our situation. The temptation is, even, strong to tell them what they should do.

At that moment, the time has come to remember the pond. The actions of another person and the resulting ripples of their choices are out of our control. Now, focus on what, individually, we have within our control and can choose to do —

Practice loyalty and kindness.

www.kimfoard.com

School of Thought

The answers discovered, today, for yesterday’s questions are guaranteed to be wrong for the new opportunities of tomorrow. All we do begins with a, creative, thought!

Creative BrainAsking the right Question is much more important than having all of the right Answers.

At one time in the recent past, the Question: “What is found at the end of freight trains?” was deserving of the Answer: “Caboose”.

For one generation, that fond memory is now an antique safely archived in Railroad museums.

For our current, high-tech, digital generation, the Text message of curiosity to their friends to ask for an explanation might be in the form of “Cab—what???”

Question: Why, then, do our formal programs of education test for a finite answer to a limited set of questions?

Answer: It is big business to sell the dysfunctional idea that one person has the answer to another’s question.

As a result, we have several generations of gifted and talented individuals waiting to receive guidance for their lives from a clueless academia. No one has the right answers for anyone, else. At best, our educators might be brave enough to explore what is right for one person, themselves.

It is the height of arrogance for anyone to believe they have all of the answers. The most important facets of life cannot be explained by mere mortals. The answers discovered, today, for yesterday’s questions are guaranteed to be wrong for the new opportunities of tomorrow.

Since we learn by doing and the fun is in the doing, let’s focus on having fun as we learn. The journey to the choice of our individual destinations begins, right here, right now.

In fact, the secret to asking Questions is inherent in the discipline to practice the ABC‘s.

Attitude:  Whether we think we can, or can’t, we’re right. As a creative genius with an 8th Grade formal education, my Dad believed: “If a man made it, I can fix it.” And, he did. Time, after time, he accomplished the impossible.

Boundaries: Those are the fine lines defining our growth, to date. They are the demarcation between where we end and another begins. Self-respect runs unabated within; Respect is generously offered to those without. Mutually beneficial transactions occur at the border.

Commitment: Choosing one and foregoing all others is the first step to moving forward. Forsaking the un-chosen focuses all energy on the, one, most important, choice. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

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In our human condition, we will make MISTAKEs. This is the ultimate Question: aM I Seeking To Ask (and) Knock Effectively? Intelligent people are always ready to learn; their ears are open for Knowledge. To acquire Wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish Understanding will prosper.

Life is simply an exercise in practice techniques: Amateurs practice until they get it right; Masters practice until they can’t get it wrong.

All we do begins with a, creative, thought!

www.kimfoard.com

Between the Ears

All we do begins with a thought. “R U Thinking?!” The secret to pleasant relationships and successful adventures is discovered between our ears.

Palomino HorseClose your eyes and imagine a beautiful horse. Before you do, though, prepare your mind for this action: Imagine yourself walking up to that horse.

OK, now, do it.

Whenever you choose to rejoin us, you will have a story to tell about the trip that you just took:  Color of horse; stallion, gelding, or mare; how many hands high; location of the stables; and, season of the year. Priceless!

With the image and story in your mind, please, tell me: To which part of the horse did you approach?

The odds are good that you walked up to its head. You wanted to feel the warm breath from the nostrils and tickle of the whiskers, as you received a nuzzle and a nip from the lips of your horse expressing its affection for you. Then, you might have returned the love by reaching up to rub and scratch between its ears. The session probably ended with a head pressed against your chest and arms wrapped around a neck, in hugs.

More than a love story, this one is headed for destiny.

As a Certified Public Accountant and builder of bright financial futures, any planning for success involves a consideration for income taxes. Some people become so obsessed with them (Taxes), an appropriate encouragement is: “Never let the tax tail wag the dog!”

The reason you didn’t walk up to the rear of your dream horse is because of the same thought process used when I tease Clients into re-focusing their attention, from the tail, to the body of the dog: Rear-ends are dangerous.

Think about these two scenarios: The best relationship and the greatest professional success. I guarantee that both of them required planning, preparation, rich conversation, time investment and a dynamic commitment to flexibility; all done on the front side, with no “end” in sight.

The choice is ours: We can either manage from the front; or, clean up the mess at the rear.

Consider this: When driving, what are the odds of success if we focus on the rear-view mirror? Isn’t the trip much more fun looking, forward, through the front windows?

One letter is the difference between “ears” and “rears”: R

To honor the simplicity of the Text Generation: “R U Thinking?!”

Or, do you only see the “R U T” and believe that you’re stuck, in a rut?

Seriously, that’s the difference between leaders and lemmings: Thinking. Trailblazers are always dreaming and focusing on what is ahead (pardon the pun). Crowds are always content to follow behind. Unless you’re lead dog, the view never changes.

Lest there are some who believe Lead Dog is out of their reach, please, (R U Thinking?) consider that there is only one of you. YOU are unique in all of the specimens of humanity. Your special gifts of insight and ability do make a difference in the lives of all you touch.

Good, better, best.
Never let it rest;
Until, our good is better,
And, our better, best!

All we do begins with a thought.

The secret to pleasant relationships and successful adventures is discovered between our ears!

www.kimfoard.com

Here We Are

It is by our individual choices that we find ourselves, exactly, where we are at the moment. Wherever we go, there we are!

New Year 2011

Last night, at the end of one year and the beginning of another, I was reminded of the expression: Wherever we go, there we are.

I felt a tap on the shoulder while standing in the crowded Bull & Bear Saloon of Red Lodge, Montana. Dancers were kicking up their heels to the music of Wild Bill and the Coyotes. There were only a few tables to hold drinks and conversation. The rest of us were engaged in the bump and shuffle of tight quarters.

As I turned around expecting a polite disclaimer of accidental contact, my eyes met those of someone intent on conversation. Always up for a little social banter with a complete stranger, I listened as she said, “My kids sent me over to ask you to dance.”

Assuring her that I love to dance, I asked for a first name. About the time Becky and I headed for the dance floor, the band plucked the final chords on the last song before a break. Just my luck! Oh, well, accepting that things do happen for a reason, this must be perfect timing for a little conversation before we waltzed into the New Year.

For the next ten minutes, I heard the story of two husbands, four kids (2 by 2; ages 22, 18, 11, and 7) and a pending adventure in Alaska. Yep; as Becky exclaimed, “I need to go find myself, because I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!”

Upon hearing that oft stated phrase, I always wonder, “How can you find something for which you don’t know to look?!”

As dysfunctional as the story-line was, I did have to admire her honesty. Earlier in the evening, I had noticed this woman in a group of Twenty-somethings. She was ordering shots of Tequila and leading the way into oblivion.

How sad.

Sacrificed on the altar of Selfishness were at least two “committed” relationships, four children and all hopes of a family life. Now, I understand, there is surely more facets to the Rest of this Story. What I do know for a fact: We get what we allow.

If we don’t know what we want, that’s exactly what we get: The result of a decision by someone else. That’s what parents do for, and to, children. And, they do it for all of the right reasons. Young children are, too, immature to decide for themselves.

About the age of 12, though, is the Age of Reason; we all start to think for ourselves. Then, in the teenage years we begin turning those thoughts into words and actions (some pleasant; some less than). Sooner, or later, we learn that our actions have consequences.

Society is fairly forgiving in our young adult years. Parents and others will listen to the whining and rationalization about how the world must be picking on the poor, saintly, martyr. Eventually, though, it becomes obvious that:

Wherever we go, there we are!

It is by our individual choices that we find ourselves, exactly, where we are at this moment. No one forced us into our decisions; no one is that powerful. In fact, even God recognizes the importance of free will. We are given opportunities; it is up to us what we do with them.

Becky’s children didn’t make her push through a crowd for the purpose of asking me to dance. Becky made that choice. Her children didn’t ask to be born into a broken home. Becky made that choice. I am absolutely positive those same children don’t want their mother to seek the thrill of a new adventure in Alaska, as she leaves them behind in Montana. Becky is making that choice.

Yes, her tone was that of a teenager as she complained about the past, expressed uncertainty of the present, and looked forward to finding herself in the future.

My amusement of the immaturity surely expressed itself in facial expression, body language, tone of voice and the actual words, playfully, teasing Becky about her choices. Soon, the, real, young adults were looking for new entertainment adventure. Their leader accepted their offer as an appropriate exit strategy from our conversation and off they went, in search of the unknown, by the unknowing.

www.kimfoard.com