Sep 302012
 

Today’s blog post is the third in a monthly series that I plan to post for the rest of 2012.  I hope all the readers of this blog find as much inspiration, value, & encouragement in these as I intend there to be :)

September’s movie recommendation from the vault for eagles ( those who soar! ) & rascals ( those climbers who strive to be part of the 5-10% riding the success curve of LIFE ) is 1989?s original script/film,  ‘Field of Dreams‘.

My review/recommendation will uncover no new facts, as this film has been reviewed by so many different folks over the past 20, almost 25 years, however, my specific intent and purpose in writing this blog post is to tie the themes of the script into the values/resolutions/categories for which I have chosen to use to serve others with = the 8 F cornerstones,  the 13 resolutions and the entrepreneurial/freedom values that many of us take  for granted, but which are the anchor posts of our republic.

 

We open the movie with some backstory on Ray, a non descript 30-something married man with a young daughter who owns a farm in small town/rural Iowa. I enjoyed the opening moments, as they made Ray seem so real to the viewer – and truly, any of us, single or married men, can step right into his shoes. He loves his small family, he seems to like farming ( humour about settling down on a farm aside ;)), and he really loves the American pastime – baseball.

However, his quiet lifestyle is rocked to its core very early on, a voice from the cornfield exhorts him to ‘build it, and he will come’  Who will come?!  Much of the first part of the movie answers that question, and later on, the same voice has a new twist:  ‘Ease his pain.’     At one point, Ray is in his bedroom with his wife, Annie, and he talks about the concerns he has of turning into his father, who lived a safe life – peaceful, yet without vision. No vision, no dreams of something bigger than him, a legacy, although he had sacrified by going off to WWI like so many men in his early 20th century generation.

 

As the movie runs on, we meet some wonderfully descript characters, like Terance Mann, Archibald/Archie ‘Moonlight’ Graham, and so many MLB Hall of Famers too numerous to count!  (of course, the primary spotlight being on ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson).  Each of these men help justify, in Ray’s mind, heart, and soul, that what he did – to break from his father’s dream-less existence and build a baseball field in the middle of his cornfield (!) – was the exact right thing to do. He surely faced the usual criticism, cynicism, and skepticism, and even some outright derision from his own in-laws and many in the nearby small town, however, none of it dissuaded him, or Annie herself, from sticking with this unexpected, yet powerful vision.

And, as the movie moves towards wrapping up (after many tears – I am far from ashamed to admit that I shed them; this movie is so amazingly good, and puts the mind & heart together, as oft our present day society fails to do), while this decision almost split him from his wife (ever so briefly), and put his finances, (economic) freedom, & faith all to the test, it all paid off in spades. Ray gets to spend time with Mann, whom was he & his wife’s favorite author in their college days at Berkeley, he grows closer to his daughter & wife, he travels to Boston & Minnesota to get answers from that voice, and he makes friends with a whole bunch of baseball players who are a who’s who in Cooperstown 🙂

There are so many tie-in’s to the 8 F’s that I have the privilege to share in my business, which is all focused on blessing lives.  I watch this movie to remind me of this high responsibility that I have to serve others, and help them live a life like Ray’s – focused on a vision for the future, wrapped in their dreams, and anchored in quality information that is timeless & based on principles that have served our republic for generations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family:   Ray’s family life was very good before the voice changed his life, turning it upside down. However, it is clear that it was improved immeasurably afterwards.  Goes to show that the ‘good’ is quite often the enemy of the ‘great’

Faith:  Ray’s faith was like many from his generation ( read: ‘How Shall We Then Live?’ to better understand). However, he surely had to grow some very deep roots into fertile soil quickly in order to wrap his mind around what he had to do!  And, he won. Faith can and does move mountains. His fears were very moral, and nary physical. And, there’s a big difference between the two.

Finances:   His wife nearly had to pull the plug on his dream once – while she was with him on his decision, she ran the books, and almost put scarcity ahead of abundance. The abundance of good will he had received from Jackson, the other players, his daughter ( who loved to watch ‘the baseball men’), and Terance Mann were almost toppled by a short term focus on the mortgage and other bills. God will provide for those who have vision and purpose ( read: ‘Visioneering’ to better grasp this)

Following (Leadership) :  Ray is like most true leaders; he doesnt have a title, or credentials, or a position, or lots of fame, power, or money. He was the leader of his small family, and he developed a following of Hall of Famers who, due to mistakes they had made when they were active ballplayers, truly embraced the opportunity to again step onto the dirt infield, grab a bat, and run out into the grass outfield.  Ah, how we take things for granted, as they did!

Fun:   Ray sure did have a lot of fun, laughs, and enjoyment hanging out with the players, and on his somewhat (mis) adventure to Boston!

Freedom:   Like described above, Ray’s finances went from stable to very rocky over the time period in the movie, however, he stuck to his vision, putting the short term on a rope, and pulling it along behind the long term.  It is imperative to always attach your reality to your vision!  ( and definitely avoid the other way around.)

Friends:   Ray built new friendships with all the Hall of Famers ( many of whom were starters on the infamous ‘Black Sox’ of 1919, his father’s favorite team at one time) & a true blue friendship as well with Terance Mann. What a joy it was to watch the latter develop from their first meeting in Boston to the very end, not long after Mann’s ‘steamrollers, blackboard, & people will come talk!!)

And, the 13 Resolutions. How much can be said about how these are so very valuable.  Many of them make an appearance in the script, let’s add them up here below –>

Purpose; Character; Attitude; Vision; Friendship; Finances; Leadership; Adversity Quotient; Legacy

Ray detected, as Viktor Frankl described, his purpose. It changed his life from the inside out, and all for the better. His character was shaped, as we know the equation well, Integrity x Courage, yes?   Ray had integrity, as he had settled down after his college years and was a model citizen, however, he knew his father lacked courage to go after his dreams;  he clearly didnt make the same mistake.

Attitude. How very important this resolution is!  Ray kept his in very good form for nearly the entire movie, even when confronted with some struggles, doubts, and moral fears. Vision. He surely had it in spades, as discussed above!   Friendships were created from scratch and in some cases, given new concrete bonds (the latter with his wife, primarily, who had stuck by Ray, even becoming very impassioned at a PTA meeting, of all places!)

Ray’s leadership shone through all the while building a legacy for his daughter and those family members after her in the Kinsella tree. Lastly, AQ = IQ x EQ x WQ.  A powerful and crucial equation to build!  Ray’s emotional intelligence/quotient was tested in the fires of public opinion, in what his own family members thought of his dream being a ball field in his corn (!) and how this put a major strain on his finances, and in having to prove himself to strangers like Mann & Archie Graham.

We then come to the freedom / entrepreneurial values –  how do they relate to Ray’s story as told in this award winning script?

Innovation:   Ray surely was an innovator. With some help from Annie & his daughter, he built the entire field from scratch!

Initiative:  He took the reins on his vision and anchored the vision to his work ethic & determination to prove to himself and everyone else that dreams can & do come true for those who have courage.  Let alone the fact that he already was an entrepreneur as a family farmer, which is the choice of roughly 1-2% of Americans at the time of the movie’s release, and probably less 20+ years later.

Ingenuity:  See above. And to further illustrate, Ray was given an opportunity to showcase his inner genius, and it surely shown through. Genius is not restricted to simply IQ; far from it. Genius is within all of us, so long as we don’t let the ‘glaze’ of day to day life cover us so thickly as to restrict our neural growth. Remember the “ant” and the “elephant” ?  ( read:  ‘Ant and the Elephant’  for more details)

Lastly, tenacity. All entrepreneurs and those who value freedom are tenacious;  Ray certainly had to be, as the tomatoes were hurled at him from multiple directions, and he put his present situation at risk (family and finances) to realize his dream through that vision that came out of nowhere one hot summer day!

 

I hope you truly enjoyed reading this post, and as always, comments & shares via the blogosphere or through social media are welcomed with open arms. Have a grand-tastic week ahead & enjoy the month of October!  🙂

Sep 262012
 

A few months ago, I was fortunate to be watching, listening, and taking notes from a live stream webinar where the topic of “momentum” as applied to one’s mental fitness, was the cornerstone of the speaker’s talk. He surely hit a grand slam with his research findings!  I do have to agree with him; he said that he didnt know of much discussion in leadership/self-help/personal growth/life coaching circles on this topic, and I haven’t seen anything to contradict his take.  So, with that in mind, and in the interests of paying great information forward in the blogosphere, here’s what I took away from the webinar on my trusty iPad 3  🙂

Feel free to comment & share, and regardless, thank you for taking some time to visit my blog!

___________________________

Physical momentum is preceded by your psychology. You must get a positive current in the pool ( i.e., with your finances, job/career, thoughts/thinking, family )

Mass & motion = two big factors.  How many are moving forward in life?

 

Jim Taylor –  Momentum Chain  – 5 steps

1. Precipating or game changing event
2. This game changing event causes a change in attitude for those involved –>  increase hope, energy, & confidence
3. The change in attitude = leads to change in behavior
4. The subsequent change in behavior will lead to a change in performance  ( an offensive / thriving mindset takes hold. )
5. Lastly, the change in performance drives a change in Results

 

Even a person who is, in all respects, a fish floating downstream (no purpose, lack of vision, just looking to the next day or next weekend) – can & does come upon a game changing event once in a while;  i.e., an unexpected shift in his/her financial outlook, a promotion, a chance to open a new business.  Therefore, he/she must create & capitalize on it.

 

Two Key / Different Ways :

1. Be the Example  ( Leaders lead from the front )
– with purpose , attitude , strong adversity quotient –

 

2. Law of Buy-In  ( getting the big ‘mo )
– get others bought in to what we’re doing –

a.  Excitement
b.  Encouragement – exhorting others
c.  Edification – be a ‘good finder’ in those whom you encounter

 

What’s your purpose?  Living just for the upcoming weekend?  What’s your goal(s) in life?

What do you want?  What’s the price?   PAY it.   ( Resolution 5 )

Developing the right attitude ( Resolution 3 )

– Must constantly crank down the volume on the negative  voice(s)

– Are there bugs on the windshield or are you looking in rearview mirror , be sure to you are cleaning your ‘glass’

– Have to re-frame & get a different perspective all the time.

 

3 Choices :   Give up, give in, or give it all you got.

 

Action – Starts w/ Courage : always a choice there. What holds us back ?   Could be the …

 

Fear of Man
Fear of Loss ( hunker down.; chase freedom, will get security )
Fear of Failure ( only way we learn! )

 

In sum, don’t be a captive of your fear, say no excuses, & have no regrets.  🙂
Making it a romantic battle beats the alternative = going thru the motions / getting into a rut !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deepest appreciation to well regarded business owner/entrepreneur and devoted family man, Kirk Birtles, for taking the time to put together such an inspired, educational, and informative talk!  The content is his from his research & is mixed in with my note taking / added verbiage; it is my privilege and desire to share it here in the blogosphere – if we, combined, can help touch even a single life and make it better, the mission is accomplished.

Sep 232012
 
Visual of the Day : Top 10 Most Read Books

Found this to be very interesting in some ways, and not at all surprising in others.

Of the 10, two of them are on my bookshelf ( Bible – NJKV +  NIV versions ) & Napoleon Hill’s; and at some point, I would like to buy & read the Diary of Anne Frank.

Enjoy the visual, and feel free to comment on this post with any books that you would have on your personal ‘top 10’ list.

Blessings & best regards. 🙂

Sep 192012
 

I recently had the privilege to both hear a talk about these five major, yet very much under the radar, trends live, and then, to be able to dissect it further by listening to it when it came out on an audio (CD/mp3) recording within the past week.  Today’s blog post is focusing on some notes that I transcribed from Mr. Oliver DeMille and what he shared with those of us who were fortunate to be present in person, and then to subscribe to Freedom “F” information from the best source for such info that I know of in the country, LIFE.

____________________________________

Trend No. 1

Genius

When you’re in a society like the West (specifically the USA & Canada) today, you end up with way too much dependency and delegation of thinking to the self-professed “experts” and larger institutions, whether it be government agencies, large corporations/businesses, huge universities, or ‘think’ tanks.  With so many putting trust and outsourcing the running of things, their hope and faith hinge on what they cannot control or, in most cases, influence directly.

A freedom based society, like America was up until Wilson’s presidency (and having declined more and more each decade since), puts the spotlight on individuals to shine, so their inner genius is able to shine brightly. The hope and faith of the nation(s) rests not with “experts” , most of whom aren’t truly up to the exacting standard of one, but rather, it rests on equal opportunity in a free enterprise macro & micro economy with men & women who step up, lead from the front, and act like a lion, rather than following like a sheep.

 

Trend No. 2

‘Glaze’

There’s a direct correlation between No. 1 & this one. ‘Glaze’ as defined for the purposes of this talk & my summary/post, is metaphorically referring to the opposite of genius; namely, the institutions who supposedly are making the right decisions for the rest of the populace/citizenry are actually smothering genius through innumerable reliance on dates, names, rules, regulations/red tape, authority, power, & fear. Freedom based societies look to individuals who have it in their heart, mind, will, and soul to be ‘glaze’ killers: those who go out, serve others, and help them find their genius!

To illustrate in broad strokes, think of what you’d likely find (as always, there will be/are exceptions) when you compared a classroom of preschoolers/kindergartners to a class of 11th graders/juniors in the district’s high school. The former would be very excitable kids, full of questions for their teacher and their classmates, high energy motors, and ready to take on the world = dreaming BIG.  The latter would likely be observed as mostly bored, only asking questions if called on, and looking at their phones wondering when they get to go to play football, or run track, etc.   Let alone, if we take this continuum further to large research universities, business/law schools, or huge multi-national corporations; by this point, the ‘glaze’ has nearly completely hidden all the genius, and is exponentially expanding, as each new student, employee, professor, or TA is steeped further in the society ‘as is’.

 

Trend No. 3

Sensus Plenior‘ 

Sensus plenior can be defined:  “Multiple/many senses/ways”.  It is a means/methodology of reading and thinking that freedom based societies, such as that which existed from 1776-1913 in the USA, uses, from the highest levels of government officials down to, and including the regular store/shop business owner. This is a root reason why farmers and other ‘common’ citizens understood completely what the Founding generation had come up with during the Constitutional convention in 1787 & prior to that, in being able to comprehend the Federalist Papers.

To expound further, the opposite is ‘Sensus Solum‘ .  Sensus solum is a means/methodology that’s nearly a 180 shift; it literally translates as “dry land”. One is reading something or thinking about an issue, from the perspective that there is a solitary, single answer, one that is often required to get the grade/approval from the aforementioned “experts” and institutions to whom our current society tends to turn for way too much. When they are concerned about the ‘masses’ challenging authority on the right ground, for the right reasons, sensus solum thinking dominants, genius is mostly blanketed in a thick ‘glaze’ and creativity, production, and independent thought are discouraged.

One great example from this talk:  When you get a book ( note to self: I need to do this going forward. No excuses! ) off your bookshelf, before beginning to read it cover to cover, come up with a short list of questions, say 3-5, that you will use this book to help you find better answers, to sharpen your thinking to improve your attitude, habits, behavior, results, and get you where you want to go in life.

 

Trend No. 4

Entrepreneurial Values

To no one’s great surprise, except perhaps to those who believe success comes out of the microwave 😀 , there are rock-solid, time tested principles of success that always work when applied consistently, while working hard & smart, and over an adult timeframe ( I am using 5-10 years for my business )

This is by no means an exhaustive list, however, those that Mr. DeMille highlighted were excellent picks, from my perspective on my leadership journey.

Initiative

Ingenuity

Innovation

Tenacity

They are most definitely vital and quite difficult to replace with anything else, I couldnt agree more with him. What really caught my attention, and earned my agreement due to how logical the connection is, is how he connected them with the values of a freedom based society.  If one thinks about it, sensus plenior of course, when there are more entrepreneurs, and that class of business owners is growing, freedom comes alongside and expands outward. (and, by extension, so would prosperity > scarcity, wealth/abundance, and production > consumption )

 

Trend No. 5

Entrepreneurs & their impact on Elections

The final trend neatly ties back to No. 4:  As entrepreneurial values = values of freedom, and freedom based societies, having entrepreneurs understand just how important their individual voices are to their nation’s elections is crucial and cannot be overstated. I admire, respect, and recommend Mr. DeMille & his books (his best known 4 are available through my business) without reservation, and one of the numerous reasons I do is his position on political parties:  he takes no ‘red’ nor ‘blue’ side, he is simply a true master/expert ( WAY over 10,000 hours! ) on freedom, and he realizes, as I have come to see over the past 3-5+ years, that neither US based party has the best interests of the inner genius of our citizenry at its core. While I am an American, and cannot speak for Canada, nor other Western nations ( please comment on this post if you have something to add ), I have a strong inkling it is not any different elsewhere, since most of the world is in the same societal bind at present.

I found his discussion (building off his friend and leadership expert, Orrin Woodward‘s comment) of how the fish has been taken out of the water, and hasn’t realized how badly polluted the bowl’s water has become to be an apt illustration of where we are today. Entrepreneurs need to be successful, inspiring others to become entrepreneurs themselves, and every single one of us has to never take an election, especially local & state, and also federal, for granted. “Hoping” it goes well is not the answer:  The fish can only return to its bowl, and be able to swim freely like before if entrepreneurial = freedom values are sought out in every single candidate for whom you cPeriod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruler’s Law, as WCleon Skousen discussed at length in his past works, is where the tick on the arrow is too far to the left; right now, our Western societies, and most definitely the USA, are there now, too far away from the optimum in the middle. Aristocracy, dependence on so-called “experts” (many of whom are also elitists), reliance/trust in “too big to ignore/fail” institutions that are mainly caught in a bygone era (industrial age), and not enough ‘sensus plenior’ thought = these can be fixed at their roots by creating more ownership, more production/generation of assets, growing our entrepreneurial class, swapping ‘glaze‘ for genius, and simply put: NOT taking freedom for granted.

May you all have a blessed evening, week, and I look forward to any comments you might have.  Thank you very much for reading.

 

Sep 112012
 

Todd Beamer answered the call.  So did the other courageous men on Flight 93.  Leadership is so often mis-defined, even with the volumes of books explaining what true leadership is and must be.  Please be a life student, always be ready to answer the siren call of leadership in your day to day life. Do not outsource your thinking, your education, or your freedom to anyone:   Be ready.