Nov 272013

Do. Learn. Define.

Therein lies the fundamental, root issue with why so many do not find lasting success (however they chose to define it) nor significance in their lives.

Define. Learn. Do.

Not only is this 180 degrees different when you examine in writing or hear someone say it out loud, it is also inside-out transformational for one’s thinking and mindset.

Why is the former far inferior to the latter?

Let’s dissect this at a high level in this post. This concept can easily form the spine of a book, or the core theme of an entire evening’s seminar, so additional comments from those who read this post & identify with this are most welcome to offer input.

First, the former.

In old style, agricultural/industrial age schooling, you are often asked at some, or many points, by an adult in authority something along the lines of “What do you want to do when you graduate?” Without being aware of the far superior alternative, this seemingly straightforward question has pinned the teenager (‘you’) into a corner, and continued a programming that nearly often leads to mediocrity and a settled for life rather than one of uncovering genius, serving others, & being part of something far bigger than oneself.

Then, often, the answer received by the adult ranges from a shrug/blank stare, to a verbal “I am not sure/don’t know”, to, in some cases, a detailed reply from a smaller percentage of teens. This is quite often the lead-in to the learn step, where, often, one finds themselves on the college prep track, taking classes to beef up the transcript for colleges “A”, “B”, and “C” to evaluate when it comes to the next stage. You are embarking on a journey to learn whatever it is that you want to do

Lastly, whatever you end up learning defines your life; its contours, its obligations, most usually, your budget ( mostly debt ), and even where you live and whom you associate with.

You’ve now been boxed in = a Pre-defined outcome based on the first step you took. And, keep in mind, this step was driven often unconsciously, due to societal norms and perhaps peer pressure. Can this box be broached, so you can re-learn something else after changing your answer to the “do”? Yes, however, not all that easily.

What about flipping the entire equation, and turning it on its head? Let’s look at it:

Define – define your life, ‘Johnny’; where do you see yourself in 5? 10? 20? years. What’s your ideal day look like? What are your priorities that you want to fulfill?

Learn – Let’s find / lead you to someone(s), something(s) which will lead you through the steps, phases, decision points, thought processes, and commitments which are required in order to reach the lifestyle which you’ve defined in step one.

Then, wrapping up with Do. Now, after your thinking has been changed by this new information and perspective/mindset, it’s time to act. Take action! Make mistakes. Failure is a direct input to success. Do what the someone/something advised and recommended. For instance, if you want to be wealthy and have both time & money, follow the success principles which the truly wealthy advised in the books & audios, and what your mentor(s) who have what you want have told you.

Is this not evolutionary, let alone revolutionary, in how it differs? For certain.

Why don’t more folks in the West, let alone America, make the latter choice? Simple reasons > Too much noise v. proven gold medal information. Conditioning & programming. Those without success teaching those who have yet to have the opportunity to learn success principles that break the mediocrity ‘chain’. A lack of reading & listening, and being unaware of the value of education v. schooling.

These reasons can be dealt with. And, it’s one of my missions to reach as many as I can to help them realize that there is a choice.

Thank you for reading & may your days be blessed in all ways!

Aug 112013
What you do MATTERS -- Serve. Pay forward. Give. Bless Others.

Ripples in the still water…

They are caused by something which breaks the stillness; something which serves as the cause, while the effect is palpable to the naked eye …

Who among us, likely while with your parents on a hike, a camping trip, or at a retreat, hasn’t tossed a rock into a pond, a lake, and watched with glee as your act caused something so obvious? ¬†Raising my hand, I am one of them ūüėÄ

So, why would we, as adults, not apply this same principle to your life?

What you do MATTERS.

Here’s the principle I speak of. This is not a new idea, yet I wished to cover it today, as earlier this summer, I was privilved to hear a moving talk from an accomplished business owner ** ( w/ her husband ) who re-told the story that I’ve linked back to at the bottom of this post. The story is a core of the ‘Butterfly Effect’ , and is synonomous with ripples from a smooth stone tossed as a young child. Rather than re-tell that story, let’s use it as inspiration – print it off, and refer to it often …

Let’s apply this to our lives today. Stop spending so much time on obligations that only benefit ourselves and which have limited value to our families, trusted friends, and our society. Our families are the cornerstone of our culture – thus, the butterfly effect, the ripples, matter – and our culture is in dire need of an infusion of leadership that rises from organic growth of our own thinking. Our friends are valuable, so why would we not spend time and effort cultivating those relationships? ¬†That will ripple.

And, social capital can only be rebuilt by conscious focus on restoring values which will bring satisfaction in our business ownership (or our careers/jobs), our faith/spiritual development, our marriages/parenting, and in our time spent community building (anything from the YMCA, PTA, church youth groups/VBS, et al.)

Yes, what you do MATTERS. Focus on priorities! Match your calendar to them at all times. No excuses, please. If you rank something as #1 in your life, it should be #1 on your calendar in terms of the time you spent on it, as often as possible. Sure, urgencies will arise; so long as you remember Covey’s ‘Big Rocks’ vid clip, the visual should stick with you ¬†to guide you back onto the path in case you are knocked off of it.

It is a privilege of mine to serve others, paying forward world class/gold medal information which has the highest potential to lead to the butterfly effect in others’ lives. Help one person/family/entrepreneur fix an issue and grow their servant leadership? ¬†Define their purpose? Sharpen their vision? ¬†Up their adversity quotient? ¬†Fix their finances at the deepest roots? ¬†Those are ripples. They are priorities for those folks, right? ¬†So, the stone and rock tossed is the information, that which, once learned & applied, will effect the change.

How amazing a feeling to shake hands, hugs, fist bumps, and pats on the back with the people whose lives you bless!  Up your count. Give of yourself & pay forward transformational info that has benefited you/your family/your business. And, you will have  your own opportunity to be the Moses, the George W. Carver, the Henry Wallace, and the Norman Borlaug in your own ways.

+ + +

** Thank you so very much, Laurie Woodward, for your ability to inspire through stories! The story that she cited can be found elsewhere; however, here’s a great source that is found easily online >¬† ¬†<

Mar 232013

This was so eye opening to me, that I immediately had my next blog post topic!

So yes, we’ve all heard of rules before. Many times. Often. However, what about these kind of “rules” , those which have a strong root in past history, and can surely be re-applied as history’s rotating cycle has brought us into a ‘4th season’ and on the upcoming brink of a ‘1st season’ ? ¬† Most definitely worth discussing!

These 14 are derived from C.E. Sargent’s classic read, ‘Our Home‘ , which is a Top 100 recommendation on the TJed Teen/Youth list, thereby making it a must-read, regardless of if you grew up in this classical educational tradition, are now embarking on it, or will be in the future.

One/1 :  Embrace the New, then Embrace the Now.

“Those who pine away for the old will not succeed, nor will those who wait around for the old days to come back.”

Two/2 : Spend evenings and Sundays with family.

Community’s cornerstone is the family unit. When endless entertainment, excessive trading of time for money, dissolution of family, or other issues arise, it’s surely best to address these at the root.

Three/3 : Strengthen your selfculture.

This is the antithesis of popular culture; it runs counter to the concept of peer pressure (fitting in with the crowd, looking for approval, being right with others)

Four/4 : Articulate and write out your individual rules for life.

Who are you?  Leaders are not conformists, except to core morals & goodness.

Fifth/5 : The focus of families is on raising adults & the focus of education is to prepare young people to be good parents & informed citizens.

Opportunities abound to offer leadership and other crucial chances to impact society positively to those age 12 & up; responsibility is borne from the need to help the family succeed.

Sixth/6 : Meaning is a central component of learning.

Replacing the tunnel focus on ‘getting ahead’ & prosperity for self. Gratitude, mistakes as growth moments, & persistence shine through.

Seventh/7 : Spend time serving the less fortunate/vulnerable in society.

Service ahead of self (entertainment all the time) and boredom are moved aside. This creates real community and rebuilds social capital.

Eighth/8 : Marriage as a central, vital project/focus.

This evolves from putting working & parenting ahead of your spouse. Family is strengthened, tying back to the fifth rule above.

Ninth/9 : Pursue & complete a true leadership education.

Also known as an ‘Impact’ education, this replaces 1:1 the previous focus on job & career / professional track. Initiative, ingenuity, tenacity, creativity, and persistence, amongst other skills/values are at the core.

Tenth/10 : Entrepreneurship.

A must. Period. Even for those who have apparent security in their job/career, many find that the security translates to prosperity or fulfillment. The views of entrepreneurs changes over the seasons; the best to emulate is “build(ing) a business to change the world.”

Eleventh/11 :  Produce wealth.

The best time to produce wealth? Build it when the community, including your family (to maintain standard of living), your country, and society need it the most — in times of economic calamities and challenge. The response is to become a producer, which is far more valuable than a dependent, victim, employee, or consumer.

Twelfth/12 : Developing Creativity and Inventiveness.

Doing so helps address society’s problems & ties back to the 11th rule in producing something(s) of value. Opportunity springs from challenges in offering people what they need, as well as want, even in times that it seems far more difficult to do so.

Thirteenth/13 : Inner resiliency.

Winston Churchill is a wonderful role model for this rule. He was able to remain optimistic and enthusiastic even when life was very very hard. Leadership dovetails perfectly here with effecting positive change.

Fourteenth/14 : Growing your ambition.

Being clear to define ‘ambition’ in the right context for the season/time, as either/both of these > ¬†Making sure the right side wins. Making sure the right changes happen.

The quality of the education and leadership determines at the heart what will result from the winning side’s victors and after the change(s) take place.


Did this information hit you as mentally hard as it did me? ¬†I have come to believe more and more that the times we are in are far from what the self-anoited ‘experts’ are saying is a ‘great recession’; on the contrary, it is far, far deeper than that. However, without reading, studying, and listening, let alone associating with those who also do these things, its clear why a fair number of those in America & the West have agreed, at least on the surface.

Comments are most welcome. Thank you, as always, for reading, and God Bless.


* Chapter 7 in the terrific book, ‘Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens” was my primary reference for the above; some of the comments below each rule are mostly my own, tying in from other books.