Who am I?
+ Do you know what drives your economic engine? Your faith/spiritual walk? Do you embrace liberty & know the meanings of freedom? Do you have a family that means the world to you? What is your WHY? +
Where did I come from?
+ What are your roots & even more to the point, do you know WHY you believe WHAT you believe? Be an independent thinker at all times; let no media, PR/advertising, or other outside influence sway you without heart, spirit, and mind being engaged through your own research. +
Where am I going?
+ Do you see your future clearly, whether over present day obstacles/challenges, or clear as the blue sky above? Do you have a 1,3,5, 10 year vision? Is your subconscious mind pulling your conscious mind along for the ride to your dreams? Do not plan more for your wedding, vacation, or your ‘weekend’ more so than your life. The latter is far too important to drift through w/o focus, hard/smart work, & chasing something far bigger than your present reality. +
I recently put a cap on a terrific book called ‘Peaks and Valleys‘ by Spencer Johnson, M.D. What a truly inspired read! I compare it to the ‘Great Connnection‘ , ‘Leadershift‘ , and ‘The Ant and the Elephant‘ in terms of how much it impacted me through the lens of a business parable writing style. This post will not serve as a recommendation / review of the book ( please visit my other blog for that in near future ), but rather, I will sum up some immediate thoughts that I had about the book; it’s core themes can easily be applied to anyone’s life.
Five Major Themes
1 + ‘To Manage Your Good and Bad Times:’ > ‘Make Reality Your Friend’
What an on point, to the heart question Mr. Johnson poses! “What is the truth in this situation?”
How often do we allow ourselves to think independently, or use our self-talk as a positive, rather than a huge lead weight? Let alone bringing the word ‘truth’ into the solution to a problem, however small or vexing, or seemingly unsolveable?
2 + ‘To Get Out of a Valley Sooner:’ > ‘Find and Use the Good Hidden in a Bad Time’
Fantastic perspective! How often have we heard that there’s a silver lining in every dark cloud? This is a corollary of that metaphor. Yes, but it sounds so corny?! You may say..
Sure, you may respond that way, and it may even be the case, however, being able to laugh at yourself and have fun, even in bad times, brings levity and is like dropping some of the bricks from the bag which you filled yourself.
3 + ‘To Stay on a Peak Longer:’ > ‘Appreciate and Manage Your Good Times’
Absolutely. Comparing this to what I’ve heard on an audio multiple, multiple times — you should not eat your seed corn or wheat. These crops are akin to good times; one may also be familiar with the metaphor, ‘every good time must come to an end’
Don’t use these in any way but to be a good steward of your resources — financially, do not spend every penny that you make; ignore the incessant calls to borrow more money which will keep you in debt in perpetuity — relationally, always be humble, do what you have done to get to your peak. Turn the spotlight off of yourself, and onto others.
4 + ‘To Get to Your Next Peak:’ > ‘Follow Your Sensible Vision’
Mr. Johnson describes it well – “Imagine yourself enjoying a better future in such specific, believable detail, that you soon enjoy doing what takes you there.
You cannot merely fantasize, wish, or pretend; you have to use the immense power of vision ( Resolution 4 ) combined with planning, doing, checking, and adjusting ( Resolutions 5 & 6 ) to make what you have dreamed about real!
Bastiat’s Law, one of the FLD, will tug you away from doing any of these last four action steps, making you want to play the lottery, or wait for someone to leave you inheritance monies, however, to scale a peak require real work and effort.
Lastly, 5 + ‘To Help People:’ > ‘Share It with Others!’
Simple, yes? However, don’t fall into a trap of human-ness, and want to hold these lessons close to you like a blanket in the winter; be grateful you heard them, and turn around and pay them forward. Resolution 13 is a clarion call to thinking well beyond you, and planting the seeds that will become great trees, or stalks of corn, or fruit in others’ lives; those whom you may barely know, or will never meet.
Whether you give this book out as a gift, loan your personal copy to someone, practice these lessons and be the example in front of everyone, or something else not listed, just be sure to get “outside of yourself”, and put service before self.
Have a wonderful week~!
What do these words signify for those who are pursuing, studying, or are already (servant) leaders(hip)? They are core themes, and are much like a step-ladder on the way up from the ground floor to being truly significant. We are well past survival ( which 85-95% of the population, regrettably is doing at most/best. ) and beyond success at this point — you, yes you, are pursuing truly making a ‘dent in the universe’, like Steve Jobs talked about before his untimely passing.
Let’s start with mission. The ground floor of a 5-10%’er, so to speak. This is deep, the petri dish where genius is born, and where potential is developed. The benefit of having your mission detected ( a term coined by Viktor Frankl, when discussing mission’s cousin, purpose ) is that you are able to lasso your true potential, bless others’ lives without expectation of return, and to truly benefit society.
Here’s a list of missions – with metaphorical thought, you may be able to come up with others beyond the below:
Feed the hungry.
Clothe the naked.
Liberate the captives.
Educate the ignorant.
Heal the sick.
For me, I have two: spread(ing) prosperity & educat(ing) the ignorant. What is/are yours?
From here, we go deeper — level/stage two — submission. Don’t mis-interpret the definition or the context; this is a healthy and effective type – it is a mark of a truly successful person striving for significance who submits to a mentor: his/her thinking, taking direction, and realizing that there is a whole lot that you don’t know.
A great mission is worth submitting to; you are developing your genius, which is inborn within you, and oft-times lies fallow due to a lack of a vehicle, or the best quality information, to bring it to fruition.
A simple question to help shape: Who is it for?
How about taking another step up that all-important creator/builder ladder? Stage/Phase three is co–mission. Mission detected; check; submission to mentorship and more; check.
Co-mission includes two cores: omission & tribes/community.
First, face up to things, events, and persons that are blocking you from the first two phases, and stopping you from moving into a 5-10% leadershift mindset. Begin to omit these from your day to day life.
Second, you’re ready to travel the roads and carve a pathway as you polish your genius, much like a diamond. Is it not far, far better to be positively associating with those who have also detected their mission and submitted? Working together in a tribe and pulling together under the banner of something like ‘restor(ing) families’ = profound and powerful, is it not? As a sidebar, recall that Jim Collins discussed a similar concept in ‘Good to Great‘ when he explained the ‘putting the right people on the bus’ mantra. Community is a skeleton key to so much great in our ever changing internet age!
We’ve now reached the final stage: The ladder has been scaled & you’ve learned so much on this Resolution 13-themed journey! This is now moving into transmission. How do you take a stand between where the world is, and where you want the world to/should it be? Ah, the power of service is so very strong!
At this point, you have turbo-driven your genius; you’ve empowered it in the direction of making a difference all the while being humble. After all, turning your mission loose on the world could lead to a big ego, and other maladies of (non) leadership without the proper grounding. Leadership can be defined in the context of this final phase as changing the world regardless of whom gets the credit.
How do you transmit the most effectively? You channel all your work, efforts, successes, strengths, challenges, fun, passion, connections/relationships, and failures/mistakes. With ”force of will“, you have charged your own motor and go out to impact the world positively. As you achieve this, please don’t forget to act like a window and hand out the credit to your community, and give the glory to God. You are just here for a whisper of time, and maximizing that time on this journey will make your life so fulfilling.
Are you willing to explore, think independent & inter-dependently, and commit to these steps? I hope you do, and will join me. Thank you ever so much for reading!
With every fiber of my gratitude, I extend gracious appreciation, thank you’s, and applause to Mr. Oliver DeMille, whose rapier sharp intellect, humble-ness, and service before self was beyond evident in the audio talk he gave that forms the entire backbone of this post.
What price tag can you put on better information?
Is your answer numerated in dollars? precious metals?
Did you consider the key difference b/w the value & the price of something?
Perhaps you even said ‘priceless‘?
Regardless of your answer, let’s explore this broad topic in a condensed form with this post tonight. My hope is that it makes you ponder, think in depth & in width, and opens your mind to wanting to make the next step towards getting better information to filter into your mind on a day to day basis.
Let’s use the 8 cornerstone/fundamental “F”‘s to illustrate:
Faith – There is much confusion out there between ‘religion’ , ‘spirituality’, going to ‘church’, & Christianity, for instance. Let alone the mis-understandings ( due to lack of a classical / liber education in 90% + of the US citizenry ) regarding the specific intent of the Founding fathers re: faith in the public sphere. What would the price tag be on getting information to sort this all out, so you can climb up the happiness ‘scale’ ( baseline is 10%, tip top is 80% ) by anchoring your life to belief and faith rather than simply logic and reason? Illustrative book: ‘How Should We Then Live?’
Family – The role models out there in the mass media for family are, shall we say, lacking in so many ways. Family is an anchor for any society that has ever tasted freedom for more than a brief flicker. It is another huge component of the happiness ‘scale’ & until we focus on this priority and release the iron grip of our obligations ( ‘work, work, work’, career, jobs, endless entertainment, et al. ) we will struggle as a nation to recover holistically. Illustrative book: ‘Wooden‘
Finances – Our financial literacy in the West, specifically in my home country of America, is, simply put, far below average. Over the years of the mass media era (I’d date it to the advent of radio, and very much amplified by installment credit & television), we’ve declined across the board both in macro understanding of finances/economics, as well as in micro understanding. Until we confront this goliath, our nation, let alone the entire West, is in for deep seated problems. And, no, please do not even think to rely on a single politician ( both parties are well off the reservation ) to address it – the answers lie in the local community and each household. Illustrative books: ‘Cashflow Quadrant‘ & ‘Leadership and Liberty‘
Fitness – I’ll cover both mental & physical fitness here. Both need a strong overhaul; until we all learn and apply the rules of investment v. expense so we never consider monies put into improving our minds as “spending’ or ‘expense’, same with buying better quality food & drink that is not advertised everywhere and necessarily stocked on a grocery store shelf, we will be challenged to both live healthier, wealthier, and more purpose filled existences. Illustrative books: ‘Resolved: Primer‘ & ‘The Power of Full Engagement‘
Following ( Leadership ) – Where do we begin? First, with Sturgeon’s famous Law: 90% of anything is ‘crud’. That most definitely applies to so many who use the cloak of ‘leadership’ when they are described, or when they describe themselves; so many = 9 out of every 10! Leadership = Influence. ‘Nuff said. Following means you are humble & honeable enough to realize that what you know is not enough to get you where you want to be in life ( = vision ), so you learn from someone(s) who have results, tactfully ignoring everyone else whom you know who is lacking in what you are going after, and you get that pure, world class information to grow your leadership muscle & bones. Eventually, YOU will become someone who has earned the privilege and honour to have others follow you. Illustrative books: ‘Leadership & Self Deception‘ ; ‘Launching a Leadership Revolution‘ ; ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership‘
Freedom – Such a treasure, valuable, and imperative! Yet, why have so many failed to read, understand, and grow their knowledge of the first principles and foundation of our Western heritage? So many answers to this: conveyor belt & professional track schooling that has not focused on what classical/liber/self-directed education used to do pre-1905 (give or take a year or so); far too much focus on entertainment over learning; a divided society due to political gamesmanship and crass vote buying rather than true statesmen / women in the seats of our governmental offices. Regardless, it is only US, and us alone that can and must fix this at the deepest roots. Illustrative books: ‘1913‘ ; ‘FreedomShift‘ ; ‘Centurion Principles‘
Fun – We need to have more fun in our lives, and get off the ‘treadmill of a work existence’. It’s rather troubling that so many are literally building their days (and nights, and all other waking hours) around a job/career and not anchored to their priorities. When many are asked this probing question: ‘What are your priorities?’, answers like ‘family’, ‘God’, ‘my kids’, ‘sleeping’, and such ring out across the land, yet take a look at the same peoples’ schedules, and what you see is not even close to matching 1:1. A focus on priorities and the below simple equation will help us return fun in the form of true restorative rest, relaxation, and more happiness into our over-wrought cultures all across the West, esp. in the US.
Time = Gold / Money (income) = Silver. Simple, yet profound, yes?
Illustrative books: ‘A Month of Italy‘ & ‘The Ultimate Life‘
Friends – True friendship. Aristotle talked of friendship millennia ago, and in present day 2013, we still need to, since so many have turned to social media platforms as a substitute for friends. While I am a big fan of social networking, I am not nearly ready to think of it as a 1:1 even exchange; far from it, actually. Friendship is a two-way street, and requires empathy, enthusiasm, encouragement, & edification. All four of these are fundamental building blocks to turn an introduction of two strangers into acquaintances, and over time, into a win:win relationship that meets the definition of friendship. Agape & philia love both play key roles, here, too. Illustrative books: ‘The Great Connection‘ & ‘Aspire‘
As we put a cap on this evening’s thoughts, I urge you to make the decision ( not to be confused with “trying” something, or having a preference ) to purposefully introduce world class information into your home/office/place of worship/school.
What will truly help you make this decision have stick-ability and kick in the slight edge / power of compounding is doing so with others of like mind. Join an existing ‘LGG’ , ‘challenge group’, ‘tribe’, ‘mini-factory’ or learning organization – regardless of what you call it, community is everything. Being alone is not nearly as powerful as the impact that positive association can and does have on a person’s ability to effect personal change.
Your choice can & will change your life forever. It surely did for me! (and my journey is far from complete :))