January 27, 2010

212 Degrees

READY8 “Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.” ~Denis Waitley

AIM8 Right now, some of you are debating whether or not you should get back on the wagon with your New Year’s resolutions. Right now, some of you are questioning the importance of your role as a parent. Right now, some of you are trying to decide if your boss even notices your work ethics. Right now, some of you are wondering if your relationship is worth fighting for. Right now, some of you are pondering the simple faith that exists in our world.

Right now, I want you to watch this video clip. It will only take 212 seconds of your time.


So, for one simple extra degree of effort, what could you do? You could be the most valuable player on your sports team. You could quit smoking, for good. You could impress your boss and solidify your job security. You could teach your child to read. You could establish a relationship with God. You could help a friend through a crisis. You could show your mate you believe in commitment. You could budget your paycheck responsibly. Just think how one small extra degree of effort could totally change the outcome of your life. You, yes YOU, could accomplish anything!

So…what are you waiting for? Your destiny awaits…

FIRE!8 Identify one area in your life that you can put forth extra effort this week. Do something each day to be 212 in that one area and then enjoy watching the difference it makes.

*Thank you to Jennifer Merchan for her permission to use their 212 video in my encouraging message. Check out their site at www.just212.com for more information.*

Be Excellent!

January 19, 2010

Going Through The Motions

READY8 “I don't wanna spend my whole life asking, ‘What if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions?’” ~ lyrics from Matthew West’s song “The Motions”

AIM8 Do you ever feel like your life is on autopilot? Like you’re just going through the motions? What happens that makes us feel that way? Sometimes our life gets into such a familiar routine that we forget to enjoy the scenery along the journey. Can you pinpoint when you are just going through the motions? Are you giving everything 100% or are you satisfied with half best efforts and intentions?

At work, make a conscious effort to bring your A-game every day. Go the extra mile and do whatever it takes to make yourself an indispensible employee. In this day and age, you need to find your niche and create ways to secure your paycheck. What do you bring to your business? If you are not currently working in a career you have always wanted for yourself, start looking for avenues to change directions and get on the path of purpose for your life. You are never too old and it is never too late to do what you’ve always dreamed of doing.

At home, tackle the mundane tasks first and then you can finally put away the ‘honey-do’ list or move on to other more enjoyable projects. Make changes in your daily schedule to incorporate some play time or “me” time. Try this…dig out the big blankets and dining room chairs and build forts with your children; be sure to make microware s’mores together. Get the whole family together to play games on the Wii – kid’s choice only! You can enjoy sipping a cup of coffee or tea while watching your favorite show, dance in your living room to your favorite songs for a little extra exercise or snuggle with your sweetheart while he enjoys watching the big game. Little changes at home offer big results in family connections.

With friends, take time to recognize the connections you have with people who mean the most to you. Are your friendships on autopilot? Take her chicken noodle soup and ginger ale when she’s sick, offer to help change the oil or rotate the tires on his wife’s mini-van or invite another family to share pizza and game night with your family. You will reaffirm his or her efforts in your life and solidify your relationship.

If you find that a few of those simple suggestions aren’t enough, I suggest you sit down and re-evaluate where you are spending the majority of your time during the week and how you can take your involvement to the next level. As Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” So start identifying ways you can help other people in your home, at your place of work, and in your extra-curricular activities. Usually, it doesn’t really take much effort or many changes to bless someone else in simple ways. Soon you will feel better about yourself and begin to see that you are no longer just going through the motions in life, you are truly enjoying the ride.

FIRE!8 It’s easy to get into the autopilot mode. Look at the various roles you play in your day. Where do you see yourself using cruise control? Take 20 minutes a day and turn off the cruise—see what God may have in store for you.

Be Excellent!

January 12, 2010

Never Assume

READY8 “We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions.”
~ Stephen R. Covey

AIM8 I read the following story a year or so ago and it had a profound impact on my day. As I reread the story today, I again found myself shaking my head and wondering…could this really happen? In today’s society, with so many shallow minds and cold hearts I’m afraid it really could. Grab a tall glass of milk to enjoy with your cookies!

The Cookie Thief
A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops.
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be.
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I would blacken his eye."

With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought... oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he's also rude,
Why he didn't even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

by Valerie Cox

FIRE!8 Do not jump to conclusions! There will be moments in your life when you feel you are certain you are correct about a situation. Be wise and ask questions before you use poor judgment and take action based on your assumptions. Simply give another person a chance to explain. Remember, God gives us opportunities to explain our circumstances to Him every day. However, He never requires an explanation. He already understands.

Be Excellent!

January 8, 2010

Love Your Enemies

READY8 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” ~John 15:12 NIV

AIM8 Getting over past hurts is never easy. People say “forgive and forget” but sometimes that is easier said than done. As people of excellence, we are called to forgive the men and women who do wrong against us. However, forgetting that wrong is often another story.

If we want to grow and become more like Jesus, we need to put our past behind us and look forward. We are asked to be kind and to show love and mercy to those friends, family members or co-workers who have hurt us. After all, we often disappoint our Heavenly Father with some of the improper decisions we make in life. But guess what? God loves us anyway and forgives us for our mistakes. Knowing that God loves us no matter what, the least we can do is to try to love, or at least forgive, those people who have disappointed us. It will free your conscience and remove those unnecessary worries from your life.

FIRE!8 Make a conscious decision to let go of that grudge you’ve been holding onto for longer than necessary. If you need help, say a simple prayer asking God to help you forget about the wrong things that have been done to you, or ask a trusted friend for advice. You will feel stronger and motivated to get over your past hurts and you will finally be able to move forward with a refreshed heart and mind.

Be Excellent!