Finest of Friends, Maxwell

The finest of friends must sometimes be stern sentinels, who will insist that we become what we have power to become” – Neal A. Maxwell

I was cleaning out some boxes this weekend and came across this 3×5 card with this quote. I am reminded of my best friend from high school, we still keep in touch. I am reminded of college friends and several others I have met along the way. Men and women that have and will call me when I forget my place. They hold me accountable to our shared standards and the ones that I hold for myself. These friends also continue to build me up and encourage me to improve; to continue the quest of personal improvement.

True, it isn’t something that everyone undertakes and can seem to be a daunting task. I would say that those first few weeks and sometimes months it can seem like it. That is why it is so important to focus on the future and have your goals set and firmly placed in your minds eye.

Jim Rohn says, “That you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” So, who are your sentinels? Who do you spend time with? What books (audio, paper, or electronic) are you reading? What lectures or workshops are you attending? Who do you follow on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter? What are the people at work you are spending time with?

These are all things that have an effect or impact on us. These quotes that I write about have been my companions for a very long time … some for over 20 years. They each have had the desired affect on me that I wanted them to have. Pick your friends and influences, be mindful of who you associate with, and above that read non-ficton business and personal development books!

iron wil

Bacon, Opportunities

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” – Francis Bacon

To follow up on December’s quote and to open 2017 … I turned to this one. I firmly believe that a person who is open to possibilities and is looking for an opportunity will find not just one, but many. Now the task is of selecting the ones that align to personal and business goals!

iron wil

Persistence

What is Persistence?

persistence
1. the quality of persisting; tenacity
2. the act of persisting; continued effort or existence
3. the continuance of an effect after the cause of it has stopped: persistence of vision

When it comes to persistence, I almost always think right away of Wolverine. His example, of persistence and tenacity are legend in the Marvel Comic Universe. When he goes after someone or some task, he never gives up. Ever! We could look back through history and find several examples of people that have been persistent. The first person that comes to mind is Thomas Edison, he racked up thousands of failures on his quest of discoveries. He is credited with thousands of inventions too, these inventions have changed the world. Then there are many others that fall into this category Steve Jobs, Amelia Earhart, Mark Zuckerberg; man and women of vision! Those who are out to “ding the universe”!

The reason that this word is essential, is because it is what every entrepreneur must have or develop. This characteristic serves us well because it provides power in the dark and frustrating days or nights. When we feel like there is no end to the misery or failure we face. In my own pursuits, I have learned to develop persistence. The funny thing about it, is that one must also develop patience and the ability to pivot as obstacles arise. The key is to capture and envision your goals, play then in your mind like a movie. Once you have that goal created and visualized, you can recall it, look at it, and play it back in your mind. It’s like looking at a 3D Model of the goal. There is something that happens within us when we capture our goals in this way.

The Jewish model of prophecy is very interesting because it is all expressed in past tense. Yes, Past Tense! As if it has already happened. It is amazing to me that they are framed this way. All through the Old Testament, this model can be seen. This is what we are after to help us develop persistence. I know that each of us can develop this ability and characteristic; we can empower ourselves by creating our goals in our minds and focusing on them.

iron wil

The Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong, And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I don’t’ know when this song first had an impact on me, it’s meaning has changed over time as I have heard it year after year. In the last few years, it has changed from a song of dispare to a song of great hope and joy! I love to hear it and in my church, the organist really makes it wonderful and uplifting!

In my own life, I have moved through this opinion of the world and mankind in it. I remember a time when I was not interested in the affairs of those around me. It was typical of me to avoid others and not care what happened to those around me. At one point I didn’t even care about my siblings. Over the course of several years, my life took me into hard times and an actual and spiritual all desert.

It took a a few small acts from friends and family to soften my heart. Then I was presented with a choice … the choice between dark and light. The choice between walking the path of faith of the path of rebellion.

I was attending church with a very dear friend of mine, a guy who was and is an example to me. During the sermon, the pastor spoke about making New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t remember most of his sermon, at the very end, he said; “If there is only. one resolution that you make this year, make it to become more like Christ.” It was in that moment a decision had to be make. I was acting like the Israelites and halting between 2 decisions. It took me 3 days to make a decision about what path I would take.

As this year comes to a close, the twentieth year since that day, I have reflected upon the path my life has taken. I have often reflected on the decision I made and all the good things that have come from that day. I am ever so grateful for my wife – Lauren, my 4 boys, the faith that has developed, my education, the experiences, the books, the friends, my home, and job. All the good things that have come into my life, have come from that day.

The relationships with my siblings and parents have improved, my friendships have grown and more friends have come into my life. My gratitude abounds and my desire to share that gratitude and abundance continues to grow the more abundance and blessing flow into my life!

My hope and desire for this New Year is that you will be able to see and experience the blessing and abundance that is there for each and every one of us!

iron wil