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

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

Esar, Statistics

Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions.” – Evan Esar

This is my second favorite statistics quote. Seriously, statistics can be manipulated in so many different ways that it should be common knowledge that any one interested in the results should also be looking at the data and premises of those who compiled that data and what their motive it. Where the data comes from should also be taken into account. Be mindful of what you are reading and looking at … do a little work to make sure that those posting the stats are telling the truth.

Yes, I did plan this to be published after that U.S. Presidential elections.

iron wil

We Are Humans

Many years ago, I was sitting in a Chick-Fil-A outside of Cincinati, OH on my way to Louisville, KY to visit my best friend. As I sat there, I realized how similar & different people are.  We share similar fears & hopes.  We share similar joys & pains albiet the courses of our individual lives vary from persons & families. Most parents want their kids to grow up and have a better life than they did and most parents want to see their children marry and have families too. It continually is impressed upon my mind how much we are alike in our goals and desires for our families and how little what we look like really matters. We all love, live, and hope for a better future.

With all the craziness going on in the US right now, it would seem that some American’s don’t care about the “neighbors”. Yet, the flooding in Louisiana and West Virginia this summer really showed me how much average American’s really do look past our outward differences.  I can’t tell you how many different photos or videos I saw of black and white American’s helping each other. I gives me great hope that a we as a people have and do strive to look past those outward differences. With certain elements in our society right now, they want to focus on our outward appearance and how the amount of melanin we have in our skin makes it impossible to connect with each other.

In the back of my mind, I keep seeing the story of the Good Samaritan play out as I look across the news for America and I can’t help but to have hope that we are a good people, a people who first and foremost want to live our lives and provide for our families. So many times, we help our “neighbors” out when they are in trouble. Compassion can be such a powerful tool to remove barriers and bring understanding to 2 different parties. I can’t help but to think of those Louisiana’s who got flooded out and all the help they provided each other not to mention all the different groups that volunteered time and resources to help.

We are all humans, imperfect beings striving to make our little corner of the world a better place. I hope and desire, and believe that we can one person at a time, one act of service for a stranger, one heart bearing another grief. A good friend on mine recently had a bizarre fire burn down their entire house in less than 30 minutes. Everyone was shocked and they were devastated. I will say that the outpouring of love they received was impressive. So many people from our church, and I am sure that a fair amount of help from the community, provided clothes, a place to live, and many other forms of relief.

We have a great capacity to shape the world around us. We imperfect beings, we can do miracles for each other when we WANT to put forth the effort to make the world a better place.

I know we can!

iron wil