The Magic in Differences

We see a lot of destructive focus on our differences in many places today.

The beauty in diversity is the respect we should be showing to each other. I was scrolling through YouTube today and came across a song called “Why”, I had not heard of the artist before and so I figured I would watch it. This is video and song were the impetus for this post.

As the young man in the song explains the reason some people don’t think they belong together is because of their differences. There is magic or synergy that happens when people from different backgrounds come together to work on a project they are committed too. If we look at Silicon Valley, there is a huge number of success stories that come out of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. We can look at Apple, Google, and HP as examples of people with differences coming together to make amazing things!

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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

Iron Wil, the Mighty Freight Train

“My brother, William asked me to explain where his nickname Iron Wil, the Mighty Freight Train came from.  This is a two part name and has separate stories combining the name and clarifying who he is.

It all started when we moved to Texas, he was preparing to go on a two year mission for our church, we watched a Disney movie call Iron Will and then we realized that that is what made our brother Wil different from so many others, he would push through adversity no matter what the cost or the reward as long as it was right or the principle true. Determination would growl out of him as he pushed on to be more than he was or to move past an issue in front of him.

Then after his mission we played a friendly game of tackle football on a Thanksgiving morning, something that was a favorite pastime of ours. During one play Wil had the ball and was pumping down the line with three younger men clinging to him, he was a freight train rolling by me. He did finally get taken down when the fourth man came in for the final tackle and the entire group came down as a train would blow off a track.

I remember stopping in the middle of my action to stop and watch him push forward despite the others clinging to him.  I at first was awed, then I remember thinking the others were just hanging on with a hope that they could do something, but my brother defied their desires by chugging forward.

A train with its movement slowed or not must press forward and can only change course by a small change initially, Wil is also like this, but when he changes course know he will keep the same speed and determination he had before. Don’t get in his way because you won’t slow him down.”

Receiving Wise Council

Recently, a quote was shared with me that came from a man I greatly respect. He lived a life that was full of work and commitments. When asked, he always gave very wise council. He words can be trusted. The dilemma that I now face is a personal one. I know that you may be wondering what the quote is … which aside from my personal decision doesn’t really matter.

My life has been spent in the pursuit of wisdom and council from some very well known individuals and by some not known outside of my religious life. My desire to learn and grow and become a better person has challenged me in many ways. Most have dealt with changing my thinking and actions. Each time I select a quote is because in some way it spoke to my heart and soul. It gave me a glimmer of hope that I could change myself enough to become more like the ideal encapsulated in the quote. I could see the quote as a stepping stone to becoming the old man I desire to be. I know an old man! I say that because I see becoming a better person as a marathon not a sprint. A journey that will take my whole life. The life a christian is to be spent following Christ; in subjugating our will to His. He does not subjugate us, He provides the law by which we are to live and we are the one that must chose to walk the path or not.

Since the day I chose to walk this path and committed 100% to the cause of Christ; I strive to be a better man. As always, some days are better than others and the cost is one I do not count. I made the choice to give somethings up; not for any another reason, than I felt it would help me on my way.

Again, wisdom from a tried and true source can always be trusted and those values that have lasted for thousands of years … and see controversial today will stand you in good stead. A man can live a life with a clear conscience when he is right in his heart and if he be religious, he can stand before his god with a clear conscience. That is a feeling that gives the ultimate confidence in oneself and the journey he has been called to serve.

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