Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Magic of Thinking Big

The first book I read this year was The Magic of Thinking Big. The premise is one of commitment and belief leads to success, therefore think BIG accomplishments and consign yourself to succeed. Do not allow self-made obstacles to stand in your way. Truthfully, I had heard and read similar material by other motivational speakers, but this book brings it all together in one location. Each chapter has summary points that allows one to quickly refresh in ones memory the ideas and methods for achievement.

One of the more potent ideas was the idea of creating a “self-commercial”. I believe Dennis Waitely calls it “positive self-talk” and it’s purpose is to reprogram your thought patterns to ones of confidence until these patterns become who we are. To some, these are age-old ideas. To others, this is but another step in personal growth.

Here is my motivational speech to myself. I have it imprinted on a card inside my wallet and I read it several times daily and I believe it has made an impact on me. (I think anyone could apply this.)

In parting, I want to leave you with the thoughts of one person who knew how to dream big... Mr. Walt Disney.
I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Principle Interest?

Most of the time, this blog is more of a motivational/how-to-live dissertation than puppet ministry information. It comes from things I’ve heard or read that I think all people should know or live by. A lot of times it is the result of a screw-up by me. This is one of those times…

Have you ever had a moment where you were just incredibly, undeservedly rude to someone? Or am I the only one? I had a moment like this yesterday with a co-worker to which I immediately apologized. In retrospect, I could have explained myself and brought in the details of the challenging day that I had been experiencing. I could have shrugged it off as no big deal. I could have rationalized my behavior, but this would have been wrong.

My co-worker was gracious and accepted my apology, but memories of this incident flooded my conscience all evening. One recurring thought loomed in my brain as I replayed my actions: not only had I offended my associate, I violated one of my core principles.

The Bible tells us that love is not rude (1 Cor 13:4-5), but worst than that I was trying to find and excuse for something I have deemed inexcusable. I believe in personal responsibility and any attempt to justify misbehavior is wrong. It is what it is and it wrong. I admit it and it’s time to move forward.

My point is that a principle can only be a principle when you say, “This is what I believe and I will not waiver from it.” I was trying my best to waiver last night. I’m glad I didn’t.

Monday, February 12, 2007

So when I finished the last line...

...I put the book by itself on the shelf with my heart in it. -Jimmy Buffett

Earlier in the year I said I plan to read 12 non-fiction books this year. So far I have managed to read six and I will be adding some “reviews” of the better ones in the next few weeks. You will notice that many of the books I am reading (or in some cases re-reading) are business/finance related. There are two reasons for this:

A) You become what you study. As you well know, if you have read any of my blog, I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey’s teaching. This has inspired me to read books that deal with finance and business in order to understand how money works. (I will go so far as to say in acquiring this knowledge has taught me more about my character than any other topic.) With this in mind I have determined in order for me to be successful, I will study success.

I’ve come to the conclusion, successful business people are usually dynamic and despite stereotypes, most successful people are not money-grubbing cut-throats or “rich jerks”. They are, however, highly-motivated, self-confident “go-getters” that have been kicking butt and taking names for a long time. Their success has not come at the expense of others but as a result of doing something better and being persistent. Most are not just successful in business matters either. They are winning in every aspect of their lives.

No so surprisingly, I’m discovering many of the actions and attitudes that successful people attribute for their success (planning, perseverance, faith, positive thinking, helping others, etc.) are rooted in Biblical teachings whether the person is a Christian or non-Christian.

B) I want to be successful as a business and as a ministry.

I have not determined what the future course is exactly. My focus has been trying to provide higher quality puppets at affordable prices to ministries. I have been given the opportunity to use puppetry as my main source of service and may someday have the opportunity to use puppetry as my main source of income.

Is it possible? ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD. Of course it would have to be in his plan for me. Is it probable? Well that is dependent on several things: Am I willing to take such a risk? I’m I capable of pouring everything I have into such an endeavor? Am I willing to kick butt and take names for a long time? Even so, it’s a long-shot based on the market, but if one offers better products, better service or better value the odds go up significantly.

You see, possibility lies with God, probability lies mostly with me but this does not necessarily lead to success. For now, I will study, trying to make a better value to the customer.

As I was preparing this, Andrew at posted a link to series of blog entries from Phil Vischer of VeggieTales fame. Read this line from Phil’s blog: Your ability to accomplish your artistic or ministry objectives depends largely on your understanding of the business behind your venture. This reinforces my decision to study business success. Looking at this statement, I know this is an opportunity for growth.

God Bless.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I Saw Dave!

I’m a few days late in posting this, but I had the opportunity to see Dave Ramsey live at a Total Money Makeover LIVE! event in Louisville last Thursday. I am a graduate of FPU, a 13-week course that Dave teaches via video where he teaches you how to make your money behave by learning how to spend, save and give, but nothing is like hearing him live.

Dave has changed my way of thinking and my way of handling money. You can listen to his nationally syndicated radio show live from 2pm-5pm est (on-line or your local station) or listen to the archives on his site.

Dave is a great example of someone who has found his purpose and enjoys what he does.He lived like no one else and now he lives like no one else.

Yeah, I know this might be an over blown Dave Ramsey commercial, but I really believe he is helping people get to a place where they can become financially free and can impact others.