Passionate Pursuit of Purpose

Character Development

Sometimes You Have To

Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 in Character Development, Finding Destiny, Leadership | 0 comments

Sometimes You Have To

I spent the last few weeks finishing work on a real estate renovation project.  I was supposed to have this finished by the end of August.  I had promised the tenants, who were moving in, that it would be done by September 7th.   Two weeks after they moved in the work was done.

I was Exhausted!

I was Exhausted!

Spending 3 weeks working on this project put me behind in doing several things I wanted to do.  Such as writing blog posts and working on consulting projects.  It also drained me; I was so exhausted I started feeling like a Zombie.

Why was I exhausted?

I am not in the construction business.  While I enjoy components of it, I am a real estate investor.  I hire talented contractors to do the work right and quickly.  When a contractor disappeared on me I “had” to do several aspects of the work that were supposed to already be done. 

(It was my management failure that allowed this work to get so far behind in the first place.)

There aren’t many things in life we really “have” to do.  We choose to do them because we fear a particular consequence of not doing them.  I “had” to do this work (even though I don’t enjoy it) because integrity is a core value in my life.

I made a promise.

I failed to keep this promise, so I did all I could to remedy the situation as best I could.  I was emotionally drained.  I am still recovering from the time spent on that work.

What I learned

Doing work you aren’t passionate about is exhausting.   I didn’t hate the work, I just knew there were more important things that I should be doing.  That frustration was a mental burden that decreased my overall energy.

There are times we should do things that we may not enjoy.  Sometimes because of responsibility or core values we “have” to do.   I have a plan to improve my process so I will not be caught in a situation like this again.

There are many people who do things they hate for decades (like a job they hate “Just to pay the bills”).  They clothe their continuing toil in phrases that sound good.  Phrases like “I have to work here for the benefits” or “Nobody is hiring” or “I am too old to change jobs.”

 

Do you do want you want to do or what you “have to do?”

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Good deed for the day

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Character Development, Customer Service, Finding Destiny, Leadership, Personal Finance | 2 comments

Good deed for the day

Good DeedThe other day I helped a friend of mine help a friend of his. As we were carrying in the elderly neighbor’s new hot water heater, my friend said “You have done your good deed for the day.”

What is a good deed?

His implication; it was good because I didn’t receive anything in return for it. I wasn’t paid. I spent my gas, time, and energy without any tangible benefit to me.

I had spent all day, cleaning and showing a house to potential tenants. It is a really nice home extremely close to the University of Louisville. I enjoyed living there as a student, the home is nicer than when I lived in it. Now students get to derive the same benefits I enjoyed while living there. Were those activities good deeds?

If we are paid for an activity is it no longer a good deed?

In January one of my daughters contracted strep throat. She couldn’t even keep water down. She was extremely dehydrated and had a fever. After four hours in the emergency room she was doing much better.

Was that a good deed the doctor and nurses performed? I was glad to give them some silly green pieces of paper for what they did. It was a very good deed for my family.

Some will say “Yeah, but that is medical; it is different”

So here a few people who have done good deeds for me in the last couple weeks (most of them received green certificates of appreciation) For more info on green certificates of appreciation I recommend reading “Thou Shall Prosper

  • Plumber unclogging a toilet at one of our properties
  • The other 7 people who showed up the monthly Small biz meeting
  • My wife who prepared dinner 3 times this week
  • The cooks, servers, and managers at the restaurants, where I dined
  • The contractors helping me renovate a home
  • The people at the utility companies that provide me electricity, internet, water, and fire for cooking
  • The road crews repairing the roads in West Lafayette so I have a smoother ride to church and daycare
  • The people who make the disposable cups I use to hold coffee
  • Bill Gates for having the vision to create Microsoft and the slew of programs I use
  • People at WordPress who created the CMS that allows me to post these articles with ease

As you can see there have probably been millions of people who have done good deeds from which I benefited from over the last couple of weeks. Each of us specializing allows all of us to benefit. Unless you are a drug dealer, thief, etc.; your specialization is valuable and a good deed.  It provides benefits for those who consume your product or service.

Almost all of us are doing good deeds when we work. I don’t have to do something for free for it to be my good deed for the day. My days are filled with doing good deeds. Whether spending time with my wife and children, preparing the books for a business, managing our rentals, or writing these articles.  “It is all good”  Be proud of your good deeds today!!!

Who has done a good deed for you today?

 

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#YOLO (so do it right)

Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Character Development, Finding Destiny, Leadership | 0 comments

#YOLO (so do it right)

First for those who aren’t aware, YOLO is an acronym for “You Only Live Once.”  It is often used as an excuse for people to act like a moron.

Why I used it:  we do only have one life to live on earth so perhaps it would be wise to try and do it right. 

Experience and making mistakes is a vital part of the learning process.  And yet it is often possible for us to learn from the mistakes and experience of others.  This gives us the ability to skip some lessons and move on to greater challenges and opportunities.

“Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Hebrew proverb 11:14)

 

Discerning wise counsel?

Discerning wise counsel?

This proverb insinuates that these are wise counselors and not foolish ones.  So how do we determine if the counsel we are receiving is wise?  Here are 3 questions that will help us discern between wise and foolish counsel.  So we can do our life right!

Do they have experience in this area?

There is a story about a multi-millionaire business man who brought in several other successful businessmen for an opportunity with amazing potential.  The first question the leader asked was, “Who here has never failed in business?”  Two men raised there hands.  He asked them to leave.

In this new venture it would look like they would fail.  The leader only wanted those on his team who had been crushed by failure.  Why? These men were all currently successful, so if they had failed before it meant; They had picked themselves up and gone for it again. When it looked as though this venture would fail the leader wanted men who would push even harder for success.

If you can, find the counsel of someone who has been through what you are facing.  It is much easier to start walking on the path another cut.  Often you will get there faster than they did.  Then you can use their ending point as a launching point for a new adventure.

Do they want the best for you?

A young lady at a licentious party could easily receive a multitude of counsel to remove her clothing.  The question she should ask “Are those providing this counsel thinking of my best interest?” Or “do they simply want to satisfy their own servacive desires?”  (Servacive = Self-serving).

Wise counsel should be focused on what is best for you.  When I prepare your tax return my focus is on 2 things.  First, Making sure you pay everything you owe the IRS, but not a penny more.  Second, helping you understand the possible tax implications of future decisions.  

My focus is completely on you and you can trust the heart of my counsel on your tax situation.  However, I am viewing your situation from one perspective.  This leads into…..

Did you get a diversity of opinions?

If you are buying a home, you can get wise counsel from a Real estate agent.  However, stopping there would be unwise.  Your Realtor has only one perspective and only get paid if you by the home.

We could also get advice from a lender, a contractor, and perhaps a home inspector (although be careful using one recommended by your realtor).  I would also get counsel from people who live near where you are moving.  Counsel from family members whom have purchased homes.  Read blogs or books on things to look for when purchasing a home.

Each of these voices will have important things for you to harvest.  They will probably have some worthless opinions too.  The key is to get a diversity of opinions.  This enables you to see a more complete picture.  

The more complete the picture the wiser your decision will be.

You only have one life to live so let’s do it the best we can.  Let’s get a multitude of counsel from experienced people, who have our best interest in mind, with a diversity of backgrounds.  #YOLO

Who are your main sources of counsel?

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Just Working to pay the Bills (Does your life have meaning?)

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in Character Development, Finding Destiny | 2 comments

Just Working to pay the Bills (Does your life have meaning?)

I started chatting with a friend whom I had not talked in years. Their answer my query “How are things going?” was “Just working to pay the bills. You know how it is.” I quickly replied “I don’t really work much anymore; I just do what I love most of the time.”  Their reply “why don’t you work?”

Why don’t I work?

I refuse to spend the majority of my week doing something I don’t enjoy.  I refuse to do the same thing every day.   I will spend my time pursuing my passions and doing the things I love.

What do I do if I don’t work?

Business Consulting/Accounting: I love being able to see how businesses are doing and help the owner find a way to be more successful.  I love creating strategies for success

Taxes: I love helping people keep as much of their money from the greedy government as legally possible.

Coaching: We are all created for a purpose, we can all use help finding that purpose. I enjoy helping others create a plan do their purpose, then prepare for their purpose, then DO their purpose.

Real estate: I love dirt and I love buildings.  I enjoy being involved in the transformation of a building.

Spending time with my family:  I love the flexibility to be the parent who stays home when our daughter can’t go to daycare.  I enjoy getting my daughters ready for daycare in the morning.  I enjoy being able to occasionally prepare dinner for my family.

Surrounded by the most beautiful ladies in the world!

Surrounded by the most beautiful ladies in the world!

 

Writing, Speaking, Teaching:  I love expressing my thoughts whether composing a poem, teaching middle school students at church, writing  blog post, or speaking to a group. I want to get better at each of those.  So, I make writing and creating presentations a priority in my life.

In each of these things there are times when I get frustrated.  They even have parts that I don’t like doing.  However, I don’t dread Monday.  I don’t view the weekend with great awe.

I enjoy my life everyday!

I am “Living the Dream!!!”  “If I was any better I would be in Heaven!!!”  If any of you ask my how I am doing you have probably heard one of these responses.  In that moment I may feel that way or I may be proclaiming it by faith.  Either way it is the truth of my life.

What if You don’t enjoy your life every day?

Is it time to stop running in circles?

Is it time to stop running in circles?

Ask yourself why?  Serious stop and askWhy don’t I enjoy my life every day?”  ….  Do you have some reasons?  Now what can you do to change that situation?

The most powerful thing in your situation you can change is you.  Your attitude and your actions are the one thing you have complete control over.  Perhaps you just have a bad attitude?

Next and somewhat related step, ask yourself what you like about your life?  Maybe you should sit down and write a list of why you like your job, your relationships, your home, your family.

Now do the same thing what is it you don’t enjoy about your life?  Is it work?  What is it about your job you don’t like?  Why do you dread Monday morning?  Side-note: If this list is full of things that you can’t control such as: the government, other people, wall street, fox news, sports teams, weather, your genes, other drivers, then you probably aren’t ever going to be happy until your list changes.

These 3 actions are the beginning of finding a life you love and were meant to live.  This is the first step toward a life where the lines between work and play are hard to define.  If you are “just working to pay the bills,” take action today, to create a more meaningful life.

Question:

What does a meaningful life look like for you? (comment below and let us know)

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Are Money and Time equal?

Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Character Development, Finding Destiny, Leadership, Personal Finance | 0 comments

Are Money and Time equal?

We often here the phrase used that “time is money,” (Is this true?)

Many of us work jobs or have worked jobs where we were paid for the time we put in.  We clocked hours and were paid, no matter how much or how little we did.  So most of us have at least traded our time for money; but does that mean our time is equal to money?  Are they the same thing?

Can you use this to buy more time?

Can you use this to buy more time?

What is money?

Money is a tool or store of value that we use to exchange for goods, services, or gifts.  Money can be made of a rare and valuable asset, such as gold or silver coins.  It can also be backed by those valuable assets.  Until 1971 you could trade your U.S. Dollars for a fixed amount of gold and/or silver.

Most money today, has very little intrinsic value.  It is called fiat money meaning it has value because of a decree by the issuing nation.

Attributes of Money:

  • Can be traded for a good or service we desire
  • No intrinsic value (in most cases today)
  • It is easy to create more
  • It can be accumulated for future use
  • Infinite possibility

What is time?

Time is a unit of measure that scientists struggle to understand.  We all know it exists, and yet we don’t understand why or how.  If you want to learn more here is a complex article and blog about the topic (click here)

Attributes of Time:

Do you know what happened to your 168 hours last week

Do you know what happened to your 168 hours last week?

  • Can be traded for money, goods, or services
  • Its individual determines how much they value their own time
  • Each of us has a limited time of existence on earth
  • We cannot store time (once it passes it can never be used again). We can only use a moment in the moment.  Once that moment has passed we can never use it again.
  • While time may be infinite, we only have a finite amount

Can we trade money for time?

We can trade our time for money, but no matter how much money you have you can’t buy more time (with the exception of healthcare treatments that can prolong your life).    You can’t use your money to redo a past time in your life.  Once you have spent time, that expenditure is permanent.  No refunds, no exchanges!!!

 

With No Refunds, No Exchanges, what are you doing to spend your time wisely?

What is more valuable to you? Money or Time?

 

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3 methods to Giving Critical Feedback (without Destroying the Relationship)

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Character Development, Faith, Finding Destiny, Leadership | 2 comments

3 methods to Giving Critical Feedback (without Destroying the Relationship)

When I was 19 years old I was madly in lust with this sexy 17 year old high school dropout.  She was my first real girlfriend and I thought I was in love.  After a few weeks I bought an engagement ring and was ready to propose.

Excitedly I called one of my best friends to tell him the “good news.”  He was a friend whom I trusted and respected a great deal.  When I asked him his thoughts, he wisely responded with a question “Are you moving a little to fast?”

Ask a Question

Ask a Question

That simple question saved me from making a tremendous mistake.  I was not ready, I was not in love, and getting married would have been awful for both of us.  The same friend would end being the best man in my wedding 10 years later.

He could have said a lot of things.  Told me I was an idiot, crazy, jumping off a cliff with nothing but rocks below, however he chose to ask a question.  Asking a question is one method to giving critical feedback without destroying your relationship.

In the bible there is a story about King David after he had committed adultery and murdered the woman’s husband to cover up his sin.  The prophet Nathan came to bring correction; to a man whom with a word could have Nathan killed.

So Nathan tells David a story of a rich man and a poor man.  The rich man had many sheep and cows, but the poor man had one lamb that he loved very much.  A visitor came to the rich man and the rich man took the poor man’s lamb and fed it to his visitor. 

Tell a story

Tell a story

Then Nathan asked a question of David, “what should happen to this rich man?” David indignantly replied “As the Lord liveth this man should die.” Nathan replied to David “you are the man!”  Read the entire story here

Here we notice that Nathan used a story to seriously judge King David’s actions.  His story opened the King’s eyes to the complete wickedness of his actions.  Storytelling is the second method of correction.

Sandwich the critique with Praise

Sandwich the critique with Praise

The third method is the sandwich method.  In this method you sandwich the criticism with praise.  You praise something that your friend did (this allows them to put their guard down).  Then you give them the Criticism.  Lastly you leave on a positive note by praising something else they did.

No matter which of these three methods you use, you must genuinely care about the person to have a chance of success.  Here are three attributes that are vital:

  1. Share with the right attitude
  2. You must have relationship and affirm that relationship
  3. Criticize actions not people

So next time you go to give criticism remember the three attributes and use one of the three methods (Asking a question, telling a story, or sandwich). As you implement these I believe it will help your friendships and relationship to grow to deeper levels and lead to greater success for all involved.

Would you like your friends to give you more feedback?  Read “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”.

Do you have people in your life that will give you feedback?  Who are they?  Can you increase that number?

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Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Character Development, Faith, Finding Destiny, Leadership | 0 comments

Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend

This ancient Hebrew proverb can have profound impact on the success of your life.   Good friends have the ability to see things in our life that need correction.  Often we are unable to see these things ourselves.  Good friends who care about you are will to point these out.

A real friend corrects you not to hurt you, but to help you be more successful

Picture a house with only one door to get in the house.  Now you are standing behind the home and can’t see that door.  You need in the house, so you start to go in through a window.  Your friend can see the front of the home and encourages you to use the door.  Immaturity will reply to that friend, “there is no door.”  We all see things from one perspective.  Your friend can show you options to achieve your goal that you may not see.  Friend can point out pitfalls we may not see.

Friends help us see things from a different point of view.

Friends complete our life picture

3 Keys to receiving faithful wounds from friends!

1.    Develop real Friendships

To receive faithful criticism, we first need close friendships.  Zig Ziglar would often say  “If you go out looking for friends, you’re going to find they are very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”  If you put Zig’s quote into practice you will find friends.  Once you have friends invest in those relationships.


2.    Give them permission!

Give your good friends permission to give you honest feedback about your life.  Not every person should be given this permission, as some will abuse you out of their own pain or insecurity.  Your friends who should be given this permission often won’t speak up unless you ask for their feedback.  So it is vital that you give them permission.

3.    Gratitude

Thank your friends for caring and sharing their thoughts.  Even if you disagree, thank them.  Your friends will not always be correct.  However, if you show gratitude it will encourage them to give you more feedback in the future.

In the end your friends can’t live your life for you so the final decision is your responsibility.  If we want to achieve high levels of success in our life, critical feedback is vital.  We need relationships with others. People who see things from a different view point. This allows us to have a more complete picture.  A more complete picture allows us to make better decisions.

Also read  3 Methods to giving critical feedback!!!

Has criticism from a friend kept you from a bad decision (Tell us about it below)?

Have you ignored the advice of a friend and regretted that decision (tell us about it below)?

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