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Category Archives: Persistence

The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness

Several years ago Will and  Jaden Smith starred in a movie called, “The Pursuit of Happyness.” In this powerful movie, Smith, plays the real life character Chris Gardener,  a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his five-year-old son evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, he and his son endure many hardships, including living in shelters, in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them.

It’s a compelling bio-graphic tale of a man on a mission to pursue his life’s dream of being successful. One of my favorite movies that captures the essence of the human spirit and determination to soar above expectations.

I believe that the “pursuit of happyness” is an inside job. Many people spend their lives searching for the true meaning of happiness. They’ve concluded that happiness can be found in money, material things, fame, or noteriety.

The Book of Life reminds us of the true key to being happy in Hebrews 13:20 (amp) “Now may the God of peace, [Who is the Author and Giver of peace], strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out his will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight;”

God’s power working in our lives is the fountain of life worth living. My experience has taught me that you and I cannot find value, worth, acceptance, or self-worth, in the fragile relationships around us. The peace that flows from within and that transcends from our Creator, is the bedrock for the satisfaction that envelopes the life surrendered to God.

The Top Ten Intimacy needs that people have: 1. Attention, 2. Acceptance, 3. Appreciation, 4. Support, 5. Encouragement, 6. Affection, 7. Approval, 8. Security, 9. Comfort, and 10. Respect  -Can all be found in the person of Christ. The connection to your source of purpose, meaning, and true peace, was his purpose in dying on the cross.

The pursuit of happyness dead ends in the arms of Jesus. So, you and I can keep standing on the Rock!

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Leaders are Readers

Billy Joe 057 (1 of 1)Reading helps us to explore the world. I can remember as a child going into the library at Webster Elementary School in St. Paul, Minnesota and leaving with books to read. I never checked them out, but I had them. Upon my return, the Librarian would always ask, “Billy Joe, why don’t you check the books out?” Always in a hurry, the thought of checking the books out would somehow keep this engaged young reader from his weekly exploration of the world.

I love poetry, biographies, Dr. Seuss, and the compilation of Dickinson and Thoreau, books that engage the intellect and stimulate stronger analytical thinking skills. Today, I still read two to three books a month and I always write in them.

There are some interesting studies and statistics among American readers. One third of High School graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives; 42% of college graduates never read another book after college; 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year; 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last 5 years. Studies have shown, 72% of American adults read a book in the past year for fun, while the percentage of Millennials, ages 18 to 29, was higher at 80%.

Reading can improve the memory. If your looking for a way to improve your memory and concentration and to relieve stress, reading can help you. “The brain stimulating activities from reading have shown to slow down cognitive decline in old age with people who participated in more mentally stimulating activities over their lifespans.”

The 8 benefits of reading: 1. Mental stimulation, 2. Stress reduction, 3. Knowledge, 4. Vocabulary Expansion, 5. Memory improvement, 6. Stronger Analytical thinking skills, 7. Improved focus and concentration, 8. Better writing skills.

With these thoughts in mind, taking a reading break can be as important as stopping to snack on your daily energy carb. A student asked me the question, “What do you personally get from reading?” With an enormous amount of thoughts running through my head, I came up with the following answer: “I read because it allows me the opportunity to examine, explore, exercise my thoughts, to stay in the now, to expand my vocabulary, to find myself in someone else’s words, to place myself in the other person’s place, to simply have some enjoyment.”

I believe that not all personal growth is organic. My experience has taught me that to grow, we must prospect in intellectual mines that others have cultivated and learn there. Finding lessons and inspiration in the success of others, is part of the real circle of life. We cannot not be afraid to LEAP into the destiny of our future, because fear is living without hope attached to it.

Someone once said, “The man who knows how to read and doesn’t, has no advantage over the man who doesn’t know how to read.”

Even as an average student, reading helped me to maintain an above average mindset. It was through books that I found the inspiration to climb the intellectual ladder of powerful thought, that helped to shape my future.

Zig Ziglar’s “See You At The Top” was one of my first motivational reads as a ninth grader. My Upward Bound teacher, Alfreda Garibaldi, helped me to realize that books and reading could help give me the confidence to boldly go, where many men had gone before; into the expanded world of reading.

As a leader, encouraging others to read has been a focal point of my personal development as a leader. Benjamin Franklin’s provocative quote on learning simply states’ “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” And just like the leaders before us, we must continue the quest for strong intellectual thought and learning. Let me close with a favorite quote from Dr. Seuss, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”

Remember this, your going to great places, so keep standing on the Rock! And enjoy your next read!

 

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Shaquem The Dream

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - UCF v Auburn

This weekend we witnessed the 82nd NFL Draft. I have personally been a witness to many of these over the years, being that I have been a fan for many years. But what precipitated this Gladiator event, complete with personalities, speed, and finesse?

It was the 1935 bidding war for a popular player named, Stan Kostka, a running back, who led the Minnesota Gophers to an undefeated season and became the salivation of every NFL team. After holding out for the most lucrative offer, the team from Brooklyn New York signed Stan for $5,000 dollars. The Draft was created to cut down on the creative ways of landing players the following year.

There have been a plethora of players, Hall of famers, MVP’s, skilled, and talented players drafted in the 82 years of the draft. This week, Shaquem “the dream” Griffin, proved to all of us, “It’s never too late to be what you might have become.” The 141st pick by the Seattle Seahawks, helped me rekindle my passion for the game that I enjoy so much.

Shaquem’s 20 reps on the 225 pound bench press and 40 yard dash in 4.38 seconds, the fastest by a Linebacker in 15 years, became the best draft choice of our generation. Our draft choice, who with one hand, taught us that determination, desire, and passion, are not defined by physical makeup but by heart. Chuck Swindoll, said it best, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, 90% of how I respond to it.”

Born just less than two-minutes after his twin brother, Shaquem has proven that not even Amniotic Band Syndrome could impact the heart and soul of a man determined to rise. My favorite pick in the 2018 NFL Draft at number 141, Shaquem Griffin! No protest, no arrest, no domestic violence, no drugs, no drama, just a great kid, with a great heart.

The inspirational story of the year is Shaquem The Dream Griffin. You inspire us all to be better! Keep standing on the Rock!!

 

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Fake It Tell You Make It

Your familiar with the saying, “fake it tell you make it?, you probably are. Many people in life had to push through the torrential rains of discouragement and self-doubt, before they landed feet first into their destiny.

Faking it until you make it means:  Standing there in the right place, at the right time, even if the odds are against you. The famous line from the Hunger Games, where Katniss Everdeen, sets out to win a series of extreme battles that are designed to stop her. “May the odds ever be in your favor!”

I want to encourage you to remember, that the odds are always in your favor, if you won’t give up. Brian Tracy once wrote: “Persistence is the iron quality of success. If you will persist long enough, you will eventually succeed.”

You can fake it until you make it but never stay stuck on fake. Remain genuine, sincere, and passionate about the dream you have in your heart. Leadership is about self-discovery and living out your purpose. Paul writing to the Roman Believers said this: “And we know (With great confidence) that God, who is deeply concerned about us, causes all things to work together, as a plan, for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

I strengthen you to carry out the plan and leave behind everything that is not real and a part of God’s purpose for your life. “It’s hard to be a diamond in a world of rhinestones.”

Keep standing on the Rock!

 

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