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The Wind in Your Sails

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. “So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.”   Mark Twain

Sailing is immensely easier when the captain catches the wind in the sails.  It means breaking out of the still waters and surging forward with seemingly endless power.  To stand on a sailing vessel, when the wind is filling and straining the canvas sails to their full capacity is exhilarating and exciting.  You can hear the sound of the ocean giving way to the force of your ship’s prow slicing through its waves.

Every life has times when you catch the wind in your sails.  Those times when you fill unstoppable. When the obstacles of your life fall before you and your projects cut through life’s bureaucracy like a ship’s prow under full sail.   Not only do you make progress, but your success seems almost effortless.  You chart new dreams as you achieve old ones like a captain plotting new coordinates as his ship passes familiar points of call.

We don’t always call it “wind in the sails.”  Sometimes we call it “being in the flow.”  Sometimes we refer to it as “being in the groove.”  As a man of faith, I call it having the favor of God on my life.If you’ve never been there, you’re missing out on one of life’s great joys.

Can we prompt the wind in sails effect?  It appears that the phenomena  has something to do with timing and that’s limiting, but there are things we can do.

  • Relentlessly prepare yourself for success.
  • Never surrender your passion for your dreams.
  • Prune your life of behaviors that lower your integrity.
  • Surround yourself with dreamers and goal achievers.
  • Deepen your faith.
  • Go further in your disciplines of faith.
  • Clean the junk out of your life.
  • Ask God to make you useful.

You never know when the wind will show up, but the above points will have you prepared and ready to take advantage when it does.

Twenty years will pass before you know it.  When that day comes, will you be disappointed by your habit of playing it safe. Throw off your bowlines of your life, quit paddling around in the safe harbors.  Let’s go sailing and feel wind in our sails and the hand of God on our lives.

God has some adventures waiting for you.

Throw your Soul Through Every Open Door

 

Considered by many to be one of the greatest songs of all time, “Rolling in the Deep” was acclaimed by music critics and represented a commercial breakthrough for the artist Adele, propelling her to international success. The song reached number one in 11 countries and the top five in many more regions. It was Adele’s first number-one song in the United States, reaching the top spot on many Billboard charts, including the Billboard Hot 100, where it was number one for seven weeks. By February 2012, “Rolling in the Deep” had sold over 8.7 million copies in the United States, making it the best-selling digital song by a female artist in the US.   From Wikipedia website

Although the song is about a troubling romantic breakup, it contains a powerful thought for success.

Throw your soul through every open door.
Count your blessings to find what you look for.

  • To succeed in life, you must learn how to give yourself wholeheartedly to new adventures.
  • To find staying power in crisis, you must learn to count your blessings to find your contentment.
  • To offer the world something unique, you must learn to turn your sorrowful experiences into golden insights.

Is there something you are interested in that you think if you engaged, it would help you move forward? Stop waiting to join. Stop testing the waters of involvement.  Quit paddling around in the shallows of your dream.  “Throw your soul through the open door.”

Half-hearted efforts will never lead you to success.

Determine today that you are going to throw your soul through the next door that opens for you.

MYTHS OF INADEQUACY

I loved the study of mythology when I was a kid.  Those ancient tales were full of gods, centaurs, one-eyed giants, dashing heroes, and massive sea creatures.

The word myth- is defined as a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone.   For instance, in the picture above, ancient sailors believed in the myths of a giant octopus that could swallow up their ships if they sailed too far into uncharted territories.

These myths passed down from older and supposedly wiser seamen kept many from achieving their dreams of finding new routes to new markets.   Instead, they remained stuck in the old and poorly designed routes followed by generations of sailing ships.  Of course, some bold navigators, scoffed at the myths and they charted new routes to immensely profitable new markets.

They refused to believe the myths.

If you are going to become the person you were intended to be, you must confront the myths of personal  inadequacy.

Here some of the most popular ones:

  • Teachers and parents are always right
  • Job descriptions are inclusive and accurate
  • Academic degrees are barometers of success
  • Past failures are character definitions
  • Experience trumps creativity

Which of these myths has kept you from reaching for your dream?  Recognize them for the limiting beliefs that they are.  Whichever one you choose, there are plenty of people who succeeded in spite of facing that very challenge.

I love the story of Albert Einstein.  His early childhood teachers thought him to be ignorant and sent him home from school with a note to his mother telling her not to send him back.  When the boy asked his mother what the note said she replied, “They wrote… you are too intelligent and creative to attend our limited school and I should keep you home to allow you to blossom at a quicker rate.”   She did keep him home and his genius eventually changed the world.  Those teachers were wrong!  Are you letting the opinion of a long-ago teacher or parent limit you today? Recognize it for the myth it is and get started achieving your dream.

It’s time to quit living in the haze of mythology and move forward in full confidence that you have what it takes to succeed.

Emotional Cancer 4 –  Feeling Inadequate

When I was in high school there was a beautiful girl I had a crush on.  I never tried to date her, because I felt she was out of my league.  Every day, I sat by her in class and we became good friends, but I secretly wanted more.  I never told her.  I watched someone else date her and eventually marry her. Many years later, I learned that she was secretly hoping I would ask her out on a date. I was devasted. I could have asked her out, but I never did.  I missed the opportunity to see what might have become of our relationship.    Luckily for me, I asked out the next beautiful girl I got interested in and she’s now my wife.

Are you limiting your life because you feel inadequate?  Have you accepted a lessor role in life and business because you decided in advance that you are not up to the challenge of a new opportunity?   Did you fail to submit your name for consideration  when that  higher-level position opened up at work?  Do you “chicken out” of asking that attractive person on a date?  Did you fail to sign up for the courses you really want to take in college, because you didn’t think you were smart enough?  These are all habits found in the lives of unsuccessful and unfulfilled people. They don’t do the things mentioned, because they fear they won’t succeed, and even worse, they fear they don’t have what it takes to succeed.  The tragedy is that such feelings are lies.  You don’t know what you can do until you try.  There are powers and skills within you that you haven’t even discovered yet.

Reasons why we feel inadequate:

  • We doubt our training.
  • We doubt our skills.
  • We doubt our experience.
  • We doubt our worthiness.
  • We doubt our vision.
  • We doubt our connections.
  • We doubt ourselves.

It’s time to change all that “stinking thinking” right here and now.  Decide there is more in you than you have manifested up to now. Decide to go for whatever and whoever you want in life.  Start assuming that who you are is enough. Let the people you want to impress make their own decisions about you.   Let potential new employers or new girlfriends make up their own minds about you, instead of rejecting yourself before they get the chance.  Stop limiting yourself.

In my next blog, I’ll tackle some of the myths of inadequacy, but for now, stop your doubting and start going after who and what you want.

 

 

 

 

Emotional Cancer- 3- Fear

So I did this thing.

I went to Africa.  I was invited last year to speak at a conference in Tanzania, Africa and I agreed to go, but, a year later, when it got real that I was scheduled to make this trip, my dark side started working on my confidence.

  • It’s 8,811 miles away!
  • What if you get in an accident?
  • There have been terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.
  • You are getting too old for 15-hour plane rides.
  • What if you get sick while you’re there?

You have to understand that I’ve been on such trips before. In fact, I have made over 20 trips to other countries to speak and minister.  I’ve even been to Africa before.

None the less, I was feeling fear…  not full-blown panic, but anxiety on a minor level.

I am writing this post from the conference in Arusha, Tanzania, and I’m delighted that I came. I’ve once again filled my life with sights, smells, and the people of Africa.  It is amazing! Why did I ignore my fears and take this trip? I did it because of some core mental distinctions I have around fear. These distinctions are:

  • You are only as young as the new experiences you are having. Don’t let fear make you old before your time by limiting your adventures.
  • You will die eventually, why not fill the time doing things that excite and expand you?
  • You must force your imagination to serve you by creating new dreams, not worries that shrink your world.
  • You have a limited “shelf-life.”  Don’t wait too late to take some chances in life.

I constantly encounter people who have allowed fear to limit their lives.  Not justifiable fear, like avoiding dangerous places and people, but imagined fears blown out of proportion. These are the people who die long before they are buried.

Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a long life, full of many dangers, most of which never happened.”

What’s the thing you need to do?  Force your fear into submission and get busy living a life that inspires you and others. Oh, and send me a response in the contact line.  I want to know what fear you conquered.

Kwa Heri – (goodbye in Swahili)

Want to be unhappy? Stay angry.

Unhappiness is not only  unpleasant, but it can have a negative impact on our success.  In my last blog, we looked at how a lack of gratitude can create emotional cancer in our lives.  Today, I want to look at the drain of anger on our emotional health.

Anger is one of the most destructive emotions we can let into our heart. It is a reacting emotion that is meant to be experienced short term. In short bursts, it is reasonable.  The trouble comes when we allow it to settle in for a long stay in the hotel of our mind.  Are you booking an emotional vacation when you should be pulling in for a rest stop?

Anger has powerful effects on our bodies.  It activates hormones for fighting that trigger our muscles for battle, but battles are only meant to last a few minutes. If we stay in battle mode long term, those hormones begin to wear down our immune defenses and over stimulate our cardiovascular system.  In short, we get sick.  Have you ever met anyone who was sick with anger?

Anger can become a habit.  Some people make it their default emotional setting.

They have been upset for so long, they have forgotten what peace feels like.  Rage becomes their calling card.

Side effects of an anger life:

  • Loneliness – sensible people will cut you out of their life
  • Career stagnation- businesses cannot afford the messes angry people make
  • Financial stress – it costs money to get out of jail, get divorced, etc.
  • Reputation damage – you will be known as storm waiting to happen

Ditch the destructive emotion of anger:

  • Lower your expectations of others – people are weak, get used to it.
  • Raise what it takes to offend you – don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • Hold tightly to peace – you can choose to keep cool.
  • Release offenses – if someone offends you,  let it go.

“You don’t have to attend every argument to which you’re invited.”  Author Unknown

Life is short and people’s memories are long.  Don’t let the emotional of cancer anger continue to limit your success.

Ancient wisdom from a timeless book says:

“And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”    Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT

Emotional Cancer

 

Why am I not happy?


We live in the most prosperous time in human history.  If you are reading this and lucky enough to live in America, you may have become accustomed to a lifestyle that would have boggled the mind of your great grandparents for its ease and comforts.  We live safer, live longer, suffer less disease, eat more meals, live in infinitely more comfortable housing, and drive stylish vehicles of amazing reliability.   We are living in the lap of luxury compared to billions of people around the world.   Yet, many are not happy.

It is a disease of luxury. 

It’s not that we can’t see, but rather that we don’t see.  We have developed a weird tunnel vision that sees only the few things we lack, rather than the abundance of generous things we possess.  We will drive our luxury automobile thru the drive through at Starbucks to purchase a $5 latte after having a full breakfast at home, and instead of feeling blessed, we are annoyed that the wait will be 5 minutes to get through instead of the usual 2 minutes.  Then, we pout because a woman, who walks past our car, is wearing a pair of $400 shoes we can’t afford, conveniently forgetting that the shoes we are wearing are one of dozens of pairs from our closet, which, by the way, is bulging at its seams.

Emotional cancer limits our success.  

Being unhappy is like having a sinus infection. It is not severe enough to cause you to miss work, but you don’t perform at optimum level while there.  Your co-workers notice you withdrawing. You don’t engage in discussions that could produce new growth because you feel off your game. You will skip meetings, because you feel blue. Bottom line… you perform at a subpar level. If you keep these behaviors up for very long, you will be passed over for promotions and probably find yourself on your boss’s blacklist.  Being unhappy for long periods of time will definitely cost your pocketbook.

It is a disease that disables.

In the next few blogs, we’ll look at how to survive emotional cancer.  For now, just diagnosis yourself.   Get honest about your habitual thoughts and start looking for a cure.  

The Master said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly,” You were not meant to waste away in emotional distress.  The answers are on the way.  Freedom is coming.  

If You Do This, You Have a Chance to Reach Your Dreams

 

“Kim Beckham’s message at the East Texas Leadership Summit 2018 provided a blueprint for me to take action in an area of my life.”

This was a quote sent to me by a young lady, who heard me speak at a leadership event. I shared key truths in the speech from my soon to be published book,“Game Changers, The People, Places and Ideas That Change Your Life.”  She wrote down four of them and put them to work. Just like I do when I coach people, I encouraged the participants in the seminar that knowledge is only useful when we put it to work. This woman did just that and she landed a new job with a huge increase in pay.

In my last blog, I wrote about her use of the concept I coached her on, which was “to start thinking big.”  Today, I want to share the last concept I shared with the group, which was to do a new thing.  

You have to do something different.  There is no change without new activity.  If you want a better job, you have to improve your skills and bring more to the marketplace.  If you want to improve your skills you need to go back to school, get some professional coaching, or take an online course.  If you are not reaching your goals with your current action, then it’s time to do a new thing.   As one jokester put it, “If it ain’t working, don’t do it harder.” 

What are you unhappy about in your life?  If you want it to change, you have to do a new thing.

This means:

  • You can’t stay in your comfort zone.
  • You can’t depend on your old network.
  • You can’t refuse to learn new skills.

The lady, who heard me speak, took action.  She decided it was time to do something new and she was willing to take a risk. She filled out a resume for her dream job, and mailed it to a potential employer.  She landed the biggest job of her life, but it would never have happened if she hadn’t done a new thing.

Do a new thing today and move yourself toward your goals.  It’s the only way things will ever change.

By the way, if you’re enjoying my posts, please subscribe to my blog. You can do so right here on the left side of this page by just entering your email address.  It would help me immensely and it’s one more new thing for you to do. 

Think BIG, Think God. 

 Kim Beckham’s message at the East Texas Leadership Summit 2018 provided a blueprint for me to take action in an area of my life, that brought me success on huge level.”

This was a quote sent to me by a young lady, who heard me speak at a local leadership event. I shared in the speech some key truths from my soon to be published book,“Game Changers, The People, Places and Ideas That Change Your Life.”  She wrote down five of them and put them to work. Just like I do when I coach people, I encouraged the participants in the seminar that knowledge is only useful when we put it to work. This woman did just that and she landed a new job with a huge increase in pay.

In my last blog, I wrote about her use of the concept I coached her on, which was overcoming fear by developing faith.  

Today, I want to share the third concept I shared with the group, which was Think Big, Think God.

What would happen if you took the lid off your vision for your life? What if you started thinking big?

Why don’t you 10x your life? There is a popular strategy going around called “10x.”   You can watch YouTube videos about it and there are entire books written about the subject.  The core teaching of this strategy is to take whatever goal you are thinking of setting and multiply it by 10 times.  For example, If your goal is to raise your net worth by $10,000 in 2019, what would you do differently if you were to 10 times that goal to an $100,000 increase? You might not get to $100,000, but you get a lot further than the $10,000, because you would be thinking completely different strategies.   The point of the 10x exercise is to get you thinking at a higher level, to get you to “Think Big!”

Are you thinking too small?   Why would you limit God by asking for small things?

William Carey, one of the greatest Christian missionary leaders of all timesaid,

“We insult God with the smallness of our prayers.”

Why not think big and ask big?

  • Why ask for a good job, when you could ask for the best job of your life?
  • Why ask to get stronger financially, when you could ask to double your net worth?
  • Why ask for your family to be happy, when you could ask for your family to impact generations?
  • Why ask God to help your ministry grow 10%, when you could ask to impact your entire city?
  • Why ask God to help you survive another year, when you could ask for God to make 2019 the best year of your life?

Do you get the point?  The lady in my class at the East Texas Professionals Conference did and you landed the job of her dreams.

Why don’t you follow her lead and start “Thinking Big, Thinking God!”

 

 

 

Is Your Faith In Yourself Greater Than Your Fear of the Future?

 

“Kim Beckham’s message at the East Texas Leadership Summit 2018 provided a blueprint for me to take action in an area of my life.”

This was a quote sent to me by a young lady, who heard me speak at a local leadership event. I shared in the speech some key truths from my soon to be published book,“Game Changers, The People, Places and Ideas That Change Your Life.”  She wrote down five of them and put them to work. Just like I do when I coach people, I encouraged the participants in the seminar that knowledge is only useful when we put it to work. This woman did just that and she landed a new job with a huge increase in pay.

In my last blog, I wrote about her use of the concept I coached her on, which was “doing a new thing.”  Today, I want to share the second concept I shared with the group, which was overcoming fear by developing faith.

Here’s the teaching:“You will be able to take action, when your faith in yourself is greater than your fear of the future.”  People get paralyzed by fear, because they are uncertain of the what the future will bring.

  • What if the economy has a downturn?
  • What if my health fails?
  • What if a major competitor to my business moves into town?
  • What if, what if, what if?

These kinds of open-ended fears can cause us to fail to make the bold moves that will drive our careers and lives forward.

The fact is that the future will always be unknown, but there is one thing you can know for sure and can count on to make your dreams come true.  You can count on yourself.  You know you!  You have come this far in life by using your mind, skills, and passions to reach goals that once seemed impossible to you.  You can count on you.  Remind yourself of your strengths.

When I coach people, I encourage to them to create the list of 25.   Everyone should have one in their desk drawer, on their phone, or somewhere else close by.  This is a list of 25 things you are proud of that you have accomplished in your life. It can be as small as learning to ride a bicycle, or as large as starting a business.  The key is to write them down and don’t stop till you get to 25.  Then, when your fears rise or you’re having a negative day, pull out your list and read them aloud.  Remind yourself of just how competent you are and then get back to work.

When your faith in yourself is bigger than you fear of the future, you can and will accomplish your goals.

So take action on your dream today.   Make 2019 the best year of your life by replacing fear of the future with faith in yourself.