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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.

 

 

You’re Not A Tree

SHE TOOK ACTION AND SOMETHING BIG HAPPENED

“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.  Here’s her quote

“I took a leap of faith after a friend encouraged me and I pondered on Kim’s message, I took a deep breath; this mind re-framing  he shared at the East Texas Leadership Summit was truly a game changer for me. One of the five points was:  Do a new thing…(send your name to a prospective employer).  I did, and the new  position was offered to me.”

 She was blown away by the new opportunity and the increased salary.

What opportunity is waiting for you if you will just take action?

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting a different result.

I’ve always loved the Jim Rohn quote, “If you don’t like the way things are, change it! You’re not a tree.

In my next blog, I’ll share another of the five points from the “Game Changers” speech and I’ll coach you on how to make powerful changes in your life.

 

 

It’s Thanksgiving week. Time for turkey, football, family and the giving of thanks.  Thanksgiving is usually my favorite holiday, but this year my wife has cancer.  The annual feast of gratitude takes on a new dimension when you are experiencing life with the number two cause of death in America. Even though she is doing well, and the prognosis is for full recovery, it is a sobering time.  I should be depressed and angry.  Certainly, my wife would have a right to be out of the holiday mood, but… that’s not how we feel.

We feel thankful.  How can we feel gratitude with cancer in our lives?

The question is really bigger than that.  How can you feel gratitude when your life is in a serious downturn?

  • Can you be grateful when someone you love has recently died?
  • Can you be thankful when your child is in prison?
  • Can you be grateful when your family has been shattered by divorce?
  • Can you be thankful when your business is sinking financially?

The answer is yes, and here’s two reasons why:

First of all, if you will access gratitude you will be happier. Why?

  • You will enjoy better relationships with your friends and family.
  • You will enjoy greater success in your work.

Gratitude can not only increase your enjoyment of life, but it will actually make your life more successful.  I just read a wonderful book on developing charisma for personal    success and I was surprised to learn it had a section on developing gratitude.  Here’s a     quote from the book:

“Everyone seems to be preaching gratitude these days. Oprah champions an “attitude of gratitude,” and studies have come out showing that gratitude helps you live longer, healthier, and even happier. The science is compelling, as are the ways in which gratitude can boost your charisma.  If you can access gratitude, an instant change will sweep through your body language from head to toe; your face will soften, your whole body will relax.  Your body language will emanate both warmth and a particular grounded confidence that people will find very appealing.”     Olivia Fox Cabane  “The Charisma Myth”

  • You will enjoy more of the life you have left.

Our pain can narrow our vision.  We can fail to see the good that still abounds in our lives when we are dealing with a   disappointment or pain. The Bible commands us to be thankful in all circumstances, because in almost all situations there remain reasons to rejoice.

Secondly,  the choice of gratitude will protect you from bitterness.I have a friend who lost a beautiful sixteen-year-old daughter in a car accident.  She told me that after a season of nearly unbearable grief and spiritual confusion, she made a decision to give her questions to God and move on.  She said her motivation was selfish.  “I did not want to be a bitter, old woman.”

I choose to be grateful this thanksgiving in spite of my wife having cancer because I want to be happy and I refuse to be bitter.  I hope you will choose gratitude as well this holiday season even if you’re going through a difficult time. So pass the cranberry and the candied yams.   Turn up the volume on the TV and let’s root for the Cowboys.  Oh, and if you ask me to pray, get ready for little bit longer prayer than usual, because I want to thank God for all Barbara and I still have in spite of her cancer.

How to Walk Through Darkness

I don’t like to be scared. I’ve never cared for scary movies or spook houses.  I never understood the appeal of having someone jump out of the dark at you while wearing a frightening mask.  Some people love this kind of thing.  I don’t.  Some spook houses have a room or hallway that is designed to put you in absolute darkness.  It is terrifying because you can’t see what’s coming.  The only way to conquer the darkness is to wait it out or to keep walking till you get to the light.  What keeps you from going crazy with fear is knowing that eventually you’ll get out of the darkness and the night will return to normal.

Life can be like a dark room in a spook house.  You can find yourself in a place of darkness.  Suddenly, you can’t understand what’s happening and even worse you can’t see what’s  going to happen next.  An emotional “dark room” can be terrifying.  To handle it you attempt to shore up your courage with the hope that light will return, things will get better, and hopefully, life will return to normal.

Struggling with the dark has been one of the more difficult parts of my wife’s and my experience with cancer.  Our lives were changed dramatically without warning and we struggled to make sense of it all, kind of like having the lights go off.  The darkness increased as we  faced the complication of medical treatments, the resultant body pain, the loss of control of time, and the steady stream of medical bills kept coming at us.  We fought to keep a positive attitude.

One of the worst aspects of “the dark” is the waiting.  As a friend of mine, whose wife is also struggling with cancer shared with me;           

The whole process is taxing on my wife.  It is all the waiting.  Every time we see one doctor, we have to wait another week or two until   we see the next one.  This weighs on us knowing that she has cancer inside her. The surgery is still probably at least 3-4 weeks out. 

I feel his pain.  Been there, done that, and we have that cancer t-shirt.

Maybe you’re in the dark right now.  Maybe you are facing:

  • The terror of a job loss.
  • The fear of ballooning debt.
  • The fright of a health crisis.
  • The panic of a child that is on drugs.
  • The apprehension of a spouse who is threatening to leave.

What can you do?  You don’t have a lot of choices.

One, you can curl up in a fetal position and cry in the dark.  You can whine incessantly about how unfair life is, and how God has failed you.  Of course, that will change nothing except to shorten the list of friends who will take your phone calls.

Two, you can choose to shore up your courage and keep on walking.   You can choose to believe that God is good, life is worth living even in times of struggle, and that eventually the darkness will end.  You can put a smile on your face as you make the inner determination that you will get through this with your integrity intact, and that the darkness will make you a better person when it is gone.

You can choose not to visit a spook house.  You can’t always choose not to walk through emotional darkness, but you can choose how you get through it.  Keep on walking. Keep on believing.  Next year will be better.  The darkness will eventually lift.

Leave me a comment about how you have dealt with the “dark rooms” of your life.

 

WHAT IN THE WORLD DO I SAY?

My wife is dealing with cancer and I’m learning some things about that far too common journey.   The ironic thing is that I’ve been writing a book on cancer with a friend, who is dealing with the strain of her second diagnosis of cancer.   For the past year, I’ve sent her a daily devotion and she has been journaling her response to each day’s post.  We hope to publish a book to help people find spiritual support and practical wisdom to help with their struggles.

It looks like I’ll be writing a chapter I never dreamed I would write….when cancer came to my family.

One of things I’m learning is how hard it is to support a loved one in a great trial.  It’s been said that it is harder to watch someone you love go through pain, than it is to go through it yourself. I know I’m finding it difficult to say the correct words to help my wife.  This is due to wondering “what is the right thing to say?”, not whether or not I want to be encouraging.    This dilemma is not a  “cancer”specific problem, but rather applies to anyone with a loved one in pain.

  • What do you say to a friend who says, “I have cancer?”
  • How do you encourage someone who says, “My husband left me for another woman?”
  • What expression of hope is appropriate for the one whose child just died?
  • How do you answer the question, “Why did this terrible thing happen to me?”
  • What can you say to the one who got laid off two weeks after his wife had a baby?

Now the problem is not having something to say.  The problem is not saying something that is trite in sentiment or that sounds callous to the one who is hurting.

  • Don’t say – “I know how you feel.” Nobody knows how anyone feels
  • Don’t say – “I am sure everything will be okay.” You don’t know that.
  • Don’t’ say – “I have a friend who had the same surgery, etc.” Your friend’s experience is not relevant.
  • Don’t’ say – “let me know if I can help.” Find a way to help.
  • Don’t say – “God needed your loved one in heaven.” That makes God sound cruel.

What do you do when someone you know gets the worst news ever? Maybe, don’t say anything at all. Do something!  Anything.   Say a prayer. Write a personal note. Make a personal visit.  Bring a meal to the house.   Make a phone call.  Make yourself available to listen.  Or try this, just go sit by their side and saying nothing at all while you hold their hand.

When someone gets the worst news ever, do something that will make you their best friend ever. Show them that you care.   That’s what they really need.  They don’t need a solution, they need to know they are loved.

P.S.  Let me know in the comment section you’d like to receive the cancer, or going through trial devotions, I mentioned in the last post.  I’m still compiling a list.

How Long Will You Be Limited by Your Past?

How long do we have to be limited by our past?

Are we ever safe from our failures?   Is there a shelf-life on our mistakes?  Can we overcome painful memories?

Far too often, we suffer internally because of things we remember that we did wrong or past embarrassments.

Memories shape our lives. If they are negative or painful, they become a prison of self-limitation.  The most interesting thing about memories is that they are unreliable.   The longer we have a memory, the more we embellish and color it with nostalgia.

I occasionally visit a home I lived in over 50 years ago.  I love to go by and see where I played as a boy with brothers and friends.  I am always amused by how small everything is compared to my memory.   A small shed still stands that we used to jump off of as boys.   In my memory it was 20 or more feet high.  In reality, it is only about 5 feet and most people would have to stoop down to walk under its low hanging roof.  The discrepancy in my memory is because I was only about four-feet-tall, when I made my daring leaps off its tin roof.   Everything looks different to me now from my current six-feet height.

We also tend to add details to our memories that were not really there.  The more you tell a story, including the more you tell it to yourself, the easier it is to incrementally add to the tale.   This is why your father’s memory of walking to school when he was a child morphs from a couple of city blocks to a couple of country miles. It’s also why his exploits on the baseball and football field become tales of legendary skill and success, when in reality, they were just stories of an average kid making an average team.

The truth is our memories are flawed.  What you remember so vividly probably did not happen exactly as your picture it.

It is time to take the sting out of your painful memories.  When they show up to limit you or shame you, remember they are being blown out of proportion.  When they give you that familiar unpleasantness, remember that you are remembering from who you were, not who you are today.  You wouldn’t make that mistake today.  You wouldn’t choose that bad decision as the person you are today. Don’t let a flawed and exaggerated remembrance trouble your peace of mind.

Good coaches teach us that though the past is always with us, its ability to hurt is a personal choice. Decide today that your memories from years ago are out of date and toss them into the trash.  Move forward, focused on who you are becoming, not limited by who you were.

Make your personal mantra: I’m not who I ought to be, I’m not who I’m going to be, but thank God, I’m not who I was, and quit allowing yourself to be shamed by an out of date past.

When You Get The Worst News

Other families have cancer, not us.”

That’s what my daughter said when my wife, her mother, was recently diagnosed with cancer.  It is a body blow to hear that someone you love has the disease that is the second leading cause of death in America.  You would think that I’d handle the news better.  As a Pastor of many decades,  I have made countless hospital calls and prayed with hundreds of people diagnosed with cancer.  I still struggled to get my mind around it.  Maybe, all my exposure to other people’s battle with the disease made my own acceptance of it more difficult.  Ignorance sometimes really is bliss.  But, cancer is now part of my family’s journey whether we like it or not.

I have to say that our family is as prepared for this challenge as any can be.  We have all the factors for a successful treatment in our favor.  We are blessed with insurance to help with the enormous costs. We are blessed with outstanding physicians and hospitals and are receiving excellent treatment.  We are surrounded by loving family and friends to encourage us.  We are strengthened by an amazing church family that is so supportive.  Most of all, we are people of faith that live in confidence of our God’s active role and plan for our lives, including this cancer.  With all these supporting factors, we are confident of success and moving ahead as bravely as we can manage. Our struggle, compared to those faced by many others, is small.

However, this blog is not about our battle with cancer.  It’s about how to deal with the day when the worst thing you can imagine happens in your life.   All of us will face such a day.  How do you manage it when the prognosis is negative, the balance sheet is shockingly red, and the divorce papers show up in your mailbox?   How do you cope with middle of the night phone call that begins with the words, “I sorry to have to inform you?”

Here are some suggestions I give my coaching clients:

  • Start to prepare now for what you don’t know is coming.
  • Strengthen your bonds now with those who truly care for you.
  • Exercise your problem-solving muscles now with easier issues.
  • Do your best to get your finances ready now for any crisis that may come.
  • Develop your spiritual life now before the crisis appears.
  • MOST OF ALL DON’T PANIC

My family is doing well with our cancer journey.  It’s early on in the struggle.  We’ve had a couple of minor surgeries, and we are reviewing our options as our wonderful doctors lead through this journey.   We are believing for a complete recovery and learning to love each other more every day. But, whatever comes, we know our God will get us through.  May God bless you if you are facing a daunting challenge in your life.   I know you can find the strength to not just, “survive, but thrive,” if you’ll keep your attitude positive and your faith strong.

P.S.  I have been writing a daily devotion, for another cancer sufferer that will hopefully become a book. If you are interested in signing up to receive these devotions contact me on this website.

 

ARE YOU AS LOVEABLE AS DANNY?

TO CLAIM THE REAL YOU – ELIMINATE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK

 

To allow yourself to step forward and claim your worth in the world, you need to overcome lingering beliefs about your self-worth.  How can you boldly put yourself in the public eye if you are being slammed by critical statements within your mind?   Do you have doubts about being worthy of God’s blessings?  Do you fear that you are not good enough, smart enough, talented enough to achieve your goals?  Even worse, do you constantly tell yourself these things?

This negative self-talk has to stop because:

  • You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
  • You are the only person exactly like you in the entire universe.
  • You were put here with unique gifts and talents with which to bless the world.
  • You are just as worthy of success as anyone else.

For a primer in self-esteem study, let’s look at the career of actor, Danny DeVito. DeVito’s short stature is the result of a rare genetic disorder that affects bone growth in those afflicted.  This diminutive actor has won the hearts and minds of millions in spite of his unorthodox appearance.  If Danny can refuse limiting beliefs about his success, so can you.

Realize that how you feel about yourself could be putting a “lid” on your success.   Search your mind for any trace of poor self-esteem and commit to purging it from your life.

Things to remember to overcome poor self-esteem:Remember everyone is a jerk sometimes.

  • Remember that your past does not have to predict your future.
  • Remember that you are a work in process and cut yourself some slack.
  • Remember that if you disqualify yourself, someone who needs your gifts will miss out.
  • Remember that mistakes and failures are part of life.

Past mistakes and failures are not disqualifiers for success.  In fact, they are usually a prerequisite for real impact in the world.  Do a quick study of some of the game changing leaders from history and you will see that all of them overcame something on their path to success.

Decide today that you are going to boldly go after your dreams.  Refuse to allow any false beliefs to limit your success.  Danny DeVito has legions of fans.  Why don’t you put yourself out there and see how many people will love you, too?

Claiming The Real You

HOW TO FIND THE COURAGE TO BE THE REAL YOU

The advertising campaign “Be All You Can Be,” promoting recruitment for the US Army, was one of the most successful in advertising history. It ran for 20 years.  It motivated enlistment with the idea of joining the armed forces in order to become a better you.

Here’s another good idea; simply allow yourself to be.

I wrote my last blog about not being afraid to be yourself.  Now, I want to give you four ideas in finding the courage to be yourself. The first is to value your uniqueness.

Self-improvement is important, but it can become an addiction.  While we are busy getting better, we should also enjoy being who we are.

How can we allow ourselves to just be?

Remember that today’s you, may be one of the best versions of yourself you ever produce.

This is true in the fitness arena.  I used to whine and groan about being fat.  All through my thirties and forties I was constantly disappointed in my body. But, I sure do miss that body today. If I could just turn back the clock, I’d never criticize myself again.  The body I had then was in some ways the best one I’ll ever have. The reality is that age brings deterioration, so today’s you may be one the best versions ever.

Remember you are a work in progress and cut yourself some slack.

Memorize this code: PBPWMGINFWMY   It will reduce the stress in your life.It means: “Please be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet.”Everyone has flaws. Most would like to be a better version of ourselves, but masterpieces      are not created overnight.  Don’t miss the glory of this day, because you are disappointed in how your diet is going or some other frustration on your goal list. Be gentle with yourself. You will get better.

Step one on claiming the real you is to accept yourself with all your “warts and weaknesses,” as being part of a human race that is flawed and broken.   Keep working at your goals, but enjoy today.

Other people love you. Love yourself and you’ll be better able to love other people.

Claim the real you, because the real you is pretty fantastic right now.