How are your sails set?

“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, and others build windmills.”

Author Unknown

The wind is going to blow. Are you going to harness the power and sail further and faster, or are you going to try and wait it out, see what happens, and hope for the best? Hope is not a strategy, so set your sails and harness the breeze.

Are you raw goods or something more?

“A bar of iron costs $5. Made into horseshoes, it’s worth $12. Made into needles, it’s worth $3500. Made into balance springs for watches, it’s worth $300,000. Your value is determined by what you are able to make of yourself.”

Author Unknown

Do you see yourself as raw materials or finished goods? Are you a component in something greater, or do you view yourself as the complete and finished thing?

Maybe the more important question is this. What are you working on right now to grow and improve? How are you seeking to add value to both yourself and the world? 

Spend your energy on what matters most…

“Observe and learn instead of react and respond. Everything doesn’t need your reaction. Conserve your energy for what matters.”

Author Unknown

If you choose to live in a reactive state, you will be allocating your energy based on responding to the things that happen in your world versus intentionally planning the things you want and need to happen. Sometimes choosing to ignore the unimportant things is the wisest possible choice. If you aren’t careful, you can spend your best energy on things that matter the least.

Don’t miss out on the best comedy life has to offer…

“Instead of a sign that says: ‘Do not disturb’ I need one that says: ‘Already disturbed, proceed with caution.'”

Author Unknown

It is so easy to take ourselves way too seriously. I chose this quote today as a reminder that we have to laugh at life and, most importantly, at ourselves. We are all “disturbed” in one way or another. We each have our quirks and blind spots. The key is recognizing them and then being vulnerable enough to share those with others so that you can enlist their help in overcoming your gaps.  

If you can’t laugh at yourself, you miss some of the richest comedy that life has to offer…

The best advice…

“One day you’ll give someone advice you once needed and realize that it no longer applies to you. That is when you know you’ve grown.”

Author Unknown

What is the best advice you have ever received? Did you capture and write that information down somewhere? Have you ever shared it with someone else? The beauty of receiving great advice is that you gain all of the value of an experience without actually having to go through it yourself.  

Please think of the ripple effect that can happen when you get great advice, execute on it, and then pass it along to someone else. The impact of a person’s life can be truly immeasurable when you think of the value of the advice given away freely to others.

How will you serve someone tomorrow by sharing advice you no longer need but could impact them? If you want to build a life of continual influence, you have to seek these opportunities out intentionally. 

Positive acceptance is the starting point of wisdom…

“Positive thinking is not about expecting the best to happen every time but accepting that whatever happens is the best for this moment.”

Author Unknown

It is always amazing how the passage of time can help one see and appreciate the beauty of not getting everything you want in life. Those “crucible moments” are the ones that form you into the person you are supposed to be, but first, you need forging to become strong.

Only through experience can you learn to stay positive and accept what happens as being the best for the moment; when you do this, you demonstrate an ability to turn knowledge into wisdom.   

‘Wisdom is supreme — so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding.’ Proverbs 4:7 CSB

What is your one?

“One tree can start a forest. One smile can begin a friendship. One hand can lift a soul. One word can frame the goal. One candle can wipe out darkness. One laugh can conquer gloom. One touch can show you care. One life can make the difference. Be that one today.”

Author Unknown

Every day we have a critical choice to make. We can happen to the world, or we can choose to let the world happen to us. Perhaps even more importantly, we have a decision to make regarding our lives’ impact on others. There will be an impact. Period. Full stop. The key is whether we are intentional with our decisions and how those decisions will architect others’ lives.  

I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Andy Stanley’s new book “Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets” because I haven’t found anyone better than Andy at distilling complicated topics into meaningful and powerful questions. I just received my copy this week and have been DEVOURING it. Topically it is straightforward, but when you peel back the layers and ask yourself the questions he frames out, it is extraordinarily powerful. I highly recommend it.  

One decision can make all the difference. What decisions will you make today that will positively impact the lives of others?

Amazon Link – Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets – Andy Stanley

If you focus on growth, the harvest will come.

“Not seeing results? Feel like giving up? Consider this: The last thing to grow on a fruit tree… is the fruit.”

Author Unknown

If you plant an apple seed today then it will take 6 – 8 years for the tree to grow and then begin to produce fruit. Does this mean you shouldn’t plant the tree? Water and care for the tree? Skip the hard work along way while waiting for the tree to mature to the point where it is capable of producing apples?

Consider this. When an apple tree does mature, and begin to deliver on the vision you had when you first planted it, it can grow 2-5 BUSHELS of apples PER YEAR. That’s a lot of apples.

The moral of the story is this. In our “everything now” world sometimes we get focused on eating an apple RIGHT THIS MINUTE. However, focusing on the right now might cause you to miss out on the incredible fruit that is just around the corner.

The ability we each have to deliver on our potential, and produce bushels of output impacting the lives of others, will come through disciplined focus and care on growth process, not on the fruit itself. The fruit is the result you achieve by not giving up on your dreams when the work is hard and you can’t see past the near term challenges.

If we don’t lose focus and hope we will mature and grow and learn to produce fruit for the world to consume in quantities which greatly exceed our current capacities. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

apple tree
Photo by Kaboompics .com on

If you desire youth, you first have to learn how to live…

“Curiosity, creativity, discovery and wonder; they aren’t traits of youth, they’re traits of learning. If you want to feel younger and you want to replicate the conditions of youth, do that.”

Author Unknown

There is nothing like the joy which comes from learning and growing. As the parent of a 3-year old, I am reminded on a daily basis of the power of seeing things for the very first time and approaching the world with an attitude of curiosity and discovery. Literally, everything he observes is new and wondrous. I can see his mind working as he processes some amazing new revelation and wraps his brain around a new process.

What is the last thing you learned? Did you learn something new based on a conscious choice to seek out knowledge or did it come by chance or happenstance?

The key to learning isn’t to simply add new data to your mind. The key is to approach the world with curiosity, discovery, and wonder. The key to learning is to fully understand and recognize there is so much yet to learn and explore.

When you embrace life as outlined above the RESULT is a feeling of youth. Feeling younger isn’t the goal, it is the result of how you choose to live…

boy running during sunsetman in black jacket wearing black headphones

Purpose = Peace

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

Author Unknown

If you are living your true and authentic purpose in life then noise, trouble and hard work aren’t disruptions to your peace, but merely endorsements that you are doing the right thing(s). We aren’t meant to live lives that are easy, trouble free, and quiet.

I might argue that if you have peace, not matter how loud, crazy and effortful the world may be, you are living your true purpose.

Find the good…

“Positive thinking is not about expecting the best to happen every time but accepting that whatever happens is the best for this moment.” 

Author Unknown 

I don’t think this is something that you just “know” when you are young. It is wisdom that is formed through experiences and from taking some lumps along the way in life. Frankly it is a lesson I am continually learning and relearning.

The more that I marinate on this quote the more I realize that it is not about being supper happy and focusing on the “good” things happening to me or others but is instead about finding the good in the things that do happen. It is always there, we just have to choose to seek it out…

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