I Hope You’re Hungry

Are you perfectly content with your life?

I hope not. I hope you’re hungry!

I hope you’re hungry. Hunger is a key component to all success.

I hope you’re hungry. Hunger leads to growth rather than grumbling, progress rather than protesting.

I hope you’re hungry. Hunger stretches the divine imagination beyond our wildest dreams and empowers us to action

I hope you’re hungry. Hungry is being grateful for what you have, while also striving for something better.

I hope you’re hungry. Hunger is being humble without being subservient.

I hope you’re hungry. Hunger is taking absolute responsibility for your life and your circumstances. The degree to which I give up responsibility or blame others determines the degree to which I can control the outcome.

“There’s no shortage of dissatisfied people in America. Unemployment, underemployment, investment losses, political scandal, the disappearance of the middle class and the widening gap between rich and poor, the erosion of trust in institutions have all taken their toll.

Far fewer, unfortunately, are the people who are truly hungry.

The foundation of dissatisfaction is entitlement. The foundation of hunger is hope!

Dissatisfied people look for handouts; hungry people look for opportunities. Dissatisfaction complains; hunger works. Dissatisfied people seek shortcuts; hungry people pay the price.

Dissatisfied is the entitled American whining about losing his job as he’s stretched out on the sofa collecting unemployment checks. Hungry is the hopeful immigrant hustling to make a buck as he’s stretched thin across three menial jobs.

A man decided to take his business to Mexico. He was told by many people, “Why in the world would you do that? Those people down there only earn about $700 a month. They don’t have any money to give you.”

He responded, “Yes, but the difference is this: In America, when I ask people if they want to make more money they say, ‘Do I have to do anything for it?’ In Mexico” (Steven Palmer)
If you’re one of the hungry ones you’ll love this song!

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Life Leadership Scam and the Leadership Train

Written as a novel with interesting characters and real life questions about the profession in general and Life Leadership in specific, the book is so much fun that I read it in one sitting!

LIFE and Leadership by Chris Brady

Is Life Leadership a Scam?

Have you ever seen the movie Revenge of the Nerds? It’s an oldie but a goodie. Actually, I can’t really say that, as I haven’t seen it since I was a wee teen.  However, the premise, that the nerds outsmart their good-looking, athletic, popular, jock counterparts has really come to fruition in our times.

For instance, have you ever realized that those geeky bespectacled kids you used to push around at the bus stop are the ones responsible for terms like “iOS8” and  “PDF” being part of our normal vernacular? Or that we are all now living under the tyranny of baud rates and hyper text markup language? It’s as if they all got together and decided to get revenge on those of us who are too impatient and too, well, un-geeky to care about ones and zeros.  WE JUST WANT OUR STUPID PHONES…

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Change is Difficult and Excellence Illusive.

Change is Difficult and Excellence Illusive.

Change is Difficult and Excellence Illusive.

If We Cease to Grow We Begin to Slide. If a rosebud ceases to bloom it will perish. It’s beauty may last for a season, but only while attached to the bush can it fulfill it’s ultimate purpose…to reproduce!

When I determine to advance to a new level of growth I will immediately be faced with the discomfort of new and different challenges. My old habits, thoughts and routines line up to resist change. Each obstacle seems insurmountable and creates a sense of personal defeat. The easy way out will be to simply step back into the comfort (or rather, familiar) zone and avoid the pain rather than struggle through this valley of despair.
To rise to the next level of success I know that I must  press on through regardless. The only way to do this is to:
1. Think on purpose. I must realign my thinking with my vision, and remind myself of the benefits of reaching my goal and living my dream. The singular constant focus on transformed thinking is vital to this process. “As a man thinketh, so is he.” When I allow my thinking to slip I can rest assured that my actions will soon follow. I see this happening over and over…I see it happening now, in my presence and the sadness is overwhelming.
2. Make sure I have a clear plan and stick to it, avoiding any and all distractions that come my way. Anything outside of the track I’m on will serve to dilute my passion…no matter whether it’s a “good” book, “good” movie, or “good” company. Presently my quest is for great. There will come a time for all things. That time is not now! Start my plan early to be sure I stay on track.
3. Stay in touch with my mentor and associate with positive influences that have the same success mindset and draw from their personal experience and positive input.
Taking these simple steps will clear the noise of opposition in our minds that comes from past failures and experiences and make room for courage to find a home. Remembering always that although we do have a constant enemy, he is not alive and well, nor is he all powerful. He is mortally wounded and his very best efforts can be no more than laying present traps based on our past experiences.

 

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A Tribute to my dad, my hero! Happy Fathers Day!

Pakie_Fishing

A Veterans of 2 wars… WW2 and LIFE! They say Old Soldiers never die, they simply fade away. I say old heroes neither die nor fade. They live on through the legacy they leave in all of the lives they so powerfully impact.
Dad is my true hero! His impact will never die nor fade. It resonates in his offspring, from sons to great grand children, to great-great grand children… musicians, missionaries, ministers, medical scientists, writers, lovers of animals and nature, corporate leaders, athletes, shifters and shakers, all pressing on to their calling to be heroes after the kind that has set this glorious pace for extraordinary living.
Fond memories go into the making of these future heroes… stern coaching and disciplining of wild youthful hearts, Sunday afternoon drives to not too distant water holes where the water was cooler and deeper than the local swimming pool and not as crowded. Home cooked Sunday dinners (the roast lamb and gravy live on happily on our Texas Sunday table) with the best of friends, sometimes on the banks of a cool glass smooth lake, often followed by the thrills of a Watermelon fight. 

Of proudly enduring hard pews listening in amazement as he shared those wonderful words of LIFE, always reaching out like a lifeline to some drowning soul. Never without purpose. Never without calling for the verdict!
Of overnight drives to the favorite spots in the whole world, where wild waves crash and big fish bite on stinky rockbait attached to rigs of homemade lead sinkers.
Of pre dawn excursions down the rocky crags to just the right spot in the East flowing Kie River to yank out a few giant pallang (eel) on a homemade “bob”, no hook needed! And then squeal with disgust at the quivering white filleted flesh as the salt teases the not quite dead nerves.
Of returning from a long days adventure to the snug, cozy little homestead of my hero’s heroes to the indescribable aromatic cloud left by the “famous” Nanny Goetsch cookies (that live on in every Goetsch household to this day) and prepared with a hot cup of tea in hand to listen to the never-ending adventures of my hero’s service to his family and his country, and how that incredible journey led him to be a warrior of Faith in a different army with a greater mission.
Always acknowledging his weaknesses while holding fast to grace, this imperfect hero will not have to wait for some distant moment for his final recognition and crowning… wherever he has walked if I’m still enough I see his crowns at His Saviors feet and hear Him saying, “well done, well done, well done! You have entered into My Joy”
We journey on with him in joyful celebration anticipation of that day when he will meet his Super Hero face to face and the will see Him as He is, and dad will look just like Him!
I love you dad! Happy Father’s day!
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Beautiful Imperfection…From Broken Pottery to Treasured Vessel

KintsugiKintsukuroi2“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.”
― Emilio Estevez

It is a curious sensation: the sort of pain that goes mercifully beyond our powers of feeling. When you’re so bent and broken, your boats are burned: nothing matters any more. This is not so much the end of happiness as the beginning of peace. It is the greatest of struggles that produces the sweetest of victories. The sweetest of these being the restoration of what was once thought broken beyond all hope.

There are two ways to restore broken pottery. The ancient Eastern traders developed a method of reassembling the broken vase and “waxing over” the cracks in a manner that could deceive the unsuspecting customer. Only long after the trader had moved on was the vase tested by either heat or light and found to be marred and useless. On the other hand, the Japanese have a tradition of artfully repairing damaged objects known as Kintsugi a method of fixing broken pottery with a lacquer resin sprinkled with powdered gold.
You restore a broken vessel by trying to repair the break seamlessly, making the break invisible, or by highlighting the damaged part, calling attention to the damage, yet creating out of that damaged piece something as or even more valuable than before. The Japanese believe such repair gives honor to the piece’s history.
For most of us, brokenness is a part of our story. Just as in broken pottery, we can never make it completely disappear. We can try to patch it and hide it by “waxing it over”, but at some point it will be exposed for what it is and may end up hurting ourselves and others all over again…or we can repair it demonstratively, creating a new piece, which if done right, is something of far greater value than before it was broken.
LIFE Leadership has taught us to see the potential that exists within everyone of us to be transformed, not by discarding or “waxing over” the broken pieces of our lives, but by taking those broken shards and recreating them into a piece of unimaginable character and beauty. We don’t need to look too far to find evidence of our wreckage in the areas of Faith, Family, Fitness, Finances, Friends, Following, Fun and Freedom.
So many broken vessels, expecting to be rejected and discarded, yet desperately hoping and wishing for something more substantial than the quick fix that most have become so accustomed to. In our short journey along this rediscovered pathway to the Life we’ve always wanted, we have learned some amazing life changing truths that are worth sharing. They have proven to be so much more than the empty, trite advice of the many amateur providences who love to see us get ahead in life, as long as its not ahead of them, and more lasting than the psycho-bable and self medication which at the end of the day only serves to bring us down deeper into our pain and despair.
That One Thing
At the very beginning we were encouraged to dig deep and find that one thing that we believed we were created for. That God given purpose that we knew deep down has always fired us up…our primal cause. Your reason for being. We all have it, but so few find it because of the distractions along the way…the shiny objects along life’s pathway, the secondary causes that show up disguised as urgent and important and the present traps the enemy sets for us based upon our broken past experiences …all of these are his tactics to steal, kill and destroy. But you are bigger and better not because of who you are, but in spite of who you are because of the one that permanently abides in you. There are many great things that have come to pass out of the most painful circumstances and greatest sadness, but how crazy it would be to not separate those events from the resultant prize? We must always remember that God is who He says he is and he does what he says he will do, but he will never override your personal choice. The key is to examine every path on the basis of pleasing ONLY him and you WILL find that one thing. We all want that whether we now know it or not and when it eludes us we are incomplete, frustrated and just plain miserable.
Yet for some reason we would rather endure the price of the pain and struggle of that misalignment than the lesser pain of change.
If we knew without doubt the priceless rewards of a full engagement with our purpose would we not risk our very life for it, yet alone the reputation, acceptance and approval of peers, or even personal comfort? One of my mentors reminds me that very often it takes the pain of staying the same to become greater than the pain of change before we will do anything about it.
Most of the time we dont have the best in life because we think its too costly. Or we dont think it through well enough to realize the benefits. Or, we engage in negative self talk about our purpose that is simply not true. Usually negative thoughts about failure and struggle and so forth. The bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” We must be very careful about what we think. Thoughts have presence. They find a home. They will always be felt by those around you and will have an impact on your success or failure in life.

You may remember the place in the Bible called Kadesh Barnea?
If you read the book of Numbers, its the story of the Israelites being delivered from Egypt and being guided by God through the wilderness to the Promised Land, Canaan. They saw miracle after miracle. They knew God was with them. When they arrived at Kadesh Barnea God said “go take your victory. This is the land I’ve promised you. I will go with you.” But they did not have faith…… They doubted. They let negativity, discouragement, fear, change, all that stuff get the better of them and so they sent someone in to check it out.
God had heard the people’s incessant murmuring… God had plans for them, yet they would rather have the security of bondage than to step out into the unknown and follow Gods leading….
The result was that He sent them aimlessly wandering in the desert and out of about 2 million people only the two believers, Joshua and Caleb lived to fulfill their dream and Gods promise in the land of Canaan.
The opportunity was stolen from the majority by rumor, hearsay and popular opinion.

This may be your Kadesh Barnea moment. Its time to go out with courage and take a hold of all the promises that are yours and to make your name great for the glory of God. To pursue a Matthew 5:16 life with courage…to be seperated from the herd…to swim upstream…to be the original that God created you to be. You’re created in His image with a hope and a future. Be proud of it and get it done!

So, when all is said and done. perfect  peace comes not from the absence of struggle, pain and brokenness, but from the blessed assurance that in our imperfections there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can separate us from such perfect love as His. Our imperfections and brokenness, when they are seen as trophies of a magnificent journey, and are embellished with the gold dust of divine restoration will become trophies of grace and testimonies of victory across the stages of LIFE. Kintsugi!

Romans 8:31 (MSG)
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger?….. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

The LIFE culture developed by founders Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, and world class council of Leaders, Mentors and Coaches has contributed enormously in helping me to overcome the obstacles and pitfalls along this journey to Freedom. Janice and I would encourage anyone who is struggling to find their way through life and who has not yet discovered their God given purpose to join us in this quest by looking into LIFE Leadership either as a business owner, or as a subscriber to the Life changing information that we offer.

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South Africa at the Polls

SA_Polls
The final results of South Africa’s 5th “Free and Fair” democratic election since the dismantling of apartheid are all in and social media is buzzing with dismay. Whether it was a free and fair poll or not is not the quandary. How a political party with multiple problems could be reelected is. South Africans have just reelected a party that has yet to keep one of its campaign promises made for the last 5 elections it has won. At the helm remains a president with numerous corruption charges and character flaws exceeding the never changing spots on the proverbial leopard. A quick Google search will reveal the enormous extent of these accusations, proof and all. How can people be so deceived?
The mood is certainly one of troubled mistrust and dissatisfaction. I don’t think there is one simple “silver bullet” or cure for these ails, but here are some of my thoughts to ponder.
The only way real and meaningful change can come about is by means of a revolution of thinking.  To have any impact on staying the Five Laws of Decline (FLD’s) highlighted by Orrin Woodward in “Leadershift” that impact ALL modern societies (I explain briefly below), thinking needs to change across some fundamental behaviors, viz family, faith, freedom, finances, following (leadership and mentoring skills), friends, and so on (LIFE Leadership). When there are enough citizens that realize the need for this reformation, good thinking will follow, real change will result and a positive world shift can occur. Is this idealistic futurism? Not if we study history and take note of the moods prior to each of the previous world shifts that have occurred (about every 100 years), or the nature of the collapse of the worlds greatest civilizations.
The critical need I believe right now is for the true South African leaders to raise up other leaders, who in turn raise up other leaders who all buy into these disciplines: voracious readers, entrepreneurial in spirit, and have a tribal mindset and who are sick and done with the status quo and have the courage to polarize rather than to placate. 
The issue here is not color, jobs or lack thereof, or even political turmoil, but slavery. People who are slaves to broken thinking and to what they have become comfortable with. They don’t see any way out, and in fact the majority have become “Happy in their Subserviency” (Huxley – Brave New World).
The present political climate is a result of the the same poor thinking perpetuated from a misguided government who have instilled in society the concept of learned incompetence (themselves being their greatest students) and dependency – happy subserviency.
In Leadershift by Orrin Woodward and Oliver de Mille, societies decline is attributed to Five Laws. Sturgeons Law – 90% of everything is crud; Bastiats Law – Given repeated  “Handouts” and entitlements, society will eventually habitually take whatever they can get without working for it – the line of least resistance; Greshams Law – when the bad or lesser is consistently perpetuated over time it will eventually drive out the good; The Law of Diminishing Returns – you CAN have too much of a good thing. The more you experience of the good thing, your overall happiness and satisfaction will decline; Law of Inertia – a culture moving in a particular direction will increase its velocity until an outside force acts upon it.
In an earlier writing De Mille outlines a recipe for socio economic reform which has nothing to do with the socialist model being proposed by the ignorant masses.
What we need to bring about reform is a grassroots movement of citizens who will commit to the following:
1. Become Voracious Readers – read good books including the bible, and give careful thought to what you read, including the small print (by laws and ballot sheets)
2. Pursue Tribal Mentality – Connect and bond with a community of similar minded Rascals who have character born out of integrity multiplied by courage. Seek them out and associate with intention.
3. Seek out Entrepreneurial enterprise. Gain control of your future by defining the life you want, associating and learning from those who have the results that you desire, and then doing the things they do. Bring the wealth back into the citizens hands through ownership of the economic enterprise so that we can take the place of career politicians. Money has power!
I would add one more – with all your heart, pursue your God given purpose. We all have one. It consists of a light he has given us that was placed there for the whole world to see. It is unique and powerful and brings glory to Him when men and women see the good works that rise up as a result (Matt 5:16)
Remember, be true to yourself. Your success is a byproduct if personal integrity.
Fight the Good Fight!
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When we cease to grow, we begin to die (Mortimer Adler).

If a rosebud ceases to grow it will perish. When we do nothing to actively make progress towards worthwhile predetermined goals, our thinking begins to slip and our actions will always follow our thinking.

The mind can atrophy, like the muscles, if it is not used. Atrophy of the mental muscles is the penalty that we pay for not taking mental exercise. And this is a terrible penalty, for there is evidence that atrophy of the mind is a mortal disease. There seems to be no other explanation for the fact that so many busy people die so soon after retirement. They were kept alive by the demands of their work upon their minds; they were propped up artificially, as it were, by external forces. But as soon as those demands cease, having no resources within themselves in the way of mental activity, they cease thinking altogether, and expire. (Adler)

In my past, rising to new and better levels was the furthermost thing from my mind, yet alone attempting to overcome obstacles and challenges to get there.  As a leader with many years of personal experience both in the corporate world and as a pastor and teaching professor I was the product of many “personal improvement” courses and was quite comfortable just “being who I was” or had become. I felt that in general I was “doing okay”… that is until my rude awakening…

I had the good fortune of being introduced to something called the Mental Fitness Challenge. If you’ve ever heard of the P90X Home Fitness System, this is a similar system but for the brain. It consists of targeted, intense 90 day mental workouts that focus on 13 areas of discipline that each of us need to live the life we’ve always wanted, yet most of us lack.  I thought I was doing pretty good in most areas of my life, but knew there were definitely some areas where I had made repeated mistakes that could do with some adjustment. It was specifically for those areas that I was motivated to give the MFC a shot. Well, to my utmost surprise, I discovered through MFC’s brilliant systematically designed Self Assessment Test, that I had overrated myself in virtually every area if my personal and leadership ability, AND my character. It was time to go to work on myself (again) but this time I would not have to flounder around on my own in the dark trying to figure out how to get better at life.

From Insurmountable Obstacle to Unsurpassed Support.

With MFC, not only do I get the information I need to correct the flat spots, I also receive continued support and accountability through Listening, Reading, Watching and Associating. I felt that owed it to my wife and best friend I could ever have Janice, to my children and grandchildren, to my friends, to invest in myself becoming the best that I could be in every area of life. I realized I could become someone who is loved and admired by my family and friends and that I could leave a legacy of influence that would in a small way help the world to be a better place.  I am truly thankful to my friends Kirk and Nicole Porter for introducing Janice and me to this incredible group of world class, caring individuals, and for their support and encouragement on this journey to freedom.

If you in any way can identify with my story, or if you simply want to challenge yourself mentally to rise to greater levels of influence and success, I challenge you to take the Mental Fitness Challenge. Author of “FreedomShift”, and “A Thomas Jefferson Education” Oliver DeMille warns that we are heading for a socioeconomic collapse if we don’t make some significant changes in our thinking. Life founders Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady take this truth beyond the warning by providing a systematic achievable program to implement the steps DeMille implores us to take to avoid the crisis.

Here’s How It Works

  1. Watch some introductory videos to the mental fitness challenge.  Mental Fitness Challenge
  2. Enroll in the Pre challenge and take the Test.  The test scores you in 13 areas of your life and gives you feedback through the circle of Life Diagram on your top three strengths and three areas you are weak.
  3. Signup for the Mental Fitness Challenge  Mental Fitness Challenge
    1. Take the 90 day Challenge to create a habit of learning.
    2. Get connected to someone in the Life Community to help you stay accountable.
    3. Join a challenge group where you will associate with others.
    4. Come experience a community of positive change and growth.

I invite you to take this challenge and welcome you to The Life You’ve Always Wanted!

If you are already a part of the MFC I welcome your comments and feedback on your experience on this blog.

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