Working on a Dream




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

20 tips for a great 2015

20151. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.
2. Take a morning walk of gratitude. I call it a "Thank You Walk." It will create a fertile mind ready for success.
3. Make your first meal the biggest and your last meal the smallest. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
4. Zoom Focus. Each day when you wake up in the morning ask: "What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?" Then tune out all the distractions and focus on these actions.
5. Talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears and doubts, talk to yourself and feed your mind with the words and encouragement you need to keep moving forward. 
6. Choose faith instead of fear. Faith turns adversities and dead-ends into detours to a better outcome than you thought possible. {Tweet This}
7. Don’t chase dollars or success. Decide to make a difference and build meaningful relationships and success will find you. {Tweet This}
8. Get more sleep. You can’t replace sleep with a double latte.
9. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in your purpose, people and the positive present moment.
10. Build your life and career with the 3 greatest success strategies of all. Love, Serve and Care
11. Every day focus on your purpose. Remember why you do what you do. We don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it. 
12. Remember there’s no such thing as an overnight success. There’s no substitute for hard work.
13. Believe that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences. 
14. Implement the No Complaining Rule. If you are complaining, you’re not leading. 
15. Read more books than you did in 2014. I happen to know of a few good ones. : )
16. Don’t seek happiness. Instead decide to live with passion and purpose and happiness will find you. 
17. Focus on "Get to" vs "Have to." Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.
18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished____________.
19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.
20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

Tips provided by Jon Gordon. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Story of the Three Trees


The Story of the Three Trees


Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said,
"Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."
Then the second tree said,

"Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take Kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world.  Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."
Finally the third tree said,

"I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the Hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I amreaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."
After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group
of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he

"This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a
Carpenter", and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he
knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.
At the second tree the woodsman said,

"This looks like a strong tree. I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happybecause he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened
because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come
true. One of the Woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my
tree, I'll take this one", and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed
box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was
not at all what he had prayed for.
The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. his dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end.
The third tree was cut into large pieces, and left alone in the dark..
The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.
Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God aswas possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.
The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in
 Him, God will give you great gifts.
Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined.
We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His 
ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My best Christmas

The Christmas party was over.

Several of the men were sitting at a table reminiscing about the Christmas days of their childhood. The conversation turned to the best Christmas of their lives. As they went around the table, they noticed one man hadn't said anything. They asked, "Come on.. Frank, What was your best Christmas?" Frank said, "The best Christmas I ever had was when I didn't even get a present." 
The others were surprised. They had to hear the story. Frank began to talk...
"I grew up in New York. It was the great depression and we were poor. My Mother had died when I was just eight years old. My Dad had a job but he only worked two or three days a week and that was considered good. We lived in a walk up and we just barely had enough food and clothes. I was a kid and didn't really notice."

"My Dad was a proud man. He had one suit. He would wear that suit to work. When he came home, he would take off the jacket and sit in his chair still wearing his shirt, tie and his vest. He had this big old pocket watch that had been given to him by my mother. He would sit in his chair, the chain from watch hanging out, connected to the fob in his vest buttonhole. That watch was his proudest possession. Sometimes, I would see him, just sitting there, looking at his precious watch. I bet he was thinking of my mother."

"One year, I was about twelve, chemistry sets were the big thing. They cost two dollars. That was big money but every kid wanted a chemistry set including me. I began to pester my Dad about it a month or so before Christmas. You know, I made all the same kid promises. I would be good. I would do my chores. I wouldn't ask for anything else again. My dad would just say, 'We'll see.."
"Three days before Christmas he took me to the carts. There was this area where all the small merchants keep their street carts. They would undersell the stores and you could get a good buy. He would take me to a cart and pick out some little toy. "Son, would like something like this?" I, of course, would tell him, 'No, I want a chemistry set.' We tramped to nearly every cart and him showing me some toy car or toy gun, and me refusing it. I never thought that he didn't have the money to buy a chemistry set. Finally, he said, we better go home and come back the next day."

"All the way home, I pouted and whined about the chemistry set. I repeated the promises. I said I didn't care if I never got another present. I had to have that chemistry set. I know now that my Dad felt guilty about being able to give me more. He probably thought he was a failure as a Father and I think he blamed himself for my mother's death. As we were walking up the stairs, he told me, that he would see what he could do about getting me the chemistry set. That night I couldn't even sleep. I could see myself inventing some new material. I could see the New York Times.. 'Boy wins Nobel Prize!"

"The next day after work, my Dad took me back to the carts. On the way, I remember, he bought a loaf of bread, he was carrying it under his arm. We came to first cart and he told me to pick out the set I wanted. They were all alike, but I went through them, like I was choosing a diamond. I found the right one and I almost yelled. 'This one..Dad!'"
"I can still see him, reaching into his pant's pocket, to get the money. As he pulled the two dollars out, one fluttered to the ground, he bent over to pick it up and as he did, the chain fell out of his vest. The chain swung back and forth. 'No watch.' 

In a flash, I realized that my Dad had sold his watch. He sold his most precious possession to buy me a chemistry set. He sold his watch, the last thing my mother had given him, to buy me a chemistry set."

"I grabbed his arms and I yelled, 'No.' I had never grabbed my Dad before and I certainly had never yelled at him. I can see him, looking at me, a strange look on his face. 'No, Dad, you don't have to buy me anything.' The tears were burning in my eyes. 'Dad, I know you love me.' We walked away from the cart and I remember my Dad holding my hand all the way home."

Frank looked at the men. "You know, there isn't enough money in the world to buy that moment. You see, at that moment, I knew that my Dad loved me more than anything in the world."

author unknown

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Stranger

"The Stranger"

"A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Bill, five years my senior, was my example. Fran, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play 'big brother' and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors-- Mom taught me to love the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it.

But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening.

If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so life like that I: would often laugh or cry as I watched.

He was Iike a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. My brother and I were deeply impressed by John Wayne in particular.

The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn' t seem to mind-but sometimes Mom would quietly get up-- while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places-- go to her room, read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.

You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house-- not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home - not even for cooking. But the stranger felt 1ike we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often.

He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (probably too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes sugestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man-woman relationship were influenced by the stranger,

As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.

More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents' den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name? 

We always just called him TV."

-Told by Keith Currie