Archive for the ‘Life’ category

more th>n, less th<n

October 7, 2012

How many of you have ever sold something you did – a service or item you made?

What did you price it at?

Did anyone say the price was too high or did someone tell you that you were selling too low?

We tend to value ourselves less than

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

What does it take to make the transition from less than to more than?

It is amazing how much the price on an item can fluctuate
– different stores have different prices
– different times of the month or year dictate different prices
– one small thing can alter a price significantly…….a story

Attach a story to a product and watch its value rise and rise

“Stories are such a powerful driver of emotional value that their effect on any given objects subjective value can actually be measured objectively”, assert Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker on their website significantobjects.com. The entire site is home to an experiment that sets out to prove it.

The experiment went like this Glen and Walker bought cheap, throwaway objects from thrift stores and garage sales, always for pocket change or a couple dollars at most. Then a writer would create a fictional story about the object in any voice or style. The once unremarkable object (now transformed into a significant object by virtue of the fictional backstory and information associated with it) then would be listed for sale on eBay the winning bidder would receive the object and a printout of the story.

The difference in original purchase price and story-enhanced resale price would be recorded as the value added by attaching story to an object.

Examples:

A pair of plastic shark and seal pens cost $1.99 to buy. Its resale price, after Suzanna Daniel added a story was $35 – an increase of 1659%

A yo-yo with the Amoco logo on it cost 25 cents. It’s resale price, after Mark Sarvas added a story, was $41 an increase of 16,300%

The overall results for the first 100 items bought, storied, and resold on eBay: average object purchase price: $1.29. Average resale price after the story was added: $36.12. Average increase in value: 2706%.

What’s the moral, besides the obvious? It’s hard to avoid this upshot: when selling something, meaning matters. Even, apparently, if the meeting is made up.

Sometimes a yo-yo is just a yo-yo, other times, it’s a 16,300% return on your investment. How? When it’s got a backstory like this: “when I was 17, I was expelled from high school. My father, reasonably enough, give me a choice: get a job or get out. The only job for a 30 mile radius was the night shift behind the counter at an Amoco station on a deserted road off the interstate.”

The story, from the significant objects website, continues to unspool, sending the objects value on a stunning trajectory. By the time the narrator has “walked the dog, dealt with a fat hairy boss, and encountered a girl (of course, girl), the yo-yo has been transformed. Put another way $.25 yo-yo plus story equals $41.

Remember these were fictional stories completely made up

We have already discussed that we tend to value ourselves less than and God values us more than.

We’ve also seen how story can change the value of an object.

What can help us to see more than instead of less than in our own value?

Hearing the story that God attaches to us.

I used to think I needed a big, compelling story about prison time and Satan worship before I could have a good story.

Turns out I was wrong, here is what God thinks and tells about you –

1. God has expressed His kindness to you (Eph 2:7)
2. God’s power works through you (Eph 3:7)
3. You are a citizen of heaven (Php 3:20)
4. You are a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:22)
5. You are a holy temple (Eph 2:21; 1Co 6:19)
6. You are a light in the world (Mt 5:14)
7. You are a light to others, and can exhibit goodness, righteousness and truth (Eph 5:8-9)
8. You are a member of Christ’s Body (1Co 12:27)
9. You are a member of God’s household (Eph 2:19)
10. You are a minister of reconciliation (2Co 5:17-20)
11. You are a new creation (2Co 5:17)
12. You are a personal witness of Jesus Christ (Ac 1:8)
13. You are a saint (Eph 1:18)
14. You are adopted as his child (Eph 1:5)
15. You are alive with Christ (Eph 2:5)
16. You are assured all things work together for good (Ro 8:28)
17. You are blameless (ICo 1:8)
18. You are blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3)
19. You are born again (IPe 1:23)
20. You are born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1Jn 5:18)
21. You are chosen and dearly loved (Col3:12)
22. You are chosen before the creation of the world (Eph 1:4, 11)
23. You are Christ’s friend (Jn 15:15)
24. You are completed by God (Eph 3:19)
25. You are confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Php 1:6)
26. You are crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20)
27. You are dead to sin (Ro 1:12)
28. You are delivered (Col1:13)
29. You are faithful (Eph 1:1)
30. You are forgiven (Eph 1:8; Col1:14)
31. You are given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Eph 1:5,8)
32. You are God’s child (Jn 1:12)
33. You are God’s coworker (2Co 6:1)
34. You are God’s workmanship (Eph 2:10)
35. You are growing (Col 2:7)
36. You are healed from sin (IPe 2:24)
37. You are hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3)
38. You are His disciple (Jn 13:15)
39. You are holy and blameless (Eph 1:4)
40. You are in Him (Eph 1:7; 1Co 1:30)
41. You are included (Eph 1:13)
42. You are more than a conqueror (Ro 8:37)
43. You are no longer condemned (Ro 8:1, 2)
44. You are not alone (Heb 13:5)
45. You are not helpless (Php 4:13)
46. You are not in want (Php 4:19)
47. You are overcoming (IJn 4:4)
48. You are part of God’s kingdom (Rev 1:6)
49. You are persevering (Php 3:14)
50. You are prayed for by Jesus Christ (Jn 17:20-23)
51. You are promised a full life (Jn 10:10)
52. You are promised eternal life (Jn 6:47)
53. You are protected (Jn 10:28)
54. You are qualified to share in His inheritance (Col1:12)
55. You are raised up with Christ (Eph 2:6; Col2:12)
56. You are redeemed from the curse of the Law (Gal 3:13)
57. You are safe (IJn 5:18)
58. You are salt and light of the earth (Mt 5:13-14)
59. You are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13)
60. You are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph 2:6)
61. You are secure (Eph 2:20)
62. You are set free (Ro 8:2; Jn 8:32)
63. You are the righteousness of God (2Co 5:21)
64. You are united with other believers (Jn 17:20-23)
65. You are victorious (1Co 15:57)
67. You belong to God (1Co 6:20)
68. You can approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph 3:12)
69. You can be certain of God’s truths and the lifestyle which He has called me to (Eph 4:17)
70. You can be humble, gentle, patient and lovingly tolerant of others (Eph 4:2)
71. You can be kind and compassionate to others (Eph 4:32)
72. You can be strong (Eph 6:10)
73. You can bring glory to God (Eph 3:21)
74. You can forgive others (Eph 4:32)
75. You can give thanks for everything (Eph 5:20)
76. You can grasp how wide, long, high and deep Christ’s love is (Eph 3:18)
77. You can have a new attitude and a new lifestyle (Eph 4:21-32)
78. You can honor God through marriage (Eph 5:22-33)
79. You can mature spiritually (Eph 4:15)
80. You can parent your children with composure (Eph 6:4)
81. You can stand firm in the day of evil (Eph 6:13)
82. You can understand what God’s will is (Eph 5:17)
83. You don’t have to always have your own agenda (Eph 5:21)
84. You have access to the Father (Eph 2:18)
85. You have been brought near to God through Christ’s blood (Eph 2:13)
86. You have been called (Eph 4:1; 2Ti 1:9)
87. You have been chosen and God desires you to bear fruit (Jn 15:1,5)
88. You have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2Co 1:21-22)
89. You have been justified (Ro 5:1)
90. You have been shown the incomparable riches of God’s grace (Eph 2:7)
91. You have God’s power (Eph 6:10)
92. You have hope (Eph 1:12)
93. You have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2Ti 1:7)
94. You have peace (Eph 2:14)
95. You have purpose (Eph 1:9 & 3:11)
96. You have redemption (Eph 1:8)
97. You know there is a purpose for your sufferings (Eph 3:13)
98. You possess the mind of Christ (ICo 2:16)
99. You share in the promise of Christ Jesus (Eph 3:6)
100. Your heart and mind is protected with God’s peace (Php 4:7)

If you are not convinced let’s look back at the verse we talked about in the beginning :

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows

God sees value in you – think about this fact this week.

This is a small scratch of what we could talk about concerning this subject, if you have questions, want to talk more, we can talk here, Facebook, or even on my blog.

I stopped writing my blog a few years ago because I listened to the wrong person who didn’t give any value to me, now I see that I do have value and you do too.

Don’t Be an Amateur – Be a Pro

October 3, 2010

There are many people who have interests that they call hobbies. They spend time tinkering with these interests, but it sits as a “weekend warrior” type committment. These days you can not have that kind of mentality about your life or your pursuits. In the deep recesses of your mind, you know the ideas you have, the plans you would like to make, the accomplishments you would like to achieve. Whether it is creating a piece of music, painting a masterpiece or leading a village to freedom, you have heard the echoing voice in your mind for years. At times the voice would rise in volume and your heart would race with the thought that “maybe” this could be the time.

Sadly, you shrugged off the feelings because you “had to make a living” or you needed to be “reasonable” in your aspirations. You must shake yourself free from such damning thoughts and thrust out your hand and begin. The greatest resistance and frustration you will face is when you begin your work, that thing that you know you were meant to do. In the genesis of action when the hand touches the plow, that is the moment when the pull from the opposition is at it height. It does not come from some outside place, you know that very well, it comes from within, the center of your individual universe. A cry bellows out from the caverns of your core and screams for you to stop and let things remain as they have always been. Out comes reason after reason for you to quit and go back to the “normal” life you have been living. This is indeed the moment of truth and you must face this moment alone. At this time it is just you fighting with your own ego for supremacy of the control of your Self.

Something happens in the ether when you make contact with your work, when musician touches her instrument and artist picks up the brush. When the writer grasps the pen, a surge of energetic passion envelopes him and suddenly he is no longer alone. The Source has brought to him help and supply. Once you have set you face in the direction of your inner call, all of Heaven is allied with you and your certainty grows. From seemingly nothing the seeds of inspiration begin to germinate and flourish. A once barren mindscape is now fertile with ideas and endeavors.

In the eyes of those around you, you may seem a little off – mad even. What the onlookers do not know is that you have connected with the Muse that will bring sustenance and peace. Not in the form of success or reward, but of accomplished work. To do a thing for the money is to prostitute the Divine. To do a thing for the doings sake is the work of the professional. An amateur does not understand the importance of finishing, staying late or misery; the professional understand that nothing is done without it. The diabolical nature of the Ego is to make you believe that you are all that matters – the individual. It gives you the OK to think that you are separate and what you do bleeds over into no one else’s life. This sinister lie is only emboldened by those around you who want you to maintain the equilibrium of the group by not trying to be who you were made to be. The pack wants to set the rules and punish those who break them.

You look around at your adopted pack, but find no solace as before. Your mind has been awakened and can never return to its previous state. The only way to continue to stay with the pack is to renounce your feelings – your “knowings” about yourself – and submit to the culture of the pack. Submit to the unwritten law that we will all keep the peace as long as no one tries to step out and be their real Self. The reasoning is simple. To be one’s real Self is to succeed and accomplish and achieve, and that is what we most fear. The greatest fear we have is that we will become who we know, deep inside, we are.

But that side-eyed contempt of life will not do for the professional. Perhaps the half-hearted amateur will never write the novel, or the symphony, or the play; but truth be told it was never going to be written or sung anyway. Amateurs abuse the gift, they tarnish the sacred and humiliate the holy. Amateurs are enamored by their own unrealized visions. Professionals know that the work is flowing through them from somewhere else. Professionals honor the work.

Step free from the shadow of the pack and step into your Self. Acknowledge and begin the path to be who you were meant to be. The first step is the hardest, but the result will be the upswell of inspiration and ultimately the completion of the task. Don’t wait, procrastinate, piddle, dwaddle or put off. Step up, step out, move up and press on. Do what you know you must do…now!

The Amazing “IF”

July 11, 2010

Words have extraordinary power. Each day we speak thousands and hardly give them a thought. Our mouths open and out comes a flow of words which may, or may not, make sense. The words that come forth can bring hope to another or they can crush dreams. Our words can excite unknown emotions or rekindle long forgotten feuds. In the English language, I do not believe there is any other word that carries so much weight than the word, “If”.

Think of spending a day refusing to let the small two-letter word escape your lips. Think of not hearing that word from a colleague or superior. Think of a day in which that word seemed to not exist.

What would be the resulting differences in our emotions, self-esteem and personal drive without that word?

Of course I am speaking from the perspective that “if” is used to procrastinate action and proliferate stubbornness. “If” I could do this, then I could have that; or “if” my decisions had been different, my life would be better. I could go on, but we have all spoke those words and heard them from enemies to lovers. When used in this manner, “if” should be banned and forgotten and shunned by linguists everywhere.

But…

There are times when the unaffable “if” can bring the first glimmer of sunshine in a long time. There are moments when just one, single, positive “if” can whisk us away to a place where blue birds fly and dreams really do come true. “If” can take you somewhere over the rainbow.

The small problem with the word, “If” is that it doesn’t bring any hope on its own. It doesn’t bring any despair either. “If” is one of the most revealing words in the English language because it takes on the character and nature of whoever speaks it. When spoken by a person driven by confidence and the knowledge that life is what you make it, “If” can be so positive your fingertips begin to tingle. However, when spoken by someone who has given up on life and believes that they can do nothing to change their personal situation, “if” sounds like the pound of hammer to nail as the internment inevitability grows ever more clear.

Take “if” today and make you character bring it to life. When you have done so and do not like what you see – be aware and make the changes that are necessary for your sullen “if” to become a celebrated “if”. You need not wait on someone else to come and change your life, all you need to do is to take your life in your hands and step into the action that needs to happen.

Grow your Dreams

May 20, 2010

Dreams are great, but they have to grow. Dreams are OK, but there has to be some “doing” integrated along with the dreaming. Dreams aren’t like magic beans that grow overnight into an incredible reality, they take work. If allowed, dreams will just sit and do nothing. They will become cowards and selfish. Harsh words? I don’t think so.

If you knew someone who had a great idea that would help humanity but because of fear of failure they did nothing, what would you call them? The magic within dreams is only seen when action is taken and we “do something”.

So….”Do Something”!!

Ali and Change

April 6, 2010

Make room for changing opinions and views for yourself and for others. Muhammad Ali once said, “the man who views the world at fifty, the same as he did at twenty, has wasted thirty years of his life”.

He could not be more true. Our minds should always be seeking to learn and expand our views and knowledge of the world around us. As we learn more, our views become panoramic as the depth and breadth of humanity is taken in.

The longer a man lives, the larger the world should be.

Failure is a What not a Who

March 24, 2010

When talking about business, many people talk in absolutes. Wins – Losses…Good – Bad Investments….Smart – Stupid moves….Success – Failure. In discussions like these it is imperative that we remember that a failure is “something ” that happened; not “someone”. With that context clear in our mind, we make it alright for others and ourselves to pursue great things and risk incredible failure. The reason is simply that whether great or not, they are just events and not people, like ourselves.

Too Much Change?

October 20, 2009

Back in August I discussed perfection and it’s illusory draw for many leaders. Here is another look from a different direction. In the pursuit of perfection (and attainable excellence) leaders will change many things. There is a danger to look for in the midst of these changes.

An organization is known by its people, product or philosophy. When a leader issues too many changes and violates either the company’s people, product or philosophy there is a problem.

Instead of looking for externals that can destroy the viability of an organization if changed too much, perhaps the aware leader, in any level of management, should look for a place in another organization where his desires and interests are already in play.