The Amazing “IF”

Posted July 11, 2010 by Chris
Categories: Awareness, Belief, Character, Influence, Life, People, Strengths, Vision

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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.

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Grow your Dreams

Posted May 20, 2010 by Chris
Categories: Belief, Goals, Life, Vision

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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

Posted April 6, 2010 by Chris
Categories: Awareness, Belief, Context, Life, People, Vision

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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

Posted March 24, 2010 by Chris
Categories: Awareness, Business, Context, Creativity, Life, People

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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?

Posted October 20, 2009 by Chris
Categories: Awareness, Business, Character, Leadership, Life, People

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.

Never Quit

Posted October 7, 2009 by Chris
Categories: Awareness, Belief, Character, Life, Strengths

In life there is and will be pain. This pain will be experienced in physical, psychological and relational ways, but we must push on.

Pain, even in its most sever, is a temporary feeling. Quitting is something entirely different. Quitting is a choice we have and it lasts forever.

Hope

Posted September 22, 2009 by Chris
Categories: Awareness, Belief, Character, Life, Vision

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope”. For me, this encapsulates the entirety of human experience. We each know and have known disappointment, but we also know that it lasts for a moment and time allows it to dim in the fog of the past.

The hope that drives us forward, however, does not waver; it gleams brighter each day as though we are a bit closer to seeing it fulfilled. Never lose sight of hope, for it gives us strength for today and the will to pursue tomorrow.