Tuesday, September 6, 2016
If I could rewrite the seasons of my life, I would choose never to be afraid. Instead, I would embrace the challenges that occur with a sense of wonder and amazement. I spent too many years allowing disappointments and trials to defeat me only to find out decades later the trials had been used as opportunities of growth.
Someone once said the word “fear” stood for False Evidence Appearing Real. Yet, for those who are challenged by fear, the adrenaline that runs through their body at that moment feels anything but false.
The good news is after many years of struggling with the debilitating effects of fear, I can tell you that fear really is the equivalent of a speck of sand we build into a giant pyramid in our own minds.
Our mind truly is our battlefield. Very seldom do the things we fear deserve the incredible negative attention we give them.
When I was a small child, my home life was very unstable. As a result, it helped set a pattern of expected defeat in my young mind. My father was an alcoholic and very abusive. My mother was extremely young and naïve; she really wasn’t capable of guiding me through the hurdles of life that terrified me.
To a child, the uncertainties often hide the truth in a situation. We fear the unknown because our past experiences have often proven to be everything we feared. In reality, the fear we exhibited magnetically drew the devastation to us.
Most parents of fearful children are living in a realm of fear themselves. This situation causes the cycle of fear to be repeated from one generation to the next.
If I could pass a bill in Congress, it would be one that requires all school systems to add a program to their curriculum that teaches children how to overcome adversity. The program would teach them how to “look at a glass as half full rather than half empty” or even “how to turn negative thoughts into incredible avenues of growth” -- in other words, a “NO FEAR” class.
The only thing you have to fear is fear itself –the belief in False Evidence Appearing Real.
Friday, May 6, 2016
Never Give Up
"In order to truly be successful, you have to believe in your dream. When the hard times come you don't give up. If you give up, somebody will be right behind you and pick up where you left off and finish your dream for you and you will be standing back wishing - what if."
My take on Jim's Wisdom Tip
I believe all God-given dreams are planted deep within you. They are dreams that you know are bigger than you are. They stay planted in you and the desire never goes away. You can go about doing other things but the dream stays with you wherever you go. The key is believing in the dream and taking one step at a time until it comes from the dream state into reality.
Step Into the Unknown
No matter where life leads you, success is always right around the corner if you don't turn off too early onto the proverbial "dead end" road.
It is one thing to talk about what you want to accomplish, but quite another thing to actually step into the unknown arena and cause those dreams to come true. Things of great value frequently appear in disguise.
Nothing of any significance happens without taking risks. Risks may mean not everyone will agree with you or stand behind your decisions. Do you believe enough in your dream to take some risks? Only risk takers make it to the cutting edge.
My take on Gary's Wisdom Tips.
I totally believe that everyone has a purpose for their life. A purpose that gives them fulfillment - that makes them want to get up in the morning. A purpose that isn't focused entirely on themselves but for the betterment of society. Of course knowing what that purpose is may be a mystery in the beginning but if we listen to our heart clarity seems to come. Be willing to take a risk in order to find your true purpose.
I love to go two-steppin and Ronnie Dunn has put out some great songs to dance to. During our interview I sensed that even though he lives in Nashville, was born in Texas, his roots in Oklahoma still run deep.
Persistence and Perseverance
Everything has a time and a season. If you are willing to sacrifice hours of hard work then success will come.
My take on Ronnie's Wisdom Tip
It's true that timing is everything. It can be a struggle to wait until everything is aligned properly so that we can move forward with our desires. So many people give up too quickly because the wait is so long - not realizing that the wait is building character. Perseverance sometimes includes perspiration, but when the cool breeze blows it's so much more refreshing.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
I've been fortunate to meet a lot of preachers over the years, but no one has been any more dynamic than Eastman Curtis.
Be a Visionary
How do you make all your experiences come together to form the vision God has given you?
Each day you take one step at a time, believing God to bring you through or over each hurdle. Stay focused and believe in the vision God gave you or the drive to complete it will vanish. The bigger the vision the bigger the promotion and the harder the struggle will be to get there. Yet God is building character that only the struggles can provide. Your faith will grow stronger as you conquer each hurdle. Never stop dreaming because your next promotion may be linked to the very next person you meet.
My take on Eastman's Wisdom Tip
For so long I struggled with believing God for the simplest things. I just didn't feel worthy enough to receive the things I needed, so I sure couldn't believe for the things I wanted. I remember a very wise man saying, "Rehearse your victories" because in doing so you will realize all the things God did do for you. Each victory is a faith builder, but you have to choose to allow the victory to remain on your list of God Moments, so you will recognize them the next time they arrive.
Monday, May 2, 2016
You never know each day who you are going to meet. Watching the Olympics I would have never thought that some day I would be interviewing a Gold Medalist from another country right here in Oklahoma.
Focus on Your Destiny
Staying focused and disciplined is the key to realizing success in any area of your life. Great stuff doesn't come easy. You create your own destiny. By listening to others you glean from their ideas and create new opportunities. When you have difficult times, instead of spending time feeling down take a step back, take a deep breath and rethink the situation. Then you will make a good decision.
My Take on Nadia's Wisdom Tip.
I totally agree with Nadia's statement that "Great Stuff" doesn't come easy. Not everyone becomes a Gold Medalist, an Award Winning Author, Famous Actor, Billboard Chart Singer or any other top of the chain professional without taking risks and spending grueling hours honing their talent. Let's face it, if it came easy everyone would do it. Some jobs and some careers are a walk in the park, because they don't require much stretching of our faith and abilities. However, if you want to be greater than the norm you do what greatness requires.
Sherri Coale has one of those faces that reels you right in. If you didn't know she was a basketball coach you'd never suspect it with her small frame and delicate features. However, don't let her stature fool you - she knows exactly how to win a game.
Integrity Comes From Within
"Integrity is when you approach a stop sign at two o'clock in the morning and you actually come to a stop. You know no one is looking and you could drive on through, but you don't because integrity says you do the right think even when no one else is watching."
My Take on Sherri's Wisdom Tip.
Other examples of Integrity are:
Not walking on lawns that say "Stay off the Grass"
When you push your shopping cart out to the parking lot and place its contents into your car, instead of leaving the cart to roll around freely, you place it in the proper location.
When you're shopping in a grocery store or retail store sometimes you change your mind about certain items you have placed in the shopping cart. Instead of taking the item out of the cart and placing it on any shelf you happen to pass by, you return it to its original place.
The list of course is endless. I think the most driving force within you if you aren't concerned about integrity is that nothing hidden is really hidden. God sees it all.
Xernona is a brilliant lady who has proven she deserves the spot she's held in the corporate world.
Your Word Builds Character
"If you give your word on something it has to have meaning. If you say you are going to be somewhere at an appointed time then be there. If you are late or you don't show up you are showing disregard and total disrespect for everyone else. Even if your reason for being there was unimportant you still have to keep your word because it is a reflection on your character."
My Take on Xernona's Wisdom Tip
I remember interviewing a gentleman one day that said he used to make business decisions that only required a handshake to seal the deal. I would just bet he wasn't able to do that unless someone knew he was a man of his word.
Dennis is such an inspiration to everyone. His triumph of overcoming adversity leaves us with the knowledge that all things are possible.
Don't Let Limitations Stop You
What sets a person apart from others who have gone through great trials?
"It is their indomitable spirit, a spirit everyone has at their disposal, but few grab hold of it."
"Don't allow limitations that are either put upon you by someone or physical limitations to stop you from a dream you have."
"Don't focus on the things you can't do. Focus on what you can do with such intensity that it becomes an unstoppable force."
"Be thankful for the little things."
"Time exposes a person's true intentions. Time exposes a good heart and a bad heart. If you are patient enough to be observant over a long period of time, you will learn about the people you are around."
"Time reveals everything and people's actions reveal themselves."
"You need time to see a person's actions so you will know the intent of their heart."
Bob Brown is a seasoned journalist and a true gentleman. During our interview, I remembered that all too familiar voice I had heard so many times as he reported stories that have touched all of our lives.
"Nothing truly great happens unless there is some kind of risk involved. The question then becomes are you willing to take the risk? So many people are fearful when faced with unknown territory. Often they let those fears keep them from some of the greatest rewards in life. When a person's self esteem is lowest they tend to let opportunities pass them by for fear of failing once again."
My take on Bob's Wisdom Tip.
I never would have thought that I would be a risk taker. In my earlier years I was so afraid of making a mistake that I turned to everyone else to tell me what to do. While it is good to take advice from others, it can be damaging if you don't weigh their advice against where you are wanting to go in your own career.
I remember six months after I started my card company in 1987 called "A Touch of Heart" by Victoria, my stepfather shared some of his earlier thinking about my venture. He said, "I wanted to tell you that you are not an experienced business owner and so the corporate world is going to eat you alive." Fortunately, he never voiced his opinion when I first stepped out into the risky deep waters.
For six years I had my cards going all over the United States and Canada. Without taking a risk I would have never known that I could do it and would have never been prepared for the next risk that was waiting just around the corner for me to pursue.
Clarence Boyd was such an interesting interview. He humored me by playing a couple of songs for me on his well-used piano. What a great talent as well as a wonderful down to earth guy.
Dreamers Versus Visionaries
A dreamer only wishes he could do something, bur a visionary not only wishes, he does something to make it come to pass.
My take on Clarence Boyd's Wisdom Tip.
I remember years ago thinking since I have some talents that need to be revealed maybe someone will notice and knock on my door. I was being a dreamer. I know some people are discovered without doing a thing, but for most, it takes making yourself available by taking certain steps in the right direction. That's being a visionary.
During my interview with President David Boren, here is the wisdom tip he left with me.
I must say, I was very impressed with this man and the way he conducts his life.
I must say, I was very impressed with this man and the way he conducts his life.
Service To Others
Service to others gives purpose to your life because what matters the most is what you give, not what you receive. Ironically, in giving of yourself, you really find the purpose for your life. The most insecure people are the ones who seem to be focused intently on themselves. On the other hand, the ones who find a cause more important than themselves to invest in find that the ultimate happens.
Here's my take on President Boren's Wisdom Tip.
I had no idea when I was asked to write the newsletter for a well-known university that I would some day write several books. At the time, I didn't even know I was a writer, but they saw something in me that I didn't see in myself. However, my willingness to help highlight people in their intended goals as graduate students, eventually led me to the realization that others enjoyed what I had to say. So you never know how one simple act of obedience will open doors that you never intended to walk through.
Here is a wisdom tip Johnny Bench told me during our interview for the Distinguished Oklahomans book.
The Vowels of Success
"A" is the Attitude you have to have
"E" is the Effort and Energy you have to put forth
"I" is for the You as an individual
"O" is for Opportunities that will come your way
"U" is for YOU - You are very special and you always have to treat yourself that way.
Strive to be the best in everything you do. Not only will that bring you great success, but it will give you pride in yourself as well.
Here is my take on what Johnny said.
Our Attitude each day either pulls people toward you or pushes them away. Relationships are the key to any kind of success in life.
The Energy and Effort you put forth shows whether you are really sincere in what you are doing. If you don't put forth the effort then why would anyone else care about what you would like to accomplish.
Opportunities are waiting around every corner. It is up to you to recognize them when they show up. If you aren't prepared to follow through with the opportunity presented to you someone else will accept the challenge in your place.
You are a unique individual with certain talents that make you who you are. Don't settle for less than what you deserve by not feeling worthy to receive the best that life has to offer.
Friday, April 1, 2016
Bell’s Amusement Park became an Icon to the City of Tulsa. I doubt if there is anyone in Tulsa who hasn’t experienced at least one time a stroll through the park. At first glance, I don’t think I expected Bob Bell to have the kind of heart, I saw in him the day of our interview. When I first saw him at the gate, he was busily attending to the functioning of a ride. He appeared to be a man in a hat, with a pair of blue jeans on that was totally consumed in work. However, as we went inside to talk, I saw a tenderness from this man, which brought tears to my eyes. I asked him, if there was anything he would change in his life, if he could? His words were “If you change anything, it changes everything. I can’t even imagine not having the wife I have, or the children I have, or my role in life. So No, I wouldn’t change a thing.” “Wow, I thought.”