Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quitting Can Be Good

We are in an age when we are motivated to go, move, start, invent, and climb the ladder.  Whew.  That makes me tired just thinking about.

So, what does quitting have to do with winning and succeeding? 

Consider this.

In my early days as a writer I would often have a meal with one of my college buds.  Harold was an established author by this point, having published over twenty books.  We would talk about my writing and I would eagerly launch into telling him all of the ideas I had for books and of the different books I had begun to sketch out. 

Harold stopped me one night over dinner and said, “Michael, you are spreading yourself too thin.  You need to narrow your focus and work on only one idea at a time and quit the others.”

What?  Quit?  Ouch.  That hurt.  And he was right.  Quitting was the best advice he could have given. 

When we have too many irons in the fire, we lose track of the important, the relevant and the necessary.  Quitting can be good for you.

Herman Wouk used this line in his great novel Winds of War.  He has one of his characters say, “Define your mission.  Define your mission and stick to it.”

That means we quit chasing every dream and idea, and refine our focus on the most important, the one idea that drives us, gets us out of bed each morning and leads us to our bigger, and more important dreams.

You see – quitting can be very good for you.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

When the Answer Is YES

Leonard Bernstein once said, “I’m no longer quite sure what the question is, but I do know that the answer is YES.”

Ain’t it so.  (Sorry, my southern kicked in there for a minute.)

Got a dream that is huge and daunting?  The way to that dream is “Yes”.

Need more sales?  “YES” is just around the corner, after some of those no’s.  It also lies in saying “YES” to getting out of the office and seeing a few people.

It is waiting for you to dial the phone.  Some people appreciate the call and the interest.

That cutie you have your eye on is waiting for you to say “YES” and then follow up and make the call, or offering an invitation to a coffee date.  

The great American novel is waiting on your “YES” the day you commit to your computer or writing tablet.

Your next great career move is waiting on your “YES” followed by the commitment to send ten or a hundred resumes, make follow-up calls and put your best foot forward.

It seems to me – YES leads the way.

Got one in you?

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Sunday, January 4, 2015

What If You've Been Told Wrong

I grew up in a culture in which I was trained:  “Do what your told, not what you want to do.” 

Ouch.  I had the desire to make decisions for myself beat out of me.  I was indoctrinated with this:
“Don’t make waves.” 
“Don’t stand out.” 
“Don’t show off.” 
“Don’t puff yourself up.” 

In other words, be average.  Be a nobody.  Don’t be aggressive – that is selfish. 

I was once told this:  “Don’t buy that circular saw.  You might cut off your finger.”  Finally, I bought that circular saw.  I still have all ten fingers and ten toes.  Amazing!

Another one:  “Don’t touch that tape recorder – you don’t know what you’re doing.”  I went on to record radio programs, produce audio and video programs and a whole host of other projects using the very equipment I was warned against touching.  And I was good at it.

I had my curiosity driven from me. 

If I had been stuck on an escalator at the downtown Harvey’s Department Store in Nashville, that philosophy would have said “Stand still.  Sooner or later someone will come and fix the escalator.”  Rather, we could have walked down, or up.  But no.  “Take no action” would have been the order of the day.

Gandhi said:  “We need not wait to see what others do.”  Am I going to wait to see what others do?  Am I going to let others dictate how I should act, what to think, what to eat, how to vote?  Will I stand idly by and allow others to do the thinking for me? 

Oh God, I hope not. 

A thought worth considering.

(The seed for this idea came from Seth Godin’s book What to do When it’s Your Turn)

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Can You Handle This?

Sometimes we want things we can’t handle.  I love pecan pie, but I can’t handle a huge dose of it.  Oh, I am free to choose to eat as much pecan pie as I want, but what is best here?

I think we just hit on a significant idea - FREEDOM!

In a conversation recently with a 38 year old, we were talking about the freedom to make choices.  I acknowledged some choices that were made for me in my younger life.  My lament was that I could have made good decisions without those restraints in place; however, that discovery didn’t come to light until well into adulthood.  I felt somewhat cheated in the early development of my “freedom of choice” muscle.

My friend’s comment was that those who grew up with a lot of freedom seemed to embrace more restraints in adult.  This was a direct reaction to a series of bad choices.  They became afraid of their FREEDOM TO CHOOSE.

Wow!  What a dilemma. 

That reminds me of a great quote I read recently.

“Freedom is our opportunity.”  I love that.  With opportunity there is always risk.  Unless we step out and try, then we will never know.  Freedom forces us to make choices. 

Developing a healthy sense of choice is the critical piece here.  I’m reminded of a joke I heard once.

A wise man was once asked how he became so wise.
“By making wise choices” he answered.
“And how did you learn to make wise choices?”
“By making bad choices” he responded. 

And we come back to our main thought. 

“Freedom is our problem
and freedom is our opportunity.”
Seth Godin

And when you come to the end of your life, may it be said of you …

“You have chosen … wisely!”
Indiana Jones – The Last Crusade

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Thursday, November 27, 2014

17 Christmas Thoughts for 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone.  And now we march toward Dec. 25th.  May you find peace in the middle of the chaos, joy in the jungle of activities, and love from those near and dear and peace from the One Who Is the Best Gift of All - Jesus Christ - Son of God!

Click on the underlined links below to read each essay. 

Christmas Hope

When Love Was Enough at Christmas

The Story or Silent Night

What Child Indeed

What the Bells Say

Hope Is Coming

Christmas Wins Again

A Conspiracy of Love

A Christmas "Do" List

Consider Joseph

The Impossible Is Possible

Christmas Changes

My Grown-Up Christmas List

Listen for Love

One Solitary Life

Prayer of St Francis of Assisi

The Birth of Christ

Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Never Accept the Unacceptable

A Message to Ferguson Missouri

My thoughts today are directed specifically to the town of Ferguson, Missouri and the rioters wrecking havoc on that town. 

So the decision didn't go your way.  You wanted a death for a death.  And look at what you are doing.  You are destroying a nice little town, your own town I might add, in the heartland of America. 

I must not sit in silence over this.  Your actions turn my stomach.  Your attitudes reek of bias, stupidity, hatred and prejudices. 

I foolishly thought that cool heads and attitudes would prevail when the final verdict came down.  We here in America have a system that is representative of all segments and all concerns.  It appears to me that due diligence was served in the proceedings and evaluations of the facts in this case.

And now look at you.  You act like a bunch of spoiled kids.  Your side didn't win and now you take out your revenge on the “winning” side by looting, uproariously rioting and stomping around like a bully who didn't get his way.

This is unacceptable behavior.  This is barbarism.

Are you looting, torching vehicles and breaking store-front windows simply to protest, or is this a convenient way to steal, pilfer and rob from your neighbor? 

It seems that reason has been tossed out the window for getting back at the system for not getting your way.  Shame on you.  SHAME ON YOU!

I want to borrow an idea from Paulo Coelho’s book – Warrior of the Light.

Warriors of the light
never accept
what is unacceptable.

For me, your behavior is grossly unacceptable.  To do damage such as you have wrecked on your community is barbaric.

Demonstrate – yes, if you feel the cause justifies it.  But to cause such devastation – that is unacceptable. 

Are we barbarians?  Are we simpletons, with weak little brains and big strong arms?  No we are not.  We are human beings.  We share this sphere called earth.  John Kennedy said it well with this.

“Our most basic common link
is that we all inhabit this planet.
We all breathe the same air.
We all cherish our children’s future.
And we are all mortal.”

Barbarianism is never an acceptable behavior. 

~I pray that reason will once again reign in Ferguson, Missouri. 
~I pray that cooler minds will prevail.
~And I pray that humane behaviors will once again overcome destructive ones.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, November 24, 2014

Trust Who You Are

The great quest in life is to know and understand self, and then to trust that marvelous person living inside your skin.

It starts with skill assessment and discovery.  There is an abundance of material on that subject and it is readily available.  After establishing your identity, how about spending some alone time in assessing your discovery and coming to grips with whom you really are. 

A personal example:  I am a writer of words offering hope, encouragement and inspiration.  The bulk of my work has been in blog and essay form, allowing many of these texts to be turned into speeches and messages of hope for mankind.  I’ve written a few fiction pieces and even have a stellar idea for a novel, but so far that idea hasn’t come full circle.

This I do know – people will read my messages of hope and encouragement.  I know for a fact that I can write those kinds of messages.

In the movie Shrek, there is a great line that helps our focus for this thought.

What labels do you bear from some mean and depreciating individuals?  Remember this – they are only labels, and just because “they” say it, that doesn’t make it so.  Cast off those labels.  Ignore them and reach for a higher ideal.  Reach for your true calling.

Trust your heart to reveal what it is you do best.  It takes guts to become a full-blown version of who you are meant to be.  Happiness lies just around the bend once we discover and embrace this discovery.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time