Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Saw Thanksgiving Today
November 2011

It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  Carolyn and I made a trip to this great Whole Foods Store in the Roosevelt district of Seattle. 

There were throngs, gobs and myriads of people in there already at 9:45 A.M. 


Yet, in the traffic jam of grocery carts and shoppers, I saw, rather sensed Thanksgiving.  People were hurrying and scurrying to find just the right ingredients for some yet-to-be-baked dish, all with the thought of giving to family, loved ones, friends, in the spirit of thankfulness. 

I saw it in the smiles rather than the curses of hundreds of shoppers jammed into narrow aisles and being forced to allow others to take their time and stand a bit too long in front of that item they themselves were searching for. 

I narrowly avoided three cart crashes, and each time was greeted with a smile, a “sorry” and a “Have a great Thanksgiving.”

Not one – not one discouraging word was uttered. 
Not one – not one frown crept across the faces of any of the shoppers today. 

Instead I saw smiles, grins as big as the sun, Thanksgiving greetings, happy kids, kind and gentle parents. 

That, my friend is Thanksgiving. 

I am thankful –

     Thankful for peace
          Thankful for love from above
               Thankful for love here on earth
          Thankful for good things that have come our way
                  this year in abundance
     Thankful for guidance through the trials this year

Happy Thanksgiving!

Michael and Carolyn Biggs

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Markers along the Road to Success

From a lifetime of reading, here are some markers I gathered that help all of us stick to the task at hand.  May one or two of these do that for you as well.

“You need two types of courage –
First, the courage to get started
Second, the courage to not quit.”  

“Act in spite of fear.”

“You must believe it 
before you can see it.”

“Never let mistakes define who you are.”

“Don’t quit five minutes 
before the miracle happens.”

“Many successful people have found 
opportunities in failure and adversity that they 
could not recognize in more favorable circumstances.”

“A quitter never wins 
and a winner never quits.”

“The most common cause 
of failure is quitting.”

“To succeed 
you must have stick-ability.” 

“Keep showing up.”

“Dream big, 
and never stop short 
of reaching the top.”

To the perseverance spirit 
that resides in each of us, 
I wish you progress on the journey 
toward your future. 

As Winston Churchill once said:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What Is Failure?

Let me sing you a song.

Do you remember those famous men
Who had to fall to rise again
They pick themselves up
Dust themselves off
And start all over again.

If I could implant one key phrase into your heart and mind, it would be this phrase …

Every successful person is someone who failed, yet never regarded himself as a failure.

John Maxwell says this: 
What you have to tell yourself is, “I’m not a failure.  I failed at doing something.”

-Mozart was told once his opera The Marriage of Figaro “had too many notes.”

-Van Gogh sold only on painting in his lifetime.

-Thomas Edison was considered un-teachable as a youngster.

-Albert Einstein was told by a Munich schoolmaster that he would “never amount to much.”

God give us a few more Einstein’s, Edison’s, and Mozart’s.

If I were judged on my failures, I would have buried my head in the sand long ages ago. 

Just because I failed at one thing, does not mean I am a failure at everything.

You only become a failure when you throw up your hands and quit on life. 

So, let us keep on working at our craft, our painting, our music, and our writing, or whatever it is you want to do with passion. 

Learn from the past.
Study for the future.
Become the best you that you can become.

It’s just your future that is waiting. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Names Matter

(I find this story so intriguing I am including it for this week’s blog.  I wish I knew the origin of this story.  If I ever find out, I’ll post it on a future blog.  Read this most important message.)

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz.  I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" 

Surely this was some kind of joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times.  She was tall, dark-haired and in her fifties, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.  Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely" said the professor.  "In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello." 

I've never forgotten that lesson.  I also learned her name was Dorothy.

Make somebody feel important.  Remember their name.