Friday, June 29, 2012

The Name

The Name
(This is such a timely topic that I feel a need to post it.  It has circulated the web a few times over, but I never tire of being reminded of this important skill.  I wish I knew the origin of this story.  If I ever find out, I’ll post it on a future blog.)

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.

Your name is your most important possession on earth.  When people remember it and use it correctly you are being paid one of the most high compliments ever afforded an individual. 

You are being recognized and respected.

When you remember a person’s name you make them feel important.

Rule #1 in people skills – Make their day.  Remember their name

P Michael Biggs
A People Moment
One Moment at a time

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How Will You Use Your Life

How Will You Use Your Life?
June 27, 2012

Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., was once asked, “Ken, how will you use your life?”

My goodness.  That is a potent question.  It’s loaded with intrigue. 

At the heart of this question lies the power of choice.  It’s all about choice.

The foods we eat determine 
the quality of our health now
and especially in the future.

Our career choices determine our income,
where we live, how we live,
and the amount of life’s stuff
we accumulate.

The books we read affect our mindset,
our beliefs, and the fantasies we hold.

It’s a matter of choice. 

I know the kind of life I want and I am determining how I will use my life.  Exercise for me is a must-do activity in order for me to live to see my other dreams come true.  I use forty-five minutes five days each week to help move me toward the quality of life that I consider important.

See the importance of this question?


It’s all a matter of how we use our lives.

How are you using your life?

We each get to choose.

P Michael Biggs
Moments of Insight
One Word at a Time

Monday, June 25, 2012

Are You a Believer

Are you a Believer?

What do you believe … about yourself? 

In the comic strip Shoe, Jeff MacNelly once depicted this scene:  “Shoe, the crusty newspaper editor, is standing on the mound in a baseball game.  His catcher comes out to him and says, ‘You’ve got to have faith in your curve ball.’ 

“In the next frame Shoe remarks, ‘It’s easy for him to say.  When it comes to believing in myself, I’m an agnostic.’”

That is the root of low self-esteem in the most succinct form possible. 

We are agnostics when it comes to believing in ourselves. 

John C. Maxwell says this in his little gem called Relationship 101

People believe
-They will fail.
-When they see a light at the end of the tunnel they believe it is a train.

Our eyes see what we perceive as reality and buy it.  But what we need to do is look with our understanding, our inner sight – our insight. 

If I fail at some point, that doesn’t mean that I am a failure.  As Thomas Edison is famous for saying, “Failure?  No, I’m not a failure, but I do know ten thousand formulas that will not work.”  

More times than not the light at the end of the tunnel is the dawning of a new day, a new beginning.  Embrace it.

Belief matters.

Believe in YOU!

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

Friday, June 22, 2012

Relentlessly Give Credit

Relentlessly Give Credit

Seth Godin, author and business specialist writes a daily blog that I find insightful.  He can say so much in just a few key strokes.

For instance:  “Relentlessly give credit.” 

Relentlessly give credit.

Everybody has ideas, and at times someone you work with will have a great idea.  But do we give credit where credit is due? 

Ah, that is what we are talking about. 

Give credit. 
                               Cite the source. 

Don’t steal the idea.  That is such a seemingly unnecessary comment, but you and I could chat for a long while telling horror stories of how this simple principle has been violated.

We honor others when we recognize their ability to think pro-actively and create a solution to whatever the issue is at hand. 

We honor and respect a person when we relentlessly give credit.

When the occasion arises and you have an opportunity to offer public praise, by all means avoid the temptation to first use a cheap joke.  Just give sincere and appropriate credit where credit is due.

That is a major way to win with people.

P Michael Biggs
Appreciation in Sight
One Word at a Time

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Do You Need

What Do You Need

My doctor has been putting me through a battery of medical exams lately.  Most recently I had the dreaded colonoscopy.  Hated drinking the stuff, but did just perfectly during the procedure.  I received a clean bill of health.  I needed the specialist who conducted the test; otherwise we’d never know the exact status of my medical health. 

Who do you need?

My wife came up behind me last Friday, put her arms around my neck, and gave me a hug and a kiss.  I needed that.  What a nice moment. 

What do you need?

Often, after posting a blog, I’ll hear from someone as to how my words have impacted their life.  I need to know that from time to time my writing is making a difference somewhere in the world. 

What do you need?

-In August I’ll be flying to Tennessee for a family reunion.  I need the airline pilot.
-Tomorrow Carolyn and I go off on a three-day holiday.  We need the room to be ready and the food to be properly prepared by human hands.

What do you need?

-Adia and Eliot came for a visit recently.  They were working on some craft Carolyn designed to keep them occupied.  At one point Eliot couldn’t get the cap off a bottle of water color stuff.  He needed my help.

What do you need?

-I am not a gardener.  I need gardeners who are skillful and can grow delicious foods for our table.

-I couldn’t milk a cow if my life depended on it.  I need dairy farmers.

-I use computers but I couldn’t build one if I had to.  I need techno artists.

-We need a thousand individuals every day to build, make, open, close, produce, and invent the stuff of life.  We couldn’t get along without them.  We need them.

-I need police officers around to assure that we live in a reasonably safe world.  Merle, my police office friend, is a needed entity in my life. 

-We need our military men and women faithfully doing their duty every day to help stabilize our world and our interests. 

-I need friendships.
  -I need love from my siblings.
  -I need love from my step-children.
 -I need love, hand-holding, back rubs, and togetherness from my wife.

What do you need?

I need you, and you need me to.

In friendship
In trust
In good citizenship
In good morals
In integrity
In kindness
In being a fellow traveler on this planet.

Now that you know you need someone, tell them, and say the words of appreciation.  They need that most of all.

We really do need each other.

P Michael Biggs
Encouragement in Sight
One Word at a Time

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The BIA Said "No"

The BIA Said “No”

It was a good thought. Novel even.
It had teeth in it, it was sound and I thought it was clever.

But the BIA said “no”.

Who is this BIA you ask?

The Bureau of Idea Approval, that's who.

You don’t know about that bureau?

They exist. Oh boy, do they exist.

Every time we come up with an idea of merit, there is always someone, even our own minds, to throw a dozen reasons at us as to why this idea will not work.

Will we listen to them?
Or are we going to believe in our own ideas?

The BIA exists solely to pounce on our ideas and pass judgment or blessing on any idea we may generate.

Ideas are abundant.

I have huge spurts of idea flow and sometimes I can’t seem to write fast enough to capture them.

What to do?

A few suggestions:

First:  Evaluate your idea.  Test it in as many ways as you feel is useful.  Talk with trusted friends and experts.  Do whatever research is demanded for the size of your idea.

Next:  Decide if you really feel passionate about the idea and then put your plan together and go for it. 

And if you do feel passion, then there is only one move left.

Do it!

Most of the time great ideas boil down to one’s passion factor.

How strong is your passion? 

After you answer these questions in the affirmative, then it is time to develop a plan and put your dream to work.

Don’t let the BIA (Bureau of Idea Approval) kill your dream before it gets out of the chute.  At least let it breathe the air of discovery and consideration.

I love creativity.

I hate governors.

Governors slow me down.  They stifle me.  They get in my way.

Sometimes it comes down to the “will of the matter.”

In the book Tribes, Seth Godin asks, do we have the "will to make the ideas happen?"

That is the secret.

The Will to Make Ideas Happen.

Sometimes we need to tell the BIA to take a hike.

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm Proud of You

I’m Proud of You

Little kids do it a hundred times on any playfield on any day in the world.  They beg for it.  They crave it.  They long for it. 

“Watch me.”  And if you ignore them for just a moment you’ll hear it again, said even more loudly, “Mommy. Daddy.  Watch me.”

They want to be noticed.  They want to be seen. 

What they really want is this -- to make you proud of them.

Everyone wants someone who will come along at some point in our lives and say simply “I’m proud of you.”

Magic words.
          Powerful words.
                    Important words. 

Needed words.

This desire is tied into who we are, and who we see ourselves to be.  And it helps us form our identity as to our likeability, our success quotient and our staying power in social circles.

So simple to say.  So needed to hear.

Almost every time, after I publish a blog, Carolyn will come to me, or send me an email or a text message and whisper words to the effect of “I’m proud of you.”

Oh how those expressions warm my heart.  How they fill me, lift me, encourage me.  They make me float three feet off the ground. 

And knowing human nature as I think I do, those kinds of expressions inflate your sails as well.  They fill you, lift you, and elevate you.

And they should. 

Let me encourage you today to find someone, someone close to you, some relative, some child or grandchild, some employee, some co-worker.  Slide up next to them and dare to whisper these four magic words.  Then walk away.  Don’t linger.  Don’t expect any kind of reciprocal response in return.  Just give and go. 

The gift you just gave will have staying power, and it will live long after you’ve forgotten about giving it.

Improve someone’s day.

Give the gift of “I’m Proud of You.”

P Michael Biggs
Encouragement in Sight
One Word at a Time

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Can You See It?

Can You See It?

There is a lot of talk and writing these days on the subject of visualization – movies of the mind.  What a concept!

Denis Waitley, speaker, author and psychologist, has told many stories of his experiences when he was on the sports medicine team for the Olympic committee in the eighties.  He related that when an athlete would mentally rehearse their event in his/her mind, the brain would send signals to the muscles and the synapses would fire as if the athlete was actually performing their event.  They saw their event first on the movie of their mind, and then they performed it, just like running a script.

Jack Nicklaus once said, “I never hit a golf shot without having a sharp picture of it in my mind.”  He used the visualization technique on every shot. 

Where do I want to ball to land? 
         Picture the trajectory. 

What does my swing look like? 
                       Picture that perfect swing every time.

When we can picture the picture perfectly, sooner than one might think we are able to see it in real time.  Just like in drill.

John Assaraf, one of the featured personalities in The Secret, tells about creating a vision board with his dream home pictured on it.  Five years later, while unpacking some boxes after moving into a new home, he realized he was now living in that very home that he had pictured both in his mind and on his vision boards. 

There is power in broadcasting the movies of the mind. 

I have a physician friend who practices surgical procedures in his mind the night before an important surgery.  He imagines holding the implements he will use, and the exact steps he will follow for a successful surgery. 

My wife once worked for Dr. David Le Shana when he as President of Seattle Pacific University.  During one of our visits David verified the following story for me.

When he was President of Taylor University, he had the privilege of calling on J.C. Penney, founder of the stores that bear his name.

When Dr. Le Shana was ushered into Mr. Penney’s office, he found Mr. Penney sitting at his desk looking at Dr. Le Shana’s business card.  He was moving it back and forth attempting to bring it into better focus. 

As Dr. Le Shana approached, Mr. Penney looked up and said, “You’ll have to excuse me.  I’m losing my vision.”

He slammed his hand down on the desk and stated emphatically.

“No, that’s not right.  I’m losing my eyesight.  I’ll never lose my vision.”

That’s the heart of what we’re talking about.  Never Lose Your Vision. 

Can you see clearly?

P Michael Biggs
Hope in Sight
One Word at a Time