Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vacation Time 2012

My Dear Reader:

Carolyn and I will be on vacation beginning Wednesday, October 31 - Thursday Nov 8.  We are going to Washington, DC.
I will resume posting on Friday Nov. 9.

If you wish to keep up with what we are seeing and doing, I'll post a daily DC Update blog on Up-Words Morning Notes so you can track with us.  This will begin Wednesday night, October 31.

Here is the link.

Be at peace.
Be encouraged.
Be gentle in all of your relationships.
Express the "I Love You" words often.

P Michael Biggs

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Ordinary

There are many things I would never attempt.
Designing a bridge across a river
Operating on my wife
Driving a speeding train

One might say I am a man of ordinary talent.  I can do a few things well.  Other skills are best left to the experts.

But …

But I do believe this. 

“… that with ordinary talent
and extraordinary perseverance,
all things are attainable.
Sir T. F. Buxton

Of course you noticed the key phrase “extraordinary perseverance”.  That is the secret sauce. 

Chad Hymas comes to mind when I think of perseverance. 
-On April 2, 2001 he was a robust American farmer who capably provided for his family. 
-On April 3, 2001 a one-ton bale of hay crushed him, paralyzing him from the chest down.  

Chad rose up from the dust and stubble of that hay bale and rode a three-wheeled bicycle 513 miles.  He did this with his hands and arms, since his legs were and still are useless because of the accident.

Chad had what we might call perseverance.  He was an ordinary guy with an extraordinary amount of perseverance.  You should see and hear him speak. 

Be encouraged to take your ordinary life and find some extraordinary perseverance to conquer your mountains.

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

Friday, October 26, 2012

Honor Is the Way

Want to be a great leader?  Consider this idea, taken from Harvey McKay’s weekly blog. 

He quotes Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:  "Fail to honor people, they fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will all say, 'We did this ourselves.'"

He made that observation over 2000 years ago. Some things never change.”

And that’s the way it is. 

Still in fashion 
   Still needed
      Still valid
         Still appropriate

P Michael Biggs
Offering Insight
One Word at a Time

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Obscure Guideposts

Guideposts can sometimes come disguised a thousand different ways. 
A good friend
A mentor
A book

A word or phrase properly timed
A sermon or prayer
A mistake

Are you kidding me?  A mistake?

Consider this –
Mistakes aren’t really mistakes.
They are the guide posts you use to get better.

I don’t know who said that, but its great food for thought. 

So is this one:
The greatest mistake you can make in life
is to be continually afraid you won’t make one.
Elbert Hubbard 1856-1915

Another way to look at this issue is this – You’re not down until you stay down.

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones,
there is always another chance for you. 
What we call failure is not the
falling down but the staying down.
Mary Pickford 1893-1979

I hope you notice the guideposts along the way.  They are there to assist you.  Use them to find your way. 

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

Monday, October 22, 2012

Our Job

Everyone has a job to do – wow, that’s profound.

Ah, now consider this.

Brene’ Brown, in her book Daring Greatly, says this

“Children are hard-wired for struggle when they get here.  They come out perfectly and we want them to continue being perfect.  But our job is not to say, ‘Look at him, he’s perfect’, and keep them perfect so that they make the tennis team by 5th grade and Harvard by 7th grade.

“Our job is to look and say, ‘you know what, you are imperfect and you are wired for struggle, and you are worthy of love and belonging.’  That’s our job.”

“Imperfect and wired for struggle” – we often don’t want to talk about that part of life, do we?  It is true nevertheless. 

But isn’t that a freeing thought?  Actually, I find it quite empowering.  It takes the pressure off.  You mean I don’t have to be perfect to be loved? 

Amazing concept.

And the critical part of this whole piece is this – “You are worthy of love and belonging.”

OH, My Goodness!


I have some value after all.

Gotta love that concept.

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

Friday, October 19, 2012

Somebody's Got to Do Something

I have a new friend.  Her name is Polly.  Polly is one of the many street people in Seattle.  She doesn't have a lot of money.  She wears hand-me-down clothes, and she sells a newspaper on the streets of Seattle to earn a bit of money. 

But she has other goals too.  I bought a newspaper from her last week, and that is when I found out her name.  As I handed over my buck, we entered into conversation and she was telling me how this money helps fund some shelters and food for the homeless of Seattle. 

And then she laid the bomb on me.  She said …

“I do this because somebody’s got to do something.”


That is about as profound as it gets.

I've given a lot of thought to that conversation with Polly.  Here was a woman with few earthly possessions to her name and every day, on the same spot in front of the same grocery store I see her peddling her newspapers, raising money to feed those less fortunate.

Isn't that amazing? 

Makes me stop and ask – What am I doing?

Am I doing something?

I’m a writer, trying to change my corner of the world and encourage those who read these words.  I have a nice little following, but I wonder if it is enough?  What more can I do?  How can I reach more people?

Polly asks that same question every day – how can I sell more newspapers and raise more money to feed more people?

You are so right Polly ... Somebody has to do something. 

Why do I tell you this story?  Not to guilt you into buying newspapers on street corners. 

But if some of us found a cause, a passion for which we were willing to apply ourselves, then truly we just might do something.  

And in the doing, we might affect some lives, clothe some people, warm some lonely souls, encourage those who are discouraged.

I am amazed at what the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does.  They are finding ways do something.

William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army found a way to do something.

Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission has found a way to do something.

Many fine religious institutions have as well.

I often see drivers stop at a traffic light and reach out their hand offering something tangible to one in need. 

These individuals and groups are “doing something.”

God bless them.

May God bless all of us with eyes to see that we can “Do Something.”

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Imagine Better

What if there was such a thing as magic?
What if it really worked?

Bam – a dash of magic powder and you are transported to another realm, or into a different person.


Drink this portion and you’ll grow hair, lose weight, or cure any other ill around you.

Wouldn't that be something?

Some would say our world needs a huge dose of some magic potion.  Indeed we do – however, I doubt the cure is going to come from a bottle or some ancient recipe. 

Love this comment.  Ponder it…

“We do not need magic to transform our world.
We carry all the power we need
inside ourselves already.
We have the power to imagine better.”
J K Rowling
Harvard Graduation Address

And how do we imagine better? 

-It begins with a healthy dose of respect – respect for every man, woman and child who walks upon this earth.

-It begins with truth, integrity, and a wholesome sense of responsibility.  Are we thinking of unborn generations and our future citizens, or thinking only of our next pay check, our next vacation, or the next election?

Do we suffer from tunnel vision? 
Do we see worth and usefulness in every person?

Are we imagining better?

I am an optimist.  With every person I meet I anticipate some kind of connection, even if it is a smile, a nod of acknowledgement, and especially a generous “hello” or “how are you?”

I’m starting a movement - The Imagine Better movement. 

All are welcome.

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

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Big Idea

A Big Idea

J.K. Rowling, famous for the Harry Potter series, gave the commencement address at Harvard in 2008.  In that speech she was reflecting on a time in her life when the world seemed against her.  Funds were tight, life was hectic, and the daily grind was very daily.

She said this:  “I had a daughter, whom I adored, a typewriter and a big idea.”

She had a big idea.  I love that.

-Bill Gates had a big idea which became Microsoft.
-He and Melinda had a bigger idea and created the Gates Foundation.

-Steve Jobs had a big idea and it became Apple Computers.
-Jeff Bezos had a big idea which turned into Amazon.

-Michael Phelps had a big idea and he became an Olympic winner.
-Wayne Gretzky had a big idea and he became a great hockey player.
-Yo-Yo Ma had a big idea and became a world-class cellist.

And the list goes on.

Have you found your big idea?  It’s there.  Somewhere inside of you beats that something that is your big idea.  Listen to it.  Listen to your heart.  What do you think about in your idle moments?  Where does your mind turn when you think of your future and your dreams and hopes?

That is where your big idea is hiding.

My big idea?

I want to write the blog heard round the world.  I’m approaching my third anniversary as a blogger.  Every day I write something that moves me one notch closer to my dream.  I have a big idea.

I’m on the road toward my big idea.

There is room for you.  I’d welcome the company.

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

Friday, October 12, 2012

What Do We Need

In this world in 2012 we ask – What do we need?

We need …
-Men and women of integrity - true to their word, living lives of consistency, living lives of wholeness and reliability

We need …
-A good set of morals - morals that are good for all mankind, not just favoring a person, a sect, or a region.  Morals are an important ingredient in the fiber of a world view that keeps us together.

We need …
-Love and respect – a love that is tolerant of other’s ways of viewing the world and respect to guard the right to hold onto that view.

We need …
-Truth – truth from our superiors, truth from our governments, truth from our media sources, and truth from our role models.

We need …
-Common Sense – the synonyms for this phrase are … rational, reasonable, sound, consistent, coherent, and valid.  Enough is said on that subject.

We need …
-A right view of God – God is for every man, every woman.  He is not a black God or a white God.  He is the God of all, creator of all.  Every person you pass on the roadway is known by God.  Every person you see on any media source is an individual with a name, likes, a past, dreams, a future and hope. 

What do we need?

Citizens of this world who understand and accept a world view of mankind co-existing and thriving, side by side.  We are a global community.  We depend on others from around the globe.

In the movie The Sum of all Fears based on Tom Clancy’s book, President Nemerov, the Russian President, delivers these lines after a near-world-ending collision course has been avoided.

“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.”

We are linked.

So, what do we need? 

We really do need each other!

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2012



Have you been diagnosed?  Most have, and many think they are terminal.  What a tragedy!

We sometimes get diagnosed and sentenced and then we do nothing but accept it as fact. 

That is no way to live. 

Just because “they” say so doesn’t make it so.  “They” can’t pronounce you as sick, diseased, incompetent, lousy, ugly, or distrustful.

You get to choose.  You have this marvelous opportunity to map your own destiny. 
Are you sick, diseased, incompetent, lousy, ugly or distrustful?

I doubt that you are.  But only your voice matters in these issues.  You get to vote, and your vote is the only one that matters.  What is your opinion of you?

In the list of synonyms for “diagnosis”, the last word we find is “Identification”.

Who are you really?  What is your identification? 
What do you know about yourself, believe about yourself, and desire for yourself?

Examine your life.
Map out your destiny.
Create your own successful inner dialogue and feed on that.

You’re not diagnosed until YOU accept the diagnosis.

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

Monday, October 8, 2012

In the Arena

Let me tell you a story.

The arena was packed on this fateful day.  The sun was beaming overhead.  The crowd had gathered in anticipation of a great battle.  They wanted to see action … more than action.  They wanted to see someone go down.


The chants rang throughout the area.  It echoed in the tunnels.  It bounced off the walls.  It roared and rumbled up the hillside. 

At the appointed hour our home-town contender stepped onto this stage. 
Could he win? 
Could he conquer? 
Could he be the victor at the end of the day?

Only time would tell.

The gong sounded.  The battle began.

Home-town Contender marched to his appointed spot, facing his opponent.  The crowd roared.  The loudspeaker bellowed out the blow-by-blow.

Contender took a blow to the head.  It was ugly.  It was messy.

He took a swing. 


Another blow and our contender went down.  Would he get back up?  The crowd waited, watched, and stirred restlessly. 

Yet up he came. 
Up to face the challenger again, and again, and again. 

Swing after mighty swing.
Try after try.

And then …

Over the public address system we hear these words ...

“It is not the critic who counts; not the
man who points out how the strong man
stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could
have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually
in the arena, whose face is marred by dust
and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;
who errs, who comes short again and again

Because there is no effort without error
and shortcoming; but who does actually
strive to do the deeds; who knows great
enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends
himself in a worthy cause;

Who at the best knows in the end the triumph
of high achievement, and who at the worst,
if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
(Theodore Roosevelt
Sometimes referred to as
The Man in the Arena)

What a legacy!  To fail while daring greatly.

May all of your exploits be worthy of this commanding comment.

“If I fail, I shall fail daring greatly!”

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

Friday, October 5, 2012


Vulnerability is a greatly misunderstood word.  Some view it as weakness, even failure.  Vulnerability is actually courage. 

We take a risk when we become vulnerable.  We expose our soft side to some uncertainties.  Risky - yes, but actually becoming vulnerable demonstrates courage.  It means we've measured the costs and we are willing to step out and take the plunge, or whatever metaphor works best for you. 

Step Out
              Take the Plunge

I like those visuals.

Any time we take that daring step we open ourselves to the unknown.  Some hugely vulnerable acts include:

  -A divorce
  -Launching a new company
  -Going back to school after raising a family
  -Learning new information
  -A major career change
  -Starting a family
  -Writing/publishing a blog, magazine article or book
  -Singing/playing a solo

And a few thousand others.

Brene’ Brown, Ph.D. University of Houston, says this about vulnerability: 
“Vulnerability is emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty.
It is our most accurate measurement of courage.”

She goes on to say, “Vulnerability is the birthplace for innovation, creativity and change.  Adaptability to change is all about vulnerability.”

We dare risk becoming vulnerably because of the need to make a change.  Maybe we’re stuck.  Maybe we need more of something-like knowledge, money, customers, food and clothes, power and on and on. 

But the bottom line is this - we risk.  We become vulnerable. 

We say “Okay, time to move to a new plateau.  It’s time to be bolder than ever before.  It is time to create, innovate, and move from where I am to where I want to be.” 


Not on your life.

                     You bet.

But …
          What might you become?
     What might you accomplish?
What might you build, or create, or invent unlike anything ever before seen on planet earth?

Dr. Henry Cloud says this:  “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.  Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.”

There is a quote by Anais Nin that nicely caps what we are talking about here.

“The risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk
it took to blossom.”

When it is time to blossom, vulnerability is the next necessary step. 

Vulnerability is not weakness or loss or giving up.

Oh, no.

But it is creativity – stretching – growing – expanding – and finding the new and improved you.

Best regards to you as you find that new YOU

Be bold!

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

To view Brene Brown’s twenty-minute video clip, click this link.  It is well worth several viewings.

Brene’ Brown is a Ph.D. at the University Of Houston Graduate College Of Social Work.  She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Learning After a Failure

What do we learn from our failures?

Some pretty great men and women have come out okay after their failures.

Watch this and see for yourself

Learning After a Failure (Video 1:52)

To see the blog posting for this title- click below:
Learning After a Fall (Blog)

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
One Word at a Time

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Security of Trust

“Trust me.”
“Believe me when I say …”
“You can count on me.”
“Come on, don’t you trust me?”

The words of trust are spoken every day.  We look for it.  We question it.  We question the fact that we are questioned about our own level of trust.

How is your trust factor?  Mine varies depending on the one to whom I am showing trust.  I’m certain you would say the same thing. 

Some synonyms for the word “trust”. 
     Certainty                Belief
     Faith                      Assurance

Trust implies unquestionable belief in and reliance upon something or someone.  We trust because we have good reasons, founded upon past experiences or the strong recommendation from yet another trusted source. 

Trust is huge!

We want to trust the bank.
We want to trust our kids and spouses.
We want to trust the church and faith of our choosing.
We want to trust our employer or employees.
We want children to trust us to keep them safe.

134,210 entries can be found on Amazon simply by entering the word “Trust.”

So what is trust all about?

The one word I left out of the synonyms above is the word “Steadfast”.

If I am going to trust someone, I want them to be steadfast.
  Stand strong.
    Hold steady. 
      Remain loyal. 
        Give me good and accurate information. 

Trust should not be doled out randomly, carelessly, with abandon. 

-Trust is sought for, judged and looked for at every turn.
-Trust is given carefully, cautiously, and with thoughtfulness. 

When I earn someone’s trust, I have earned a high honor.  I am endowed with a gift that is to be guarded and kept as if it were a gold brick.  

If I had a list of ten ways to earn someone’s trust I would be a rich man.  I could sell it and make a mint.

But I don’t.

I do know this about trust.

Trust is earned one incident, one encounter at a time.
Trust is watched for, longed for, wanted and needed.
Trust is regarded as the one character trait, next to integrity, that people in all walks of life seek the most.
Trust can be lost more quickly than it is gained.

If we want to win with people, anywhere, anytime, we have to become people who are trustworthy. 

Worthy of trust.

May it be so!

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