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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What Is Your Value

Here is a bit of hope in our thought today.  You control your own value.  YOU!

And how does one build value?  The question is so simple, yet so predictable, isn't it?

We build our value by becoming more valuable.  This is not a cheesy response.  It is actually very profound. 

We increase our value by doing a few simple acts.

Read good stuff.  There is an abundance of reading material available at our fingertips, however, not all of it is worthy of our time.  What you read is your choice, and I hope you’ll make wise choices.  Charlie “Tremendous” Jones once said, “We are the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with.”  Improve your value by exposing yourself to some great minds in books.

Biographies always teach us something – struggle to victory, life is hard – yet the survivors find a way to survive. 

Personal development books do an inside job if we allow them to.  They instill seeds of possibility and words of hope inspiration.  They stimulate ideas, philosophies, and growth.

Seminars in our chosen field can add an immense body of knowledge, if we dare expose ourselves to them. 

A great mentor or even several mentors can pay huge dividends.  Mentors can help us fast-track to the next rung on the ladder, or whatever metaphor works for you.  A quality mentor can coach us on self-development, irritating quirks, lazy habits and faulty thinking.  The great mentors teach us great work habits that produce results.

Have you noticed that we haven’t yet mentioned money as a way of adding value?  Money comes later, after one proves his/her worth and value. 

Until you learn to change the course of the world, the weather, the political landscape and global warming, then I suppose the best place to start is by improving one’s own value.

Just imagine how valuable you can become! 

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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Your Greatest Power

You have a power at your fingertips that is so awesome it staggers the imagination.  What can you and I can do with this immense power?

“What might you be referring to” you may ask.

Why, it is merely the power of your mind.  And the trigger to this tremendous force is our ability to CHOOSE. 

We are endowed with the power of choice.  We choose to believe in our own worth or not.  We choose our destiny, we choose our career paths, we choose our mates, the food we eat, where we live, and the song goes on.

And we choose our thoughts

Where are your thoughts taking you?  Are you on a good path or a rocky road?  You can make a change by changing your thoughts.

You alone hold the key to the lock on your thoughts. 

What do you choose to do about that?

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, says this about that.

“You will never find any
peace of mind by allowing
others to live your life for you.”

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Don't Miss This

I've missed a deadline or two in my careers.
I've missed a few favorite TV shows.
I've missed buying some stellar best sellers.
I've even missed buying some great stocks that ultimately soared.

What have you missed?

Really, it doesn't matter much.  The only thing is this.

We shouldn't miss what matters to us.

Oprah Winfrey said that in the October 2014 O Magazine end-of-magazine article called “What I Know for Sure.”

If we are smart, by now we know and understand our core strengths and talents.  We know our chief objective in life. 

So, if we know our chief objective, then we better make sure and “hit” everything that matters in our pursuit of that goal.

Class dismissed.

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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Initiative Can't Be Bought

I went to my local grocery store yesterday to buy a bucket of initiative.  They were out.  The manager said “We stopped carrying that a long time ago.”

I asked for a bag full of initiative for my last birthday.  I didn't get even one drop of initiative.  What a sad birthday.

And then I discovered this:

You’re not given initiative.  You take initiative.

Ah.  Yet another secret to success.

Class dismissed.

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How Long Will You Last

I know of a man who is eighty-three and he still works 40-plus hours a week at his retail job. 

I know another man who retired at 52 and died at 53.

How long will you last?

Yes, part of the answer is found in health and lifestyle, proper eating and adequate exercise, AND the balance of the equation seems to be found in purpose and meaning one finds in life.

Those with goals have good aim.  Good intention.  Good purpose for planting one foot in front of the other each morning.

The answer lies in the meaning one finds in life.  Find some cause or activity that is good and worthwhile and pour yourself into that. 

And then, perhaps we’ll help you celebrate your 85th birthday in grand style.

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

Sunday, August 10, 2014

How to Bounce Back

The greatest thought I could give do you today is this:

Failure does not 
make you a failure.
~John C. Maxwell

If that isn't a come-back story I don’t know what is.  I am collecting quite a collection of quotes around the idea of “What failure is not”. 

Failure is not …
Falling down
A moral failure
A business or a person going into bankruptcy
Losing all your money in one decision

Actually, the secret – YES - THE SECRET to overcoming any failure is the examination of the facts and the execution of a sound action plan that follows.

“Resilience” is the word.  It boils down to what we do after failure.  What is the mindset?  What does one do with failure?

Will we bounce or break?

I choose bounce!

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

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Where Is Wisdom Born

The title begs an answer.  And the answer is …

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.  WONDER!

When you wonder, what do you wonder?  Where does your mind travel?

Wondering has done this world a bit of good and has brought about some amazing improvements.

The obvious ones are:
   ~Man’s flight
   ~Medical science
   ~Technology of all stripes
   ~Management principles
   ~Human productivity

And the first cousin to wisdom is FAILURE.  With wisdom there is wonder and with wonder the logical next step is failure. 

A wise man was once asked “How does one get good judgment?”
His reply … “Experience.”

And how does one gain experience?

His answer … “Bad experience.”

Wisdom comes at the expense of often being wrong – of missing the mark.  Usually wisdom comes from trying and failing and trying again.

Want wisdom?

Double your failure rate.

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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Your Best Work

Seth Godin says “Do your best work.”

“What?  But I’m having an off day.”

Do your best work.

“But there are some in the audience who aren't listening.”

Do your best work.

“I’m tired.”

Do your best work.

Regardless of the circumstances, the stock market or the gasoline prices – always, always do your best work.

You only care about the people who like your work anyway.  If they ignore your work, ignore them.  You can’t reach the whole world.  Seth helped me with that one.  Shucks, I've got some really close, life-long friends who don’t read my books and blogs.  I write anyway. 

And you should too …
~Write or
  ~Speak or
    ~Sing or
      ~Build buildings or
        ~Perform surgery or
          ~Knit or …

Got the idea?


Class dismissed.

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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Know Yourself

The axiom know thyself is by now a well-known and well-understood phrase.  Yet it is one in which we return to often.  It was a red letter day for me when I discovered the skill set for which I am amply suited to use. 

One of the freeing concepts in life is when we discover our areas of strengths. 

You will never see me on a ballet stage. 
And I highly doubt you’ll ever see me playing professional basketball. 

You will occasionally catch me behind a set of drums, or singing and speaking on a platform to a room full of interested individuals, and I surely hope that some fine day that you and I will greet one another across a book-signing table for the launching of one of my best sellers. 

You see, I have a firm grasp on who I am and what I am.  My interests match my skills and all of that flows together to give direction and destiny to my life.

And you? 

What is your destiny?  What is your passion?  Where is your north star leading you?

It all begins with knowing self.

This story nicely sums up our thoughts for today.

One of my favorite books is The Winds of War by Herman Wouk.  In this book, Mr. Wouk recounts a scene in which General E. J. Tillet, military author and one of the Commanding Generals for England during WWII, is speaking to the main character named Pug Henry.  Tillet is making an observation about Hermann Goering.

He said:  “He’s wasted a whole bloody month bombing harbors and pottering about after convoys.  He’s only got till September the fifteenth.  His mission is mastery of the air, not blockade.  Define your mission!  Define your mission and stick to it!” 

Know yourself.
Define your mission!

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

Monday, July 14, 2014

Marketing and Life

Marketing happens whether you are selling a product or attracting a mate; building an empire or managing a household.  What do you understand about this ubiquitous thing we call marketing?

Consider this –

Marketing Is:
The person answering your phone and how they do that
The shirt and tie or lack thereof every day of your life
The shine on your shoes

The shoe laces that are either tied or not
The smile or lack thereof
The tentative approach or the bold step up to the plate

The direct eye contact or the looking away quickly
The inappropriate joke
The color of your business card and how clean it is

Your breath, good or bad
Your speaking volume
Your memory in critical moments that matter to others

You surely see by now that everything we do lends itself to the marketing of our interests and needs. 

We are “ON” every moment of every day, whether we like it or not. 

I suppose we get to decide how important our marketing is in every facet of our lives and then make whatever moves we wish to sell the message we sell.

Just some thoughts to make us all think.

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

Friday, July 11, 2014

Make Something

If I had a wish for you it would be this …

I hope that you will make something.  Make art, make music, write a song, knit a sock, bake a pie, add a dash of vanilla flavoring to your favorite recipe … do something original and creative just because you can.

I hope you might dare to dream outrageously.  Dream like never before.  Take the blinders off your dreams and dream big and in color and larger than life.

Don’t let the bound of this earth stop you. 
Don’t let the small minds of others stop you.
Don’t listen to the naysayers.  Listen to your own heartbeat.

          Do the spectacular.
               Do the unusual.
Do the different just because you see the possibilities.

I hope you will go and make something that never existed before.  Even for one fleeting moment. 

I added vanilla to my French toast this week.  It was yummy. 
Occasionally I add a small teaspoon of cinnamon to my coffee grounds before brewing them.  Love that one too.

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

Monday, July 7, 2014

I Sell

Every time I open my mouth, I sell.
Every time I buy in a store or order off the menu, I sell. 
Every time I talk with my wife, I sell.

And so do you.  What are we selling?

Only a bit of our integrity, our kindness, our people relationship skills and our nature at its core.

I also sell my own self-confidence, my believability in self, and a bit of my self-esteem.  And believe it or not, I sell my intelligence with each transaction.  Oh yes. 

Also, the core beliefs that I hold are either bought with every transaction or not.  My core beliefs are honesty, reliability, truthfulness, trustworthiness.

And do you know what else?

You also sell all of these character traits.  Every day – Every time.

Think about that one.

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

Friday, July 4, 2014

Drive Time

Carolyn and I have found a fun way to add interest to our drive time.  She reads to me.  Even on the short ten minute jaunt to our health club, she reads. 

Thus far, here is what we've accomplished in the last few years.
The Chronicles of Narnia (all 7 volumes)
The DaVinci Code
Angels and Demons
2 Volumes of Sherlock Holmes
Jobs (Steve Jobs Bio)
Thomas Jefferson bio
Various Christmas titles

Currently we are on book six in the Harry Potter series.

I highly recommend this as a shared drive-time activity.

And it expands your reading life.

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

Monday, June 30, 2014


Snakes shed their old skin.
Children shed their baby teeth for permanent ones.
Pets shed hair.
My wife cleans out my closet from time to time because a sweater or shirt is beyond suitable to wear. 

Sometimes I like shedding and sometimes I miss the old.  But mostly I like to shed.

Mel Robbins asked a probing question in the October 2010 issue of Success Magazine:

“What are you willing to shed to become who you were meant to be?”

I love that from an intellectual point of view.  We all can get bogged down with what Zig Ziglar called “stinkin’ thinkin’.”  That is the kind of thinking that we incorrectly picked up along the way that no longer holds merit.

Remember what map makers once did?  When they drew a map of the then-known world, on the borders they would pen these words …

“Beyond this, there be dragons.”

Everyone today knows that is old thinking.  I’m so glad we shed that thought.

Also, we are very glad we got over the fear of flying and space travel, and using a quill and ink bottle to capture our thoughts.

There are dogmas, philosophies, rules, laws and the list goes on, that along the way we have had to shed in order to grow and become better, smarter and more expansive in our thinking.  

In this ever-changing world it seems we shed something every day for the next new and better. 

Do you remember rotary dial phone?
How about black and white TV?

What have you shed lately?

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

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Push

I want to tell you a funny story that makes a great point.

A man and his wife were awakened at 3AM by a loud pounding on the door.  The man got up to see what is up and he saw a drunken stranger standing in the pouring rain,
asking for a push.

“Not a chance,” said the husband.  It’s 3 o’clock in the morning.”  With that he slammed the door and returned to bed.

His wife asked, “Who was that?”

“Just some drunk guy asking for a push,” he answered.

“Well did you help him?”

“No I did not.  It is 3 in the morning and it is pouring rain out there.”

“Well, you have a short memory,” she said.  “Can’t you remember about three months ago when we broke down and those two guys helped us?  I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself.  God loves drunken people too.”

The husband recognized the wisdom in his wife’s words, got up, got dressed and went out into the pounding rain.

He called out in the dark, “Hello.  Are you still here?”

“Yes” came the answer.

“Do you still need a push?”

“Yes, please!” came the reply from the darkness.

“Where are you?”

“Over here on the swing set,” replied the drunk.

The end …

However, the moral of the story stands.  Sometimes we need to give a friend, a neighbor or co-worker a push. 

A “push” in this context – well, it is nothing more than a word of encouragement.  Perhaps it is a bit of advice to set one on a better track for his/her life.  Sometimes it is a lesson that one learns to benefit their life for the rest of their life.

It is encouragement.  ENCOURAGEMENT.

We all need it.
We all crave it.

So, let’s give it – in bushels and buckets

Now this is the end.

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

Monday, June 23, 2014

Struggling for Love

If you suffer with feelings of lack of love, let me offer you some encouragement.  Unfortunately this is a common malady that plagues many in today’s world. 

To whom do we turn?  Where are the answers?

I’m going to use as my source the words of Brene Brown and her book Daring Greatly

When we consider this subject, we are clearly divided into two groups.

Group One consists of those who do feel a deep sense of love and belonging.

Group Two is peppered with those who feel a great lack of self-approval, self-acceptance and self-love. 

It is the Group Two gang to whom I speak.  My first suggestion is to find some great books that will address the self-esteem and self-love issues.  Self-esteem is in its simplest form a healthy respect and acceptance of self as you are this very moment. 

You may not have the best of everything, nor be in the top echelon of society, yet you are still a worthy individual.  You have worth, talents, skills, and contributions that you can make unlike any other human being on earth.  Perhaps it is time to take control of your thought processes and change your mindset from “can’t and lack” to “can-do and able to do”. 

Do you approve of yourself, today, right where you sit?  If not, why not?

What is keeping you from self approval?  Who told you you are not worthy of approving self? 

Today could be a new day for you.  It was for me a few years ago.  I discovered this phrase in a magazine and knew I suffered from lack of self-approval.  I immediately created a business-card size pocket motivator that stated “I Approve of Myself”

I remember pulling that out and reading it dozens of time every day for months on end.  Soon, the seeds of this one powerful thought began to grow inside of my heart and mind. 

You see, approval and self-love go hand in hand.  If we feel we don’t approve of self, how can we truly love self? 

This is not egotism speaking when you use this phrase.  It is a healthy dose of self-acceptance. 

Your world will start to change when you begin to believe you are worthy of love and acceptance,

Here is an excellent excerpt you need to know, believe and understand.

“Two groups – those who feel a deep sense of love and belonging and those who struggle for it – there’s only one variable that separates the groups:  Those who feel loveable, who love, and who experience belonging simply believe they are worthy of love and belonging.  They don’t have better or easier lives, they don’t have fewer struggles with addiction or depression, and they haven’t survived fewer traumas or bankruptcies or divorces, but in the midst of all of these struggles, they have developed practices that enable them to hold on to the belief that they are worthy of love, belonging, and even joy.”
~Brene Brown
Daring Greatly

Many fine counselors and therapist are in every town, village and large city to help you walk through this process as well.  Take advantage of them.

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