Friday, January 31, 2014

Intrigued by Mistakes

Mistakes intrigue me - my own and those of others.  With proper care and handling, mistakes can lead us further and closer to right and good answers.

I am an analyzer.  When I fall, fumble, flop and flounder I like to immediately begin an examination as to why those foibles happened. 

Just imagine what we might learn with this kind of mindset.  Challenges are not the enemy.  Refusing to properly deal with them is, however.  

My wife teaches 35 or so piano students.  We know that if we expect to see growth in these kids they have to continually be challenged to try more difficult passages of music.  And when they do, there will always be mistakes, missed notes and uneven rhythms.  All is well, for Carolyn’s steady hand is there to guide, to teach them a proper respect for failure and how to correct and improve next time.

Mistakes sometimes tell us to slow down.  That one smacks me in the face.  I like to rush through some tasks, yet, when I slow the tempo, I find I do a better, more thorough job.

We love the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.  She says this:

“If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning.”
~Carol S. Dweck

A favorite phrase is this:

And another:

If I were inclined to give you a five-point formula, it would look like this.

We made a mistake.  Now what?
~Ask the “why” question. 
~Review the steps taken prior to the mistake.
~What could we have done differently?
~What else could we have done to add to or prevent the failure?
~Is there some wiser person or mentor to add to our team?

Ask, analyze, consider and then go have another crack at it.

Above all, be intrigued by mistakes, not intimidated by them.

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

Monday, January 27, 2014

Words Refresh

Believe it or not, some words bring refreshment just like a cool drink of water on a hot day.

Would you like some examples?  Use some of these tomorrow as you interact with other inhabitants in your corner of the world.

~I like that shirt on you.  You look very stylish.
~I think you are a cool lady.
~I like the way you think.

~You have such an optimistic way about you.
~Love your creativity.
~I see such potential in you

~I see improvement.  I like that.
~Outstanding job on that report.
~Your behavior tonight was commendable.

~Great solo.  I felt the music through your playing.
~When I’m with you I feel very special.
~You made me very proud when you …

Just imagine if some of these words were said to you at this particular moment.  Would you feel a little taller, a little stronger, and a bit more like the King or Queen of the world?

That is the power we hold in our hands with words.

Words refresh!

Really and truly.

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

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Face of Courage

We hear the word “courage” bandied about these days.  What does courage look like?

Courage is …
-A value on which I will not compromise
-Caring for one’s self in a troubling relationship
-Rising up in the face of adversity and standing for right

Courage is …
-Defending a weaker person in the face of adversity
-Speaking up and speaking out for right to prevail
-Rising up, even though you are scared and afraid

Courage is …
-Getting up more times than you fall down

-Entering the arena even though the opponent carries a huge reputation
-Stating the truth when falsehoods surround you

Courage is …
-Standing and fighting when the odds are against you
-Standing up in the face of great vulnerability
-Daring to show up and allow self to be seen

Courage is …
-Letting go of what others think because you have confidence
-Losing perfectionism and showing the real “you”
-Letting go of the fear of the dark

Courage is …
-Trusting faith and letting go of the need for certainty
-Letting go of comparisons
-Letting go of status symbolisms and proclaiming self-worth

Courage is …
-Letting go of “supposed to” for the sake of “want to”
-Choosing to decide, because choosing “not to decide” is still a decision
-Taking the light to your inner darkness

Courage is …
-Being vulnerable yet courageous
-Bridging the gap between where we are to where we want to be
-Establishing a sense of belonging rather than fitting in

Courage is …
-Daring greatly in the face of adversity
-Knowing we are imperfect yet fully capable of being loved
-Letting self be seen
-The birthplace for creativity and innovation

Some of these phrases are based on the seed of an idea from Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly.)

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

Monday, January 20, 2014

Words Matter

Everyone hates being talked about behind their backs – unless it is good talk.  And wouldn't it be nice to hear some of the good talk that takes place back there?

I heard of a boss who uses this line as he walks around the different divisions of his company spread all across the US. 

He says:  “I've been hearing a lot of good talk behind your back.” 

That is a fine example of the metaphor of “filling someone’s bucket.”  Anyone can tell you what is wrong with you.  If we as managers want to get more out of our team we will become one who fills other’s buckets with positive and esteeming words.

John Maxwell says that one of the best ways to win with people is to offer public praise of an individual.  Acknowledge what they have done.

We want to know we have performed well and are appreciated.  That is an age old human characteristic that never goes out of style.

Use affirming words in front of others. 
Recognize the good and positive in others.
P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Christmas passed us by three weeks ago.  I need to dip behind us for this thought.

In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, at the very end a copy of the book Tom Sawyer is opened and on the inside fly-leaf we find these words.

“Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.”

Is life on track for you?  Do you have the necessary amount of money in your bank account?  Do you own the right set of stocks yet?  Are you married to the right person? 

Are you a success?

When the game is over, it’s not a matter of having, owning, or being in relationship with the right mate; it is about those who gather near and we are able to call “FRIEND.”


That is the message of this movie.  George Bailey had impacted countless lives.  He had touched people with something more endearing than a large bank account and entrance into the correct social clubs of his day.

He touched people with friendship.  And they gave back in kind. 

That is “connecting” in the right way.

I’ll never forget …

~Zane came over and helped me with a dead battery.
~Ed came and helped me take down and put away a lot of staging equipment after our Christmas musical.
~Dan and John helped me pack the U-haul truck on moving day
~Long and meaningful conversations with Rick, Linda, John, Garnet and dozens more
~Snowshoeing in the Sandia’s with Lawrence and Bess and friends
~Phone calls of encouragement, cards of hope, letters of friendship and joy.

Friends are the one’s making those calls, sending those cards, organizing the snowshoe trip and responding in my time of need -- friends and all that friendship represents.

    Helping hands
      Caring hearts
        Supportive words
          Eyes that look past faults

I just read a Facebook post from my friend Sam.  He was reminiscing about our times together when we both worked in the music industry.  Sam is one of those golden friendships.  What cherished memories.

If you look at my bank statement you wouldn’t see much.  Ah, but let me show you my friendships!  My friends are my gold mine. 

And so are yours. 


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

Monday, January 13, 2014

Approve of Yourself

The old adage proclaimed by Earl Nightingale and other self-development gurus is still true.  It goes like this.  “You Become What You Think About.” 

This message has been stated dozens of different ways by others, yet the basic message remains. 

When you “appreciate” yourself, what exactly are you doing? 

In Kevin Hall’s book Aspire, he states, “You should never treat another person in a manner that would make them feel small.  And that means you.”

So, that begs the question.  How do you treat yourself?  The thoughts we hold forth do matter.  Denis Waitley states that “the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real and an imagined experience.” 

The little voice inside of us is constantly “on.”  It talks to us about us every waking moment of the day.  This is the source for the dominant messages we receive about ourselves

If you feed your little voice some wholesome and sound mental images of yourself, you are doing a good thing. 

I will never forget the day I discovered the simple phrase “I Approve of Myself.”  I was reading a back issue of Success Magazine and the author was quoting Louise Hay.  She related the story of the day this particular phrase became her mantra.  I put the magazine down and felt the impact of those four words in a profound way. 

I grew up in a family of ten kids with a stern, conservative father who left no room for “foolishness” as he called it.  He made us toe the line in discipline and rarely if ever gave any words of esteem or encouragement.

All I knew as I grew up was that even when I thought I was doing my best, sometimes I would get a stern reprimand with no room for grace and no praise for the effort I was making.  I took on the mantle of being a non-starter and one who always fell short of the mark, and unfortunately I lived under that shadow for many years. 

And then came hope in the form of four powerful words.  “I APPROVE OF MYSELF.”  I immediately made a laminated card that I carried in my pocket and at odd moments during my day I would pull that card out and read over those healing words. 

I began seeing changes in my life.  My work performance began improving.  I began closing more sales.  My writing took a turn for the good.  I traced many good and wonderful changes to these four words. 

I referred to Kevin Hall’s book earlier.  Later in his book Kevin says this.  “The way I treat myself reflects the way I treat others.”  It’s a trickledown effect, isn’t it? 

How we see ourselves does color our world. 

It is self-image, self-confidence, and self-esteem all rolled into one concept. 

As Brian Tracy is fond of saying, “I like myself.  I really do like myself.”

P Michael Biggs
Offering Words of Hope
One Word at a Time

Friday, January 10, 2014

Z = Zeal

(Our premise is this:  If plan A fails you still have twenty-five other options.)

 Zeal is our “Z” word, and what a great one to end on.  Look at the synonyms associated with this powerhouse.


Can you name even one successful enterprise that lacked for zeal?  I can’t.  Zeal is the fuel that fires the drive mechanism that builds the dream.

Zeal is focused fanaticism mixed with a huge dose of fervor, and stirred together with ardor and eagerness in equal portions and then baked to a golden brown. 

And when it comes out, look out.  Get out of the way, for an enterprise or person with zeal is someone to be reckoned with.

Zeal burns the midnight oil
Zeal wakes one up at 4AM
Zeal dreams constantly of the end result
Zeal compels one to seek mentors and wise minds in his field of interest
Zeal drives one to perfect when others settle for good enough

Zeal is …
          Has fortitude
            Ever seeking solutions

Got ‘zeal’ for your enterprise? 

You need it, above all other traits; you need this one in bushels and basketfuls.

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

Monday, January 6, 2014

Y = Yes

(Our premise is this:  If plan A fails you still have twenty-five other options.)

The word “YES” is full of optimism. 
It holds great hope, it opens new doors, it expands our horizons, it opens closed doors, it restores troubled relationships, it finds jobs, and it helps put money in the bank and a thousand other metaphors.

Saying “yes” to wisdom is one of the great responses. Opening our minds, our thoughts and our enterprise to other, wiser, and a more practiced or more experienced minds can be such a huge boost.

"Yes" speaks of a mind in search of better.  Our premise for this series has always been, “when plan A fails, we still have twenty-five other options.”  

“Yes” could open some huge doors, once closed in a cloud of failure.  “Yes” could open the business again, or it could find other products, or a different market segment.  “Yes” is the direction in which the answers lie.

With the word “yes” there comes responsibility, analytical thinking, exploration of all possibilities and some good old noodle time when we reason out all that is before us and then choose the best options before us.

Above all, “yes” is and always has been, the gateway for every grand adventure.  Someone had to say “yes” before the first nut and bolt was turned, the first brick put in place, and the money asked for to build the building.

The search for “yes” can lead down many trails.  And look at the journey.  Look at what one will learn.  Look at the people you will meet, the experiences cherished, the new places visited and the exhilaration of discovery along the way.

“YES” builds things.
     “YES” builds individuals.
          “YES” has built our world. 

Build your world – find your “yes” and go conquer.

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

Friday, January 3, 2014

X - eXtra

(Our premise is this:  If plan A fails you still have twenty-five other options.)

In our search for the keys to success in our endeavors, sometimes we find that it is the extra touches we give in the way of attention to customer service that make a huge difference.  Allow me to elaborate.

Olive Garden restaurants serve an Andes mint at the end of every meal with the check.  Andes mints happen to be my favorite of all mints.  These mints speak of an extra touch.  It is not the usual peppermint in a rolled wrapper – they taste better, are more refreshing and more desirable to me as a diner.

During my traveling days, I remember the hotels that went out of their way to make my stay a notch above the ordinary.  One in particular is in Milwaukee – the Pfister Hotel.  They made a note of my special requests so that on my next visit they could wow me with excellent service.  I’ve never forgotten.

Anyone can be ordinary and offer ordinary service and products.  When we take time to wow someone they notice and reward us with their trust, their credit card and often come back as a repeat customer. 

There is great value in the extra touch, but there is no price tag on it.  When we add the wow, we say in effect, “I cherish your trust.  I value your interest.  I am going to serve you in an ‘out of the box’ kind of way and entice you to come back.”

The extra usually doesn't cost that much more, but the lasting impression it leaves lingers long after the initial experience.  

The obvious question – what extra can be added to your product or service?

Those are the bells and whistles one might consider adding as an after-thought, but actually becomes top-of-mind

Finding ways to add the “wow” is one mark of an organization on the search for the X in “extra”.

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