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

Friday, June 20, 2014

More Words on Habits

Here are three important statements on habits that you need to lock onto and understand.  If you have a habit that you want to change or break, understand these fundamentals.

#1 – For habits to permanently change, people must believe that change is feasible.

Do you believe? 

#2 – Habits cannot be eradicated.  They must be replaced. 
That could be why many formers smokers switch to chewing gum, or using the new marvels of vapor cigarettes as one small example.  Find your safe and effective replacement and use it.

And here is perhaps the most important concept of all.

#3 – For a habit to stay changed, an individual must believe change is possible.

So much in life comes down to belief, doesn’t it?

How strong is your belief factor?

(These three factors are found in the book The Power of Habits, a highly recommended read.)

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

Monday, June 16, 2014

6 Qualities Every Leader Seeks

Every time you hire for a key position in your organization, you dearly hope and pray that the one selected will have some of these key quality traits.  Here they are.

    1. Positive Attitude
This is more than just the Pollyanna syrupy sweet “all is right with the world because I believe it.”  This is the pleasant attitude, the forward seeing attitude and the mindset of “let’s see what we can do about that” positiveness.  Positive attitudes matter.

    2. Loyalty
Are you on our team or not?  Are you fully engaged or not?  Do you believe in our mission and our focus or not?  Those are the questions to ask when determining loyalty.  You don’t need a Judas on your team.  You need committed team players.

    3. Personal Growth
This next quality is something that must be inherent with the candidate.  Are they a growth-minded individual?  Do they spend time in developing self?  This one makes a difference in unspeakable ways.  Look for it.  Ask for it.

    4. Creativity and Applied Creativity
Creativity comes in all sizes, colors and degrees of competencies.  Everyone is creative.  We just show it in different ways.  And I personally believe creativity can be strengthened.  It grows with use, just like a muscle.  The more you exercise creativity the more creativity will come into play.  I know this first hand in my writing and speaking.

    5. Risk Taking
To quote one of my favorite quotes:

“The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be, because of all I may become, I will close my eyes and leap.”
~Mary Anne Radmacher

What might be possible when you take some risks?  This is a question to be weighed and weighed again.  Proceed with care, and then the time comes – jump.  Take the risk.

    6. Decisive Action
Sometimes we don’t have all the facts, and when we don’t, these are the moments when we have to make the tough decisions.  A great leader soon learns when the times call for decisive action and then steps up to the plate and acts in accordance with the situation in hand

Learning decisive action is like going to school every time this course is offered.  We rarely have a history to fall back on.  But we are leaders and we make the tough decisions. 

Success to you as your continue to lead.

(These 6 qualities are from John C. Maxwell's book Be a People Person.  The additional commentary are my own thoughts except for quote used.)

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

Friday, June 13, 2014

5 People-Skills Keys

Unless you are a hermit living in a hut in the Himalayas you probably need to keep your people skills relatively sharp.  Here are five key points that might help.

1. Listen to People
There is no need to get on a rant about all of our iGadgets and how we ignore others by tuning into these hand-held marvels.  Bottom line, people want to be listened to.  They want to be heard. 

In one of Bob Burg’s and John David Mann’s books they use these words from a husband and wife conversation.  The wife is speaking:

I’ve never been so heard … so listened to.

That is a remarkable comment.  She felt she had his ear.   Gotta love that.

2. Pay Attention
Small children are masters at getting out attention, because they will continue asking until you do notice.  Heard this lately?

“Mommy, Mommy, look at me.  I can swim.”

And if you look away, you get a repeat request, repeated until you do look and pay attention.

Employees want to be noticed for some really good work.  Spouses like it when their special efforts are acknowledge.  We pay attention in our relationships.

3. Look at Them
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and kept noticing them looking over your shoulder?  It kind of gives us the feeling that we are not very important, doesn’t it? 

Dr. Bernie Sigel tells of some cancer patients who had five requests.

Knock on my door.
Look me in the eye.
Say hello.
Say good bye.
Let me talk first.

I LOVE that.

4. Honor Them
And how do we do that?  Recognize them as a living and breathing human being who simply wants to be heard and recognized for the brief moments you are in conversation.

Remember their birthday or anniversary.  I just celebrated one and was amazed at the number of greetings I received on Facebook. 

Recognize an accomplishment and celebrate that. 

5. Respect Them
Respect them by giving a bit of attention, focus and interest.  We honor people by asking about what interests them, their kids, spouses, jobs, business, and recent successes.  Show interest – honor them.

I wish you much success in all your relationships. 

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

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Want a Job

I want some company to hire me and give me the job title of Ambassador of Good Will.  My job would be to simply wander the halls of this company and catch people doing something right.  And when I do, I would go to my office later in the day and send them a personal note of acknowledgement.

If I see an attitude improvement in someone, I would note that.
If the lowliest sales person made some kind of significant improvement, I would send a note or an email, or a phone call.

If marketing produced a stellar marketing piece of some type, we would celebrate the merging of their creativity and ingenuity and their ability to wow the marketplace.

I would find ways of praising employees in front of their peers and celebrating their accomplishments.

Now note this – I would not concentrate on the super-star employees.  They already get accolades from upper management.  I would concentrate on the little people at the far end of the food chain – the ones who rarely receive any kind of praise.  They need love too. 

Can you imagine how the environment around that place would change if I had this job?  It would probably revolutionize the business.  I think employees would come to work earlier, hang around a bit longer after hours, increase productivity and turn-over would be reduced. 

Now, how is that for a profitability performance review?

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

Friday, June 6, 2014

Aim High

A Story:
It was the class after lunch.  Some students were lounging in their chairs as the teacher talked, making emphatic point after point. 

He paused, and looked over the half-lens reading glasses perched near the end of his nose. 

He cleared his voice, slapped his hand on the desk nearby and said, “Aim for the moon!”  His voice thundered in the small class room, echoing off the hard tile floor. 

“Aim for the moon.  And if you miss, at least you may land on the mountain top.”

The end!  But not really.

Love this thought:

Don’t fear failure.
Not failure, but low aim is the crime.
In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
~Bruce Lee

Class dismissed.

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

Monday, June 2, 2014

Some Words about Habits

Astounding fact:  “more than 40% of the actions people perform every day are not decisions but habits.”

That is a direct quote from The Power of Habit.

I had to mull that one over a bit and soon came to that same conclusion.  When I write on my computer, many of the words are now habits and I spit them out in a blur so to speak.  That is because I’ve formed the habit of writing certain words thousands of times over the past bunch of years.

Another nugget:  “Habits can be changed if we know how they work.”

Ah, understanding how they work is the key.  There are triggers with any habit, and when we analyze those triggers, we begin to understand the mechanics of this thing called habits.

This one stopped me in my tracks. 

“Habits never really disappear.”

All you do is create new tracks for your muscles and tissues to flow down and over time you create new habits.  The old one is still there lurking, and can be pulled back into play.  Do you really want to resurrect that old habit?  Consider that one carefully.

And finally:

“You brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits …”

Charles Duhigg is the author of this fine book.  Get your copy soon.

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