Monday, April 24, 2017

If at First ... Try Again

We perhaps learned this concept from childhood.  I’ve heard and read it a hundred times in my lifetime.  I’ve written about it in so many other blog posts.

And yet, I’ll take one more stab at it.

Failure Is Not Final!  No one is a success at first.  We get up.  We stumble.  We sometimes fall flat on our faces, or on some other part of our anatomy. 

And the better “me” says “Try one more time.”   
And so I do. 

And so you do too.

My first solo as a singer was not a pretty sight.

In high school, I embarrassed myself in front of a stadium full of people when I tried to play Wipeout and didn’t have the stick control required for that solo.  It was a bloody mess.  I guess you could say I wiped out. (Ha)

And I went back to the practice room the next Monday.  And I got better.

I love this bit from Michael Jordan …

We get better.


That is all I have to say for today.

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


Monday, April 17, 2017

The Story We Tell Ourselves

Sometimes, over time, we have the unique opportunity to change the story we tell ourselves.  In order to do justice to this idea, please allow me some personal pronouns as I tell a bit of my story to illustrate.

I grew up in a small town in Tennessee.  We weren’t the richest family in town, and we weren’t the poorest.  I ate three meals a day, had clothes on my back, a roof over my head and a safe family environment. 

The religion that was handed down to me has changed however.  Hang on.  This is not as gory or dissing as you may think.  Growing up in a southern, Bible-belt area, God was often presented as an ogre.  If I would ever dare to step one inch across the invisible line of right and wrong, God was just waiting to zap me.  He was more about judgment and finding something wrong with me than He was a loving and grace-filled God. 

I had to change the story I told myself about
my own relationship to God, and it came about through some great books, some sound teaching, and a lot of soul searching on my own.   

I had clothes, but they were not what I considered the most up-to-date fashions a lot of the time.  Later in life, when trying on a new, fashionable suit, I had to adjust the story I told myself – Am I worthy of this fine suit with matching tie, socks, and shoes?  You see, I didn’t feel worthy of the finer things of life.  After all, we weren’t rich.  I had to change from seeing myself as a dirty tennis shoe, torn jeans guy to one who was worthy of a nice suit.

I talked of being a writer for thirty years.  All during my career opportunities, writing became a part of my life.  I even published my first magazine article at age 28, but I didn’t consider myself a writer. 

I didn’t change that story until sometime after 2009 when I started blogging on a weekly basis.  At some point, I felt it ‘safe’ to finally refer to myself as “A Writer”.  It was a slow metamorphous but it began during that time.  And when I published my first book was about the time I felt I could really embrace the label of “writer”.

What stories do you still hold onto?  Are you a perpetual failure?  Do you see yourself as one who is unworthy of love?  Do you want a better job, yet you tell yourself “No, I probably can’t handle that.”?

You see … if we don’t ‘sell’ ourselves on an idea first, then the idea will never have the good soil in which to take root and grow and flourish.  We have to believe in the story we tell ourselves. 

This is no easy task, yet it is a critical point in leading what one may call a productive and successful life. 

Our story matters.  The words we use and the way we tell our story matters.  Perhaps it is time to spend a few hours, yes hours, in contemplation on this important idea. 

One fine day a few years ago, I set aside some time and began thinking about life, and career, and my strengths.  That was the day when I began to seriously change my story.  That was the day I started to see myself under the over-arching umbrella as an encourager.  The various ways of “how” I live this out have changed down through the years. 

I suppose I had a love affair with titles.  I thought the title said it all, and there was a certain amount of esteem found in having a regal sounding title.  Here are some titles I’ve worn: Minister of Music, Director of Marketing, Regional Director, Insurance Salesman, Banker, Writer and others, yet I have found ways to be an encourager in every one of those choices. 

And on that day of revelation, I finally realized that at the heart of it all, I am an encourager.  I may hold a certain position or title that pays the bills, and that is good, but at the end of the day, I am very good at encouraging others. 

What is your story?  How has it changed down through the years?  And how will it continue to evolve in the future to finally get to the core of who you really are?

That is the significance about which I write today.

My name is P Michael Biggs, and I am an encourager!

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

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Thing About Books

Books are my friends.
          Books are dangerous.
                    Books change me.

I’ve met some amazing heroes in the books I’ve read.  One of my favorites is Simon Potter in Og Mandino’s The Greatest Miracle in the World. 

Louis L’Amour introduced me to a whole passel of heroes and heroines in his westerns – especially the Sackett series.

And then there are the ideas that I glean from books.

Here’s a sample:
~You become what you think about.  (Various authors say that.)

~The four things to say to your close intimates before you die:  Please forgive me, I forgive you, Thank you, I love you.  (Ira Byock – The Four Things that Matter Most)

~The journey is long, the journey is hard, and the journey is worth it. (Unknown)

~You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.   (Zig Ziglar)

~When it’s all said and done, be sure and push publish – launch it.  (Based on Seth Godin’s advice said in multiple ways in multiple articles and books.)

~The dice don’t dictate. I don’t live by the roll of the dice.  I live by my ability to make choices.  (Seth Godin – What to Do when It’s Your Turn)

~Whose life are you living?   (Paulo Coelho – Warrior of the Light)

~Remember one thing, replied his master.  You do not drown simply by plunging into the water.  You only drown if you stay beneath the surface.  (Paulo Coelho – Warrior of the Light)

~It’s not our abilities that show what we truly are; it is our choices.  (Dumbledore to Harry Potter – Chamber of Secrets – J K Rowling)

Well, I could go on, and I’ve omitted a thousand great Christian quotes from my spiritual mentors.

The point is this -  books are powerful tools in our hands.  I always have multiple books going at any one moment in my life.  And my main resource for writing blogs is an ever-expanding document on my computer called Blog Ideas.  At present, it is 167 pages full of quotes and quips I have picked up in my reading. 

I wrote a post on May 23, 2016 – ABR - Always Be Reading  and it has zoomed to the top in this blog series.  What a surprise.  Some somebodies somewhere have picked up on that post and I suppose are circling it around in their sphere.  Thank you, whomever you are.

The main point – books are living entities.  They grow and expand a person’s horizons.  They enlarge one’s mind.  Books matter. 

Next time you are looking for something worthwhile to do with your time, pick up a great book and meet some new heroes and heroines.  Let a book expand your mind and heart.  Find encouragement in some great books of inspiration and spiritual insight.

I’ll end with this thought.

“One must be careful of books, 
and what is inside them, 
for words have the power 
to change us.”  
—Cassandra Clare
The Infernal Devices

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

Monday, April 3, 2017

Give Us the Finger

Want to give us the finger?  Then do this.

Put your finger to pen and paper and become a Shakespeare.

Put your finger to some piano keys and make music like Beethoven, Rachmaninoff or Chopin.

Grab a paint brush and dabble in colors – that’s what Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Renoir did.  Boy, did they give us ‘the finger’.

You could really make your mark if you fingered a pencil and designed homes and buildings like Frank Lloyd Wright.

There is a lot of talent resting in your fingers.  With the proper tools, an excellent education and great coaching you might just give the world the next generation of great literature, art, music, architecture, and business ideas.

You could be a great one if you use your finger in a good and productive way.

You really could.

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