Monday, October 30, 2017

It's In You

Once upon a time the great violinist Nicolo Paganini was performing before a packed Opera house.  As he walked on stage he suddenly realized that he held a very strange violin in his hands, not his own treasured Guarneri violin. 

After a moment of sheer panic, he pulled himself together and began to play with all the skill he possessed.  Afterward, everyone agreed that he had given the performance of a lifetime, and he was rewarded with a marvelous standing ovation. 

Later, in his dressing room, Paganini said, “Today I learned the most important lesson of my entire career.  Before today I thought the music was in the violin.  Now I know the music is in me.”

I just went on a search for a movie clip I haven’t seen for 45 years.  It is the story of a boy named Oblio who was born with a round head in a world where all the other people had pointed heads.  The final capstone to the story is this: “You don’t have to have a point to have a point.”

Harry Nilsson wrote this amazing film and music, The Point.  It is such a profound idea on this whole concept of what I must have to fit in and be successful.

We don’t need the brand name clothes, the latest shoes, and whatever gadget happens to be the next big thing.  I have some of those and I am grateful, however, I was a writer before I got my Mac Air. 

We use what is at hand.  We use the tools available.  We make our mark with what is around us.

Paganini made glorious music by using a second-rate violin. 

It really does come down to finding what is within and bringing it out.

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


Monday, October 23, 2017

My Back's Against the Wall

When your back is against the wall and you only have a limited number of options from which to choose, what then?  That is the unfortunate place I find myself today.  

On Tuesday, October 17 I was put in the hospital with a severely weakened heart short of a heart attack.  My prognosis was not very bright.  They even wanted to delay heart-bypass surgery until January.  I have now been upgraded to December and I take that as a positive.

So, my back is against the wall.  I have moved from what once was a leisurely stroll through life stopping along the way and sampling life as I chose, to an on-purpose approach with great mindfulness in every decision - every bite. 

I chose what to eat.
I chose how much, if any, to exercise.

And now, my back is against the wall.  If I want to get off this wall, there are some strategic decisions that must be made.  You see, my doctor said this: “I can give you another twenty years, and here is what needs to happen.”

I choose to keep going another twenty years.  I choose to get away from this wall and begin making better choices.  I’ve had my time of free-wheeling and now I get into the game in a better way.  Already, my blood pressure is in normal ranges, my blood sugar numbers are coming down.  I’m finding some amazing foods that satisfy and benefit my body.  I’m choosing better stuff for my life.

This is not a negative post at all.  It is not a ‘poor me’ monologue on my miserable set of circumstances.  It IS a declaration of my intent to spend the next twenty years of my life with a mindfulness that benefits my body. 

Walls sometimes serve a purpose.  You can lean on them for a moment, or you can come up against one, find it an unmovable force, and learn how to come away from the wall with a different game-plan. 

Walls can teach a person a few things.

I’m willing to learn.

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

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Conceiving Mind

Our minds are imagination machines.  We dream, we form ideas, we devise plans to bring about what our minds imagine.  When an idea is born in our minds, and we partner that idea with a huge belief mindset, then watch out.  We, perhaps, have jump-started a chain reaction toward a worthy and worthwhile achievement.

Napoleon Hill and others state this so well:
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

This idea prompts me to want to go back to what John Maxwell calls his “thinking chair”.  It is his place to go to when he wants to commandeer those illusive and fleeting thoughts and ideas.  Next to this chair, John keeps a pen and note pad in order to capture the thoughts that come to mind.  My version of this is the always-present Mole Skin notebook.

Ideas call at odd moments of our lives and we have to be ready to capture them in the wild. 

One of the synonyms for ‘conceiving’ is ‘apprehending’.  We capture ideas.  I’m in the beginning days of launching my podcast.  My wife, Carolyn, has been a major influence on me in starting this, for she is an avid podcast listener.  Over time she has ‘apprehended’ dozens of ideas for making a good and a bad podcast, and now she is passing along her wisdom to me. 

I remember the day when I ‘apprehended’ my ideas on what I do best.  I did exactly what John Maxwell recommends and locked myself up in my room and began a serious assessment of what is it that I do best above all else. 

The answer, for me – I am best at encouraging others.  I often see a spark of something good in someone and I want to help bring that spark to a roaring blaze.  If I see a person down on themselves, I begin looking for something positive and good about them and find ways to point that out.

My mind is nothing more than a birthing room for my next great idea.  And so is yours. 


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

Monday, October 9, 2017


I have a very nice microphone to the right of my desk.  I’ve had it for four years, and just recently decided to take advantage of the opportunity this mic affords me.  I’ve launched my podcast.

It’s a $100 microphone.  And it’s an opportunity to spread my version of Up-Words to those who will listen. 

I’ve had jobs presented to me as “opportunities”, and projects on the job presented as such. 

What opportunity is starring you in the face?  What tool in your toolbox could open up a thousand doors if used and exploited?

I know a violinist who is second fiddle with the Seattle Symphony.  He could have held out and said, “No way.  If I can’t be first fiddle, then I won’t fiddle at all.”  Instead, he says, “I love playing second fiddle.  I get to make harmony, and I love playing.  So, bring on all the second fiddle opportunities you want.”

You can hold out for a TITLE if you want, and you may miss some opportunities disguised as 2nd fiddle.  Beware, every opportunity, large or small, important or seemingly insignificant, is nevertheless an opportunity to lead us on down the road to our own personal best and personal fulfillment.

Bring on that opportunity and let me see what I can make of it.

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