Friday, May 31, 2013


Let me tell you a story from Dr. David Cook, performance psychologist.

In 1995 the women’s volleyball team at the University of Nebraska was ranked No. 1.  Their team had some amazing talent.  Five of the girls were all-American caliber players and then there was Kate.  Kate was an awesome girl, but she was the weak link on the team.  She often played out of position somewhat and she had some unorthodox moves on the court.

The pressure was immense on the team and their coach.  He considered several times whether to take Kate out of the first-string lineup. 

He consulted with Dr. Cook and shared his dilemma.  Do I take Kate out and play a lesser experienced player, or what?

Dr. Cook listened, said some good stuff, and then concluded
with this one.  “Game day is all about sowing seeds of trust.  Instill in your players seeds of belief and faith as their leader.”

The coach said he would mull over what Dr. David had said and make his final decision the next day.

The next day, as the girls prepared for their championship match, the coach walked onto the court and went straight up to Kate.  He put his arm around her, looked her in the eye and said, “Kate, I believe in you.  I trust you..  You’re awesome.  You’ve gonna have a great game.  This is what it’s all about.  This is what we’ve all been working for.   Have fun today, Kate.”

And then he went to each of the other girls and gave each of them their private words of encouragement and esteem. 

Kate was surprised by his comments, and her posture changed.  She had tears in her eyes, and she knew something was different. 

The match began. 

Kate had one of the most unbelievable games of her life.  She had averaged about1.4 kills per game.  In this final championship game she had 25 kills singlehandedly.  She had 21 digs and saves to go with it.  She single-handedly annihilated the University of Texas in that match.  She was named MVP for that championship game.  

A celebration broke out as the game ended.  Emotions were flowing.  The girls were crying.  It was a triumphant moment. 

Remember … Kate was the girl the coach wanted to take out of the lineup.  He felt she was a weak link and should be replaced. 

Finally the coach saw Kate.  She was still crying.  He ran up to her and lifted her chin, looked into her eyes and said, “Kate, you were so special today.  You set an NCAA record for a playoff game.  And it’s all because of you Kate.  What made the difference?”

Kate looked back at the coach, and through tears and a shaky voice she said, “Coach, It’s the first time you trusted me.”

Wow, that is an awesome thing to say.  

You trusted me.

Maybe you’re not a coach but you lead a team.  And if you have a player who is certainly capable but is performing at less than his/her best, what do you do? 

Do you communicate trust?  Does this potential star really “feel” your trust, your confidence and your respect? 

It’s an ago old adage – People can tell whether you care or not.


It is H U G E for leaders.  It is so important that we let those we lead know of our trust, our belief, and yes, our love for them as a human being and the potential contribution they can make.

But first we value the individual. 

Value the individual. 

Win whatever your game may be by valuing the individual. 

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

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Best Teachers

I've had some good, even great teachers in my lifetime; however, some of my best teachers were these:

Painful Moments:
I have learned hard lessons at the hands of pain.  It’s an emotional kind of pain that becomes the teacher and prompts me next time a similar situation pops up.  We use pain to get back to wellness.  I've had to endure some painful moments in front of large crowds and on the job.  Thankfully we can learn from these painful moments.

Agony is an ugly word.  I can still hear ABC’s Wide World of Sports and their phrase “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” just as the skier plummets off the incline. 

Talk about agony.  That poor person was not only in physical agony but emotional agony for having failed on world-wide television. 

Agony is a good teacher, if we are learners.

Divorce is a huge teacher, if we allow it.  We learn what doesn't work, we learn recovery and regrouping and hopefully we learn from our failures for our “next time” marriage.

I also think we learn a good lesson in trusting ourselves.  If we lose ourselves in a marriage and lose the ability to make certain decisions, a divorce can help us find that strength again.

Bankruptcy teaches us better financial responsibility, a more careful spending mindset and that we can survive even a bankruptcy.

Everyone loves “yes”.  We all hate “no.”  No is the better teacher.  We learn resilience, we learn to overcome, and we learn how to survive in the face of a mountain of “no’s”. 

Pity the person who never hears ‘no’.  That can teach one a false sense of how the real world operates on a daily basis. 

No teaches us to …
-Keep asking for the date
-Keep sending the book in for consideration
-Keep writing songs
-Keep searching for a better job
-Keep looking for the answer
-Keep expecting the next sale

“No” teaches us resilience.  Pertinacity.  Toughen up.

Have you had some good teachers? 

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

Friday, May 24, 2013

When the Father Figure Falters

Christianity is full of the metaphor of “The Father-image of God.”  That is well and good if a person had a good, even great earthly father figure to relate to, but what about those whose father crapped out on life?  Maybe he, or she, the parental influence role model, just really dropped the ball and left us in the dust? 

Victims of parental rape, incest, and child sexual abuse really have a tough time with this Father God concept. 

And then some of us have a severely distorted image of our fathers and mothers.  If our earthly father/mother was an ogre, one who was constantly trying to catch us doing something wrong, then we have developed a severely distorted image of a father figure.  How can we ever relate to a God who is so often referred to as Father God, Abba, or Papa God?

There is surely no grace in that kind of image.  How can we dare trust the mercy and grace side of God when our own earthly Father never offered us mercy and grace? 

The father photograph has faded.  It is tattered and torn, and ripped to shreds.

First, let me encourage anyone who suffers from a negative parental experience to seek therapy from a trusted counselor.  Find someone who can walk you through this tough maze of your life story and help you find level ground again.

In the scriptures, we are reminded of the story-telling of Christ through parables.  Time and again He tells us stories of a God of love and redemption and acceptance.  Christ came to restore the photograph of God to its original condition.  He wants to change the way we look at God.

In the story of the Prodigal Son, we see a God of compassion and love, longing for the return of His son.  And when the son does return, we see joy, redemption, immediate forgiveness and restoration. 

We see an image of a God of grace.  He welcomes His son with open arms.  No condemnation.  No sermon.  No rebuke.  No time spent in the time-out pen.

Love those images of God.  Love those pictures of a redemptive, esteeming and forgiving God. 

That is a photograph I would gladly hang on my walls. 

I believe in this restorative image of God.

Note this:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son.”
~John 3:16

Cast all your anxiety on him, for he cares for you.
~I Peter 7

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
~Psalm 86:15

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
~I John 3:1

My prayer is that your image of God will be fully restored to one of grace and compassion and you will once again embrace the great God of love, Abba God.

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

Monday, May 20, 2013

Make Up Your Mind

In Tennessee, I often heard the phrase “ I've made up my mind about …”

That means the person speaking has a resolute direction and sense of what needs to be done and they then set out to do that deed.

The importance of “making up your mind” is huge.  It determines direction, accomplishment, focus, self-worth and about a hundred other matters.

In the book Aspire we find this: 

The two most important days
of our lives are the day we were born
and the day we discover what we were born to do.
~Kevin Hall

I’m continually unwrapping this idea.  Are you?  I fully believe I was born to encourage and offer hope to mankind.  There have been a few different avenues down which I've traveled in pursuit of this, but the overarching idea for me is that I am an encourager.

I never question the “why” part of this idea.  However, I do constantly ask the “how” question.  How do I do more of this?  How do I do it better?

Forgive me if I seem to be using a lot of the personal pronoun “I”.  Hopefully you are reversing these thoughts and pointing the spotlight on your own life and asking hard questions such as...

What makes my heart beat faster?
What do I really enjoy doing, salary or no salary?
What do people often comment on about my life that might indicate a sense of “mindset”?

Making up one’s mind gives a tremendous sense of fulfillment and confidence, not to mention focus and clarity.

If I were to offer some suggestions for helping one make up their mind, here they are

~Take more than one personality assessment test. There are several great ones.  Compare and contrast the different versions.

~Read Strength Finders and go to a seminar.  My niece Sondra travels the country teaching these classes for corporations. 

~After you mull, consider, pray and discuss the results of your strengths and strong points, do the hard thing.  Work out a plan.  Take steps toward your fulfilling future.

~Remember that age has nothing to do with making up your mind and determining your destiny.  Your destiny for the rest of your life is from this point onward.

Above all … Make Up Your Mind!

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

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Trusted One

What do these people all have in common? 
Tom Hanks (Actor)
  Sandra Bullock (Actress)
    Meryl Streep (Actress)
      Robin Roberts (News/TV)

Diane Sawyer (News/TV)
  Katie Couric (News/TV)
    Barbara Walters (News/TV)

Oprah Winfrey (TV)
  Colin Powell (Military Leader - National Politics)
    Clint Eastwood (Actor)

These are ten of about a hundred of the most trusted people in America according to a recent Reader’s Digest article.

What is trust all about? 
Better question – am I a trusted individual?

Good news.  I have seventeen steps that can help you becoming a more trusted individual. 
No. 1 - Be consistently honest and forthright in all dealings.
No. 2-17 - See above

Now wasn't that simple? 

Seriously, trust is a much sought after character trait, and the proof is in the puddin’ as we used to say in Tennessee. 

Do you remember the 30-second to 2 minute rule?  The basic premise is this:

In human interaction, when we first deal with someone we have 30 seconds to two minutes to make a good first impression.  From the moment we approach the other individual we are being judged on our stance, clothing, facial expression, hair, and all other signals we give off.  The other person is making rapid assessments of us and they get to choose if they will like us, believe in us, will listen to us, will acknowledge us, and above all – will TRUST us, all in less than two minutes. 

This is HUGE!

People who are trustworthy might just have some of these character traits.  Listen up.

-Good eye contact
-An acceptable handshake – not limp, not fingertips only
-Turn your full body toward the one to whom you are greeting
-Head up, shoulders back, no slouching
-Use the other person’s name correctly and remember it
-Listen more than you talk, unless the meeting is about you
-Oh yeah – pull your pants up

There are some great books out there to help with all kinds of people skills.  One of the best is still Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.  I still read and listen to this book about every other year.

If you care about people and how your interactions go with them, then this is for you. 

Become a trusted one!

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

Monday, May 13, 2013

A No Limit Person

This is an important topic.  Listen up.

Our basic premise is this:

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it;
if you can dream it, you can become it.”
~William Arthur Ward

Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay Cosmetics said this:

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”

-What are your beliefs about yourself? 
-What are your self-concepts? 

-Have you identified those areas of your life in which you excel?
-If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?

-When you dream of your future, what do you see?
-Where do you live?
-What type of work are you performing?

If you can imagine it, there is a good chance that you can do it.

Listen to this timely advice:

“You have to believe it's possible and believe in yourself. Because after you've decided what you want, you have to believe it's possible, possible for you, not just for other people. Then you need to seek out models, mentors, and coaches.” 
~Jack Canfield

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts are things! And powerful things at that, when mixed with definiteness of purpose, and burning desire, can be translated into riches.”  
~Napoleon Hill

It all boils down to our belief factor. 
Belief in our dreams
Belief in our hopes
Belief in our abilities
Belief in our worthiness to have and hold onto a worthwhile dream

Go.  Dream your dreams.

Pursue them with passion.

Become the ONE who dared to live your destiny!

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

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Our Disposable World

We are people of the disposable society.  When an item loses it value we toss it.

It’s a sad thing to consider that we do the same with human potential.  So often, in the corporate world, an employee is only as good as his/her last 13 weeks.  Even if one has a five year successful track record, you could be tossed aside because you had a less than stellar 13-week run.

Where is the equity in all of that?  Are not individuals worth more consideration than “what have you done for me lately?”

I watched a video clip today on The Landfill Harmonic Orchestra.  This community does an amazing job of recycling discarded materials and turning them into playable musical instruments.  Click on this link.

If the above video link does not work, please click here

Maybe it’s time we find a way to recycle individuals as well.  There are some worthy organizations that do a very credible job of this. 

What about your workplace?  I’m not convinced that the workplace is stronger and more profitable for all the displaced individuals it has cycled through in the last twenty years.  Surely humanity is worth more consideration than their latest contribution over a short window of time.

Just a word to encourage all of us to value mankind.  Value the past contributions an individual has made and can once again make for the good of your organization.

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

Monday, May 6, 2013

Live on Purpose

In any city, on most street corners, you will find individuals who once had hopes and dreams, and along the way those dreams have been snuffed out.  These individuals had purpose and definition to their lives, and now - their purpose is to survive from one day to the next

Not a very glamorous prospect is it?

Some of us lose the capacity to keep our dream alive.  If you were to dream again, what would you dream? 

Listen to this;

“Only as high as I reach can I grow
Only as far as I see can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.”
(Karen Ravn)

The two most important days of our lives are (1)the day we were born and (2)the day we discover what we were born to do

Have you discovered what you were born to do?

I believe every person on this planet has a purpose for existing, including you.  You are a person of worth.  You have value.

I believe you have a destiny to fulfill by making some kind of significant contribution to this world.  Have you found it yet?

Another way to say this is – Are you living on purpose?

I can’t answer this question for you, but surely you have some ideas that will lead you to the answer.  If you are a bottom line person, then the bottom line is this …

Do you have the guts to step up to the plate and fulfill your life’s purpose?

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

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Eye of the Father

Let me tell you a story Brennan Manning tells in the book Ragamuffin Gospel.

“Once upon a time a two-story house caught fire.  The family – a father, a mother, and six children – were on their way out when the smallest boy became terrified, tore away from his mother and ran back upstairs.  Suddenly his head appeared out of a smoke-filled window and he was crying. 

His father called out.  ‘Jump son!  I’ll catch you.’

The boy cried, ‘But, daddy, I can’t see you.’ 

‘I know,’ his father answered.  ‘I know.  But I can see you.’”

When the smoke obscures our Father’s face, when we can’t see two steps in front of us, have no fear.  Our Father can see us, and He stands ready to catch us and take us to safety.

This is a huge part of my God concept.  God sees us. 

Do you have smoke in your eyes?  Is the way clouded with darkness and danger? 

Have no fear.  Take a leap into the big arms of God.  He sees you, He loves you, and He is very fond of you.  And He will catch you.

Be encouraged today.

Isaiah 41:10 says this …

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

And Psalm 46:1 adds this …

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

I believe He has His eye on us.

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