Monday, October 28, 2013

Life's Rules #1

Today’s class will be a brief one so listen up.

Rule #1 for life:

If you do not go after what you want you’ll never have it.

Personal story:  For thirty years I have talked of being a writer.  No one came knocking on my door and asked me to write and speak for them.  By first putting myself out there with a handful of blogs and other work-related writing assignments I now have the confidence to say “I am a writer, and I have a history to prove it.”  And with three books published this year, the title of “writer” is mine to claim. 

Note the active part of me had to pursue this dream.  It is in the going after a dream that makes it come true.  

Very few people get married without first doing the asking part.  The popularity of any product or service we use today was first an idea in someone’s mind, and then the marketing team came along and went after their market share of buyers for their market niche.   

They asked for the order!

That is what effective sales people do.
That is what currently married people once did.
That is what any producer of goods and services must do – we ask for the commitment to buy, or join or use what we bring forth.

What are you going after?
P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Friday, October 25, 2013

Finding Meaning

Finding meaning and purpose in life is a pretty satisfying accomplishment.  We are all seekers in pursuit of happiness and success, and that looks very different to each person.

One of the more significant books I’ve read is Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning”.  Dr. Frankl was a victim of the Nazi concentration camps and he survived the experience.

How he survived is of interest to us in this space today.  Dr. Frankl concluded from this horrific experience that “man can only live by looking into the future.”

I doubt whether any of us reading this today have experienced the horrors of a prisoner-of-war encampment, yet the principle is true. 

Are you a stay-at-home mom?
Are you a career diplomat?
Do you sell gadgets?
Do you sing or write books?
Do you teach?

Then you must constantly be a person who is looking into the future.  We all have hopes and dreams, and it is in pursuit of those dreams that we find fulfillment and hope.

Many of my readers have their own faith-based religious views.  At the heart of those beliefs you will find a faith and confidence in the God of our understanding who gives our lives meaning.

Dr. Frankl observed first-hand that those who survived the Nazi work/death camps did so because they clung to hope for some kind of future happiness.  There is a deep sense inside each human being for a sense of purpose.  Mankind wants desperately to find meaning in life.

Frankl notes this:  “Man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz.  However, he is also the being who emerged from those chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.”

Finding meaning is the ultimate outlook on life.  Frankl says:  “Everything can be taken away from man but one thing – to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances; to choose one’s own way.” 

Dr. Frankl held onto the image he carried in his mind of his beloved wife and his hope for their future.  He saw many succumb who could have survived, yet perished because they lacked the will.  They lacked will because they lacked hope.

Man can only survive by looking to the future.  Meaning must
be found, not given.  

And so we bring this home. 

Where are you finding meaning in your life? 

Some find it in a highly fulfilling job.
Others in their family and kids
Religious beliefs are great sources for meaning in life
A sense of calling motivates others, and we’re not just talking about being a preacher, minister, priest or missionary.

In some ways I am called to write and speak, offering hope, encouragement, and inspiration one word at a time.

Meet a few of my friends who have found significance in their work.
~Chuck is called to the bookstore world.
~Ken is a genius at musical editing and arranging.
~Ronn is the world’s greatest symphonic orchestrator in my opinion.
~Myrle is one of the most engaging and knowledgeable policemen you would ever want to know.

What gives your life meaning?  Then do that one thing with all that is within you.  Do it with excellence.

Be great at your craft.

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Weight of a Burden

May I tell you a quick story?  (Unfortunately the origin of this story is lost from my files.)

A young lady confidently walked around the room with a raised glass of water.  As she paraded around the room she simply held the glass of water high in the air and said nothing. 

Everyone thought she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'  She fooled them all. 

She asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"

The answers ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it.  If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.  If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.  If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She continued, "And that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on.  

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.  When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time we practice.”

She added more wisdom:  “So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night.  Pick them up tomorrow.  Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment.  Relax; pick them up later after you've rested.”

And she concluded with this:  “Life is short. Enjoy it now, and learn to manage the stressful moments.” 

Here are four stress management strategies to consider and the link to follow for the full article.

1.     Avoid unnecessary stress
-Learn how to say no
-Avoid people who stress you out
-Take control of your environment
-Avoid hot-button topics
-Par down your to-do list

2.   Alter the situation
-Express your feelings instead of bottling them up
-Be willing to compromise
-Be more assertive
-Manage your time better

3.   Adapt to the stressor
-Reframe problems
-Look at the big picture
-Adjust your standard
-Focus on the positive

4.   Accept the things you can’t change
-Don’t try to control the uncontrollable

-Look for the upside
-Share your feelings
-Learn to forgive

Follow this helpful link to

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

Friday, October 18, 2013

It's Dark in Here

When the dark places appear we crave light.  When the way is dim, we look for a ray of hope.

Dark places can be scary and full of uncertainties.  Our minds can run wild with all kinds of “worst case” scenarios in the dark.  We hear sounds, we see shadows, we imagine the worst.  I hate dark. 

When my step-daughters were ages 1 & 3, Haley would often awaken in the early morning hours crying and come and get me.  She was afraid of the dark and saw all kinds of horrifying imaginings.  My job was simply to assure her and help dispel the dark.

When it is dark, we want - we need light. 

Some friends of mine are in a dark place right now.  The husband is having a tough time with his medical diagnosis.  Just this week, the wife posted this on Facebook.

“I found myself crying out to my Heavenly Father this week, “It’s dark in here and I’m scared.” 

She continued. 

“We are choosing to place our trust in the one true light, Jesus.”

Is there a better place to which to turn? 

Here is what I know. 

“I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
~John 8:12

“Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
~Psalm 139:12

“You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”
~Psalm 18:28

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.”
~Psalm 46:1

When the dark places come …

~Hold tightly to the one who sees in the dark
     ~Who leads in the dark
          ~Who comforts in the dark

Always know this - even in the dark places you are never alone. 

He is God Almighty.

He is with you.
P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sometimes I Steal

Sometimes I steal and I’m proud of it.  Furthermore, I feel no need to go for confession to a local synagogue or church.  I am a bold thief. 

And what have I done with what I’ve stolen down through the years?

I've used this stuff in some amazing ways and added joy to my life and others. 

“Wait just a minute,” I can hear some say.  “You’re better for it?”


“And what, pray tell, have you stolen?” comes next.

Okay, you might want to sit down for this one. 

~Once I stole a certain directing style from Jim in college.
~I stole some turn-of-a-phrase concepts from my friend Harold.
~I stole some leadership tips and techniques from Bob once.

~Oh yeah.  One time, this is really cool, I stole, are you paying attention, I stole some integrity concepts and life-style role model moves from Jim.

You see, I’m a habitual thief.  If I see an idea that I can take and apply, when you’re not looking I’ll steal it. 

Now, I came by this naturally, and along the way I've had a little help from some other fellow thieves. 

I recently was vindicated for this thieving habit.  Daniel Coyle wrote a little book called The Little Book of Talent.  He titled a chapter with this audacious name:  

So don’t blame me. 

There are others who have nurtured this nature in me.

Pablo Picasso said:  “Good artists borrow.  Great artists steal.”

Daniel goes on to encourage us to borrow ideas, techniques and styles from others and use them until our own style and characteristics begin to emerge. 

And honestly, you can blame part of it on my family.  I was the last boy of five boys, and four sisters, (Lynn came along after me) and I stole a good bit of lots of different stuff from them.

So have others who came late in their family tree.

~Andy, the young one of The Bee Gee’s
~Youngster Michael Jackson,
~Young Nick Jonas
~Mozart was a later sibling
~J.S. Bach too
~Yo-Yo Ma - also

They all were the babies of their families.

So, I suppose you could say I’m a thief and I’m right proud of it.

In college I learned some of my humor from the likes of Mike Ross, Tom Cook and a whole host of others. 

As a drummer I stole from Gene Krupa, Joe Morello, Buddy Rich, Sandy Nelson, and Lloyd Graham.

Want to be great at your craft?


… And then make it your own.

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

Friday, October 11, 2013

What Does God Think about Me?

It’s an age-old question – what does God think about me?

We wonder sometimes if God even knows our names or knows we exist.  In harsh and bad times we think God has gone out of business and His phone has been disconnected.

Take heart – God is open for business, His phone works and His lights are on. 

I love this thought.

“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.”
~Max Lucado

And if that’s not enough, remember this.

“If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.  He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.”
~Max Lucado

I love Brennan’s words:

“My Father is very, very fond of me.”
~Brennan Manning

Some other stuff that I know about God:

His storehouses are full.    

His mercies are new every morning.  

He grace is sufficient for all trials.   

He has a short memory – “he never remembers past sins.”  

He loves me so much that he counts the hair on my head.

He never slumbers or sleeps. 

When God laid the world’s foundations, you and I were at top of mind.  

Have you noticed that there are no qualifiers listed here?
You can be Episcopalian, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Presbyterian, Nazarene, or Assemblies of God – even Baptist.

You can speak Swahili, Hindu, Arabic, Southern, French, the Slavic languages or any other language, and He still puts your picture up. 


You may not go to church at all.  And God will still put your picture up in a prime place on His refrigerator.  How about that?

That is the great love of God at work on behalf of all of us. 

He thinks about you, He plans for you, He has a future with hope all mapped out with your name on the passport.  

Isaiah tells us that He knows us by name.  

While we were still in our mother’s womb, God was thinking of us. 

What does God think about you?

He thinks:  I not only love you but I like you a whole lot.

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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Top Five Blogs (2013)

We received an amazing number of hits on this idea in September 2012 and I thought there was room for an update.  Here are the top five blogs of all time based on the number of clicks each one received.

Be careful.  There is some inspiration and encouragement ahead. 

July 14, 2011 
(This one remains at the No. 1 spot)

September 15, 2011
(Based on a Steve Jobs quote, this one was way down in the rankings, and look at it now.)

May 3, 2012  (This blog remains as No. 3, same as last year)

4. Where Is God
September 13, 2012
(This was No. 2 last year.  It is an image piece)

5. More Than a Label
October 11, 2012
(This did not make the Top 5 last year)


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

Monday, October 7, 2013


The Letters is a soft cover book containing 100 letters from God, offering hope, encouragement, and inspiration.  You will hear the heartbeat of God in every letter, and you will see that God not only  loves you, but He is very, very fond of you.


This book is for common man/common woman, regardless of your dialect, your dress style, where you live, what you eat, and whether you go to church or not.  If you have ever had a moment when you cry out to God, your cries are heard and He always stands ready to walk with you through whatever crises or condition you face. 

The Letters is now available at most major bookstores.  Ask
for it by name, and use the author name of P Michael Biggs. 

Or you can order NOW - From Amazon

Thank you.  Be encouraged.  God is on your side. 

P Michael Biggs

Perfectly Imperfect

The quest for perfection – what a race!  It’s like a cat chasing its tail.  And the cat never quite catches its tail. 

I would love to be perfect.  Carolyn would love for me to be perfect.  My step-children and grandchildren want me to be perfect. 

Wait a minute.  Wait just a minute.

That ain’t gonna happen – for me or for you.

I've been soaking in Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection lately. 
Brene says this:  “Deep down we want to take off our game face and be real and imperfect.”

Wouldn’t that be a luxury - to really become real? 

But wait … Brene says more:

“Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: ‘If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment and blame.’”
~Brene Brown
The Gifts of Imperfection

I've had this quote in my ‘Idea' files for some time now and it fits perfectly with what we are saying.

There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen (Song)

We sometimes get cracks.  We think we’re perfect so we cover over the cracks.  We spackle, we paint, we lose weight, we buy new clothes or a new house, we drive fancier cars, we get a new hair-do, we buy a new watch, yada – yada – yada.

We go into control mode and fix our imperfections to perfection – or so we think.

We spin a tale, we paint a picture, we hide the truth, we hide our faults, when often the real us needs to come through and be loved exactly as we are.

Believe it or not, there is beauty in the cracks.
  The un-shined shoes
    The slightly askew necktie
      The burnt toast
        The messy house
          The unwashed car

Brene makes an incredible comment that I would like to broadcast to the world:

“Our imperfections are not our inadequacies.”

We are all imperfect on some level, or many levels, yet we keep going.  We keep marching ahead, we keep learning and growing and relating, because we are all in this together.

Anne Lamott is another favorite of mine.  In a Facebook post recently she told this story.  Allow me to paraphrase.

Anne told the story of visiting a friend whose husband had passed away recently.  In a gesture of offering solace, Anne leaned down to give her friend a hug and accidentally bumped  another guest’s elbow nearby and caused her to spill coffee on her friend’s bed covers.

Of course Anne felt horrible, however, her friend cried out, “I hope it stains, so I can remember the beauty of this morning forever.”

That is the gist of having perfect imperfections.  We see beauty in the scars and mars and mistakes and blunders. 

Have you been feeling a bit un-perfect lately?  Me too. 

And we are still worthy.

Worthy of love and being loved and of being recognized as a human being with wants, dreams, wishes and desires of being validated.

You can order a copy of Brene's book. 

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

Friday, October 4, 2013

Soiled by Life

We can get knocked about, disappointed, discouraged, put down, knocked down, stomped on, put in our place, mussed up, messed up, even knocked up, and then what?

Life is hard.  Help!

Throw me a lifeline!

And when the lifeline comes, it wears many clothes, takes many shapes, and contains all kinds of disguises. 

But it does come. 

                    The lifeline does come. 

Here are some lifelines I've found to be helpful.

And if you are a person of faith, then you also add some of these thoughts to your game plan.

Be encouraged today.  

Soiled by life?

Come to the one who can clean you up. 

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