Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mistakes Stumbles Progress

One of the subjects I’ve written about often is at the heart of this one today. 

To set the stage for you, this is meant to be a purely inspirational and motivational piece of writing.

Let’s start with this quote.

Mistakes are necessary.
Stumbles are normal.
These are baby steps.
Progress, not perfection,
is what we should be
asking of ourselves.
~Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way

I don’t know of too many perfect people.  Even the best Christian I know is far from perfect.  Tellers in banks are supposed to be perfect.  Their cash box must balance at the end of the day with a $0.00 difference from their morning balance. 

Otherwise, life goes on for the rest of us.  We are mortal.  We live and die.  We think – sometimes with great acuity and at other times with great dunce-like floundering.

I love the phrase above – “These are baby steps.” 

BABY STEPS!  Who can’t relate to that?  I have a picture of my grand-son Eliot just as he is learning to walk.  Last week he turned six.  In this picture he is somewhere between 12 and 18 months.  

Just like all children, he stumbled, fell, and got back up hundreds of times.  

And so should you and I. 

You should see some stuff I wrote thirty years ago.  Actually you should not.

The bottom line is this – we get better. 

We Get Better.

I’m on a new eating regime.  I have gone gluten-free, sugar free and dairy-free.  Just last week I had some serious symptoms of sugar withdrawal, and I wanted to get my sugar fix.  And I overcame!

I made progress.  And now, one week later, those symptoms have pretty much left me alone.  For this sugar addict, that is a major accomplishment.

I wrote a piece a few years ago called Sometimes Ice Skaters Fall Down.  It, too, is at the heart of what I’m talking about here.

We grow every day.  We learn every day.  And some days are better than others.  It is a matter of moving in the right direction more than it is in doing it perfectly. 

Are you a studying some overwhelming subject?  You’ll learn and lose along the way.  You’ll learn new material and then promptly forget what you learned, however, keep on trying.  The brain has to go through a processing stage with the new information you’ve learned, and sooner or later you will master the material if you have fortitude and discipline.  I assure you of that.

My early years as a singer were painful for me and for my audience.  I sang flat, and I learned.

My early years as a drummer were fraught with dropped drum sticks on several occasions.  I learned to hold onto those sooner or later.

Some wise people say, and I agree, that if you are making mistakes and stumbles that is a good thing.  That means you are trying.


And now it is time to close. 

Remember this …

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

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Great Hunger

“There is more hunger for love
and appreciation in this world
than for bread.”
~Mother Teresa

The great cry of the human heart is to be recognized – to be valued an appreciated.  Mother Teresa’s quote resonates with my heart.  People from all stripes of life desire this, and I am dedicating my life to offering hope, encouragement and inspiration one word at a time to all of mankind. 

Last night Carolyn and I ate at one of our favorite places near Greenlake here in Seattle.  Our wait-person was a pretty 22-year-old and it was her second day on the job.  As she greeted us she said “It’s nice to see you.  How has your day been?”  We responded and then I asked, “And how are you doing?”

Here response:  “I’m doing great, and thanks for asking.”

She is a waitress.  She serves the public and she is eager to do a good job.  And she is just like you and I – she hungers for recognition and to be valued. 

She has good days, bad days, bills to pay, relationships to manage, and a family that lives 1000 miles away.  And she is new to Seattle and learning a new town and a making a new life. 

And yet the hunger persists.

I remember something Oprah Winfrey said on her last TV broadcast. 

“I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people 
on this show, and all of them 
had one thing in common;
They all wanted validation.”

Every person with whom you rub elbows is seeking an affirming word.  I readily see this here in Seattle and from the many readers who have corresponded with me at one time or another. 

Oprah also added this:  “Every person you meet is asking:
   “Do you see me? 
    Do you hear me? 
    Does what I say mean anything to you?”

People will respond to the right word spoken at the right time. 

My message for all of us is this:  Share a good word with those around you.  And when you do, you are adding a measure of strength to their being, and those words you say contain the seeds for helping them build their own validity within.

Will you join this army of encouragers?

I hope so.

And now, if you sometimes long for a word of hope, encouragement and insight, consider these.

You are now empowered!  
Go and live the full life 
God intends for you to live. 

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

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Power of Influence

One of my life goals is to be a significant influence on people with whom I come into contact.  How?  Encouragement.

How many influencers have you had in your life?  Was their influence something they said or something they did?

Can you name the person or persons who influenced you to pursue the line of work you presently pursue? 

Can you name the person whose style you emulate in music, or writing, or management, cooking or child rearing? 

And now you understand the power of influence

John C. Maxwell stated it very clearly:  “Anybody who helps somebody influences a lot of bodies.”  Your influence on another person influences those extended “other bodies” as well.

I’ve had some strong mentors in my life.  Many of them have been dead for years.  Others have spoken to my heart through books and audio recordings.

Everybody wants to be a “somebody”, and they need people like us to come along side of them, place a reassuring hand on their shoulder and say the words that reveal the bigger picture of who or what they may become. 

Listen to this:
~Most people don’t have faith in themselves.  
~They believe they will fail.  They see a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and think it is a train coming at them. 
~They see a difficulty in everything in life.
~Most people don’t have even one person who has faith in them.

And the interesting fact is this:  Most people will do anything to live up to your faith in them.  They want someone to have faith in them.

I love this John Maxwell quote: 

Do you want to be a person of influence?  Consider this.

Mary Kay Ash says this:  Imagine every person you meet is wearing an invisible sign around their neck and the sign says:  “Make me feel important.”

What better influence could we choose to be than one who makes others feel they matter?

And one more thought.

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

Thursday, August 6, 2015

When the Fit Shouldn't Fit

Have you heard some of these saying?
  Fits like a hand in a glove.
    Fits like two peas in a pod.
      They go together like Mutt and Jeff.
        Like jam and peanut butter.
When things fall in place it is like magic. When two pieces or two people fit together, you can see and sense the harmony at play. I love that.

I want to tell you a true story from when we lived in Nashville.

When I was four, my Mom and Dad were getting all of us ready to go to some event on a Saturday afternoon. Mom got me ready and then left to attend to one of my other siblings.

I stayed in her room and was looking over her dressing table. I found a box of plastic snap-together pearls that I just couldn’t resist. For some unexplained reason, I wanted to see how many of those pearls I could stick up my nose. I got three pearls up my nose before I decided I’d better stop and remove them or face the consequences.

I was able to remove two of them, but the last pearl was jammed in too high. It was lodged far up my nostril and I could not get it out.

Mom came back into her room to give me one last going-over before we left for our event. As was her habit, Mom used a hair pin to clean my ears and nose. When she put the bobby pin up my nose, she heard a click. She pushed a bit more and mused to herself, “What in the world?” She tilted my head back and saw this shiny orb starring back at her.

She called out to my Dad, “Jay, come here!”

Dad called back, “What’s the matter Mother?”

“There’s something wrong with Mike.”

Dad came, shined a flash light up my nose and saw the shinny pearl. He asked, “What have you done boy?” I had to tell.

He took me immediately to the Dr. Jackson’s office on the corner just across from our house.

Dr. Jackson laid me out on the examination table, shined a light up my nose and began pressing and probing on my nose.

All of a sudden he pulled on my arm and jerked me up off that table and put his hand under my mouth and the pearl rolled onto his outstretched hand.

That was amazing.

Years later, here is what I take away from this story.

Just because it fits, doesn’t mean it fits. Those pearls fitted perfectly in my nose, but they didn’t belong in my nose.

How many times have we tried to make things fit just because “it would be nice”, or “it looks so great on me”, or even “but I like her, she’s pretty”.

Sometimes we make things fit, like jobs, because “it is such a great company,” or “it’s in a great city and we have always wanted to live there.”

My friend Kris went to work one day with a brown shoe on the left foot and a black shoe on the right. They both fit his feet, but they didn’t “fit” from a fashion standpoint.

I read Strength Finder recently and took the assessment test on line. Now I have a better idea of my own personal skill set that fits me perfectly.

I’ve had some amazing careers already, yet my favorite is this writing and speaking thing that I do. It fits me perfectly.

What works for you? What fits your life and interests?

I hope you are making good choices, not forced choices, but good ones. And always remember this

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