Posts Tagged ‘Motivate’

perseverence

I was walking through our plant the other day and noticed an employee really struggling with a machine he was trying to operate. This guy was working hard, sweating and really under some pressure but what I found strange was his boss was nowhere to be found? As I surveyed the area closely, my eye came across his supervisor far off in a corner…almost hidden. When I went to see what he was doing, he told me he had his eye on this guy from a distance and he wanted to see how this young man would handle this equipment problem on his own. I turned around and looked back at the employee again with his head underneath the machine trying desperately to get the thing to run right and then I looked back at the supervisor…Clearly he noticed the look on my face and he said, “this is the kind of problem that can produce perseverance in someone”. I said, “perseverance?” where did that come from?” He said, “I have been doing this a long time…In my younger days, I would run right over right and help the newbies every time they needed help…but I learned over time, this method really didn’t help them…What they needed was to persevere through the problem until they figured out the solution on their own, then they became the kind of operator I wanted working for me”. I said, “Very impressive…and I agree with you”. But of course, that got me thinking about his lesson to this young man. So I went to the dictionary and I found the word; perseverance:

Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

Wow…I know the word and I use the word all the time but when I saw what it meant, I was kind of shocked. Perseverance was the word that was meant for our Iron Sharpens Iron blog audience…this is the foundation we are built upon because perseverance is exactly what God wants Christian men to have…a little fortitude…a little toughness and a whole lot of perseverance.

Even more important, God has something to say on this subject and I found the scripture to back this up for us:

Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

So now it makes perfect sense right? Do you remember that poor guy at the beginning of my post that was struggling mightily to get that piece of equipment to run? Well ultimately… he was successful and that success has made him a better employee…all because of the simple test his boss put him through…but I will point out one key point here…

HE DID NOT GIVE UP…He kept at it, even though it was hard…

And that is why God tells us that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. He already knew before you were made all of the various predicaments you were going to find yourself in that ultimately would be opportunities to show that you can “get up off of the mat” when you are knocked down. So don’t just lay there…get up!

If you are a Christian, you will be tested. If you are tested, then hang in there because you just read a few lines ago that this same testing and adversity will produce a character quality that is huge for you…perseverance…

Because when you finally achieve the ability to keep on, keeping on, in other words, perseverance. God will truly look down from heaven and smile on you…why?

Because He understands everything YOU went through to get there and He admires the person you became as a result…

Let me leave you with this verse:

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

Until next time Guys…

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I found myself complaining the other day about something I now don’t even remember what it was about but it got me thinking about fundamentally why my first reaction was to grumble about the issue in the first place? Have you ever done that before? When something happens the way you don’t want it to your first reaction is to gripe about it? It can be about small or even stupid things like “why don’t you do this right?” or, “why can’t you put this away correctly?”…But the fact I was doing this got me thinking about complaining or the idea of complaining for really no good reason at all.

I think you would agree with me that there are people in this world who should be complaining or have a more valid reason to complain. For example, when you don’t have enough food to feed your family or when you have lost your job through no fault of your own…those are the folks that should be complaining. But what I find interesting is in some cases, these are the people who don’t say anything. They just go about their business and go on surviving. If they lose their job, they work to find another one. If they can’t feed their family, they find another job to make some more money to help. Please don’t misunderstand me here, this is not a commentary on work ethic or our society, it is my observation that when the going gets rough, there are people out there who simply DO and don’t complain about it.

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Mark Woodard speak about his life experiences and his insatiable desire to be positive and to persevere, no matter what his circumstances. Guys, never in my life have I heard someone who should simply complain about his life and what has happened to him. Quick summary, when he was 10, a shotgun went off and blew half his face away. After many surgeries, he survived but he was totally blind. After receiving a 7-figure settlement, his drug-addicted mother stole most of his money and later on, a girl friend would steal the rest. Through many various struggles as a ward of the state, fights, adversity like I have never seen before, this guy struggles on. He won’t even think of quitting. He is now 25, and working to get a degree to teach blind people skills that he had to learn on his own. What I find inspiring is his perspective because complaining is not an option to him. He simply keeps persevering no matter what the odds are stacked against him. As I listened, I found myself asking what would I have done in his situation? Would I have persevered in the face of so many obstacles, or just given up? The fact that I began this blog with a confession that I was complaining about something unimportant made me realize that I wasn’t proud of myself in this area. Mark has somehow learned how to be content and persevere no matter what he faces in his life…and he can’t even see. Then I remembered something the Apostle Paul said in Philippians that brought the answer to me in a way I could understand:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:11-13

Suddenly I feel really stupid about complaining about anything. Sure, I have faced adversity in my life…we all have. But the key is understanding how to be content and NOT complain. The key is to keep on seeking God and persevering with all of our might…even when it makes no sense for us to do so. God has promised to never leave us or forget us…

 

Let me leave you with this very simple thought:

 

No matter what your circumstances may be, there is always something to be thankful for…

 

Until next time guys…

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Personal stories always seem to affect me in my heart. When you see stories of folks who change people’s lives because of their actions, I really like that. I found one of those stories that I want to share with my readers. This one is on a topic that sometimes I struggle with personally…my attitude. It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to choose…good mood or bad mood? Well actually…when things are good…good mood is easy but when things are not so good…maintaining that good mood is VERY difficult and that is why I share this post with you…because,

YOU…GET TO CHOOSE…enjoy…

Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate because He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” This guy was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of their situation.

Seeing his style everyday really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Michael replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or…you can choose to be in a bad mood. For me, I choose to be in a good mood.” Each time something bad happens, I can choose to either be a victim or…I can choose to learn from it…I simply choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or…I can point out the positive side of life. In every circumstance i come across, I choose to take the positive side of life.

“Yeah right, it’s not that easy,” I protested. “Actually yes it is,” Michael said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation we face is a choice and you get to choose how you react to those situations. You are the one who chooses how people will affect your mood. You either choose to be in a good mood or in a bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live your life and not anyone else”

I reflected on what Michael said and soon thereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch but I would often think about him when I made a choice in my own life rather than reacting to it. Several years later, I found out that Michael was involved in a very serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was finally released from the hospital with steel rods being surgically placed in his back.

I saw Michael about six months after the accident and when I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins…Wanna see my scars?” I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,” Michael replied. “Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or…I could choose to die…I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Michael continued, “…the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine but when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a dead man’. I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Michael. “She asked if I was allergic to anything.

‘Yes, I replied.’

The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled,

‘Gravity'”

Over their laughter, I told them, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude…I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday and you are still here and functioning. Remember…when you trust in Him…You have a reason to hope.

I truly pray you will make the right choice…but in case you forget, choose attitude.

Until next time guys…

A good friend of mine called me today hopping mad…well, maybe just frustrated but certainly not a happy guy. He was on his way to Los Angeles driving on a rainy Saturday morning to solve a problem that should never have been. You see, he is the man in charge of his project and he assigned someone to handle a job which in this case, was to cover up the roof of this unfinished building with plastic to thwart the coming rain. His employee performed the job similarly to how many people I have seen recently perform theirs…poorly…and as a result, the man in charge was forced to give up a Saturday of his life to solve the problem. Needless to say he was frustrated and he called me on his way up to the job site to vent. As the conversation progressed we started discussing leadership and how important it is to really anything that needs to be accomplished. From the football gridiron, to building anything, anytime there is a task that must be completed by a group it is the quality of the leadership that makes it happen. Now I’m the first to admit that leadership will only get you so far, you MUST have quality people in order to be successful. When you don’t have them, you end up doing what my friend is doing today…fixing someone else’s mistake and that affects everyone. Remember the old saying, ” you are only as strong as your weakest link”? I think we all know that statement to be true.

Recently I was watching my young son playing the game Madden NFL but he was doing it with a small twist. He turned off the games salary cap and was forcing trades thereby ending up with the very best players for his team. Now whenever he plays, he has an all-star team. He has Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady all on the same team? Can you imagine having the very best employees available all on your staff? For those of you who have worked in your industry for a long time, I’m sure you have worked with people you really enjoyed and there was a reason for that. Like me, if you were in charge, it’s because they knew their job and they cared about what they produced thereby causing you to admire their work ethic…or selfishly, because they made you look good…right?

Well the reality is we can’t have the very best people because they tend to get spread out amongst our competitors. Remember that part is all about the money. So what do you do to succeed with the group you have? You, You, You have to put forth quality leadership and get the most out of your people possible. Isn’t that what good coaching does? They put people in the right places in order for them to succeed thereby helping the company or team succeed. Don’t force that square peg into that round hole…you will regret that move…

But let’s get back to the beginning. My friend assigned a job to someone and that guy did that job poorly. This guy either has a good work ethic or he doesn’t. You can try to teach work ethic but I have found that to be difficult because many times it is how the person was raised that gives him his “approach to a problem” mentality. Unfortunately, in our world today, where we are struggling to stay in the black, companies just don’t have the time to spend on people who can’t simply step in and be productive. For me personally, I will give you one warning and then I must move on to the next person. That may sound harsh but my company’s success keeps many people employed and I will not allow a poor work ethic to spoil that success.

I will end with this. As a Christian, we are told in Colossians 3:17,

Let every detail in your lives-words, actions, whatever-be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Simply put, not just in our words, but in our ACTIONS, which is our work ethic, we must commit all our efforts (especially work) to Christ and we, you, will be successful…So keep your head down until the job is finished and done right…

Until next time guys…

We have all heard of Muhammad Ali. We know that he tended to be controversial because he was so outspoken. What I find interesting now is when you go back and listen to what he was saying, he knew who he was and what he wanted. Many of these quotes are truly inspirational. Bottom line, don’t let other people make up your mind about what YOU are supposed to do OR become…With Christ’s help, you can become exactly who He wants you to be…exactly who you are designed to be…Enjoy these quotes and a little commentary…

1. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Life is ebb and flow and most of the time you are relaxed, but every now and then you have to stick up for what you believe in. When that time comes…sting like a bee!

2. “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”

Stop procrastinating and live your dream…don’t put off what you can do and be right now!

3. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

Impossible is a cop-out. Impossible is for people who like to live inside the box…I prefer to think outside that box…how about you?

4. “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If not, pretend you are.”

Confidence starts with you…What can YOU do and what can YOU achieve…? You get to choose…

5. “What you are thinking is what you are becoming.”

If you are focused on what you can’t do, or the impossible, I can tell you what will happen…focus on your dream…

6. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

Life is too short to waste time on pursuits that don’t allow you to reach your mountaintop. Focus energy each and every day on reaching the next level…Every day do just one thing…

7. “What keeps me going is goals.”

Without goals, you are NOT accountable to yourself as well as how do you measure that you are going in the right direction. Goals keep you focused…Goals keep you motivated…

8. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

Life is about choices…You can be whatever YOU want…Make the right choices

9. “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

A friend of mine told me recently” Life is too short, drink the good wine first”…I like that.

10. “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”

I have found age to be only in my mind…I work hard to stay young….what do you do?

11. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you.”

I am NOT giving up on you…but you have to help…

12. “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

Another way to look at this is “when in doubt, shut up…”

So what do you think? I really liked these quotes and I hope you did too. Yea I know Muhammad Ali was a loud mouth that never stopped talking but he backed up what he said in the ring…and…after reading these quotes, it sounds like I should have paid more attention to what he was saying…

Guys, I included these quotes as inspiration towards facing a new day. I know you all are facing tough times like unemployment, or hours being cut or something worse. My words to you are don’t give up, keep on trusting in Jesus Christ for your life’s direction. He cares, truly cares and the best part, is he will never leave you OR forget you…No matter what your circumstances are, you are NOT alone…believe me…I leave you with these verses…

Psalms 91:9-16

If you make the Most High your dwelling–even the LORD, who is my refuge…then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.

Proverbs 11:17

I recently had an amazing experience with a young man who used to work for me at another company a couple of years ago. I can remember, everyday, I would see this guy working as hard as he could to do his job to the best of his ability. I don’t think I ever saw him without sweat just pouring off of him, doing what needed to be done. To make matters even more amazing, he would do his job with a huge smile on his face. One day I had the opportunity to speak with him about more than just a job going through our plant. I told him I appreciated his hard work and all his efforts and I remember saying I think you are a smart guy and you will move on and become more than just this entry level position to which I received a big smile again. I moved on to my next task and never thought about this again…

Fast forward 2 years. New company and new people and as I made my way through the plant and I see this same fellow working away only now he was running a much larger and more expensive piece of equipment. We made eye contact and I waved and he called me over and wanted to speak with me. He said, “do you remember me”? And I said, “of course I do Jose, how are you”, He said, “I remembered what you said and I kept working hard and now look what I have become”, and he held his arms out wide. Then it was my turn to smile…

Guys, I assure you I am just a regular guy like you and not an expert on human behavior and I’m not relating this story to you to bring attention to myself. I tell you this because of the realization I had that day about simply saying what was on my mind; something that was kind and true; and never realizing the impact my words had on him. As the man in charge or the leader of a household, it is easy to criticize others thinking they will be motivated as a result. Frankly, that is not the case. Negative comments cause animosity and frustration with whomever you speak with, your employees, your wife or your children. When you take the time to say something positive, you will reap a huge reward. Like me, you may find what you said helped motivate somebody to think they could be more…