Decisions

The next word in the 100 Day Challenge is DECISION.

You will make decisions for the rest of your life. Some will be minor, and some other decisions could literally be life-changing for you or someone else. So, think clearly and thoroughly. Even when we have all the facts and information we need to make a decision, we still might need some help, someone to bounce ideas off of. Do not discount that. There is much wisdom in seeking counsel from a few close advisers. It enlarges our vision and broadens our perspective.

Not all of your decisions will be easy. Some will be difficult. Some might even be wrong. You might be able to reverse some decisions, and you might have to live with others. Don’t make important decisions lightly. Trust the process. Do not be blinded by bias, emotion or lack of information.

Today’s Winning Thought: Do not be careless with the most important decisions you have to make.

Determined

Another word in my 100 Day Challenge: DETERMINED.

I end every word in my book SIGHT WORDS with Today’s Winning Thought. The winning thought for the word determined is this:

“Determination looks for the opportunities. It won’t take no for an answer.” _- H. Dale Burke.

You need hope. Hope is a powerful force. Determination can help provide that hope.

In this life remember that losers focus on what they are going through. Champions focus on what they are going to. Failure is not an option.

Be determined, especially when you meet with obstacles. And you will face obstacles. The world is full of people who have succeeded because they were determined and they never gave up. You are within an arms length of many of them every day.

Today’s Winning Thought: You do not lose until you quit trying.

Death

I have been rereading my book SIGHT WORDS as a 100 Day Challenge. This is the 22nd word. Today’s word is DEATH.

I am dying. You are dying. We are all dying every day. I do not want to focus on dying. I am focused on living. It is safe to say that at age 63, I am in the last quarter of my life. I am not looking at the end of my life. I am giving attention to the rest of my life. I want to make it count.

Take a few minutes this weekend and reflect on your life. How will you live going forward? I want you to live, and encourage others to live with purpose, to live with a sense of urgency, to live with no regrets.

I spent many years as a college basketball referee. You needed to be very focused at the end of a close game that came down to the final shot. Many games have been won on a shot at the buzzer. If the ball leaves the shooter’s hand before time expires, and it goes in the basket, it counts. If the horn sounds first, it does not count. In a basketball game, you can see the clock. You know when time expires. The clock is also running in our lives, but in this case we cannot see the clock. Unlike a basketball game, the clock will not stop for timeouts, or fouls or stoppage of play. But it is ticking away, and it will stop. We have no idea when.

I want to encourage you to live expectantly, to live for more than yourself. You and I will leave a legacy. We are writing it every day.

Psalm 90:12 reads, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Today’s Winning Thought: Life is short, no matter how long we live. Live wisely. What do you want to see happen before you die? What can you you do today and each day that will take you toward that purpose?

Creative

This is the 21st word in the 100 Day Challenge. CREATIVE.

I love the story I included in SIGHT WORDS that goes with this word. Mo Bridges was not your stereotypical teenager. He wanted to look nice because it made him look and feel good. He could not find bowties that he liked so, he started making his own using his grandmother’s scrap material. This kid makes me want to start wearing a bow tie occasionally.

I love that this kid wants to look nice. It reminds me of myself when I was his age. In high school, I think I only owned one pair of jeans. And I did not wear them very often. It was my dad’s fault. He took me to a Major League Baseball game. After the game I waited outside the locker room door in hopes of obtaining a few autographs. As the players began walking out, I stood there in awe. To say that they were dressed impressively would be an understatement. I saw enough to know that I wanted to look like them. Soon, the other kids at school started calling me ‘Preacher’ because I always wore slacks and a colorful shirt.

I can only imagine the way young Mo dresses. I will bet he is the best dressed kid within miles. Forget the clothes for a minute. The real message here is his attitude and his vision. As a young boy, Mo watched his mother work hard for someone else. He wanted his own company, and he created it.

Today’s Winning Thought: (Please share this with a young person you know). You do not have to take what life gives you. Be creative. Dream a little. Be bold. Be open to and play to the possibilities. And work hard.

Composure

COMPOSURE is the next word in the 100 Day Challenge.

In his book Twenty Talks To Teachers, Thomas E. Sanders said, “Composure, a level head, a knowledge of what you want done, and why you want it done and faith in your own ability to have it done gives composure to the whole school. Restlessness, lack of faith in self, fear of failure, these bring about the very conditions you are striving to avoid.”

You will not always avoid emergencies or tense situations. They will happened when you are not ready and least expect it. Do your best to remain calm and composed when many others around you are not. Be the surgeon in the trauma unit — the calm one.

Today’s Winning Thought: Remember what you are striving to avoid. Give composure to the whole place.

Confess

This is the 19th word in the 100 Day Challenge. And one of the hardest. It is CONFESS.

I love the writings of Max Lucado. He could write about Mary Had A Little Lamb and make the rhyme come alive and leave you in awe. About confession he writes, “Confession isn’t complaining. Confession isn’t blaming. Confession is coming clean with God.”

I have a confession to make. I don’t like to complain, I don’t want to complain, but lately I have complained — not just a little, but entirely too much. I am somewhat better at blaming, but I have done that too, as recently as yesterday. Some of those have been legitimate concerns, but I could have complained and blamed less, much less.

I have come clean with you and God. Hopefully, I will complain less.

Today’s Winning Thought: “Confession is radical reliance on grace. Confessors find freedom.” — Max Lucado

Communicate

Word 18 in the 100 Day Challenge is COMMUNICATE.

It is said that three keys to selling a home or property are location, location,and location. Using that thinking, you could say that three keys to success in business are communicate, communicate, communicate. No? Try to achieve any long term success without it.

Stephanie Melish is a sales trainer and corporate speaker. She said, “Communication is a big part of teamwork, and ultimately the key, the foundation to any success.”

Today’s Winning Thought: In business, and in life, you cannot communicate too much.

Counsel

This is the 17th word in the 100 Day Challenge.

Most of what I have learned about leadership, I learned by observing, reading, and asking for and taking the advice of people I trusted and respected. Any success I have had is due in large part to their wisdom and counsel. Some of my mentors are gone now, but others are not. I still observe, read and ask.

If you are married, I strongly encourage you to include your spouse on the list of people from whom you seek counsel. I write a monthly letter to 100 clients. I NEVER send the letter until my wife proof reads it. She has caught more than one mistake, and always has questions that make me think. I don’t change everything she suggests, but I value her input.

COUNSEL should not be a scary word. Do not be afraid to seek wise counsel. It isn’t a sign of weakness, it is a mark of wisdom. Seek the advice of those who know you, and have a lot of knowledge. Allow them to enlarge your vision and broaden your perspective. Weigh their thoughts carefully.

Today’s Winning Thought: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” — Proverbs 15:22

Commitment

Another word in the 100 Day Challenge. Today’s word is COMMITMENT. Think about these things.

If you are committed to something or someone, you will devote yourself unreservedly. You will need a plan and the discipline to follow it.

Most people fail, not because of a lack of desire, but because of a lack of commitment.

When you are committed to something, you do not accept excuses, only results.

Commitment is, as Jean-Paul Sartre said, an act, not a word.

One you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.

And you might have to fight a battle more than once to win it.

Productivity is never an accident, It is always the result of a commitment to excellence intelligent planning, and focused effort.

Today’s Winning Thought: “We need to differentiate between commitment and involvement. While they seem to be similar concepts, in reality, they are poles apart.” — Romuald Andrade

Character

100 Day Challenge: Day 15. Today’s word is Character.

Character is defined as the combination of qualities or traits that distinguishes an individual or group.

I read once that character is not made in a crisis, it is exhibited. People will see and remember how you walked through a test. Your reputation is what they think of you. Character is who you really are.

Know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character produces hope. Life’s difficulties are opportunities to build our character.

Today’s Winning Thought: When you face problems and persevere, your character will be strengthened.