Reading

I’ve been searching and searching my brain and heart as to what is next on my blog topic list.  It’s been 15 days, and still nothing.  When in actuality God has been telling me what to write for a while!  I just haven’t opened my heart to hear His answer.

I am excitedly a part of an amazing community called TEAM LIFE!  Through this leadership training I have learned MANY great principles of leadership.   The one that sticks with me the most is Laure Woodward’s famous quote “Leaders are readers”.  Why is this one the one that I can’t get out of my head? I think I finally let God in and He answered that question for me.  It is the next most important skill I need to excel at.

Reading is my ‘worst enemy’.  Since as long as I can remember, I’ve always hated reading.  I have some collage textbooks that were not cheap, still to this day wrapped in that clear plastic wrap.  Every beginning of each semester I’d tell myself, ‘This is the semester I am actually going to read all the books from my classes’.  Well guess what happened? Nothing.  Those books sat there, never opened. The only use they had was to collect dust!

Then I started this leadership business, and I started to fool myself again.  I’m going to read the top 5 books in 5 months- guess what happened after the 5 months? I had started 2 of the top five and didn’t finish any!  My mentors Holger Spiewak and Larry Allswede helped guide me how to read the right way.  Not just skimming the lines, but taking notes, highlighting important parts, doggy earring the major pages, etc.  This worked for a while! I actually got through the top 5 at least once! Whoo! What a defeat!

But then what happened when I had to take ownership of my reading?  Back to the old habits…. Facebook was the last thing I did before bed, just before that, I’d watch part of a movie, or tv show, etc… anything besides reading… It felt like a chore to open the book.

Then I’d hear the other famous quote from this time Terri Brady, “A habit truly becomes a habit after 30 days of doing it.  Miss one day and you have to start all over at day one.”  Ok, so let’s try that.  In the words of Tim Marks, “just 15 minutes a day”.  So I did that, 15 minutes every day I would read.  And lone behold, my thinking started to change, and my growth was outstanding! It worked! I was a better reader AND leader!!!

So how long did that last? Remember Terri Brady’s quote? “Miss one day, and you start at day one”.  And I guess I wanted to test that theory out.  One day turned into two, turned into a week.  Next thing I knew, I stopped reading again.

It has been on my mind all the time; it’s in all the teaching through LIFE, Bill, Holger and Larry.  Why can’t I keep up my reading? Why is it such a chore?  As Claude Hamilton says “The biggest lie in life, is that the price of success isn’t worth it”.  He also said “Sacrifice is nothing other than the production of sacred things”.  What does this mean? Basically What Claude is telling me is I need to buck up, forget my past failures and move on no matter what it takes, no matter what the cost is.  As I’ve heard Orrin Woodward say many times “go into the store of success, what’s the cost of success and PAY IT!”.

So here is my challenge to myself, and to you, my readers.  God has put it on my heart to help more people out there struggling with the same wall as I am, reading.  So I’m making a commitment to you, my readers.  I commit that at least once a week, I will write a blog post teaching you what I learned form my readings for that week.  I will not be reading a Twilight book, or a Harry Potter book.  I will be reading books that the top 1% leaders in the TEAM recommend to read.  Starting with the TOP 5 books, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling, The Magic of Thinking Big, How to Have Power and Confidence in Dealing with People, How to win Friends and Influence People and Personality Plus.

My challenge to you is this; let’s do this together, as a TEAM.  After I post what I learned, I would love to hear your comments what you’ve learned from this same reading.  I think this will be great for everyone who wants to better their thinking and become better readers.  As Laure Woodward said, “Leaders are readers”.  So let get our reading on and start the process of becoming the BEST at reading!

With all my love to you!

God Bless,

Beth

First book: How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling (first 50 or so pages).  If you don’t have these top 5, I recommend grabbing them as fast as you can from your mentor or through LIFE.

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Human Touch

The topic that came to my heart today to express to you all is human touch.  And I don’t mean physical touch, but the emotional touch that we all truly have on one another.

When you are first born you have that emotional connection with your mother, and father.  A bond that can never be broken.  You completely depend on them for your every need-your survival.  Over time that need transfers to yourself.  You become a more independent person; you take care of your every need.  But then one day, when you least expect it, your prince charming comes in and steals your heart away.  That bond is then formed between you and your husband.  A bond formed with God is unbreakable.  I, being a single lady, have always yearned for this bond.  It is very hard for me to remember that Gods timing is perfect and it will happen when it’s meant to.  But that doesn’t change the fact that every human being yearns for this bond.  Why is that? What is so special about this bond?

As a little girl, you day dream every day about your fairy tale ending.  You are a lonesome girl going along your merry way, then a knight in shining armor comes and fights off the bad guys and sweeps you off your feet, literally, and then you get your happily ever after. If only it were that simple, right? But what I see every day in ‘real life’ is what makes that bond so strong.  It’s all the experiences you and your spouse go through that make your relationship so strong.  Many times growing up I saw firsthand what a marriage under God meant.  My parents lived a Godly life and are still happily married today! You’re laughing? You say there is no such thing as happily married? Well I will just have to disagree with you on that one.  I know there are a ton of friends I know that have a happy marriage. Yes you are correct in thinking that there are a lot of broken marriages out there, unfortunately.  So many people have lost their hope in faith.  I strongly believe that if you put God at the center of your relationship, you can work through anything together.  Today so many people want the easy way out.  They think once a small struggle comes it’s time to leave, when in fact when you took your vows with God, you told Him you wanted to be with that person through anything ‘in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, till death do we part”. Did we all forget what we said? Or is it that we have no integrity behind what we promise to our friends, our family, our spouse, ourselves, to God?

My post today is not meant to discuss the ridiculousness of the divorce rate and the lack of integrity in a marriage today, I simply wanted to make a point that a Godly marriage takes time, takes work, a lot of work, from BOTH sides! And when you do this, with God, you will form that special bond and have ‘your fairy tale ending’.  Your fairy tale ending doesn’t include a fight less life, where everything is peachy-keen.  No, when you struggle through life WITH your spouse and God, conquering all of life’s struggles with your best friend and God on your side, there is no stronger bond being formed.

For some reason, God has been putting examples of this in front of me.  Several times this past few weeks, I’ve had old ladies come into our store, and they get talking.  About any and every thing.  Well these few ladies always talked about their husband.  And they talked about them the way I hope to someday talk about my husband.  Then tears would come, and we’d share some tears and she told the story about how he had passed.  How their bond was so strong, she depended on him and him on her.  Now that he’s gone, she feels lost, like a piece of her is missing, and she can’t get it back.  Like half of her heart was stolen.  Not that I wish this empty pain on anyone! But you can tell they had a Godly marriage.  One that had their good and bad days, but had the love of each other and God in everything they conquered together.

Through all my mentoring with TEAM leaders Holger and Lindsey Spiewak, and Larry and Stacey Allswede, I know what kind of man I know God will lead me to, someday.  I know God has my heart, and knows my desires.  I have to learn patience until that magical day when my ‘knight in shining armor’ comes and sweeps me off my feet!

That emotional bond between a husband and wife is desired by all humans.  And when it is scared by hurt and painful encounters, it is hard to believe that that bond is true.  But with faith in God, I know he will lead us to our soul-mate, our best friend.  The one whom we are to rely on, with our everything.  There are many, many teachings about marriage in the bible and in the LIFE subscriptions. I strongly recommend checking them out and talking with a mentor who has a successful marriage, not someone who’s been through 5 divorces, messed up relationships, and just an unhappy person.  Find someone who isn’t perfect but is striving to be a person of God, and has a relationship that is built on a foundation lead by God.  You can’t go wrong when God is on your side.  I strongly believe that every great relationship that is forming that special bond, that emotional human touch that EVERY human longs for, starts by accepting God into that relationship.

When I teared up to that lady in my store, and to a man who told me he doesn’t even know how to write a check because his wife took care of that, my heart broke for these people.  For everyone who loses that person who they formed their bond with.  I know that someday I too will have that bond, and I can’t wait.

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The Joys of Thanksgiving!

Hello to all my wonderful readers!! I welcome you to this grateful holiday!  What a great holiday to take the time to look at all your blessings and give thanks!

I know the history of Thanksgiving, where we all get to eat a huge meal and prepare for an early morning with crazed shoppers…. Oh not the modernized history that one thinks instantly when the word Thanksgiving is spoken… but the true meaning behind Thanksgiving.

Here is a great article from History.com about Thanksgiving.  I recommend you check it out to brush up on our Thanksgiving history, like I needed to!

I loved this article because It tells the story how when the pilgrims came over and landed in Massachusetts they were fighting the winter and with many contagious diseases that took about half of their passengers on the Mayflower ship  who came to the new world to start anew.  Once springtime came, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe helped the pilgrims learn how to plant and grow food, how to collect berries/maple/etc.  Squanto ignored his tragic history of being captured and sold into slavery by the English, to where he escaped and got back to his home in the US.  He put that behind him and helped these English travelers to find food so they wouldn’t starve.  And after the first successful harvest of corn, the governor planned a celebratory feast, which we now call Thanksgiving.  Their celebration lasted for 3 days! There is a lot more to the story, so I urge you to read the article to get the full effect, but the pilgrims celebrated their thanks to the Indians who helped them in their time of need.  And we still today celebrate the coming together of man, no matter how different they may be. Although today many have forgotten the history behind this holiday, I urge you to remember who you are thankful to, or thankful for.

In a lot of ways the TEAM Leadership reminds me of these actions.  They go out every day fighting for others, no matter who they are, no matter where they reside, it doesn’t matter.  They are willing to sacrifice their lives to help others. This servant leadership is similar to Squanto’s, and I am thankful everyday that the TEAM Leadership, especially Holger and Lindsey Spiewak and Larry and Stacey Allswede, helped me in my time of need.

I am truly thankful first and foremost for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  If it weren’t for His grace, I know I would not be here today; He saved me from my sins as He did yours too. All the glory goes to Him.  I am also very thankful for my family.  No matter what happens in life, I know they will be there for me, to pick me up, to laugh with me, to fight with me when I need it, to lead me, everything they are there for.  Their support is world class! Especially my parents.  I am so thankful my parents are still very happily married!  They are without a doubt a great example of a marriage I hope to one day have.  As many of you know, my family is one of the biggest motivators in my life.  I fight so hard even against myself so I can make sure they are taken care of.  Just thinking about them brings tears to my eyes. I know a lot of people think this, but I can tell you I have THE best family in the world! I would give anything for my family; I am so blessed to have them.

I am thankful for many, many things. A few of those are food, shelter, an income, a working car (for now!), clothes to wear, shoes on my feet, toothpaste, and most importantly… cable tv!! (haa just kidding on that last one!)

So this Thanksgiving, make sure not only do you get to eat a ton of great food with the people you love most, but also remember the reason be this grateful holiday! The courage one had to help others in their time of need! Let’s pass this blessing on and help others in their time of need! I’d love to hear your blessings and stories of traditions and how you’ve passed this blessing on!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!

God Bless

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Dream Big

One of the most important components to Living Intentionally For Excellence is to have a big dream. Or as Kirk Birtles would say, “You’ve got to have a B-HAG, Big Harry Audacious Goal”.

Many times when talking with people I’m just meeting, I start to ask them questions like ‘Where do you picture yourself in 2-5 years from now if you could have any lifestyle you wanted?’ or ‘ What would you be doing differently now, if time and money were no object?’ or even ‘if you won the lottery right now, what would change in your life?’. Most of the time people start with the statement ‘I wouldn’t change anything’.

I always laugh inside when I hear this, because I know that this is not true.

When I was young I had my life all planned out.  I lived on a ton of land, with horses that I could ride all day.  I had a grand house so my whole family could visit often and we would have enough room for them to stay a while.  We had an indoor pool, with hot tub and sauna.  I had a husband and at least 2 kids by the time I was 25.  I would be married to my soul mate, the one who completed me, and we had a leave it to beaver kind of life.  I was a stay at home mom, raising my own kids and supporting my husband who also stayed home with us.  We also traveled to many different places every year, having vacation homes in many spots around the world.

However, it seems that God has another plan for me.  I am neither married, or have any kids.  I live at home with my mom, dad, sister and niece at 27 years old.  I have a job that is not my dream life activity, and there is no way I can even afford to take a day trip down the street, let alone vacation homes around the world.

How did this happen?  Society has taught us that life is just not fair.  The rich get richer and we suffer with the mere pennies we earn.

Well I don’t believe that.  I believe that we can have any future we want.  Steven Covey, one of the top 25 Leadership Gurus, wrote an amazing book I reference all the time, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  In this book, the second habit is ‘begin with the end in mind’.  What I get from this is instead of listening to people who don’t have any good fruit on the tree, listen and learn from people who bear the fruit you desire.  Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Tim MarksBill Lewis , Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo, Dan Hawkins, Chris Mattis and all the leaders on the TEAM always say, ” You only get what you picture.  You only get what you picture”.  Just like Steven Covey teaches in his book, you have to visualize where you are going.  You have to KNOW where you are going.  If you don’t know where you are going, then you are already there.  And for me, as I described earlier… I am not where I wanted to be.  Somewhere in there, in my journey through life, I lost my vision.  I picked up the one that society threw at me… go to school, work hard, get a good job, it’ll take care of you for the rest of your life.  I know, I laughed at that too when I read it…  There is no such thing as a stable job.  Most people I talk to feel like they are on egg shells everyday.  There is no security anymore.  The only way you can get security is to go out there and make it happen for yourself.  And how are you going to start? By first visualizing where you want to go.   You must have this step first and foremost.  For if you do not have a picture of where you are going, you have no need to change your life.  In that case, I hope you are content… but I know I am not.

Another big component to a dream, is having an emotional attachment to it.  If this dream is something you can push aside and not feel something for it, it’s not your true dream, your true calling.  THE dream will tear your heart apart fighting for it.  If you find yourself crying over this dream, if you find yourself doing things you never would before for it, then it is your true dream.  My personal mentor in LIFE, Holger Spiewak has a true dream.  Anytime you get in front of him and he starts talking to you about his dream, you can feel it.  He is so pationate about his dream everyone knows it. He visualizes his dream every day, he gets emotional about it every day, he talks about it every day, anyone around him knows his dream, that is how connected to it he is.   Thats a true dream.

Let me ask you a question.  What is your dream? Where do you want your life to be 5 years from now? If you can’t answer that question, I urge you to try.  Think truly about where you want to go in life, who you want to become.  Then once you have that picture in your head, visualize what it would be like to live that life every day. Every day.  The more you do that, the closer you will get to your vision.

Remember, take a look at your life right now, at this very moment.  Is it EVERY THING you dreamed it would be? if not, I recommend taking a look at your vision, get it back on track, and start fighting for you, beginning with your dream.

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Who do you want to be?

I remember always hearing what do you want to be when you grow up? Implying that I have to be some-THING.  But what I realize now, is I don’t want to be something, I want to be some-ONE.  The better question would be WHO do you want to be?

Who do you want to be?

I think that is a loaded question.  What do I mean? Well if you think about that, who you are is based off of your character and integrity.  It is based off of everything you do on a daily basis. Whether or not someone is looking, you choose WHO you are.  Many people, the ‘fake ones’ choose to be a person of great character when people are looking, and slum down to the lazy, selfish person while at home, where ‘no one is watching’.   One of the 8 areas in our lives is following, leaving a legacy.  What legacy are you leaving behind for your kids to follow when you teach them to be a completely different person when no one is watching?  To teach them that it doesn’t REALLY matter to be a person of integrity because once everyone leaves, your integrity goes out the window.  Why not commit to becoming a person of integrity on AND off the field?  Why not choose to have integrity in ALL aspects of your life? 

When first introduced to the TEAM leadership, I always thought, sure, on stage they sound like great people, always talking about helping others, and living a life of excellence in all areas of their lives.  But surely at home they’re different.  Surely at home they can’t possibly be thinking like this all the time.  They must have some ‘worm holes’.  Well one thing I’ve found with the leaders of TEAM, is I’ve personally been to and hung out with many of the top leaders of the TEAM.  And I can tell you from experience, they live their lives with integrity all the time.  The person you see on stage IS the person at home.  They treat their whole lives with the excellence they teach from stage. 

I don’t know about you, but I know WHO I want to be when I grow up is just that.  A person who is not two-faced, telling people how to live their life with integrity and excellence, while I live the complete opposite life, relying on everyone else to do everything.  I want to live a life full of excellence in ALL area of my life whether people are looking or not.  I know when I do someday find my soul-mate and start a family; I don’t want my kids to look down on me knowing their mom lives two separate lives.  I want them to be proud of the person I am, and want to grow up to learn from me.   To become their own person of integrity they choose to model after.  If I can’t teach them that, their own mother, then who would they trust to teach them about having a meaningful life?  It is my duty as a mother to guide my children to become the best they can be.  One person at a time we can make a difference, and starting with me is my first step.  If I can become a woman of integrity all the time, leading a life of excellence all the time, then I know that I can also lead many people, and inspire them to do the same.  Can you imagine a world of people who chose themselves to become a better person? Can you imagine a world of people who chose to have integrity not only in the outside world, but at home too? I can.  I know that together, all striving for a common purpose, we can make a difference, one person at a time.

So I ask you this, my readers, who I greatly appreciate, what is it worth to you? To live a life of excellence and integrity?  Wholly, not half heartedly, but with your all?

I ask you, WHO do you want to be?

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My first post!!!

I want to welcome everyone to my very first blog! I appreciate your time spent with me. I will post different ideas and nuggets I think will help people to better their lives. I hope the words I’ll share will impact someones life each time.

Throughout this journey I hope to share thoughts dealing with 8 areas of our lives. These areas include Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Friends, Fun, Following and Freedom. I like to wrap these areas around an acronym called LIFE, Living Intention For Excellence. Who do you know that would love to live intentionally for excellence? Who would love to get a better life in any one of the 8 F’s? A friend? An aunt? Uncle? Sister? Brother? Mother? Father? Spouse? Child? Or how about even yourself? What would it be worth to not only help yourself have a better LIFE, but also to help a loved one have a better LIFE? These posts are designed to give a little bit more to the hungry eye, a little bit more to the person who is looking to produce a better LIFE for everyone around them.

Keep tuned in weekly and comment your thoughts and questions on my posts, I welcome others thoughts and ideas as thats what makes us stronger! Together Everyone Achieves More!

Thanks again and I look forward to starting a great relationship with my readers! Today’s The Day!!!

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