- I, (name), am a person of integrity, with a good attitude and specific goals.
- I have a high energy level.
- I am enthusiastic, and take pride in my appearance and in what I do.
- I have a sense of humor, lots of faith, wisdom, vision, empathy, and the courage to use my talents effectively.
- I have character, and I am knowledgeable.
- My convictions are strong and I have a healthy self-image.
- I have a passion for what is right and a solid hope for the future.
- I am an honest, sincere, and hard-working person.
- I am tough but fair and sensitive.
- I am disciplined, motivated, and focused.
- I am bold and confident, yet humble.
- I am an encourager.
- I am a forgiving person.
- I am caring.
- I am unselfish.
- I am committed to my goals.
- I am family-oriented, open-minded, and an excellent communicator.
- I am obedient.
- I am loyal.
- I am responsible.
- I am dependable.
- I am a student, a teacher, and a self-starter.
- I have a servant’s heart.
- I am ambitious.
- I am a team player.
- I am intelligent.
- I am competent.
- I am persistent and creative.
- I am health-conscious.
- I am flexible.
- I am a genuinely honorable person who is truly grateful for the opportunity life has given me.
- Tonight, I am going to sleep wonderfully well.
- I will have powerful, positive dreams.
- I will awake energized and refreshed.
- Tomorrow is going to be magnificent
Where There is Life There is Hope
I have had this photo on the wall of my prayer room for many years. It was a gift from Julie , who came to a Bible Study Group we had some years ago.
It has always intrigued me, demonstrating that life can be tough, but it is determined and hard to extinguish. They say life is tenuous, and in some circumstances perhaps this may be true, but I remember reading a book about Hal Moore, “We Were Soldiers Once… and Young” who led the troops in the battle of la Drang, the first battle in the Vietnam war. He described how a forward battalion became detached and was being overrun. He was forced to call in air support under the ‘Broken Arrow’ command which was basically saying “all is likely lost so hit it with everything you’ve got”.
The amazing thing was that next day when they reached the forward battalion, most were still alive. I remember one soldier who was shot 5 times and his primary recall was that he just got so angry when the fifth shot hit his hand and he could no longer hold his rifle. He is alive and well today and farming in Montana. One guy was shot 6 times and survived and many others were hit more than once, yet survived. It puts a lie to the usual Hollywod script.
Just thinking about it brings me back to one of the many paradoxes of life: Life IS tenuous, precious and fragile, yet at the same time Life IS hardy, resilient and robust. We use the term “… clings to life…” which speaks exactly of what I am saying.
And this picture speaks of all of that. The plant is growing in a little cleft in the rock. It is green and healthy and holding on to life even though there may not be much nurture or support. We don’t need much to hold on to life and we will make the most of what is available.
The past failures are just beside it, but the plant clings to life. Its future may be written in the dead leaf, but right now, it is alive and living. So it is for us. The memories of past failures can be close to us and in clear view, but we can stay focused on living and drawing life from the Sun and whatever moisture and nourishment we can get.
Where there is life, there is hope! Who knows what the future may hold. There can be plenty to look at and hear and think about that will tell us there is not much future. BUT right now we are alive and living. Live today for today. Who knows what the future may hold!
Where There Is Life, There Is Hope! You are not done yet! Nothing is Impossible to Us When We Believe!
Welcome your comments and feedback.
All the Best, Brian Maguire – email@example.com
I was called an old man for the first time today… and it was precious!
It was by a 5 year-old boy, being nice.
I was having breakfast at a great cafe called ‘Once Upon a Time’ (which in the context was amusing!) and was sitting across from a beautiful family – Dad and Mum, said boy and his younger sister having breakfast together. There is something very precious about seeing a young family getting on and having fun.
Earlier I had seen the boy and his Dad coming back to their table and the little one fell flat on his face. The slap of his hands on the tiles was quite loud so you know it hurt. There was a moment… and then he jumped up and returned to his seat – no tears, no screams.
My spontaneous response was “You’re a Champion!” and we shared a thumbs-up.
Later, as I was leaving, I spoke to Dad and Mum and complimented them on what a beautiful family they had. As I turned to go the little 5 y-o said “goodbye, old man”. His parents were shocked and immediately apologised. I laughed and said no need. Instead, I said to the boy “thank you young man, that was very kind”.
It struck me right away that he was connecting with me, not insulting me. I had called him Champion earlier and he was responding in kind by calling me Old Man. His words landed softly on my heart and made me smile. At his age he would have been unaware of how words can be used, and was just being his innocent, open self.
I left the cafe thinking about the weight of words and particularly the weight of our words to each other. Words do have weight. We can impact the meaning of what we are saying by the weight we attach to the words we speak , or write.
Harsh, angry words can be heavy and land in our hearts with a painful ‘thump’. Negative, critical, pessimistic words are like a heavy weight that can drag us down. Kind, loving, gentle and encouraging words land lightly on our hearts and bring light and life and build us up.
I could go on (and I think I will at another time), but my Moment of Absolute Clarity today is to challenge us to become aware and mindful of how we use words, and the weight we attach to them. Our Words have the power of life and death and are worthy of our best attention.
It is so good to have the privilege of sharing my thoughts with you. I appreciate you taking the time to read and I always enjoy your comments and feedback.
All the Best, Brian. 0408 277 773; firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who has been around me for any length of time will have heard me utter these words – “Keep Writing until They Take the Pen Out of your Hand!”
I qualified as a Chartered Accountant many years ago and I believe it is to that philosophy I owe my qualification.
The final exam – the FAE – involved 4 exams of 4 hours each over 4 days. To my mind 4 hours was just not enough to complete these papers and I developed this philosophy at that time. When the 4 hours were up, the Invigilator would call out “Stop Writing – Pens Down”. As I looked around the exam hall, it was clear that this instruction was honored more in the breach than the observance, so I picked up my pen and continued to write – furiously.
After a little while, one of the invigilators (great word, eh?) would pass by and repeat “Stop Writing – Pens Down”. We complied until he moved on far enough to be out of range and then we picked up our pens and continued to write – furiously.
On a good day you might get 3, even 4 passes from said invigilator before he stopped in front of you, looked at you very sternly, and took the pen from your hand.
Then you were finished with THAT exam.
I have often thought about what I wrote in those moments and more than that how on earth did the examiner read what I had written, given the furious speed at which I wrote. But I am fairly convinced it was the marks earned in those moments that got me across the line.
And that philosophy has stayed with me all my life. It is ALWAYS too soon to quit! There is always more time than you think! It is NOT OVER until they take the pen from your hand!
I have used this many times with clients and friends in tough situations, when the future looked bleak and it looked like it was all over, and it seemed like you could feel the liquidator breathing down your neck. When the news is bad and it looks like you are out of options, that is the time to keep going. Don’t stop. Keep opening up the doors until they change the locks. Keep making calls. Keep doing what you can.
One of my great questions is: “Is it impossible, or just very difficult?”
There is always hope! Doug Wead, one of my great mentors spoke about this often. There are hundreds of stories of impossible situations that were turned around, of disasters that became success stories.
I am reminded of one of my most favourite and oft relied upon verses:
“He will hold up a bent reed and protect a flickering candle. There IS always hope.
So wherever you are in life right now, Whatever challenges you are facing in whatever aspect of your life – Dont give up! Don’t quit! Keep going! Your negotiating position is ALWAYS better than you think. There is ALWAYS HOPE.
Don’t stop until they take the pen from your hand!
All the Best, Brian Maguire
PS: I look forward to your comments and can I encourage you to pass this on to anyone who might be encouraged by it.
A slightly belated Happy New Year to All. My hope is that 2019 will be your best year yet. Not your best year Ever – Just your best year Yet.
I come to this year full of optimism and hope. Not that I get that from reading the papers or watching the news on TV or getting sucked into the twittersphere. But it is the very nature of all that is going on in the world, most of which I have absolutely no control over, that makes me turn to the areas of my world where I can have some influence – the people in my world.
I can speak hope and joy and optimism into the hearts of my family, my friends and my community. I can take the time to connect, as in face-to-face even in the same room, to make the time for conversation, to hear and be heard. Circumstances can so easily preoccupy us and dominate our thinking. In my experience all of the crises and challenges from my past are just that – past. They have come and they have gone and I am still here. I could even say I am better off for them – I am certainly wiser. And no doubt new crises and challenges will come. But like those of the past they will come and they will go and if they don’t kill us we will still be here, a bit more humble perhaps and wiser. So I am choosing not to focus on the circumstances good or bad, but to focus on important relationships in 2019. Really it is about Life and Love.
Life and Love are way too important to be subject to circumstances. I believe circumstances should be subject to the awesome power of Life and Love. Circumstances, good and bad, come and go, but the power of Life and Love remains.
The only things I can really influence are myself and my own mindsets, and the people in my world. And that is what I plan for 2019 – to live fully and to love fully. To truly connect and engage, to encourage and support, to listen and be present and in this way maybe be an influence for some good. It will certainly be much more fun and I invite you to hold me accountable in this endeavour.
Always welcome your comments and feedback. Just click on the link below and email me. All the Best, Brian.
This note may not be of interest to those who have no trouble saying “No’, but in my travels I come across many. many people who really struggle with saying no. This is for you.
Picture this scenario;
It’s Friday evening and you are settling for a quiet evening and looking forward to a really relaxing Saturday.
Then the phone rings. (There is a two-day workshop can be run on what goes though our minds right then. But that is for another time.) You answer the call and it’s your friend Bob, or Roberta – (well sort-of friend, really just someone you know from church but a good person). They go on to ask if you could help him next day as they have just lost their job and they know you have some expertise in this area.
Your mind takes off. (And there’s another two-day workshop). You are stuck – They need help, you can help, and you know you are not committed to anything next day. But you agonise. You do not want to give away your time, but you don’t want to be selfish; you promised yourself a day off, but how can you say no. Its the last thing you really want to do, but you don’t want to appear uncaring.
We usually trip over our words at these times because the words we are speaking are not the words we are thinking and not the words we want to say, but before we know it, we have said “OK, I’ll help you”.
And that’s great if that is what we want to do. But how often do we say ‘yes’ because we don’t know how to say ‘no’.
The truth is we do know how to say no, but we get bombarded with our thoughts and our concerns of what it might look like and what others may say and so on and on. So we give our power away to “what it might look like… ” and say yes when we really want to say no.
Back to the Friday evening scenario. do you think your Friday evening would end up as peaceful as you planned.
Why don’t we ‘just say no’ ? i can hear you say to yourself. I welcome your comments on this dillemna.
One of the great insights and breakthroughs in my life was when I discovered it was OK to say ‘NO’.
Not saying no when we mean no just causes a loss of peace, frustration and even anger. We can feel used or manipulated or backed into a corner.
But note that is just a feeling. Someone asking us to do something is just that – a request. We are actually free to say yes or no, but why is it we often feel like we can’t say no, or we shouldn’t say no.
I believe we give our power away to the asker or to the situation, when we feel coerced because of a feeling, or a sense of obligation or a concern of what people may think or say.
I believe there is a more powerful and empowering way to operate. The ancient proverb says “Let your yes be yes and your no be no”.
How much better would it be if we said yes when we meant yes and no when we meant no? It will take practice and you will need to deal with the feelings and emotions it brings up, but you will feel a million dollars when you say yes because you want to and no when you don’t.
It won’t always go down well in the beginning, because some people don’t like to get a no, but they will get used to it. The reality is that we will actually say yes more often because we are now free to decide.
When ever I want to ask someone for help I start with “You need to know that “No” is a really good answer to any question I ask”.
My Moment of Clarity today is To ask yourself ” Am I able to say no when I want to?” and if you wrestle with that my encouragement to you is to start exercising that muscle. The fruit will be peace and freedom. And rather than say a bald no you can say: “Is it OK with you if I say no to that ?” It works.
Honest and open communication is a passion of mine and makes for a much more peaceful and productive life. Asking great questions is one of the keys to that. What do you think? Love to hear your comments below.
Take Care, Brian.
I love questions. Questions are, I believe, one of the major keys to knowledge and understanding. Ask a good question and we will get a good answer. That allows us to ask a better question and get a better answer and on we go up the ladder of knowledge and understanding.
I like to gather great questions and this is the start of a series about some of the great questions I have collected.
I am starting with one of my all-time favourites:
“IS IT IMPOSSIBLE – OR JUST DIFFICULT…?”
This is a question I have been asking a lot recently of clients and friends – and myself, with some irritation. It is always more comfortable to be the asker of questions than to be the receiver.
But I do think this is one of the great questions. How often do we have challenges or difficulties or seemingly unattainable objectives and find ourselves stepping back, giving up or letting go? What is it that goes through our minds at that time? I would offer that it is our internal conversation that causes most of the grief. “That’s impossible…”, “I can’t do that…”, “No way…”, are some of the thoughts that can go through my mind. What about you…?
And that’s the issue for me. It’s the thoughts that go through our mind that stop us. We don’t often speak these thoughts out loud but unbeknownst to us (until now!) there is a part of our brain that is set up deliberately to ‘keep us safe’. It is programmed to stop us stepping out or doing any thing that might cause stress, anxiety or have the possibility of failure.
And that is the power of this question. It causes a massive pattern interrupt – it stops that program dead in its tracks. In our mind we are thinking “this is impossible…” and then the question comes “is it impossible, or just difficult…?”
When you stop to think about it – “well it’s not really impossible, is it?” because at the end of the day mostly everything is possible, eventually.
What it does is open up the doors of possibility and access the part of our brain that is programmed for action. Now our mind starts to bring up all sorts of possibilities that support the view that maybe it IS possible. That gets us into motion toward our objective and each step we take gives us a new perspective and starts to develop momentum and build an internal belief that it really is possible, after all.
I wonder have you had experiences such as this where a good question asked at an opportune time changed your perspective and a delivered a better outcome than you expected. I would love for you to share that with me. Also, if you have any great questions in your toolbox, do share them in the comments below.
My Moment of Clarity today is that great questions are keys to unlock doors to our future. Who knows what treasures lie buried within us just waiting for the right question to throw the door open?
Back soon with the next great question.
I love to tell stories and I use stories all the time in my business and in conversations. I believe we think best in pictures and a word picture – a story – can encapsulate a thought or a concept as well as anything I know. Jesus was the great story-teller and I humbly follow in His footsteps.
Anyway, there is a story I tell often to illustrate how important it is for us not to hold on to the past too tightly, especially our mistakes and our “I wish I hadn’t…” moments. I have been using it a bit recently, so I thought I would share it with you. And it challenged me to look at some of the stuff that I was allowing to hold me back.
It is a story of romance, betrayal, tragedy and restoration and like any good story it has at least the possibility of a happy ending. Also, like any good story it allows for certain flexibility around timing and facts – creative licence I think its called.
So without further ado – “Once upon a time in England there was a great King – King Arthur was his name. He ruled powerfully and justly and was supported by a band of great Knights called The Knights of the Round Table. They excelled in great brave deeds and heroic adventures. Sir Lancelot was the bravest Knight of all and was loved by the king as a brother.
King Arthur had a great love – his Queen Guinevere who was a ravishing beauty, and he was completely devoted to her. Arthur never went into battle without a kiss from his bride – never! Arthur and Guinevere ruled wisely and justly and under their rule Camelot became a haven of peace and prosperity, so the story goes.
At that time there was a great quest to find the ‘Holy Grail’ – the chalice Jesus was meant to have drunk from at time of the Last supper. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table periodically organised Great Crusades that went to the Holy Land to seek the Holy Grail.
One time, King Arthur took his kiss from Guinevere and headed away on another crusade. However, while the King was away, Lancelot, who was devoured by love for Guinevere, seduced her and in a moment of weakness Guinevere succumbed.
Afterwards, Guinevere was so racked with guilt and regret over her betrayal that she went to the convent and had the Abbess lock her up in a cell and throw away the key. She lived on meagre rations pushed under the door of her cell.
You can imagine the shock and horror when Arthur returned to Camelot after the crusade to find his queen gone and to learn of the betrayal by his best friend. He raced to the convent but was denied access. He may have been a King – but he was also a man and in those days no man ever crossed the threshold.
He grieved for a long time over the loss of his queen and his best friend. Over time, Arthur and Lancelot restored their friendship, but no matter how hard he tried, he could never get to see Guinevere.
Time passed and another crusade was organised. As was his way, King Arthur NEVER went to battle without a kiss from his bride and this would be no exception. He stormed the convent and demanded that the door to Guinevere’s cell be opened, and when that was not possible he broke down the door.
You can hardly imagine how Guinevere would have looked after so much time in that little cell. She had turned into a hag with long straggly hair and nails and dry wizened skin. She shrunk back and would not look up at Arthur. He looked at her with great love, his heart broken at her lost beauty and the lost years. Without hesitation, Arthur swept her up into his arms and kissed her, and said, so sadly, “Why have you done this. The sin was sinned… I forgave you long ago!” Then he stormed out of the castle and on to his crusade.
History and legend are silent on what happened after that, but we fill ourselves with hope that they all lived happily ever after.
And so, that is my story today. I feel some emotion as I write this. This is what God says to us – ” the sin was sinned, I forgave you long ago”. I am firmly convinced that the unhooked chains of past events do more than we may imagine to hold us back from our future.
My Moment of Clarity today is a question – What locked cells do we need to come out of ? What do we need to let go of, to let ourselves off the hook from? What do we need to fix up? Who do we need to forgive? and that includes ourselves.
“The sin was sinned…I forgave you long ago”.
I look forward to your feedback.
Brian 0408 277 773
I go to a lot more funerals these days than 21’sts or weddings. And the weddings we go to are not our friends weddings, but the children of our friends. I can’t seem to remember when we passed through that demographic but pass it we did. They are interesting, these demographic levels – you only notice them after you have passed through – you look back and notice that things are somehow different, but you can’t pinpoint how or when it changed. Like the time I realised I was no longer the target demographic for leadership in church. And I notice that I am no longer the target demographic for most marketing campaigns. I refuse to acknowledge ALL invitations to get the ‘seniors card’ or accept special discounts because of age.
Anyway, getting off THAT subject, the point about going to more funerals brought an interesting thought to mind. You never see tow-bars on hearses. Fascinating that. Yet so many of us spend large portions of our lives and sacrifice so much to accumulate – stuff, wealth, property, possessions. Its all good and proper, but we can’t take it with us so what is it for?
Do we have a purpose for our accumulation? There are many great purposes – to set the family up for a good start, to provide for a comfortable retirement or to leave a legacy by investing in favoured causes are a few of the many good reasons.
Are there others? to have most toys? as a badge of honour? to beat the Joneses? to prove to those who said you couldn’t?
I wonder do we know clearly what it is really for?
“What do we want to be remembered for…?” is a question Michael Hyatt (MichaelHyatt.com) encourages us to ask and “What is most important to us..?”
Given the horror mentioned earlier of finding out I might qualify for a seniors card – I have been a bit more (OK a lot more!) intentional about making plans for this year – not about what to achieve or what to accumulate, but much more about what impact I want to have on my world and the people in it.
Hearses don’t have tow-bars – but people do have memories. I have a view that the most important legacy we can leave is not just our total net worth on Probate (though that is great), but the memories we leave in the hearts and minds of those we touched during our lives. In answering Michael’s question “what is most important to me…?” I find that it is mostly people and relationships that fill that list.
It will be great to leave abundant financial blessings in our will, and don’t get me wrong for a moment – accumulating wealth and prosperity is really good, but do we want to be remembered most for what we left in the will or for the great times we had together – that we were there when they needed us most and that our memory brings a smile to their face?
My Moment of Absolute Clarity this week is to encourage us to make the time to get absolutely clear on what it really is for and who it really is for and how we want to be remembered… so that what we leave behind does not need a tow-bar but does leave an indelible memory.
All the Best, Brian.
PS: I know it has been a while since I wrote last – thanks for your patience and grace. BM
+61 408 277 773
I encourage you to click on the comments tag and leave a comment. Thanks, Brian.
It is good to be back. I hope you all had a Happy and Peaceful Christmas full of joy and celebration if you can remember that far back and that 2015 has been good to you so far. I apologise for being away for so long. I have enjoyed and been encouraged by the great feedback I have received from you.
There are two reasons why there has been such a long break since the last post just before Christmas. One will be known to those of you who have had any length of conversation with me at that time. And now all of you will come to know. I passionately believe that January, yes the whole month of January, should be a public holiday! I arrived in Australia just before Christmas in 1986. In short time, thank God, I secured a fabulous role with Pacific Dunlop and they told me not to show up until the end of January. In that January of 1987 were the America’s Cup Finals in Perth and the Ashes test in Sydney.
So how good was my introduction to Australian life :o))! I spent all 5 days at the Sydney Test, which Australia won, and the rest of the time in the America’s Cup bar at the Hilton Hotel watching the sailing action on a full wall screen and learning how to enjoy Crown Lagers !
So I rest my case. Given that great introduction to this wonderful country, I have no doubts that January should, as my first January was, be a national holiday.
The other reason I will mention quickly and come back to at a later date. That reason was an unexpected and severe attack by that beast who shall be nameless, that one of my hero’s Winston Churchill referred to as the black dog. It is a dark place – not always understood by those who have not been in its clutches. The logical arguments as to how we should deal with this are flawless, and useless. In fact that logic often makes it worse. I mention it here because I know there are many who also wrestle with this beast and we need to speak openly about it, and support and encourage each other to stay in the battle and, to quote Winston himself “Never, Never, Never give up until we win a great victory”.
Arising from this battle, I am about to start another blog called “You’re Not Done Yet” to explore this topic and to start a conversation about the amazing potential we all have, even if we have been on this earth for many years and may feel that circumstances and/or history have clipped our wings or foreshortened our expectations. It hasn’t and they aren’t! Click Here to sign up for this blog.
Back to Christmas. I intended to write about patience from a conversation with we had over Christmas. A young teenager in the group having demonstrated great impatience with her mother one afternoon, was sent by her father to write an essay on the virtue of patience. Her offering was hilarious and along these lines – “patience is that quality demonstrated by a mother who immediately puts aside what she is doing to be fully available to meet her daughter’s pressing needs! Not exactly what her father intended, but …
We had a conversation about patience afterwards and I encouraged her that patience was a fruit of grace – a wonderful quality for a young woman to develop. We had lots of fun over the holidays playing games and expanding our understanding of the virtue of patience.
It did make me reflect on the whole subject of patience and that there were many other dimensions of patience apart from our interactions with each other. A farmer needs patience to wait for harvest time. A sportsman needs patience to allow broken bones to heal. We need patience to follow behind an elderly person as they navigate a set of stairs. So many opportunities… I needed to be patient with myself as I walked the journey out of that black hole.
Yet the world we live in rages against patience. We can’t wait a week, or even a day for the next episode of a TV programme. So much so that Australia has developed a very bad reputation as one of the worst TV/Movie Pirates in the rush to get immediate access to the latest episode of “Game of Thrones” or the latest movies. I may sound like a dinosaur, but in my day my favourite TV programme was on once a week and you had to wait a whole week for the next episode. Now you get whole series in a box or watch them back to back on Foxtel. There is so much focus on instant gratification – same-day delivery, PayPass, Instagram etc.
Do forgive me, I am not whingeing or dismissing the great technological advances, but reflecting on the contrast between the pace of the world we live in and the pace of the really important things. Nature still moves at the patient pace it always moved; a day is still 24 hours and a week is still 7 days, regardless of all our technology. It takes 21 days for a chick to hatch; It still takes 9 months for a baby to develop; Relationships require time and patience to develop. They say children spell love as T-I-M-E. Seedtime and harvest are still in separate seasons.
I would like to expand on this subject over the next few weeks and to start a conversation about patience. My moment of clarity to start with is a question: “What are the elements or aspects of your life where patience is most valuable?”
I encourage you to click on the ‘Comments’ tab and have your say.
All the Best, Brian.