Mistakes

Next time you’re engaged in an animated disagreement, ask this simple question: “What is more important: Process, or People?” The silence will be deafening.

OopsA recent experience with an international, multi-billion-dollar Company has been quite enlightening, as to their very broad definition of: Mistake. Is the issue merely one of semantics? Or, is there a deeper taint on our societal moral code of behavior?

Is it a “mistake” to intentionally obscure the truth and deliberately tell lies to cover up bad judgment and hurtful actions? Or, is that an unethical breach of conduct?

First of all, a quick look at the definition:

Mistake [mɪˈsteɪk]

n

1. an error or blunder in action, opinion, or judgment

2. a misconception or misunderstanding

vb -takes, -taking, -took, -taken

1. (tr) to misunderstand; misinterpret “she mistook his meaning”

2. (tr; foll by for) to take (for), interpret (as), or confuse (with) “she mistook his direct manner for honesty”

3. (tr) to choose badly or incorrectly “he mistook his path”

4. (intr) to make a mistake in action, opinion, judgment, etc.

[(meaning: to do wrong, err): from Old Norse mistaka to take erroneously]

Problems are opportunities in disguise. Mistakes are like that, too. We all have them (problems) and we all make them (mistakes). In fact, we learn by doing. So, the secret is to make lots of mistakes and embrace the opportunity to learn from them.

There is a difference, though, in the “Oh, oops” moments and the “I’m so very sorry” occasions. The first is when we make a mistake and no one else is affected by our defective actions, opinions, or judgments. The latter is when our poor choices hurt another person and we quickly ask their forgiveness, while offering to make them whole.

We learn to walk by falling down. Falling down is a mistake, if we’re desirous of walking. This kind of mistake, made in the process of learning, is of the first variety. As toddlers, we made the mistake many times, hurt no one (else), learned from it, and moved on to running.

One-on-One, as individuals, we know when the second variety of hurtful mistake is made. Generally, we recognize our folly and, immediately, apologize. Sometimes, we are unaware of the impact of our choices on another person. If that other person perceives a mistake by us, that becomes their reality and our opportunity to grow.

Relationships are built by caring about, listening to, and understanding the reality of another person. Many times, the catalyst for strengthening a relationship can be our unintentional mistakes. Mature individuals will freely communicate their perception of the impact of our choices on them. As a result, we bask in the happy moments and ask to mend the hurtful ones.

Why then does that dynamic change when an individual is an employee of a Company?

For the great sport of it, the next time you’re in an animated conversation with the representative of a Company, who is playing semantics with your emotions, and you have heard the words “mistake” and “process” one too many times, ask this simple question: “What is more important: your Company processes, or People?”

The silence will be deafening.

In that instant, a Company employee becomes an Individual, once again, and realizes that their Customer is an Individual, too!

With the situation re-framed as a relationship of One-on-One, the original “mistake” (to take erroneously) can be fixed. The stage is also set for the appropriate apologies of conduct less than ethical. If none are offered, the individual Customer will do business elsewhere; and, in time, the odds are good that the employee hiding behind the bureaucracy of Company processes will find themselves as an individual, one more time, without a Company and a Job.

Regardless of the semantics, mistakes provide the opportunities for us, individually, to grow. Mistakes will be made, guaranteed. They are the defining moments for each of us to do the right thing and build a dynamic relationship!

www.kimfoard.com

Sacrifice

One word, sacrifice, is the essence of ‘Giving to Receive’. It is an individual choice executed by the internal will of that person for the benefit of others.

Giving and ReceivingThe answer to the human condition, literally, leaped from the screen into my consciousness. Last week, a Fellow vented his frustration at me by announcing, “I never sacrifice, even for friends because: a) if they are true friends they would not want me to sacrifice, or b) I would be willing to do it and therefore was not a sacrifice.”

First, let me share the rest of the story. As you read through the conversation thread, below — which was the catalyst for the Fellow’s remark — remember to always listen carefully to what people say and you can, vividly, see into the core of who they are.

The topic of discussion — on this professional forum for the exchange of ideas — was about which word is best: Customer, or Client.

(Kim Foard) Much more than a matter of semantics and the focus on our ‘professional‘ command of the English language, the concept is to build a relationship and produce positive results. From experience, I have found some (of those for whom I work) like the word Client, others like the word Customer — and, everyone (who pays me) loves to believe they are my Friend. Let’s raise the bar and think of those we serve as Friends.

(Fellow) Friendship can happen, but the vast majority are business relationships and not friendship, IMHO.

(Kim Foard) One thing I have noticed — My ‘enemies’ respect me. They don’t do business with me as Customer, Client, or any other label.

(Fellow) True, but being friendly is not the same as being a friend.

(Kim Foard) Again, it’s a matter of semantics. Included in my definition are these parameters: “Friends deserve the best in everything. No sacrifice is too big — or, task too small — when friendship is being nurtured.”

(Fellow) I never sacrifice, even for friends because a) if they are true friends they would not want me to sacrifice, or b) I would be willing to do it and therefore was not a sacrifice.

(Kim Foard) You’re right. It’s a spectrum of thought. You and I have clearly identified the ‘Pots of Gold‘ on each side. The real secret is to be passionate about our beliefs — because, we will attract those of like mind.

In my humble opinion (IMHO), he is ‘right’, only, in the context of being entitled to his opinion. What is your belief? As you can see, the conversation morphed from a matter of semantics into one of foundational issues at the core of any relationship. The label choice between Customer vs. Client pales into insignificance, when measured against the word: Sacrifice.

Is sacrifice important? Is it old-fashioned? Is it taken, or given? What do you believe?

Let’s set the stage for our thoughts by considering two simple Proverbs:

When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them.

Calloused (social) climbers betray their very own friends — they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.

Thoughts of the vernacular, which might come to our minds “With friends like those who needs enemies.” — and, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Yet, we are encouraged to move our thoughts, words, deeds and character to a higher level.

You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best — the sun to warm and the rain to nourish — to everyone, regardless of the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.

Right about now is when we, all, start squirming and looking for the semantic Exit. With thoughts running wild — great idea, cute concept, life changing — we accept the realization that Knowing and Doing are very different. Yet, we remind ourselves of life’s Universal Principles and move forward through the pain. We remember we’ve been taught the battle cry: Hard is easy — Easy is hard.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world — but, let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning — Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

The idea that one person can define what sacrifice is to another individual reeks of arrogance and ignorance.

When we ask for anything from another person (as simple as a glass of water — or, as complex as the price for an exchange of goods and services), they make a choice between ‘Yes‘ and ‘No‘. If the request is beyond a boundary of theirs, they will choose: No. If the request is within their will to deliver, they will choose: Yes.

To fulfill our request, another individual might offer a sacrifice.

What is a sacrifice?

Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.

To forfeit (one thing) for another thing considered to be of greater value.

Surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable or of preventing some evil.

Something of value given away or up in order to gain something more important or to benefit another person.

One word — sacrifice — is the essence of ‘Giving to Receive‘. It is an individual choice executed by the internal will of that person. No managing by committee. No having it all. No maybe in approach. Sacrifice is a committed decision to offer. What another person does with the offering is their choice.

In my closing remarks — in the conversation with the Fellow above — the ‘Pots of Gold‘ on either side of the rainbow are Time and Money. In business, the focus is generally on Money — and, the opportunities it can buy. Of the two, Time is more precious — because, of the priceless relationships it can build.

When my Friends offer money in exchange for the value of my time — plain and simple — they are making a sacrifice. From the blood, sweat, and tears of their effort, they produce value in the marketplace. The money earned — through the sacrifice of their time — has great value to them. They exchange it for something perceived to be of greater value. I acknowledge and appreciate their sacrifice.

As their Friend, I believe in — Going far beyond the call of duty, Doing more than others expect, Striving after and maintaining the highest standards, Looking after the smallest detail, and Traveling the extra mile. Sacrifice means giving my best — in everything and every way.

Beyond the realm of business, the gift of Time is a daily sacrifice we all make. The question becomes — “At which altar do we place it?”

On the altar of Narcissism, humility is sacrificed by those who believe they are the center of the universe.

On the altar of Friendship, pride is sacrificed by those who believe they are, simply, conduits of goodness for the benefit of others.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

www.kimfoard.com

All We Do

All we do begins with a thought. Thoughts lead to actions; Actions develop into habits; Habits accumulate into character; and, Character becomes our Destiny. Guard your thoughts!

ThoughtWhether we think we can, or think we can’t, we’re right.

All we do begins with a thought.

How powerful is a thought? A negative thought can bind a mind and body in ways superior to physical restraints. A positive thought can be the catalyst to propel beyond the physical, into realms beyond the wildest imaginations.

At some time in our life, we have all walked into a closed door. Maybe, it was as a youngster learning about patio and screen doors. Maybe, it was in the middle of the night in navigation to the bathroom. Remember the combination of logic and feeling rushing from the experience?  Oh, wow!  That hurt.

Now, think of your last encounter with a closed mind. Same deal, right?

If a person has arrived at their beliefs in an objective journey of discovery to discern what is best for them as an individual, that closed mind can be respected, as an honest container of beliefs. If a person has been manipulated into a belief system for the benefit of someone else, that closed mind is a danger to the individual, and others.

Let’s take a quick look at Belief Systems and Mind Control.

Why Bad Beliefs Don’t Die

Because senses and beliefs are both tools for survival, our brain considers them to be separate but equally important purveyors of survival information. The loss of either one endangers us. Without our senses we could not know about the world within our perceptual realm. Without our beliefs we could not know about the world outside our senses or about meanings, reasons, or causes.

This means that beliefs are designed to operate independent of sensory data. In fact, the whole survival value of beliefs is based on their ability to persist in the face of contradictory evidence. Beliefs are not supposed to change easily or simply in response to disconfirming evidence. If they did, they would be virtually useless as tools for survival.

As far as our brain is concerned, there is absolutely no need for data and belief to agree. They are designed to be able to disagree.

When data and belief come into conflict, the brain does not automatically give preference to data. This is why beliefs — even bad beliefs, irrational beliefs, silly beliefs, or crazy beliefs — often, don’t die in the face of contradictory evidence. The brain doesn’t care whether or not the belief matches the data. It cares whether the belief is helpful for survival. Period.

Coercive Psychological Systems

Coercion is defined as, “to restrain or constrain by force…” Legally it often implies the use of PHYSICAL FORCE or physical or legal threat. This traditional concept of coercion is far better understood than the technological concepts of “coercive persuasion” which are effective restraining, impairing, or compelling through the gradual application of PSYCHOLOGICAL FORCES.

The advances in the extreme anxiety and emotional stress production technologies, found in coercive persuasion, supersede old-style coercion that focuses on pain, torture, drugs, or threat — in that, these older systems do not change attitude, so subjects follow orders ‘willingly.’ Coercive persuasion changes both attitude AND behavior, not JUST behavior.

Programs have in common the elements of attempting to greatly modify a person’s self-concept, perceptions of reality, and interpersonal relations. When successful in inducing these changes, coercive thought reform programs also, among other things, create the potential forces necessary for exercising undue influence over a person’s independent decision-making ability.

Coercive persuasion programs are effective — because, individuals experiencing the deliberately planned severe stresses they generate can only reduce the pressures by accepting the system, or adopting the behaviors being promulgated by the purveyors of the coercion program. The relationship between the person and the coercive persuasion tactics are DYNAMIC — in that, while the force of the pressures, rewards, and punishments brought to bear on the person are considerable, they do not lead to a stable, meaningfully SELF-CHOSEN reorganization of beliefs, or attitudes.

Relationships come in a myriad of forms: one-on-one with another person, individual with group, spouse with spouse, and child with parent. While each combination will have unique dynamics, there are universal themes inherent to all relationships. The factors at work to mold the minds of cult members are similar to those used by men to control their wives, women to change their husbands, and parents to alienate children.

When there is a combination of Bad Beliefs and Coercive Persuasion at work in minds, the result is — FEAR and WAIT.

False
Expectations
Appearing
Real

Wielding
An
Intrinsic
Terror

In other words, Paralysis by Analysis based entirely on Lies.

While giving full consideration to the principles — Patience is a virtue and Discretion is the better part of valor, I suggest we examine the foundation of our beliefs and muster the courage to take bold steps, forward.

Are YOU afraid to make mistakes?

The ‘whiners’ of the world are the only ones who have never made a mistake. Just listen to them. In their minds and statements, they assure themselves and everyone else that they have done everything perfectly. If, only, the world had agreed with them, placated them, understood them, and otherwise given into (and, given more to) them, they could be recognized for the Saints they believe themselves to be.

On the other hand, the truly successful men and women of the world have made many mistakes, learned from them, and grown into leaders of industry and builders of relationships.

Are YOU, still, reluctant to change?

Consider this — We go where we look.

There’s a story about a stretch of Interstate highway in Kansas. It is straight as an arrow across the flat land of farms on either side. In the wintertime, the snow blows across the highway to form a four-lane skating rink. The only thing of danger to the cars sliding off the highway is a power-line running parallel.

Since 8 out of 10 cars were smacking poles, a Kansas state trooper took it upon himself to discover “Why“. Because, the odds were better that they missed the poles and hit open space.

As he interviewed the drivers of those cars — with noses freshly pressed against a pole — he asked them, “Do you remember what you were thinking as you left the highway?” Every one of them answered, “Oh, yes sir. I was thinking that I surely didn’t want to hit one of those poles.”

All we do begins with a thought.

A negative thought about “not” doing something is as powerful as a positive thought about doing the very same thing. You see, those Kansas drivers were thinking about the poles, as they looked right at them and, eventually, wrapped their cars around one.

All we do begins with a thought.

Thoughts lead to actions; Actions develop into habits; Habits accumulate into character; and, Character becomes our Destiny.

Let’s lift our heads from the drudgery of toil, raise our eyes to the broad horizon of opportunities, choose a bright path to travel, surround ourselves with cheerful people, and experience a fresh sensation of soaring spirits.

Whether you think you can, or can’t, you’re right!

www.kimfoard.com

iiWii

Our worldview is challenged by an acronym for, “Kind of Zen-ish generic response to a wide range of stupid what and why type questions.”

To the Power of E

The “Wii” is recognized as, “Games that are easy to play and fun for everyone.” Less well known and recognized is “iiWii”. According to the Urban Dictionary, it is the acronym for, “Kind of Zen-ish generic response to a wide range of stupid what and why type questions.”

It Is What It Is

The definition continues:

iiwii – pronounced (‘e’-‘wee’) – It Is What It Is. 1) An all encompassing short word to sum up an agreed upon and or well understood simple and obvious situation or action. 2) A simple reply to an obvious statement of fact of which there is little or nothing that can be done to change the situation or action.

Many times, the response to an unpleasantness is expressed by, “Well, you can’t fix stupid.”

Or, in other words an acceptance of, “It Is What It Is.”

Does anyone actually believe they are stupid? We, all, do “stupid” things. Does that make us stupid?

Reality is our perception of it.

From our vantage point, we see “stupid people” every day. Or, are they (just like us) doing the very best they can with what they know and what they have? I’ve taken the time to interview a few and, sure enough, they assure me they are doing their best!

The point is: They think they have done their best. I think they are behaving stupidly.

It Is What It Is

For a fact, the beliefs are different. By default, they must be: We are unique creations, one-of-a-kind, broke-the-mold, and very special in the greater scheme of the Universe.

Yet, we are not the center of that universe. We have this “perch of a view” that is uniquely ours. Think about the stories of: an accident, where everyone has a different account of what happened; a tax return, where a dozen accountants each come up with a different result; even, this tome, which will touch each person differently.

If the question is: Why? The answer is: We all see it differently because of our individual, and unique, education and experience. Same set of facts: different conclusions by each and every participant.

It Is What It Is

This is what It is:

I Give

You Decide

You give; another decides. The power to give is within our control. What another does with the gift is outside our control. Our gift may be accepted, or rejected. We give what we are able and willing. Others accept what is pleasing to them. Simple as that.

In keeping with the proverb, “The greatest love is that which is given,” there is a secret in the Karma of “what goes around comes around.” There is a power freely flowing from the Universal Principle involved. We give; we receive. The more we give; the more we receive.

It Is What It Is

Comments from Wikipedia:

Ninetendo’s spelling of “Wii” with two lower-case “i” characters is meant to resemble two people standing side by side, representing players gathering together.

The company has given many reasons for this choice of name since the announcement; however, the best known is: Wii sounds like ‘we’, which emphasizes that the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.

Just we. E-We.

Think of that first E as representing the word “Empower”.

Then, when tempted to judge another, remember:

Good, better, best.

Never let it rest.

‘Til our good is better,

And, our better is best!

It Is What It Is

www.kimfoard.com