Count the Cost

From the moment we have a Thought, all the way through the process of what we Do, there will be a Cost to every choice we make, guaranteed.

Count the CostIn every decision we make, two resources are at risk: Time and Money.

One, or both, will either be consumed, or invested.

The management of each is within our control.

We choose whether to spend, or invest.

We either choose, or the world will choose for us.

In fact, even when we choose, the world is prepared to laugh at us. That’s OK if we have put forth the effort to become all of which we are capable. The laughter of others, then, is simply their opinion of our effort. Success is the peace of mind in knowing we did our best.

Our best is only possible with Planning, Preparation, Practice and Performance. In any endeavor, these components form a circle of learning and growth.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

These seven magic words (above) ending in a seven letter word (THOUGHT), with U in the center, are the Alpha and Omega of the Four P’s.

In the beginning, is a Thought; the bigger and bolder, the better. Because, that initial thought becomes a target, a Goal if you will, worthy of what we choose to Do. The Four P Horsemen of Planning, Preparation, Practice and Performance will carry our effort through to a result and the appropriate Celebration of accomplishment, at the end.

This is the natural progression of a single Thought:

1.) Goal
2.) Planning
3.) Preparation
4.) Practice
5.) Performance
6.) Celebration

All We Do Begins With A Thought

From the moment we have a Thought, all the way through the process of what we Do, there will be a Cost to every choice we make, guaranteed.

From the Good Book, comes this encouragement:

But, don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, “There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!”

In every decision we make, two resources are at risk: Time and Money.

Of the two, Time is the most precious. Those who consider themselves Idea People, with runaway thoughts, fail to recognize the Cost for their flavor of the moment. If they are thinking about This, it is impossible to think about That.

There’s a Price we pay for, absolutely, everything.

As the progression of activity moves forward through each stage, from Thought, to Planning, Preparation, Practice and Performance, there is either an actual monetary Price, or an opportunity Cost of forgone alternative options. Even, the occasion of joyful Celebration requires the resources of Time and Money for the opportunity to tie ribbons and bows around the accomplishment.

Guess what, though? With accomplishment, come even bigger dreams. They will arrive in the form of more and different thoughts about new opportunities, heretofore, unseen. The cycle of learning and growth repeats.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

Please, count the cost.

www.kimfoard.com

Coach

All we do begins with a thought. ~ In other words: The Want To (Thought) and The Want To, Do (Action).

Pyramid of Success“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

John Wooden,
Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach
~

All we do begins with a thought.

To achieve success, there must be: “The Want To” — That’s the thought.
Then, there must be: “The Want To, Do” — That’s the action.

Knowing and Doing are two very different aspects of life. One is passive. The other is active. One is a state of mind. The other is the motion of the body. One without the other is of little value.

Recently, a story about Coach Wooden grazed my consciousness. Then, it began to burrow deep into my soul. Now, that thought has become an action — to share my discovery with you.

From the book Great by Choice is a compelling narrative about Coach Wooden. He started each new college basketball season with the same comment, “We will begin by learning how to tie our shoes.”

Just imagine the freshman players thinking, “Why?!” The seniors eagerly participated in the lesson How to Tie Our Shoes, because they knew, “There was a way to do everything.”

In the words of one player, “By the time the games came along, they just became memorized exhibitions of brilliance.”

That high level of excellence was built — block by block — from the blueprint of Coach John Wooden. It was much more than a game plan. It is a philosophy of life and competition. As timely today, as it was for his century of performance, Coach appropriately named it a Pyramid of Success.

At the heart of everything I know about Coach Wooden, he was respectful of Time and Tone. Practices began and ended like clockwork (Time). He opened the first moments of practice in a quiet voice (Tone). The passion at his core produced Planning, Preparation, and Progress to reach Goals.

All we do begins with a thought.

The thought was to encourage the development of their best — from everyone within his sphere of influence (the Goal). The actions were focused on Planning (Pyramid of Success), Preparation (How to Tie Shoes), and Progress (National Championships).

Thought without action is worthless.
Action without thought is dangerous.

Time can be well invested by examining the Tone, at The Official Site of Coach John Wooden: http://www.coachwooden.com/

Be sure to click on Pyramid of Success, at the top of this page. Coach starts his building process, at the lower left corner. Industriousness is the first cornerstone in the foundation of the Pyramid of Success. The second cornerstone, to the far right, is Enthusiasm.

Click on each building block for the rest of the story.

In our daily conversations, with one another, we Talk about these principles. Funny, though, isn’t it? So easy to say — yet, so, very, hard to Do.

Coach simply inspires and encourages us to remember and do.

kimfoard.com

Between the Ears

All we do begins with a thought. “R U Thinking?!” The secret to pleasant relationships and successful adventures is discovered between our ears.

Palomino HorseClose your eyes and imagine a beautiful horse. Before you do, though, prepare your mind for this action: Imagine yourself walking up to that horse.

OK, now, do it.

Whenever you choose to rejoin us, you will have a story to tell about the trip that you just took:  Color of horse; stallion, gelding, or mare; how many hands high; location of the stables; and, season of the year. Priceless!

With the image and story in your mind, please, tell me: To which part of the horse did you approach?

The odds are good that you walked up to its head. You wanted to feel the warm breath from the nostrils and tickle of the whiskers, as you received a nuzzle and a nip from the lips of your horse expressing its affection for you. Then, you might have returned the love by reaching up to rub and scratch between its ears. The session probably ended with a head pressed against your chest and arms wrapped around a neck, in hugs.

More than a love story, this one is headed for destiny.

As a Certified Public Accountant and builder of bright financial futures, any planning for success involves a consideration for income taxes. Some people become so obsessed with them (Taxes), an appropriate encouragement is: “Never let the tax tail wag the dog!”

The reason you didn’t walk up to the rear of your dream horse is because of the same thought process used when I tease Clients into re-focusing their attention, from the tail, to the body of the dog: Rear-ends are dangerous.

Think about these two scenarios: The best relationship and the greatest professional success. I guarantee that both of them required planning, preparation, rich conversation, time investment and a dynamic commitment to flexibility; all done on the front side, with no “end” in sight.

The choice is ours: We can either manage from the front; or, clean up the mess at the rear.

Consider this: When driving, what are the odds of success if we focus on the rear-view mirror? Isn’t the trip much more fun looking, forward, through the front windows?

One letter is the difference between “ears” and “rears”: R

To honor the simplicity of the Text Generation: “R U Thinking?!”

Or, do you only see the “R U T” and believe that you’re stuck, in a rut?

Seriously, that’s the difference between leaders and lemmings: Thinking. Trailblazers are always dreaming and focusing on what is ahead (pardon the pun). Crowds are always content to follow behind. Unless you’re lead dog, the view never changes.

Lest there are some who believe Lead Dog is out of their reach, please, (R U Thinking?) consider that there is only one of you. YOU are unique in all of the specimens of humanity. Your special gifts of insight and ability do make a difference in the lives of all you touch.

Good, better, best.
Never let it rest;
Until, our good is better,
And, our better, best!

All we do begins with a thought.

The secret to pleasant relationships and successful adventures is discovered between our ears!

www.kimfoard.com

White Lines & PAWS

“Just keep your eyes on the white line, until you drive back into blue sky and sunshine.” From the PAWS of a puppy and kitten are lessons for us.

Dog Cat and White“Just keep your eyes on the white line, until you drive back into blue sky and sunshine.”

In some parts of the country, people drive for days to get out of the city. In Montana, we drive for hours to find one. Unless we’re driving at least 300 miles to do something, it’s probably just not that important!

It was Thanksgiving Day and Family was gathered 350 miles away. My first clue to a little excitement for that morning was at 3:30 AM, as I read the online Severe Weather Alert for blowing and drifting snow in an area known for high winds. The image that came to mind was of the log chain—that the community uses for a wind sock—popping links into snow drifts.

The reality was much different from the imagination. Before I even made it to the area of predicted severe weather, there was no hope in seeing anything on the side of the road. The road had disappeared into a white nothingness.

Blowing and drifting snow?! Who knew, or cared. The world had gone, white!

Visibility was zero. Now, wait. There was visibility. All white! White snow; white air; white road; and a few splotches of white lines were visible. We take them for granted most days: those solid white lines down the edge of a highway. That morning, they were the difference between moving forward and hibernation. A simple stripe of paint offered hope of progress.

It only took another 100 miles and 4 hours, until I drove into blue sky and sunshine.

Eventually, I drove right into the ranch yard and open arms of Family. A special Thanksgiving Day it was. In addition to the traditional fare of food and drink, this day included an opportunity to Meet the Parents. My daughter and her sweetie bravely hosted an event of Thanksgiving for their parents, who had yet to meet.

The meeting, and visiting, was made easier by George and Indie. You see, George is a big, old, grey cat; Indie is a small, young, red-heeler dog. Hence the expression, “Getting along like cats and dogs.” Oh, they get along just fine. Deep down, I do believe there is affection between the two. It’s the expression of the emotion that is comical.

Much more than the yelps and growls, it’s the PAWS which offer the love pats!

While we can learn much from two-legged folk, the lessons tutored by George and Indie made sense of my earlier morning experience of White.

Planning
Action
Will
Stories

Planning ~ You can see it in their eyes, as they think of the next episode of feline and canine adventure.

Action ~ They, literally, spring into it. Any doubts or reservations are pushed aside and they launch full-bore into the episode at hand.

Will ~ Fun will be obtained, by any means necessary to that end. Any resistance to great sport is overcome by sheer willpower.

Stories ~ We will remember, forever, the Day because it is wrapped in the ribbons and bows of the narrative.

My morning of Montana adventure contained all of the elements of PAWS. From the bag of winter survival gear to the full tank of fuel, planning and preparedness were the order of the day. Sitting beside the road in hopes of a kinder and gentler Mother Nature was forgone in exchange for moving forward, one mile at a time. Will-Power was my co-pilot, although, He was white-knuckled and wide-eyed, at times. Then, there are the tall tales—stories to tell the grandkids!

When given the opportunity of the impossible, let’s focus on the solutions available within our PAWS. By putting our hands to the task of finding joy by doing, and our feet to the path leading us to the discovery of an adventure, we find a priceless treasure that is ours, forever.

www.kimfoard.com

Creating to Creation

The power of “ing” brings into existence the “ion”. Doing, learning, and growing produces action, education and a new creation!

Creating to CreationSince we learn by doing and the fun is in the doing, learning is fun!

Doing is the secret path to discovering happiness. In fact, the power of “ing” brings into existence the “ion“.

All we do begins with a thought. Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.

Thinking produces action, doing produces education, and creating produces creation. One is the process; the other is the result. From its Greek origin, ion is defined as something that goes.

The premise of this treatise is that any accumulation of stuff during our lifetime will go, away.

To continue this thought experiment, we will consider a two-word phrase: Building Empires. The first word, Building, is the process; the second word, Empires, is the result.

Let’s begin by experiencing the feelings, which flow through us, when thinking about an Empire. What a headache, right?! Who protects it? Who maintains it? What do the subjects need and the royalty want? Where are the borders and are they secure? How many turf wars are there between the politicians? When will enough be enough? The answer: Never.

In fact, we are encouraged to remember:

Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.
Be wise enough to know when to quit.
In the blink of an eye wealth disappears,
For it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.

Now, let’s experience the feelings from thinking about the process of Building. Oh, what excitement! There is the initial sense of adventure and discovery. Then comes the dreaming, the planning, the preparing, and drawing of blueprints. Anything is possible! Next, begins the actual construction. Messy at the beginning; yet, still exciting: the hole in the ground, the ballet of activity to pour footings and foundations. And, on it goes, until: we have a new creation.

If we focus on the doing, the learning, and the growing in our individual lives, it is guaranteed that action, education and a new creation will emerge. By engaging in the process of creating, creation will be the result.

We learn by doing; the fun is in the doing. Let’s, continue to, have fun learning!

www.kimfoard.com