Thursday, August 30, 2007

the ability to deal with people

"I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun."
- John D. Rockefeller

Two Kinds of People

by Ella Wheeler WIlcox

There are two kinds of people on earth today;
Just two kinds of people, no more I say.

Not the sinner and the saint, for it’s well understood
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
He who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

Wherever you go you will find the earth's masses
Are always divided in just these two classes

And oddly enough, you will find, too, I ween,
There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner who lets others bear
Your portion of labor and worry and care?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"He is not worthy of the honeycomb that shuns the hive because the bees have stings."
- Shakespeare

"The hero and the coward both feel exactly the same fear, only the hero confronts his fear and converts it into fire."
- Cus D'Amato, fight manager

Monday, August 27, 2007

"Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who succeed are those who get inside their players and motivate them."
- Vince Lombardi

points about priorities

"Its hard to overestimate the unimportance of almost everything."

"Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to almost nothing."
- Michael Le Boef, business consultant and author

"Since you can't change time, you must instead change your approach to it."
- John Maxwell

"The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook."
- William James
"The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I'd make my teammates play."
- Bill Russell, winner of more NBA championships than any other player
"The power of words is immense. A well-chosen word has often sufficed to stop a flying army, to change defeat into victory, and to save an empire."
- Emile De Girardin
"The praises of others may be of use in teaching us, not what we are, but what we ought to be."
- August W. Hare
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"
- MLK Jr.
"The universe is made of stories, not atoms."
- Muriel Rukeyser
"Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request."
- Phillip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield
"The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said."
- Peter Drucker
"You can get everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
- Zig Ziglar
"Small opportunites are often the beginning of great enterprises."
- Demosthenes
"There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher."
- Henry Van Dyke
"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."
- John Bunyan
"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."
- Albert Scheitzer
"Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude."
- MLK Jr.
"I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end."
- Abraham Lincoln
"An egotist is not a person who thinks to much of himself; it's someone who thinks too little of other people."
- Anonymous
"If each of us were to confess his most secret desire, the one that inspires all his plans, all his actions, he would say: 'I want to be praised.'"
- E.M. Cioran
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too can become great."
- Mark Twain
"Treat a man as he appears to be and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be."
- Goethe

Friday, August 24, 2007

leaders and consensus

"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus."
- Martin Luther King Jr.

HT: Josh Barnett

Thursday, August 23, 2007

go parents

My friend Brian Bill recently shared this article describing how young people look to their parents as role models. Here's a blurb:

"Asked to name their heroes, young Americans surveyed by The Associated Press and MTV make their parents the collective top pick. Twenty-nine percent choose their mothers, 21 percent name their fathers and 16 percent pick their parents without specifying which one. Allowed to choose as many heroes as they'd like, nearly half mention at least one of their folks."

Its humbling to think about how great a thing God has entrusted to us when he gives us children.

harvesting books

A good friend of mine checked my blog and noticed all the quotes on Commitment and thought that I must be preparing to go to battle with people on the issue of commitment.

I thought I would explain what I'm doing with all the quotes. The truth is that at my new appointment I have much less money to spend on purchasing books, so I've been checking them out at the library. I'm "harvesting" good stuff from them by posting them on my blog because I have to give them back!

The blogger system offers a great way to file away quotes and stories that might be useful at a later date.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

comments on commitment

"Anytime you make a commitment to something, it will be tested"
- John Maxwell, Today Matters, p.159

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other thing."
- Abraham Lincoln

"If something is worth doing, I will commit myself to carrying it through."
- John Maxwell, Today Matters, p.160

"You have to pay the price. You will find that everything in life exacts a price, and you will have to decide whether the price is worth the prize."
- Sam Nunn

"The moment one definitely commits onself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way."
- William H. Murray

"Anything worth having is gong to be a struggle. Commitment doesn't come easy, but when you're fighting for something you believe in, the struggle is worth it."
- John Maxwell, Today Matters, p.165

"If you want something out of your day, you must put something in it. Your talent is what God put in before you were born. Your skills are what you put in yesterday. Commitment is whatyou must put in today in order to make today your masterpiece and make tomorrow a success."
- John Maxwell, Today Matters, p.166

"The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"To bring one's self to a frame of mind and to the proper energy to accomplish things that require plain hard work continuously is the one big battle that everyone has. When the battle is won for all time, then everything is easy."
- Thomas A. Buckner

"Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and redecided tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you."
- Arthur Gordon, A Touch of Wonder

"When you're interested in something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
- Ken Blanchard

"There's always a way through things if you work hard enough and look close. It all depends on your level of determination."
- Liz Murray


"One of the most common mistakes and one of the costliest, is thinking success is due to some genius, some magic something or other which we do not possess. Success is generally due to holding on and failure to let go. You decide to learn a language, study music, take a course in reading, train yourself physically. Will it be a success or failure? It depends upon how much pluck and perseverance that word 'decide' contains. The decision that nothing will overrule, the grip that nothing can detatch will bring great success."
- clergyman and author Maltbie D Babcock

defining moments

"Most people can look back over the years and identify a time and place at which their lives changed significantly. Whether by accident or design, these are the moments when, because of a readiness within us and a collaboration with events occurring around us, we are forced to seriously reappraise ourselves and the conditions under which we live and to make certain choices that will affect the rest of our lives."
- Frederich F. Flach, Choices


"There are high spots in all of our lives, and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else. I don't care how great, how famous or successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause. Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul. Good work can never be expected from a worker without encouragement. No one can ever have lived without it."
- George Matthew Adams

correction and praise

"Admonish thy friends in secret, praise them openly."
- Publilius Syrus

the greatest compliment

"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer."
- Henry David Thoreau

a brilliant conversationalist

" A gossip is one who talks to you about other people. A bore is one who talks to you about himself. And a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself."
- William King

give your best

"You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself."
- Harry Firestone

healthy relationships

"Your relationships are only as healthy as you are."
- Neil Clarke Warren

acting in spite of it

"Truly successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally. Real success lies in experiencing fear or aversion and acting in spite of it."
- psychologist Joseph Mancusi

doing what failures don't like to do

"The common denominator of success lies in forming the habit of doing things that failures don't like to do."
- Albert Gray


"Examine the labels you apply to yourself. Every label is a boundary or limit you will not let yourself cross."
- Dwayne Dyer

the leader's best friend

"Momentum is a leader's best friend... When you have momentum people think you are better than you really are. When you don’t have momentum people think you are worse than you really are."
- John Maxwell

Monday, August 20, 2007

John Maxwell recommends that we do the following with regard to thinking:

1. Acquire the Wisdom of Big Picture Thinking: Am I thinking beyond myself and my world so that I process ideas with a holistic perspective?

2. Unleash the Potential of Focused Thinking: Am I dedicated to removing distractions and mental clutter so that I can concentrate with clarity on the real issue?

3. Discover the Joy of Creative Thinking: Am I working to break out of my "box" of limitations so that I explore ideas and options to experience creative breakthroughs?

4. Recognize the Importance of Realistic Thinking: Am I building a solid mental foundation on facts so that I can think with certainty?

5. Release the Power of Strategic Thinking: Am I implementing strategic plans that give me direction for today and increase my potential for tomorrow?

6. Feel the Energy of Possibility Thinking: Am I unleashing the enthusiasm of possibility thinking to find solutions for even seemingly impossible situations?

7. Embrace the Lesson of Reflective Thinking: Am I regularly revisiting the past to gain a true perspective and think with understanding?

8. Question the Acceptance of Popular Thinking: Am I consciously rejecting the limitations of common thinking in order to accomplish uncommon results?

9. Encourage the Participation of Shared Thinking: Am I consistently including the heads of others to think "over my head" and achieve compounding results?

10. Experience the Satisfaction of Unselfish Thinking: Am I continually considering others and their journey in order to think with collaboration?

11. Enjoy the Return of Bottom-line Thinking: Am I staying focused on results in order to gain the maximum return and reap the full potential of my thinking?

(John Maxwell, Today Matters, pp.150-151)

thoughts on thinking

"No one knows what a great leader would have done given a new set of circumstances. There is no tried-and-true formula for success that can be handed down through the generations. To succeed, we must do our own thinking."
- John Maxwell, Today Matters, p.131

"If you want to become a great thinker, you first need to become a good thinker. Before becoming a good thinker, you need to become a thinker. In order to become a thinker, you need to be willing to first produce a bunch of mediocre and downright bad ideas. Only by practicing and developing your thinking daily will your ideas get better. Your thinking ability is determined not by your desire to think, but by your past thinking. To become a good thinker, do more thinking. Once the ideas start flowing, they get better. Once they get better, they keep improving."
- John Maxwell, Today Matters, p.136

"Thought is the original source lf all wealth, all success, all material gain, all great discoveries and inventions, and all achievement."
- Claude M. Bristol, The Magic of Believing

"A small man is made up of small thoughts."
- playwrite Victor Hugo

"Capital isn't so important in business. Experience isn't so important. You can get both these things. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn't any limit to what you can do with your business and your life."
- industrialist Harvey Firestone

"Every time a person puts an idea across, he finds ten people who thought about it before he did - but they only thought about it."
- author Alfred Montapert

"For me, when an idea hits me, it strikes fire, almost like God speaking. I know that sounds heretical, but there it is. The more time that passes after the idea strikes, the less heat it gives off. I forget parts of it, it doesn't seem as great. Ideas have a short half-life."
- Dave Goetz, founder of


"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."
- jazz musician Charles Mingus

up or getting up

“I’m never down. I’m either up or getting up.”
- Bobby

momentum starters

“There are two kinds of people. There’s the person who gets up and gets the ball rolling and the person who waits for the ball to be rolled to them.”
–John Maxwell

quotes about problems

"God doesn't waste tragedy."
- John Vertefeuille

"If you have a job without aggravations, you don't have a job."
- Malcolm Forbes

"A person whose problems are all behind him is probably a school bus driver."
- Dennis Rainey

"Most people grow only large enough to solve their problems - not to reach their potential."
- Gerald Brooks

"In 1962, Victor and Mildred Goertzel published a revealing study of 413 famous and exceptionally gifted people. The study was called Cradles of Eminence. These two researchers spent years trying to understand the source of these people's greatness, the common thread which ran through all of these outstanding people's lives. The most outstanding fact was that almost all of them, 392 had to overcome very difficult obstacles in order to become who they were. Their problems became opportunities instead of obstacles."
- Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat

idealism and problems

"Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem."
- John Galsworthy

black and white

"There are only two kinds of people in the world; those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and everyone else."
- Mark Twain


"No man has a prosperity so high or firm, but that two or three words can dishearten it; and there is no calamity which right words will not begin to redress."
– Ralph Waldo Emerson.

"The power of words is immense. A well-chosen word has often sufficed to stop a flying army, to change defeat into victory, and to save an empire."
– Emile De Girardin

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Billy Sunday via Brian Bill

My buddy Brian Bill posted these cool Billy Sunday quotes today:
Your reputation is what people say about you. Your character is what God and your wife know about you.

If you took no more care of yourself physically than spiritually, you'd be just as dried up physically as you are spiritually.

To train a boy in the way he should go you must go that way yourself.

Don't stop with telling your boy to do right. Show him how.

Be careful, father, or while you are taking one lap around the devil's track your boy will make six.

Better die an old maid, sister, than marry the wrong man.

Whiskey is all right in its place -- but its place is hell.

passions and competencies

One thing I believe with all my heart is that God has designed each believer so that he or she will find the most fulfillment when serving Him according to their unique passions and competencies. Often times, people get burned out when serving outside of their niche. This story illustrates that so well.

The Animal School
By George H. Reavis

Once upon a time, the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of "a new world." So they organized a school.

They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming, in fact better than his instructor, but he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running, but had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. He also developed a "charlie horse" from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and a "D" in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well, and also run, climb and fly a little, had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

remember people's names

In the book I wrote about below, Maxwell shares a helpful technique for memorizing people's names. It was developed by Jerry Lucas. Its called the SAVE method.

S - Say the name three times in conversation.
A - Ask a question about the name (for example, how it is spelled) or about the person.
V - Visualize the person's prominent physical and personality features.
E - End the conversation with the name.

how to make people feel like a million bucks

I just finished a marvelous little book written by John Maxwell and Les Parrot. Its good basic people skill stuff, filled out with lots of personal stories. It was Parrot's idea for John to share his relationship secrets, so Parrot did research and found examples of how Maxwell had used this principles throughout his memory. The stories were so good I was laughing and crying during much of the read. Here's the breakdown of the book:

25 Ways to Win With People - How to Make People Feel Like A Million Bucks
1. Start with Yourself
2. Practice the 30-Second Rule (give people your undivided attention for the first 30-seconds you make contact with them. offer them attention, affirmation, and appreciation)
3. Let People Know You Need Them
4. Create a Memory and Visit It Often
5. Compliment People in Front of Other People
6. Give Others a Reputation to Uphold
7. Say the Right Words at the Right Time
8. Encourage the Dreams of Others
9. Pass the Credit on to Others
10. Offer Your Very Best
11. Share a Secret with Someone
12. Mine the Gold of Good Intentions
13. Keep Your Eyes off the Mirror
14. Do for Others What They Can't Do for Themselves
15. Listen with Your Heart
16. Find the Keys to Their Hearts
17. Be the First to Help
18. Add Value to People
19. Remember a Person's Story
20. Tell a Good Story
21. Give with No Strings Attached
22. Learn Your Mailman's Name
23. Point Out People's Strengths
24. Write Notes of Encouragement
25. Help People Win

Friday, August 17, 2007


"My potential is God's gift to me. What I do with my potential is my gift to Him."
- N/A (via John Maxwell)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

things turn out

"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
- John Wooden

spare moments

"Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a usefel life."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

seeking happiness

"He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply grief which he purposes to remove."
- Samuel Johnson

Friday, August 10, 2007

attitude stuff

During my 3rd year of seminary in 2001, I felt that God was really convicting me of the fact that I had a very cynical and negative attitude. At that time, I began working on having a faith-powered positive approach to life. I find that its a lot of work to keep my attitude positive, but that when I do it, the pay off is very positive as well. People feel better about themselves and life when you're around. You're trusting God and blessing him in all things. You're looking for God's presence and hand throughout the day. Anyway, I've found that when I'm going into a new venture, I have to do a lot of extra work to keep my attitude strong and faith-based because fear is so close all the time. I've been reading a lot of attitude booster stuff lately because I'm at the beginning of a challenging and very promising new appointment. The challenge is reversing the trend of decline which was caused by major church conflict. The opportunities are limitless. The demographic advantage in this town is surreal.

I'm currently reading Today Matters by John Maxwell. This morning I came across these pointers for Managing the Disciplines of Attitude on a daily basis.
1) Recognize That Your Attitude Needs Daily Adjustment
2) Find Something Positive in Everything
3) Find Someone Positive in Every Situation
4) Say Something Positive in Every Conversation
5) Remove Negative Words from Your Vocabulary
6) Express Gratitude to Others Daily

Thursday, August 09, 2007

each day

"Make each day your masterpiece."
- John Wooden


"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
- John Wooden

life is difficult

"Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult--once we truly understand and accept it--then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."
- Dr. M.Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled


"The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You don't blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the President. You realize that you control your own destiny."
- Albert Ellis


"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
- Calvin Coolidge

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

how to retire young via joe mcdonald

I just cut and pasted this post from my friend, Joe McDonald's blog. The post was entitled "How to Retire Young." Good stuff Joe!
I heard a phrase on the radio today. "Do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life."

It's easy to scoff at something like that as ivory-tower nonsense. The world needs ditch-diggers too.

I think there's a better meaning though. Everything we do has a downside, if you look hard enough (believe me, I've tested this daily!). And conversely, every task can be loved. That's because love or hate is a choice. As one woman said about her mother, "She wasn't passionate about dish washing, she brought passion to dish washing." If you don't like what your hands are obligated to do at the moment, then perhaps you can busy your mind doing something else, whether that be enjoying the day, or your health, or how much worse things could be.

So why not invest in an early retirement, by trying to fall in love with at least one aspect of your job?


"Contentment comes from having a positive attitude. It means...
-expecting the best in everything - not the worst.
- remaining upbeat - even when you get beat up.
- seeing solutions in every problem - not problems in every solution.
- believing in yourself - even when others believe you've failed.
- holding on to hope - even when others say it's hopeless.
No matter what happens to you, a positive attitude comes from within. Your circumstances and your contentment are unrelated."

(John Maxwell, Failing Forward, p.67)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

attitude is more important

I came across this W.C.Fields quote which sounds strangely similar to the Swindoll quote.
"Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill."
- W. C. Fields

Monday, August 06, 2007

soaring with Christ

"Our walk with Christ, well learned, is a burden only as wings are to a bird or the engines are to an airplane."
- Dallas Willard


“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
- Albert Einstein

Saturday, August 04, 2007

impossible is nothing

"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing."
- Adidas advertisement

Chuck Swindoll on attitude

I recently once again came across this famous Chuck Swindoll quote about attitude.

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past ... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitude."
- Chuck Swindoll

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

how to respond to an emergency

A number of years ago I read a book of Norman Vincent Peale's favorite quotes from other people. This is one that can be instantly memorized and put to use. I actually think of it quite often:
"Always handle an emergency leisurely."
- Chinese Proverb

don't quit

"Ninety percent of those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit."
- Paul J. Meyer

splatters and bouncers

"I've found that there are really only two kinds of people in this world when it comes to dealing with discouragement: splatters and bouncers. When splatters hit rock bottom, they fall apart, and they stick to the bottom like glue. On the other hand, when bouncers hit bottom, they pull themselves together and bounce back."
- John Maxwell (The Difference Maker, p.63)


"Every person's life is a diary in which he or she means to write one story and is forced to write yet another."
- J. Wallace Hamilton