Archive for April, 2010

“As ye sow, so shall ye reap…”

Sound familiar? You might remember this verse from Sunday school or from more recent study.  It is a profound principle with powerful implications. It is an enduring principle with a promise that underlies everything we accomplish, or fail to accomplish during our lives. It is the key to joy and abundance or to failure and frustration. It is a sure promise – as sure as the sunrise or sunset.  If we do something, something happens. Everything in nature and in life is based on this principle. We control what we sow, and in that way only we exercise SOME control over what we reap.

Yes, sometimes there are outside (uncontrollable) factors at work. My Mom and Dad for instance led great lives. They worked hard, planned carefully, spent frugally, exercised consistently, ate impeccably, and served tirelessly. Theirs were happy, healthy, full lives… life they truly reaped what they sowed. You’d have thought they’d live forever! However, Dad, at a very young 69 years of age was consumed by a rare cancer in less than six weeks…..and Mom passed away just a few months laterfrom the same foe (cancer).

“So, why bother?” some would ask. “Why even try to plan, to work, and to improve?” It is true that any one of us could be removed from this life at any moment by causes beyond our control. BUT, while we live, while we are able to choose what it is we will sow in our lives, we can rest assured that while we live we will reap and receive in life what we put into it. Effort produces results, honesty builds trust, respect leads to cooperation, and healthy living improves the quality of life. As Montaigne so aptly wrote, “the value in life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them”.

Lead on……….. Cliff

April 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm 4 comments

Like Joan

You’ve heard of Joan of Arc. She was the young French woman who saved her country and was later burned at the stake for refusing to deny her beliefs and refusing to “sell out”. One might ask, “isn’t “selling out” a small price to pay to save one’s life? The answer I suppose lies in the answer to this question…”what [of life] is left…after selling out?

As managers, salespeople, employees, friends, and in fact in all our roles, is it sometimes tempting to “sell out”…to be dishonest, disloyal, or lazy…in order to save our own skin? Yes, it is tempting, but what [really] is the gain?

There’s a wonderful piece in the play Joan of Lorraine, by Maxwell Anderson, which summarizes Joan of Arc’s beliefs. To set the stage, remember that Joan was born in France during the Hundred Years’ War between England and France. She grew up in a very poor, but God fearing, home. As ane early teen, she began having spiritual experiences wherein she was moved to believe that it was her divine calling to save France from the powerful English army that had taken many of her country’s cities.  Now what do you do with that as a young 13 year old? Not your typical teen, Joan took this all very seriously…and personally and shared her vision with others. This poor uneducated young girl had a very difficult time getting anyone to take her seriously. Finally, she got an audience with the king of France.  At first, he dismissed her, but when pressed he “tested” her and was eventually convinced to believe her. In time, the king gave her an army, and within a few months, she defeated the English, saved France, and helped the king regain his throne.

A year later, in another battle, the English took Joan prisoner. They told her to deny any and all claims to her divine mission, and when she refused, she was burned at the stake. In Joan of Lorraine, the playwright Anderson, suggests the following expression as Joan might have stated it: “I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and so they give their lives to little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it…and then it’s gone. But to surrender who you are and to live without belief is more terrible than dying – even more terrible than dying young.”

What do you live for, work for, believe in? Whatever it is, do it completely and uncompromisingly, and yours will be a full and purposeful life. In the process you will inspire, uplift, and improve your customers, your employees, and others, and end each day very tired, but very happy.

Lead on… Cliff

April 5, 2010 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

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