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Texture from Mayang's Textures
Be “Sine Cera” (Sincere)
Sincere.
The word comes from a Latin word “sine cera” meaning “without wax”.  In the original Greek it means “sun-tested”.
In Bible times merchants sold very fine porcelain that was greatly valued and therefore very expensive.  Sometimes when it was fired in the kiln, tiny cracks would appear. Dishonest merchants would smear pearly white wax over these cracks, which would pass for unblemished porcelain – unless it was held up to the light of the sun.  Honest merchants marked their wares “sine cera” – “without wax”.
That is a picture of genuine sincerity.
No sham, no hypocrisy, no hidden cracks to be covered over.
Be Sine Cera.
Be on the inside, what you are on the outside, be real, be truthful, and be honest.
People will respect you for that, even if they differ with you.
Remember Today: BE SINCERE!
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old-world-map
If there were a list of all the stuff you want, want to do, or dream of, how long would that list be?
Would it begin with something you have already achieved?
Would it end with “die with a smile on my face?”
Where would this list take you?  To the ends of the Earth, or to the deepest reaches of a man’s soul where courage and introspect reside?
When I look at the men and women who have accomplished great feats and have seen
magnificent things, I wonder what makes them different than me?
They are in better shape, no doubt…well, not exactly.
They have money; you must to have money to realize dreams, right?  No.
Then it has to be someone who has no desire to have a family or live the American dream, right?  Not in the least.
The difference between one like me and those merry souls who have seen the dark and lived to tell the light is a pen, a calendar, and a map.
They just do it.  They plan it.  They make it happen.  They put it on paper and take the necessary steps to achieve it.
So you want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro…then put it on the calendar!  You want to meet the Dalai Lama?  Then put the pieces together to do it.  You want to hike across the border of Pakistan and Iraq, you may be insane.
The only difference between those whose life we desire and those who lead lives of quiet desperation is ACTION.
I suspect it all comes back to desire.  Do we desire adventure more than we desire other things, such as comfort and convenience?  I can give you comfort and convenience, just stop by Best Buy and hit the Lazy boy showroom on the way home.  I have convenience. I can access the Internet from my blue ray player.  The reality is desire must exist.  It is the single most important trait a man can have.  First, a desire for the one True and Living God.  Second a desire for others.  Last, the desire to improve himself to the honor and glory of God.
What could you do with a pen, a calendar, and a map?
What will you do?

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brown shoes, looking down

 

I love a story that President Reagan told showing how he learned the need for decision making early in his life. 

When he was a youngboy a kind aunt took him to have a pair of custom shoes made.  The shoemaker asked him if he wanted his shoes to have square toes or round toes, but Reagan couldn’t seem to make up his mind.

“Come back in a day or two and let me know what you decide,” the shoemaker told him. 

But Reagan didn’t go back. 

When the man saw him on the street and again asked him what kind of shoes he wanted, Reagan said, “I haven’t made up my mind yet.”

“Very well,” the man responded.  “Your shoes will be ready tomorrow.”

When Reagan went to pick them up, he discovered that the toe of one shoe was round and the other was square. 

Reagan later said, “Looking at those shoes taught me a lesson.  If you don’t make your own decisions, somebody else makes them for you.”

Are you going to decide to create positive, memorable experiences, or are you going to let first customer (or member) of the day decide for you? 

Are you going to decide serve those around you, or are you going to let the people around you decide for you?

Decide to construct your character through excellent actions, and become your best self.

Remember Today:  YOU MUST DECIDE!

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Brooks

I had very little to do with the sweetness you see above these words yet he is still my greatest accomplishment thus far.  He is absolutely perfect…and he is mine.  My wife absolutely outdid herself with this little guy.  He has already changed me.  I hope he never stops. 

Brooks

August 29, 2013

6lb 1oz

19″

Welcome to the world little man!  It is what you make it. 

Strive to serve.  Seek to love.

 

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The older I get 

…but to do right.  When you have done so, the rest lies with God.  -C.S. Lewis

Exercise excellence at the last thing God called you to do.  He will take care of the next steps.

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starting line

 

But it has to be good before I start, right? 

I don’t want to disappoint anyone. 

I can’t release poor work.  I can’t let “half way there” be seen.  My words have to be perfect.  My content has to be flawless.  My ideas have to be complete.  I must begin at expert level.

My first work has to be my best work.

Isn’t that ridiculous? 

At one point Michael Jordan learned how to dribble a basketball.  At one point, Eric Clapton was taught how to hold a guitar.  At one point, Google looked like this

Everyone must start somewhere.  Everyone must start.

So go start!  Go make mistakes, misspell words, butcher jokes, break prototypes.  Go be awful! 

After all, better to be dreadful today, (when your audience is small), than when you are expected to produce great work.

Something down on paper is always better than the idea that stays in your head.

Remember Today:  JUST START!

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Window Washer and Pidgeons

 

On a recent trip to Chicago I saw something truly inspiring. 

Throughout the trip I interacted with people who had a financial interest in being excellent at their job, and in providing excellent service.

I met doormen who opened doors, carried baggage, hailed taxi cabs, and made small talk, all with a wide smile on their faces. 

I met shuttle drivers who offered facts about the history of Chicago and asked about my hometown, all with smiles on their faces.

I met restaurant waiters who took their time explaining menus and going as far as to bring out every cut of meat available for me to choose what looked the best.  They made recommendations and praised my selections, all with huge smiles on their faces.  

All of these men and women HAD to be excellent at their job.  If they were anything but wonderful, I may choose to stay in a different hotel, take a different shuttle, or eat at a different chop house.  I appreciated their service, but recognize the motivation behind their actions.

Then I witnessed a window washer at the O’Hare Airport.  I am sure I was the only one watching him.  Sitting in my car waiting to be taken to downtown Chicago, with taxis and limos speeding around us, everyone trying to get to their destination, surely no one noticed him.  I watched as he ran a wet sponge down the window, cleaning off weeks of grime and dust.  I noticed how he was careful to work around a bracket holding the enormous window.  I looked on as he overshot with the sponge and soaped the bracket.  I watched as he took out a rag, wrapped it around his finger, and carefully wiped the excess soap off of the bracket.  He was practicing excellence in his window washing career.

He did all this in hiding.  He had no reason to impress me.  I am sure if he had left the soap to dry on the bracket, no one would have known otherwise…but he didn’t.  He practiced excellence. 

You may think your job is mundane or small, but take a lesson from the window washer at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. 

Be excellent for the sake of being excellent. 

You may never get a thank you or pat on the back, but you can rest in the knowledge that you were your best, and that is worth millions.

Remember Today:  THE WINDOW WASHER!

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