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Posts Tagged ‘daily inspiration’

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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reggisgas

What is your favorite restaurant of all time? 

Why?

Most likely the reason you love your favorite restaurant is not the location, building, music, environment, cost, or the wait staff.  The reason most of us love our favorite restaurant is the food

Reggie’s Barbecue and Wings in Jackson, Tennessee has been around for 29 years.  It has occupied several locations in Jackson; including a shed-like structure with seating for about 10 people to one of its current locations inside a gas station in North Jackson. 

The reasons Reggie’s has survived these less than desirable locations are due to two factors:  A hardworking owner and award-winning food.  People drive from all over West Tennessee to eat some of the best barbecue and wings money can buy. 

A restaurant’s survival or failure depends mainly on the food.  They may have the greatest environment, the best prices, and best looking wait staff, but if the food is below par it is only a matter of time until they close their doors.

Where you work….you are the food

People may come in the door due to your location, they may really enjoy your environment, and they may be thrilled with your products, but they will choose to stay and come back later…because of you! 

When people talk about a business, I have rarely heard anyone complain about the lighting, the carpet color, or the location. 

People bank, shop, or purchase from you because you give them what they are looking for, a relationship and a smile.      

Now…go upgrade your menu!

Remember today:  BE TOP NOTCH FOOD!

By the way…check out Reggi’s BBQ here. (and turn down your speakers)

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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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Feed the Wolf 

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.  One is EVIL.  It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, and lies.  It is pride and ego.  The other is GOOD.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, encouragement, kindness, and empathy.  It is truth and humility.”

 

The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

 

The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

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 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.     James 3:3-5

What tremendous power the tongue has!  The words we say have the power to injure, upset, and emotional cripple others.  What you say may invoke tears.  What you say make create rage.  What you say may spark a fire.

Or…what you say may construct a smile!  What you say may brighten a day.  What you say may guide someone to joy as a rudder guides a ship or a bit guides a horse. What you say may change a life!

Ephesians 4:29 says:

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

When you have a choice to say something uplifting, or upsetting, remember the verse above.

You may also remind yourself: “It’s almost 4:30” (get it…Ephesians 4:29?)

Have words ever sparked a fire in your life, good or bad?

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