“Every day presents you with ways to grow and to help the people you care about grow. How can you remember to look for these chances?” states  Dr. Carol Dweck, on pg. 244 in her book titled “Mindset”.  Dr. Dweck believes that either you tend toward a growth mindset or a fixed mindset and you probably are not aware of which one you are using.   Read her book and you will be looking for ways to actualize a growth mindset, unless of course there is nothing more you need to learn!

I have always liked the statement my friend Bob Moawad would use in his “Increasing Human Effectiveness” seminars:  “Either you are green and growing, or you probably are ripe and rotting!”  The choice to remain green seems obvious to the growth mindset personality.  The fixed mindset person is about playing it safe and looking good, always!

I would encourage all of you who are willing to risk making changes in your life to go to page 245 of Dweck’s book and make a photocopy of the diagram she has placed there. Paste this graphic to a place in your home (think bathroom mirror) where you will see this visual daily.  Then every day becomes an opportunity for your mind to choose a path that directs your brain, your thoughts, your emotions, to take actions that will help you to grow and develop.  Physically, you my be growing, but what about your mental, emotional, social, and spiritual self?  Are you growing in all ways and always?  Embrace both the positive and negative feedback your actions will receive as opportunities to learn from your experience.  Character is forged on the anvil of risk.

10 years from now, will you have just one year of experience repeated 10 times, or will you truly have 10 years worth of learning experiences? Stay out of the rut labeled “routine” and become the extraordinary creative person you were designed to be in the first place. Stretch and reach your highest potential.  “Behold the turtle who will only make progress when s/he sticks their neck out!”  Either you are expanding or you are contracting.  If you want to coast, then remember that coasting only happens when going downhill.

You can start today by reading a good book(s) while expanding your understanding of the way life really works.  Daily reflect on what you have learned, and then journal your thoughts while you seek after worthwhile, predetermined goals that are in alignment with virtue and good values.  Remember to serve others as well as yourself.  Seek mentors and engage in conversations that lead to wisdom!  And above all else, forgive and love.

The world needs you to be the best you can be, a shining light in an increasingly dark landscape.  Be the type of person that truly cares. Find a way to serve someone else that serves.  The heart of your education should be about the education of your heart!

Live, Laugh, Love, Learn, Leave a Legacy!

What is your mindset?

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Seven Values To Live By – Norman Vincent Peale

I was cleaning my office of accumulated papers and old documents  when I found this precious little gem published by the Peale Center For Christian Living in 1992.  These values are just as important in 2013.  For a full explanation of these, do your thinking and research on what these might mean to you today!  Then chose to implement them.  Here is some of the content from Dr. Peale’s Action Booklet “Seven Values To Live By”.

  1. Integrity:  Firm Adherence To A Code Of Moral Values – start with Complete Honesty
  2. Courage: The Strength To Do What is Right Regardless Of The Consequences
  3. Enthusiasm: Passion For Life, from en theos, In God, Love God, Love Others, Love Life
  4. Happiness: State Of Well-Being And Contentment
  5. Faith: Belief And Trust In God; “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…” Heb: 11:1
  6. Hope: Expectation Of Success, Live With Hope In God’s Promises For The Best Life
  7. Love: Selfless Concern For All Others. Of Faith, Hope, and Love, the greatest is Love

In this Action Booklet Dr. Peale asks and says the following, “The standards of true success are these:  Are you in control of yourself?  Do you have a grip on life?  Are you happy?  Are you developing your spiritual life?  Do you get a thrill out of everyday living?  Do you know God?  Are you held in high esteem by other people?  If money comes to you along with all these values, that is good.  But money should not be your main goal.  Achieving a happy, satisfying, and fulfilling life is what you really should focus on.”  

What is your focus today?  Is it only on your self?  I encourage you to get bigger than the circumstances in your life. You have will power, your will, God’s power.  Who do you know could use your encouragement today?  Take action before this day is over and put these seven values into effect: Integrity, Courage, Enthusiasm, Happiness, Faith, Hope, Love!

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Use Your Mind – Meta-Thinking

Thinking about one’s thinking requires a specific awareness that we normally do not employ.  Check out Jeffrey Schwartz’s work on self-directed neuroplasticity and you will see the profound implications of how a scholar can take charge of his/her brain.  Dr. Schwartz argues that you, who you are, cannot be reducible to a 3 lb mass of matter called brain. You have mental force capabilities that can actually change your neural circuits.  This has now been documented through research into obsessive-compulsive disorders and stroke victims who self-direct their recovery by thinking.  You are not your brain, you are the essence that has a great tool called BRAIN….use it to make a difference or lose it to the mindless influences of the world full of unholy necessities.

What is your intention?  As you get to know your brain better and you engage in self-contemplation and prayer, keep a journal of your thoughts.  Think about your purpose… use wisdom. Notice what thoughts and emotions are present, accept them and then let them go.  Then choose the subject of your focused attention and examine what you see, hear, smell, taste,  touch, and experience as you concentrate on what you are attempting to think about.

It is now Memorial Day here in the United States.  You might join me in thinking on what this day really represents for you, your family, America, and its citizens.  Remember to enjoy this day, because it is your day given to you by the grace of God.  The good book says that all of our days are numbered.  Don’t waste the opportunity.  What will you do today to make a difference?  Meta -Think and then take action!

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Leaders Serve Others

The best leaders are those who serve others first.

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Self Awareness

Every college admissions search needs to start with a survey of your self.  “To Thine Own Self Be True” was the advice my mother always gave to me, and she was a very smart lady!

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