What is your “Expiration Date”? Are you Shelf Stable Enough to Move Forward?
It never ceases to amaze me as to how and when I come up with the titles that I turn into my stories that I write. The one thing that is consistent is that my coming up with the titles and the writing of the stories never usually happen at the same time. So, what I do, is ensure that when the thought pops into my mind, i quickly enter it as a note on my iPhone and then I begin to percolate. This sometimes happens quickly or as is the case with this story, it may be weeks or more. Well, the percolation came to fruition last night when suddenly the thoughts started to flow and I began to quickly take notes so as to not lose my thoughts. Not sure about you, but at the speed of thought that take place in my mind, they can be gone just as quickly as they occur.
As I sit here writing this article that will also become one of my Leadership Podcasts / Video Blogs, I take note of the fact that today (September 21, 2017), I am 22,909.50 Days into my life. Obviously, if you are reading this or listening to the podcast after today, you will need to add the appropriate number of days to my total. Why don’t you take a few moments and calculate your number of days of your life (so far). It’s quite simple…you take the number of years you have been around and multiply by 365.25 and then add any additional days from the present year you are now in. I think you will be amazed once you see your total.
I sit here at my desk each and every day and I look at the bottle of Bermuda Pink Sand that is in front of me as a reminder that the grains of sand in that bottle amount to the number of days not only for me but also for that of the lives of my family. I also have a sand hour glass that I look at and know that as each day passes, I get to turn it over to start a new day. What that reminds me of is that each of us has 168 hours in a week, 24 hours in a day and many precious minutes each hour. How much of that time do we squander paying no mind to the fact that time continues to run. That is the one constant in this universe we live in, that time continues to run. Life is long. Life is long in possibilities. Who are YOU going to affect and have an impact on? You see, when things are at their worst, that’s when you are needed the most.
So what has this to do with my statement above of asking what is your expiration date? The one thing that is for sure is that none of us knows the day that will be our final day. So I further began to think of all the things that I did or did not do to date over my 63 plus years. I began to think of how because of the things that I did or did not do as to the impact on my health and the impact I had either positively or negatively on my family. I began to create my “bucket list” of things that I want to further do and accomplish before that final tick of my earthly clock. Just some of the examples I recalled were the steps that fell into place that led me to the calling of the John Maxwell Team that I am a strong part of. I recalled the re-discovering of my “why” back in 2013 when I accompanied Dr. John C. Maxwell and a Special Team of Leadership Trainers to Guatemala. Of special note is that I did indeed get to walk my daughter down the aisle on the day of her wedding. I did get to celebrate my oldest son’s journey and successful rising up in the hospitality industry. Of the time that my #2 Son went off to join the military and ended up going to war in defense of his country and how we almost lost him twice. The 2nd time being the most tortuous anguish for his mother, me and others who loved him for 3 1/2 days, until that next phone call came to announce that he was not on the helicopter that had been shot down with total loss of life. As a result of his survival, his next duty station brought him to a location where he would meet his wife to be and eventually allow me the honor and privilege of meeting, holding and interacting with my two beautiful grandchildren.
I have grown to learn and understand that in life there are No Limits in what can be done and what can be achieved. HE put us here for a purpose. I have learned that by putting my faith in the Grand Overall Designer (God) that healing and comfort are a regular thing. My emotions are no longer all over the place and I use the phrase “woulda, coulda, shoulda” a lot less. I no longer fear death. I no longer fear my expiration date because I know that my “shelf life” is unlimited. I make a point each and every day to let my loved ones know that I love them and am proud of them. I take time each and every day to thank My Creator for giving me one more day and acknowledge to Him that since He hasn’t called me home that He has more that He wants me to accomplish. You can’t think about what you owe or what you haven’t done. You have got to keep moving forward. Further, I have to realize that those who have gone before me are fine and more importantly are always looking out for me.
So what is my point through all of this? This is clearly a story that should not be looked at morbidly. And I can assure you that in my time to date on this planet that I have accomplished quite a bit. My point is that while you were reading or listening to this essay that your mind and your sub-conscious was taking you deep within yourself and you were reminiscing about what you have done and wished you would have done during your days to date. My purpose was to get you to look deeply within yourself and hope that you will evoke some changes in you that will allow you to fulfill your purpose on this earth. One never knows truly what ones expiration date is so please make the most of yours. And for go
I close with the question “How Big is Your Frying Pan”? and provide you the story about An ole timer who saw a boy fishing and went over to see how he was doing. The boy had already caught 2 small fish, but as the old man was walking over, the boy landed a huge bass. “That’s a beauty”, the old man said as the boy unhooked the fish. But then the boy tossed the fish back into the water. “What are you doing?” the old man cried out. “That was a whopper”. “Yeah”, replied the boy, “but my frying pan is only 9 inches wide”!
Will you continue to walk through your life throwing back the big fish that will impact your life or will you realize that it is time to get a bigger frying pan? Are you waiting for your expiration date leaving so much yet unfulfilled or will you go about ensuring that rather than throwing yourself away because of an expiration date that you ensure that you continue to keep yourself “Shelf Stable” by being all you can be and doing all you can do?
Be sure to contact me and let’s discuss how I can help you and your Organization to take it to the next level at http://www.bermudabob.me
It is not always a requirement to fill someone else’s shoes…let alone their body armor. Or how David transformed a paralyzed army into a fighting force through the Law of Victory.
God Can Use Even a Reluctant Leader Johah 3: 1-3
I was watching Joel Osteen last night and he was speaking of the story of Jonah. Thought I would re-post this…and ask you, are you ready for a “do over”?
Water tends to seek its own level and most of us usually prefer to choose the path of Least Resistance. It is because of this that we tend to be reluctant when it comes to running the gauntlet .
Such was true when God called upon Jonah to take up the call and seek to cause Nineveh to repent of their sins. This was not to be an easy task but God was looking to form a divine partnership that would allow God to work thru Jonah and show His Strength and compassion. There are many times in live that we too tend to ignore our inner voice and run not walk from that task. And it is in that running that we tend to stumble and fall. This was to happen clearly to Jonah. He was given a choice: Help God in His Glory or end up in the Big Fish. I think you can imagine that the Fish was not the most pleasant of options. Eventually, Jonah came to his senses and went about God’s task of helping to bring repentance of sins in Nineveh. And as a result, God was compelled to spare Nineveh from destruction.
We as Leaders may not always understand why God wants them to do certain things but we should and must realize that it is not through our understanding but more to the obedience of His instructions. One can only think as to what the results may have been in the annals of history had Jonah not come to his senses and followed God’s plans. One can only imagine in our daily lives what the outcomes could and would be if we would give up our reluctance and follow that of our inner voice.
Thank God, that most of the time He gives us a 2nd Chance to get it right. Kind of like a “do over”. My call to action for you is to think of those times you have been reluctant and ask you to decide moving forward….God’s Plan or the Big Fish!
Clear the Mechanism…Yours!
I remember watching the Movie “Gettysburg” where the Sargent Major was describing to the Commanding Officer on the eve of battle that he needed to caution his troops about staying calm and focusing of the task the lay ahead. For in the heat of battle, he went on to say, when things were progressing so fast, it was not uncommon for the men to panic and force more than one projectile into the weapon and thus jam everything up preventing them from firing. Or even worse, causing the weapon to blow up in their face.
And then I think of the days of my early basic training in the military when we were using blank ammunition of just how easy it was for our weapons to jam and how easy it was for us to force and jam another round forward really messing things up. What I learned during those early days of training that I would (hopefully) remember as I progressed through life, was to take my time and when the jamming of life occurred would be to “clear the mechanism”.
Now I clearly realize that in our everyday lives, that we don’t go around with weapons in our hands but we do in fact, go through each and every day with an awesome and very powerful weapon. That weapon is us and it flows through not only our conscious self but more importantly through our sub-conscious self! I just recently went through some additional training with my teacher and mentor, Dr. Paul Scheele and one of the things that caught my attention during that training was that of the 11 million bits of data that we as humans process each and every second, that only about 70 bits of data occur in our conscious mind. That statement alone is eye opening about our awareness. I will bet that even as you read this (blog) or hear my (podcast) that you are thinking and processing quite a bit in the back of your minds. More than likely, in color and full sound playing. Think of the times that you have wanted to do something, knew that you could do it, but consistently failed to accomplish it. Let’s not bother to count them for you would surely lose track.
We possess amazing gifts as human beings. WE are learning organisms, born into this world equipped to find answers to the problems that face us. The human brain, mind, body, and emotions are designed to make us perfect learners, providing us with all we need for success in life. However, on the other hand, even with all our enormous capacities, many of us daily face the reality of not being able to accomplish the important goals we have set for ourselves. Like a riddle or puzzle, the answer(s) has been in your hands the whole time. And once you discover the answer, you wonder how you could have missed it up to that point.
I would also like to provide in this writing / podcast an excerpt from Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” where Frankl quotes from Nietzsche: “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.” The explanation of those prisoners in the death camps during World War II, who gave up on life, who had lost all hope for a future were inevitably the first to expire. They expired less from the lack of food or medicine than from the lack of hope, the lack of something to live for.
So in conclusion, with all that goes on in your life day in and day out and the complexities that go along with them, it becomes all the more easy for you to try to push through with the effect of jamming round after round in the chamber of your life. You were designed the way you were for a purpose and a reason, with the ability to think through and thus allow you to clear and reset the mechanism. So today and from now on, I encourage you to do just that when you think that it could not get any worse. Stop, pause, clear your mechanism and reset.
You can do this. You need to do this and if you are to survive the rigors that everyday life presents, you must do this.
For information on how I can work with you in your quest to learn how to “Clear the Mechanism” and the Courses that I offer…contact me at BermudaBob@me.com
- 1: the point directly above, below, or at which a nuclear explosion occurs
- 2: the center or origin of rapid, intense, or violent activity or change; broadly : center 2a <the party town that served as ground zero for those corporate … bashes — Rich Eisen>
- 3: the very beginning Trials and Tribulations
Troubles and Events that cause suffering, etc.
I recently had the opportunity to visit the area where the World Trade Center Twin Towers were supposed to be. The Twin Towers that once stood majestically reaching up into the sky. The same Twin Towers that were the landmark that let you know that you had arrived in NY. The same Twin Towers that brought people from all walks of life and from so many countries together to conduct the business of trade. The same Twin Towers that I had passed so many times when I was growing up and living in NY. The same Twin Towers that I looked for each and every time that I flew into any one of the the NY Airports when I was returning home to visit my mother or that I would pass through on my way to the various military locations that I attended during my time in service.
But alas upon my arrival to the space where the Towers once stood were vast open holes in the ground that have been turned into Memorialized Fountains that left you standing there in total awe. Upon closer viewing, the majesty of the cascading waters falling from the outer fringes of where the walls to the building once were and would have been to the exact center point of an eerie black hole as the waters were swallowed up obviously to be recycled so that this effect would go on and on. The impression that I got from this was so similar to watching those science fiction space movies where where a super nova or a black hole has occurred and everything and I mean everything would have been sucked into and of itself. Thus, the impression of the buildings coming down that fateful day were captured in the design of these fountains. You could almost hear it and feel it happening as we stood there. Any yet, other than the sound of the cascading waters falling, there was a calm about the area. At this point, I should point out, that on the day that we chose to visit the site, that it was raining. Sometimes very heavy, sometimes a bit lighter but constant. Wait, there’s more. As we approached the very walls enclosing the fountains, you could clearly begin to see that each and every person who lost their lives that fateful day, were etched in perpetuity on those stones. It was as if when you went to lean upon the walls that you would be touching the lives, the very souls and spirits of those whose lives had been ended that day. It was as if you would become one with them. It was as if you were helping them to remain alive.
My next stop of this journey of remembering and not forgetting was to traverse through the Ground Zero Museum. There was so much to cover in this museum but it was more than a museum. It was more of a symbol of remembrance and reminders of what was and what is. The honor and humbling that was felt as I moved through was brought to a completely emotional moment when we arrived at the hall of pictures. This was an area that was hallowed to be sure. No photos were allowed to be taken nor would I have expected anyone to want to do so. The respect and honor paid by not just some but by all the visitors was so, so humbling and heart warming to me. I can’t remember being anywhere else in my life where this was as strong as it was that day. On the walls were the photos of each and every one of the people that died that day as well as from the original bombing attempts in the mid 1990’s. These were pictures of people who had come from all walks of life and all races and creeds. Because I live in Bermuda, my wife, son and I made a point of locating the pictures of 2 Bermudians (Rhondelle Tankard and Boyd Gatton) who perished that day. Yes, two people, in the prime of their lives who had come from a small isolated island in the Atlantic Ocean to be a part of the grander scheme of things in the modern business world.
So I have been very deliberate to paint a picture with words of a situation that occurred at ground zero. So vast and devastating that the wounds of which will take many, many years to heal and surely that while they heal, they will not ever be forgotten. But what about you? What is going on in your life that has caused those around you and things about you to explode and cause grief, misery and hardship? Have things gotten so bad and troublesome that you cannot and do not see any hope in sight? Well, let me let you know that 3 words come to mind…Feel, Felt and Found. I can truly say from the bottom of my heart that I know how you feel, I felt that way too and here is what I found out. I too experienced a devastating ground zero effect in my life. I thought that there was no hope. That there was no point in going on and questioned whether seeing tomorrow was worth it or even going to happen. What I found out was that eventually one can work through the anguish and heartache that causes all these negatives to flourish. That believing that there is a force that comes from a Higher Authority that is there to offer pathways to new beginnings. So I ask you, are you going to stay and sit in the rubble of your ground zero or learn from that of what took place at the World Trade Center?
Now while that would have seemed a logical ending for this posting, I chose to add just a bit more information to really bring it home to each and every one of us…
But yet, all was not sorrow on this day that my family and I chose to visit this “Ground Zero”, for just a short distance away rises up in splendor and majesty the New World Trade Center Tower to show the World that you may get knocked down and all may seem lost but with the rise of tomorrow’s sun dawns a new day for each of us. As the phenix rose from the ashes to a new creation, so too will you have that ability. The choice is Yours. Never, never, never forget this!
We are in today’s society surrounded on any given day and at any given time by hundreds, even thousands of noises, activities, telecommunication signals and so, so much more. Further, as if that wasn’t enough, we have so many things happening at both our conscious and sub-conscious levels. But even with all of that, we as humans, have an ability to tune all of that out and focus on silence and allow our inner self to hear a message that to us can be referred to as a coincidence.
I love two stories that one of my mentors at the John Maxwell Team, Roddy Galbraith, tells during his speaker’s class. The first one is about a man who goes to sit in the quiet solitude of a church so as to meditate on how he could be a better person. All throughout his meditation, he is disturbed by a man who walks in and begins to seek the help of him. The second story tells about another person who is driving through a crowded and busy town (any town) and is asking his higher power to help him find a parking space. Well he suddenly comes upon a parking space and then says to his higher power “never mind”. I found one.
Then just last week, while I was visiting my family in the USA, I went into a Barnes and Noble Bookstore when I happened to pass by a book entitled “When God Winks at You” by Squire Rushnell. Of course, I walked past it and then shortly a few moments later was drawn back to it and yes, I bought it. I had no intentions of buying this book. I was not looking for this book but perhaps the book was looking for me. And then the next day I was sitting in church, listening to the homily that the priest was giving when he uttered the words “Only in Silence, God Speaks”.
So why am I mentioning all of this? Because, clearly, coincidences don’t happen by coincidence. Author Squire Rushnell in his book refers to this as a “Godwink”. My business partner states that these are what she refers to as “Godincidences”. My mentor Paul Martinelli refers to this as a “Boop Moment”. That time when you are doing something and suddenly and without warning a thought, a concept, an Idea pops into your mind in the form a “boop”. I am sure you know what that sound sounds like because you too have heard it. But because our Creator has given us free will, we begin to question the thought. We begin to question the communication. We begin to question the reality as to its validity. How often have we gone through our routines of our everyday challenges “asking for a sign” from that higher source expecting some sort of “alakazaam” moment? But the truth, the reality of it is just that…He speaks to us in silence. We have to be ready to receive the message. We have to be open to receive the message. We must be in the right environment to receive the message. And then, comes the most important aspect…we have to realize that we need to act on the message! What I have come to realize from the messages that I personally have received is that there appears to be a date and time stamp on it. Now what do I mean by that? I mean that the message received will not last forever. And when we choose to act on those messages, won’t you agree with me, that many good things come to pass in your life? Won’t you agree with me that the solutions you need come across your path? Won’t you agree with me that there are times that the solution message may not have been the way you thought it would be but it worked? Back in early 2011, I was at a cross-roads in my life. Not quite 57 years of age, I was fast approaching that magic number 60. And then it started. I began to receive emails about a new concept and team that was being put together, the “John Maxwell Team”. And that they wanted “ME” to be a part of it. Me? Where did “they” find out about me? Why were they contacting me? I knew of and had indirectly met John Maxwell because he had spoken at a few of the Amway Functions I had attended in the mid 1990’a and naturally I had a few of his books growing dust on my bookshelf (just me?). Well not thinking anything of it, I hit delete. This went on several times, each time hitting delete, when finally over a couple of days, the 5th one arrived in my in box, I had to pause and look up and say to Him…”Okay, okay, I got it. I get the message”! So I opened the email and reviewed the presentation and not even half way through it, I ran upstairs to where Margaret was and blurted out “I’ve got to do this”! Well the rest is history. Five years later now, I am a very active member of the John Maxwell Team out speaking, coaching and helping others which includes to date, a trip to Guatemala where I rediscovered “my why”. That age number 60 I was so concerned about is in my rear view mirror and not even a thought as I continue on my journey of destinations knowing that He will continue to speak to me in the silence.
So here is what I would like to leave you with…take the time to realize and recognize that even with all of our modern technology that the answers you seek will come to you in ways that you least expect and during those quiet moments you experience. It means that you should schedule time in your busy calendars to have that quiet time. Try it out. You may find that it will grow on you. You may find that more positive things will happen to you the more that you realize that He will speak to you in non verbal ways. That HIS communication with you will always be a direct personal message through any number of mediums. That no matter how uncertain our lives may seem (in that moment) that He will always help to move us towards certainty. I ask you today to take note that there is indeed a mighty force out there, bigger than all of us, watching over us, directing our lives. And that what we perceive to be ordinary is very extraordinary in the form of a Godincidence or Godwink. And that is no coincidence.
Let me know. I look forward to hearing how your coincidences are going.
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