When to Say NO

noThere is probably not a harder word to say with conviction than the word, “No!” For the motivated and vision driven leaders we have a tendency to lean on “more is better.” Busy is the key word in business – so we work harder, schedule tighter, press on more and push until exhausted. When we do say, “No,” it is usually with a bowed head and droopy eyes; as if we had just been informed someone had passed away. No is negative – is our perception but I would like to introduce you to the positive no; the positive way to say, “No” with conviction and tenacity. Should I be able to say, “No!” without guilt? We like to please people but by saying, “No” at the right time is to be able to live with a light in your eyes even though you have turned down a worthy request.

Here are several reasons why “NO” needs to be your next answer:

To Have The Freedom To Say “Yes” To The More Important. When you refuse the insignificant and choose the important, you have just made a mature and essential choice. You have freed up your time to dive headlong into your vision and to intensify your efforts towards your dream. Doing what someone else deems important keeps me from doing what I feel is important. Ask yourself this question, Does this lead me to my important goals I have set?

To Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Worry And Fear. More to do will bring on more stress – give yourself some breathing room. Over committed translates underachieved. Set your focus around the necessary instead of the weighty. Ask yourself this question, Does this contribute to my stress or my delight?

  • Schedule your day, week and month with opportunities not jobs.
  • Set goals with liberty and room to reset the goal when necessary
  • Scratch items that can be delegated or dropped without repercussions

To Have More Thinking Time The ability to think is having a vacation in the mind. Writers, authors, speakers, leaders and pastors need time to think – creativity flows into spontaneous delivery. A short trip to the coffee shop, a walk in the park, or time with the family can have an amazing flow of energy and excitement back into the heart of the artist. Sometimes simply changing location will broaden your horizon. Ask yourself this question, Does this add to my life or subtract from my time?

To Enjoy Life Schedule time off, relax and enjoy moments of inactivity. This is one of my greatest difficulties is doing nothing. I am not advocating laziness or slothfulness nor procrastination but rest, sleep, relaxation and a day off. While writing a particular chapter in my last book, Highpoints, I had come to a place where my mind just wasn’t as sharp. My words were scrambled more than my eggs were for breakfast. I put on my jogging outfit and went for a couple of miles, upon returning fresh words filled my mind and I finished the chapter with greater ease than before. Ask yourself this question, Does this bless me or mess with me?

To Follow My Dream When pursuing the ideas of others I forfeit the dreams in my heart. To accomplish what the vision within me I must say, “No!” to the distractions around me. Don’t feel guilty about saying, “No,” when you are fulfilling the dreams within you. Focus is the supreme key to productivity. Ask yourself this question, Does this take me into my dream?

Comment: When do you say, No”?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

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I have been thinking about writing a book

Usually someone will stop me and say, “I have been thinking about writing a book – what do I do first?” and then, a lengthy conversation begins about the nature of the beast. A blooming author is miles apart of a blooming idiot but discernment is needed.

Publishing is not what it used to be and the first question you must ask is not “what am I writing about” but “who am I writing to?”

To start with an idea is foremost but to continue without an audience is simply becoming a hobbyist. A platform is needed for the manuscript to transfer from yours to theirs. Readers must take possession of the idea or the manuscript simply becomes white space.

Writing and publishing in days gone by was a matter of writing quality, printing artfully and distribution in mass. But now we are overwhelmed with information overload from digital feeds, printed material and voices screaming for attention on the internet.

For a beginner, getting attention is most important. Sorry, I don’t want to hurt your feelings. You have a great story but you must answer the question, “why would anyone pay $19.99 to read it?”

My suggestion is begin a blog, sharing bits and pieces of your story until you reach your audience. With Word press you can set it up easily and share to your Twitter and Face book accounts gaining additional exposure.

Print off quality cards with your blog advertised boldly and ask people to check it out. Practice writing two or three blogs a week – building your audience with each story. It may take several months to a year to establish your following but once you have an audience then you have a market.

Remember – we all began somewhere.

Comment Below: What do you think is most important in writing?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

IPad Creations

Ever looked for an app of one of your favorite online sites only to be disappointed because it is not created yet? It is a hassle to go to the browser, type in the location, then wait for it to download. Seems to me there should be a quicker or easier way – now there is on the IPad 3.

This happened to me. I was frequently going to the same site, I bookmarked it but would have rather went to my home screen to click on the app and bring up the site. Now I found what I was looking for and it was right under my nose.

Go to your Safari browser on your IPad3 and go to the site that you frequently go to by typing in the address or clicking your bookmark. Once you are there; go to the symbol of a little box with the arrow proceeding out of the top, you will notice under Add a Bookmark, the words, Add to Home Screen. Click and it will add an app to your home screen – now, when you click on the app it will quickly go to your favorite site.

Comment below: Are there other creative ways to use this Add to Home Screen button?

Copyrighted by Jim Laudell. Material contained in this post cannot be reproduced or copied without permission from the author.

Bringing your dream out

Not everyone will agree with your dream when you bring it out in the open. It is not the obstinate rebellion of your work or your person but the crazed world of negativity of those who find it hard to believe. Optimism is the gift of the creative but lacks so sadly among the realists. Dreams are best understood by dreamers. Those few who know the risk of failure but keep believing that today, yes, today, is the day for the miracle, the open door or the answer. Negative thinking causes stress, poor concentration, lack of opportunity, and even lead to physical problems, such as, headaches, muscle aches and rapid heart beat.

But positive thinking is not enough! The power to “believe” is to know the spiritual influence of the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, instruct and encourage. Not a one time experience but a life full of communication and connection. The Holy Spirit magnifies Jesus and the greater He is in your life – the more able we are to “believe.”

When you bring your dream out in the open there must be a goal to reach, a plan to write, a life to live and a prayer to pray.

Goal to Reach There must be a visual goal that I can see, touch and feel each day. Take a picture of you with a mountain back scene if you wish to travel, a book in your hand if you wish to publish or a poster with your goal emblazoned upon it.

A Plan to Write Every dream must hit the road with shoe leather. Dreams take work. Write down in detail the steps necessary each day to accomplish your dream. Write down the timeline, the steps necessary, and the people you need to meet to bring it to pass.

A Life to Live Begin to live your dream everyday Putting yourself in your dream is vitally important if you desire to see the fruition of your dream.

A Prayer to Pray If your dream is not over your head then you simply took a nap. We are in desperate need to the power and grace of God to accomplish the dream, as we rely on Him, He brings it to pass, sometimes behind the scenes but ever fervently working to bring His purpose into our lives.

Comment Below: Do you have a dream you can livetoday? Will you share it?

Copyright By Jim Laudell. Permission must be obtained from the author to reporduce or copy.

When will you do something great?

Procrastination is the thief of time. It steals my moments of reflection, my days of accomplishment and my years of significance. We pass through life once and only once. I can live today only one time. “Redeeming the time….” What I plan to do I must do now.

“Can’t afford it,” “No time,” and “Tomorrow” are today’s liars and tomorrow’s regrets. You may excuse yourself by saying it is too late but it is never too late. Begin now, plan today!

Significance in your life is the reward of those who dream and live it today!

1) Helen Keller At the age of 19 months Helen became deaf & blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree
2) Mozart was already competent on keyboard & violin, he composed from the age of 5
3) Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes”
4) Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank
5) Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster at the age of 13 years
6) Nadia Comăneci At age 14, gymnast of Romania scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics
7) Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama November 1950, at the age of 15
8) Pele soccer superstar was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil
9) Elvis was a Superstar by age 19
10) John Lennon was 20 years & Paul Mcartney 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in1961
11) Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936
12) Beethoven was a Piano virtuoso by age 23
13) Issac Newton at 24 wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
14) Roger Bannister was 25 When he broke the 4 minute mile record
15) Albert Einstein was 26 when he wrote the theory of relativity
16) Lance E Armstrong was 27 when he won the tour de France
17) Michelangelo created the two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta” by age 28
18) Alexander the Great by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world
19) J.K.Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript for Harry Potter
20) Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman 2 fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
21) Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind
22) Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest (highest Mountain in the world
23) Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 When he did the speech “I have a dream”
24) Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated 4 Nobel Prize in Physics 1903
25) The Wright brothers, Orville (was 32 ) & Wilbur (was 36) when they invented & built the world’s first successful airplane & making the first controlled, powered & sustained heavier-than-air human flight
26) Vincent Van Gogh was 37 when he died & virtually unknown yet his paintings today are worth millions
27) Neil Armstrong was 38 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon
28) Mark Twain was 40 when he wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and 49 years old for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
29) Christopher Columbus was 41 when he discovered the Americas
30) Rosa Parks was 42 when she refused 2 obey bus driver’s order 2 give up her seat 2 make room for a white passenger.
31) John F. Kennedy was 43years when he became President of the United States
32) Henry Ford Was 45 when the Ford T came out
33) Suzanne Collins was 46 when she wrote ” The Hunger Games”
34) Charles Darwin was 50 years old when his book On the Origin of Species came out
35) Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa
36) Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president
37) Ray Kroc Was 53 when he bought the McDonalds Franchise and took it to unprecedented levels
38) Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote “the cat in the hat”
40) Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III was 57 years old when he successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549, in the Hudson River in, 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived.
41) Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise
42) J R R Tolkien was 62 when the lord of the ring books came out
43) Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became President of the United States

Comment Below: Do you have “something great” you can begin today? Will you share it?

Copyright By Jim Laudell. Permission must be obtained from the author to reporduce or copy.

Successful… or not?

Faithful is the new definition of success. Success means different things to different people. Promotion, more money, new car or new house. To a pastor, success may be defined as a bigger church, numerical or financial growth, bigger buildings or a “big” preaching opportunity.

But God defines success as “faithfulness” in Psalms 101:6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me. God keeps His eyes upon the faithful. The faithful walk with God. Faithful, according to this verse, is walk with God, walk in a pure life and serve God.

Success may not follow you but in Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:… The discovery of success is found in goodness and mercy following, you have been found faithful. Success is not wrong but integrity must not be compromised at the expense of success. Success may follow the faithful but faithfulness doesn’t always follow success.

I would say that sometimes the most radical thing you can do with your life is to simply be faithful.

Michael Hyatt

Let me share three reasons we must choose to be faithful:

Faithfulness brings blessings. Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings… Blessings and success are oftentimes worlds apart. Blessings is best described as family, friends, health, His presence, peace, joy, rest, well, you get the picture. There are people who own very little – in the business term of success – they have failed, but they have a happy marriage, enjoy peace in their family, no doubt they are blessed. Maybe successful in another definition.

Faithfulness brings opportunity. Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much… integrity is strengthened in the little things. Fading away in a few sprinkled compromises may bring success but it can never bring faithfulness. Faithfulness breeds character. The principle is simple, Faithful in little – faithful in much.

Faithfulness brings reward. Matthew 25:21 …Well done, thou good and faithful servant… Success may bring certain rewards here but faithfulness will bring a reward for eternity. Compliments are varied and encouragement is somewhat lacking – many seek for men’s approval only to be disheartened. But one day, the faithful will hear, from the mouth of God, “Well done!” Faithfulness is worth it!

Comment below: What does being faithful mean to you?

Home IPad Apps

Mostly my IPad has been used for travel and for business, I read, research, define, copy, learn and educate with my IPad nearly everyday of the week. We are beginning to discover the vast amount of apps that are designed for the home, in fact, I saw a clip board device that attached to your refrigerator to hold your IPad while you are in the kitchen. OK, I am hooked but not that bad.

Here are a few FREE apps that are helpful or even delightful for the family to use in the home. (I may mention children’s apps in a later post).

My Library: our local library has an IPad app for checking out books, movies, etc., researching with a vast list of books and even checking my account. Check with your local library for more information.

Living Social: a resource for coupons and special deals in your areas; this is not your buy four cans of green beans and get a fifth one free. This is more for events, shops and unique brands.

Lemon: Keep your receipts all in one place by simply scanning with your IPhone or Ipad. Define categories and save a lot of work come tax time.

Epicurious: A knock your socks off recipe book, even create a shopping list. Search for your favorite recipe plus categories for special events.

Instagram: Correct, fix and magically enhance your photos then share only with the people you choose.

Family Fun

The most bonding of all family events is having fun together. Laughing, throwing a ball, a picnic, vacation, surprise visit, birthday parties, and a long list of a lot more. We all stake our claim to busyness but we need some funny business going on in our family life.

Taking the children for a walk, a trip to the zoo, a children’s event, pizza or camping out in the living room are once in a lifetime events  children and families will remember forever. Take the camera or a video camera and get double the fun by doing popcorn and a video the following weekend. Turn off the TV, set your voicemail to pick up business after your trip out and have fun. One of the greatest investments we made was a condo on the lake that we frequent with our family. Skype the relatives that live a far distance from you and let the children visit with relatives you wouldn’t normally see very often.

Fun is spelled Forever – the time you will have will indelibly be etched in a child’s memory forever. Unique – the different, outlandish and sometimes, odd will make the most impact. Not expensive –  fun doesn’t have to cost very much. Look for the free or inexpensive family oriented events in your area. Make a list that can be referred to from time to time.

Let’s get started this weekend.

Methods of Memorization

Saturday evening I was sitting in my recliner watching Ted on my IPad. TED is a technology, educational, scientific, type channel with a large variety of speakers adding to the mix of mental growth. The 20 minute talk that impressed me on this particular evening was a Scientist-Journalist unfolding the quest for memorization. One man was attempting to memorize a phone book, both names and numbers. Another subject memorized 36 stacks of playing cards, in their order, within one hour.

Now, for a guy that can’t remember where I left my car keys, well, to say the least, I was intrigued. So, the journalist uncovers some basic methods to memorization. None of the men and women who had revealed their unbelievable traits of memorization had above average IQ’s, none was judged to be particularly gifted, but each had used a method of memorization to assist them in memorizing.

Using pictures, the speaker, himself was able to memorize material until he actually won a trophy in a Memory Competition, I didn’t even know they had such things, I probably would forget to show up, what time it started or where it was at. My IPhone keeps my appointments in order, Google calendar keeps my dates and times available and little ringers notify me thirty minutes ahead of events. He memorized it all using visuals such as, Cookie Monster on a tan horse and Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, coming out of the oven in my kitchen. I still remember his story line because it was ridiculous, incredulous and personal. He concluded, memorization is best done when felt, smelt, personal or experienced.

Now, I am challenged to memorize. Why not join me as I attempt to memorize the Word of God? Taking passages of scripture to memory and quoting them without hesitation. I am starting today but first I must find my car keys.

Influence: The New Leadership

Leadership was the new kid on the block with the introduction of the book, Developing the The Leader Within You and subsequently followed by, Developing the Leaders Around You, by John C Maxwell. This phenomenon hit the bookshelves and the hearts of pastors, students and business leaders across the nation. I personally own almost every book that John C Maxwell has written and have personally met him at a variety of functions and admire his leadership attributes. The perfectness of the message of many leadership gurus gave each learner a goal to reach for and a mark to hit.

However, for others, it gave a depressing outlook after success was not attained. Success became the keyword and failure became the curse word.It was hard to define success, for some it meant one thing and for others another thing.

The new word for leadership is now “influence.” Maybe, it is the next step. leadership had a tendency to be a little condescending to some but influence can be attained by many without any “success” connotations. A mother can influence a child, a pastor can influence his listeners, and a business man can influence a business partner. No success levels to reach – simply the ability to influence another through a life well lived.

Just something to think about. Remember the woman who brought an expensive perfume and poured it upon the feet of Jesus Christ and the perfume filled the air? The aroma filled the house. Now that is influence. God is calling men and women to be an influence wherever they are, whoever they are with and whatever position they may fill. Influence is everything.