Do You Know How to End Well?

bookWhere to begin is not an important as where to end. When writing an article, speaking in front of a crowd or living life, the conclusion is best when done well. Most people will remember how you finished much more than how you began. As you prepare it is essential to picture your conclusion in your beginning. Just as life: we live our life so we will end well. In writing or speaking we must end well. The height of the message shouldn’t be buried somewhere during the discourse but reach for a highpoint during the introduction, during the plot and especially in the conclusion. To drift towards the end is to leave the matter undone.

I am always learning more about writing and speaking but here are a few tips on bringing your book, article or speaking engagement to a greater ending:

Stories Tie It All Together. Probably nothing can conclude your message like a well-rounded, thought-provoking, heartfelt story.

Unravel The Plot. “The resolution, also often called denouement, which is French for “to untie” or “unraveling”, is the conclusion of the story. Here, the conflicts are resolved, all loose ends are tied up, and the story concludes with either a happy or sad ending.” https://wikis.engrade.com/plottingashortstory

Create A Continuing Scene. This continuing scene leaves the listener or reader on the edge of his seat to bring him again for the much-anticipated conclusion or continuation.

Hand Out Something. During my speaking career I have handed out ropes, ribbons, a card, rocks, fishhooks and more. I went into a business office two years after speaking on “Not Letting Go!” and a business woman had taped the fish-hook to her office phone and said it was a continual reminder to never let anyone go.

Conclude With A Climax. By definition a climax is “the point of highest dramatic tension.” It is that moment when emotion feels, ears listen best and eyes visualize the most. Create a climax and your listeners or readers will come back for more.

Comment: Can you add another reason why the conclusion needs to end on a high note?

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.

Advertisements

Why You Shouldn’t Quit Today

4581Michelangelo spent 4 years painting the now infamous Sistine Chapel The Creation of Adam masterpiece. The physical demands of standing on a scaffold painting above his head were torture. One night, exhausted by his work, alone with his doubts, discouraged by a project that was too great for him, he wrote in his journal a single sentence: “I am no painter.” Yet for 500 yrs now this picture has spoken of God’s great desire to be with the human beings He created in His own image! When you feel like saying “I am no _____________” … DON’T QUIT! (Quoted by Pastor Derwin Ward).

From start to finish the climb is not a rocket shot straight up. Nor does life continue to go up on a sharp incline but it is rather a spiral of events leading to the achievement. Dreams are fulfilled in a mass of events rather than a series of events. Your confusion is another progressive step upward. Your indecision is another stair step. Life is not always confined to easy stair steps – you are looking for a fast escalator but instead it is a maze. Insecurity will come one day, indecision the next, rejection another then WHAM! A simple step forward moves you closer to your dream, closer to your passion and guides you, ever so close, to achievement.

When you say, “I am not a writer!” or, “I am not a designer” or, “I am not________” You just moved closer to the place, position and more so, the person you have wanted to be. Defeat may be your biggest boost to victory. Trial and error is a lesson for those who will try again.

Never let success go to your head and never let failure go to your heart – Pastor Chris Farley

Pattern Yourself after the Best Not after the Worst

When you are re-evaluating your loss it will be simple to compare yourself to those around you who have failed. If you are at the bottom of the barrel it is easy to look at others at the bottom of the barrel. Joseph in the book of Genesis was put in a pit and a prison but he had a palace in his heart. When you are in a fit of despair pray until the dream becomes real to you again.

 

Rather Than Quit Why Not Reinvent?

  • Reinvent by putting pictures up of recent accomplishments.
  • Make of list of your wins.
  • Don’t despise the day of small things.
  • Go back to the basics.

Ask yourself “WHY” did that work? Instead of asking when and where and who and what – ask the biggest question first – WHY? Once you answer the WHY the dream will live again, the adrenaline will flow and hope will turn into courage.

 

Get Help

Gather positive friends around you to encourage you in your journey. Research your topic again. Be the best you can be by investing into yourself. Grow in the areas you want to be great in. Study and read often on your subject. Push until something happens.

 

Your Set Back is Your Get Back into the Game

While you sit and soak and sour it may be easy to throw in the towel but I am willing to throw the towel back at you and say, “Get back in the game.” Fight harder. Stay true to yourself. Laugh and enjoy the closest ones around you. Live again. Dream again.

 

Comment: What has been your experience? Have you tried, threatened to quit then tried again?

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.

Moving from Initiator to Influencer

Instead of being swallowed up in a mass of people with positions – why not be distinctive and matchless. Be a person of influence. The people around you cannot make you, your following cannot create you and your finances cannot construct you. It is essential for a leader to capture the spirit of the people, know their heart and step into the same vision. Finding the needs of people and meeting that need is a high priority. Being able to discover the need and interpret it into a clear vision is quite different.

An initiator is a program master, he develops new and exciting attractions; he creates, causes and collects in a self-imposed mode of action. The Influencer is a man of calling, character and concern; he moves forward in a divine movement of vision. He has established his ministry, his message is merely interpretations of a life well lived, and he loves people.

The influencer lives differently, works differently and ministers differently. He moves slowly, listens carefully and speaks rarely. He takes time to speak to little children; he can look into your eyes and tell you are hurting and he stands out in a crowd.  

Sound like superman? No, he is an influencer. Not impossible, it is reachable. You can move from an imitator to an influencer by beginning these four unique features in their life.

Full of Integrity Stand firm in honesty, transparency and integrity. Guard your intake carefully. Pray often. Live among positive people. Create momentum in your spirit with time off to think, moments of silence and friends who inspire you. Believe in a higher standard. Strive for more. Push up! You cannot take others higher than you are willing to go.

One of the most important ways to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present. In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present. – Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Network The word, network, simply means, to work with a net. Stretch your net and your work will grow.Come out of the four walls; don’t be held inside by plaster or mortar. For a leader to keep all his problems or his potential inside becomes a slow-moving train or a derailment. One particular church has asked all eight of its campus pastors to find ten pastors in their zip code that they can bless and help to thrive. That’s growth! It would be amazing to see what a person could do if they decided to reach out beyond themselves, reach out to others and make a community, regional, statewide, national or worldwide difference.

I remember, as a teenager, reading in Literature class, “No man is an island.” It has stuck with me for years. When God created Adam he quickly created Eve. Share your dream with a confidant, express your pain to a mentor or simply, have coffee with a friend.  

 

Celebration of Others This is huge!Celebrate others the way you want to be celebrated. I recently attended a breakfast where an employee was recognized for nothing. Oh, their life was definitely influential, but it wasn’t their birthday, they weren’t celebrating an anniversary and they weren’t retiring, no, the team just felt they wanted to celebrate her with a surprise party for being who she was.They video-ed each one saying how much she had influenced their life and their work atmosphere. They collected several pictures of her at the work place and honored her in a big way. She wasn’t the boss, didn’t have a title, she was simply a hard worker, had a great attitude, and loved people AND they loved her back. I saw two influencers that day, the owner of the company and the employee who had touched the lives of the people she worked with.

 

Genuine Concern An influencer shows concern to everyone. Whether through listening, maybe giving, but mostly making the other person know they are vitally important. Making another feel important by remembering their name, writing a personal thank you note, or recognizing them in front of others is to win the heart of people and show an undisputable concern for their feelings and well-being. To ignore the small to grab the big is self-serving but to respect all is an admirable quality of an influencer.

 

Comment: Can you think of  how someone influenced your life?

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

Before You Enter Your Storm

In light of the tragic storms of Sandy as she unleashed her rage over the Northeast United States, some of the residents found they couldn’t buy the necessities of life since the electricity was out, debit and credit cards would no longer work.

While we may not plan for every aspect of tragedy, we must have a shelter should “Mayhem” show up unexpectedly. I am an optimistic leader but when the slithering snake of trouble raises its poisonous head I must know where to go and who to turn to.

But what happens when a domestic, financial or spiritual “Sandy” hits our life. Are we ready for the storm?

Prepare for the Worst and Live for the Best Preparation is the plan we make for the moments of life when things get out of control. Find a mentor; preferably an experienced elder; someone who will take the time to honestly expose your weaknesses and acknowledge your strengths. A mentor who prays often with you and for you; is worth their weight in gold. Surround yourself with their counsel, learn from their example and call for advice. When life gets going in circles a mentor can be an invaluable asset to your life. Build a circle of friends around you.

Plan to Protect Your Family Remember your family needs you now more than ever. Express to them how much they mean to you. Have frequent family outings, enjoy each other’s company and have fun. The greatest stress reducer, while you are going through a storm of life, is to be surrounded by your family. Spend time with those who love you.

Grab the Essentials It is amazing to discover the essentials and non-essential when you are in a storm. It is amazing how quickly important items of yesterday’s fortune fade into oblivion with today’s needs. Write down the temporal and the eternal and you will quickly realize the important stuff. Make sure you major on the majors and minor on the minors. Choose your battlefield wisely. Don’t let little things add to a great downfall and keep you from reaching your highpoint.

Keep Calm Controlling your personal emotions may be the most important aspect of endurance. Seek the truth and ignore the trivial. Take a walk, visit with friends, and confide in your wife. Your personal struggles don’t have to be brought into the public arena. Anger doesn’t win battles nor does it please God. Staying in control is your greatest asset. Tim Laurito adds, “You can’t change the storm on the outside, but you can change the storm on the inside!”

Pray Through It All  Fear causes me to react but faith causes me to wait on God. God will do what you cannot do. Cry, let God know how you feel and let Him heal you. When Jesus cries, “Peace, be still,” He calms the storm and your heart.

Comment: What have you done to prepare your heart in case of a sudden tragedy?

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

Gratitude is a Life Changer

Someone shared this quote from the popular TV show, Duck Dynasty, “One day you are happy, happy, happy and the next day you are crabby, crabby, crabby.” Being thankful can change the elasticity of your spirit.

November is the month of Thanksgiving but thankfulness is a lifestyle not a holiday. Being thankful and letting it flow from your heart is definitely a life changer. We must admit having gratitude in the middle of a struggle is difficult to accomplish but it can be done.

Here is how to change your “crabby, crabby, crabby” into “happy, happy, happy.”

You Have Things All Around You To Be Thankful For You won’t have to go far. Have you ever played “slug bug?” On a long trip my brother and I would preoccupy ourselves with a simply game of “slug bug.” If you see a Volkswagen Beetle you get to “slug’ the person next to you. The game stopped when the person getting “slugged” the most decided it was time to play “I see something red.” It is amazing what you see when you begin to look for it. When you begin to look for something to be thankful, you begin to notice more things you are thankful for.

Here are just a few things you can begin to be thankful for.

  • Life
  • Friends
  • Health
  • Home
  • Food
  • Family
  • Freedom
  • God

 

Sharing Is The Greatest Way to Show Thanks W. Clement Stone said, If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. The busiest time for the Salvation Army is during the holidays – share some time serving. Stress is at an all time high from November through December – share some time praying for others. Real needs of food, clothing, and high utility bills are felt by single mothers – share some money with them.  

Remember Who Loves YouWe have friends, both old and new, who have stood with us through the test of time. Call them or write a handwritten note of appreciation. Think of someone who recently went through a hard time physically and listen to their story – healing comes through them talking about it.  

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Give Thanks to God For His BlessingsContentment is destroyed by comparison. Some complain because they don’t have what someone else may have but be thankful for what God has given you. He has blessed you far more than you deserve and given you far more than you really need. Storm Jameson confessed, For what I have received may the Lord make me truly thankful, and more truly for what I have not received.  Start your day be giving thanks for all the blessings you have received in your life – it will change your day, it can change your life.

Comment: What are you most thankful for?

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

Three Questions Every Married Women is Asking

Married women are asking questions and nobody dare to answer them and there are three major reasons why. The first is no one really knows what the questions are. Secondly, most are afraid to answer the questions, and thirdly, most married women who ask questions aren’t really looking for answers.

But if we did know what the questions are and if we can assume they really want answers and we dare to walk where angels fear to tread, then read on, at your own risk, because women can answer a question without really giving an answer but be careful, be very careful, to the man who endeavors to answer the question, (see point three above).

The three questions most married women are asking:

  1. Does my husband think I still look good?
  2. Does my husband still love me?
  3. Is my husband listening to me?

Now, I know I will get emails and other comments saying that is NOT the question they are asking and I must admit, there are many more questions married women are asking but remember I am a male, I am writing this from a husband prospective. When women ask questions these are the three questions most husbands are hearing.

First, does my husband think I still look good? Your husband may or may not have married you for your looks. If you actually wowed him during courtship then you may have some reasons to worry when you reach 75 but when you are 75 there are many more ways to keep him around for a few more years. But most husbands marry because he enjoyed being around you, (assuming of course, that women are actually reading this blog). He married you for fun, laughs, good times; he felt completed with you and would not be completed without you.

Let me explain, women think men marry for sex but actually most men marry for strokes. They actually like to be petted, nursed, carried for, and bragged on. If you make your husband feel good when he comes home from work then you will see him continue to come home from work. Your greatest marriage insurance is to brag on your husband, compliment him.

As far as still looking good to him, sure, brush your hair, put on perfume, wear something fresh but most of all greet him with a smile – make him feel good to be home.

Secondly, does my husband still love me? Well, most likely so but men don’t communicate like women or as often as women. Squeezing an “I love you,” from his lips may be more difficult than most women realize but it doesn’t change his thoughts towards you. Men communicate love with gifts, time, protection, a service (mow, take out the trash, etc), or wrestling with the kids. I agree, men need to practice saying, I love you, to their wife and showing it but don’t be startled if he hasn’t said, “I love you” in a while but today could be different. (Men, if you have waded through this blog this far then you need this, tell your wife today, “I love you”). Ladies, give him a reason to say, “I love you.”

Thirdly, Is my husband listening to me? “No!” I mean, “Yes!” Well, sometimes. Would you mind repeating the question? Men are compartmentalized. It is an understatement to say that men are preoccupied. They carry their work in their head; they bury their nose in a newspaper or stare at a computer screen for hours and hardly come up for air. This is his way to escape but check his pulse occasionally.

Let me give you some ideas:

Don’t try to lay heavy decisions upon him when he first comes home from work – bluntly, he isn’t listening.

Don’t try to have an important conversation with him right before dinner – he isn’t listening.

Don’t interrupt his game, his reading or his sleep – he isn’t listening.

Instead, wait till he has been home about an hour, after supper and after his planned escape (rest time), then sit next to him and say, “You always seem to have such good advice; I need some input, would you help me?” The damsel in distress! Yes, he is listening. By giving a compliment, asking for an answer and asking for help, you have just tapped into the male brain to come to the rescue.

When you need to ask a question in a hurry, make sure you are looking at him and he is looking at you. Men need to see you to hear you – most of the time. (Men, again, if you have waded this far you are in way over your head, but the next time your wife needs to talk to you about something, look her in the eyes and give her the honor of having your complete attention. In other words, turn your phone on silent and put it in your pocket).

Well, I just thought of a few more questions… maybe, next time.

Comment: What is another question women are asking?

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

See Inside Highpoints Book

Highpoints Book is being used by churches and individuals in their small group Bible Studies and by individuals who want to grow in their faith. If you are still on the fence and haven’t purchased your ebook or paperback copy yet – we are going to make it easier for you.

First, what is Highpoints about?

Here is a short introduction.

Does your heart crave more? More of his presence? Join the climb to the highpoints – the place in God where the scenery is breathtaking. Elevation is for those who dare to climb. Climb the mountain to reach your summit with the Holy Spirit as your guide. Reach the pinnacle in a renewed passion and desire for a holy God. Touch the top with your heart and find the God of the mountain. Get ready to climb-get ready to plant your flag at the Highpoint.

We are growing, reaching and climbing together as we grasp Trust, Endurance, Faith; like we have never had it before. Highpoints includes stories of real life mountain climbers telling their stories of stamina, high risk danger and near death experiences. Coupled with tough choices and breathtaking scenery we will move from one mountain peak reaching to our Highpoint.

You can read more about Highpoints book at our website www.highpointbook.com

Secondly, I have a Kindle, can I purchase and download it there?

Yes, it is available on

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Highpoints-Those-Who-Dare-Climb/dp/1449761291/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349446506&sr=1-3&keywords=highpoints

Christian Book Distributors http://www.christianbook.com/highpoints-those-who-dare-climb-ebook/jim-laudell/9781449761301/pd/32826EB?item_code=WW&netp_id=1043514&event=ESRCG&view=details

Barnes and Noble for the NOOK version  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/highpoints-jim-laudell/1112669252?ean=9781449761288

Thirdly, Can I preview it before I buy?

Yes, just click here and read the first two chapters http://www.google.com/books?printsec=frontcover&id=jyQ1o6ba9wsC#v=onepage&q&f=false

Lastly, what are other people saying about Highpoints?

Not everyone has experienced mountain climbing, but everyone has experienced falling and then fighting to get back up. Jim takes us from that point of crisis, through the climb, and to the summit. Keep climbing! Brandon Cox, Pastor of Grace Hills Church, NWA, Editor of www.Pastors.com

My wife and I have been agreeing in prayer for a special anointing upon the book leading the reader to their own personal Highpoints.

Interview with Jim Laudell, author of Highpoints

Thanks to a great blogger and my friend, Josh Hood. In a recent interview he asked some pertinent questions about the book, Highpoints. Here is the interview in its entirety.

My friend Jim Laudell just released his new book, Highpoints.

I recently interviewed him about the book and the difficulties of climbing:

JOSH: What inspired you to write Highpoints? JIM: While hiking and praying in Breckenridge, Colorado the challenge of climbing compared to spiritual growth was birthed in my heart. I began collecting artivcles, reading news stories and discovering scriptures bringing the subject of the book more fitly framed in my mind. I love a challenge. I love mountains. I want to grow closer to God. those three desires moved me to write Highpoints.

JOSH: Most people “live low on the mountain” and never reach the highpoints; why is that? JIM: Comfort, complacency and contentment steal greater heights from each one of us. We plan but never purpose in our heart to begin to climb. Once we make up our mind we want to go higher, pray about it then purpose in our hearts, that is when spiritual growth takes part in our life. People who never climb will never know the heights of living for God in joy. In the book Highpoints, I wrote, Once you have climbed the first mountain of His grace and glory, you will aspire to climb another and another. Once you have tasted of the best that God offers – you will never be satisfied to “live low on the mountain”

JOSH: You talk in the book about how the higher we climb, the more uncomfortable it can get. How can we overcome this? JIM: The higher you go, the thrill of reaching the top, superscedes the desire for the weightier “past loves” of life. In Highpoints we wrote, “The zest of life is found when we totally and unconditionally surrender to His divine leadership and direction,” the higher we go the less important everything else becomes.

JOSH: What’s the biggest takeaway you want people to have after reading the book? JIM: Yearning for His presence is the key to change. We can’t always change our circumstances, but we can change ourselves within our circumstances. Yearning means to be deeply affected with passion, to passionately seek for the presence of God and to bring His glory upon us. God delights to dwell within us and to come upon us. to lead us to higher places in His presence.

Go directly to Josh Hood’s blog site here:  http://joshuamhood.com/interview-with-jim-laudell-author-of-highpoints/

Highpoints Book Delivery

When your printed book is delivered – what steps do you take? Have a plan before things get blurry. The process is easy as one, two, three – if you simply plan ahead. Between the time the book is determined published and the print date can be a week or two or three apart, depending on the printer. Once the book preview copy has been confirmed by the author, then the book is declared live.  Live means the book is now available online through the vendors and assorted book houses. though ordering may take place immediately – the book is not shipped till the printing takes place. Personally, my copies of Highpoints  arrived late Wednesday afternoon for my own distribution among local friends, family and business acquaintances plus, to be available for my personal speaking engagements.

For those who ordered a book online a week or two ago, this seems like a long wait but they should receive their copy this week also. One couple from Canada emailed and said they had ordered five copies for their cell group. Another couple in South Carolina has ordered five copies for their Bible Study group. delivery of these purchases should be very soon.

How does the process work?

Preview Copy The author receives a preview copy to approve the print for smudges, color disfiguration, etc. Even though theses errors are rare it is a good idea to examine the cover front and back for blemishes. When the book came in the mail, I tore open the package, held the book, and cried, “Thank you, Jesus.” I let my wife examine the copy then I sent in a release form allowing the book to go to print.

Orders We were seeing online orders through the publisher. Which sends out a quarterly report and royalty check (woohoo!). But, we also, took orders through our website. I did an email campaign and handpicked friends to be on the Launch Team – they emailed their order back to me.

Printing Although printing can be 7 to 10 days, depending on the work load of the printer, the wait seems forever. I was pleasantly pleased to receive notice that my books had been shipped sooner than I had expected.

Delivery When I handle the orders for family, friends and business acquaintances in the area  I personally like to hand deliver it and thank them personally for having confidence in me as an author. I now this can take a lot of time out of a writers week but the relationships solidified during this time is immeasurable.

Autographs If they ask for an autograph they will receive an autograph otherwise, it is absent from the book cover. The only difference I make is when giving a book to my family or a close friend then I will write a small note with the autograph.

Complimentary Copies Though you are tempted to sell every book you can there will be a occassion when a complimentary book may go farther than you have dreamed. Passing a complimentary copy to a known speaker or writer may develop into a “down the road” relationship. Those who endorsed the book will receive complimentary copies with a thank you note.

Speaking Engagements If per chance you have the opportunity to speak to the public, take the first three minutes and speak of something directly related to the book. A paragraph, read a quote or endorsement, and have the book available at the close of the scheduled event.

Comment: What would you add?

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.

Highpoints Book Available

Consider the biggest announcements of history. “The British are coming,” by the night rider, Paul Revere. Or, Pearl Harbor Bombed splashed across the newspaper. Well, this one isn’t going THAT big but it’s up there in the rankings. Westbow Press has released the publication, my newest book, Highpoints.

Do you dream of the high places, of mountain air and a new-found freedom to believe? Highpoints will lead you into real life adventures of mountain climbers who risked their lives. You will explore the peaks of life-like never before and discover your own Highpoints of life.

Already, Launch Team one is building momentum. Launch Team One is a group ordering five or more copies of the book. Highpoints, for a cell group, Bible Study, Sunday School Class, Men’s group or for gifts. They receive a FREE Dare2climb ebook study guide and autographed copies of the book, Highpoints. If you would like to be a part of this group, please, email me privately via Facebook.

Launch Team Two will be announced in the next few days. Watch for Facebook posts, blog posts and twitter for special announcements.

I am so thankful for the reviews of those on the endorsement team and we will be sharing those next week. Now it is time for you to order the book and begin your ascent with Highpoints.  Order here http://www.highpointbook.com/

Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/jlaudell

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JimLaudell?ref=hl

Comment: What do you think is the best way to announce the publication of a book?

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.