15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.


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Final Thoughts on Wolves

Cover Wolf JPG 1

It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been keeping busy publishing two books this past week. One is mine, one I’m ghostwriting for someone else. I moments ago finished formatting and submitting the electronic files for the interior and cover for Feed the Good Wolf so I should have a proof copy in my hands in just about a week. There is a tremendous sense of satisfaction when you are holding an actual physical copy of your book. Something cries out inside you, “I’ll bet you can’t wait to start on your next one!” Okay, maybe that’s just me. I will return to regularly scheduled blogging after this final excerpt from my soon to be released book.

FINAL THOUGHTS

A great man once said, “The solution to pollution is dilution.” Imagine that your mind is a reservoir of pure water, and that all the negative that the world offers is a black, disgusting fluid. Left to its own devices, the natural world will occasionally dump a load of negative into your pool. Once that negative is poured in, it can’t be separated from the water. Since you can’t remove the pollution from the reservoir that is your brain, your only option is to try to dilute its influence by pouring as much fresh, pure water into it as you can.

When you realize that your character, the sum total of the features and qualities that define you as an individual, is the result of the thoughts that you allow yourself to dwell on, you should become ferociously protective of what you allow into your mind.

Keep pouring good water into the reservoir through what you read and what you speak every day. Continue to purify your water by controlling who you listen to and who you associate with. And stop letting the world dump that smelly black stuff into your pool.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
~Philippians 4:8 (New Living Translation)

The purpose of feeding the good wolf is to build ourselves from the inside out. To establish a firm foundation of character within our lives, not through tricks or gimmicks, but by changing our daily thoughts. Not to conceal our faults but to eliminate them by starving the bad wolf. Not to exaggerate our strengths but to truly grow them through steadily feeding the good wolf with positive thoughts.

As you grow yourself, by continuing to feed the good wolf, you will become a greater person. Then you also will begin to attract other great people. There is a universal law as certain as the law of gravitation that says: You will not attract in your life that which you want, but that which you are. By developing yourself into a person of strong character, you will attract other people of strong character.

As you continue to feed the good wolf in your heart, you will also become an example for others to follow. Through your actions, through your integrity, through the continuing building of your character, you will help to feed the good wolf in others; and eventually, others will begin to see the value in feeding their own good wolf.

Soon you will not be a lone good wolf. You will have your own wolf pack.

Through synergy, you will increase your ability to positively impact other people. Encourage and share with others. Be a source of positive. Pass along your teachings.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
~Leo Tolstoy

To change the world, first change your character
To change your character, first change your thoughts
To change your thoughts, feed the good wolf in your heart.


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Unlock your Victory Badge

We as humans are hardwired for victory. We need to achieve in our lives. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, “Esteem” comes after “Love,” “Safety” and “Biological” needs (like air and food). Esteem comes from achievement, status, responsibility, reputation. Victory may not be as important as air, but it is still an important part of being a healthy human.

Each of us seeks and recognizes achievement in different ways, but the desire is there in each of our hearts. It is this desire that compels athletes, students or professionals to excel.

It is why video games are such an addictive pastime in today’s world. Because you are constantly achieving; Defeat the monsters, gain treasure, gain fame, gain stature. There is some sort of victory to be attained, then once you reach it there is yet another level to pass, boss to defeat, treasure to claim. Video games is a way for people to attain that feeling of victory without having to risk anything in real life. If anyone doubts that video games are addictive, check the statistics. Video games as an industry passed Hollywood several years ago. Why? In a movie you get to watch someone else achieve victory. In a game, you get to achieve the victory yourself.

I’m not going to point fingers and accuse anyone of wasting their lives (since I spent decades playing Dungeons & Dragons), but the point is, we crave victory. And when we don’t get it in life–by succeeding financially, athletically or personally–we seek it out in our virtual life. Or in our kids accomplishments. Or in softball leagues.

I know this metaphor may not be for everyone… But live your life like a video game. Always strive for victory (defeat the boss). When you achieve a victory in your life, set a goal for your next victory (level 65!). When you fail, get back up immediately (call it a “respawn” if that helps).

Remember that victory is inevitable if you keep on playing the game. I’m still talking in metaphor here, quit playing the actual video game and start setting some goals for your real life.

I almost hate to ask this, but here goes: What other life lessons can we learn from video games?


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Victory Begets Victory

I recently returned from a success seminar, what I would definitely consider a “Power Input Environment.” I need to spend a few days to process my notes and figure out how to incorporate the new ideas, thoughts, and techniques into my life (since I’m slightly overloaded right now) then I will definitely share more of those with you.

For now, I just wanted to mention one speaker that stuck in my mind. He was a young man (not even thirty yet if I recall correctly), who built a successful business and retired. What struck me about his story was not the “typical” success story about overcoming adversity, overcoming early failures and challenges, then achieving success. What struck me was his reason for persevering. He did it to be proud of himself.

That was something that I could relate to. Perhaps it sounds shallow or selfish or self-serving, but I could relate to that. Because prior to writing my book I had very few victories in my life.

Even though I have spent years studying success principles and striving to apply them to my life, I had very little to show for it. Owned a small business that earned a moderate amount of money, excelled at jobs that earned me very little money, lost a fiance and never really knew why, knew God but never felt like I was being a good Christian. I wrote a book not just because I wanted to help people add value to their lives, but because I needed a victory myself. I needed to feel proud of something in my life.

I hated the idea of being a student of success and not having anything worthwhile to show for it. I’d hate for someone to be able to point at me as an example that “that positive thinking stuff doesn’t work.” So I committed to writing my book regardless of my current situation in life. Publishing it was a huge victory for me. What has that one victory done for me? Earned me the respect of successful business leaders that I respect. It vastly increased my credibility (having your words printed in a book carries with it the same amount of authority as having a Ph.D. according to leadership expert John C. Maxwell). Forced me to try to live up to the principles that I write about, which in turn tripled my productivity in my business. Oh, and I also got a part on a reality TV show—although I don’t think that was related to the book at all. It’s just really cool though.

And that was from 15 minutes a day of work.

What is the next victory you are looking forward to achieving in your life? And will you set aside 15 minutes a day to work towards it?