This morning I received a phone call from a friend… “Hey, are you busy?” My response was, “No, I was about to curl up in the fetal position under my desk and take a nap.” Yes, that was a very satirical response. I’m willing to bet that no one in my circle of influence would say they are not busy. However, I think that’s the wrong question to be asking. A better question to ask is “Are you taking ground or are you just spinning your wheels?” As human beings with an instinctive sense of integrity we all keep ourselves fundamentally busy during “work” hours. We lay our heads on the pillow at night satisfied that we gave a dollars worth of work for a dollars wage. We tend to judge ourselves by activity rather than results.
Let’s look at this closer. It has been argued that 99% of the entire American work force “works” less then three hours of an eight hour work day. Of course we need to define “work”. Work would be any activity that propels you forward, not sideways or backwards. A few things that are not work are water cooler talks, restroom breaks (though they are needed… it’s not work), coffee breaks, desk cleaning (yes it needs to be done… but it’s not work either), file hunting, computer “clean up”, personal phone calls, texts, Facebook and checking emails. Speaking of emails… *I learned that the “average” employee checks their email 77 times a day!! Less than 2% of those emails have anything to do with specific information for the job at hand.
PLUS a study done at the University of London found that constant emailing and text-messaging reduces mental capability by an average of ten points on an IQ test. It was five points for women, and fifteen points for men. Emailing and texting makes you stupid!
These are unbelievable statistics! It has never been easier in the history of mankind to be distracted. My question is, what if you could get another hour of true productivity a day? What would that do to your career?
Status quo is Latin which means “the state in which”, to maintain and keep the things the way they presently are. I do not believe in status quo, a stagnant state of being. I believe that things are constantly in flux. To prove this point I can point out the fact that you are losing weight this very moment (unless you are eating something right now). And it’s a fact your muscles are atrophying (unless you are doing leg lifts while you read this) however, your mental capacity is growing (assuming you learn something from this newsletter).
We are either gaining ground or losing ground. Life’s a muddy mountain… two steps forward, one step back. By definition, if you move an inch forward…you’re taking ground. Remember, some is always better than none…always! (My wife doesn’t like that philosophy, because I tend to do some of the dishes and clean the house SOME of the way. She would prefer I actually did it all the way.) But it is true, “Some is better than none” so make sure you do something every day to propel you forward.
At the end of the day before you lay your head on your pillow, don’t ask yourself if you were busy today… ask yourself “Did I take ground today?” And if you did… sleep peacefully knowing you earned your pay today… plus you sowed seeds for a successful tomorrow.
* I was at a seminar and I didn’t write down the resource for these stats… sorry)
If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of becoming a prophet.
— Isaac Bashevis Singer, Yiddish-American writer (1904-1991)
Imagine someone getting mad at an eleven month old who was trying to walk but fell down. Imagine that person saying “Why did you even try, I knew you would fall, you stupid worthless child. You’ll never amount to anything. You better stick to crawling.” That would be absolutely absurd, not to mention child protection services would be knocking on their door. Now switch the focus to those specific words you say to yourself when you think about taking risks. Do you say similar things like “I shouldn’t try for that promotion, I’m not good enough” or “That was stupid of me, I always screw that up”. Pay attention to the words you say to yourself. Are they uplifting, edifying and motivating, or are they degrading, demeaning, de-motivating?
I once saw an interview with Tiger Woods were they asked him what was going through his mind before he sank a 50 foot putt. He said something like “You will absolutely make this, you’ve got this”. Then they asked “What was going through your head when you shanked that drive on hole 12”? Tiger replied, “I’m better than that, that’s not like me.” I would love to hear the words that are going through his head now-awadays. I doubt they are similar… and it reflects in the way he plays. The competition is in our head and in our hearts. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
Our hearts are the inner most part of our being. It’s our beliefs that are buried deep within us. What kind of beliefs are you sinking in your heart?
“Thoughts are the seeds of our words and deeds”
Whatever thoughts we allow to stay “planted” in our minds will grow up and take root in our hearts and produce fruit. If we want to produce good fruit we must plant good seeds and get rid of the weeds. What you put in your brain will lead to the path and action you will take. I recommend you only plant good seeds…. and keep the weeds and poison out.
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
You can do it! I believe in You!
Testimony of a Prosperous Christian
Captain Kevin Miller, USN (Ret)
Q. How did you find God?
A. I am a “cradle Catholic” and have always been active in my faith thanks to my father Bob and late mother Marge. In recent years I’ve been involved in the Knights of Columbus and Men’s ACTS Retreat ministry. I am a regular reader at St. Paul’s Church Sunday mass.
Q. “Rags to riches story” How you become (some specific steps) a “Prosperous Christian”, by our definition.
God blessed me with good health and physical traits that allowed me to attain my childhood dream of becoming a pilot. I was able to marry a beautiful loving girl (29 years of marriage), become a father to three great boys, and advance professionally allowing me to experience a rewarding military career and today own my own business. Throughout, I gave thanks to Him, reared our children with Terry to become good Christian men, asked Him to guide and protect me and my colleagues in the air, and asked for and received forgiveness. Much is asked of whom much is given, and I ask God to allow me to reflect His glory in personal and professional dealings.
Q. How does God continue to Prosper you today in all categories?
A. We are blessed with good health, strong families, strong friendships, material wealth, and a positive outlook through our trust in God. Our future is bright.
Q. One or two of your favorite versus that inspire you.
A. Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.
Q. Tell us about your company and how you help people
A. I founded Ready Deck Leadership to draw on my military aviation and business experience to teach businesspeople about the collective wisdom underlying the culture of excellence found in naval aviation into a compact and understandable package from which organizations can grow their own cultures of excellence. Along with my one-hour keynote on the value of standardized training, detailed preparation, clear communication of the plan, and frank after-action assessment. I am a talented writer and speaker, and can develop compelling table-top exercise scenarios for a team to immerse themselves in to reinforce taught lessons and gain tools they can use in the office to improve their organization.
I am active in St. Paul Catholic Church and other Pensacola area civic organizations plus the Tailhook Association which fosters and encourages carrier aviation. Back in the day I flew the A-7E and FA-18C, amassing 3,600 flight hours and 1,000 carrier landings, with great people as part of a winning team.
For more information on prosperous Christian Captain Kevin Miller, USN (Ret) go to www.readydeck.us or call
Phone: (703) 439-8442