I will persist until I succeed.

I just finished a wonderful book by Og Mandino called The Greatest Salesman in the World. It was first printed in 1967. I think I can safely say it is just as awesome today as the day it was released.

The book is a story set in the first century which is centered around Mr. Mandino’s philosophy of success, namely in the arena of sales. It is a very easy read (I actually got the audiobook off of iTunes) and is well worth the time. If you haven’t read it, do! Ok, now that the commercial is over…on to the subject of the post.

One of the points of his philosophy is this: I will persist until I succeed. It made me think about a lot of the goals I have had in my life. About dreams that I have had that have or haven’t come about. I have been guilty of quitting on more than one occasion. My reasons? Things got too hard. It wasn’t fun anymore. There was something new and shiny that drew my attention. Whatever the excuse was, I did more quitting that I would have liked. With this mantra as my guide what would have been accomplished?

Now, I have accomplished many things over the years that I am proud of. Many of them bring me joy to this day. But, many of these things have been at random. What if I had been focused on specific goals? To persist until I succeeded?

Mr. Mandino was writing his philosophy to be applied to the area of sales. The character in the book had focus and therefore accomplished much. There was a definite goal in the character’s mind and he was going to persist until he found success. Have you ever wanted something that much? So much that you would do anything you could to attain it? To know that no matter what came at you, your mantra would be ‘I will persist until I succeed?’

One line from the chapter says this: I will try, and try, and try again. Each obstacle I will consider as a mere detour to my goal and a challenge to my profession…so long as there is breath in my, that long will I persist.

What goals do you have that you could apply this mantra to? How would things be different if you chose to say boldly ‘I will persist until I succeed?’

The principles of the book are timeless. The story that conveys these principles is excellent as well. If you haven’t read this one, check it out.

What kind of love keeps marriages together?

You may know this about me, but I am going to say it again: I love being married to my wife. I am so thankful for her friendship and her love (and for a countless list of other things that would take far too long to write.) I don’t know where I would be (or who I would be) if we hadn’t found each other in the spring of 1998 and married the following January. We have been through a lot of things in our marriage. Some very good. Others not so much. We have stuck it through because we are the best of friends. Yes. My wife is my best friend. It works best that way.

I was reading through one of my favorite blog sites today and found an excellent post on this subject. Check it out. It was an extremely good read.



It is a small small world…

I grew up in a little town in southeast Oklahoma. I moved there when I was in the seventh grade and I stayed through my first year of college. By then, like most teenagers in a small town, I had the bug to go to college away from home. So, I won a scholarship for voice and I packed up and moved to the Oklahoma City area. That was 14 years ago.

When I got to school I was given the opportunity to be a part of a semi-professional choir. There were a bunch of people far more talented than me, so I did my best to blend in and help make good music. I sang with the choir for a semester. I remember the first practice well. I got very lost in the big city and almost didn’t find the practice site.

I had been to the rehearsal hall (a church in northwest Oklahoma City) only once before. It was about 15 miles from the school, but I figured I had been there and I could get back. I didn’t plan for the sun going down. I remember feeling panicked. I was the new guy. I was going to be late. It was going to be embarassing. Fortunately, after overshooting the church by a few miles, I doubled back and by chance found it just in time. There are still parts of town that I drive through and get flashbacks of being lost. It makes me laugh.

Fast forward 14 years. I just moved office buildings at work. Where is my new office building? Right across from the old church. It hit me walking across the parking lot today. (I had one of those “its a small world” moments.) For a second I remembered being a 19 year old kid. I felt far from home. Unsure of myself. Even a bit scared. Thankfully that is not who I am today.

It is not often that I can compare then and now so clearly. I saw it today though. The course I was on at 19 would not be my lifelong choice. Thankfully, it didn’t have to be. Many people assume they are stuck with the career path they chose for their major in college. It doesn’t. I thought I was going to be a music teacher and/or a performer. My life is very different now.

I am glad that one chapter of your life doesn’t have to dictate how all of the others go. The story can change. Different decisions can be made. The course can be altered. It starts with one decision.

I stood and stared at the little church for a while today. I never would have imagined I would be here 14 years later working across the street. It was good to remember all that went on then. It is even better to know that I am right where I need to be now.

There is nothing like coming home.

I have been out of town a lot over the last couple of weeks. Weekend before last I had a conference to attend and Marixa and Trey came and stayed at the hotel with me. They didn’t see me very much over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but I was glad that they were there. Traveling is always better when they are with me. Last Thursday I had conference in Houston to go to. Went there and back the same day. It was a long day of travel. All of that said…there is nothing quite like coming home.

You know the feeling I am talking about, right? You get home after a long trip, or a long day, and you feel the stress and the day fade out. You can finally relax. You sink into your recliner, or into your own bed and the world is right if just for a few hours. I hope you have that feeling when you go home. I am thankful I have that atmosphere in mine.

I have been like this as long as I can remember. One time, many years ago, I spent a Christmas vacation with a friend of mine from high school. We lived in a small town in southeast Oklahoma and drove (with his family) to a little town in Arizona. It was a fun trip. I remember having a great time. I also remember being very homesick. It was Christmas time and I was not home with my parents. I enjoyed the trip. I also enjoyed getting back home to my family and my space. (It was also awesome because my parents remodeled my room while I was gone. Still one of my favorite teenage memories coming home to my own new cool room. Thanks again mom and dad!) That room was my home base.

A few years later (1998) I spent a summer singing at a youth camp. We were gone around the 25th of May through the 1st of August. I thought I knew what homesick was, but I learned a new definition that summer. I had a couple of small breaks and as good luck would have it I started dating a beautiful lady over my first break. I quickly discovered that my insides could be twisted in ways that I had never known. I had a new definition of home by that summer’s end. It was wherever she was. Still is.

Fast forward 13 years. Coming home is more awesome still. I get home after work and there is this amazing little guy ready to spend time with me. He wants to show me what he has done. He wants me to play games. He gives me hugs and calls me Daddy. I have discovered  that my insides can be twisted differently still. I never knew drawing letters in chalk on the back porch would bring me joy, but it does. I love it. I love him with all of my heart. There is no place like home.

I have discovered that my life works in a rhythm. I have to have times of hard work where I can put my skills to the test. I have to have times of adventure and exploration. I have to make a contribution. To balance these times, I have to have time at home and time with the family that I love. Times of rest. Time to regain focus. I am sure you need something like this too.

What is coming home like for you?

She’s Everything…Including An Awesome Mom!

This evening while I was getting the little on down for bed I happened upon a song I hadn’t heard in a while. While surfing through my Vevo App on the iPhone, I found She’s Everything by Brad Paisley. I have his Time Well Wasted album and have listened to it a few times, but I don’t think this song ever reached out and grabbed me the way it did tonight. I feel the same way about my wife as he does about his: she is everything to me.

With that said, I celebrate her in a special way today. She is an awesome mom. I look at my son and I see the amazing job she has done and continues to do. I am proud to be her husband and proud that she is the mother of my son. We are so very blessed.

Happy Mother’s Day my love. You are the best. You are everything to us.