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The Road Begins Now

Be the Best You.

A Man Named Earl

It was the middle of my work week and lunch time was upon me. In and Out Burger as always sounded amazing so i found my closest In And Out and pulled off the freeway. I decided to use the drive thru that way i could sit in the shade with the radio on and AC blasting while i grubbed down on this Burger.

The parking lot was full of people already. In my area this In And Out like most gets busy . Cars were all over and parking is always a pain. I parked my truck in the shade and watched the rat race for lunch unfold. Sitting in my truck i noticed a few pan handlers asking for money as people went in or came out. Most people would speed up to pass them by or turn away right as the person would ask for money. I watched as they eventually got tired of asking and walked off then sat in the shade where it was cool. As i sat in my truck and watched and wondered what caused these people to get to this point in their lives? Compassion is a tough thing to have for another person when you don’t know the back story . I can’t count the number of times i walked by a pan handlers or gave them dirty looks as they would approach. When i was in high school a young and ignorant punk kid i remember a time when i verbally said to a grown man asking for money to GET A JOB, i now cringe at the thought of admitting that.

As i sat eating my lunch and wondering all of this i could see a man off in the distance holding a windex bottle in one hand and a towel over his left shoulder. He was wearing old and dirty blue jeans with a horizontal brown and white striped polo shirt. I would guess him to be around 5’7″ and in what should be retirement years. A young women was getting out of her car and this man approached with a huge smile and honest eyes. I couldn’t hear what he asked but i was assuming it was can i wash your windows? The women seemed immediately annoyed and bothered she shook her head shut her car door and walked away.  A full size silver Chevy pickup pulling out from a parking stall, he stood off to the driver side window and asked the man if he could wash his windows? The man didn’t even respond and just drove off. While i finished my meal i sat and thought about the multiple pan handlers before him that wanted something for nothing and here this man is trying to work and yet i watch multiple people run from him like he has some sort of disease. He approached 15-20 people with a smile and non threatening and every one of them just blew him off .

At this point i felt overcome with the emotion to make it known that his efforts would not go unknown. I can be a pro at over analyzing situations but i grabbed my wallet and before i knew it i was in the middle of the parking lot standing face to face with this man. Before he could say a word i told him a man willing to work deserves to get paid as i handed the remainder $5.00 left over from lunch. He immediately said thank you and asked “Please let me wash your windows for the money”. I just washed my truck the day before so i said my truck is clean but i appreciate the offer. The man shook my hand and asked “i must do something for you , what can i do? I first thought in my head this man has nothing that i need or want so i responded Nothing please take the money and have a great day. “Please” he responded. I thought some more than replied you can tell me your story. His eyes lit up and he didn’t hesitate to start.

“Well things were good when i lived in Nevada he sighed . I worked for a Plastic molding and manufacturing company”. Since i knew nothing of that industry i asked what products did you make? He went on and on about how they get plastic pellets, melt them down and had molds for car bumpers , small parts ect. They would take different heat tempering to get some things flexible and some things hard. ” Me and multiple workers were blindsided finding out the company we worked for was moving to China for cheaper labor. i was told that i could move to china and keep my job or lose my job and stay in Nevada. I had my house on 5 acres and my life was going they way i wanted and i didn’t want to leave. I’m 62 and most companies don’t want to hire a 62 year old man. I worked some odd jobs but ended up losing my house and property. I Had friends in California so decided to move out and be with them. Once i arrived in California the loss of my Job and house i became depressed so i turned to drugs and alcohol. I QUIT caring altogether, Sleeping on friends couches with no drive to push past my failures i was beat. One day i woke up and decided that i had to change”.

“I must give to get.” I starting doing odd jobs and washing windows is part of that. I had to begin believing that my life could get better and that i had to start by doing something”.

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we finished our conversation I realized that i have been sitting here talking to this man for 30-45 minutes and didn’t even know his name. I reached out my hand and asked whats your name sir? You can call me EARL he said with an ear to ear smile. Shaking his hand i said i appreciate your time Earl and it was a pleasure to meet you. I wish you all the best in the future.  He looked dead at me and said “God bless you”. I turned and started to walk back to my truck almost overcome with emotion i may have given Earl money but the sincere and honest story and knowledge i got was more valuable. The moment i shut my door i grabbed my journal and wrote what you are reading today.

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU.

I challenge you to look at upcoming situations and people from an abnormal place. Be aware that everyone has a story and unless you know the story we pre judge and assume we know the person. Open yourself to be different and remember what Earl said “you must give to get”

Recently i heard a story by Stephen Covey the author. It goes perfect with Earl so i will share it.

Stephen Covey just got on a train and sat down. 2 little boys come blazing into the train running wild, as the father followed shortly after. The kids were bouncing off the walls running up and down the train. Stephen said he thought how could the father just let his kids run wild and not say anything? The madness continued and finally Stephen could not take it any longer. He said to the father ” Can you rein them in?  “Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it,” the distraught father replied. “We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”

John Krum

Are you a leader ? Rate yourself, Employees, or Who you work for.

As we grow up we develop all sorts of talents, abilities, habits and disciplines. In reading Napoleon Hills ” Think and Grow Rich” a book that was inspired by Andrew Carnegie. I came across a section that Was called “The Major Attributes of Leadership”. I read the first 5 and thought this would be a great section to rate myself from 1-10 and identify what makes me a great leader and the areas i need to still develop.

As i have progressed in life i have come to realize that many Managers, Teachers, Business Owners, and even CEO’s lack some of the most basic leadership skills. I post these in hope that a few of you may grow and develop to be effective and profitable leaders in life and business . For those that haven’t read the book i pass them on to you. I hope you take the time to rate yourself and be open and honest about your results.

1) Unwavering courage- based upon knowledge of self, and of ones occupation. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long.

2) Self-Control- The man who cannot control himself can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for ones followers, which the more intelligent will emulate.

3) A keen sense of justice- Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.

4) Definiteness of decision- The man who wavers in his decisions, shows that he is not sure of himself, cannot lead others successfully.

5) Definiteness of plans- The successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan. A leader who moves by guessing work, without practical, definite plans, is comparable to a ship without a rudder. Sooner or later he will land on the rocks.

6) The habit of doing more than paid for- One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers.

7) A pleasing personality- No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader. Leadership calls for respect. Followers will not respect a leader who does not grade high on all of the factors of a pleasing personality.

8) Sympathy and understanding- The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them and their problems.

9) Master of detail- Successful leadership calls for master of the details of the leader’s position.

10) Willingness to assume full responsibility- The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift this responsibility, he will not remain the leader. If one of his followers makes a mistake, and shows himself in competent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed.

11) Cooperation- The successful leader must understand and apply the principle of cooperative effort and be able to induce his followers to do the same. Leadership calls for power, and power calls for cooperation.

Ironically after reading the above Leadership Attributes later that day i listened to a podcast with Tim Ferris interviewing Stanley McCrystal a 4 star General in the army. He was a prime example of what a leader is and can be. It wasn’t the typical drill Sargent style leader i would think about in the military. He gave a shit about his troops and still carried empathy for the countries he was in. I can go on and on but I encourage you to check it out. http://fourhourworkweek.com/blog/

Take some time and think of the people you may now take direction from. Do they have these qualities? Do you want to work for somebody that doesn’t? It should be motivating for somebody that embraces these attributes because you as a person and leader will have an edge over the competition as you blaze your path in life.

Wishing you all the best,

JK

Self Talk and the Negative world.

The never ending negativity, complaining, whining , or bitching about our lives seems to be in every major publication or news article across the world. Why do we fall into this mind numbing crater of what most assume life is going to be?

In some odd backwards world it is freeing for most people to believe that we have limited or no control of our lives. As a person your able to let go and just roll with the constant punches that life delivers. When a event happens your response is “well i guess it was ment to be”. We build up this internal wall that starts to shut down any feedback that may help our journey in life. We let Jobs, Parents , Lovers , and Friends put invisible limitations on our visions, goals and dreams like it was a spoken word from God himself.

Other People Limit what is possible for you. It destroys imagination and creativity that could free you from the normal 85% of negative self talk . We are the only creatures in the world that can imagine and create yet we are hindered by our thoughts that others help us shape.

Break free and find yourself , don’t ever look back.

th

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