Most people ardently WISH they were millionaires. My father used to constantly exclaim, "If I only had a million $$$ boy would that make a difference!" Would it? What difference would it really make in the scheme of life? I've heard the old saying, and you have too, "Those people are not really happy?" Why not? After all, their wealth provides them with more options than us ordinary COMMONERS receive. They pay the bills, take their grandkids to France, and even get their teeth cleaned once every 6 months. The wives pay for the best personal trainers, makeup artist, and everything in between to keep them looking forever young.
I want to make two observations today concerning wealth. First of all, wealthy people experience happiness and sadness just like any other person. Money fails to offer any sort of hocus-pocus solution to our state of being. Character is the real substance behind our disposition. Happy people put others first. They give up to go up. They sacrifice and fill their potential idle moments with constructive work. Often $$$ measures our love for others and our work ethic. Zig Ziglar said that if one helps someone else get what they need and want, then the helper will will get what they need as well. Adding vale to another person's life often helps us experience significance. $$$ may or may not measure value and significance.
Secondly, If a person truly wants options and longs to add significance to others they must possess a burning desire to do so. An old old story illustrates this truth rather strikingly. It goes like this:
Hernando Cortez landed in modern day Mexico in 1519 with a tiny 600 men force. Once ashore, Cortez ordered the burning of his ships. There was no turning back. Cortez vastly outnumbered force, would need to conquer the land and seize what they need, or die in the desperate attempt. With 100% commitment, the handful of Spaniards subdued the mighty Mayan Empire.
Our hope to influence others and add value to their lives, must come at the expense of burning our boats. No looking back. No regretful longing for the past. No lifeboats to catch us when we fall into the chilly water. We must forge ahead adding value as we march.
Therefore, our concern lies not in the accumulation of things, but in the significance we experience when we add value to others. At last the Million $$$ question becomes, "What ships are you willing to burn so that you can make a difference?" Burn those ships, give yourself to others, and the rewards will fall into their place. That includes $$$ rewards.
If you are like me you often feel alone, stuck, and simply frustrated in your business endeavors. Sometimes the problem also translates over to the family and relationships. When this happens it can really throw us off our game. At times I feel a sense of deep despair over these matters. Often my salvation emerges through small group involvement.
As a minister I discovered the power of intimate small groups. The founder of the Methodist Church John Wesley, made sure his new converts enrolled in a strict accountability group called a SOCIETY. He even required enrollees to present a ticket. If they did not follow appropriate protocol he kicked them out.
Now I'm not here to preach or convert. That's not what I do as a Maxwell team member. I simply offered some early history to the concept of what many now call The Master Mind group. Author Napoleon Hill, promoted the idea in his classic THINK AND GROW RICH. Concerning the Master Mind Hill opines:
The "Master Mind" may be defined as: "Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose."
The John Maxwell team offers the MMG as a the core of their efforts to add value to others. His groups share struggles, learn to listen intently, and become a confidentail sounding board. Maxwell bases the structure on the philosophy that leaders are made daily and not in a day. He also exclaims, "Teamwork makes the dream work!"
Every Master Mind group I have led or been a part of has been phenomenal in adding value to other leaders. The collective mind stretches us, challenges us to think on a much higher level, and sometimes offers us a painful mirror.
I hope as you consider your growth plans for the coming years that you will sense an urgency of the need to get deeply involved in master mind thinking. Take it from one who has experienced this phenomenon either through Wesleyan influence as a pastor for 34 years, or a member of the Maxwell team, you will not regret it.
After 33 years as a pastor in the Unite Methodist Church I'm beginning to launch out in other areas particularly the John Maxwell Team. I'm experiencing what many of my church members experience everyday in trying to make a living. I now deeply possess a greater appreciation for those who make this country work. Hat's off to every man and woman who stick their nose to the grindstone and never complain.
Has anyone ever treated you wrong, disrespected you, bullied you, or slammed the door in your face? I know I still get those sorts of treatments from time to time even today as an older adult. Sometimes I perceive other's mistreat me when in reality I'm simply offering up a knee-jerk reaction to what might fall on my plate this week or what fell on it last week. Nevertheless, perceived or real injustice hurts often, cuts deeply, and wounds the human spirit.
Yet, the real essence of the whole episode lies not in what others do to us, but how we respond to them. Revenge feels deeply satisfying in our soul as we contemplate getting back at the other fella. Punching them in the nose, putting them in a headlock (you can easily tell I'm a baby-boomer by the old fashioned methods I would use) sure makes me smile while I sit in my easy chair, drink coffee, and read a good novel. Still, my heart informs me that revenge is dangerous and disastrous.
At the heart of revenge lies anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. Those nefarious attitudes destroy not the bully, but the victim. They poison our very life and hold us back from leadership potential thus, blocking our creator's purpose for us to add value to others. Plus, vengeful dispositions follow the victim wherever they may go. One can run, but they cannot hide from themselves.
Let me tell you a brief story about constructive, redemptive revenge. Texas Tech University fired head football coach Mike Leach right at the peak of his career. They refused to let him coach his bowl game, thus negating his $$$bonus. Tech fans were furious. He was the most popular coach in Texas Tech football history. Many believe the issue revolved around politics, power struggles and egos. I will not speculate further. Leach field a lawsuit against the university to collect his bowl money. He lost.
Fast forward to now. Leach coaches the Pac 12 Washington State Cougars. For years they have been an embarrassment to the conference. Other teams habitually taunt them prior to games. Leach doesn't quite mind. In his quirky dry humored, non emotional response he simply exudes a confident patience.
This year the WS Cougars are bowl eligible and a distant contender for the Pac 12 title. Let the reader and fans beware. Leach has gotten his sweet revenge with an exclamation mark! What did he do? He bred success in a laughingstock team.
You see, nothing scores revenge on others like success. It shuts the mouths of critics and gives the victor a deep seated, soul abiding peace. There is no peace in vindictiveness. Success, however, transforms, disciplines, and matures a person. Demonstrates his leadership capabilities.
So, the next time you seek the false pleasure of revenge, use that wasted energy on success. Sooner or later you may be able to declare with us Leach fans, "Ah, the sweet smell of revenge through creative success."