Who Do They Say You Are?

 

Rep Follows You

I am a Photographer in my local town. We are in the Season of Christmas and I have been taking Santa Pictures for a local business. A young boy came in while we were photographing and asked me if I was Eddie Kilbourne. I guess he knew of my work or something about me. I have taken photographs in this town for years and have Posters and Images everywhere. I replied to him that I was and being the curious guy that I am I asked him what he knew about me being Eddie Kilbourne. He said, “You are a really good photographer”.  With this on my mind I was curious as to what else he knew of me and I asked him if he thought I was a good guy. He said, “Yes, everyone knows you and likes you.” That really made me feel good.

Have you ever stopped to think what others think and know about you.  There was a time in my life that I wasn’t very proud of who I was and I decided to change me. I began to be a person of good character and to make good honest decisions and actions first in my life. It didn’t happen overnight but I believe I have made great strides in reinventing myself.  We must put our focus on other people and their needs and not so much on ourselves. Others must come first!

Several years ago when Ross Perot was running for President he was on stage with George W. Bush and Bill Clinton when he made a comment where he finished his statement by saying, “I’m all ears.” It was funny because his ears appear large but what he said rings true.  Others are all ears when it comes to your reputation.

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What makes a poor reputation? Choices made poorly are always the beginning of poor reputations.  Selfish habits and dishonesty will always result in a poor reputation.

Having a poor reputation or a bad reputation is hard to overcome but not impossible. It takes time to build or rebuild anything. You have to first decide what kind of person you want to be known as and begin building a foundation.

5 ways to Begin a Great Foundation for your Future Reputation

  1. Set a Goal to become the best that you can be and take the first step today.
  2. Think of others first and how your actions can help them to be a success.
  3. Always go above and beyond, be neat, professional, and on time.
  4. Speak well of others, do not gossip ANY. Become a Positive Speaking Person.
  5. Be Honest, Have Integrity, Do what you say you will do, and finally Love Others.Total Sum

Becoming a person of good reputation is like painting a house. You may not like the color or the existing paint may be fading. You have decided to give the house a makeover and new paint. Consider the costs and the work involved, it is worth it. It doesn’t happen overnight but it can happen in a season. Maybe this is your season right now. Think of how others will react when you decide to be the best you that you can be.

Everywhere you go, there are folks watching you and waiting for you to succeed or fail. Become the success that they expect. Be a role model for those who look up to you. You may feel that you are the underdog and no once cares but that isn’t true.  When you become a person who is trying to do the right thing, it may be tough at first but hold on to your values that you set and it will become easier. Don’t let others pull you down by talking about how you use to be, hold on and you will become stronger that ever.

Let the words you speak be the person you want to be.  Speak Strong Words of Confidence. Empower others with your words of Encouragement. Let the reputation of your life go before you and others will be glad to know you. Become a role model for others.

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ThePowerOfPositiveSpeaking.com

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Words Can Heal or Destroy

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“Words are actions and actions can heal or destroy. Make your actions ones those that heal others and in doing so you create a better world.”

 

Have you ever had someone say something that hurt your feelings? It’s true isn’t it that words can hurt and can even destroy.  

I overheard a mother talking to her child one day in an attempt to discipline her little boy. Now please know that the word discipline doesn’t mean to punish, it is a word that means to guide and instill the right path. In her attempt to get the boy to do the right thing she used this phrase, “Quit being stupid and do it right.” To that little boy those words were negative and hurtful. Did my mother just tell me that when I’m not doing something right, then I am stupid. What a wrong way to bring up a child in a world where success depends on how we look at ourselves. Another simple phrase is, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” Or then there is this one, “Can’t you do anything right?” 

The words you speak to another are giving direction to their next step. It’s true that the thing they were doing may not have been right but in addressing the negative we are also telling that person that if they don’t succeed, their only other option is defeat, failure, destruction.

Words are Actions not only for Children but for our Friends 

We have to realize that when we speak to someone, or when they ask for advice they may take the direction in which we lead them. Do we want to lead them down the road of destruction or to a place of success? Offer good advice if you know of it but be careful because the advice you give may not be GOOD.  We shouldn’t put ourselves into the position to offer words of hate, revenge, failure, violence. That is too often the selfish way out of a problem. Sometimes it feels good to the soul if we can get revenge or blame someone else.  Only give good advice.  Sometimes we don’t know what type of advice to give and we may agree with the other person while they are venting.  

Choose Good Words to Speak Life and Healing

In the Bible are many things that speak about our words and conversations.

Job 33:13, “My words declare the uprightness of my heart and what my lips know they speak sincerely.”

Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

When we speak to a child or to a friend, know that Your Words Can Heal or Destroy. Take the utmost care in what you say and how you say it because someones life may depend on it. I heard a story of how some children at school were being rude to another child and even began to tell him that he should go home and kill himself. The sad thing is that one day he did kill himself just because of the cruelty of others. What would have happened had someone encouraged him to be their friend or spent a few minutes of their day speaking words of encouragement or better yet stood up for him and told a teacher of the problems. 

In the Bible, Paul says in Ephesians 4 not to let any corrupt word come out of our mouths. He says to let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from us. 

 

When we offer direction, good advice, counseling in any form we should look for the future of what the outcome may be. Sometimes we may not have the correct advice to give but don’t let that stop you from good encouragement. You may not be able to solve the other persons problems but also don’t become a part of that problem by offering poor advice.  Be a friend to others and listen but don’t allow yourself to feed into the problem by continually being a sounding board. You may have to speak up and tell that other person that you recognize there is a problem that demands an immediate action. Instead of just listening to them complain, ask them what they have don’t to come out of that situation, what are their plans to overcome, what advice would they give to someone in the same situation.

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Finally, there is power in Prayer: Sometimes the mind of man can’t solve the problems of man.  I also believe in prayer for situations. The Bible says in Matthew 18:20 that prayer between two or three will result in God being there with them. Find a good Godly friend and talk with them. Allow God to lead you and guide you through the daily encounters of situations and problems that may come our way. 

Going the Extra Mile

I have a Fantastic Story that I want to share about a young lady who went the Extra Mile. I was on a return trip from Central Virginia recently where I had just given a KeyNote speech for an Awards Meeting of Correctional Professionals and was craving a Frosty from Wendys Restaurant. It seems that I get a lot of inspiration from stopping at restaurants.

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I pulled in to the Wendys at a midpoint in Central Virginia, gathered my money and went inside. I knew I wanted a Frosty but I wasn’t sure if I wanted the Vanilla or Chocolate. The waitress was waiting on a Father and Son so I waited my turn. I noticed that the waitress had a smile on her face that was such a delight to be in the presence of.  When my turn came, I stepped up to the counter and she so politely asked what I would like to order.

I told her that I knew I wanted a Frosty but please give me a minute to make up my mind. I told her that I didn’t know if I wanted the Chocolate or Vanilla and she immediately said, “I can do it half and half.”  She just solved my problem, and not only that but she said it with a cheerful smile like she had just solved all the world issues.

I was delighted not only by the suggestion but also in that she had responded so quickly to help me make up my mind. Now there was no one behind me so I knew she wasn’t trying to hurry me up and she really took an interest in trying to help me.

What Great Customer Service she displayed.  Wendys_frosty.jpg

This is exactly what the world needs, people that are willing to help and love what they do.  I immediately commented to her that her attitude and her quick response to help me was such a joy.  Wouldn’t it be so nice if every one acted like this young lady?  She was so eager to help, she was delighted that I was so pleased by her response that we both laughed.  I quickly said, “Well darling, why don’t you just make me that half and half Frosty.”

Friends, even while writing this I am still elated to see young people like this waitress who honestly want to help others.  Enthusiasm comes from the heart and is a special talent. Did you know that the word Enthusiasm comes from two Greek Words? En means “from within” and Theo comes from the study of “God”. So when we say Enthusiasm we are saying “I personally behold God on the inside”  Wow.

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We talked for a few minutes and I told her how proud of her I was that she had such a great attitude. Her name is “TyKaijah”, I thought that was such a pretty name and one to remember.  I asked to speak to her manager who was named, “Wendy”.  How funny, (Wendy and she works at Wendys.) I asked the Manager if she accepted compliments on  behalf of her employees and of course she said yes. I bragged on TyKaijah and mentioned to the manager that she should hire more individuals like her with a good outlook on life.

Yes, I believe we need to brag on those people who display such a great attitude about work and life.  I’ve been in places and encountered people where they weren’t fun to be around and this makes your day tough.  It’s easy to give a bad review when we go into a restaurant but maybe if we gave good reviews when they certainly are good, we might encourage someone to do the thing that they did right again.

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I like what Napoleon Hill says. You can start right where you stand and apply the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more service and better service than you are now being paid for.  “The Habit of Going the Extra Mile”. Napoleon Hill is the author of Think and Grow Rich as well as the Laws of Success.

The next time you get good service, no matter where you are. Tell the person how much you liked it and tell their supervisor.  This will benefit that person many more times over.  The Power of Positive Speaking

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Opportunities are like “4 Leaf Clovers”

Have you ever found a 4 Leaf Clover? There are countless of people alive today in the United States who have never seen a 4 Leaf Clover. What do you think would be the reason that they haven’t seen one?  The truth is they haven’t been looking.

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I have a good friend that is always finding them. Sometimes he will find 3 or 4 in the same small yard. I tell him he is the luckiest guy alive.  One day we were talking and I said, “Brian, how do you find so many 4 Leaf Clovers?” He said, “Eddie, I look for them.” Isn’t that a simple answer?  He just looks for them.  If we apply that thinking to opportunities it might just be life-changing.  Remember the movie Field of Dreams? “If you build it they will come.”  Allow me to delight you in a small business that I had the opportunity to build.  Many of my readers know I’m also a photographer and several years ago I wanted to photograph the area schools. The price the students were paying was too high, I had all of the equipment to do the job and I just wanted to try my hand at it.  I set a goal for myself, and bought a huge white erase board and wrote my plans on it.  I went to all of the local schools and gave my ideas to them about lowering costs and fast service and local business. It seemed that no one wanted to hear my offer.

Then at one of the local Graduation days, which was outside, the rain was pouring on the event. Students were getting soaked, the speakers were drenched, and the school photographers wouldn’t get their equipment out in the rain. I was there with my camera, in the rain with a hood over my lens. The Principal saw me in the crowd and our eyes met.  With a small nod and subtle direction of her hand, she silently told me to move in place to get the diploma shots for the students. I did this and posted the photographs on my website for all to purchase. (Of course at a Great price).

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Later that summer I received a phone call from that same Principal and asked if we could meet concerning the next years school pictures. Wow, I had the opportunity that I had asked for. When we met, she asked me if I could give the school back a little more on a commission.  I took a deep breath because I really wanted to do that job but I explained to her that I had lowered the price much lower than the regular school photographers because their price was too high, and I didn’t have the room to give the school more back. She asked if I had thought about raising the price a bit for the students, and I had to tell her I couldn’t do that.  As I began to exit the room she said this, “Eddie, I just wanted to see if you were serious about helping the students, you’ve got the contract.!” Did you see that? I got what I asked for and there were several things that played a key role in this chain of events.

  1. I set a goal and wrote it down.
  2. I went into action and offered my services to the target audience.
  3. I found where I may be needed. (By mistake of course) and made myself available.
  4. I performed a good deed with taking the photographs in the rain.
  5. I offered a fair price.
  6. I stood up for what I believed.
  7. I was honest, and showed integrity.
  8. I received the contract that I asked for.
  9. I followed through with that contract for several years and had great response.    success-479568_960_720.jpg

 

The research shows that 4 Leaf Clovers are 1 in 10,000. That sounds like a far fetched  chance of finding one but that area is only about a 10 foot by 10 foot area. That is an area about as large as a small tent. So if you just go out and walk around for about 5 minutes the chances are that you will find 3 or 4 in no time flat.  Opportunities are everywhere if we are only willing to work for them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “God hides things by putting them near us.”annlanders1.jpg

Oh yea, what about the photography business? That year was a great year. The students were all very happy with their School Portraits. The prices were the best in 20 years, the teachers were happy, the parents were happy and after that year was over we received the contract the next year along with two more schools in the region.  I had found a 4 Leaf Clover in my photography business.

What does it take to see opportunity? It takes a willingness to open your eyes to what is there and an attitude of helping others. I like what my mentor Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything that you want if you help enough others get what they want.”

 

Time is the one thing you can never get back. Remember when?

I remember growing up in Wise Virginia where all the boys in the neighborhood would play Cowboys and Indians. We grew up on Birchfield Road where there were about 20 of us.  This was during the 1970’s and 80’s when there was no such thing as internet or cell phones. We looked forward to the weekend where we would choose up sides and play all day long as one of the groups.  We dressed the part and everyone wanted to be the Indians.  We wore feathers and headbands and gave ourselves Indian sounding names.

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After a long hard day at play and after eating a meal prepared by one of the mothers we would talk into the evening as the sun went behind the mountains.  Often it was around a campfire before running home in the dark.  “When I get older” was one of the round about discussions.  It was always easy to look into the future and dream about what we would do when we got older.  Some were going to move away and become inventors, others were going to work in the coalmines, me…. Well I had the dream of owning my own business of whatever I had on my mind at the time.  “One day, I’m going to have a big factory and make toys and guns and tents and sell them all over the world.”

It was easy to dream back then, but that was so long ago.  Now I’m older and cherish those days in Wise County Virginia.  I remember the one time when I begged my mother to let me stay out with the guys and camp out. I was maybe 12 years old and my older brother Scotty was 15.  She let us go but the next morning as the sun was popping his head through the leaves, I heard my mother calling our names. “Scotty and Eddie, it’s mom, come on it’s time to go home.”  My mother is such a great lady.  She is now 81 years old and just as pretty as she was when I was only 12.  She has beautiful red hair and beautiful charisma to match.

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Where does all the time go?  One day you are a cowboy with a toy gun and the next day you are waking up with a backache from a hard day’s work.  Time is the only thing we can never get back.

From my experience I wish I had spent more time with my friends just talking. I wish I had taken mental pictures of my friends and their young faces.  I wish I had told all of their mothers how much they meant to me.  We could become sad that the times we wish we had are no more but then again, we still have today and tomorrow. Why not make the best of the time we have left?

I love to write about those days past.  My memory about the wars and fights that all of those Cowboys and Indians had are legends.  I remember the day that we all had the Indian challenge of spreading our legs as far as we could, dropping a feather on the ground from our Indian headpiece and leaning over to pick up the feather with our lips.  We got pretty good at that challenge. Then there was the game of stretch where two boys would stand about 8 feet apart.  A knife would be thrown by the first boy and the goal was to throw it no more than 6 inches away from the others foot. If the knife stuck in the ground, that boy would have to put his foot on the place and then it was his turn to throw the knife. The goals end was to make the other stretch so far that they couldn’t stand up. One day as we were playing, I reached down to get the knife and split my pinky finger into on the blade. I didn’t say a word, I just kept playing the game. I still have the scar today.

Where has the time gone? We can’t change the past but we can see the future and as a middle age man now I appreciate those memories from times past.

I have an acronym here on the word TIME.

  1. Togetherness, Cherish the time you spend with your parents, your siblings, your children or that special friend. Those are memories that promotions or overtime or projects can wait on. When your time on earth is over, the one thing you will miss and can never get back is Togetherness Time.
  2. Inspiration, Take the time to inspire others because your purpose on this earth is not for you, it’s for others. The little things can put the wind under someone’s wings, the small actions you show today may be the life of someone tomorrow. Inspire those closest to you by telling them you believe in them, and never ever let the word Love be forgotten on your lips.
  3. is the Motivation time. I’m talking about your own motivation. You must have a talk with the person in the mirror every day and push that person to work harder, go farther, and stay on course. It is ultimately you who is the Pilot of your life and not another.
  4. Is the Encouragement time for others. The word Encourage is a French English word that means “Strengthen the Heart” There are hundreds of people in this state that go to bed hungry every night but thousands that go to bed hungry for a word of encouragement.

Friends, if you will do these things and cherish your memories and love the ones you have in your life, you will reap great rewards.

 

Encourage Hope With Words.

I hope I get that job, I hope I can find a four-leaf clover, I hope she says yes.  That is an interesting word, isn’t it? HOPE.  What is it that gives you hope or yet another question may be why do we have hope while others appear hopeless?

For many, Hope comes from their past experiences or from their religious experiences or knowledge. Others may get their hope simply by being born optimistic.  But the sad fact is that without hope people fail to progress at their endeavors.  Where there is no hope, there is no success. When hope is absent so is the heart.  What can we do when we feel hopeless?

At times in my own life when hope seemed so far away, I would begin to remember the times that I had success and the events where I had overcome the obstacles.  As humans we are elements of our habits and we often find ourselves going back to the same place we were before when we made similar decisions.  We choose the same path.  Do you know anyone that you could say, they are so lucky or maybe you could say everything that he touches is a success?  Maybe just maybe that person is in the habit of making the right choices.  So, the first thing we must do to grab hold of that hope is to learn to make the right choices.

Emotional choice is where we often follow our wish and want and we get in a hurry with our decisions. We must weigh out our decisions and consider the future for the very best that we can, in order to see those potential problems. When we do this maybe we can adjust the path to avoid the problems to come.  So, the first step in having that hope is to make better choices in the beginning.

The power of positive speaking is a choice.

Hope is the challenge point in our mind where we see immediate success with little to no effort.  When hope involves other people, they are wanting the best outcome for themselves and they may make a decision that affects us. We should get to the point that our hope is not just for us but is also the best outcome for others.  Hope means helping the other person also.  I gave a speech one time and used HOPE as an acronym for Help Our People Excel.  I used the benefit of helping others first to show how we increase our own hope.

 

Hope is an actual sense of belief that the situation will get better or have a success.  There is a fine line in our thinking process when things are uncertain that we are negative or positive. We can be victims or victors, we can be hopeless or hopeful.  I want to coach you on the power of positive speaking for yourself in this situation. I want you to begin by making a list. You can do this in your mind but I want you to do this on an actual piece of paper. Maybe all you have is a napkin but the important thing is that you write down a list of your past similar success right now and don’t delay.

The list may look like this: #1, when I discovered I was overdrawn on my bank account several years ago, I called the bank and made an appointment. #2, I made a list then of what my payments were and what I expected to pay out over the next few months. #3, I also made a list of the things that I could cut out to make my budget better. Then after I got started with my list, it started to flow and soon I had found a way to come out of the financial rut that I was in.  There was another time when I was applying for a job and feeling a little self-doubt, I made a list of the skills that I had acquired over the years and soon I gained the hope needed to go into that interview and nail the job to the wall.

What about the hope for a loved one to overcome cancer or even for yourself?  Here the factor is first and foremost, Love and Encouragement. When people feel they are loved, their hope increases and when encouragement is received, it increases the normal dopamine and oxytocin in your bodies which bring about feeling well and allows the natural immunity process to do its job.  Often when the Doctors offer a ray of hope and the family backs up that hope, the healing takes place.

Having that attitude that I will overcome is not limited to health or wealth or success.  When we learn to be positive and say the positive things out loud we are giving that encouragement to ourselves.

The words we speak can give life and they can give death.  What if you were the child that overheard your relative say these words, “she will never amount to anything”.  I heard of a father that would ridicule his child when that child couldn’t spell a word and the father would say, “you will never be able to spell.”  That young child grew up with an amazing attitude toward others but lacked the confidence to spell.

 

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How do we build hope? We build up the person who has that hope within them.  Learn to be an encourager and give good honest and relative encouragement without overstating the facts.

Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying, “Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.” With this in mind we have to set the conditions right for those who lack hope. We have to encourage, build up, show care and trust. Finally we must give them some of our hope.  Have a You Can attitude and being sincere while doing it.  Set them up for success not failure. Have you ever planted a garden, didn’t you first prepare the soil, add the plant and then water and add fertilizer?  Each person is at a different stage of hope. Some need deep soil tilling while others need a drink of cool water during the heat of the day. Regardless, it is you who is there to offer what the other needs.  What an opportunity you have to change the world with your words and actions.

I often quote in my speaking events that there are four words that changed my life forever.  Even though I am a very positive person there have been times in my life where I had shallow hope. During one of these times I had several people to quote these four words and I acknowledge these four words that healed my circumstance.  “I believe in you.”  When you are sincere and speak these words, you can expect lives to change, you can expect gray skies to turn blue, you can expect great results.

I challenge each of you to learn to speak healing words to yourself and others.  Set the conditions and expect the results.  ThePowerOfPositiveSpeaking.com

 

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Why Encouragement

When we think of encouragement we place in our mind the building up of others in words and actions.  Simply said it means to place “Courage” inside of the other person.  Do you remember the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz?

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The Lion felt like he was inferior to others, he felt that he couldn’t be depended upon to come to the rescue of his friends when he was very strong and very meek.  Meekness is not weakness as some would say but meekness means power under control.  This is what the Lion had and didn’t know, he was meek.  What the Lion needed was that inner courage that would give him the confidence that he so desired.

Many times, we have a picture of ourselves where we often compare ourselves to others by their appearance or words.  Confident people are often meek in that they think out their purpose and don’t often conflict with others. Confident people will weigh the consequence of their own actions and understand that things might get worse before they get better.  This is where the Lion was in his life.  He needed someone to confirm in him that he was indeed strong and confident and to give him permission to be the protector.  The Lion needed someone to encourage him.

  I have worked with some of the best minds in the business from manufacturing to institutional services and have found that even the Presidents of large companies often need encouragement.  While they may be the top in their field, they realize that their staff depend on their decisions to guide the company and these Presidents and CEO’s will often question themselves.  “Am I doing the right thing?” is the question they most often ask themselves when they know the answer is yes.  Here is where encouragement is a necessity.  Encourage comes from the French word of Cour meaning the heart.  Remember this quote, “Big People think with a Big Heart.”

True encouragement is more that stating to someone that they can do it, it’s more than telling a team that they have another chance next year.  Encouragement is an Art where we tell the truth in order to build confidence in the heart of the other. 

Encouragement starts by pulling out the good and the bad of past events and separating them into parts that can be studied.  Encouragers are those that analyze each situation and explain to the hearers that there are reasons the thing was a success or a failure.  Encouragers define the points that need to be replicated and also those that need to be refined.

When a football team is winning at half time there is an air of excitement in the locker room.  An encourager coach will build the team up with phrases like, “you are the best team on the field tonight”, or “This is why we practice so hard through the week guys, so we can prove we are a winning team.” Then the encourager coach will go on to recognize the plays that put that team ahead, he will also recognize the things that the team can do better.  He does all of this to build confidence in his team and to prepare them for what the other coach is telling his team.

Meanwhile the team with the lower score on the board hears a different message from their coach.  An abusive coach will tell the team how poor they are playing and why they are losers. An encourager coach will start off by telling the team that they can do better.  He says he knows they have the ability to go back out in the second half and be a better team.  That same encourager coach then does the same thing with his team, he finds the things that were a success and recognizes them and he also points out the areas for improvements.  This coach will go one step further in that he feels with the team, he has compassion with them.  Sure, he might work them harder the next week on the practice field but winning teams are built with encourager coaches.

Dr. John Maxwell calls encouragement, “Oxygen for the soul.” I believe that statement is so true.  My wife is my biggest encourager.  I was the kid in school that would take an F in class before giving a speech.  Later in life when I began speaking in front of crowds and congregations, my wife encouraged me to be the best that I could.  She told me continuously four words that sustained me, “I believe in you.”  What did those words do for me?  They touched my heart

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I have spoken in over 13 states to many different groups and the words that I use include those same words my wife spoke to me.  You can make a difference in the heart of others when you believe in them.