Weekly Thought – August 30, 2016
Fred‘s birthday was September 1, 1915. In his lifetime he experienced vast social, economic, and even spiritual changes in his world. He grew up with an intuitive sense of what it would take to grow personally and eventually, professionally. His belief in reading, travel, and association led him to interesting situations.
I believe I am responsible for own personal development. Only I know who I want to become. Only I truly know my strengths and weaknesses; my talents and skills; my passions and desires. Only I know the price I am willing to pay to become who I want to be.
My personal development stands on four legs:
1) Mentoring – When I was young I heard the expression, “Birds of a feather flock together.” I knew from an early age I wanted to associate with individuals who would be my mentors and role models. As a young business man I defined six qualities I wanted in my life. Then I identified six individuals who personified each of these qualities. I reached out to them asking for an autographed picture. On my wall I hung the framed pictures in a square with Hoffman’s Head of Christ on the top and a mirror at the bottom. It became my measure of personal growth. I assessed how I was doing in the areas while looking in the mirror and reflecting on the head of Christ. This was the first step in my development.
2) Reading – I do prescription reading. Just as everyone doesn’t have the same eyeglass prescription, reading lists shouldn’t all be the same. We have separate needs and growth areas. I read no fiction and I focus on particular authors who think and write along the lines of my study. For example: Oswald Chambers, Francois Fenelon, Peter Drucker, and Frank Laubach. I also read chapters in books which are aimed at my major themes: philosophy, theology, leadership, and psychology. I have a natural affinity for those areas.
3) Writing – Until I started working for Maxey Jarman I was a totally verbal person. One day when I was telling him about a situation in one of our plants he said, “Write it, Fred.” When I explained I wasn’t a writer, he answered back: “The reason you can’t write it is you don’t really know it. Anything you really know you can write.” Later in life I found this quote from Sir Francis Bacon: “Writing makes an exact man.” I learned to write to burn the fuzz off my thinking.
4) Travel – It opens the windows of my experience and exposes me to different people, cultures, thinking, and environments. Growing up in the home of a pastor, we had few opportunities to travel. In fact, when Mary Alice and I married, my entire family went with us – all piled into our car.
Personal development is just that: a personal commitment with a personal price tag.
This week think about: 1) How committed am I to continual growth? 2) What allows me to be a lifelong learner? 3) Who is part of my development team?
Words of Wisdom: “I learned to burn the fuzz off my thinking.”
Wisdom from the Word: “My teaching will drop like the rain; my sayings will drip like the dew, as rain drops upon the grass, and showers upon new growth.” (Deuteronomy 32:2 NET Bible)