Weekly Thought – November 26, 2013
Fred was asked about his recommendations for personal growth. He answered, “Books, travel, and associations.” He believed we stretched ourselves and others through what we read, new experiences, and associating with interesting people. He always wanted to be the “smallest one in the group.” He said it took great ego control, but it also enabled him to develop.
On this Thanksgiving week, it is most appropriate for us to express our profound gratitude to each member of our Breakfast With Fred community. Your emails, your calls, your financial donations, and most of all — your prayer support allows us to continue our work. When the BWF Project started, we established three goals: expand the reach, deepen the impact, and preserve the work. You allow us to do all of that!
Associations make a broader person. Most of them don’t just happen- they need to be planned. The “birds of a feather flock together” isn’t always the best formula for profitable, purposeful associations.
Character is the foundation upon which worthwhile association are built. Choosing the right people can create strong building blocks. Here are some of the positive traits of healthy associations:
1) Integrity – the person consistently seeks to do what is right
2) Love of Truth – We must all search for truth, for it isn’t always on the surface. It helps to be in the company of those who know and respect the truth.
3) Unselfishness – I have never known a person with strong character whose first thought was, “What’s in it for me?” This thought lies at the base of greed. It bespeaks an animal world where only the fittest survive.
4) Decisiveness – My mentor Maxey Jarman once told me, “I am convinced the rarest trait in executive life is decisiveness.” Too often “team-think” substitutes for true leadership. Strong leaders make strong decisions.
5) Courage – Only those who have faced problems (and possibly defeat) understand the true meaning of courage. It is not living in the fantasy of fiction; it is living in the reality of turmoil. It overcomes panic. It gives us the ability to think of the right thing at the right time. It helps us stand against the odds and to think under pressure.
6) Graciousness – Graciousness is more than good manners, more than courtesy – it is the etiquette of the soul. True grace has a divine quality. I am not sure if it is gift or a developed trait, but I do know we can all use more of it than we are inclined to demonstrate.
This week consider: 1) Which character trait needs my attention? 2) When was the last time I was courageous? 3) How can I grow the healthiest associations?
Words of Wisdom: “The ‘birds of a feather flock together’ isn’t always the best formula for profitable, purposeful associations.”
Wisdom from the Word: “An honorable man makes honorable plans; his honorable character gives him security.” (Isaiah 32:8 NET Bible)