Weekly Thought – February 5, 2019
Fred assumed God gave him gifts, not just for his enjoyment, but for he good of others – and to His glory. The concept of stewarding his “uniqueness” remained uppermost throughout his life, even to the last days. (Note: when Fred used the words “I am convinced” friends and family paid attention because it was always the preamble for a Fred truth.)
BWF is undertaking a writing project using several of Fred’s principles for effective living: mentoring, networking, and persevering. Please pray for the ideas to form into a usable, helpful shape. Your prayerful support and your financial gifts enable us to continue bringing Fred’s lifework forward. Thank you.
Personal Development Planning
I am convinced I am responsible for my own personal development. Only I know who I want to become. Only I know my real strengths and weaknesses; my passion and my talent. Only I know the price I am willing to pay to become who I can be.
On January 1st each year I look at what personal progress I made the year before and then importantly, what possible progress I can make in the coming year. For effective analysis I divided my development program into four areas: 1) physical, 2) emotional, 3) mental, and 4) spiritual. I do audits of my business, and family, as well, but this particular analysis is for my personal development.
I then measure four elements: 1) association, 2) reading, 3) writing, and 4) travel.
Association: when I was young I was always told, “Birds of a feather flock together.” I wanted to associate with individuals who would be my mentors and role models. Early in my business career I chose six qualities I wanted to build into my life. I asked individuals who personified each to give me an autographed picture. I framed them, along with a print of Hoffman’s head of Christ, and a mirror. I hung them with Christ at the top and the mirror at the bottom, surrounded by the others. It was an informal way to measure my progress.
Reading: I do prescriptive reading. What do I mean? Just as everyone doesn’t have the same prescription of their glasses, not everyone is helped by reading the same subjects. I read no fiction. I concentrate on certain authors who can give me what I need. I read on philosophy, theology, mentoring, and psychology – subjects for which I have a natural affinity.
Writing: Until I began working with Maxey Jarman, chairman of GENESCO, I was totally verbal. Once as I reported on activity in one of the manufacturing plants, he said, “Fred, write it.” When I told him I couldn’t, he said, “The reason you can’t write it is that you don’t know it. Anything you know you can write.” He required writing as a way of developing the discipline in me. Later in life I adopted Bacon’s quote: “Writing makes an exact man.”
Travel: Travel expands my viewpoint. Growing up in the mill district of North Nashville my world was very limited. But, I knew there was more. I would sit in the attic of our house with a crystal radio set searching for broadcasts from the outside world. Dreams became realities and I experienced all those places.
My friend Charlie “Tremendous” Jones always says: “Except for the books you read and the people you meet, you will be the same person in five years as you are today.” So true!
This week think about: 1) How well am I growing in Fred’s categories? 2) What are my measures for personal development? 3) Who can help me be much stronger in five years?
Words of Wisdom: “I am convinced I am responsible for my own personal development.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that everyone will see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:15 NET Bible)