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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Today's Wild Card author is:
and the book:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 17, 2012)
***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Fred Lybrand is a communicator and father of five who has been married for over 30 years and has the diverse combination of having formally studied law, speech communications, systems thinking, linguistics, writing, theology, marketing, structural dynamics, leadership/management and the human personality.
As the author of six books and a number of articles and co-founder of TrimTab Solutions (an energy industry consulting firm), Lybrand is currently focusing on the challenging puzzle of human productivity and high performance. The One Success Habit is his newest contribution to help individuals and organizations become more productive without yielding one ounce of being human. His client list includes the United States Air Force, State Farm Insurance, Valero, Chick-fil-A, Pioneer Natural Resources, Encana, Marathon Oil, Rose & Associates, Protrader, Burlington Resources, AcuFocus and Silver Creek Oil & Gas.
Visit the author's website.
SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
Organization, productivity and good habits all appear to be part of successful endeavors. However, many of us don't know how to use these to reach our goals with true success. Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand, motivational speaker, writer and "human behavior expert," with his newest release, The One Success Habit You Can't Do Without (Kauffman Burgess Press, February 2013), continues with his warm, witty conversational advice that brings fresh clarity to the age old question of how to get organized...get moving...and shift our actions towards a new level of daily success. .
List Price: $11.97
Paperback: 130 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 17, 2012)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
What is Success to You?
A few years ago ‘de-motivator’ posters became all the rage. The idea was to send a message while offering a dark kind of comfort. Here are a couple of my favorite captions as best my memory serves;
If at first you don’t succeed…maybe failure is your thing
Perhaps your life is just to serve as a warning to others
The first had a dejected baseball player sitting on the bench, and the second had a half-sunken barge in the middle of the ocean. Almost immediately we all get the importance of success, but think a little deeper…
Why Does Success Matter?
On the surface, success matters because failure is so bad.
It does seem that most people operate with this kind of thought in the back of their minds somewhere. You know, it’s simple. If you don’t have money, friends, a lover, and stuff…life will be awful. Then again, I’ve worked with people over the years who fret over their money, are frustrated with their friends, want to get away from their lover, and are pretty bored with their stuff. In this kind of circumstance we find the first key to succeeding. Success is always relative. Success is always a ‘compared to what’ phenomenon. Success is driven by, and dies by, comparison. Are you a success? According to whom or according to what standard?
Honestly it just gets down to definitions.
Toward a Definition of Success
Clear definitions can solve all kinds of problems, especially conflicts.
Just definitions either prevent or put an end to disputes. -Emmons
Isn’t that true? Haven’t you seen an argument suddenly stop because someone said, “Oh, I thought you meant...” The debate was in full motion because the facts were not clear.
Now think about success. What is your definition of success? How will you know when you get there? On any particular project or subject matter, how can you know a single step to take unless you’ve defined what success for that thing will be?
It isn’t just for ‘big picture’ things either. The definition of success can matter for any item. How much money do you need to be a success? How much money do you need to be able to give away to be a success? Does it matter if the money is on paper, or do you need to be able to get to it? Change it to family---What does it mean to be a successful father, mother, or child? Is your children’s success a part of your definition of success? If they fail do you also fail?
Most of the time we have not done the most basic of things---we have not defined our terms. Here are a few ways to ask the question for your own benefit.
What does success mean to me?
When will I know I’m a success?
How will I know I am a success at home, the office, in friendships, in love, etc.?
Is there an area I have already succeeded in that I can learn from? What was my definition of success?
It is high-time you define success in order to know what you are doing and why you are doing it. If you fail to sit down and clarify your own definition of what it means to be a success, then you have no real way to organize your actions or know when you’ve arrived. That may be the reason you have never defined it…if you don’t define success, then you can never fail. Quite a strategy you have there, but there is one problem: Just because you never fail, it doesn’t mean you have succeeded! Having no enemies doesn’t mean you have lots of friends. You can still just be alone.
Thoreau’s point that most people die with the ‘song still in them’ comes to the essential point of definition. If you haven’t admitted you want to sing a song, or haven’t admitted that the song is a ballad---well, then the song will stay inside till you die. If you won’t start working on your definition of success, then quit reading this book and throw away your library on the subject. Nothing happens without a definition.
In many ways definition is more useful than vision. Defining a successful outcome of a meeting, a project, a business, or a life, can take care of the vision issue. Honestly, isn’t a definition of a successful outcome the real vision you need?
My Definition of Success
It seems only fair for me to give you my own definition of success.
Frankly, this definition is a composite of elements I’ve found to be crucial through the years. Parts may be plagiarized, but it isn’t intentional. In the history of the literature and the years of reflective reading, some of these things get so often quoted we think they are original with ourselves. If you show me who said what (from Epictetus to Napoleon Hill to Billy Graham), I’ll be glad to note the reference. In the meantime, here’s how I frame the word
Success is achieving what is meaningful to me through the use of my best talents; without violating the rights or freedom of others and without offending God.
Well, there is a lot here, so allow me to make a few comments on each part as it might relate to you.
• Achieving what is meaningful to me – Essentially this is about getting what you genuinely want or desire, but it considers how meaningful the accomplishment is to you as an individual. When you create a result that you want you are basically successful. Yet, we often don’t feel it because it wasn’t meaningful to begin with. The starting place is to let go of what everyone else is demanding (or you imagine they are demanding) in order to learn to be true to yourself. If it isn’t meaningful to you, then why create it?
• Through the use of my best talents – Maybe you can create the results you want through your
lesser talents, but I wouldn’t bet on you. ‘Nature’ has certainly designed you for something, or given you capacities to use in particular ways. These capacities need development in order to become skills. It is your love for the activity that allows the 10,000 hours you will invest to become a true master. Yet, even starting out, you are better than most people at certain things without much practice. These areas are where your talents live…and on balance, they are the means through which you will succeed.
• Without violating the rights or freedom of others – If you destroy people (or their property) on the way to success, you are still a big fat failure. Sorry for the moralizing, but that’s the way it goes. What goes around comes around. You will reap as you sow. The Golden Rule is true. Attempting to manipulate and control others is tantamount to lying and cheating, which on any plane is failure. The reason manipulation amounts to cheating is that you are effectively removing the other person’s choice when you manipulate…unless she can say, “No,” then her answer is never a legitimate, “Yes.”
• Without offending God – Now, this is clearly added because it is unique to me and my life
orientation. If you are an atheist, scratch this part. Then again, if you are an atheist you don’t think you can offend God since He doesn’t exist--- so, you might as well leave it in! For the rest of us who believe in a Creator who is sovereign over all of His creation, it seems wise to take into consideration His standards. This doesn’t have to be a set of rules, but it does mean that at least on the level of conscience we would be wise to stay decent in His eyes.
Well, there’s my definition and you are welcome to borrow it, amend it, or toss it as you see fit. The reason I wrote it down was to create a context for my succeeding. What I pursue and how I feel about it really makes sense with this definition. The definition also helps me consider (or reject) possibilities that come my way.
Your Definition of Success
How about you? What is your definition of success?
Why not take a moment and write down something on a scrap of paper? If you don’t define success, how will you know if you ever make it? How will you know if the steps you are pursuing will get you to what you really want in succeeding?
Pardon the illustration, but I remember asking my father, “When did you first realize you were a man?” He thought for a moment and said, “It was when I went home from college and smoked in front of my parents.” Even as I write this I want to stress that I loved my dad and learned a mountain of valuable insights from him. However, on the definition of being ‘a man’, that’s about as silly as it comes. It certainly never organized his life like a better definition might have, and it certainly didn’t give me what I needed as to direction. My 4 sons all memorized a definition I heard from Robert Lewis during a trip to Little Rock. “A man is one who rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously, and looks for the greater reward.”
It has been a joy to watch my sons all check, challenge, and cheer for one another as they’ve grown toward manhood. Definitions can make a huge difference.
Don’t underestimate the importance of working out your own definition of success; it will guide you toward wherever it points. Choose carefully, but choose now and improve it tomorrow.
The Need of the Moment
The need of the moment is for you to get started on a definition of success.
In a writing course (see it at www.advanced-writing- resources.com) I developed to help others overcome the same crippling fear of writing I had, I explain that writing occurs in three stages:
2. Get Help
3. Make It Great
The idea is simply that most of us try to write something great from the moment we find pen and paper. The truth is that you can’t start with perfect.
You can start with OK, however. Honestly, can you write an “OK” definition of success? Your definition of success should be nothing fancy and nothing to publish; just something OK.
Can you write that kind of a definition? Of course you can, and then you can get help with it. Show it to a trusted friend or two and see what they would add or take away. Play with it over a few days or weeks. Read it aloud and see what you think. Your definition can be a living thing and may take new shapes over the years. Nonetheless, your definition will give you a starting place.
Of course, it would be easier just to copy my definition down on a 3x5 card and reflect on it. I may have already saved you the time and hassle. Regardless, please make sure it is your own definition because you ‘own’ it.
Now, having a great definition of success is still meaningless unless you finally embrace one thing…