Category Archives: General News

High School students are reading Voyage of a Viking!

Hey gang!  Here is an email forwarded to me by my friend, Joe Darkangelo.  I feel honored that the students at Flex Tech High School would have the opportunity to read my book, Voyage of a Viking, let alone do a homework assignment!

Thanks for sharing this, Joe!

God Bless, Tim Marks

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Subject: Teaching assignment for Flex Tech High School in Brighton, MI

Book: Voyage of a Viking

Author: Tim Marks

Competencies: ELA12 (5,6,10,11), ELA11 recovery, ELA 10 recovery, ELA09 recovery, Civics (6)

Goal: The main goal of this assignment is to read Tim Marks’ book, Voyage of a Viking, and then to write a concise and thoughtful analysis on the book’s language, theme, and overall “message” to it’s readers.  Additionally, you will incorporate how the lessons of this book can help us all be better citizens.

Questions that will guide your understanding:

  1. Who is Tim Marks? (Conduct a brief internet search of Tim Marks, and attempt to learn about his background.)
  2. What is “IDENTITY?”  How do we all develop our identity?  Does Tim Marks make any claims about identity?  (He may not use the word “identity”)
    1. How are the “5 Viking Laws” interpreted by Tim Marks?  How is this connected to identity?
  3. How does Tim Marks’ use of language influence your understanding of the book’s overall message, tone and feeling?
    1. Is there a reasoning to the words he chooses?
    2. Does he provide a certain tone to his writing, one that may influence your understanding of the book one way or another?
    3. Does his writing have a certain “voice,” a certain aspect that seems to be genuine to him?  Or is his language bland or boring?
  4. Using the lessons learned in Tim Marks’ book, how can you use them to become a better citizen?
    1. What does it mean to be a responsible, informed and participating citizen in American society?
    2. What do you get to do as a citizen, and what do you have to do as a citizen?
    3. How can Tim Marks’ book be used as a guide to being a better citizen?

Joe Darkangelo

“How to Get Down on Yourself” – COAC book excerpt

Hey gang!  Here is an excerpt from my latest book, Confidence of a Champion.  I have had the privilege of coaching and mentoring many hundreds of people, some who rose to greater levels of success than others.  One thing that I consistently see in high-performers is that they build themselves (and others) up.  On the flip side, those who struggle to attain success tend to tear themselves down.

In this excerpt, I share some examples of how NOT to speak to yourself, spoken in a tongue-in-cheek manor.  Hope this excerpt helps you on your success journey!

God bless, Tim Marks

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If you want to be your own emotional punching bag, you don’t need to re-invent the wheel; people have been beating themselves up emotionally long before you were a twinkle in your parent’s eyes.  You may feel you are, as Winston Churchill said of his opponent, “A modest man who has much to be modest about.” Here are some sure-fire ways to make yourself feel terrible in no time.  (Said tongue-in-cheek.)

  •  Ignore or devalue everything you do well.    Focusing on what you did wrong and ignoring everything you do well is a sure-fire way to deflate yourself.  If you cook Christmas dinner and 19 people are raving about the food, but one person disliked the mashed potatoes, make sure to ignore all the compliments and just focus on the one criticism.  You’ll feel terrible in no time.
  • “Yeah, but,” thinking.  When someone says something nice about you, look for why they are incorrect in thinking that.  Clearly they must be wrong, so it’s up to you to figure out how they made the mistake of thinking you are worthy of a compliment.  If they say, “You look great in that outfit!”  Just answer by saying, “What, this old thing?  I got it in a rummage sale.  It’s really not that nice.  Besides, Jane down the street has the exact same outfit.”  If someone says, “Great job on the report!” you can answer by saying, “Yeah, but I made a mistake on page three, paragraph two.”
  • Point out the smudges.  If someone comes to your home and mentions what a great job you did painting your living room, say, “Yeah, but did you notice the smudge of paint in the corner of the ceiling?  I made a mistake.  Wait, let me get the stepladder so we can look at the mistake up close.  Do you see it yet?  I’m amazed you didn’t notice it, because it’s all I ever see when I walk into the room.”
  • Call yourself names.  Whenever describing yourself, just use terms like “jerk”, “wimp”, “loser”, and any other creative variation to really knock yourself down and feel bad about yourself.  Just constantly insult yourself.  Did you lose the race in Grade 5 gym class?  Then you are a “loser”, now and forever, because of that one event twenty years ago.  Never mind that it’s utterly irrational to place a global evaluation of your worth as a person based on an isolated event or action; go ahead and slap that totally unfair label on for the slightest misdeed or error on your part.  That seems fair.
  • Be unforgiving of any mistakes you make.  Be your own toughest critic.  If you get 99% on your real estate exam, where did the other 1% go?  Just tell yourself that a good, worthwhile person wouldn’t have screwed up the way you did.  Surely, he would have gotten 100%.  Not only that, you should keep a running tally of every mistake you have ever made throughout your life.  Remember in Grade 3 when you got the answer wrong in the spelling bee?  Surely any other eight-year-old wouldn’t have hesitated when asked how to spell “antidisestablishmentarianism.”  You were clearly out of your league and had no business competing.  Plus, you should make sure to go home that night and describe this mistake in your journal so that you can review it and punish yourself forever.
  • Exaggerate your faults.  While it might be true that everyone has faults, YOUR faults are really despicable.  If people really knew the terrible things you do, they would never want to be around you again.  Why, just last week you got into an elevator after lunch, having enjoyed several “Taco Bell” burritos and a sparkling soft drink.  Needless to say, the combination of carbonated beverage and reheated taco meat produced an unholy combination in your tummy.  Thankfully you were alone in the elevator at the time.  Then the elevator doors opened and someone from the third floor stepped on.  Unforgivable.  (At least you were trapped in an elevator and not a Smart Car with a hot date.  Or, maybe you were!)

Hopefully, as you read these “tongue-in-cheek” examples, you can see that they are unfair.  Sometimes the best way to point out something irrational is to ridicule it.  If the way you think of yourself is unfairly harsh, perhaps you need to gently poke fun at how irrational that thinking is in order to reconsider how you can be gentle and loving towards yourself.

Please don’t read the previous list thinking, “I’m such a loser for thinking this way.  I always beat myself up.  I’m sure everyone notices how I screw up this way all the time.  Unforgivable.”  If you read the previous list and have that reaction, please re-read the list, because you are still beating yourself up unfairly.  While it can be helpful to keep us humble, focusing on our weaknesses too often can do more harm than good.

 

Work Ethic in Today’s Culture

Work ethic today in our culture has somehow become a thing that a lot of people don’t want to talk about.  At the 2013 Teen Choice Awards, Ashton Kutcher was talking about work ethic.  The people in the audience seemed to be interested in what he was speaking about, but you could tell it wasn’t something that our young folks normally think of.  Even in to my generation, (I am 45 years old at the time of this writing), it’s becoming unpopular to be excited about working hard and doing something productive with your time.  We are becoming more and more dependent on our government, our families and friends, and our banks (we can borrow money and rob Peter to pay Paul, etc.), but the fact of the matter is we were all designed to work and do work for the glory of God.  We always have been; perhaps some of us have forgotten that or didn’t know it in the first place.

One of my favorite comedy movies is Dumb and Dumber, starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.  Sadly, some of the comedy in it tells us where our society is at in terms of work ethic.  In one of the scenes, the characters Harry Dunn and Lloyd Christmas are discussing having just lost their jobs and how they had been all around the town looking for work.  One of them complains,

“There are no jobs in this town!”

To which the other replies,

“Yeah, unless you want to work 40 hours a week!”

Through the years, people have become less dependent on the work THEY do and more dependent on the work someone ELSE does.  Whether someone is dependent on their parents, their aunts and uncles, their friends and neighbors, or the government (which is becoming increasingly popular,) it affects society.  Lack of work ethic is slowing things down.  A recent article in the Washington Post shows government subsidies.  49.1% of people in the first quarter of 2011 were dependent on the government in some way.

tim blog

 

 

 

 

Well, somebody had to work in order to make those services available for everyone else.  About half of our culture is working harder than the other half.  I believe part of the reason for this is because for some reason people have come to believe work is an ugly thing and someone else should do it.  In some cases, people may be arrogant and feel they are “above” certain types of jobs, and would rather be unemployed than humble themselves to take a less impressive job.

The bottom line is this: we are all supposed to work and bring glory to God.  I am all for being financially independent and live your day by the clock and your life by a vision, as the late Zig Ziglar used to say.  Wake up when you want and vacation when you want.  We should all earn the right to do that through our own work ethic.

Below I am sharing some verses from the Bible that you can study on the subject of work ethic.  Anywhere the Christian work ethic has been installed, prosperous times have followed.

Enjoy, and God bless,

Tim Marks

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“For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. “ 2 Thessalonians 3:10 ESV

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” Colossians 3:23 ESV

“In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. “  Proverbs 14:23 ESV

“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Proverbs 10:4 ESV

“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” Ephesians 4:28 ESV

 

 

Steve Jobs: From Founder, to Fired, and Back Again!

Hey gang, here is an excerpt from my first book, Voyage of a Viking.  In it I discuss that every successful person has to endure a period in your journey where it seems like you are facing massive setback, putting out the effort, and no reward is in sight.  Anytime we feel like we might be facing some difficulties, here is a quick reminder of one of the greatest professional setbacks anyone has ever faced, made doubly impressive by being potentially the greatest career comeback anyone has ever engineered.  Enjoy!

God Bless, Tim Marks

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Steve Jobs (who sadly passed away during the time of this writing) had built one of the most successful companies on earth, Apple Inc.  In the summer of 2011, Apple passed Exxon to momentarily become the highest valued company in America.  It also passed Microsoft in market capitalization, becoming the world’s most valuable tech company.  And its founder, Steve Jobs, was a visionary CEO who didn’t just create new products; he created new product categories.

Steve Jobs, along with his business partner Steve Wozniak, famously invented the one of the first personal computers, the Apple, from the little company they had originally launched in their garage in 1976.  Jobs was totally dedicated to creating the most amazing computers the world had ever seen.  He knew his company was growing faster in some ways than he was, and he knew he needed a good corporate guy to handle the big operation.

Jobs would eventually hire a guy named John Sculley, then President of Pepsi, to become the CEO of Apple Computers.  Their working relationship was pretty good at the beginning.  But by 1985, the company was having a tough time responding to a slow market.  People were not buying as many computers as Apple had hoped.  And Sculley had a hard time with Jobs’ management style.

Jobs was a great visionary, but a bit of a loose cannon.  He had a temper, a tough time listening to anyone else’s ideas, and (some say) a huge ego.  Most people in his situation would struggle with not being arrogant: Jobs was worth a $1 million by the age of 23, $10 million by the age of 24, and $100 million by the age of 25.  And his overbearing and erratic style was making him difficult to work with.  In time, Sculley and Jobs had a falling out, and by 1985 Jobs faced a situation he could never have imagined: he was forced out of Apple by the guy he had hired.

For Steve Jobs it was a really humiliating public defeat.  The company he had built, his baby, had been ripped away from him.  In his now-famous commencement address to Stanford University in 2005, Jobs recounted what the experience taught him.  Said Jobs, “I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over. I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

What happened next would literally transform the music, movie, phone, and personal computer industry.  Jobs realized he loved technology, and started another computer company called NeXT.

As well, in 1986, Jobs bought a little computer graphics division from George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars movies.  Lucas called the division “The Graphics Group”.  This named was later dropped and the company now operates under a name you might recognize: Pixar.  Pixar is now the most celebrated computer animation movie studio, having created 12 movies including Toy Story and Cars, and winning 26 Academy Awards in the process.  When Pixar stock went public, Jobs became an instant billionaire.

After Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985, the culture started to change. You see, Jobs was a passionate, idealistic visionary, not a “toe-the-line” corporate guy.  Jobs hired people who passionately loved Apple and loved creating world-class products.  He wanted to change the world!  When Jobs left the company, the heart of the company left with him.  Over the next 12 years, as sales and stock declined, John Sculley was eventually forced to resign as CEO of Apple in 1993.  Apple was orphaned from strong leadership for the time being.

The interim leadership team was stuck.  They realized they needed a new operating system, something that could carry them into the next century and help them compete in the marketplace.  After a lot of searching, they found a computer technology company that had the exact operating system that would help them rebound.  The irony was that the company and system they bought was NeXT, and the owner was Steve Jobs.  After 12 years of wandering the proverbial desert, Jobs was returning to Apple.

In 1996, Steve Jobs sold NeXT to Apple and was named interim CEO in 1997.  When Jobs returned to run the show at Apple, he was a wiser and more seasoned leader.  His willpower was so strong that any obstacles his team imagined were removed by the force of his vision.

In the following 15 years Jobs literally transformed the music industry by creating legal downloads at $0.99 each through iTunes, and the world’s most popular music MP3 player, the iPod.  He took over the smartphone market that RIM created with their BlackBerry and crushed his previous rival with his user-friendly iPhone.  And the iPad has basically created the tablet market all by itself, with every other competitor now playing catch-up.

A desert experience only has value if we learn and grow from it.  Although we may lose our way or lose sight of the path from time to time, we must not lose our vision for where we want to go.  For Jobs, it had been a humbling experience to have been cast out of the empire he had built.  The next two companies (NeXT and Pixar) didn’t have the same fast-growth success as Apple; they really struggled in their early years.  All of these experiences changed Jobs.  When he returned home to Apple, he was more generous with sharing ideas and listening.  He had become more collaborative.  And all of this helped make him the legendary and unforgettable CEO who revolutionized four industries!

 

Oliver DeMille reviews Confidence of a Champion!

Folks, I feel very honored and humbled to have received these kind words from someone I respect so much.  Oliver DeMille is someone whom I respect.  He is one of the most well-read and insightful men I know and I feel privileged that he would take the time to post his positive feelings about my new book, Confidence of a Champion, on Amazon.com.  Here is his review for you to read.  Thank you, Oliver!

God Bless, Tim Marks

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Some books are just plain amazing. They move you. They change you. They make you think. They reframe the way you see the world.  I love books like this. They are classics because they are worth reading over and over–and you learn more each time through.  They are also the opposite of classics in a way, because they are always new. I mean, every time you read them, you feel like you’re reading them for the first time. They just keep teaching you new things.

I just read such a book for the second time in a month, and I’m amazed at how much it taught me. The first time through, I was touched, taught,
moved and changed.  The second time, I am literally in awe. What a great book.  You’ve got to read this book: Confidence of a Champion by Tim Marks. It’s fantastic. But enough from me. Here is a list of quotes from the book, examples of what you are in for when you read it:

* “Controlling parents can define themselves and their worth through their child’s behavior.”
* “If someone could hear the words you say to yourself, could they
tell if you were a winner?”
* “Reading a book is an incredible way to learn in hours or days what another person labored for a lifetime to discover.”
* “Whatever question you ask yourself, your subconscious mind is going to look for and find an answer, so make it a good one.”
* “Imagine the self-confidence it takes to not share your `bigger fish’ story.”
* “Zig Ziglar said, `Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember–the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.'”
* “Stop yourself and ask, `Who am I to criticize this other person?’ Consider all the mistakes you have made throughout your life.”
* “To belittle, you have to be little.” –Kahlil Gibran
* “Your worth as a person is not based on your ability to dance.”
* “Don’t fear other men; they are just as scared as you.”
* “Posture is somewhere between Rambo and George McFly.”
* “Take your focus off yourself.”
* “Passion always trumps polish.”
* “Play `Smiling Chicken.'”
* “How to get down on yourself:
-Ignore of devalue everything you do well.
-Employ `Yeah, but’ thinking.
-Point out the smudges.
-Call yourself names.
-Be unforgiving of any mistakes you make.
-Exaggerate your faults….

[As you consider the items on the list, please don’t think, `I’m such a loser for thinking this way.’]
* “Cut your anchors.”
* “Timeless values and principles hold us up when the storm winds blow.”

These are just an example of the hundreds of important ideas in this book. Each of these is profound, even out of context like this. Add in the author’s commentary, stories, and the other details of the book, and Confidence of a Champion is incredibly moving.  I read a lot of books, including most leadership books. Every week I go to Barnes and Noble and skim all the new business books on the shelf, then I study the interesting ones more closely and end up fully reading those that I consider really good.  Only a few are great, and this book is one of them. I can’t wait to read it a third time!

8 Rapid-Fire Tips to Start a Conversation

Hey gang!  Here is another excerpt from my new book, Confidence of a Champion.  One of the most powerful tools in your success journey is the ability to connect with people and strike up a conversation successfully.  Here, I share 8 rapid-fire tips to make that happen!

God Bless, Tim Marks

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With the goal of helping you kick-start your progress towards meeting new people and creating new and amazing relationships, here are some tactics you can apply today to take action and get the ball rolling:

  1. Think “I Like You” in Your Head First.    People can tell if you have warmed up to them and if you are feeling friendly towards them.  If  you are arrogant or stuck up, good luck on making new friends.  Who would want to be around you?!  And, who would want to stare up your nose at you while you are staring down your nose at them?  (Especially if you haven’t trimmed the old nose hairs lately and you need a hedge trimmer to clear out the forest growing in there!)  So, when you look at people, literally think the words to yourself, “I like you”.  Your whole spirit towards this person will change, particularly if we are Christians and see the other person as God’s creation and want to bring a little joy into their day.  (If the other person is     grumpy, all the more reason. Remember, hurting people hurt people.)

 

  1. Believe the Other Person Will Like YOU!  Les Giblin talks about this in his great book, How to Have Power and Confidence in Dealing with People.  Assume they are warm and friendly and will respond in a positive way.  So much of success is  expectation!  If you expect the conversation will go well, you’re halfway there.  Will people always respond positively?  Nope.  But you sure can tip the scales in your favor by having an expectant mindset. If you’ve faced a cold shoulder before, don’t let a couple of bad  experiences shape your whole view of meeting new friends!

 

  1. Be Cool.   Don’t come across as too anxious, over-eager or desperate, or you will make them feel uncomfortable.  (It helps if you aren’t actually feeling anxious or desperate to begin with.)  If you’re eying someone like a piece of meat or a meal ticket, they’ll immediately sense that you have an ulterior motive and it will get weird really fast.  Don’t come on too strong or too fast.  Take it slow and easy.  If you’re overeager, you’ll scare them away.  A good way of visualizing this is to imagine feeding pigeons in the park.  Pigeons want bread crumbs.  However, if you run into the park      waiving your arms and screaming, those pigeons will fly away in fear, even if they were starving!  If we play it cool and take a sincere interest in others, we’ll have greater success in attracting them.

 

 

  1. Take a Chance!       A great leader in our business community really pioneered this hrase a while ago.  Take a chance!  All of life involves a little risk, and that includes making new friends.  The great thing about chances is that  they can pay off huge rewards!  Take  a chance on the stranger next to you.  Make the first move.  Be bold.  Have a backbone.  Stand tall.  Pursue victory.  Refuse to give in to fear!  Resolve to be a person of courage and character.  Take control of the fearful little voice that is whimpering inside you, making excuses why you shouldn’t try to say hi.  Squish that voice like a bug under your heel and take a chance!

 

  1. Play “Smiling Chicken”.  It takes some effort just to make eye contact and smile, and then say “Hi!”  When I first started doing this I thought my face would crack! It’s not normal for a choleric (a personality type which is hard driving and dominant ) or for an engineer to smile and “be nice”, and I still need to work at it today.  In fact, to practice this I used to literally drive down the road and “smile talk” to myself in my rear-view mirror before speaking engagements.  (It might sound crazy, but it looks even worse, particularly to passerby!)  Although these might sound like pretty simple steps, it can feel overwhelming.  Just look right at their face and let your face break into a big friendly smile.  Smiling breaks the ice and opens the door to getting them to say “hi” back at you!  Smiling tells people you are friendly, positive, and you are approachable, and these are all attractive  qualities.  If you are not used to doing this, you might want to try a fun game called “Smiling Chicken!”  You’ve all heard of the game “Chicken”.  With that game, you are driving your car towards your competitor at full-speed, and whoever  flinches first and turns the car off of the road is declared the “loser”.  (This is obviously a terribly dangerous     game that I absolutely do not condone; I’m simply offering an     illustration.) Now, here is “Smiling Chicken” game.  The game goes like this: as you are approaching a stranger, your goal is to catch their eye, break out in a smile, and inspire them to smile back at you!    Try doing this to ten strangers and see how many people you can get to smile… it can become a lot of fun!

 

 

Now, offer a Comment, Compliment, or a Question!

 

  1. Make a COMMENT  About Your Shared Situation.  When in line at the bank, you can simply look for an opportunity to break the ice by stating out loud how you think or feel.  You might say, “Wow, it’s      a good thing I’m not in a rush right now,” or whatever you feel is      appropriate for the situation you are in.   In fact, you might even crack a joke about where you are at.  This is especially appropriate if you are standing in line for a sandwich, and you might comment, “This line is so slow I think I might have had a birthday while I’ve been waiting!” J Another comment might be, “Well, at least we have a Subway line to wait in… In Haiti, they would be willing to wait for three days just to have this food!”  Be sure if you crack a joke not to use racist, sexist, vulgar or hurtful statements.  I recommend you use clean and positive humor, rather than anythin negative.  (My good friend and business partner Chris Brady is a terrific speaker and master of clean humor.)    Another way of making a comment is point out your similarities.  For example, if they have a young child with them, you might ask, “How old is your little boy?” and follow up by sharing, “Oh, that’s such a great age… my little guy is 7 now.”  By showing you are similar, you build rapport faster.

 

  1. Pay the Other Person a Sincere COMPLIMENT.  When you are meeting people, look for something about them that you can speak kindly toward.  If they  have a child with them, you might comment, “What a cute little guy you’ve got with you!”  If they pull up in a     Mercedes Benz and get out, you might compliment, “That’s a great car you’ve got there!”  It’s pretty easy to pick out things to compliment, like their clothes, etc.  Even more impressive is to pay a ompliment to their character.  If you see someone do something kind or generous, stop them and say, “I just wanted to say I saw what you did and thought it was very thoughtful of you.”  If someone provides great service at a restaurant, let them know!       Compliments are a powerful way to connect with people.  USE CAUTION:  Be very careful when complimenting someone of the opposite sex, particularly if YOU are married, or if you notice they are!  I would err on the side of caution and avoid complimenting anything that could be  misinterpreted as a “come on” like, “You’ve got beautiful eyes and a gorgeous smile.”  Rather, focus on very safe things to compliment, such as “You handled yourself very well in that situation.”

 

  1. Ask The Other Person A QUESTION.  This is a really powerful strategy for striking up a conversation.  In fact, one of the most natural conversation questions to strangers is simply “Excuse me; can you help me?” Then fill in the blanks with something relevant about where you are.  For example, if you are in a store, say to someone “Can you help me?  Do you know where the such-and-such is?”  Or, “Can you help me with directions?”  Please     understand that in western civilization, it is socially acceptable for an absolute stranger to strike up a conversation asking for directions.  Or, if you are standing line at the grocery store, point out something they have in their grocery cart and say, “You know, I’ve never had any of those… are they any good?”  If you are back in line at the sandwich shop, you might say, “You know why it’s going so slowly, don’t you?  They are “sandwich artists”!  Remember that old commercial?”  By asking a few questions I am more likely to start a conversation.  The point of all of this is to break the ice in that conversation, but also to break the ice for YOU in learning to get really comfortable striking up a conversation.  Even if the conversation is over in a moment, you’ve chatted with one more person and lived to talk about it.  You have a little more experience, and a little more confidence now.

Building on that, once you develop rapport, you can shift to asking questions about the other person.  Dale Carnegie talks about this in detail in his landmark book How to Win Friends and Influence People.  It’s simple to keep a conversation going!  Just get the other person talking about themselves. After all, they are usually their favorite subject!

 

Well, there it is gang!  Now, don’t just have read these 8 rapid-fire conversation tips and think, “Those are some good pointers!”  Please, go out and apply these principles and reap the rewards of your actions!

Use the Magic Power of Momentum!

Hey everyone!  Here is an excerpt from my new book, Confidence of a Champion, that will be released in August.  This excerpt talks about the magic power of momentum in reaching goals, and an incredible school teacher who used it to his advantage.  I hope you enjoy!

God bless, Tim Marks

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You’ve had days in your life when everything seemed to be going your way.  All the traffic lights turned to green.  You closed every sales call you made.  Every crucial confrontation was resolved in a way that strengthened the relationship.  Every step had a bounce in it.  Your spirit felt lighter, food tasted better, the sun was shining, and you were on fire for life.

When we are feeling good, we become people magnets.  Opportunity comes out of the woodwork.  People want to work with us.  If we are a coach or leader of some sort, our team responds to our guidance.  Things are clicking.  We just feel like we are on a roll.  It’s such a simple concept, but so often ignored: when you’ve had a victory, use that positive feeling to your advantage.  Take action right away, push the gas pedal down even further and create even greater results.

One teacher used the power of momentum to transform his students’ belief in themselves and ultimately their results.  In 1974, a Bolivian-born mathematics teacher named Jaime Escalante took a job at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, an area more commonly known for producing gang members than math whizzes.  However, Escalante was not your average math teacher.  He had a ferocious love of the subject and of inspiring young minds.  He also had a rock-solid belief that these kids were smarter than they, their parents, or even the school administration thought they were.  Most people had written them off simply because they lived on the wrong side of the tracks.  Escalante knew better.

One of the first things Escalante did was raise the bar of excellence for his students.  He would demand they answer a math question just to be allowed into the classroom.  He made them do a test at the beginning of each day.  And he didn’t just offer basic math; he offered advanced placement calculus.  You can only imagine the reaction these C, D, and F students had toward this, let alone the status-quo principal of the school.  But Escalante started talking to the students about getting jobs in engineering and science.  He began to cast a vision that they would make it into university, that they could be at the top of their class, and they could change the entire direction of their lives.  He started to breathe belief into them that they could do something extraordinary.

After a few years of teaching, he laid down a challenge: the school would have students take the highly difficult Advancement Placement Calculus exam.  This was a very difficult exam, and no one wanted any part of it.  But this man was on a mission to change the culture of his school and to make a breakthrough for his students; he knew that he just needed a small victory to get the ball rolling.  If he could show the students that some of their peers were capable to taking the AP Calculus test and passing, he knew the other students would begin to believe in themselves a little more.

And so, Escalante rigorously pursued that first victory.  In 1978, he convinced five students out of 3,000 to take the test.  Two of them passed.  This was the first small victory that Escalante could leverage.  Building on that victory, he won over the minds of a few more students the next year.  In 1979, he convinced nine students to work with him and take the test; seven of them passed.  Word of his students growing success began to spread through the school.  Kids who thought they never stood a chance started to believe that if their friends could do it, maybe they could as well.  In 1981, Escalante attracted fifteen students, and fourteen passed the AP Calculus test.  The ember of belief had been nurtured into a small flame under Escalante’s guiding care.

In 1982, eighteen students passed the test.  In 1983, his class size doubled overnight, as did student success: thirty-three students took the AP Calculus test and thirty of them passed.  And by 1987, seventy-three students passed the test.  Escalante wasn’t just inspiring the students at Garfield; he was inspiring the entire country.  Everyone wanted to know what this guy was doing.  A book about his remarkable achievement was released, titled Escalante: The Best Teacher in America.  This inspired the 1988 movie Stand and Deliver, starring Edward James Olmos as Escalante.  Not surprisingly, having a Hollywood movie made about your high school math teacher is not a normal occurrence for most students, and only added further fuel to the fire.  By 1991, the momentum Escalante had created attracted 570 students to take the advanced math placement exams.

What was Escalante’s secret?  Momentum!  Lowell Thomas said, “Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can.  By pushing yourself a little farther, by stretching for that “impossible” goal and attaining it, you can create a tiny victory.  Each victory builds our belief and confidence that we can reach greater heights.  Never squander a victory; use the confidence it produces to take further action and build momentum, just as Escalante did with his remarkable students.

 

 

 

What is Confidence?

Hey gang, here is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Confidence of a Champion.  I hope you enjoy it!

God bless, Tim Marks

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Confidence is a high level of belief or certainty in someone or something.  For example, I am confident the sun will rise tomorrow.  I am also confident the staircase will support my weight.  When thinking of my doctor, I am confident in his ability to prescribe appropriate treatments.

Self-confidence is simply belief in yourself.  It is the belief that you can handle a certain situation or task.  For example, I am a “confident driver” because I have certainty and belief in my ability to handle myself behind the wheel.  Social confidence means I am unafraid to walk into a room and shake hands with strangers.  Professional confidence means I feel capable to do my job well.  Confidence impacts the way you carry yourself in the world, in your interactions with people, and in the actions that you do or don’t take. Your level of confidence is based upon your personal mixture of three ingredients: self-esteem, self-image, and self-worth.  While these terms tend to get used interchangeably, there are subtle yet important differences between them.  Let’s discuss each of those ingredients in detail:

 

  • Self-esteem is how much we like ourselves
  • Self-image is how we view ourselves
  • Self-worth is how much value we see in ourselves

 

Self-Esteem.  Positive self-esteem is a feeling that we like and accept ourselves.  The opposite of self-esteem is self-loathing.  Glenn R. Schiraldi, author of 10 Simple Solutions for Building Self-Esteem, writes that self-esteem “is a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself.  Realistic means we are dealing in the truth, being accurately and honestly aware of our strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between.  Appreciative, however, means we have overall good feelings about the person we see.”

In his book Honoring The Self, author Nathaniel Branden describes how different levels of self-esteem might affect us.  He writes, “A person who does not feel competent in the performance of some particular task, such as flying an airplane, designing a computer program, or operating a business, does not necessarily suffer from poor self-esteem.  But a physically healthy person who feels fundamentally inadequate to the normal challenges of life, such as earning a living, certainly does.  A person who feels undeserving of some particular award or honor, such as the Nobel Prize or universal adulation for having dashed off a fairly simple love song, again does not necessarily lack good self-esteem.  But a person who feels undeserving of happiness, who feels unworthy of any joy or reward in life, surely has a self-esteem deficiency.”  In order to have confidence, we must like ourselves.

 

Self-Image.  This is the way you view yourself.  Brian Tracy says, “The person we believe ourselves to be will always act in a manner consistent with our self-image.”  Self-image is connected to our self-esteem, but they are a little different.  For example, let’s suppose you are very tall.  If you have a positive self-image, you might say to yourself, “Because I am tall, I command attention and have an advantage playing basketball.”  Your self-esteem then says, “I like myself for being tall.” Or the opposite might occur.  If you have a negative self-image, you might say to yourself, “Because I am tall, I’m gangly, my head scrapes the roof and I stick out in a crowd.”  Your self-esteem then says, “I don’t like myself for being tall.”  Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics, says “The “self-image” sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment.  It defines what you can and cannot do.  Expand the self-image and you expand the “area of the possible”.  The development of an adequate, realistic self-image will seem to imbue the individual with new capabilities, new talents and literally turn failure into success.” To have a healthy self-image, you need to view yourself in a positive way.

 

Self-worth.  This is the recognition of our fundamental value and worth.  I read once, “If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.”  Low self-worth says, “I don’t matter.  If I were to vanish, no one would notice or care.  I’m worthless.”  Obviously, these are the tragic words we would hear from someone very depressed or, in the worst possible cases, even suicidal.  If you have these thoughts, I would strongly recommend that you reach out to your pastor, a counselor, your spouse or a trusted friend.  You are being lied to by the evil one.  A high level of self-worth says, “I do matter.  The world is a better place because I was born.  My life is making an important difference to those around me.  I am doing, and will continue to do, great things with my life.  I am a valuable person.”

 

The Resurrection of Christ and the Pagan origins of Easter Eggs

I recently returned home from a tour in my bus for a week, doing some meetings and seeing some family.  From time to time we would end up in a store somewhere and I would drop by the card aisle where they sell Hallmark cards, etc.  It’s always amazing to me right now how many of the cards are about the Easter bunny, talking about having a happy Easter, but not mentioning God or the resurrection of Jesus.  Some of the labels of the card sections actually say, “Religious: Easter”.  I shake my head at that, because… what else is there other that Religious: Easter?!?  Easter is about the resurrection of the risen Christ!  It’s about He who came to save the sinners of the world.  Many churchgoers only step foot inside a church twice a year: Christmas, and Easter.

Let me say this plainly: Easter is NOT about the Easter bunny or Easter eggs.  It is about the risen savior, Christ.

I would encourage you to read the following passage from the ESV Bible, John, chapter 20.

God Bless, Tim Marks

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The Resurrection

20 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’1 head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,2 “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, z‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews,3 Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

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Enjoy the following article on the Pagan history behind the origin of Easter eggs and the Easter bunny, and God bless you and your loved ones on this Easter weekend.

Tim

 

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Easter : History and Traditions


Goddess Ostara
History of Easter Eggs

History of the Easter Bunny
Goddess Ishtar and the First Resurrection


Easter History : Christian and Pagan Traditions Interwoven

The history of Easter reveals rich associations between the Christian faith and the seemingly unrelated practices of the early pagan religions. Easter history and traditions that we practice today evolved from pagan symbols, from the ancient goddess Ishtar to Easter eggs and the Easter bunny.

Easter, perhaps the most important of the Christian holidays, celebrates the Christ’s resurrection from the dead following his death on Good Friday. . . a rebirth that is commemorated around the vernal equinox, historically a time of pagan celebration that coincides with the arrival of spring and symbolizes the arrival of light and the awakening of life around us.


 

Ostara, Goddess of Spring and the Dawn (Oestre / Eastre)

Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the “female hormone” estrogen derives from her name.

Ostara was, of course, a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.

Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny both featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during the feasts of the goddess Ishtar | Inanna. Eggs are an obvious symbol of fertility, and the newborn chicks an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for Ostara’s gift of abundance.


 

History of Easter Eggs and Easter Candy

The history of Easter Eggs as a symbol of new life should come as no surprise. The notion that the Earth itself was hatched from an egg was once widespread and appears in creation stories ranging from Asian to Ireland.

Eggs, in ancient times in Northern Europe, were a potent symbol of fertility and often used in rituals to guarantee a woman’s ability to bear children. To this day rural “grannywomen” (lay midwives/healers in the Appalachian mountains) still use eggs to predict, with uncanny accuracy, the sex of an unborn child by watching the rotation of an egg as it is suspended by a string over the abdomen of a pregnant woman.

Dyed eggs are given as gifts in many cultures. Decorated eggs bring with them a wish for the prosperity of the abundance during the coming year.

Folklore suggests that Easter egg hunts arose in Europe during “the Burning Times”, when the rise of Christianity led to the shunning (and persecution) of the followers of the “Old Religion”. Instead of giving the eggs as gifts the adults made a game of hiding them, gathering the children together and encouraging them to find the eggs.

Some believe that the authorities seeking to find the “heathens” would follow or bribe the children to reveal where they found the eggs so that the property owner could be brought to justice.

Green Eggs . . . and Ham???

The meat that is traditionally associated with Easter is ham. Though some might argue that ham is served at Easter since it is a “Christian” meat, (prohibited for others by the religious laws of Judaism and Islam) the origin probably lies in the early practices of the pagans of Northern Europe.

Having slaughtered and preserved the meat of their agricultural animals during the Blood Moon celebrations the previous autumn so they would have food throughout the winter months, they would celebrate the occasion by using up the last of the remaining cured meats.

In anticipation that the arrival of spring with its emerging plants and wildlife would provide them with fresh food in abundance, it was customary for many pagans to begin fasting at the time of the vernal equinox, clearing the “poisons” (and excess weight) produced by the heavier winter meals that had been stored in their bodies over the winter. Some have suggested that the purpose of this fasting may have been to create a sought-after state of “altered consciousness” in time for the spring festivals. One cannot but wonder if this practice of fasting might have been a forerunner of “giving up” foods during the Lenten season.

Chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs, marshmallow chicks in pastel colors, and candy of all sorts, most of which are given out as personalized gifts during Easter . . . these have pagan origins as well! To understand their association with religion we need to examine the meaning of food as a symbol.

The ancient belief that, by eating something we take on its characteristics formed the basis for the earliest “blessings” before meals (a way to honor the life that had been sacrificed so that we as humans could enjoy life) and, presumably, for the more recent Christian sacrament of communion as well.

Shaping candy Easter eggs and bunnies to celebrate the spring festival was, simply put, a way to celebrate the symbols of the goddess and the season, while laying claim to their strengths (vitality, growth, and fertility) for ourselves.


 

The Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny

Feeling guilty about arriving late one spring, the Goddess Ostara saved the life of a poor bird whose wings had been frozen by the snow. She made him her pet or, as some versions have it, her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly (in some versions, it was because she wished to amuse a group of young children), Ostara turned him into a snow hare and gave him the gift of being able to run with incredible speed so he could protect himself from hunters.

In remembrance of his earlier form as a bird, she also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but only on one day out of each year.

Eventually the hare managed to anger the goddess Ostara, and she cast him into the skies where he would remain as the constellation Lepus (The Hare) forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter). He was allowed to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring. The tradition of theEaster Bunny had begun.

The Hare was sacred in many ancient traditions and was associated with the moon goddesses and the various deities of the hunt. In ancient times eating the Hare was prohibited except at Beltane (Celts) and the festival of Ostara (Anglo-Saxons), when a ritual hare-hunt would take place.

In many cultures rabbits, like eggs, were considered to be potent remedies for fertility problems. The ancient philosopher-physician Pliny the Elder prescribed rabbit meat as a cure for female sterility, and in some cultures the genitals of a hare were carried to avert barrenness.

Medieval Christians considered the hare to bring bad fortune, saying witches changed into rabbits in order to suck the cows dry. It was claimed that a witch could only be killed by a silver crucifix or a bullet when she appeared as a hare.

Given their “mad” leaping and boxing displays during mating season as well as their ability to produce up to 42 offspring each spring, it is understandable that they came to represent lust, sexuality, and excess in general. Medieval Christians considered the hare to be an evil omen, believing that witches changed into rabbits in order to suck the cows dry. It was claimed that a witch could only be killed by a silver crucifix or a bullet when she appeared as a hare.

In later Christian tradition the white Hare, when depicted at the Virgin Mary’s feet, represents triumph over lust or the flesh. The rabbit’s vigilance and speed came to represent the need to flee from sin and temptation and a reminder of the swift passage of life.

And, finally, there is a sweet Christian legend about a young rabbit who, for three days, waited anxiously for his friend, Jesus, to return to the Garden of Gethsemane, not knowing what had become of him. Early on Easter morning, Jesus returned to His favorite garden and was welcomed the little rabbit. That evening when the disciples came into the garden to pray, still unaware of the resurrection, they found a clump of beautiful larkspurs, each blossom bearing the image of a rabbit in its center as a remembrance of the little creature’s hope and faith.


 Ishtar, Goddess of Love, and the First Resurrection (also known as Inanna)

Ishtar, goddess of romance, procreation, and war in ancient Babylon, was also worshipped as the Sumerian goddess Inanna. One of the great goddesses, or “mother goddesses”, the stories of her descent to the Underworld and the resurrection that follows are contained in the oldest writings that have ever been discovered. . . the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish and the story of Gilgamesh. Scholars believed that they were based on the oral mythology of the region and were recorded about 2,100 B.C.E.

The most famous of the myths of Ishtar tell of her descent into the realm of the dead to rescue her young lover, Tammuz, a Vegetation god forced to live half the year in the Underworld. Ishtar approached the gates of the Underworld, which was ruled by her twin sister Eresh-kigel, the goddess of death and infertility. She was refused admission.

Similar to the Greek myths of Demeter and Persephone that came later, during Ishtar’s absence the earth grew barren since all acts of procreation ceased while she was away. Ishtar screamed and ranted that she would break down the gates and release all of the dead to overwhelm the world and compete with the living for the remaining food unless she was allowed to enter and plead her case with her twin.

Needless to say, she won admission. But the guard, following standard protocol, refused to let her pass through the first gate unless she removed her crown. At the next gate, she had to remove her earrings, then her necklace at the next, removing her garments and proud finery until she stood humbled and naked after passing through the seventh (and last) gate.

In one version, she was held captive and died but was brought back to life when her servant sprinkled her with the “water of life”. In the more widely known version of the myth, Ishtar’s request was granted and she regained all of her attire and possessions as she slowly re-emerged through the gates of darkness.

Upon her return, Tammuz and the earth returned to life. Annual celebrations of this “Day of Joy”, were held each year around the time of the vernal equinox. These celebrations became the forerunners of the Ostara festivals that welcomed Oestre and the arrival of spring.

A section on the Goddess Inanna (the Sumerian version of the Goddess Ishtar), her myths and symbols, is included with the myths of the goddesses at this website.


Easter eggs, the Easter Bunny, the dawn that arrives with resurrection of life, and the celebration of spring all serve to remind us of the cycle of rebirth and the need for renewal in our lives. In the history of Easter, Christian and pagan traditions are gracefully interwoven

 

Excerpt on COMPARING vs. COMPETING from my upcoming book!

Hey gang, I thought you might enjoy a sneak preview of some of what you’ll find in my upcoming book, The Confidence of a Champion.  The following section discusses the difference between comparing and competing and how it can affect your confidence.  I hope you enjoy it!

God bless, Tim Marks

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Comparing and competing are very similar in that they involve spending a lot of time thinking about how you stack up against another guy. But in the case of comparison, that’s all there is. Comparison tends to devolve into either self-flattery (“Look at how great I am because I’m better than Bob,”) or self-pity (“Look at how terrible I am because I’m worse than Bob.”)  Both of these responses involve sitting around and staying the same as you are now. You are either patting your own back or kicking your own butt. Competition goes one critical step further than comparison: you not only think about the other guy, your reflection drives you to take action. Comparison merely says, “I hope the other guy isn’t very good so I can seem better.” Competition says, “I hope the other guy brings his A-game so it forces me to become better.” Comparison says, “Look at where I AM.” Competition says, “Look at where I am GOING.”

Wallowing in comparison will simply beat down our attitude and our activity; we risk feeling discouraged and might stop sharing our talents with the world.  We each have our God-given talents, but we don’t need to search very long to find someone who is better than us at a particular talent.  For example, I regularly speak in front of business audiences of hundreds and thousands of people.  In one sense, you might say I am an accomplished professional speaker.  But I am no Zig Ziglar (who went to be with the Lord in November of 2012).  He was, in my opinion, the best motivational speaker of all time.  He was the Michael Jordan of speaking.  But he had a very unique style.  I should not try to emulate his style because, unless I was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and lived in Texas I couldn’t do justice to his deep southern drawl.  There will always be someone who is better than us at something.  God created Zig to be Zig and He created me to be me.  Don’t try to copy people; be your own unique version of excellence.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Insist on yourself. Never imitate.”  Don’t blindly copy someone else.  You are an individual.

Competition helps us strive for greater heights and break through limiting beliefs.  If someone else is a champion, it can show us what is possible for us if we apply the same dedication to mastery that the other guy invested.  If we can find someone who has conquered a Goliath which we are facing, it can inspire us to believe that we could also succeed.   Looking at other people’s success should inspire and motivate you.  Maybe I’m just hard-wired that way I can look past how their amazing performance trounced mine.  It’s a delicate balance; on one hand, you are okay that they are winning; on the other hand, it needs to bug you enough for you to take action.

Perhaps in the past we might have looked at someone else’s amazing performance and felt we needed to make excuses for why we aren’t competing at their level.  We fire up the “excuse making machine” and say things like, “They must have better genetics, etc.”  Maybe that’s true.  And maybe they also had to overcome a brutally abusive childhood.  For everyone who believes the path to success was easy for a champion, I’ll show you a Michael Jordan who got cut from his high school basketball team.   If you catch yourself making excuses, you’ve got to “pattern interrupt” (more on that later.)  You’ve got to reframe the event in your mind and say instead, “If they overcame those terrible obstacles, I’m going to have a much easier road to success.”

Without proper success thinking, some people look at others at their best and their confidence spirals downward.  This depends a lot on how you view your fellow man.  You must remember when you see a champion that he has undoubtedly worked harder than others for years.  Recognize if someone is farther along the journey than you.  If they have been practicing golf for twenty years and you’ve been practicing for twenty days, that’s an unfair comparison.  Also, don’t compare the date you both started; compare how many hours of practice you’ve engaged in since then, and the quality of that practice.  Maybe you and a buddy have both had a golf membership for ten years.  If your friend has been practicing three hours a day, seven days a week for ten years, that’s 10,000 hours of mastery.  If you only play one game a month, you just aren’t going to be playing at the same level.  You can’t expect to be great without paying the same dues.  If I am willing to do what champions did I can be a gold medalist in my sport, my marriage or my business.  So get fired up when you see someone performing at a higher level!  Rather than wallowing in comparison, a competitive spirit will drive you to improve, as you realize that you can follow the same principles of practice over time.

 

The Meaning of Christmas

I was going to do a long post about the meaning of Christmas and how it become commercialized etc… Before I could do this my 13 year old baby girl Mya summed it up very well in this poem she wrote.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

God Bless, Tim Marks

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“The Meaning of Christmas”

Oh joy it’s Christmas again!
Oh boy what will I get?
But that’s not the meaning of Christmas is it?
No no! Christmas is Christ’s birth, He was born to save the earth!
Now now, don’t you see?

The meaning of Christmas is not a tree, or Santa Claus, or dolls that you
enjoy.
No! No! It’s about a Holy Boy,
Who was born in a manger
And to the world He was a stranger!
Now please remember what I’ve told you,
And keep it in your mind!
~Mya Marks~