The Power of the Script

On a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to sit next to an executive producer of “tween” cable shows. During the course of the conversation, I asked him, “What was the most important element of your show’s success?” In the context of our conversation, I assumed he would indicate the visual element. To my surprise, he immediately responded, “The script.”

The producer explained how a powerful script enables a mediocre visual presentation to become a successful program. He added that the music is the next important element. Evidently when music is accompanied by great words the result is a much more successful show. The visual aspect of a production was of least importance to this Hollywood producer.

Too many businesses have fallen into this trap. They think their financial success is dependent on their public image. They believe to be effective; their product or service message is secondary so long as they have an acceptable impression. The key, however, is in the script. What you SAY is the most important element of your business. What consumer’s hear is far more important than what they see. Delivering on your promises validates the adage, Reputation is what people say you are; character is who you truly are.

This is a lesson for relationships. It’s not the show of unity that counts it’s the script that dictates. What do you SAY to each other? You don’t have to dress glitzy or glamorous to demonstrate a good relationship. It’s not how you look when you are in front of others it’s your words that matter. Combined with the appropriate actions to demonstrate integrity, your words are the key ingredients in a long-term successful relationship.

The power is in the script.

Fidelity in Relationships

I think the key indicator for wealth is not good grades, work ethic, or IQ. I believe it’s relationships. ― Jarod Kintz

56 Notions of Ethics is being written with the idea that you have reached your desired goal and now you will be tempted with ethical decisions to sustain success. You have landed in new territory. You haven’t been here before. You look all around and can easily become tempted with the trappings of success.

This is where many a business owner and manager forget about the people that helped them reach their goal. Ethical success means you remain faithful in your relationships. Fidelity is lost when you lose the big picture. Having achieved your goal, you plateau. There is no willingness to go on to the bigger picture. You want to partake in selfish glory.

Elizabeth came to me for advice on how to handle her manager. She was doing her best to fulfill her job description but he was accusing her of altering contracts. She insisted she had done no such thing and was distraught with the accusation.

Obviously there is no advice for her on how to handle her manager. The advice was directed towards how to handle herself whilst working for such a person.

As the narrative unfolded, it was apparent her manager had altered contracts in the past to meet his sales goals. He assumed that if he was guilty of this act so must be those around him. Crooked managers look through crooked lens and see crookedness in the actions of good staff. Then they wonder why they have a problem with staff loyalty!

Fidelity in relationships is a cornerstone to sustained success.

Unfortunately, many, like Elizabeth’s manager, tend to be paranoid and spend a lot of time analyzing the past. These same energies could be utilized more effectively learning how to do the right thing going forward.

On a darker side, some give in to impulses and sudden desires. After obtaining their desired level of success, they assume it provides a “right” to excess. The temptations usually arrive in the face of new opposition. Assuming that success is not an event, they neglect further development of their selves. They lose real progress and worse, they lose their lack of purpose.

When leaders choose to be unfaithful in their relationships, it indicates a reluctance to complete what was started. The daring actions that led to success are now used to flirt with unethical actions. It appears as if they have lost their nerve and become indecisive where it matters most.

The temptations of Success are not meant to be snares to bring you down. They are opportunities for you to be propelled further upwards. Learning how to triumph in the face of adversity is not limited to one lesson. It is a constant battle. With Success, you learn how to be cunning in battle.

Losing fidelity in relationships usually come at a time when victory was almost in sight. Yet the problem is just that: obvious victory cannot be seen at that point. You have to trust and believe you can manifest to a new level. Move beyond the temptations and actualize your scope of living from a larger standpoint.

You just might have to stand back and ask yourself, “Where am I allowing the details to get in the way of my sustained success?”

Unfaithfulness in relationships is self-sabotaging. Don’t get caught up in psychological warfare. Lead from the front with your eyes focused on the greater good for all.

Challenge: Ethics is faithfulness in relationships. Do I think I deserve to exploit my successes selfishly? Or am I determined to sustain fidelity in all my relationships?

Renewing Your Mind

There is healing power in routine.

Much pain exists in the mind. Emotional hurts; psychological battles; relationship issues; all are very painful. Although they are not physically induced they affect our physical health. The old adage is true: a healthy mind leads to a healthy body. The concept itself is ancient. A first century apologist for Jesus’ teachings preserved the concept it when he wrote:

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

The mental existence requires spiritual power to overcome the effects on the physical body. Spiritual renewal of the mind is a daily exercise in meditation, quality reading, and beautiful art. Unfortunately, most today feed on the negativity of news items, violent entertainment, and harsh music.

When living in New Zealand, a mark was made among real estate sales agents by a particular USA speaker. His inspirational talks made a lasting impression that helped increased their sales. Of course that lead to an increase in personal wealth and expanded lifestyle. What was the key message?

The speaker shared the story of a USA company that had 90% of their sales produced by 5% of their staff. Many involved with sales organizations recognize this phenomenon. What made this company different, however, was they investigated how they could increase the effectiveness of the 5% by learning the secrets of the 90%.

Monitors were hired to follow the leading sales persons throughout their daily routine. They slept in their homes, taking notes of every little thing they did from the time they got out of bed, through their work day, while selling, right up to when they returned to bed.

After two weeks, the research was compiled. A common denominator was discovered: each sales person had a routine they were not ashamed to repeat. Every Monday, they did the same thing as the Monday before. Every Tuesday, they mimicked the Tuesday before and so on through every day of the week.

The key to their success was daily renewing their tasks.

Renewing your mind on a daily basis leads to more than monetary gain: it yields strong character unashamed of spirituality. It recognizes the source of power in the physical realm is rooted in another.

It is a daily task. Great concentration is required to overcome the evil within society. Mental concentration avoids becoming weary in well-doing. Renewing your mind spiritually each day transforms your character as evil is shunned. A daily determined effort to renew your mind by spiritual means will generate joy and purpose. It is your spirit that will determine your mind guiding your body through routine.

There is healing power in routine.

Empowering the People

The era of Reformation (1500’s – 1600’s) empowered the people. Up until that time, only the elite were allowed access to the great minds of humanity. Locked away in the original languages were thoughts, discussions and growth of what it means to be human. The Reformation believed in the power of the people. It believed the common person possessed the ability to comprehend the lofty thoughts guarded by the elite. They just needed it in their own language.

And so there was an explosion of literature in the common tongue.

The printing press was invented to quench the thirst for rediscovered knowledge. Classic literature was reproduced on a massive scale in German, French, English and every other language imaginable. And just as the printing press made redundant hand copying of manuscripts, electronic devices today mean physical printing is no longer required. They have detonated a burst of information articulating ancient principles for application.

My latest work 56 Notions of Success is part of that explosion.

My Divinity studies introduced me to ancient languages and their English translations. What I found fascinating was how success was used only one time in the entire Reformation English Bible (the Authorized Version).

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. –Joshua 1:8

The text was written thousands of years before the Reformation. Scholars of that day empowered the people by translating it into our common tongue. And today we grapple with understanding what it means to possess “good success”.

The text instructs that good success is discovered through thoughtful actions. Meditation on written precepts inspire you “to do” and “make” your way prosperous.

I am excited for you to read 56 Notions of Success. It will take you across a magic compass pointing to Results, Thoughts, Motivation, and Action. These compass points were inspired by key words in the Reformation translation: mouth (Results), meditate (Thoughts), observe (Motivation), and make (Action).

Each point contains 14 distinct notions of success. The 14 notions for Results confirm time-tested tools proven to gain success. The 14 notions for Thought draw from personal experiences of the author’s own success. The 14 notions for Motivation will inspire you onto success through self-empowering principles. The book ends with 14 notions for Actions: practical tools for reaching your own success.

You now have access to these age-old principles articulated with post-Reformation application. And the tradition of empowering the people continues!

56 Notions of Success

Season of the Ant

It is always amazing to consider the timelessness of ancient wisdom. Thousands of years ago, a poet king once wrote:

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

The power of this ageless proverb remains relevant. Society today is so consumed with having everything now. Young people carry student loans unable to be repaid. Families choose stress over purposeful living with mortgages beyond their budget. It appears success is judged by possessions instead of peace.

Most ants build a nest of some sort and store their hard-gathered food in that nest. The food is gathered in the harvest after working all summer long.

Have you considered that most ants live for only a few months?

The season of the ant is a type of the season of human life. Your winter season will be the retirement years when you are physically unable to “gather.” The harvest season stands for your working years. The “reaping” for retirement is possible because of your summer work. That is why the same poet surmised:

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

You don’t reap a retirement by accident!

The ant teaches you that today you are preparing for your future. Part of that preparation is passing on your knowledge to those in the spring of their life. Your children need to be taught by word and example how to prepare for future.

Don’t live for the moment—live in it for the morrow. Balance tomorrow’s evils by putting your inner growth first. As the great Master taught:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

By concentrating on what is truly lasting today, you will reap protection, provision, and comfort at life’s end and into eternity.

What grand lessons from such a lowly insect!

Fundamentalist Evangelism versus Godly Empowerment

Fundamentalist interpret Acts 20:20 to exploit their followers with captialist marketing campaigns.

PRAE stands for Pacific Rim Area Empowerment. In 1996, I had a vision to reach isolated persons with a message of empowerment. The following year saw that vision embodied. I was able to teach throughout the South Pacific and raise funds for humanitarian projects. My struggle, however, was the “E” in PRAE was originally Evangelism.

Serving as a Baptist missionary, my travels exposed me to the Church’s theological limitations. Fundamental Baptists teach “door-to-door” witnessing. The concept is based on Acts 20:20 reporting disciples of Jesus taught “house to house”. It was a practice I grew up with but never grew comfortable with. On my trip to the Chatham Islands, I found the courage to question the Fundamentalist interpretation.

The Chatham’s have very few residents. The majority are either fisherman or farmers. I learned very quickly that if I went door-to-door, it would appear as if I was taking advantage of the men being out to sea or on the farm! I returned to my room and read Acts 20:20 in its context without Fundamentalist lenses. I felt silly.

The early Christian leaders did teach from house to house. They were invited into homes of people who already embraced their faith or about to. It was a brand new movement. There were very few local leaders. They didn’t have church buildings. Acts 20:20 has nothing to do with soliciting the unaware or unconcerned. The Fundamentalist interpretation allows leaders to exploit their followers with capitalist marketing campaigns that have no similarity to Jesus’ practice.

With that revelation, I immediately adjusted my movements. I was blessed to speak to all three elementary schools on the island; in one of the three churches on the island; on a radio interview across the island group; and a post-school children’s program. I also attended the annual “townies” versus “farmers” rugby match. In one week’s time, I was able to communicate with every family.

My island adventures continued. My intention changed. The “E” in PRAE became Empowerment in practice instead of Fundamentalist Evangelism. It is a privilege to interact with others and watch the individual power of choice transform lives. By 2012 I began to shed the Fundamentalist skin off my being and announced “E” as Empowerment. The lesson I learned:

There is such a stark contrast between the humanistic devaluation of a person from the Godly elevation of one’s being.

Although I have moved my residence within the Pacific Rim Area from New Zealand to California,* I remain committed to the ministry of empowering others through the teachings of Jesus.

  • After 22 months in California, I have returned to New Zealand as my permeant residence and home since 1991.

[Follow the link to ABOUT to learn more about PRAE]

Embracing Where You Are At

Your fulfilment is in the present, not future.

Crises, like earthquakes, shake your foundations. And after they expend their natural force you are never the same. This is a good thing!

Often leaders and managers encourage you to set goals. This is a good so long as it remains in balance. The danger is a subliminal message: your fulfilment is in the future.

Your fulfillment is in the present.

It is true fulfilled desires yield sweetness. It is equally true you need to stretch yourself for growth. As the son of a farmer, I know the storms of wind and rain strengthen the grain for a hearty harvest. And that’s the point: fulfilment is discovered in the process not in reaching some future goal.

Are you grieving over losing a loved one to death? Are you hurting from a relationship freshly lost? Are you dealing with an unexpected illness recently diagnosed? You are in a crisis. Embrace the present! The change cannot be undone.

Living in the present does not mean you mortgage your future at the expense of the immediate. It does mean you accept your present circumstance as part of a greater Power. In submitting to that Power you will find the strength to live.

I cannot promise where that Power will take you. But I can promise you that if you embrace the present you will find fulfilment. Maybe not while your foundation is shaking—survival is all that is on your mind! And that is just fine. Take those steps to endure but utilise that Power greater than you. You are heading to solid ground!

You may come through with a different career, new partner or no partner at all! But you will survive! And you will possess a depth in which greater things will take root in you.

Embrace where you are at.