A Dream About Tracy’s Dream!

At the end of a very long, hectic autumn day, Tracy skipped dinner and went straight to bed.  What happened later that night was strange.  Imagine a dream with no people and no signs of activity.  Instead the entire dream is two bright yellow words on a dark background. Period!  That’s exactly what happened in Tracy’s dream. The words were, “BE READY”.  Kind of eerie wouldn’t you agree?  Tracy sat up in bed, puzzled and somewhat scared, but after a few minutes of pondering this strange dream, Tracy succumbed to fatigue and fell asleep.

There are people like Tracy who make up their minds to live lives and have careers that can leave the world in a better place.  That’s why Tracy awakened the next morning more curious about than afraid of the strange dream.  As a result, the day went fast and nighttime came soon enough only to be interrupted sometime around midnight.  When Tracy awakened prematurely from a sequel to yesterday’s dream of green words on a dark background there was an expanded message – “BE READY OR ELSE” That would get anyone’s attention!  Shocked by this more threatening message it took almost two hours for Tracy to return to a state of sleep.

Compared to the previous days, the next day was light, giving Tracy the freedom to ponder the meaning of these dreams, where they might be coming from and whether or not there would be another one tonight.  The answer came at 2:15 am.  “BE READY OR ELSE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES WILL DISAPPEAR.”  This message was equally strange, but the previous fear had morphed into the “fear of loss.”

While the presence of fear lingered, it was tempered by curiosity and the hint of hope.  Would the dream continue?  Sure enough!  Tracy arose with the sun, inspired by the following expanded message: “BE READY OR ELSE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES WILL DISAPPEAR.  PREPARE DILIGENTLY.”  As simple as this dream sounded, Tracy’s curiosity and frustration returned, wondering, “How can anyone prepare for opportunities that come and go like lightning.”

Days 5, 6 and 7 came and went without any strange dreams.  Was the sequence finished or had Tracy’s exhaustion wiped out any new dreams?  Either way, it turned out to be a blessing.  The gap made room for some heavy reflection that would make room for more wisdom.  On the eighth night, Tracy was ready and so the dream continued with new advice.  “BE READY OR ELSE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES WILL DISAPPEAR.  PREPARE DILIGENTLY.  FOCUS ON YOUR FOUNDATION”

It’s Day 9. For three days Tracy wondered what goes into a person’s foundation. Realizing that a strong foundation is essential for any successful endeavor, Tracy is eager to discover the remaining pieces in the puzzle.  Like the first 4 days, the dream maker delivered an expanded message of wisdom along with a recommended set of tools.  That message is simply this:

“BE READY OR ELSE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES WILL DISAPPEAR.
PREPARE DILIGENTLY.  FOCUS ON YOUR FOUNDATION OF
LEADERSHIP, EXCELLENCE, ASSOCIATIONS AND PROFESSIONALISM.”

At the end of a very long, hectic autumn day, Tracy skipped dinner and went straight to bed. What happened later that night was strange. Imagine a dream with no people and no signs of activity. Instead the entire dream is two bright yellow words on a dark background. Period! That’s exactly what happened in Tracy’s dream. The words were, “BE READY”. Kind of eerie wouldn’t you agree? Tracy sat up in bed, puzzled and somewhat scared, but after a few minutes of pondering this strange dream, Tracy succumbed to fatigue and fell asleep.

There are people like Tracy who make up their minds to live lives and have careers that can leave the world in a better place. That’s why Tracy awakened the next morning more curious about than afraid of the strange dream. As a result, the day went fast and nighttime came soon enough only to be interrupted sometime around midnight. When Tracy awakened prematurely from a sequel to yesterday’s dream of green words on a dark background there was an expanded message – “BE READY OR ELSE” That would get anyone’s attention! Shocked by this more threatening message it took almost two hours for Tracy to return to a state of sleep.

Compared to the previous days, the next day was light, giving Tracy the freedom to ponder the meaning of these dreams, where they might be coming from and whether or not there would be another one tonight. The answer came at 2:15 am. “BE READY OR ELSE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES WILL DISAPPEAR.” This message was equally strange, but the previous fear had morphed into the “fear of loss.”

While the presence of fear lingered, it was tempered by curiosity and the hint of hope. Would the dream continue? Sure enough! Tracy arose with the sun, inspired by the following expanded message: “BE READY OR ELSE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES WILL DISAPPEAR. PREPARE DILIGENTLY.” As simple as this dream sounded, Tracy’s curiosity and frustration returned, wondering, “How can anyone prepare for opportunities that come and go like lightning.”

Days 5, 6 and 7 came and went without any strange dreams. Was the sequence finished or had Tracy’s exhaustion wiped out any new dreams? Either way, it turned out to be a blessing. The gap made room for some heavy reflection that would make room for more wisdom. On the eighth night, Tracy was ready and so the dream continued with new advice. “BE READY OR ELSE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES WILL DISAPPEAR. PREPARE DILIGENTLY. FOCUS ON YOUR FOUNDATION”

Day 9. For three days Tracy wondered what goes into a person’s foundation. Realizing that a strong foundation is essential for any successful endeavor, Tracy is eager to discover the remaining pieces in the puzzle. Like the first 4 days, the dream maker delivered an expanded message of wisdom along with a recommended set of tools. That message is simply this: “BE READY OR ELSE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES WILL DISAPPEAR. PREPARE DILIGENTLY. FOCUS ON YOUR FOUNDATION OF LEADERSHIP, EXCELLENCE, ASSOCIATIONS AND PROFESSIONALISM.”

It’s Day 10, or so I thought. The phone had awakened me from my unplanned nap. I was groggy, but happy to see my friend had not left my home. Tracy was pumped up and dying to share so-called “life-changing, foundational information” contained within an online professional development program named “L.E.A.P. OF FAITH.”  Strange as it seems, Tracy was just beginning Lesson 10!

P.S.  Thanks for reading what is perhaps the shortest novel of 2016!

Advertisements

Prepare for Life

“Be prepared.” — Boy Scouts’ Motto

It’s a simple instruction. A user’s manual might expand this admonishment as, “Be mentally, physically, and emotionally ready and properly equipped and outfitted to act or refrain from acting before, during or after something positive or negative does or does not occur.” The Boy Scouts said it better.

Being prepared begins with understanding what might happen and the potential consequences if it occurs. This is followed by making an appropriate plan.

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” — Unknown

“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.”
— Jackie Joyner-Kersee

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

Being prepared for battle, fire, sickness, recession, flood, lay-off, and the other negative stuff is only one part of the equation. It is equally important to be ready for opportunity.

“We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.” — John W. Gardner

“A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”
— Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893 – 1986)

“It’s not the will to win that matters…everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” — Paul “Bear” Bryant

Planning and urgency go hand-in-hand. “Wait, I’m not ready!” is an ineffective response to the sudden appearance of either disaster or opportunity.

“But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.” — Bible, Matthew 24:43

“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.” — Napoleon Hill

“It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow.” — Aesop (620 BC – 560 BC), The Ant and the Grasshopper

“It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” — Mark Twain

Responsible living is all about preparation. Many things will happen in the next moment, the next month, the next year, and in the next decade. The possibilities are both foreseen and unforeseen including vacation, relocation, separation, trepidation and expectation. That’s why the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared!”

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” — Colin Powell

P.S.  If the importance of professional development resonates in your heart and conscience, you might be interested in my on-line courses in one or more of these five areas: Productivity, Professionalism, Relationships, Leadership and Faith.  Click HERE for more information.

 

© Copyright July 2016, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Prepare for Luck

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca, Roman philosopher

It’s amazing how much better timing seems when we’re prepared. It would seem obvious that preparation begets confidence, which begets action, which begets success. But, if it’s so obvious, why do people spend so little time preparing?

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” — Brian Tracy

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill

“I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it.” — Thomas Jefferson

In modern times, personal development has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry that has produced countless tools and techniques, including: books, magazines, Internet, CDs, DVDs, college education, night classes, seminars, sermons, lectures, computer-based training, on-the-job training, journaling, memorization, puzzles, mentors, ad infinitum. Although I love to read, I am a big-time advocate of CDs. They allow me to turn my car into a mobile classroom. Combining driving and learning takes some of the sting out of $4 per gallon gasoline. Come to think of it, my car has also been used to conduct meetings, eat meals, place calls, check email, change clothes, store stuff and take naps (not all of which occurred while consuming gasoline.)

A good preparation strategy focuses attention on the the four aspects of being human: intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Together, the following quotes about preparation address all four.

“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.” — John Adams

“A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner, so if one’s life is cold and bare he can blame none but himself.” — Louis L’Amour (1908 – 1988), ‘Bendigo Shafter’

“Read something positive every night and listen to something helpful every morning.” — Tom Hopkins

“Success favors the prepared mind.” — Louis Pasteur

“Exercise alone provides psychological and physical benefits. However, if you also adopt a strategy that engages your mind while you exercise, you can get a whole host of psychological benefits fairly quickly.” — James Rippe, M.D.

“To resist the frigidity of old age one must combine the body, the mind and the heart – and to keep them in parallel vigor one must exercise, study and love.” — Karl von Bonstetten

“A good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another up.” — Anonymous

“Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.” — W. Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965)

“Too many people confine their exercise to jumping to conclusions, running up bills, stretching the truth, bending over backward, lying down on the job, sidestepping responsibility and pushing their luck.” — Author Unknown

“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.” — Bible, Mark 12:30

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

OPPORTUNITY

What does the word “success” mean to you? Whatever images you conjure up, I think it’s true that we all talk, hope, and imagine it differently. Even so, recognizing success is pretty easy.

“You’ve achieved success in your field when you don’t know whether what you’re doing is work or play.” — Warren Beatty

Success comes in big and small packages. It can be a solo accomplishment, but it usually requires a team effort featuring “blood, sweat and tears.”

Blood: “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” — Charles Du Bos

Sweat: “The only place where success comes before work is a dictionary.” — Vidal Sassoon

Tears: “I have failed many times, and that’s why I am a success.” — Michael Jordan

Opportunity is the starting line for success. In addition to business and career opportunities there are opportunities to make a friend, save a life, spread some sunshine and show kindness. Some of these you will read about in places like Guidepost and Readers’ Digest magazines.

“The opportunity for brotherhood presents itself every time you meet a human being.” — Jane Wyman

Every day provides a new opportunity to learn, quit smoking, improve, eat less, start over, start exercising, save or invest money, read, or just try something new.

“Opportunity never sleeps.” — Vince Bovenzi

While one person might miss an opportunity, there is always someone else who is ready for it.

“While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity.” — Publilius Syrus (~100 BC)

“Seize opportunity by the beard, for it is bald behind.” — Bulgarian Proverb

“Many of us have heard opportunity knocking at our door, but by the time we unhooked the chain, pushed back the bolt, turned two locks, and shut off the burglar alarm – it was gone.” — Author Unknown

Besides not recognizing opportunity, people will more often than not back away from it for a variety of reasons.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas A. Edison

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.” — James F. Byrnes

“Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.” — Unknown

“Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.” — Unknown

“He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.” — William James

“Not many people are willing to give failure a second opportunity. They fail once and it is all over. The bitter pill of failure is often more than most people can handle. If you are willing to accept failure and learn from it, if you are willing to consider failure as a blessing in disguise and bounce back, you have got the essential of harnessing one of the most powerful success forces.” — Joseph Sugarman

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com