Tag Archives: success

PERFECT GIFT FOR WRITERS

My daughter gave me a rather unique Father’s Day gift this year. The kind of gift you give someone who needs nothing and doesn’t give you any suggestions.

She went online and purchased the gift from StoryWorth. It’s a perfect gift for someone who enjoys writing. StoryWorth sends me a weekly email asking a question about my past. I’m supposed to answer the question with a short story. The length of the answer can be as long or short as I desire.

The package consists of 52 questions. Upon completion, StoryWorth will compile the questions and answers into a book of some kind—not sure of the final product.

However, the questions have done much more for me—they have made me reflect very deeply on my past, which has provided me with tons of additional thoughts I can use as plots for additional short stories—ideas that were beyond my wildest dreams. It’s has been like opening the floodgates to a vast reservoir of experiences and possibilities.

I’m not trying to give a plug for StoryWorth, but if you or someone you know loves to write, I suggest you check their website and see for yourself. It may be the perfect gift for yourself or someone on your list.

The following is the StoryWorth question and my response for week #18.

+++ Week #18 Question +++

 “What advice would you give your great grandchildren?”

The advice I would give my great grandchildren is the same advice I gave to my children, grandchildren, and anyone who is willing to listen. Those who actually follow the advice are more likely to achieve higher levels of success in life than those who choose to ignore them. My advice is included in my second novel titled, ON GREEN DIAMONDS: Pursuing a Dream.

To set the scene for you, the following excerpt from my novel is a conversation between Tyler and Gabe after Tyler’s first visit to church. They are discussing the need to follow the Ten Commandments. Gabe uses this moment to tell Tyler about the twenty-two “Rules to Live By” in order to achieve success in life, which were given to him as a young boy by his father.

Excerpt from  ON GREEN DIAMONDS

…Tyler came down to our house later that Sunday afternoon and we chatted about all sorts of things. We talked about his first visit to the church and then started discussing the Ten Commandments. I told him what they meant and how important they were to us.

Tyler said, “We sure don’t want to break those rules.”

“No, we don’t because they are very important. I also have some rules you should learn to live by.”

“What are your rules, Uncle Gabe?”

“My rules are about how to live your life. They were written on an old sheet of paper many years ago and were given to me. Now, I want to give them to you, but you must promise to keep them in a safe place. Tyler, this sheet of paper means more to me than you can imagine. I want you to read these rules every week and make sure you don’t ever forget them. If you try to follow these rules each day, you’ll be successful in life.”

I sat and read the rules to him.

RULES TO LIVE BY

  1. Spend some time alone each day in prayer asking God to help you be the person He wants you to be. You are in His hands and He is always there for you. All you have to do is ask for His help.
  1. Obey the Ten Commandments. When you falter, ask the Lord for forgiveness.
  1. Always give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  1. Never laugh at another person’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams aren’t going anywhere.
  1. Remember that all great achievements involve great risk. Don’t be afraid to try something.
  1. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. A loss isn’t the end of the world, but something to learn from and grow to be better the next time you try.
  1. Always give a hundred percent of yourself in everything you do. You’ll feel better about yourself, whether you win or lose. The joy comes from having given it your best shot.
  1. Set goals for yourself and give the effort it takes to succeed. You can be anything you want to be, but hard work is the key to success.
  1. Never judge people by their relatives. They may not like them either.
  1. Love your family and friends with all your heart. You might get hurt sometimes, but it’s the only way to live life completely.
  1. When disagreements arise, present your points fairly. Name calling and hitting won’t win the argument for you.
  1. Talk slowly, but think quickly. It isn’t always what you say, but how you say it.
  1. Life is full of ups and downs, so stay in control of your emotions. Never get too high or go too low.
  1. Always be willing to help others because there will come a day when you will need help also.
  1. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
  1. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it and don’t be afraid to admit it. If you never make a mistake, then you aren’t trying to do anything.
  1. Don’t let a little dispute spoil a great friendship. A true friend is something special and worth holding on to.
  1. When you are talking to someone, always maintain eye contact. It is a sign of confidence and signals that you’re paying attention to what they are saying.
  1. Eat healthy foods. Your body needs all food groups to develop properly.
  1. Whenever you say, “I love you,” think before you say it and mean it. It isn’t to be used lightly.
  1. Always, always remember, a true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart. You can be a true friend to someone else by touching their heart today.
  1. Read these rules every week. Only you can change you, so don’t wait. Start doing it today!

End of Excerpt

On a personal note, I believe in the Ten Commandments and try to obey them each day of my life. Unfortunately, like many others, I sometimes go astray and ask God to forgive me when I do—to help me walk on the right path.

Just as Gabe believed the twenty-two “Rules to Live By” helped him in life, I feel the same way. I try to follow these guidelines and know they played a major role in my successes in life.

If you want to be successful, and I hope you do, follow the advice given above—it will make a positive difference in your future.

Now, look at the first letter of each word in the title of my novel, ON GREEN DIAMONDS and you’ll see OGD. Do you notice anything significant about those three letters? If you rearrange them, they will spell the word GOD. Since I don’t believe in coincidences, maybe there’s a hidden message here—sometimes we need to rearrange our lives to make things work better for us on our path to achieve success.

I pray God blesses you each day as you travel on your path to success and understanding.

TIME FOR YOUR THOUGHTS

  • Do you know what the Ten Commandments are? Do you obey them?
  • Do you think the “Rules to Live By” could help you in life?
  • Are you going to use them to help you be the best you can be? I sure hope you will.
  • Have you read ON GREEN DIAMONDS? The novel references the twenty-two rules in real life situations throughout the story. Read it and you may enjoy it—you may even learn something about yourself. See the photo of the rules below.

END OF STORY

Tom Tatum – Author – 2019

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

NEVER, EVER GIVE UP!

In his attempts to improve the impractical light bulb designs previously developed by others, Thomas Edison was successful in finding several hundred more ways that didn’t work. However, he learned something from each “successful” failure. Edison believed in himself and felt he would eventually find the solution, so he kept trying.

Finally, the day came when a bright light within a tube of glass would change the world—Edison’s dream to make a commercially viable light bulb became a reality.

We should be thankful Edison kept trying—look how far we’ve come since his successful “bright” day.

May we all strive to be like Edison…

Never, Ever Give Up!

I came.

I tried.

I failed.

I tried again—and I failed.

Again, I tried.

I failed again.

I tried a 100 more times.

I failed a 100 more times.

I tried once more.

I finally succeeded!

If you believe in yourself,

Never, Ever Give Up!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

THE PERSON IN THE MIRROR

 

When things go wrong for us, we often look around to place the blame on others. It’s human nature to do this, but in reality, others may not have had anything to do with us falling short of our goals. We must look deeper if we are to find the real culprit(s).

It’s usually the last item we are willing to consider, but the one thing that might be preventing us from reaching the level of success we desire in life is often the person we see when we look into a mirror. That’s right—you and me!

So, instead of wasting time looking for reasons to blame others, have a pep-talk with the person in the mirror and then get back on road to success. Identify and work on what caused the less-than-desired results and always, always,

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2017

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Quote

SUCCESS COMES FROM DOING THE RIGHT THINGS RIGHT

You do not succeed in life by doing the wrong things right or by doing the right things wrong.

Success comes from having a good plan, giving it your best, working hard, and by doing the right things right.

successcomesfrom

Have a great day!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

BOULDERS IN YOUR FIELD OF DREAMS

Life is full of opportunities and how we choose to handle them makes the difference between wearing a smile or a frown.

Many of our opportunities present huge challenges and are difficult to carry to fruition. However, there may come a time in life when an opportunity is well within reach, but we choose not to explore the possibilities that exist beyond the surface. We may feel the reward is not worth the effort required or we may simply be too lazy.

This short tale about a pile of boulders in the middle of an old farmer’s field is a good example.

bouldersinyourfield

++++

Year after year, an old farmer plowed around the boulders in the middle of his field. Each year, he talked about removing the huge boulders to increase his production. Unfortunately, all he did was talk and never took the time to remove them.

The young farmer who owned the adjacent farm offered to help him remove the boulders on many occasions, but the old farmer just kept plowing around the boulders—for fifty years.

The old farmer became too old to continue plowing the field and realized it was time for him to retire. Unfortunately, the only tangible asset he had was his boulder-laden field. Once again, he thought about removing the boulders, but decided it wouldn’t be worth the effort and chose not to remove them.

One day, the young farmer approached the old farmer and offered to buy the field. The offer was more than the old farmer thought the field was worth, so he sold it to the young farmer. He wished the young farmer well and was glad he no longer had to plow around the boulders.

The first thing the young farmer did was start removing the boulders from the field. One by one, the boulders were loaded onto a truck and hauled away until only one bolder remained—the largest one.

When the young farmer lifted the last boulder, he noticed there was a hole in the ground beneath it. The hole appeared to be the entrance to a large cavern. With flashlight in hand, the young farmer crawled through the opening and began exploring the cavern.

Near the rear wall of the cavern, he discovered a large-locked chest. It was too heavy to lift by hand, so the young farmer used his tractor to pull the chest out into the field.

When he removed the lock and opened the chest, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The chest contained numerous gold relics—vases, necklaces, urns, and medallions. On top of the gold was a note that read:

Life is full of opportunities and those who are willing to remove the boulders from their field of dreams are likely to reap the greatest rewards. Bill Smith – 1792

As the young farmer celebrated his newly found fortune, he paused and thought about the many times he offered to help the old farmer remove the boulders from the field—he smiled.

++++

There are many morals presented in this story. I’ve listed a few of them below. Can you add some others to the list? Please take a moment to share your thoughts.

Morals of the Story

One man’s loss is often another man’s gain.

An opportunity that appears to have no value on the surface may be the best one you have.

Just talking about doing something doesn’t get it done.

Being old does not mean you are a wise person.

There may be more to reap than what we sow.

Have a great day, and remember, remove the boulders from your field of dreams. The results may surprise you.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Thanks to Tom Foster at HUGEFloods.com for giving me permission to use his photo.

YOUR DREAM BEYOND THE WALL

Let me start by saying I think it is wonderful when anyone achieves his/her dream in life. It doesn’t happen by chance; it requires a lot of hard work, passion, ability, and sacrifices to make it become a reality—maybe even a little luck to boot! Their accomplishments are certainly commendable because they never gave up. They faced many walls and succeeded. Congratulations!

However, for many others, pursuing a dream in life is much like playing a game—sometimes we win—sometimes we lose. No one ever said turning a life-long dream into reality was going to be easy. It’s great when we are successful, but many of us have to learn how to cope with disappointments.

We’ve all heard things like: we should never give up; the next door will be the one; keep trying; don’t believe it when others tell you it’s impossible, etc. Those are very positive-well-meaning-encouraging comments. I not only agree with them; I also say them because I believe them.

However, when I look at things realistically, I know pursuing a dream requires making a series of midcourse adjustments and “game-changing” decisions along the way. Although “staying the course” may work very well for many folks, it may not always be the best option for everyone.

What? I can’t believe I just wrote that! Have I turned into Chicken Little in my old age?

No, the sky is not falling, and I’m not Chicken Little either, but the statement is true in many cases. Many of us reach aTimeinLife when what we have worked so hard to become or do in life may not be possible to achieve. Saying it nicely, sometimes things just happen, and often times, they are beyond our control. I know because I’ve been there—many times. The path to our dream in life involves a long journey with many twists, turns, and “brick walls” that can make achieving them very difficult, although not impossible.

When reality comes knocking on our door, we must decide whether to continue playing the game the same way hoping things will improve, alter our strategy to achieve better results, or try doing something completely different. Being flexible and making adjustments during the game can actually be a good thing. In fact, that’s what life is all about—making decisions and necessary adjustments—finding ways to topple the “brick walls” we encounter.

To clarify what I mean, allow me to share a true story about John Dalton (not his real name).

John spent the first eighteen years of his life pursuing a dream to play major league baseball. He had big plans for making his dream become reality. He worked hard, gave it his best each year, made tremendous sacrifices, and battled through injuries because he was determined to fulfill his childhood dream. He was doing everything right. People in his community even encouraged him by telling him he was a great baseball player—he had natural ability—God had given him a special gift. Such comments helped John believe in himself and his dream, which was definitely a good thing.

When John was a senior in high school, a Division 1 university sent a scout to watch him pitch. It was late in the season, but John had remained hopeful he could make his dream in life come true because he was playing well. This was his first opportunity to display his baseball talents in front of an interested scout; it was his moment to put his special gift on display. The many years of blood, sweat, and tears pursuing his dream had come down to a single performance during one game. It was John’s judgment day for his life-long dream.

Unfortunately, John had a miserable outing and only pitched three innings before the coach had to take him out of the game. His “spotlight” performance did not reveal his true talent. What happened to John that day is anybody’s guess, but the result was he didn’t receive any scholarship offers to play college baseball. Reality was knocking on John’s door. He kept fighting a mental “go or no-go” battle to keep his dream alive, but time was not on his side.

His best friend Derrick said,

“Bo, you have to face the fact that you just aren’t good enough to play college baseball, and you better forget about playing big-league ball too. You need to start looking for something else to do in life.”

Derrick’s remark sent John into a downward spiral until he hit rock bottom. Reality had not only knocked on his door; it came into his room and punched him in his stomach. John’s dream was slipping away and he felt Derrick had betrayed him at a time when he most needed his friend’s support. The forbidden word “failure” entered John’s mind for the first time and his dream in life was quickly turning into a nightmare of reality. He was confused, dejected, and felt all alone. He didn’t know what to do next.

Well, Derrick actually was being supportive of John. When the shock of Derrick’s remarks finally wore off, John realized Derrick was right. In his cold-crude-negative manner, Derrick had actually encouraged John to stop wasting time and to start pursuing a different game in life—to make adjustments.

It wasn’t easy, but that’s exactly what John did—he made some tough decisions and changed his game. He chose to start pursuing a degree in engineering and wanted to become a pilot in the Air Force. He played the engineering game well, but the pilot thing never materialized. John’s less than 20/20 vision was another dream killer—he never became a pilot. Another dream vanished for reasons beyond John’s control.

John completed his “desk-flying” military commitment and started his engineering career with a large corporation. He worked hard, advanced through management levels, and retired thirty years later. Although John never achieved two of his major dreams in life, his game-changing decision to pursue an engineering career proved successful.

After John retired, he began reflecting on his life and realized the vicissitudes he experienced during his journey had provided him with valuable knowledge about life. He started pursuing another dream to help others by sharing his knowledge through writing inspirational/motivational novels and articles about the game of life. He felt helping those who were willing to learn from his life-lessons was the best use of his talents—it was God’s plan for him all along. He had to learn hard lessons before he could effectively help others.

When asked if he had any regrets about spending all those years chasing his dream to play major league baseball, John smiled and gave this response:

“Should I have regrets? God blessed me with a talent for baseball and I developed it to the best of my abilities. Yes, it was my dream—my plan to play in the majors. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t God’s plan for me. His plan was for me to use my baseball talents to coach youth and help them pursue their dreams. I’ve done that and it has been a blessing for me. If I could do everything all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Regrets? I don’t have a one!”

So, what is the point of John’s story? The point is that all of us need to have dreams in life, and we should pursue those dreams with passion and courage. It’s wonderful when our dreams come to fruition. However, we should also be willing to recognize that having backup plans are also important in case things go awry. It’s not the end of the world if they do; it just requires a change in direction.

One significant thing to understand about John’s experiences is that he didn’t fail to achieve his dreams. Instead, he simply made mid-course adjustments in life to pursue something different. Bottom line, John actually succeeded.

Part of being successful in life is recognizing our limitations and not being afraid to alter our dreams when it becomes the best option. Just because we have dreams in life doesn’t mean we possess the talent, abilities, or luck to make them happen. The cliché about continuously beating your head against a brick wall expecting different results each time isn’t a crazy statement. If you don’t alter your strategy when trying to topple the brick wall, the only thing you will have at the end of the day is a horrible headache.

YourDreamBrickwall2

When pursuing your dreams, be willing to adjust your strategy or accept the fact that you may not be able to knock the wall down. Changing your dream is not an acceptance of failure; it’s intelligently recognizing that you need to spend your time pursuing a different dream. You only fail if you decide to do nothing or give up completely. Move on with your life by making adjustments that are right for you. Then, hold your head high and celebrate your successes!

You Can—you WILL achieve your dreams in life!

Consider following John Dalton’s recommendation:

“If you want to be inspired to pursue your dreams in life or to help someone else, I recommend you read On Green Diamonds: Pursuing a Dream. This clean story features a young boy learning life-lessons while pursuing his dream with the help of a dedicated mentor. The plot is wholesome, thought provoking, and filled with practical content for all age groups—teens, parents, friends, and coaches. It’s available at the Amazon author link below. Read it and share the experience. Someone out there is in need of your help.”

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

A SEASON TO REMEMBER

There comes a time in life when you realize you are witnessing something special—something that exceeds all expectations thought possible—something unbelievable. A time in life when all you can say is “WOW! This is incredible!”

That time came my way this year as I watched a group of young men playing high school football for a small AAA school in South Carolina—Pinewood Preparatory School—a school that teaches students from prekindergarten through high school to excel in college and life.

PPSBelieve1

When a team’s motto is BELIEVE, you should know to expect the unbelievable. That’s how life works, and it is special when it happens.

So, what happened? Well, a football program that was winless a few years ago beat the odds and played for the 2015 South Carolina State Championship. That’s right—the State Championship! It didn’t happen because the players walked around with a “lucky buckeye” in their pockets. It happened because these players and coaches had a dream to rise from the ashes of the past and become winners.

They worked hard for many hours, days, weeks, and months pursuing their dream because they BELIEVED! Each individual BELIEVED in self, each other, and most importantly, the TEAM. A group of individuals came together as one and beat the odds by winning, and winning again.

Each victory brought more fans onboard and the “Friday Night Lights” stands began to fill with students, teachers, friends, parents, grandparents, and relatives. BELIEVE became the battle cry of all who shared in the joy for the efforts of a group of young men—young men who were dedicated to a cause and a dream. The atmosphere of the crowd was electrifying and served to embolden these young men to do more—to push harder and harder—to make their dream become reality.

Success breeds success and the whole community began reaching out in support of the little team that could. Newspapers published articles reporting the success of the team, players and coaches. It was a magical time in the lives of young men who were grinding it out on the field week after week. They strived to get better each week, and their efforts to do so were rewarded.

The spectacular 11- 1 season closed with the state championship game played on Saturday, November 21, 2015. Although the team came up just a tad short that night, they finished with a very respectable record of 11 – 2, and second place overall in the state. It was truly a remarkable accomplishment!

The players, coaches, and fans have every reason to hold their heads high. The TEAM that BELIEVED made it to the grandest stage of all—the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP! Congratulations to all of you on a job well done! Be proud of your accomplishment! I can assure you the community and the entire Pinewood Prep family is very proud of you!

As the grandparent of two players on the team, I wish to express my sincere thanks to every player and coach for your efforts this year. I BELIEVE in each of you—yesterday, today, and tomorrow! The memories you created will last a lifetime, and for that, I am truly grateful. I wish each of you nothing but the best going forward.

Always BELIEVE in yourself, the TEAM, and pursue your dreams with passion! With hard work, dedication, and perseverance, anything is possible!

BELIEVE and make next year even better…

#BELIEVE #success #team

Tom Tatum – Author of Faith-based Novels

Follow aTimeinLife at http://www.aTimeinLife.wordpress.com

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

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TEAM – A FOUR-LETTER WORD

TEAM – a simple four-letter word a child can say without getting into trouble—no matter how young they are. In fact, the sooner a child understands the importance of the TEAM concept, the better. The old cliché “all for one and one for all” might be a bit trite, but when it comes to TEAM, it’s an absolute requirement for success! Otherwise the team fades into a blur…

TeamBlurred

Every person (player) on a team has God-given talents and they should use those talents to the best of their ability to help contribute to the overall outcome of the team. Adults should teach youth to play as a team—to win as a team—to lose as a team. If a child’s talents vaults him/her to shining-star status, that’s great for the player and the team, but the child should remain true to the team concept.

Unfortunately, being a good team player is not always easy for our youth—thoughts of “self” takes control of the mind sometimes. The following personal experience is a perfect example of the importance of each individual’s contribution to the team.

Throughout my youth, I thought I was a good team player. I played on baseball teams for many years; I was confident that I knew the team concept very well. Sometimes I was a shining-star and sometimes I was the goat, but I always supported my teammates and the team above self. However, when I participated in a Leadership/Team-Building exercise as a teenager, the results were most humbling. I allowed “self” to cloud my judgment.

THE EXERCISE

I was involved in an exercise on a team consisting of six guys seated at a round table. For this particular task, the instructor gave each person a puzzle consisting of ten pieces. The object was for all six members of the team to assemble their individual puzzles as fast as possible. The one condition given to us was there could be no talking among team players, but all players could use gestures.

The clock started and I completed my ten-piece puzzle very quickly. I sat there wondering why the other players were having such a hard time completing the simple task. Each of them had all but one of their pieces in place. I shrugged my shoulders at them in a gesture of “come on guys—what’s wrong with you people? Time is running out!” They all began pointing at my completed puzzle, raised their index finger, and then pointed back toward themselves. Remember—no talking allowed.

TeamPuzzle

Several minutes passed, and their gestures became a bit more animated. A few more minutes passed and the instructor asked me if I was finished.

“Sir, yes, Sir!” I replied

“Are you sure about that, Mr. Tatum?”

Yes, I was sure; the puzzle was right in front of me. Was the instructor blind? I replied, “Sir, yes, Sir! It was simple task, Sir! I don’t know why the other guys are having so much trouble with this, Sir.”

“Mr. Tatum, why do you think the other team members are pointing at your puzzle?”

“Sir, I guess they are in awe of how fast I completed my puzzle, Sir.”

The instructor then said, “Guys, Mr. Tatum’s performance caused all of you to be captured by the enemy. All of you are now prisoners of war. Your team failed the test and the future looks grim! Mr. Tatum failed to use his God-given talents to help the team.”

“Sir, what? What did I do, Sir? Sir, I completed my puzzle! I did my part, Sir!”

The instructor then proceeded to explain to the class the results of my actions, or lack thereof. I felt as though lightning had struck the foundation of my perception of the TEAM concept. I was devastated—my poor judgement and performance caused our team to fail. I failed the team!

As it turned out, my puzzle had five pieces that were necessary for the others to complete their puzzles. They each had one piece that would fit perfectly into my puzzle if we exchanged one piece. The only way to complete the six puzzles was for me to exchange one piece with each of them.

TeamPuzzlePcs

The instructor came to me after class and said, “I know you’re feeling down on yourself, but don’t. You were “setup” to fail, which actually made the exercise a successful learning experience. It didn’t matter which one of you had the ‘key’ puzzle. Any of the other five would most likely have failed also. I’ve given this exercise to hundreds of people and they have all failed.

“Before the exercise started, I told the others you had one piece of their puzzle and they had one of yours. Their task was to convince you to exchange your piece for their “bad” piece. They all failed to do that, which accomplished the second objective of the exercise—failure of each individual. Had all of you completed the puzzles, there would be no lessons-learned.

“Remember my instruction to all of you—no talking, but gestures were acceptable. I didn’t place any restrictions on the type of gestures that were acceptable. Nor did I say the team players couldn’t ask me questions. Had each team member simply asked me if they could walk around the table and exchange their “bad” piece with you, all puzzles could have been completed. You were on the hot seat today by design, but the other five will have their turn there tomorrow. Rest well tonight, son. You did exactly what I expected you to do.”

The first lesson-learned was simply being part of a team is not enough. It takes much more than that. Each member must give their best and work for the good of the team in order for the team to be successful. When one player doesn’t support the others, the entire team will likely fail.

The second lesson-learned was a good team leader looks after all team members by anticipating their needs and making sure they have all the tools necessary to complete the task at hand. Help those who are struggling is a must. You should always believe in yourself and your abilities. However, when you start thinking that you are the shining-star and your teammates are useless, your mind closes to the needs of others. Your God-given gifts no longer serve the team—you become selfish.

The third lesson-learned was to be open-minded—think outside the box and do not impose unnecessary restrictions on yourself or the team. Examine each situation and consider ALL alternatives available to complete the task. Do not limit the possibilities that can lead to success.

I failed on all counts, but I learned those three valuable lessons in the process. Since that day, I have always given my best to support the team and all my teammates. Although the team may still fail, it won’t be because I failed to give one-hundred percent of my best. Self-imposed failure is not an option!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

1 Corinthians 12:17-20 (NIV)

If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2015

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