Did You Know That It Really Wasn’t Curiosity That Killed the Cat?

It Was Worry, Not Curiosity, That Did the Poor Cat In

Last week I wrote about the why question and it not being asked enough. It seems to me, that as a society we’ve quit asking why. To much of the time we just drift through life accepting things at face value.

What happened to our curiosity?

Could it be that the phrase ‘Curiosity Killed the Cat’ is partly responsible for this loss? This saying makes curiosity sound pretty scary. Like, being curious could be life threating. Not asking questions leads to our blindly following along like a herd of sheep.

This zombie like meandering through life may seem easier, but it leads to nowhere in particular. If we’re not careful we might blindly walk off the edge of a cliff.

After a little research I found out that the saying ‘Curiosity Killed the Cat’ started out with a completely different meaning. It started out ‘care killed the cat’ in the late 1500’s in a Ben Jonson play. In this case ‘care’ means ‘worry’ or ‘sorrow’. Now were getting somewhere. Worrying rather than curiosity is certainly something that doesn’t add anything to life. The Bible is full of scriptures showing us to not worrying.

Learning leads to less worry.

Early in life I had big plans, when they didn’t work out…I became zombie like…just drifting through life. I gave up and gave in. That’s when God got my attention with a board upside the head. I woke up and realized it was up to me and I could do something about it.

I have control over my choices and decisions.

Since then, I’ve been reinvigorated in my curiosity. I ask why, I read, I learn, I think, I’ve surrounded myself with other curious people wanting more out of life than just floating along.

One of the ways that I’m learning is going through the Enneagram course of Donald Miller’s, Business Made Simple online learning. The Enneagram is an in-depth personality typing system. There are nine basic personality types.

  1. Perfectionist
  2. Helper
  3. Performer
  4. Romantic
  5. Investigator
  6. Loyalist
  7. Enthusiast
  8. Challenger
  9. Peacemaker

This system helps us to become more aware of who we are and why we naturally do things the way we do. Like the BMSU Mission Statement course my friend Shep and I are going through the Enneagram course together. We’re a few weeks in and I’m curious about what personality type I am. (I think I already know)

Remember it wasn’t curiosity that killed the cat…it was worry

Focus is Hard When There’s No Revenue

How to Determine When to Stop or Keep Going

What the heck am I supposed to be doing? Should I quit spending time trying to develop a coaching/consulting business? When there’s no revenue generated from it, the time spent working on it, takes time away from the current revenue generating construction.

I knew from researching, that it would take some time to develop this new business. I’ve been posting a weekly solution every week for almost four and a half years, that’s over 230 posts. During that time, I have attracted less than forty subscribers. Not to mention there is almost no interaction with the few subscribers that I have.

This raises questions. Is the content relative to our target audience? Maybe the low connection is a lack of writing ability? I started as a builder after all. Maybe it’s just a matter of how busy and overwhelmed everyone is? Maybe this isn’t the best format to reach them?

Uncertainty results in inaction.

I’ve always been a cautious person. I tend to overthink and analyze things to death. This process often leads to slow or no action. As I have considered whether to continue with the coaching/consulting, I’ve come to some conclusion. This was reached in part thanks to my wonderful Kingdom Builders Mastermind group and Andy Andrews book, The Travelers Gift, The Seven Decisions for Personal Success.

I include these seven decisions as part of my daily routine. After reviewing the input from the mastermind group, I realized these Seven Decisions paralleled the groups input and what I already knew.

Here are those Seven Decisions and how they pertain to this decision:

The Responsible Decision

My success or failure is up to me. Where I am is no one’s fault but mine. Where I end up is no one’s fault but mine. I have control over what I will do and how I will move forward. My past cannot be changed. My future is my responsibility. The buck stops here.

The Certain Decision

This is a tough one for me. I have spent too much time second guessing myself. My lack of certainty makes moving forward hard. How do I know if this is the right thing to do? I know this, because God has given me the knowledge of the need, the skills and experience to help others find solutions and a passionate heart for this task. I have a decided heart.

The Compassionate Decision

Forgiveness has never been much of a problem for me, as it relates to others. I forgive easily which often results in people taking advantage of me. Where forgiveness is an issue…is forgiving myself. I get stuck in the rut of replaying all my mistakes, failures or lack of achievements. I can’t let my past dictate my future. I will greet each day with a forgiving spirt. I will forgive myself.

The Guided Decision

When wondering what to do I seek direction from God and His Word, my friends and family, books, podcasts, blogs, etc. I’m constantly searching for wisdom. Too much of the time I’m seeking wisdom and not putting it into action. I’m looking forward to honest feedback from the mastermind group. I will seek wisdom.

The Joyful Decision

My attitude is a choice. How I respond or react to a situation is a choice. These choices affect my outlook. I can approach things with a discouraged, depressed, ungrateful heart. Or I can remind myself how fortunate and blessed I am to have been given the insight and skills needed to lead others in way to build better businesses, construction projects and lives. I will choose to be happy.

The Active Decision

Action is out of character for me. Concern that something done wrong will cause problems, leads to inaction. This inaction leads to nothing being done. Nothing being done helps no one. God is waiting for me to do something. Slow decisions lead to failure. Fear of failure keeps me from action. Just because a decision is made doesn’t mean it’s permanent. Failure only exists for the person who quits. I will not quit. I am a person of action.

The Persistent Decision

Not quitting or giving up is the cornerstone to these decisions. It is the one decision, if removed, causes the whole thing to crumble. Many times, I’m tempted to quit. By persisting, my outcome, my success, is assured. In Jeremiah, God says, “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” Failure only happens if I quit…I will not quit. I will persist without exception.

After running my coaching/consulting question through the filter of these Seven Decisions, I’ve determined that I will keep going.

What exactly this will turn out to be, remains to be seen. I want to know now, exactly what it’s is going to be, down to the smallest detail. I need to shift my focus from so far out, to the first next step. Writing this week’s solution is that first next step. We’ll give some thought to how to reach out to those who would benefit from our help in finding their solutions and take the first next step.

Every Minute of Every Day We Make One Decision After Another

 

It’s Like Playing A Non-Stop Game of Would You Rather

Most everyone is familiar with the game “Would You Rather.” This is a game in which the players are asked questions that compare two different scenarios and are asked to choose which of the two they would rather do. These questions can vary from simple to the complicated.


Would you rather…

  • Spend a day in the Sahara Desert or Spend a day at the North Pole

 

  • Have the ability to fly or Be invisible
  • End hunger or End hatred

 

This game isn’t any different than everyday life. We are faced with choices every minute of every day. Some of these choices are small and simple, some are important and carry major consequences.


Would I rather…

  • Eat this or Eat that
  • Wear this or Wear that
  • Drive this route or Drive that route
  • Go in debt to buy a new car or Save my money and drive something older
  • Take this job that pays well but requires me to sacrifice my morals or Take that job that pays considerably less but allows me to be true to my principles


This past week an either-or situation was in the forefront of my decision making and was a part of multiple conversations.


I was faced with a situation of needing to keep a construction project moving forward or doing proposals that customers were eagerly waiting for. Not to mention all the other everyday business responsibilities of running a company.


The construction project was behind schedule due to weather delays and next week’s forecast showed the possibility of more rain. The subcontractor was behind on other projects of his own due to the weather. The sub said he could get there but was going to be shorthanded.

 

The “would you rather” question arose for me when he jokingly suggested I come on site and help. I could dust off my tool belt and go spend a couple of days swinging a hammer or I could work on the things I had already scheduled to do.


The sub was surprised when I showed up with my tool belt on.


Was it the right decision? I think so, other than being a little sore after framing for a couple of days, we moved the project forward and this was important.

 

Every day we are confronted with hundreds of these choices some big and some small. It’s easy for some of us to spend more time than we should when making decisions, we want to make the best ones. Sometimes when spending too much time trying to make the right one, we have inadvertently made the wrong one.


Little decisions shouldn’t require too much contemplation. Bigger more important ones are a different story. The important thing is to know yourself. Know what you need to make the best decision possible and have those tools in place when you make that next big decision.


One of the best toolboxes I have found for being prepared to make decisions is Andy Andrews’ book “The Traveler’s Gift. In this book Andy gives seven life principles that successful people throughout history implemented at times when they were making crucial decisions.


Would you rather…
Know how to make better decisions? or Guess at making decisions and take a chance?

 

The Cost of Change Can Be More Than Time and Money

It Can Be Reputation and Loyalty, and To Me These Are More Important

Change happens for all kinds of reasons, some needed, some not. Some people love change, it excites them. These people are the ones pushing the envelope and coming up with new ways of doing things. Others on the opposite side never want to change anything. It’s scary to change. What if it doesn’t work? It’s warm and comfortable a lot like being in the bottom of a rut. It’s been said that a rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out.

So, which of these positions should a business take?

I think it depends on the situation, the people or person and the reason(s). As is the case most times, the right answer is somewhere in the middle.

Let me preface this next portion with the fact that I have been a longtime supporter and user of Pella products, for more than 30 years. I have enthusiastically advocated and installed their products throughout that time.

I AM NOW RETHINKING THIS. I was informed yesterday of some product changes that have been implemented at Pella and one of those changes may just be the straw that will break this camel’s back.

Pella has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation. (A part of what gained my admiration and loyalty.) One of these innovations is…was…one of my favorite products. Double or single hung windows with blinds or shades behind a removable pane of glass has been discontinued. This would have been the window I would have recommended above all others, short of some specific design parameters. This is the very window that I planned to put in my home in the next few years. I never imagined that this window would not be available.

I don’t profess to be a Pella historical authority, but I do remember some things that happened in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s. This is not about specific times or details, but about a decided trajectory that began and seems to be continuing.

Prior to that point customers would talk about the exceptional quality of Pella windows. The first straw was the question that I began getting about the ProLine Series “builder’s” windows. People wondered why Pella was making a lower quality builder’s window. It seemed to be counter to what Pella stood for. I assured them the quality was as good as ever, there were just less options and fixed sizes in this series.

The next straw came with the introduction of vinyl windows. More questions about what was going on. Why is Pella selling “cheap vinyl windows”? I would tell people that it was just a way to give the public more options. It was a way of helping more people and Pella quality was still available in the wood windows.

Then the next straw came. It was when there began to be problems with the bottom sash of the ProLine casement windows rotting. I continued to defend them. This was a fluke…just some bad sealant on one select style in one series. The straws continued to come, and I continued to defend Pella and my supplier. The service and support were great. We would do what was needed to help them through this freak incident.

Now, full circle back to yesterday’s straw. I can’t say why Pella made this change to no longer offer shades between the glass in hung windows. I assume it was monetary as I presume all these decisions were. I don’t have any of Pella’s internal decision-making criteria, but they are a company that needs and deserves to make a profit.

What Pella needs to remember is that dollars are certificates of appreciation and consider that my appreciation may go somewhere else.

I’m sure that as big a company as Pella is that they won’t even notice when I’m gone. What they may notice is the size of the snowball when more and more contractors and customers do the same.

These types of changes have become too common place over the last 20 – 30 years. Too many times companies have chosen to sell more for less rather than seeking to provide high quality at a high price. There’s nothing wrong with buying inexpensive projects for less. It’s about deciding who you want to be and who you want to serve.

Pella’s decisions are theirs just as my decisions are mine.

We Can Choose to Be Thankful

 

 

 

 

But It’s Up to Us to Decide

Yesterday was the Thanksgiving holiday for US. This brings the topic of giving thanks to the forefront of our thoughts. These discussions are every where and for a variety of reasons. Some are as simple as to remind us to be thankful. Some are using this as a marketing plan.

I received a lot of different Thanksgiving themed emails over the last week. Many had fantastic thanks giving messages. One was from one of my favorite authors, Andy Andrews. It was his weekly podcast titled, “A Thanksgiving State of Mind”. In this podcast Andy shares a story about finding thankfulness when you’ve lost your grateful spirit.

My fondness for Andy started with the reading of his book, “The Traveler’s Gift”. This book is about how one man’s choices made the difference between success and failure. I read it a little under six years ago while recovering from a concussion. I attribute much of my increased level of giving thanks to the connection I found with this story and my injury. It gave me a new appreciation for the gift of life that we have been given. Much of this improved awareness I can attribute to the “Seven Decisions” in the “Traveler’s Gift”.

 

 

Being THANKFUL is a CHOICE we make. We can DECIDE how we are going to live.

 

 

The Thanksgiving holiday in the United States started being officially celebrated in 1789, as proclaimed by George Washington. It was to commemorate the Pilgrims giving thanks for the harvest in 1621. We all have things to be thankful for. We just need to slow down long enough to think about it and to remember.

 


Why is it important to give thanks? – If we are giving thanks, we are acknowledging that there is someone to give thanks to. This acknowledgement is critical to our living a well-focused life. This is the understanding that everything we have and everything that we are comes from God.

 

Kenneth Copeland lists 5 benefits of thanks giving as:

  1. Thanksgiving brings God on the scene – Entering into thanksgiving you invite God’s presence into your life.
  2. Thanksgiving puts challenges in perspective – It reminds us of how powerful God is.
  3. Thanksgiving focuses your mind on the right subject – It helps us refocus our attention on the One who is greater than every challenge.
  4. Thanksgiving strengthens your faith – It reminds us of all that God has done and all that He will do.
  5. Thanksgiving is a weapon against the enemy’s maneuvers – When giving God praise our enemies will be turned back.

We have the “super-power” of choice at our discretion. We can choose to be THANKFUL or not. By choosing to GIVE THANKS we unleash God’s benefits in our lives and to all of those we connect with.


I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that you will remember to give thanks all year long.