The Twelve Days of Christmas

Gift Ideas for Yourself and Others

On the First Day: Be a player! Players determine the outcome of the game while fans just pay to watch others determine the outcome. Set your goals for 2011 with clarity; pursue them with a burning desire, not for riches, but for purpose. “Competitive Greatness is the ability to be your best when your best is needed.” – Coach John Wooden

Second Day: Concentrate on character, not reputation. Reputation is what other people think of us and since we can’t control what others think, why are we concerned about our reputation? Be mindful of your reputation but put effort toward building your character.

Third Day: Practice the principle of cooperation. It is not who is right, but what is right. Leave your ego at the door when dealing with people and seek understanding and truth. A draft horse can pull between 7,000 and 10,000 pounds, but when teamed together they are able to pull up to 25,000 pounds. That’s the synergy of cooperation.

Fourth Day: Choose faith over fear. The definition of faith and fear is the same thing – it’s how we view our future – but one is positive, the other is negative. You are intended to have faith, but most view their future through the lens of fear and therefore never reach their true destiny.

Fifth Day: Get courage. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the ability to act with faith in the face of fear. Courage is not just a virtue; it is the catalyst of all the virtues.

Sixth Day: When trying to determine direction, who to trust or the next decision, use these virtues. Is it true, noble, right, pure, admirable and lovely? They are a compass for charting your course.

Seventh Day: Make the trip from your heart to your head. This is the longest trip you will ever take, but one that you must take every day in order to ensure you stay on the right course. Don’t be like the sailboat in the ocean without a rudder being blown by the wind; use the rudder of your mind to make the circumstances of life work for you rather than against you.

Eighth Day: Make today a masterpiece. “If you give up on your dream, your dream will quit on you,” said Coach Wooden. Practice does not make perfect – only perfect practice makes perfect performance. You must possess the discipline to practice perfectly the things that will add value to your future. Seek wisdom and your experiences will be far more successful.

Ninth Day: Be a part of the solution not the problem. Every day you either provide contribution or destruction to each situation. To say you care and do nothing is to not care at all. You can do nothing about yesterday and the only way to improve tomorrow is to focus on today. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, but today is a gift.”

Tenth Day: Be content. Contentment is a state of mind, of being hungry and satisfied simultaneously. Learn to act better than you feel, refuse to compare yourself to others, accept people where they are, accept things the way they are instead of the way you want them to be, and have a thriving commitment to be the absolute best you can be. Become the person you want everyone else to be.

Eleventh Day: Recognize that there are two wolves that live inside of you. One is called HATE and stands for all things negative; the other is called LOVE and stands for things positive. These two wolves fight viscously inside you every day; the one that wins is the one you feed. Choose wisely; you are the final vote for all decisions in your life.

Twelfth Day: Realize that true tolerance is the ability to accept and respect others who believe differently than you. It doesn’t mean changing what you believe in. So I would be remiss if I didn’t say what I believe, “Don’t take Christ out of Christmas.” Our country was founded on Christian principles and the greatest of those principles is FREEDOM. So in the true spirit of tolerance and respect, accept it rather than change it.

Christmas gift suggesions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect. – Oren Arnold

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