Branch: (n) a part of a tree that grows out from the trunk

Over the years I have had many people come to me seeking counsel and advice. Of course, what they’re looking for is a combination of a sooth-sayer, a prophet and someone who has just returned from picking God’s brain.Dictionary B

And unfortunately, there are those folks who will connote that they have a pulse on your situation, and therefore privy to your marching orders.

One of the more popular assertions? Branch out.

In other words:

  • Follow your dreams.
  • Put all of your hopes on 7 on the roulette wheel.
  • Try new things.
  • Experiment
  • Be bold.

That kind of dime-store intuition may get applause on a TV talk show, but when applied in normal everyday life, often leaves believers devastated in disappointment.

Why? Because no one knows your true aptitude, attitude, potential, talent or perseverance. They’re just hoping you get lucky.

Of course, most people don’t. This is why state lotteries work–because most tickets don’t win.

Likewise, the reason the majority of us do not achieve peace of mind, financial success and personal satisfaction is that branching out and trying fresh ideas rarely works.

What does work is pretty simple:

1. What am I doing that works?

2. Since it works, how can I do more of it?

3. Then, how can I do it better so it works even more often?

This information is general, but true.

Anything that is an adventure has risk, and therefore, more than likely will fail.

But if you have something that has proven to be profitable, then just find more opportunities to do that same thing in varied ways.

So be careful.

What sounds good in an auditorium with a large crowd of people has to be followed up by you–with a cup of coffee and determination.


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Bible: (n) the Christian scriptures, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.

Dictionary B

A friend of mine bought me a knife.

I found it unusual because it was in a sheath. I had never owned such a weapon.

I took it out of its case, and in doing so, removed it so quickly that I sliced my finger on the blade.

It hurt.

The knife was too sharp.

I stuck it back in its sheath, set it to the side, and didn’t think much more about it.

A few weeks later, my friend asked me how I liked my knife. I decided to be honest and tell him it was just too sharp for me to use–that I was afraid I would slice myself every time I handled it.

He explained that I needed to break it in–that the blade would become less dangerous as I put it to use and found practical ways to dull the blade, while making it more effective for common duties.

I decided to take his advice.

In no time at all, that knife, which had been too sharp to even remove from its protective casing, became very valuable. I used it for everything from slicing tomatoes to shaving twigs off a branch.

I liked my knife.

Even though it was too sharp at first, I gradually learned to use it in such a way that it lost some of its edginess and became more pliable.

And so it is with the Bible.

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