All posts by Keith Thompson

Godliness with contentment is great gain

This is a passage in 1st Timothy 6:6. It is short, to the point and very important.

What does it mean? It means that when you do the right thing, a peace comes over you that gives you contentment. The dictionary definition of contentment is a state of happiness and satisfaction. Contrary to what you read in the news or hear out of small people looking for a sound bite, we all know what the right thing is to do. In every situation that comes up, we know in our hearts the right path and the wrong path. Its like seeing a person drop their wallet. You can take the path of searching it for money first or take the path of picking it up and taking it to the person. Simple right? Well in dealing with more serious issues in life, the right path is never cloudy, it is just us doing what is right.

The word Godliness simply means to act Godly. Be honest, straightforward, transparent, loyal, steadfast, forgiving, and consistent in the way we live our lives

In Colossians 4:6, the passages says – always let your speech be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt so that you will know how to answer everyone. When you do what is right and what you know you should do, there is a contentment that comes over you and that is what the passage means when it says, Godliness with contentment is great gain. KT

Taking your finger out of the water

There is a metaphor that has been around a long time. The imagery is a person sticking a finger in a pool of water and pulling it back out. When you pull the finger out of the water, the water just closes back up as though your finger was never there. The metaphor is meant to symbolize your life after you die and how life around you will close back up and quickly moves on.

I had a friend pass away early this summer. He was very good at his job, maybe even one of the best ever. His office was filled with awards and monuments to his success. I was visiting some friends recently at his old office and looked in his office and what I saw, broke my heart. The staff there wasn’t doing anything wrong, but they were putting all his papers in the trash and clearing out all the sales awards and mementoes of his success. The thing that stuck me standing there was how fast life moves on without us.

Clearly, his family will carry his memory close for the rest of their life, but the business world just moves on, like pulling your finger out of the water.

Another friend with our company 20 years younger than me, passed away two weeks ago. He was with his wife and children when the Lord called him in front of his family. Much like the first example, there was sadness but the world around him just quickly moved on, like pulling your finger out of the water.

My point is, make sure those you love, know it. Hug them every time you see them even if they act like they don’t want you to. I ask my granddaughters from time to time, “do you know that Papa love you?” Their answer always pings my heart. They say, “yes, because you tell us all the time.” That is what I wanted to hear and wanted to know, that they have no doubt how much I love them.

Hug those around you and tell them every chance you get that you love them. KT

Service over status – character over comfort – we over me

If you have ever wondered how to be the best version of yourself, I would suggest the following. Look for opportunities for service over status, choose character over your own comfort and make the word we, more important than the word me.

Service over status – Whatever your job or task is, take the attitude and willingness to serve, not lead. If you take this mental mindset, you will have the respect of the people around you. Lean more into the roll of the job versus your title for the job. When a person is always looking for a better status/ title, it is generally a career killer. People want to promote people who care more about the job than a new and bigger title. Throughout my life I have held many titles, but the two most dear to my heart are, husband and daddy. All the fancy titles in the world pale in comparison.

Years ago, when I was in the restaurant business, we were having some new coffee equipment installed by Standard Coffee. I got to talking with the equipment installer and about life and work. The equipment installer had the same last name as the chairman of Standard Coffee so I asked him about it. He told me he was his son. I asked him why he was installing equipment instead of other executive roles in the company. What he said, left an impression on me to this day. He said, “If I want people within the company to respect me, I need them to know I was willing to start at the bottom.” What a leadership attitude.

Character over comfort – There is a saying that is so very true. Whatever you compromise to keep you will eventually lose. You just cannot compromise integrity and expect it to not have an effect on you. When you do compromise your ethics, it peals a piece of your soul off with it. Its impossible to remain the same person after you compromised yourself for some short-term gain. If you are asked to do something unethical, and you refuse, you may lose the temporary gain but those people around you will respect you and in my humble opinion, you will come out better over time.

We over me – So much in the world today is about me. It turns my stomach to see all the self-centered, posts, blogs, news feeds, articles about people that only care about themselves. The best advice anyone can give is when you are asked “how did you do it?” is to say, “it was team effort, and we did it together.” That answer makes you look real, honest, approachable, and transparent. If you personally take all the credit, it just makes you look small.

So, look for opportunities for service over status, choose character over comfort and make the word we, more important than the word me. KT

Protecting the original

Years ago, I bought a new Chevy Tahoe and removed the original factory floor mats and put some cheap rubber ones in their place. I put the factory floor mats on a shelve to save them and keep them like new. I had that Tahoe for about eight years and after about year three, I looked at those cheap rubber floor mats and ask myself, “why am I saving the factory floor mats for the next owner?” I decided that if anyone was going to ruin the nice factory floor mats it should be me. I threw those rubber ones in the trash and put in those original mats and drove the Tahoe like that for the next five years.

Do you remember those plastic covers some people put on their couch and chair to protect it? I was over at a friend’s house and his mother had those squeaky cold plastic covers on her couch. Who was she saving the couch for? Those things were awful.

My point is, in life we sometimes want to save the best things for another time. What if another time never comes? What if the Lord calls you home before you got the chance to use that fine china or the sterling silver flatware or the fancy drinking glasses? What if you never got another change to wear that suit or that dress or those shoes?

My opinion is to use it now while you can and thoroughly enjoy it. Wear it out from the inside so it will be no good for someone else. Put holes in those special shoes, use that fancy room in the house, drive that car, go say hello to that neighbor, call that family member and the list could go on for pages. Get all the joy from it because that someday you are waiting for, may never come. KT

Being around the right people

I heard a guy say many years ago that the person you will be in five years will depend on the people you associate with and the books you read. The more I think about this statement the more I believe it is true. If you spend your time only around small minded people who talk about other people, you will become a small minded person that talks about other people. If you are around people with dreams, desires, and goals, you will become a person with dreams, desires, and goals.

In society today many people may not have the opportunity to be around people of influence, so they must find that association another way. Through the books they read. People learn the most by the people they associate with, but the second greatest influence is the books you read.

I get a chuckle when I think about how I learned to sell hotels. It was 1990 and the company I joined probably let me join just to prove the point that not everyone can sell a hotel. Ha. They thought you had to have education, contacts, experience and know the business. Well, that’s wrong.  What you needed was the desire. The company I joined didn’t have some training program that developed the broker. No sir. They had a metal two door file cabinet with seven listings in it. My training program consisted of the managing partner taking me over to that metal file cabinet and opening the doors and saying, “there it is, if you can learn it, great, if not, that’s ok too.” Then he walked away. You might think I am kidding but I am not. That was literally it. The point is, I learned the business by being around other hotel brokers and listening to them talk and watching what they did. That was the greatest teacher I could have had.

We often give our children guidelines that we don’t personally follow. We as parents want our children to be around good kids, wholesome kids, kids with manners, kids that plan on college, kids that have been raised well etc. and the list could go on for pages. We seem to want and even possibly demand these type friends for our children, yet many times we don’t look for these same qualities in our friends.

Trust me when I say, it’s likely you will be in five years much like the people you most associate with. Dreams, visions, and goals are most influenced by the people you are around.

Over my years I have hired many hotel brokers, and some have failed. Possibly it’s because I tried too hard to coddle them and train them when what I should have done was open the metal file cabinet and patted them on the back and walked away. Ha. KT