First In Line

We all experience the first-day jitters.

First time speaking in front of an audience.
First day of a new school year.
First time getting in the game.
First date.

The first day of anything new can make us feel all the things.

We’re not different than anyone else. We’re human.

Embrace being nervous and get excited about what could come of it.

Nothing great happens until we experience it firsthand.

First In Line2022-10-17T20:00:04-04:00

Ageless Wonder

Age is just a number. It’s meaningless.

If we believe that then we can push ourselves to the limits every day.

We can expand our minds.

We can become who we’ve always wanted to be.

It takes hard work, determination, grit, and focus.

It’s not a number on the calendar that is stopping us.

It’s ourselves.

But we can push through, we can achieve, and we can thrive.

We just have to get started.

And show up each day.

Age doesn’t determine that.

We do.

Ageless Wonder2022-10-17T11:20:32-04:00

Flower Power

Take a seed out of any food we are eating and place it on the table.

Don’t do anything to it and let it sit there for a few weeks.

Do you know what happens?

Almost nothing.

Do you know why? Because there needs to be some action to create change. There needs to be some focused effort for growth to take place.

That seed is a metaphor for every idea we have in our heads that we want to pursue but we don’t.

It just sits there. It toys with us. It slowly dies each day.

But what happens when put the tiniest amount of effort toward that seed?

If it’s laid inside a wet paper towel it’ll start to sprout.

If it’s buried in some soil it could plant some roots.

If it’s placed outside in the sun it might start flowering soon enough…Just like our ideas.

They just need a little love. A little attention. A little light to be shined upon them.

And then, in time, they can become something we never could quite fathom.

They blossom into the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen.

It’s real. It’s spectacular. It’s ours.

We’ve created it and it should give us the courage to create again.

One small step at a time is all it takes.

But we have to take the first step otherwise we might be wondering if this thing will ever turn into anything special.

It will.

We just have to give it a chance to grow.

Flower Power2022-10-17T11:16:20-04:00

We’re Talking About Practice

I want to talk about practice. Not the game, not the game we all love but practice.

Practice can be anything preparing us for the “game”. Thinking, reading, studying, and testing.

Getting uncomfortable.

Trying to imagine situations and getting ahead of them.

In practice, we break down a specific area and piece them together. We work on one aspect hard and then move on to another. There are also times when practice becomes a simulation of sorts. A run-through of an event that hasn’t taken place.

In the game, far too often we “wing it”. We show up unprepared for the conversations or the action we need to perform.

We think that just being there is enough. It’s not.

Being thoughtful about where we want to go can be the guidebook to prepare us for that journey. It can influence the things we do leading up to and during any situation.

But we have to be willing to put in the work. That’s how we make things feel fluid and easy. It’s all the hours of preparation prior to the game.

That preparation sets us up for success. That leads us to make better decisions at the moment.

Because we’ve already been preparing long before the moment arrived.

We’re Talking About Practice2022-10-16T17:00:38-04:00

Balance Beam

Sometimes agendas and itineraries are important.

Structured, punctual, and organized. Knowing where we are headed and what we are doing. It becomes necessary in our life, at times.

But so does discovery and veering off course. So does spontaneously making a decision and living with the consequences. We can’t script every aspect of our lives.

Routines and calendars and schedules can box us into a corner. They can limit us to explore the far edges we haven’t considered. We can become frustrated.

We haven’t figured it all out yet. We still have room left to explore.

Let’s not give up on reaching outside our comfort zones.

That’s how innovation happens.

It’s where new ideas form.

It’s where we find new life.

Sometimes it’s necessary to calculate every minute but it can be just as important to wander off the path with no sense of time or direction, as well.

We need to give ourselves both.

It’ll give balance to our complex and uncertain lives.

Balance Beam2022-10-09T20:44:19-04:00

Combining Resources

The best relationships in life have one clear thing in common.

There is a complimentary toolset that each person brings on the journey.

No one person is better than the other. Sometimes the tools one person has will be used and other times it’ll be the opposite. Oftentimes, the tools will work together to create something useful and generous.

If we think about relationships this way and work to keep them balanced then we’ll be better served as we deepen the connection and forge ahead.

We can certainly take our toolset and go along the journey alone but that doesn’t appear to make for the most fun and exciting adventure.

Those moments need to be shared and we should strive often to seek out those people to share them with.

It’ll make the trip that much more enjoyable.

Combining Resources2022-10-09T20:10:22-04:00

Continuous Effort

We should never beat ourselves up for trying. That becomes futile.

We should be kind and generous to ourselves.

We should be okay will failing spectacularly.

We should be accepting of our faults.

Then, we should start again.

Continuous Effort2022-10-09T19:47:00-04:00

Passion Bucket

If you’ve said to yourself “I don’t know what I’m passionate about” then you’re in luck.

You should consider yourself grateful.

Because now you get to explore. You get to tinker. You get to try things. You get to figure it out.

You start to rule out things you don’t like and keep putting energy into the stuff you do.

When we don’t have anything we are truly passionate about it gives us agency to lean into new experiences and try to discover what we may like.

It all comes down to a choice. A choice to choose a small amount of discomfort in order to discover new things.

Things we might become insanely passionate about.

Don’t give up because you haven’t found your passion yet.

That’s the exciting part of the journey.

Keep searching.

Passion Bucket2022-10-07T20:01:59-04:00

Sleeping Giant

Growth mostly happens when we’re alone, in the darkness of our minds, and the depths of our thoughts.

It’s in the quiet moments when no one is around that we are growing stronger and more confident with who we are.

Being alone can be a blessing. It’s something we should strive for in the busyness of life.

The quiet moments open our minds to explore where we’ve been and where we are now.

It’s in those moments that we can believe in our mission and trust in the effort we are putting forth.

Seek out the quiet.

It’ll shine a light in the darkness and sound the alarm on the areas we still need to work on.

That’s the only way we can truly expect to know if we’ve grown or not.

Sleeping Giant2022-10-07T19:59:35-04:00

Early Bird Special

If you haven’t gotten to wake up early recently, before the sun rises and the bustle of the day begins, then I’d encourage it.

It’s serene. It’s quiet. There is a peacefulness about it.

We rarely get to be with our thoughts or watch the beauty and awe of a sunrise. By letting the energy flow into us we can calmly accept the day ahead with gratitude.

The more we sit and think, the more we discover ourselves and what we want out of life.

Take some time this week to take in the sunrise and be calm.

Be still.

That energy will carry with you throughout your entire day.

Early Bird Special2022-10-07T19:56:58-04:00

The Greatest Gift

We’ve all had more “failed” relationships than we can count.

Friendships are no longer intact.

Business partnerships split.

Divorce and Break-ups.

It’s happened throughout our lives and emotionally those take a toll on us.

But, there is a silver lining to all of it.

If we are willing we can gain a positive perspective and take away gifts.

Although those relationships have soured, the gifts that have come out of them might make a world of difference in our future.

We are more thoughtful about what we want and don’t settle for mediocrity any longer.
We are more decisive about our actions and don’t waiver.
We are more grateful for the opportunities that arose out of the ashes.

I’ve had many gifts that have come out of relationships that haven’t worked out.

The greatest of all is my son.

The Greatest Gift2022-09-20T20:14:46-04:00

Party of Two

What is it that makes us feel so sure about some people while others are hard to figure out and they make it difficult for us to bring them into our circle?

It’s about showing up.

It’s showing up with energy and attention.
It’s showing up when they know we need them.
It’s showing up when it’s not convenient.
It’s showing up with acceptance and an open mind.
It’s sometimes showing up and being silent.

It’s trust and respect at its core.

It’s understanding that it’s mutually beneficial for both parties.
It can’t always be one-sided.

Party of Two2022-09-20T20:05:34-04:00

A Moment In Time

How incredible is life?

In an instant, without any warning, our life can be altered in the most magical way by the most magical people.

People that, just a few seconds ago, didn’t exist to us. We had no idea who they were.

But, when we felt their energy, we knew it was something special.

We knew our life had changed forever.

We never know when it might happen but it’s incredible when it does.

We should all be grateful for those moments and look out for them more often.

Because they end up shaping the rest of our lives in a profound way.

A Moment In Time2022-09-20T19:50:58-04:00

Parental Intervention

Kids need some intervention but what would happen if we just got out of the way most of the time?

I think they’d do just fine.

We are not perfect and we have so many limiting beliefs or blindspots that we potentially start exposing them to those. It can become detrimental.

Let them figure it out themselves. Let them problem solve. Let them self-regulate.

Let them be themselves.

We can be a coach and talk through what they are going through but we don’t necessarily have to give them all of the answers. We don’t have to tell them exactly what to do.

Otherwise, we can’t blame them when they are older and don’t turn out to be upstanding, kind, and generous adults.

They were just doing what they were told.

Parental Intervention2022-09-20T19:45:59-04:00

Stepping Stones

It’s funny when we reflect back on our past and almost don’t recognize the person we used to be.

It should give us confidence that whatever we are going through today can be overcome and used as a stepping stone to a better future.

Embrace the suck, it won’t always be this way.

Stepping Stones2022-09-20T19:35:42-04:00

Conquering Fools

There comes a point where all of us have to make a choice in life.

Do we choose to keep searching for “better”, for a perceived perfect, or do we make a decision to be happy with what we have in front of us?

That’s a choice that is hard for many to make because society always talks about striving for more and better. To keep improving, advancing, and conquering.

What is often missed is that we can conquer as a team and still advance toward a pursuit of better, if we’d like.

We don’t have to do it alone.

Building a life with someone is a journey in itself. There will be highs and lows, constantly, but there will also be support, trust, and respect.

We will be able to communicate and game-plan together. We can make each other better.

So, as we nitpick every nuance and every “red flag” and decide which life path we should choose, remember this…Life is to be lived. It shouldn’t be perfect.

We aren’t perfect. And neither is anyone else.

But together, we can become the best versions of ourselves. We can raise the level of our skills together.

We can have someone volley the ball back to us and keep us on our toes, moving and growing.

That appears like a much better alternative than hitting the perfect shot with no one on the other side returning serve.

I know which game I’d rather play.

Conquering Fools2022-09-20T19:33:00-04:00

Smells Like Potential

Potential The inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or future success.

When we were told as kids, “You have potential”, it meant that we had a lot of opportunities to grow into something more than we were at that time.

However, I wish we interpreted it as the ability to step outside of the box we were in, shake it up a bit, turn it upside down, and then see what happens. I wish we were told that we control our “potential” by prodding and poking our belief systems.

We develop beliefs about all types of things from the time we are young but if we are not careful we start to become those beliefs, even if they are peppered with unfounded information and half-truths.

We have to battle-test our own beliefs and make sure they are not claims we’ve just gone with because they’ve been with us for so long. Because they feel comfortable and make sense to us.

We have to have the courage to at least try. Otherwise, we’ll only be able to stretch as far as those beliefs allow us to go.

We thought differently back then. We observed differently. Our environment was different.

So why hang on to the old belief systems?

We have the potential to change our beliefs if we give ourselves the opportunity to get outside that box that society likes to put us in.

The one that we have kindly accepted all of these years without question.

Smells Like Potential2022-09-10T17:37:03-04:00

Homeward Bound

Just because we’re different doesn’t mean we’re wrong.

Chances are as we are trying to live our best life we’ll be exploring new ideas and it may waiver from what we’re known for.

Keep going.

We are always going to be misunderstood early on as we adapt and change. We’ll be questioned and judged. We’ll be ridiculed.

But we’ll attract the right kind of energy from the right kind of people.

Our being different will be seen as a special gift.

We’ll be welcomed and supported.

We’ll find our home again.

Homeward Bound2022-09-10T17:30:13-04:00

Tidy Up Our Room

Have you ever looked at a 10-year olds room? Do you remember yours at that age?

It’s messy. It’s sloppy. It’s disorganized. It can be disgusting.

Because they are 10. They have bigger priorities than keeping their room tidy.

As we age, we can become very buttoned up. We make sure we are clean and orderly. We want to look the part to the world. Heck, some of us even clean their house prior to a cleaning company coming in to do it.

To the outside world, we have it all together.

But, inside we can be messy, sloppy, and disorganized. We can be dealing with a lot of things that we are afraid to share with the world. We can be making decisions that are leading us down the wrong path.

We have to pause and reflect.

Why are we neglecting ourselves in order to be perceived a certain way?

Why are we unwilling to realize we have some shit going on that we have to deal with?

When are we going to realize we have to clean up our room?

We may have taken it for granted in the past but now it must become our #1 priority.

Tidy Up Our Room2022-10-02T17:37:35-04:00

Secret Ingredient

There are many ingredients that go into building a foundation for a happy life.

One of those must be living in the now. Living in the present. Not worrying about moments past or moments promised.

It’s all about now.

What are we doing to squeeze every ounce out of this moment?

Secret Ingredient2022-09-10T17:26:59-04:00

Effortless Energy

Our effort is the telltale sign that we care.

When we put the effort, into anything, it proves that we are committed to this thing.

This purpose, this relationship, this mindset, this pursuit of happiness.

If we are questioning whether we care, all we have to do is look at our effort.

It tells us everything we need to know about who or what we prioritize in our life.

Because the most important things become effortless to put our energy into.

Effortless Energy2022-09-10T17:14:38-04:00

The Forked Road

Life has many small forks in the path. We never can know which direction will lead to which future state so we have to rely on the energy we feel, the knowledge we have, and the intuition that has guided us before.

We have to rely on our “in the moment” decision-making and not hesitate when the answer is clearly in front of us.

We have to have confidence and conviction that this is the right thing to do even when the butterflies are sending our body into an unknown spiral of emotions.

That’s the feeling we want to have.

It helps us know it’s the right one.

It helps us trust the direction the compass is steering us.

The decision isn’t that hard anymore.

The fork in the road becomes much clearer to navigate.

The Forked Road2022-09-10T17:08:42-04:00

Big Picture

We can’t see the forest through the trees. We also don’t know how big it is. Are we standing in someone’s one-acre backyard or in the Amazon rainforest?

Oftentimes, our problems can get pushed to the side and avoided for a short time but if they go unresolved they can resurface and weigh us down creating a bigger burden than if we addressed them head-on.

When problems or feelings arise, zoom out. Look at the big picture. Look at it from different angles. Look at what happens if we solve it now versus pushing it off.

We have to have the courage to get out of the shadows and expose ourselves to what’s happening.

It might be one of the only ways we can free ourselves.

Big Picture2022-09-10T16:54:15-04:00

Valuable Discovery

If we haven’t defined what “happiness” means to us then how can we be sure we are making the right choices to lead us to a happier life?

Happiness is the result of consistent decisions that are aligned with our virtues, values, and vision for our life.

Seeking happiness is irrelevant if we don’t have a clearer direction on which way to go.

If we are looking for a place to start that might not be a bad first step.

Valuable Discovery2022-09-10T16:12:07-04:00

Missing Opportunity

Opportunities surface in strange ways and unexpected places. They can surprise us.

We are going along fine and then we are hit with a rush of emotion, excitement, and potential. We have a chance to act on it.

But sometimes we don’t. We must understand why?

Why would we pass it up? What harm could come out of pursuing it? Why do we feel we are not worthy enough to test this new endeavor?

Sometimes the questions are easier to ask than they are to answer. But the answers are in there if we are willing to sit with them.

We must be holding onto what makes us feel unworthy of the pursuit.

Dig for it.

Find it.

Let it surface.

Expose it for what it is and uncover the root cause of how it got there.

We may not resolve it right away but at least we can face it head-on. We create an open dialogue with ourselves.

We give ourselves the opportunity to grow.

We give ourselves a chance when the next moment arises.

Because it might turn out to be something that stops us in our tracks, makes us turn around, and head us in a new direction we never would’ve imagined.

Missing Opportunity2022-09-10T16:04:40-04:00

Soul Mates

Surround ourselves with people who when we look in their eyes there is a fire that projects back into our soul.

It may sound hokey but we’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives. There is this energy, this aura, this force that surrounds them. We know it’s different than most people we encounter.

When we find these people we have to embrace them and bring them into our circle.

We need that energy as we can’t do life alone.

Community is a vital part of a happy life and we shouldn’t want it any other way.

Soul Mates2022-09-10T15:48:42-04:00

Tempus Fugit

As we are reading this, time is evaporating. Not nearly at the speed it appears it has been going as the present time always feels slower.

When we peek into the past it feels like time has moved at hyperspeed.

But, then again, the moment we are in now will become that blurred memory soon enough.

We can’t take for granted what we have right in front of us. All of the opportunities are at our fingertips.

Some are easy, low-hanging fruit while others possess a much larger barrier to scale.

Decisions take time but so do indecisions.

Just start leaning in and enjoy the unknown adventure ahead.

Remember, time flies.

Tempus Fugit2022-09-10T15:32:05-04:00

The G.O.A.T.

The greats aren’t great because they were born great.

They are great because they get up, every day, determined to make a difference in their lives.

They made something out of what they had.

The cool part is we have the same opportunity to become great at something, too.

It takes showing up consistently, dedicating the time and energy, accepting failure, recalibrating our minds, focusing, and maybe even enduring some pain.

It’s up to each and every one of us to be our own level of great.

We just have to be willing to make the commitment.

The G.O.A.T.2022-09-10T15:23:09-04:00

Define Happiness

If we haven’t defined what “happiness” means to us then how can we be sure we are making the right choices to lead us to a happier life?

Happiness is the result of consistent decisions that are aligned with our virtues, values, and vision for our life.

Seeking happiness is irrelevant if we don’t have a clearer direction on which way to go.

If we are looking for a place to start that might not be a bad first step.

Define Happiness2022-08-18T19:40:32-04:00

A Picture Hides A Thousand Stories

We see pictures and videos of people doing cool things, exploring life, appearing happy, and all of that excitement shines through in their expressions and actions.

But what often gets missed is the pain behind those smiles.

The family member dealing with cancer
The dog they had to put to sleep
The thin thread that is holding their marriage together
The stress of financial shortcomings

We are all going through stuff and even when it looks like we are the only ones suffering, it isn’t.

We have to remember that in our lowest moments everyone is going to appear happy. We want them to be happy but we know that life is also happening to them. Just like it is for us.

We have to know that whatever we are going through “this too shall pass” and we’ll have the opportunity to be happy ourselves once again.

We have to believe it.

That’s the only way we can move on.

A Picture Hides A Thousand Stories2022-08-18T19:24:46-04:00

Win The Day

Consistency is the worst kept secret of accomplishing anything important to us.

We must start. Not once but each and every day.

More than motivation it’s an action.

It’s the constant motion forward of small, tiny, almost insignificant steps in the direction we seek that count the most.

Others won’t see it right away.

We may barely feel it.

But knowing what we want to do and being intentional about doing it is all that matters.

We may not be prepared for the entire adventure ahead but we don’t need to be.

We just need to be prepared for today.

Get through today and we can rest up for tomorrow.

Because we’ll have to battle ourselves again to get up and keep moving.

We know it won’t be easy but that’s what makes it worth it.

Win The Day2022-08-18T19:18:22-04:00

Blinders On

The cataclysmic discovery that can change the course of our life is the realization that almost nobody is thinking about us almost all of the time.

At first, it appears devastating until we realize that this is the same for everyone.

When this “aha” moment appears it begins to free us of the shackles that hold us into place and don’t allow us to start.

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of judgment, critiques, and snickers. We’ll get an earful from time to time for being different.

But it’s short-lived. Those people have other things that will distract them soon enough.

So press on. Move forward. Do you.

Forget what the naysayers are spouting.

They’re barely paying attention in the first place.

Blinders On2022-08-18T19:05:06-04:00

Cordial Conversations

Disagreeing is not toxic in a relationship.

Being unwilling to listen to a different perspective is.

If we are scared to have a direct conversation with someone over something that we care about or that is bothering us then we should question the strength of our relationship with them.

Relationships are hard. Period.

Having relationships with people where there is open and honest communication is of utmost importance.

It’s not that all of the conversations are positive it’s that they are filled with respect and cordialness that whatever issues we are having we will get past them together.

Life is too short to be in bad relationships.

Let’s make that something we are unwilling to compromise on.

Cordial Conversations2022-10-02T17:21:18-04:00

Perspective Gain

Most of life’s pain comes from how we thought it should be or that it didn’t work out as planned.

But what if it actually did?

Sometimes we can be the worst judge of a situation when we are in the moment but when we step back away from it, as time goes on, we begin to realize it was a moment that changed us for the better.

We become grateful for the uncomfortable and painful moments because they are actually what we needed to grow.

It’s all a shift in mindset. It’s not easy. Of course, it’s not easy.

But our mindset controls everything. We have a positive mindset when things are going our way, so why can’t we take that same perspective when they aren’t?

I know why. Because it battles every part of our being that was instilled as a child. We have to be upset, get emotional, or feel depressed when anything goes against what we thought should happen. We witnessed this countless times in our life. It has been programmed. It’s on autopilot now.

But that’s not how it has to be.

We have one life. One very complex weird ever-changing life where we happened to get into this body. We are conscious beings and one of the downsides of that can be that we feel deep emotions, attachments, memories, or aspirations. It can work in our favor or not. We choose.

We can remember the past and project into the future.

But all that matters is now. All that matters is how we handle the situation we are in now. The future will take care of itself when we get there.

So, for now, instead of losing our shit in one situation or another it might be helpful to remember that we’ve been wrong a lot about bad moments. Out of that despair came a new opportunity, a new relationship, and new learning. All positives are on the backside of a bad situation.

It happens to us countless times but our old way of thinking forgets. It only remembers that bad moment’s equal depression and struggle. It rarely remembers that there is hope and opportunity from all of it.

That’s the mindset we need to take into it.

Is it going to be hard? You bet.

Is it going to be painful? You’re damn right.

Is it going to test us? Fuck yea.

But our positive perspective will dig us out of it much faster and with newfound hope for tomorrow.

It’s not about being easy, life isn’t easy.

It’s about being hard, and managing our way to a better spot.

We grow in the moments that test us most.

Embrace them.

Perspective Gain2022-10-02T17:20:52-04:00

Defining Moment

Are we willing to call ourselves out first before blaming someone or something?

It’s always easier to blame others, and sometimes they are at fault, but what have we done to cause the situation? How have we contributed?

And, more valuable to consider, is this even worth getting upset over?

Most things that happen are so insignificant that the best option becomes not saying anything at all. We can tap down the ego with a dose of humility.

Have we ever made a mistake before?
Have we dropped the food right before serving it?
Have we cut someone off in traffic?
Have we held up a checkout line with a lot of items?
Have we parked poorly between the lines?
Have we messed up an order?
Have we had one of the days where we just struggled?

So do other people.

Before causing a scene or yelling at someone or getting angry we need to be willing to look at that “mirror” and tell ourselves that we are in control.

Our actions, right now, define us.

Humility.
Empathy.
Compassion.

These are the traits we want others to exude when we mess up or are having a bad day.

We need to take that into consideration next time we are in that situation.

How will that moment define us?

Defining Moment2022-08-11T20:13:34-04:00

That’s So Choice

Some days I look at the blogs I’ve written and I say, “I wrote that!”

Other days I say, “I wrote that?”

We can be our biggest cheerleaders or our worst critic.

We take judgment and comments from outsiders all the time but when do we actually reflect on how we talk to ourselves?

Why do we treat ourselves like this?

It’s okay to question ourselves from time to time in order to make sure we are heading in the right direction but let’s not forget that we choose the attitude we take into each moment.

Are we exercising gratitude, humility, and optimism or are we letting a large shadow of negativity come over us?

It’s our choice how we choose to talk to ourselves.

It might serve us well to be kinder.

That’s So Choice2022-10-02T17:18:08-04:00

Sitting Idle

What did we fail at today?

Failing means that we tried something uncomfortable or difficult and pushed ourselves a tad into a world of discomfort.

Acknowledging we failed shows us that we can accept our failures and it might give us the courage to try and fail again.

If we’re stuck, maybe the answer isn’t sitting idle and moping but getting out there and trying some new shit.

It’s just an idea we might want to ponder today.

Sitting Idle2022-08-11T19:58:26-04:00

Change The Dial

Failure fucking sucks
Being told no sucks
Rejection sucks

But maybe those “No’s” are exactly what we need. They focus us more inward. They shake us up by telling us we haven’t quite tweaked the dial just right.

We still have work to do.

But in that work, we start to define ourselves better. We start to have a clearer vision. We start to hear “No” a lot less often.

Not because we’ll stop asking the questions but because we’ll have a much clearer picture of what we want to do and who we want to be around.

When we’re more calibrated we have a better chance to run into happiness.

It somehow just gets in the way.

Change The Dial2022-08-11T19:30:41-04:00

Bold Strategy

We get so caught up with big and bold. Be seen, be heard, be cheered.

But it’s actually the moments that most people don’t witness that are the most important to a happy life.

It’s reading a book to your kids and giving them a hug and kiss goodnight.

It’s a “how are you doing today?” with a significant other that turns into a long conversation.

It’s being able to sit with ourselves and be stress-free.

Those moments take up the majority of our lives. Those simple, “uneventful” moments almost get forgotten because they are routine.

Maybe we should consider why they are that way and embrace them more. They matter way more than any glorious achievement does.

When we lose people close to us, rarely do we remember their greatest achievements. We remember the small stuff, the little quirks, and the subtle nuance.

We remember the mundane.

Those become the most important memories.

The ones we often take for granted.

Bold Strategy2022-07-13T21:03:04-04:00

Get Out Of Jail Free

When we’re young we are told that if we make bad choices we could end up in jail.

What is never explained, however, is that while we may not end up in a physical jail for committing a crime, our decisions could lead us into a “mental jail” that might be just as bad, in some cases.

We feel stuck
We feel stressed
We wonder how we got here
We are in a situation that seems impossible to get out of.

But there is a way.

It’s difficult and it might take time but it starts with a choice.

A choice to change.

Just like the choices we’ve made that didn’t work out and got us into this situation, we can make new choices to lead us out of it.

We can recalibrate the compass and move in a different direction.

The choice to change becomes our “get out of jail free” card.

Having the courage to change ultimately determines whether we use it or not.

Get Out Of Jail Free2022-07-13T20:52:25-04:00

Alternative Energy

Our view of the world not only shapes our mindset but can influence our decisions and actions every day.

Some see the opportunity while others see the obstacle.

Some see the beauty while others see the blemishes.

Some splash in the puddles while others curse the rain.

The world can be a dark and dangerous place if that’s how we choose to view it.

But there is always another vantage point if we are willing to embrace it.

It may not always be sunshine and rainbows but it certainly is better than the alternative.

Alternative Energy2022-07-13T20:46:16-04:00

Buzzworthy

I rarely recognized how the noise around me was cluttering my mind and distracting me from creating the life that I wanted.

Have you ever felt this way?

We’re about to do something but the “buzz” in our pocket takes us away from focusing on the things that really matter.

That “buzz” can be a metaphor for any distraction we come across.

The world is noisy, yes, but it becomes much quieter when we realize we have a choice.

There is an “off” button.

We can silence the notifications, we can prioritize our lives, and we can focus on ourselves first so that we can then give more of our true selves to the world.

We can accept what we’ve known all along but have avoided or suppressed while the distractions have overtaken us.

We can start to listen to what we really want.

Then the question becomes, is the noise really coming from the outside, or has it been inside our own heads this whole time?

Buzzworthy2022-07-13T20:33:33-04:00

Mud on the Tires

Maybe we shouldn’t have it all figured out.

Maybe seeking is part of the enjoyment of life. That discovery into the unknown.

It’s a bit scary.

It’ll wake us up.

We’ll need to focus.

We can’t put the mind in “self-drive” mode and cruise.

Life is not going mindlessly through each day and getting by.

It is supposed to be lived.

Fully present. Fully alive at the moment. Full of wonder and curiosity.

We have to take control of the wheel and veer off-road.

That’s when living starts to happen.

Mud on the Tires2022-07-09T17:44:01-04:00

Fast and Slow

We can get it in our heads that if we’re not moving forward, fast and furious, then we will be left behind.

This is one of the self-limiting beliefs I had for many years. The notion that there is some race.

What I’ve come to realize is that we can all move forward, extremely fast, but it comes at a big cost. We rush projects, we rush parenting, we rush our partners. We are so worried about the days ahead that we forget the moment we are in right now.

We can all go fast.

But it’s the ones who can be still that achieve the most happiness.

They gain perspective on the world around them. They ponder decisions. They develop new routines by analyzing current ones. They open their eyes to new possibilities. They think.

This can’t be done when we are moving a mile a minute. It’s impossible.

The only way to speed up is to slow down. Retool the engine. Refine the skills. Be thoughtful about the next course of action.

With that, we can have the opportunity to move at a greater clip while recognizing that it’s important for intermittent stops.

We have to give ourselves this time to pause.

It’s the only way we’ll ever get ahead.

Fast and Slow2022-07-09T17:45:12-04:00

The Vast Unknown

Before we use a telescope make sure we look into the microscope.

Our thoughts shape our mindset.

Our mindset shapes our actions.

Our future, although unclear, is being shaped by each one of our decisions today.

It’s the inception of the most microscopic idea that starts us on our journey.

It influences our confidence, beliefs, and attitude.

We must start at the smallest possible level before we can ever look forward to the vast unknown of the future.

Progress always begins there.

The Vast Unknown2022-08-23T09:04:40-04:00

Elevator Pitch

What can be seen as a negative can also be seen as a positive?

“Ugh, the elevator is broken, now I have to climb six flights of stairs” can be flipped around just as easily to “Hey, the elevator is broken, I’ll at least get a little workout in as I climb these six flights of stairs.”

The way we perceive our situation and the world around us influences how we think. If we want to complain, there are many things to complain about. If we want to be grateful, there are the same amount of opportunities for that as well.

The choice is always up to us.

Elevator Pitch2022-08-23T09:03:37-04:00

Scar Tissue

They say, “out with the old and in with the new” but let’s make sure we don’t completely forget.

Wounds heal over time but, like a tattoo, the scars remain present where we can see them from time to time.

They offer a glimpse into the past if we have the courage to look back.

Although we can’t remember the pain, we can recall who we were in those moments and how we responded to the situation.

We can gain a perspective that the person looking back today is different from before and the pain of the past has helped blossom promise for the future.

It’s a hard thing to do, feeling the old scars, but it’s one of the few ways we can know we’ve grown.

We know we can handle it again despite how big the wounds end up becoming.

Scar Tissue2022-08-23T09:02:44-04:00

Footsteps

If we get caught up comparing ourselves to others, we must remember this…

They are not a mile ahead of us. They are only just a few feet.

The difference is that they decided to start and hyperdrive their output.

That’s it.

They are no more uniquely qualified than us. We all have something special that could be leveraged if we wanted to.

We could forge our own path.

The hardest choice is whether we begin walking down it or not.

Footsteps2022-07-09T13:47:25-04:00

Minecraft

Crafting well-meaning and articulate messages can take a lot of time to learn.

And that’s the rub of it.

We have to write thousands of bad messages in order to refine our skills, shorten the message, and get specific on the value.

That rationale can apply to many things we do in life. We must be comfortable being bad at something in the early stages in order to hurdle that gap from not knowing to knowing. From novice to proficient.

Once we start to “get it” and are feeling comfortable then we know we’ve acquired the correct knowledge, mostly through consistency and practice.

That’s when it might be time to look at new ways to be bad again.

To become a beginner learner in a new area.

To once again scale another mountain for growth opportunities that we haven’t yet considered.

Minecraft2022-08-23T09:01:25-04:00

Offensive Coordinator

Sports can be a great metaphor for life.

We can either control the tempo of the game or always be back-peddling on our heels and retreating.

So, It’s important to play offense as much as possible (be optimistic, think positively, show gratitude) versus playing defense (putting up walls, negative self-talk, and letting others control what we do).

The only way to live a happier life is to do it on our own terms, pursuing the things that brighten our day and expose us to new growth opportunities.

To do this effectively, we must have the ball in our hands as much as possible. We must be in control of our thoughts and actions.

We must be okay with being on the offensive.

Offensive Coordinator2022-07-09T13:31:52-04:00

System Failure

Some days we don’t have it all together. We are stressed and anxious and have a ton of responsibility to attend to.

Getting through those days seems like an endless chore. It’s tough to prioritize for the long term when we are putting out fires all over the place.

This is why our preparation becomes so vital to our long-term goals, attitude, and happiness. When we create systems for our good habits it helps us accomplish them even on the roughest days and in the most adverse conditions.

It’s not that we can’t miss every now and then but when we get away from our good habits for an extended period of time they become distant to us. We are out of rhythm. We can get lost and have a hard time finding that equilibrium again.

We need to start putting those in place now.

We schedule our work meetings, kids’ soccer games, dentist appointments, etc. Why not everything else critical to our mental and physical health?

Thinking/meditating
Fitness
Healthy eating
Date nights
Sleep

It should all go on the calendar if we need it to. Then we can take a wide lens look at our day or week and work around it.

It’s not that things won’t come up and we have to alter our plans every now and then. It’s when it’s never a priority in the first place it falls through the cracks time and time again.

The system we’ve created becomes broken.

We wonder how we ever get anything done.

System Failure2022-08-23T08:57:23-04:00

Believe It

If we believe in something wholeheartedly then we should have no fear in pursuing it to the max.

No fear of failure. Of rejection. Of loss.

If we feel it deep down in our core then we have to see it through one way or another.

In fact, we can’t lose either way.

On one hand, if we achieve what we wanted in the first place then we can reflect on the process it took to get there and the impact this will have on our lives going forward.

On the other, if it doesn’t work out, at least we know. I think “not knowing” is one of the things that hold us up from letting go of this idea. That thought of “can I really achieve this?”, “do they really want to be with me?, “can I overcome this obstacle?”

It eats at us.

So, at least if we know then we can change our mindset and alter our thinking. We don’t have to hold onto this idea any longer.

We can move on and move forward.

We can believe that there are better things up ahead for us.

We can be free.

Believe It2022-08-23T08:56:17-04:00

Wisdom Truth

Knowledge is knowing that you can accomplish something.

Wisdom is recognizing that there are many ways to do it and many factors that determine the outcome.

Self-awareness, humility, and our openness to learn become the building blocks to better decision-making and take us from a place of knowledge to where wisdom can take over.

Wisdom Truth2022-07-09T13:00:46-04:00

Fear of Anything

We’ll always have fear if we don’t understand something.

If we are struggling with moving forward because of fear, curiosity might be the helper we need to call on.

Why is this fear present?
What past “information” has led us to this conclusion?
Could there be more information we haven’t considered?
Would we be willing to accept it if it is different from our current beliefs?

I remember when I used to be terrified of flying. From the night before the flight until we landed, I was a mess. Fearful with every bump. Gripping tightly. Counting every second until we landed safely.

Until I decided to overcome that fear.

To do that I gained knowledge. I asked questions like…
How do planes work?
How are pilots trained?
How safe are planes?
Why does the flight crew choose this as a career?

Once I became curious, it opened up my mind to learn. Once I learned, the fear subsided. Then, to fully overcome the fear I had to face my past beliefs head-on.

As I took my next few flights, every time there was a bump or rattle or weird noise, I would ask myself if this was a part of my past belief or a part of what I have newly learned. What seemed more logical?

In time, my fear went away.

There is no more anxiety before flights. I enjoy takeoffs now. Every once in a while a big “bump” in the sky will get my attention but I think it’s my past fears waving to me and letting me know they miss me. It is normally short-lived.

I overcame my fear of flying by being curious. That curiosity led me to knowledge that led me to a different belief.

I’m not saying it’ll be easy but if we want to give ourselves the opportunity to change then we might think about questioning our old beliefs.

They hold many unfounded “truths” that may be best to leave in the past.

Fear of Anything2022-08-23T08:50:39-04:00

Matters of Importance

Most things we deal with on a day-to-day basis do not matter.

They are insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

But, to kids, they might be the most important thing in the world.

Showing up for their class event
Reading to them at night
Watching them build something when they ask us to come to observe
Listening to them tell a story

Kids stay present much more than adults so when we show up for them and make them feel heard, seen, or acknowledged it can have a positive long-term effect even if it is hard to see at that moment.

It’s easy to brush away these moments and say “I’ll do it next time” because we are looking at it from our viewpoint. We see it on a grander scale. We think we have time.

Kids observe differently. They take it much harder when the consistent “no” or the “no show” happens. They are focused on the now. They crave our attention. We are their whole world.

It may not be important to us but maybe we should reconsider what is.

Matters of Importance2022-06-14T21:14:14-04:00

Chasing Happiness

If we’re chasing something, we’ll never be happy.

Chasing money
Chasing fame
Chasing a partner

It never works out favorably.

Because we can’t calibrate when we’ve “achieved” it. And if we could, then what?

Instead, happiness should be a journey. We challenge ourselves to start something hard, we do meaningful work, and we surround ourselves with people who spark our enthusiasm and give us energy.

By making those choices, we become happier moment after moment and day after day.

Just like 10 years ago when we had no idea what would’ve made us happy today, we can’t be for certain what the following years hold.

All we can do is keep showing up every day.

There is no “X” on the map that marks the spot.

Our future terrain has never been explored before.

It’s our job to do the work every day to find our footing and forge the correct path.

Chasing Happiness2022-06-14T21:02:37-04:00

Co-Existence

Some people think it’s sexy to have a fancy car, lovely jewelry, or a big house.

But, others, think it’s sexy to talk for hours over a cup of coffee, enjoy a long walk on the beach, or find time to “unplug” and think.

Someone else’s happiness doesn’t have to be our happiness.

We have to stop worrying about what other people think about our choices and, at the same time, start accepting them for how they choose to live their lives.

Both of these can co-exist.

When they do, we all become happier because of it.

Co-Existence2022-06-14T20:55:37-04:00

Cannonball

My son asked me, “Can I jump in the pool with my towel on?”

I asked, “Is that a good decision?”

He asked, “will I get in trouble?”

I said, “No, it’s your decision. What do you want to do?”

Too many times when he was younger I’d say No.
Too many times I’d battle him and invoke my “power” as the parent.
Too many times I’d want to be in control.

But that’s the funny thing about growth. As you are trying to move toward happiness the little things don’t matter as much.

Who cares if he jumps into the pool with his towel? It doesn’t hurt him or me at all.

At that moment, It was a small opportunity to give him some independence and make the choice he wanted to make.

He chose to jump in!

It’s what made him happy.

I have to respect that.

Cannonball2022-06-04T15:08:06-04:00

Pain and Gain

Growth begins through pain.

Nobody that’s changed their mindset, perspective, or worldview started that way under clear blue skies.

It happens with dark clouds overhead. It’s probably hailing golf-ball-sized pellets. There is no cover in sight.

We are exposed.

But, like a passing thunderstorm turning to a bright colorful rainbow, when people see us happier and driving our purpose forward they think it’s always been this way.

They don’t realize all of the pain we’ve endured and can’t imagine the struggle.

Because it wasn’t their storm to weather.

But we know what we’ve been through.

And we know, whether we want to admit it or not, that we’d go through it again.

Because we know it’s made us stronger.

It’s made us more resilient.

It’s made us more grateful.

It’s made us more fierce than we’ve ever been before.

It’s through the painfully dark days that bring the bright sunlight.

Now, it’s up to us to share that warmth with the world.

Pain and Gain2022-06-04T15:01:20-04:00

A River Runs Through It

It’s important to cherish this moment right here.

Maybe there is stillness.

Maybe there is conflict.

Maybe there is fun.

Either way, we must embrace this moment for what it is and for the learning it is giving us.

It is shaping our future in ways we don’t even realize.

Like an eroding river, it may flow in an entirely different path years from now because of what we’ve given ourselves today.

The opportunity for space and perspective.
The opportunity to be grateful for what we have.
The opportunity to see beyond the worry.

To accept that to just “be” sometimes is more valuable than always “being” something and always looking for something else.

Instead, it may be a good practice to stand on the banks of todays river and be humbled by all we’ve been through up to this point. All we’ve endured and been able to weather.

It doesn’t always have to be about more.

Today could be good enough if we can appreciate the moments it took to carve out this current path.

It shouldn’t be taken lightly.

A River Runs Through It2022-08-23T08:45:35-04:00

A Marriage Story

They say sales is like dating.

Because customer success is like marriage.

If we’re not always checking in on things, communicating when we notice changes, and being open and transparent about needing or wanting help, things start to break down.

Sometimes it can be salvaged, many times it cannot.

Once respect is lost we almost never get it back.

The partnership has a deep wedge in it now.

Sometimes the best option is to part ways, even if there is a lot of history of great times because the divide cannot be repaired.

It’s too weakened.

It’s too damaged.

The bond, which was once tight, has softened and cracked.

A Marriage Story2022-06-04T14:50:50-04:00

Put Me In Coach

We lost the great John Madden at the end of 2021 and it made me reflect on the impact we can all make, not by being an “influencer” or by showing off but just by living life to the fullest and respecting those around us.

John Madden, from what it appeared, was beloved by many because of how gracious he was with his time, how much passion he put into his work and the people he was around, and how he enjoyed it all.

Life can get overcomplicated and we can overwhelm ourselves with things that don’t end up mattering at all. We add unnecessary stress and anxiety where it’s not needed.

Do what John Madden might have done.

Go to the chalkboard.

Go back to the Xs and Os and the foundation of it all.

Keep it simple.

Be kind to people.
Make the most of each moment and each encounter.
Create a positive outlook on life as things could be much worse than they are.
Push yourself to try new things and tackle new obstacles.
Live your happiness, not anyone else’s.

Put Me In Coach2022-08-23T08:42:40-04:00

Sharp Left Turn

When many people are following the crowd one way, it’s okay to turn the other way down the dark alley and start on your own path.

Just because the masses are doing one thing doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you.

Sharp Left Turn2022-06-01T20:43:23-04:00

This is Us

It’s easier to point fingers and make a blanket statement that “______ has to change” and all will be better.

But the harder thing to do is to accept that it starts inside of us.

Kindness breeds kindness.
Acceptance breeds acceptance.
Love breeds love.

It always starts there.

This is Us2022-06-01T20:39:43-04:00

Hand Raiser

If we always have the mindset that “I can learn something new from every person I encounter” then it opens us up to incredible possibilities.

We go into each conversation, with each connection, as a curious learner.

The need to be the “smartest person” in the room goes away.

So does the ego.

The thought of “winning” isn’t necessary any longer.

All we are left with is open and honest dialogue.

We can question and prod.

We can listen and soak everything in.

No agenda. No alterier motives.

We become a learner first and the rest works out how it works out.

Most likely, we come away with more information and more respect from the other party than we’ve ever had before.

Hand Raiser2022-08-23T08:39:07-04:00

Mission Critical

We can’t forget about the goals we’ve set for ourselves.

We may will stumble.
We may will get passed by others.
We may will have to veer off-course.

But don’t forget about our goal.

When it feels like we are slugging along, we must keep moving.
When we feel like we are the only ones running uphill, we must keep moving.
When we feel like we are questioning our every decision, we must keep moving.

If the journey is worth it then so is enduring some pain to get there.

While we are focused forward there may be others behind us, using our guidance and direction as a beacon of light, maybe one of hope, helping them along when they feel defeated and weak.

We have to believe we can be a light in the darkness.

We have to believe our mission is worth it.

We have to believe.

Mission Critical2022-06-01T20:14:49-04:00

I Would Walk A Thousand Miles

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

But what is that “step”?

It is not necessarily a physical one at all.

It’s more mental.

It’s a thought or an idea.

It’s a maddening power that has taken over our minds.

We can’t stop thinking about it and it haunts our every move.

The journey of a thousand miles, we might argue, begins with a decision.

We have two paths in front of us. One leading down the route to pursue this idea further and one suppressing it and smoldering the flame.

It’s a choice.

It’s a decision that ends up making a thousand more decisions for us.

The question becomes a simple one then.

Which path are we going to venture down today?

I Would Walk A Thousand Miles2022-05-22T14:55:02-04:00

Back of the Class

How many times would we sit idle in class when the teacher asked if there were any questions only because we didn’t want to be the one who looked like we didn’t understand?

We assumed if nobody else raised their hands then we were the only incompetent ones. 

Our conditioning at the time blinded our thinking. 

Don’t show weakness. 

Stand your ground.

Don’t cry.

Don’t let them see you sweat. 

These phrases were ever-present in our adolescent years and they brought anxiety and fear into our decisions. 

Better say nothing at all than be the laughing stock for the day. 

We all now realize that was a fallacy. 

Vulnerability is not a weakness.

Emotions are not a weakness.

Asking for help is not a weakness.

They tend to be the opposite. Having the courage to show up this way means that we have gotten comfortable with who we are as a person and the scrutiny and judgment don’t affect us as much, if at all, anymore.

That’s a sweet spot to be in. That is when courage builds into confidence.

That’s when we get to the point where we raise our hands from the back of the class. Not only because we are curious about the answer but because we know many others are as well. 

They just haven’t developed the courage, yet. 

Let us be the guide and show them the way.

Back of the Class2022-05-22T14:43:05-04:00

Endurance Race

My son is an only child. I can’t fathom what goes through his head when he sees his friends playing with their siblings.

All I know is what he shares with me.

He feels lonely. He can get sad. He wishes he had a brother.

But he also endures. He has courage. Way more than I ever had at his age.

He has learned to walk up to kids at the park, complete strangers, and ask them if they’d like to play.

He doesn’t get too affected by rejection. He doesn’t let it linger for too long, at least.

He amazes me because he proves that when the world wants to judge you and put you into a box, you can break out of it.

You can carve your own path.

I don’t know what it’s like to be in my son’s shoes but I’m glad he’s learning, adapting, and enduring.

He’s starting to realize that the world works in a variety of different ways.

He’s working to be comfortable in his own skin and embrace his differences.

He’s starting to gain perspective.

Endurance Race2022-05-22T13:59:34-04:00

Energy Field

We never know when new people are going to enter our world. Think of close friends, a mentor, maybe a spouse or significant other.

There was one day we never knew who they were. We didn’t know we needed them. Until we felt that spark of energy.

We’ve all felt it. We’ve all had it. We all want to feel it again.

We’re not sure what it is exactly. We can’t explain it. But that shared energy field is around us. It pulls us in. We can’t resist. We can’t look away.

It’s special because we all meet thousands of people throughout our lives. But only a few stand out above the rest.

Why are there a select few that take up a majority of our headspace?
Why are there only so many that we invest time in?
What is it about them that’s so special?

When we find that connection it’s important to remember that we have to work at keeping it up. Our environment changes things. Life events change things. Things won’t always be how they’ve been.

If that connection is valuable then we must keep working to make it stay strong.

We must keep finding the time.
We must keep showing up.
We must keep putting energy into it.

Because it won’t fuel itself.

Energy Field2022-05-12T20:09:38-04:00

Mythbusting

All of these questions have an answer.

Why do we argue?
Why do we fight?
Why do we turn a blind eye to someone in need?
Why do we make an unethical decision?
Why do we talk down to ourselves?
Why are we never enough?

It’s whether we have the courage to do the work to find out that ends up being the most important question of all.

When we make that commitment then we can tackle the situation head-on and be prepared to make the best of it. We can stop rationalizing after the fact.

Understanding ourselves is a challenging process but if we are willing to start from the beginning and take one step forward then we might be encouraged to keep going.

The benefits to a happier and positive life are astronomical but we have to be willing to start with the first question. “Am I ready?”

Mythbusting2022-05-12T20:07:20-04:00

Preventative Maintenance

My Trailblazer runs well for being 15 years old. It has its bumps and bruises and certainly has shown some fading but If it’s washed and waxed it’s hard to tell its age from a distance.

But the outside appearance doesn’t make the car run well. It’s the consistent focus on preventative maintenance in the years I’ve had it.

Routine oil changes and tire rotations.
Trusting the recommendations of the mechanic to fix areas of concern.
Being proactive versus reactive.

Simple stuff.

Yet, things could have been overlooked or pushed off for a short-term monetary gain.

It’s really a metaphor for our lives.

When we feel sluggish, low on energy, depressed, or in a rut, it’s normally the focus inward that can be the most helpful. It’s reflecting and asking questions like…

Are we getting enough sleep?
Are we eating healthy food?
Are we exercising?
Are we getting outside?
Are our relationships going well?
Are we creating space for ourselves?

We’re going to get beat up throughout our lives but in order to feel young and vibrant as we age, we must focus consistently on the simple things that bring us energy.

Because when they lag we can start to break down and it becomes harder to maintain if it goes on for too long.

Unfortunately, we only get one model. There are no trade-ins here.

Preventative Maintenance2022-05-12T19:35:44-04:00

Snooze Alarm

I’m starting to question if the fear of starting is partly that we don’t want the responsibility of what could happen if we actually succeed.

Comfort is the warm blanket over us as we hit the snooze alarm. Getting up and doing something actually creates a whole new set of unknowns.

Best to stay tucked in for a bit longer, I guess, so we don’t have to deal with the discomfort of waking up.

Snooze Alarm2022-05-06T20:48:34-04:00

We Can Do Hard Things

When things get hard remember that our “20-year-old” version dreamed of having our focus, determination, resilience, and confidence.

We’ve been prepping for these moments for our entire lives.

We can do hard things.

Somedays we just have to remind ourselves.

We Can Do Hard Things2022-05-06T20:46:20-04:00

Fiction Can Be Fun

We might not all be great fiction writers but we certainly have the capacity to make up many stories, in our heads, of events that haven’t happened yet.

We can create some amazing stories on where things might go with a particular situation, what other people do or think, and what happens next based on that.

We spend sleepless nights working through the scenarios. But in our “choose your own adventure” story, how many times does it really come true? How many times do we get the outcome we’ve spent time worrying about?

We get sucked into these rabbit holes for many reasons but one critical factor we often miss is the gap in information.

We fail to ask questions to inform us. The questions might be too difficult or awkward so we avoid them.

Instead of knowing the answers upfront, we defer to waiting, hoping, and fantasizing.

We go into story mode.

That’s easier than the alternative. But harder on us, mentally.

Remove the worrying. Remove the doubt. Remove the 20 questions inside our heads.

Ask that upfront. Be direct. Be transparent.

Whatever is going to happen is going to happen anyway.

Instead of waiting until the cliffhanger at the end of this story, we might as well change the narrative starting out.

Maybe we can create a whole new story out of it.

This time, one that is non-fiction.

Fiction Can Be Fun2022-05-06T20:40:56-04:00

Guideposts

We have to recognize that, at times, other people will be an impairment to our positive psyche. We yearn so much for their approval and want to be looked at as worthy in their eyes.

Whether they are stories we make up in our heads or actual feedback, we care what others think of us and we let it affect our mood and shape our reactions.

This is where having a core group of trusted peers and mentors becomes monumental. They become our sounding board for ideas, inspiration, and direction. This allows us to block out the other noise and focus on the opinions of those we trust, respect, and care about.

Progress can happen when we trust our judgement with the path we want to venture down but have trusted guides for when we happen to veer off it. When we stay focused on the steps ahead, the noise of the naysayers becomes muted.

The path forward becomes much clearer and quieter.

Guideposts2022-05-06T20:31:01-04:00

One Of One

When we look around at the world and compare ourselves to others the first thought for many of us is that we are not good enough.

We feel that we are not pretty enough, not creative enough, not outgoing enough, not _______.

But, we are special.

In a world where many things are a commodity, we are a rare jewel.

We are “1 of 1”.

There is not a single person on planet earth exactly like us. (Not even if we have an identical twin)

We are unique.

We should stop comparing ourselves with others and be proud that this is who we are.

Do we want to improve? Get better? Be happier? Then, it’s on us.

Don’t look around. Look inside.

Nobody thinks the way we think or has the programming exactly as we have it.

We are “1 of 1”.

Be proud of that.

Don’t try to be someone else. Nobody likes a ripped off version.

We want authentic. We want real. We want a unicorn.

That’s you.

Now, go do you. Whatever it is you want to do.

One Of One2022-05-06T20:22:38-04:00

Escape Room

Decisions are made through a mix of past experiences, current conditions, others’ judgment, fear, etc.

Being decisive is a key element to knowing if we are on the right path toward understanding who we are and what makes us happy.

Because indecision comes from our inability to make clear choices.

We want everything.

We feel we are missing out if we choose one thing over another.

We get stuck.

When we continually question ourselves and our decisions it shows a lack of focus on a vision for our future. We have no idea what we actually want and therefore will get paralyzed with fear and anxiety when having to make decisions, especially ones that appear difficult.

We can’t let ourselves go down this path. We have to be willing to stand our ground and be comfortable and confident with who we are and what we believe in. If we aren’t there yet then we have to be willing to put in the work to understand why.

It’s okay if we are different from everyone else in the room.

Have we ever considered, that maybe we are in the wrong room?

Be okay with making the decision to walk out and find a better one that fits the life we want.

Escape Room2022-06-01T15:39:15-04:00

The Truth About Cats And Dogs

Cats and Dogs rarely play with the same toy again and again. Sure, they have their favorites they’ll pick up every now and then but they will typically bounce around to different ones or lose interest all together.

However, what do they yearn for? Sleep, Exercise, Companionship, and Belonging.

Somehow, they’ve figured out that, “Whoever dies with the most toys doesn’t win.”

Although we might be the “smartest” species in the room, we could learn something from them if we were open to it.

The Truth About Cats And Dogs2022-05-02T08:43:51-04:00

Carefree Living

A big difference between kids and adults is that kids are willing to be silly and carefree with a very short view into the future. They aren’t thinking too far ahead which allows them to live in the moment.

Adults are always looking around and wondering who is watching before they can normally let go and be themselves. We get crippled by a cloud of fear that we create over ourselves.

Instead of telling our kids what to do maybe, we should take a page out of their playbook and just throw the whole playbook out.

Be spontaneous.

Be silly.

Live in the moment.

Carefree Living2022-04-28T20:10:33-04:00

Elementary

I remember walking my son to kindergarten and being amazed at how much he’d grown and how fast those first few years of his life went by.

It reminded me of when I was in kindergarten, over 30 years ago, and how quickly the time seemed to pass. I still remember the fifth-grade classes being on the third floor and thinking, “I’m never going to get up to fifth grade. It’s going to take so long. I have so many years ahead of me.”

As I write this, my son isn’t in Kindergarten anymore. He will be heading into fifth grade next fall.

How quickly time passes us by.
How precious our time is.
How easily we dismiss it.

The game clock is continually running and there are no timeouts. This moment is fleeing just like the last.

Embrace it all.

Because, remember, this all ends.

Elementary2022-04-28T19:47:39-04:00

Pace Car

Continuing to discover our purpose is a valuable practice every day.

It does wonders for our psyche.

It allows us to feel like we are making strides forward even if we are sitting still.

Because living your purpose doesn’t always mean you have to be “on”.

There are times when we need to think and ponder the world and our next step.
There are times when we need to slow down.
There are times when we need a break.

Finding a purpose is one thing but understanding the power of that purpose and how to go toward it with many different speeds and angles is quite another.

In our fast-paced world, going “full speed” appears like the only option but that’s not true.

However, we won’t discover that until we discover ourselves. Until we discover what we truly want.

Only then can we unroll the map and plot out our next steps.

Only then can we discover the pace that is best for us.

Pace Car2022-04-28T17:37:23-04:00

Seasonal Allergies

Change is constant and change will happen.

We are either a part of that change or we are fighting against it.

Our body changes as we age but if we’ve been focusing on fitness and healthy eating, that change is quite delayed. If we haven’t, we start to feel those effects compound over time. Building healthy habits early on and sticking with them help form a foundation for us to live each day by.

When we go through a breakup or loss, that change is hard, but if we’ve been focusing on our self-reflection inward then we gain a different perspective on the situation. We start to be comfortable with who we are and that others compliment us. They do not define us. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. It can just suck much less.

When we lose a job, the same thing happens. If we rely on this job so much to keep up our lifestyle and identity then when it ends we are broken. It’s because we haven’t put in the work to recognize our strengths and give ourselves room to maneuver if need be.

We may not always be in control. We can’t control aging, we can’t control if someone breaks up with us, and we can’t control a job loss or a myriad of other life events.

But we can control if we are prepared for them.
We can control if we’ve taken proper measures to mitigate increased risk or pain.
We can control if we are willing to learn from each experience.

It starts by gaining better self-awareness. It starts by asking ourselves simple questions.

What really makes us happy?
Is this the right “fit”?
Do we need that new “toy”?
Are we okay if this doesn’t go our way?
Do we feel we have a great support system?

Asking simple questions about the foundations of our life offers a glimpse into the crystal ball and whether those will crack under more pressure or hold us upright to weather the storm.

Strong foundations lay the groundwork to build upon and allow us to take chances and be okay if it doesn’t work out.

We need to ask ourselves, today, what is our foundation built on, and are we confident it can hold up to the fiercest storm we might encounter?

Seasonal Allergies2022-04-28T17:25:24-04:00

Waiting Game

If we wait on others then we may be waiting a long time.

We must have the courage to forge the path ourselves and can’t hold up our journey for others that aren’t ready to begin.

Press on and lead. The journey can be lonely at times.

But sometimes we’ll be out in front, dropping the breadcrumbs to help others behind us. If there are others that live a similar ethos then they will soon travel along with us.

We might need to be the leader that they’ve been looking for. They might not have the courage that we’ve already formed.

All we can do is write our own story one day at a time and be a guiding light for others who may need it.

We can’t push them to travel along with us.

That’s always their choice.

Just like venturing out alone is always ours.

Waiting Game2022-04-28T13:48:18-04:00

Follow The Leader

Remember, just because other people are doing it doesn’t mean you have to be doing it.

Stay focused on your mission.

Your reward may not come with likes and comments but with you being able to live the life that gives you purpose.

With you being able to live a life that makes you happy, whatever that means to you.

As we go through this journey, that’s what really matters most.

Follow The Leader2022-04-28T13:30:59-04:00

A Chiseled Mind

Stress can eat away at us and cause pain and anger.

It can cause us to be depressed and make us believe we are spiraling downward.

But have we considered the “why” behind it all?

Are we juggling too much?
Are we prioritizing the wrong things?
Are we avoiding the obvious decision because it’s too painful?
Are we letting others’ voices tower over our own?

These questions can be important to think about when we start to feel the onset of negative emotions and feelings.

Oftentimes, we carry too much of a burden and it weighs us down.

We need to try and unload the unnecessary stuff and focus on the important.

Like an ice sculpture, it may start as a big block but the more it is whittled down it starts to form a beautiful shape.

When we become focused on what is important it can inform us on the decisions we should make.

That informs us where we should spend our energy.

Only then can we chisel away the excess to expose our masterpiece.

A Chiseled Mind2022-05-13T17:33:44-04:00

Nuclear Reactor

We all go through anguish and despair and none of those emotions should be taken lightly.

We need to lean into those. Embrace those. Sit in the suck of those moments.

But then we have to have perspective. We don’t really know how it’s going to turn out from here. We don’t know what will happen. We don’t know where this will lead us in our life.

And, hopefully, that will give us some assurance that we’ll be okay. Because we’ve been here before. Maybe not exactly, but we’ve felt these feelings and been in similar waters.

All we can try to do is have a positive perspective on what will come next.

As the Stoics have said, we can’t always control what’s happening but we can control our reaction to it.

Think. Cry. Reflect. Get emotional. Be with those thoughts and feelings.

And then endure and embrace the potential opportunities that lie ahead.

We can’t know for certain what will happen. But we can control whether our outlook will be positive or negative.

We do have that choice in the matter.

Nuclear Reactor2022-04-14T14:06:36-04:00

Question Everything

One question is all it might take to change a person or situation. Just one question.

Being engaging and opening the dialogue can help facilitate deeper connection and meaning for the other person or group of people listening.

There doesn’t have to be a large presentation or formal agenda to make a difference. Asking a thoughtful or curious question can take dead silence to perpetual chatter.

All it takes is one question to change the tides. When the situation arises, instead of being passive with a closed-off response or hitting the “like” button, go ahead and ask a question.

You might be amazed how it sets off a domino effect and spurs future conversation or connection.

Try to ask one more question or be the one that breaks the silence with a question and see what happens.

Let the magic of connection take form from there.

Question Everything2022-04-14T14:02:43-04:00

Being Present

One day at a time.

One conversation at a time.

One moment at a time.

Instead of hoping and envisioning what could happen. Be present with what is happening.

This moment matters the most. Cherish it and give it our all.

We may not know what the crystal ball holds for us in the future but we can make this moment the most glorious it can be.

Happiness isn’t found in dreaming of the future; it’s in living in the present moment.

It’s about just being.

Being Present2022-05-06T13:33:04-04:00

Coffee Talk

A coffee cup is made for coffee. Until it’s not.

A coffee cup can be used for:
Tea and other drinks
As a measuring cup
To rinse your mouth while brushing
To hold pens and pencils
To trace a circle
To fill with loose change

We can keep going but the point is that just because a tool was intended for one purpose it doesn’t mean it can’t be used for many others.

Before we go and buy the latest widget to solve a problem we should look around and see if we can create a solution. We get to use our creativity and imagination like we’re kids again. We get to solve a puzzle.

It pushes us a bit outside our comfort zone and we get to take agency over the decision. It could be small but it will help us grow. It helps us think outside the box. It lets us question what can be possible if this is possible.

Sometimes a coffee cup is for coffee. Until it’s not.

Coffee Talk2022-04-11T20:09:32-04:00

Model Why?

Don’t underestimate the power of reflection. The 2015 version of you probably went through some shit to help make you the person you are today.

Embrace that, don’t suppress it.

Be okay with asking “Why?” and sitting with that answer for a bit.

Why was I upset?
Why did that bother me?
Why did I get angry?
Why was I short-sighted?
Why didn’t I listen?
Why did I take the shortcut?

Whatever the question is we have to be okay with challenging ourselves to have an honest and thoughtful answer.

We have to be okay with getting uncomfortable as we reflect back on a bad time or experience. As the saying goes, “History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.”

It may be better to be uncomfortable now, by ourselves, as we learn and grow versus repeating a similar pattern in real-time.

We have to know it will only help us going forward.

Model Why?2022-04-11T20:02:39-04:00

Unfollowing

One of the more interesting things about social media is that we can get judged very often, both directly and indirectly. Comments and likes and DMs and even a “non-response” could be perceived a certain way.

But then there’s the “unfollow”. Someone took the time to follow and look at your stuff and then at some point realized it’s not for them.

We have to get comfortable with this. Rejection is a part of life. People will come and go. This happens on social media and in “real life” outside of it.

People don’t respond. People ghost us. People don’t make the effort. As Abraham Lincoln quote says, “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

Not everyone will like us. In fact, most won’t.

The ones who do are in it with us.

Those people. Those are our tribe.

Those are the ones we need to cherish and take time for. Those are the ones we need to recognize and reciprocate.

It can’t be one-sided. A relationship works both ways. We need to give more than we take. We need to be empathetic. We need to be encouraging.

Otherwise, we might just get another “unfollow” and this time it might hurt a little bit more.

Unfollowing2022-04-11T19:53:43-04:00

Creative Time

Ideas aren’t just born out of creative sessions and “whiteboarding” but oftentimes come when the opposite happens.

When our mind is quiet, we can think. When we are free of common distractions, we can focus. When we block out the noise, we get a clearer picture.

It’s harder now than ever to find this time. So we have to plan it. We have to section out precious moments each day to corner ourselves.

Do it in the morning before others wake.
Do it before bed when our phone is put away.
Go for a walk at lunch.

We choose how we spend our time. If we feel stuck and are looking for inspiration then the answer might not be to try and do more. It might be to free ourselves and do less.

It might be wise to clear our minds and silence all the noise around us.

It might be the best idea we’ve had in a while.

Creative Time2022-06-02T20:34:01-04:00

Comforter

I’m starting to question if the fear of starting is partly that we don’t want the responsibility of what could happen if we actually succeed.

Comfort is the warm blanket over us as we hit the snooze alarm. Getting up and doing something actually creates a whole new set of unknowns.

Best to stay tucked in for a bit longer, I guess, so we don’t have to deal with the discomfort.

Comforter2022-04-06T12:05:29-04:00

Spring Showers

Bracing through a storm can be very challenging but it’s when we see the flowers start to bloom on the other side we knew it was worth it.

We shouldn’t look at every bad situation and think it’s the end of the world.

It might just be the turning point to something more beautiful.

Something more spectacular.

Something more magical than we ever could’ve imagined.

Spring Showers2022-04-05T19:53:15-04:00

Free Choice

It takes us until we become adults to realize just how hard it is to be a kid.

Kids rarely have free choice.

They have to go to school.
They have a specific bedtime.
They may have to eat their veggies.
They may have to play a sport they don’t like.
Rarely can they buy things that make them happy without approval.
The list goes on.

It should make us wonder then, why we complain so much as adults.
We can choose where we work and what we do
We can determine who we want to be around
We can choose the activities that excite us
We can choose what we eat and when we eat it.

We can choose a lot of things. We can choose to complain or choose to be happy.

It doesn’t switch overnight but we can make decisions to lead us in either direction.

The significant part about being an adult is that we have the choice.

That’s also the hard part, too.

Free Choice2022-07-31T13:17:03-04:00

Indistractable

We all have things in the category of “easy to do” but we choose not to do them. It’s not that we don’t want to do them, what it comes down to is the priority assignment we put on that thing to actually do it.

Whether that is to take 10 minutes to go for a walk, read a book, meditate, sit in thought, etc, or other things like; sitting and talking with your spouse in the morning, reading a book to your child before bed, sending a note to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, etc.

It’s not that it isn’t easy. It is extremely easy. What is difficult is putting it ahead of other “time wasters” that are urgent but not important. What is difficult is creating a daily habit. What is difficult is changing who we are now with who we want to become.

Those are the things that are difficult.

If we can put all the things we do up for debate on their priority level we might be able to better filter out the urgent and not important and sprinkle in the more fulfilling and long-lasting.

It might not be easy but we can be damn sure it is worth it.

Indistractable2022-07-31T13:16:03-04:00

I Want It That Way

If you’ve come across this blog then chances are with all the hardships in life yours isn’t that bad.

Chances are you have access to high-speed internet or 5G.

Chances are your phone was made sometime in the last handful of years and would be considered “smart”.

Chances are you have warm clothes on if there is a hint of a crisp morning outside.

Chances are when you arrive at work today it’ll be in the car you drove in or just a short few steps away from where you rolled out of bed.

Chances are, if you have kids, when you drop them off at school you are almost certain without worry you’ll pick them up safe and sound in the afternoon.

There is a good chance that your life (and mine) is a heck of a lot easier and more comfortable than a large majority of the world’s population. Probably 99% of it.

Yet, with that comfort also comes a barrier.

A barrier to let things go, seemingly meaningless things, that have almost zero effect on our lives.

A barrier to be patient and wait our turn instead of getting frustrated and causing a scene.

A barrier to thinking about how lucky we are to be in this position in the first place and cherish the hand we were dealt.

A barrier to enduring discomfort. Something the majority of the world has to live with every day.

We are fortunate for the opportunities we have and it’s important from time to time to call those out, head-on, in order to help us lead lives worth meaning and purpose instead of complaining and finger-pointing.

There are greater tragedies in life and many of them we are grateful to never have to think about.

I Want It That Way2022-07-31T13:14:39-04:00

Boiling Point

Water is just water. Until it gets hot enough and starts to boil. It’s still water but now it’s boiling hot and creating a new, gaseous state that wasn’t there before.

We don’t know exactly when because there are many factors to get it to the exact temperature. It depends on the amount of water, the consistency of the heat applied, and outside factors (like salt).

But, at some point, when the conditions are right, it boils.

The same can be true for the work we want to put out in the world. It never gets noticed, picked up, or becomes helpful to us or others until we actually create it, consistently, over time and put energy or “heat” into the process.

We have to be willing to endure the long arduous process of creating with nothing happening. Sometimes, it can be like watching water boil.

But, like the water, we have to be willing to stay consistent and wait it out. We have to be willing to believe that the generous work we are giving to the world will be noticed and appreciated.

When the conditions are right, our time will come.

We may not know the exact time but we’ll be ready.

Boiling Point2022-03-18T17:45:03-04:00

The Long Lost Friend

Failing takes up such a small finite space in time. It exists only to be a placeholder for the next achievement, one that wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the failure that preceded it.

It begs to reason, then, that we should welcome failure with warmth and kindness.

“Playing it safe” actually becomes a fools’ errand. It makes us believe that we are working in our best interest to protect ourselves from harm. In reality, we are starving ourselves of exactly what we need to achieve greater happiness; facing failure head-on and coming out stronger.

Like a long-lost friend that showed up unexpectedly, we should welcome the failures with open arms.

The Long Lost Friend2022-03-18T17:32:52-04:00
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