Monday, April 30, 2012

How to ride the pine

Sitting the bench normally isn't fun.  Everyone wants to be in the game.  Everyone wants to participate.  But, let's face it.  We all have to ride the pine sometimes.  So, if we must do it, we might as well do it right.

I was on the bench this weekend when I watched an amazing person get baptized.  I wasn't in the game.  I was just on the sidelines, but it was at that moment that I realized how important the bench players are.

In sports, it's evidenced by cheering on your team, but in life it's often more than just cheering.

Maybe you're not the one that's stuck in a hospital bed, but you can be the one to show up just to let them know that you care.  Maybe you're not the spouse that lost your job, but you can be the one to build encouragement and self-confidence to pick themselves up and get back out there.  Maybe you're not the one that's lost in life and has no idea which way to turn, but you can be the person to grab their hand and lead them in the right direction.  Maybe you're not the one being baptized, but you can be the one to watch in awe as someone you love gets a brand new perspective on life and thank them for being a great example to you and your children.

Sometimes we're not in the game because we're not supposed to be in the game.  Sometimes we're meant to be riding the pine and seeing things from a different perspective, a perspective that can't be seen from the field.

Don't be disappointed that it's not your turn to play.  Just because you're not on the field, it doesn't mean that your role is unimportant.  Keep your head in the game and ride the pine with helpful eyes.

Oh, and Corie, thank you for being a great example to the kids and me.  We love you!

Friday, April 27, 2012

We have a plan and we need your help

I try to avoid using my blog to promote my business.  In fact, I try hard.  But, in some cases I think it's worth it.

As some of you know, we're working on a plan to create a free mixed martial arts (MMA) program for less-fortunate kids that may be struggling in life.  The goal is give them their God-sized dreams back.  To teach that the only limitation that they have is the one in their head.  To teach them that they were created to do something special and unique that only they can do.  And to give them the tools to accomplish their dreams

The funding for this project is currently done through our business.  So, if you have some time, check out our new designs and see if there's anything you like.  It's not about buying a cool t-shirt.  It's about a good cause.  Thanks in advance for your help!  Also, if you think your friends may be interested, please share.

If you'd like to know more about our gym project, please contact me at:

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stop them from stealing

There's a guy begging for money along the interstate off-ramp near my house.  We've heard from credible sources that he actually has money and begs because it's easier than working.  But I don't want to focus on him.  Frankly, I don't know him, but I'm sure he's a hurting, desperate soul if he is doing what we've heard.

Here's my concern.  What about the men and women that are standing along the off-ramp that are at the end of their rope?  What about the ones that are so lost that the truly don't know where else to start?  Do we stop helping everyone for fear that we may be deceived?

The deceitful ones are few and far between.  The hurting are many.  And, quite frankly, money is not the answer for either one of them.  Instead of worrying about someone stealing your money by lying about how needy they are, ask their name and offer to bring them lunch.  Learn more about them to find out how you can truly help.

If you give enough times, you will be deceived.  Just don't let that deceit steal the love that's in your heart that caused you to give in the first place.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The problem with milestones

This is my 200th post since I started blogging.  A real milestone, right?  Not really.  200 is just a number.  It may make me feel good about writing, but have I accomplished a real milestone... something that's getting me closer to my goal?

The ultimate goal of my blog is to share my experience with other people and try to challenge each of us to be better at this life thing.  I hope to stir up dialogue and be challenged by all of you so that I can grow also.  So, what does writing 200 blogs have to do with that?  Nothing.

But here's the real problem: How do I know how many people I've challenged?  How do I know if one person had one better day because of my blog?  How do I know if someone has changed their daily routine for the better (or for the worse) because of what I've written?  That's much harder to measure than the number of blogs I've posted.  And much more important.

The point is this.  Make sure you're measuring (or trying to measure) the right thing.  Don't measure how much money you have in the bank.  Measure how you've spent the money that you don't have in the bank.  Don't measure how many Facebook friends you have.  Measure how many people you've truly connected with in the last month.  Don't measure how many hours you've spent at home.  Measure how many hours you've spent truly listening to your children and your spouse.

Milestones are good.  Real milestones are better, and sometimes harder to measure.  Look for milestones along your path, but just make sure you're measuring the right thing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I don't have a daddy...

I heard a little boy speak those words a few weeks ago.  He was too young to have to feel that burden.  He was too little to feel the weight of being different.  He was too precious to have to wonder why everyone else had a daddy when he didn't.  His situation wasn't his fault, but he was hurting.

As I watched his little face, I could almost feel that weight.  Almost...

When someone is hurting we can only feel so much of it.  And too often I miss it altogether.  I miss their pain because their arrogance annoys me, their gossip disturbs my daily routine or their hurtful words anger me.  In actuality, all of those things come from a hurting soul.  Their situation may be their fault, but they are still hurting.  They are not much different than that little boy.

Regardless of whether it's self-inflicted or not, pain is still pain.  Be patient with the hurting because you have no idea how big the burden is that they are carrying.  The closest you can get is "almost."  And almost isn't good enough.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What if we all did it?

If you're like me, you believe that you have a purpose in life.  You believe that you were created to do something.  Maybe you know what it is; maybe you don't.  Either way, you do have a purpose.

What would the world be like if every single one of us was living our purpose?  What diseases could be cured?  What violence could be curbed?  What marvels could be created?  What would the world be like?  The potential impact of humans living the life that God intended for them is limitless.

What if half of us were living our purpose?  Half as many diseases cured?  Half as much violence eliminated?

And what would happen if just you were living your purpose?  What impact would it have on your family?  Your spouse?  Your kids?  Your community?  Your church?  Your business?  Again, the potential impact is limitless.

Don't wait for everyone to join you.  Figure out what your purpose is and start living it today.  You will be amazed at the impact.

Here's an incredible (free) resource to get you started:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Say these words... and mean them

I read this quote yesterday that said something like, "What if you woke up today with only what you thanked God for yesterday?"

That's a scary thought.  I'll ask another question: What if your spouse only does today what you thanked him or her for doing yesterday?

Imagine a list of things that people do for us regularly.  Make dinner, wash clothes, clean the house, cut the grass, make our coffee, serve us at a restaurant, pump our gas... the list is endless.  What if, one-by-one, when we began expecting those things and forgetting to thank the people doing them, they marked that thing off of their list.  Never to be done again.

  • No "thank you" for dinner tonight? No dinner tomorrow.
  • No "thank you" for taking out the garbage last week?  No taking out the garbage this week.
  • No "thank you" for clean clothes?  You better learn to use the washing machine.

I realize that this is a bit extreme, but it highlights our lack of appreciation for the every day things that people do for us.  People appreciate sincere words more than you know!  So say, "Thank you."

And mean it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You should ALWAYS follow the rules 90% of the time

Rules are made for the masses.  Entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, great spirits and those that we label as brilliant don't follow all of the rules.

Don't assume that just because there is a rule, that it's right.  Find a better way, break the old rules and show us why your way is better.

We're waiting for your innovation.  That only works if you do it your way.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Are you bold enough to try this?

We have to stop the divide.  Our nation seems to be falling into this trap of "us vs. them." Our communities are quickly following suit and it's ruining us.

Republicans vs. Democrats. Skilled vs. "unskilled" laborers (a term I hate).  White collar vs. blue collar.  Black vs. white.  Natives vs. foreigners.  Rich vs. poor.  Educated vs. uneducated.

The bottom line is that we are all human.  We are all flawed.  We are all partially right and partially wrong.  We all have strengths and weaknesses  Until we can admit that, we arrogantly believe that we are better than the other group.  Pride stops us from admitting that we're really all the same.  We become stagnant in our thinking.

Put your pride aside.  Admit that your "enemy" just may be right.  It doesn't discount what you've done or who you are when you admit that you're wrong.  In fact, it does the opposite.  The person that has the boldness and confidence to admit that they are wrong is far more intelligent than the most educated of those that believes they are always right.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The polite and honest paradox

I'm a firm believer in brutal honesty.  That often gets miscontrued as "I don't care how other people feel."  It's actually the exact opposite.  I care enough about my family and friends to be honest even when it's uncomfortable.

I'm also a firm believe in being polite.  And herein lies the paradox.

If I'm honest, you are the one that chooses whether or not I'm being polite.  And, if I use your definition of "polite", it may be very difficult to be honest.

Timing is everything.  Keep your relationships clear by having the tough conversations.  Just make sure you're not complaining to your spouse and kids about the carpet color while the house is burning down.

Timing, timing, timing!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Don't be afraid to do it

We all know someone that has their mind so made up that no one can change it.  Maybe that someone is us.  We get so sure of something that we refuse to believe that we could be wrong.  Sure, there are things to be sure of.  The shirt I'm wearing is blue.  That's a fact that can be easily proven.

The dangerous place to be is when we believe so fully in something that can't be proven, but we refuse to open our eyes to other options.  This is admittedly a tough topic for me because I consider myself to be a Christian.  The strongest argument against Christianity is that it can't be proven with tangible evidence.  I'm not saying that argument is right or wrong; I'm just saying that the argument exists (again, a fact that I can prove).

So, what's the point of all of this?  The point is this.  You can't prove facts by using opinion.  Separate the two as much as you can.  Most conflict in our life (and our world) has to do with differing opinions.  When we focus on the opinions, nothing changes, but when we focus on the facts, progress is made.

Don't be afraid to let your guard down and forget your opinion for awhile.  This trait is essential in long-lasting relationships and is a great key in solving past issues.  If the relationship is worth it, you'll do it!