Category Archives: life lessons

What do you do when you are scared to…

chase your dream?

When you know what you want to do and

what you should do but that devil known as fear shows up?

I have this dream of writing and speaking and helping as many people as I can design a better future

but…(even as I write this fear pops up and says “who do you think you are?” “you cant talk about that everyone will think you are nuts” and about a thousand other vile things.) That is why I have to. When you have a dream it seems like the first and last thing you want to tell everyone about. If you share it then you have to own it. If fear can keep you from stepping up or standing out then it will never have to face the unknown. It can keep you right where you are.

So how do you get through the resistance? You press in. When you feel the resistance say turn and run, press in. Don’t avoid fear use it more like a compass to point you in the direction you should go. Dreams are emotional and there is a lot of emotional labor that will go into you realizing your dream. Emotional labor is uncomfortable and vulnerable and is the kind of thing Fear Hates. So the trick is to do the uncomfortable long enough and with enough passion for it to become a little more comfortable. Enviroment is everything so if you aren’t getting the results that you want look at who you are hanging around. Is the communities that you are a part of pushing you to become more? do more? dream more? If not then find some people that are going for it and you will find that soon you are doing the same.

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Mind control Use it to win in business and relationships

1st rule to winning, don’t beat yourself. How often are we our own worst enemies? I believe the answer to that will surprise you. Today I want to share a few tips on Mind Control… Not the spooky stuff but how to begin controlling your own mind.

Now I don’t believe any of us are our own worst enemy on purpose,  so how do we sabotage  our own work without knowing it?

 

First do this experiment with me

When I say a word what is the first word that comes to mind,

Peanut butter reminds us of________

Jelly

The word dog reminds us of________

Cat

The word red reminds us of________

Rose, car or dress.

Monday morning reminds us of______

Work

Friday reminds us of_______

The weekend

 

These are all triggers and they can either help us or hurt us. If I think of work and the first thought that comes to mind is “I hate that place.” The likelihood of you ever doing exceptional work and getting a promotion or raise drops significantly. Same thing when you think of your boss. (Ouch)

Now I want to take it a step further. What is your first thought when you think of your spouse? “Irritating? I wish they would do this or that? Why do they never do what I want? Etc”

 

Our thoughts shape our attitude. What you think about your neighbor is your attitude towards them. What you think about your spouse is your attitude towards them. Our attitude helps us determine what actions to take, how often we take action and if we are positive or negative about it. And action is the ingredient that determines how our life turns out.

 

Jon Acuff in his book start talks about the voices in our head that whisper lies to us. When we want to do something that matters the voices get loud and tell us we can’t or we aren’t good enough or we don’t have the right background or skill and the list goes on and on. And if we listen to those voices we will never change or do the great work we are capable of. So to silence the voices he says write them down. The big voice seems really small when you put it on paper. But don’t just write it down refute it with the truth.

It looks like this.

 

Spouse (triggers) Uhg I don’t think they will ever change…

That’s a lie. Write it down. Then refute it with truth. All things are possible for those who believe. I sure do love her. He is going to be the man I know he can be. She is a great mother and loves us. Etc.

 

Work (triggers) I don’t think I will ever be successful… Lie

I can learn new skills. I am smart and creative. I can do great work. I just have to find a way and take massive action. The only difference between me and those who are successful is they took Action.

 

Changing your life, circumstances and the results you have been getting seems like magic but it is actually just controlling what you allow yourself to think and dwell on. Anyone can completely change their life because anyone can change their actions by changing their attitude. And anyone can change their attitude by changing their thinking.

What do you think about your job or neighbor or circumstances today? What are your triggers? Your lies? What do you need to start speaking life into today?

 

Do it and every area of your life can start changing today.

 

 

If this has helped you please pass it along.

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Choice or Chance? Take control of your future.

Is your life where you thought it would be? Is it where you want it to be? Do you love what you do? Are you heading in the direction of the future you want?

Choice, not chance, is what determines your destiny. What you do is ultimately up to you.

We make choices everyday. Choices to stay in our comfort zone. Choices to fit in. Choices to do something we care about. Choices to start moving in a better direction.

Your current circumstances are a result of the past choices you have made. If you want better circumstances start making better choices.

I chose to play it safe and take the job with the big company with good benefits and the most security. I slowly realized what we trade for security is our freedom. I realized that I was trading the freedom to make more money for the security of the same check every week. I traded time freedom for benefits.
I eventually reached a level of disgust with my current circumstances when my secure job decided to drop my pay. That’s when I decided to take my freedom back into my own hands.

I don’t know if we will ever fully understand the power that making a choice has. But that day I made a choice that my wife deserves more and that my kids deserve more and that I would do whatever it took to give it to them period. Now 2 years later I write this just a few short months away from passing our goal of doubling my income and taking the step to becoming a work from home dad.

It’s the small choices that we make everyday that lead to a better future. And it’s a lot easier to consistently make the right choice when you have a goal in front of you. Make the choice to run a 5k to help raise money for a cancer patient and suddenly the choice to drink water instead of coke is really easy.

Will you remain the same or will you take a stand and create something that makes the world awesome? The choice is up to you. We made the choice.

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I want my story to be one of…

When I look back on my life I want to see a progression of excitement and adventure.
I don’t want normal. Normal is easy. Normal is boring Anybody can do it.
I want our story to be more to be one of overcoming obstacles, doing the impossible and persevering without exception.
When I look back on my story I want to see a picture of Jesus reaching out and touching thousands of lives. I want my life to be seen as an example of what’s possible when someone gives the paintbrush to God and says I trust you to paint my best story.

WHY?
Because I’m not going to tell my kids what’s possible. I’m going to show them!

Show them how to love, how to live, how to dance, how to enjoy the little things, how to lend a hand, how to work hard, how to care, how to dream, believe, how to be vulnerable, how to be strong, how to touch the lives around them, how to make a difference, how to go when others stop, how to change the world, how to lead and follow, how to love God, how to lay down their life, how to live for the bigger story.

We all tell a story. What will your story be?

It all starts with the man in the mirror.

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I used to think living out faith sounded boring Then I read about Jesus and his friends…

I used to think living out faith sounded boring Then I read about Jesus and his friends…

I don’t know if it is my personality or my ADHD but impatience and boredom seem to hang around me more often than they do most people. I don’t follow instructions well and I don’t do great sitting around waiting. This is probably why my lovely bride calls me “Special”. This also explains why I have some problems with religion and faith.

Alexander Woollcott sums up how I viewed Christians before I met Jesus in this quote, “Many of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn’t spend half our time wishing.”

Around three years ago my entire life changed when I decided to follow Jesus but it wasn’t in the way that I expected. I expected to be changed into this guy who follows the rules and does what other Christians do but I was bored after an hour or two and wanted to go do something exciting. I made one mistake before I tried anything exciting though, I talked to religious people about what I wanted to do. They told me if I want to do awesome stuff I need this special mixture of; belief, hope, patience and prayer. They called this mixture faith. No wonder they spend more time wishing than doing. This equation looked like trying to read Egyptian hieroglyphics without the Rosetta Stone, make your best guess and hope for the best.

I didn’t have a better plan so I went along with their system for about a year and a half. I read the bible like they said, which made me more impatient because I wanted to go on some of the crazy adventures the disciples went on. My problem was I was still bored and there was a lot more waiting than doing. Something I wasn’t a fan of. So I dropped the boring plan and started trying to do awesome stuff like Jesus and his disciples did.

I quickly found out, I’m not as awesome as I thought I was. Nothing I was trying worked but at least I wasn’t bored.
Then just a few months ago Paige and I were talking about our future and what we wanted to do, where we wanted to go, we talked about Jesus and some of the things that he told us to do in the bible and we talked about his character and how we don’t believe he designed everyone to be bored and how he wants us to live exciting passionate lives. At the end of the conversation we hadn’t heard any loud or small quiet voices telling us exactly what to do but after looking at our passions and what we are good at mixed with who God is and what he told us in scripture we felt that he was telling us to just go down the road he was pointing at.

It sounded to simple. Just follow the road to Awesome and look for the road signs called Opportunities. They might be uncomfortable or different but they take you towards AWESOME. It didn’t take long for us to realize that Available and Willing to be used by God were roads the disciples took. So we took those two roads as often as we could.

People say God leads them by an audible voice telling them exactly where to go but for us it seams like God uses the same method he did with the wise men. Most people picture the three wise men following a star that floated right in front of them all the way to Jesus. Sort of like the cloud of fire that God used to lead Moses and the children of Israel around the desert with. I think God lead the wise men by pointing in a direction and said follow the road signs to Awesome and when they reached the end of the road they met Jesus who is Awesome in the flesh.

I used to think living out faith involved being bored and not doing anything wrong Then I read about Jesus and his friends going on awesome adventures and making a difference in the lives of everyone they touched. When I saw them turn the world upside down I decided to follow them down the road towards Awesome.

There is more to life than most of us have ever experienced and it starts with Jesus. And Jesus starts by sharing where he is going and asking if you want to come along on the adventure. Don’t take the boring road, it is for the people who just want to talk about doing something awesome one day. Take the other road, the one less traveled that leads to awesome.

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Don’t be a zombie… Do something exciting instead

Who are you talking to when you have a conversation with yourself?

Do we all have split personalities? Do we all have a touch of crazy in us or what? I’m ok calling everyone, especially myself, a little crazy.

I have a lot of time by myself during the day at work so these conversations with myself happen regularly. What I found is that I have 2 distinctly separate responses. The first says “that will be awesome go for it.” The second says, “play it safe, remember what’s on the line, you can’t afford to fail.”

One part of me wants to climb, to jump, to make an impact, to challenge the status quo, to create and do something that has never been done, to be wild and adventurous. While this other side wants to play it safe, to stay in my comfort zone, to lay low and avoid failing.

Basically go on an adventure or be a zombie. And not the cool zombies from the thrilled video.

Three years ago a perfect storm hit my life and turned everything upside down. I was ticked. I had listened to the side that said play it safe and these things can’t happen. I had bought into this idea of, be a zombie and don’t risk failure and in 40 years you can wake up and live the life you want. IT DOES NOT WORK. And I thank God every day that it didn’t because I realized in that storm that FAILURE ISN’T FATAL.

Apparently all I needed was to know FAILURE IS JUST AN OPPORTUNITY TO START OVER. Because I immediately took what I was passionate about and set out to make an impact. I touched one persons life and knew, this is the work that will make a difference in the lives of others if I just make the jump and go for it. Something great happens when you jump. Your heart starts beating a little faster your adrenalin starts pumping and there is this excitement about what’s going to happen next because (the plan) just went out the window. It’s like taking your zombie self to skydive and you get up to jump and as soon as you jump you snap out of it FULLY AWAKE. Zombies don’t play or fly so they stay on the plane being boring.

I don’t know about you but when I was a kid I went on these wild adventures. All I needed was a dog a friend or a pocket knife and a 12 hr trip through the woods was going to happen. I remember when I was around 12 or 13 my friend Jake had this great idea to cut through the woods to this old grave yard. I’m not sure if there was a grave yard or not but that didn’t matter to us we were with a friend on an adventure. We couldn’t have been a half mile from his house when we found our adventure for the day. A house that could have been built in the early 1800s. We were in the middle of the woods and the woods were in the middle of this house. Really there was a huge oak that had grown out of the living room floor and straight through the roof. When we saw the old creepy house we knew we had found the story we were looking for. So like all adventures we went in. (What kind of adventure would it have been if we only found the house. Only adults could be boring zombies back then.) We spent a good 2hrs tip toeing around looking at everything, even though I’m sure it was closer to 5min. Then the unexpected happened, the wind blew and the door slammed shut. When my feet hit the ground next I was through the back door and looking over my shoulder for Jake who I think dove out the window, when my face and chest found the old fence that went with the creepy house. Now this adventure had to be told to the rest of our friends on monday, I had the battle scars to prove it was real and we had a great story about how a zombie slammed the door trying to eat us.

When I started ignoring the voice that said “you can’t do that” or “you might fail if I try this”, my heart started beating again and I started doing things that I couldn’t control. I didn’t know what the outcome would be when I started a business, all I knew was I had the exact same feeling I had when I was 12 standing outside that house.

Was I scared? Yes. Was a voice in the back of my head saying don’t do it? Yes. But when I was 12 I was good at ignoring that voice and making the jump anyways and now 12 years later I am good at ignoring that voice again. Was it worth pushing myself out of my comfort zone? I’ll just say the results were greater than anything I could have ever imagined. I not only get to change families lives forever but we get to go on some great adventures along the way. And the best part is we are not zombies anymore.

Once you taste the sweetness of an adventure again it’s hard to settle for the same boring thing everyday. Once you make an impact in someone’s life it becomes contagious you can’t help but do it again.

Life offers everyone the opportunity be extraordinary, to be adventurous and exciting. All it requires of you is to be awake and willing to fail and start again. If you don’t like those options then sign up for zombie indoctrination. I hear they will take anyone with hands and feet.

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1 tip to go from ordinary to extraordinary

I want to share a quick tip with you today that I believe can help you in every area of your life. I recently started asking the question, “What do extraordinary people do to go from ordinary to extra-ordinary?

What I noticed is extraordinary people come from every background and culture on earth. The majority of extraordinary people have more in common with ordinary people than they do with each other. Some grow up with both parents in the house some don’t. Some grown up in upper class America some in the slums of Africa. Some are given all the resources some fight for any resources. Some are healthy some are quadriplegics in constant pain. The point I want to make is extraordinary men and women come from every walk of life. It is not where you come from that determines if you make it or not, it is what you do. The opportunity to be extraordinary is given to everyone.

Every person who has ever impacted this world, by influencing or making a difference in the life of even one person, shares similar habits. This post is about one of these shared habits.

We make thousands of choices everyday and over time these choices become habits. These habits then shape and influence the majority of our lives.

Og Mandino wrote in ,The Greatest Salesman in the World, “I have surrendered my free will to the years of accumulated habits, and the past deeds of my life have now charted a course that threatens to imprison my future.”

This is an example of the wrong choices complied over years. The good news is, right choices (habits) accumulated over years can chart a course that will carry you further than you ever dreamed possible.

No matter how hard we study or how much we know without this habit you will not get anywhere. It is more important than any college degree. (That might get me in trouble)
Every entrepreneur has it and every business needs it.

It is the habit of TAKING ACTION.

Knowing is great but if you don’t develop the habit of taking action you will never DO anything. I know how to make a difference in my community but if I don’t start doing it my knowledge is pointless. Look at the extraordinary men and women who made America what it is today.

Our founding fathers developed the habit of taking action. Entrepreneurs like Edison and Bell took consistent action towards what they believed. Lincoln when it wasn’t the popular thing to do took action. MLK, JFK, Helen Keller, Steve Jobs all became american heroes by taking consistent action.

When given an opportunity to make a decision most people freeze. The decision not to act has much greater consequences than merely making the wrong choice.

Now, if you decide to say to yourself ,I’ll start doing things different tomorrow, that’s one of the normal signals of self-delusion; a person who can’t take action today to change something that needs to be changed won’t likely do it tomorrow either, and each day that goes by, the stronger the habit becomes.

Extraordinary people make decisions quickly and change their mind slowly and they take action. Ordinary people make decisions slowly change their minds quickly. Abe Lincoln said, “Good things may come to those who wait but only things left by those who hustle.”

Now, is the only time God give us to act. We can’t act in yesterday for it has come and gone. We can’t act in tomorrow because its always a day away. We can only change now. And when tomorrow gets here it will change its name to Now.
So don’t wait start taking action and watch your entire world change. Who knows maybe one day it will be your name that everyone uses to define EXTRAORDINARY.

Be blessed.

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