Here’s What You Can Control

Embed from Getty Images Ellie's face turned maroon.  "I'm angry!," she screeched.  She was playing a board game with her twin four year old sister, Evie. Ellie gets intense.  I'd never seen her this irate.  Why was she angry?  No other reason than her sister was ahead of her on the board.   That was deemed unfair.  I calmed her down.  She resumed playing. The girls proceeded to butcher the game.  I resisted my urge to control and correct.  I let them play on, refereeing only … [Read more...]

Lighting Matches on a Windy 4th of July

I closed the last book. They sat there awkwardly. Some looked at me blankly. Others' minds and bodies wandered off.  Mrs. Bush said, "What do we say?" The class mumbled, "Thank you ... ," not quite in unison or unanimity. "What dooo we saayy?!,"  Mrs. Bush repeated with greater expectations. The kids screamed, "THANK YOU!" I was the "Mystery Reader" for Evie's class. She's one of my twin 4 year olds.  I read 3 books ... two too many for the attention span of ten 4 year olds. They tuned in and … [Read more...]

Are You Leading Learners? Sink or swim

Embed from Getty Images Ellie stood at the side of the pool.  "I want my floaties!"  I told her she wasn't getting her floaties.  I needed her to be brave.  She melted down like a Bomb Pop in the Texas summer sun.  I walked to the edge where she stood.  I encouraged her to just let me hold her in the water.  She got in cautiously. I floated her around, holding her by her bathing suit.  I encouraged her.  She relaxed.  I told her to put her face in the water as she swam.  "No.  I'm … [Read more...]

Today Is A Good Day for No Words

Reid said, "I normally don't have a loss for words."   I replied awkwardly, looking for something to say.   "Today's a good day for no words."  Reid was at the Peace Rally the night before.  He drove out of the parking garage, where one of the snipers was setup, 25 minutes before the assault on the police and protesters began. It's the day after five police officers were killed in Dallas.  My wife, Jen, and I were at the noon prayer vigil at Thanks-giving Square in downtown Dallas.  This is … [Read more...]

Are You Free? The Captivity of Choice

I spent 2 days in Huntsville.  Standing on concrete.  Hands through the bars that secure 7'x9' rooms containing two bunks, a small seat and a steel toilet.  I heard stories from men in their  20s  through their 80s.  Black, latino, white. All putting their faith ... possibly in blind desperation ... in God.  A Vietnam vet who claims innocence.  A recurring petty criminal.   A man who made a mistake in judgement and is desperate to restore what is probably already lost. I sat in the mess hall. … [Read more...]

Who Cares About What You Do?

  It doesn't matter what you do. It matters what you do does. It matters what the impact of what you do has on your Customer, client, friend, son, mother or husband.  The more impact, the better (Hopefully, that impact is positive). You say, "I talk to my wife 6 times a day. I'm a good husband." Great! Good for you. What's the impact? Maybe she wants you to leave her alone. Maybe you're driving her freakin' bonkers. It's not about what you do. It's about what is create by what you … [Read more...]

How Tired Are You, Really? 3 ways to know

  On any given day of the week the alarm goes off.  The alarm is either my phone or my kids.  The first thought that floats on the cloudy surface of my mind is, "I'm so tired.  I need a break".  I haven't even started.  Yet I need a break already? I go to the gym three days of the week.  It's a group workout.  I sign-up in advance.   I groan when the alarm goes off.  Then I roll out of bed.  I have to be somewhere.  Class starts at 6am.  After my first set, I'm fired up.  I get … [Read more...]

Are you too busy? Ask these 4 questions.

  Steve asked his son, Stone, if he wanted to go and do something together.  Stone said, "I can't.  I'm busy."   Steve went on about his business.  Stone did, too.  An opportunity to connect lost. We're all too busy.  We all have a reason to keep doing what we're doing.  The work in progress is uninterruptable.   Our tendency is to assume that what we're doing now --- no matter what it is --- is too important to stop. Responding to e-mail.  Creating a Powerpoint deck.   Taking a … [Read more...]

The Rule of the Exception

  I just wrote an email of encouragement to my wife, Jen.  We started this habit 8 years ago.  Once a week, on Wednesday, we email each other encouragement.   There's enough encouragement to make a book. The encouragement is a great way for us to refocus on what we like about each other, love about each other and want for each other.  It's a great way ... until that day that's too busy.  Those times when I say to myself, I can't right now ... I'll get to it later.  The days when I lay … [Read more...]

This Test Is Pass/Fail. Do You Pass This Test?

I've asked a lot people if they want a more significant and meaningful life.  Every person I ask says 'Yes'. They may be lying.  After all, it's a loaded question.  Who really wants to tell someone, "Eh, I really don't give shit ... I'm good enough."    Or they may be answering from the core of their soul.  Looking at how people live tells me it might be somewhere in between.   Or they just don't know how.  At least not consistently. What about you? How do you qualify yourself?  What … [Read more...]