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...]

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...]

The Top Reason Your 3 Year Old Is Terrible

http://gty.im/185664072   She was writhing naked around on the bed.  She was excited with a huge smile on her face.   My heart rate was rising. We had to be somewhere in 20 minutes.  We were running out of time.  She didn't care. I was frustrated.  She wouldn't cooperate.  Why would she?  I was cramming her into a modern construct that is meaningless from a biological evolutionary perspective. 3 year olds show us how we've gone astray in our attempts to scale and find meaning. Jen, … [Read more...]

Tis the Season

Tis the season to ask big questions.... The depth of winter is upon us.  The pendulum swings toward new life for the next 6 months. What new life will be born in you?   What new life will you birth into this world?   What fear will you face down?   What wrong will you forgive?   What unjustice will you stand up to?  What life giving words or actions will you take toward a friend, an enemy, a stranger, a neighbor? These are life or death questions.   Life or death answers, too. Which … [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...]

Learn This Easy Magic Trick. It’s quick!

  I walked in the door to the office this morning.  Joe, the security guard, waved and smiled.  I caught him in the corner of my eye, over my shoulder.  I turned and waved back.  A smile crossed my face.  I realized this was a ritual that started my day with pleasure.  It was small.  But valued. I stopped, turned around, and walked to Joe.  I opened the glass door to the small reception area where Joe sits.  I told Joe how much I appreciated his wave and smile in the morning.  I … [Read more...]

Litmus Test: Are You Wasting Your Time?

  We might be deluded in the U.S.  We focus on being the best.  At everything.   And we ignore the results. We aim for exceptionalism ... being the outlier, the best, the far right of the bell curve.  We practice exceptionalism ... choosing exceptions to avoid doing what would make us exceptional. Societies around the globe invest deeply in their leisure.  The investment is the biggest we can make.  Time. It ranges from the daily to the seasonal.   Long walks with others, … [Read more...]

What We Frequent Becomes Our Frequency

  George, a rebel pastor I know talks about how we talk in terms of, "When I have X (Money, House, Car, Spouse) , then I'll do Y (Start a business, go to school, have a baby) and then I'll be happy."    He turns it on its head.  "When I am happy, then I'll do Y, then I will have X." What we frequent becomes our frequency.  A tuning fork vibrates when it is struck by the frequency its tuned to.  We are like adaptive tuning forks.  We vibrate at the frequency of what we are surrounded … [Read more...]

Want More Success? You’ll Have To Do This 1 Thing

  Will said, "They won't do it!  Have you read Sven's email.  He said 'No.'"   I asked Will, "Have you spoken to them?"   "No." I Instant Message Sven.  I bring up the situation, apologize for any way we miscommunicated in the past, and ask when there'd be a good time to chat.  Sven sent his phone number.  We had a quick conversation  and set up a meeting with a couple of other folks from his team. Sven's "No" turned to "Maybe."   Two more conversations and we got to "Yes." We … [Read more...]