Something I learned

I wake up daily searching for purpose and meaning; longing to know who I am supposed to be, and what I am here to do…this comes after I make my morning coffee of course.

How can I be the best dad I can be for my daughters? How can I be the best husband I can be for my wife? How do I make the most of each day?

Hungry for inspiration and clarity.

The overriding question to all of this is How can I be significant?

How does one even start to answer that question? It is a daily answer, a constant answer; and it requires direction. To be significant means that you have a positive impact in this life, and this means realizing that how we live affects others.

To work towards something, means you need something to work towards. I recently listened to a great interview with college football coach/analyst Lou Holtz. It’s about an hour, and it is totally worth it. Here is the link to the audio podcast: Lou Holtz interview

One of his keys to success is remembering W.I.N. What’s Important Now. This is how we stay on track with our goals; which means we need to have goals. One of my goals I set is to become more patient, and realize that how I  react to situations affect my family. If I truly want to achieve this, I need to exercise my mind and my heart. I need to ask my self each morning as the alarm goes off at the butt crack o’ dawn, what’s important now? I don’t really want to wake up, I’d rather sleep; but I need have time to start my day with prayer, meditation, exercise, and nutrition if I want to have a stable mindset for the day. If I truly want to strengthen my mind, improve how I react to change and unmet expectations, and think clearly; then I must invest daily in activities and practices that promote these things.

If your goal is to get stronger or drop wait, then being intentional about exercise and nutrition is important now. If your goal is to make more money, then showing up to work on time and working hard is important now. If I want to take my my family to Disneyland every year, then choosing to save a few bucks here and there instead of spending a few bucks here and there is important now.

The list goes on and on, but the idea helps gives direction and focus.

All of this is worth nothing if it were only benefiting myself, but the impact spreads so much wider than that. If I become more patient, then my family is happier; and we can do more in life. If we make more money, then we can give more money.

I hope you listen to that podcast and get inspired and laugh. My hope is that you realize that you are important to this life and this world. If we learn to set and achieve goals, our range of positive impact will constantly grow.


Free not Fear

What what I do if I were not afraid?

This is a good question, I read it in a book*. It sparked a lot of thoughts and emotions onside of me, as I have struggled with facing my fears my whole life it feels like.

My fears are all over the place it seems, but when I step back and take a look at myself; I realize that many of my fears have the same roots.

Lack of confidence, fear of embarrassment, they seem so petty; yet they have a hold on me. What we tell ourselves about ourselves is very powerful.

What would I do if I were not afraid? This question was then followed later with a statement: When you move beyond fear, you feel free.

Wow. So what this means, is that my fear is a choice. I can choose to step outside my door, look around my world, and choose to be still or to move. What would I do if were not afraid? Personally, I would be a better man; and potentially have a bigger impact n this life; not potentially, definitely. I think we all would if we all asked ourselves this question.

I would say yes more often. I have a tendency to overthink opportunity. Here are some small examples from my life; I feel silly writing them, but that’s probably fear based as well!

Music: I love to play guitar. I mean looove it. I love to write songs, instrumental and sometimes add words. I enjoy performing, but I don’t pursue it. I enjoy sharing my songs with others, but I don’t do it. I find myself being so critical of what I make, I imagine people not enjoying the songs, and I assume that they will be considered lesser songs when compared to others. Though, that is not how I feel about them. I love them, and I believe they can impact others as well. Music has always impacted me in a deep way, it has got me through a lot, and it has inspired me. I guess my fear is not playing in front of others; rather, it is fear how it will be received which will never be known if it’s never put out there.

Sporty stuff: This fear was easy to define, embarrassment. When I consider playing basketball, softball, or snowboarding with friends; all I can think about is people seeing me suck. This makes me say no a lot when asked to join. The funny thing is, I wouldn’t suck 100% of the time, I might actually do pretty well most of the time (51%).

Fathery stuff: Is it fear, selfishness, or both that keep me from diving in 100% with my kids and their dreams and imaginations? I have many examples of this, but maybe that is  for another blog post. Basically, kids are full of dreams and have huge imaginations. I don’t want to quench their passion by placing my fears on them.

My hope is this: that my openness about my fears will help others open up about theirs; because I believe that this world can be a much more loving caring and inspiring place if we did so.

I would probably listen to Man in the Mirror  by MJ right now if I were you.

What would I do if I were not afraid? When you move beyond fear, you feel free.

*Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson is a book about change, and living with a purpose.