Friday, February 10, 2017

Surprise The World - Surprise Yourself

"Man is always more than he can know of himself; consequently, his accomplishments, time and again, will come as a surprise to him."
- Golo Mann

Day in and day out, we go about our lives performing many of the same tasks required of daily living. We become so used to it that everything we do seems ordinary.

The thing is, you are not ordinary.

You are an amazing creation that can do surprising things with your life.

The act of performing your job to the best of your ability is not ordinary. Anyone can just show up to a job. But you go beyond and put great skill and effort into making your work the best one can produce.

The act of having a committed relationship with another person. You take great care in nurturing and serving that connection. You do not simply take but you give so the relationship grows and strengthens.

You are not ordinary.

The act of raising children is huge and you understand it as such. You are creating and building a great life for them so that they are strong and ready for the world that lay before them.

The act of helping and serving others in the community. You understand that when you give, much is returned tenfold to you. Having a strong and vital community around you creates a better life for all.

So you see, you are not ordinary.

You have the ability within you to create great surprise in other people with what you can accomplish. That ability makes you more than ordinary.

Go out and surprise the world.

And stay inspired my friends!

Monday, February 06, 2017

Wins and Losses

On athleticism, God knows no favor. It seems rather he is in the business of teaching winners how to lose and losers how to win.” ― Criss Jami

I need to take this moment to apologize.

I need to apologize to all of those Atlanta Falcon fans who deeply and those who road the wagon during Super Bowl LI.

I need to apologize to the Atlanta Falcons themselves who came so close but a championship slipped away in the late evening hours of Super Bowl LI.

It was I who turned on the television late in the third quarter to watch the game unfold. I gave the New England Patriots a shot at winning this championship and they took full advantage of my bad choice.

I should have continued to watch House of Cards episodes on Netflix and left the football gods to wonder why I was not watching the game.

I should have, but I did not.

I am pretty sure my watching or not having watched had no impact upon the game. And no, I am not superstitious. I feel we give everything we have as the football players did on that field.

A missed block, an unfortunate fumble or drive saving catch all contribute in the end. We are human after all and it is those pieces of the game which decide outcomes. It is those things which determine wins and losses.

And it is our attitude towards a win or loss which determines who we are as a person. Attitude determines the type of winner and type of loser we are in any given situation.

So do I apologize for my possible ethereal impact upon the game, of which it is unlikely.

If it makes one step back and look at the wins and losses of one's life in a more positive light, then please, let my apology stand.

Stay inspired my friends!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Backpack of Lessons

Backpack by Shelley Plum

On my back a pack I carry
In it, all my treasures.
It's what I need
So I can be
One class higher!

Crayons, ruler, scissors too,
And yes a little Elmer's glue
Paper, pencils, in my bag...
Wonder what made mom so sad?
Trapper keeper, nice and neat

Will it really stay this clean?
On my back a pack I carry
In it, all my treasures!

Today I'll be
Just watch and see
One class higher!

School remains in session in many parts of the world today. There will be those who have the day off possibly, sick, holiday or other reasons, but most of school age are attending classes. Millions of kids and adults around the world in school.

As these kids or adults go running out into a world of learning, the big picture of their lives has not been fully painted in. The color of their knowledge only exists in primary and plain tones. As they learn, the varying shades and detail will begin to fill in.

Our own life is also an ever changing picture that fills even more as we learn more each day. The details of everything continue to become ever more clear. Every day brings new opportunity to learn more and to grow more.

Each of us should strive to learn and expand what we know. Even as those children attending school know, it is a lesson that you should never stop learning. Keep growing in knowledge and allow the fine details of your life be painted ever clearer.

Stay inspired my friends!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Of Planets and Comets

"If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days." - Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Here we are nearing the end of the first month of the year. The summer travel season seems so far away here in the United States as people bundle up from the cold while others are shoveling a path through the snow from their front door.

The schools are in full swing, kids are carrying back packs full of paper, pens and books. Learning the great mysteries of life that will give them solid ground to stand upon. The coldness of the air pushes us to huddle indoors.

Winter days cause us to plan.

We take our darken cold nights and plan for the travel season. Those vacation plans require careful planning for each traveling family. Precise planning for two weeks at the beach or mountains and the summer fun we will enjoy.

The details of the route we will take to our destination, the time required to get to and from our destination and trying to maximize the time we will have to relax. There are plans to eat, play and rest; the books we'll read and the activities we will take part in.

So much planning to play.

It is amazing though how little attention we give to our goals and retirement plans. It pales in comparison to the planning of a vacation. It reminds me of the difference between comets and planets circling within the universe.

We tend to treat our life like a planet when it comes to our vacation or even just the next weekend off from work. We have found the center, our Sun, the purpose of those two weeks in summer. Precisely and timely we circle that center, our summer plan.

The rest of the year we wander aimlessly like a comet. Flying through the universe without much purpose or direction until we eventually burn ourselves out. The point at which we end up is as far from what we wanted as could be imagined.

Aimless or stuck in one place.

I would never want you to become stuck in a singular orbit that is not your particular goal. Sometimes the aimless direction will actually place you in a new orbit around the goal you truly speak. We simply need ensure we find the right orbit.

It also speaks to planning and giving attention to those goals. Think of how much you could accomplish if you gave the same vacation attention to the rest of your life. Take those winter months to chart, revise, or put into motion your goals.

Planning can help you reach you achieve not only that summer vacation but a path to something bigger and more amazing. Take your efforts and work on the route you will take and the time required to get to your destination.

Soon you will find yourself there.

And the neat part is that once you get to your destination, you can begin planning for the next one. Just like vacation planning, you will find yourself always wanting to move on to the next goal.

This years vacation was great, but next year is going to be even greater. All through life, it will only keep getting better. Strike a balance between the comets and the planets of your life.

Take some of your energy used to plan a two week vacation and direct it towards the rest of your life. You'll be amazed at how far you will go.

Stay inspired my friends!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Bag of Tools

Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.” ― Roy T. Bennett

Isn't it strange
That princes and kings,
And clowns that caper
In sawdust rings,
And common people
Like you and me
Are builders for eternity?

Each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass,
A book of rules;
And each must make--
Ere life if flown--
A stumbling block
Or a steppingstone.


Stay inspired my friends!

Fortune Favors The Brave from Co.MISSION on Vimeo.

Monday, January 23, 2017


"Communicate, communicate, and then communicate some more."
- Bob Nelson

This article first appeared in February 2011 and has been one of my more popular posts with nearly three thousand having read it. And six years later it still feels very appropriate for the time. The rise of social media means we are talking in thirty second sound bites. In fact we are yelling at each other in the form of all capital letters, memes and exaggerated news.

The louder and more outrageous is what wins people and elections. The more left or the more right we swing, the more bold of opinion we become. We become more convinced of our own position by either bible thumping conservatives or bleeding heart liberals. You see the label we put on people is easier then exploring the depth because we just might learn something different.

Can we just talk?

You see I can be just as much of the problem as the next blogger, tweeter, Facebook posting person of all ages. I poke and prod people just as they have over the past eight years. And as we did the previous eight years, so on and so forth. And did we really talk to each other or reinforce our own position and allow the middle ground to sink further? The gap widens between us more and more.

Why is communicating with each other so important? Because those who would want to see us destroy ourselves do not want us to. They see the corrosive nature of miscommunication over time. It decays the fabric of who we are more then bombs or violent acts. We do that enough to ourselves, all our enemies need to do is push us against each other and we will take care of the rest.

What was that article I wrote?

Here it is, four sentences that generated so much reading. But can we turn it into action and build back up the ground between us? Can be begin to talk to each other in a meaningful way and loosen our grasp on ourselves so that we can embrace with a handshake and conversation.

It happens to each of us, a situation comes up between two or more people and feelings get hurt or misunderstandings arise. One person thought the other knew something or another didn't give the whole story.

The problem normally is caused by a lack of communication. Its a pure and simple explanation for many of the problems that occur in our life. The lack of communication could be intentional and at other times inadvertent.

But in the end, if we just keep talking to each other we'll avoid many of the misunderstandings that get in the way of a great life.

Keep talking, keep communicating and life will be a whole lot easier. Can you hear me now?!

Stay inspired my friends!

Friday, January 20, 2017

One Hand In My Pocket

For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When you feel life has taken a weary turn on you, always know that this too shall pass.

Grab your overcoat, umbrella and be sure to wear your boots in order to weather the elements of life.

A Dream within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow
And in parting from you now
Thus much let me avow ---
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away.

In a night or in a day
In a vision or in none
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand ---
How few! Yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep
While I weep --- while I weep!
O God! Can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream.

And "what it all comes down to, is that everything's gonna be fine, fine, fine."

Stay inspired my friends!