One of the best ways to deal with uncertainty

Uncertainty is everywhere. And the best thing we can do isn’t fight it, try to force things to happen—control. No.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is just do this—surrender.

That’s not the same as giving up. You’re not quitting. Absolutely not!

Surrendering is different. It’s not giving up; it’s giving in. And that’s an important distinction, especially in times like these.

It’s like quicksand. When you get stuck in it it’s terrifying and your temptation is to just fight and flail and twist and turn and writhe. The fear grips you and you want to gain control, but that only saps your strength and weakens you until you don’t have any energy to actually solve your problem.

Instead, when you’re in that situation, you need to relax. Make yourself light, and then you make slow and deliberate moves to get yourself out. It takes time, patience, and persistence.

We’re all in quicksand now.

We feel it. With a crazy political world, incredible divisions, an election year—a pandemic—looming possible school openings, quarantines, lockdowns, financial stress, and the list can go on, there’s just more to make us want to fight and flail and twist and turn and writhe, isn’t there? We want control but can never really get it, can we?

And we’re tired. We’re stressed, fatigued.

Stop trying to control and fight.

Instead, surrender. Don’t give up. Give in. Let your mind and body relax. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Think about today. Make a plan. Take deliberate and slow steps. Feed yourself. Feed your family. Find time to laugh and play. Create. Work. Find a way to survive.

Remember, you can’t control the quicksand: the political mayhem, people’s comments on Facebook, their ideologies, the economy. You can control yourself, your mindset, your prayer-life, your meditation practice, your routine, your actions.

Slow down. Let the future unfold. Persist. Go with the flow.

And, when you do, I believe, you’ll be free to find freedom.

You’ll even grow.



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This Is the Freedom You Can Hear

A choir of birds chirp outside my window each morning. And the melodies breathe a refreshing breeze into my soul that helps me face the day. It’s a simple sound, never ceasing to surprise and delight me, reminding me of something greater.

Taking pleasure in the every-day moments, common yet majestic, can bring mirth even in the darkest times. But first you need to hear them.

It’s easy not to notice them. Some mornings I don’t because I’m too distracted or worried or something.

Awareness is key. Take note of the world around you. When you do, it makes all the difference. Noticing those small details can have big effects on your life.

Hearing the chirps helps me reframe my mind. It reminds me that there’s a whole world out there that’s still chiming, dancing from branch to branch, living as it has for thousands of years.

And just because a pandemic has struck human life, some creatures go unperturbed, singing the song of life, as they eat worms and fly and soar, freely going about their lives.

And I’m reminded that someday we will be free too.

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For your enjoyment

Don’t rush. Take your time. Meander. Roam. Wander.

If you see others scurrying to and fro, don’t follow them. Don’t imitate. Go at you own pace.

Actually, slow down.

Notice what’s around you, the beauty, the aromas, the sky.

Breathe in deeply and soak the world into your body; absorb it.


Venture inward and take note of your thoughts, worries, dreams, hopes. Look at the wounds, the victories, the feelings, the fear, the faith.

Too often we live without living and see without seeing.

So open your hearts and eyes, feel and be delighted.


This is one of the best ways to think

The best way to improve ourselves is to improve the way we think. 

I recently read a great book about culture called What You Do Is Who You Are (affiliate). 

It drew from some amazing events and people that showed how actions are what actually form culture. Not thought, philosophies, ideas, values, but cold hard acts. If you fire someone for lying, you are creating a culture. If you let them lie, you are also creating a culture. The question is what kind of culture do you want to create. 

And reading that book got me wondering about where mindset fits in. And that’s when I heard this phrase in my head. 

“How you think is who you’re becoming.” And I think that perfectly compliments that author’s point about actions and is a true statement that I can stand by. 

The way one thinks is always the precursor to action. But not just any thought, it’s how you think that changes actions, not just what you think. What you think are the conclusions you draw, which is important. But, I believe, how you think is more so because it is the process by which you reach those conclusions. In other words, it’s your operating system, your mind’s software. If the way you think is that you’ll do anything to win, even lie, then you’re going to do it because you’re programmed to. It’s just a matter of when. Or, if you see the world through a lens of fear, that’s going to determine the way you navigate through the world, whereas someone who considers the world to be good-natured will act very differently. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t change. Your software can get upgraded. It starts with having a realization that changes the way you think. Epiphanies don’t happen often, but when they do, your actions change because you now see the world differently. It causes your mind to think differently.

Early in my marriage, our culture was terrible. I always had this dreadful fear that my wife was going to leave me. To someone who knows very little about me, it would be easy to conclude that my fear was caused by insecurity, which I’m sure I was insecure; but, I don’t think that that was the real driver of my fear. I was afraid that my wife would leave me because I had been left before. 

My wife and I got married when I was in my thirties. But I had been previously engaged in my early twenties. And that fiancé broke off our engagement, which broke me. I was devastated and wasn’t able to really get back into another relationship for almost five years. And even though I had healed much by the time I got married over a decade later, my thinking was still damaged, my OS was buggy.

Engagement and marriage are similar situations. And because of those similarities, I thought my wife could also leave me just like my ex-fiancé. In short, I thought the situation is what drove the results of these relationships. And that heightened my fear. But there was only one problem. I was wrong. How I thought was totally wrong. My OS wasn’t just buggy; it was bad.

Because my wife was a completely different person, I shouldn’t have thought the way I did. My marriage wasn’t a situational paradigm; it was a personal one, meaning that this is about a person, namely, my wife. 

And one day, during a huge fight, I tried to use words to get my wife to leave me. (This was stupid since I tried to get her to do the very thing I was deathly afraid of, because, in a twisted way, I thought that it was inevitable that she would leave, so I tried to force her to when I could expect it, instead of unexpectedly like my ex-fiancé.) In all of that, I had an epiphany. My wife was never going to leave me, no matter how much of an idiot I was. She was staying. 

Knowing that changed everything. I stopped getting so scared and pushing her away. Our fights lessened in quantity and intensity; I got less stupid. And we started to flourish. All because I stopped thinking situationally and realized that this was about a person. My wife wasn’t my ex-fiancé. 

All of us have faulty software in our minds. It’s got bugs; we’re buggy. But we don’t want to stay that way. We want to and can become someone better. And that almost always happens by changing our software or how we think. But do we always need to fight with our loved ones in an epic battle to do that? I hope not. 

There are a lot of ways to kill our mental bugs. Here are a few that I think work. 

Good relationships

Being social creatures, we need to be around people to become the best versions of ourselves. But it’s not just any kind of people. They should be those to whom we aspire to be like or at least those whom we respect. Because if we surround ourselves with negative people or those who aren’t what we hope to become, we will most likely follow their lead. 

So it’s essential to choose your tribe well. It doesn’t have to be a large group; it can be small, a couple of people, maybe even just one person. But dialoguing with others and hearing what they think about you and allowing them to speak into your life and how you think will only make you better, especially if they have your best interest at heart.


Read challenging books

Books aren’t as personal as friends: Books can be conversational, but you can’t have a conversation with them. But they can still change the way you think. Reading is one of the best ways to feed the mind, the soul. The trick is to read authors who may not believe what you do or study subjects that you find challenging, or may not be familiar with. Taking in ideas you are already comfortable with and espouse isn’t going to help you get better. That will only help you stay the same. So read outside of your comfort zone. Authors who push themselves or have reached great heights or tell stories of those who have, should enter into your library and fall beneath your gaze. And when that happens, lightning will strike. An epiphany will happen. 



I’ve lumped all of these together—maybe—because I don’t meditate and may feel a little inadequate since all of the cool smart kids like Tim Ferriss, Ray Dalio, my wife, swear by it. But, when I do it, I just want to take a nap. The other four work like a charm for me, though. 

The point of this point is to process your thoughts in a restful, meditative, reflective, and even spiritual, fashion. Letting the mind coalesce various thoughts, experiences, and feelings creates magic. You connect the dots and BAM! That epiphany hits you. 

Running is one of the best ways for me to get epiphanies. I’m not exactly sure why, but I do know it’s impossible for me to feel like taking a nap while I’m running, that’s for sure. Another marriage-altering thought hit me while I was running (which I’ll save the details for a future post). 

And the important thought I’m trying to make here is that you need to create the space to make those connections. Connecting the dots requires mental space. Whether it’s running outside, journaling at a desk, or closing your eyes and doing a body scan, give your mind the time to run. 


Improving the way we think is critical to having better relationships, becoming healthier people, living better lives. Because how we think forms who we become. 

Our actions are critical, and they do form culture; but, if you can think better, you can’t help but act better. 

And your loved ones will thank you for it. 

Ask my wife.