This Is What Love Looks Like

I have an uncle that I admire. His name is Rick.

You probably don’t know him. But, if you did, you would sense that he’s different.

He’s one of the most loving guys I know. And we can all learn from him.

When he wants to talk to my wife or me, he will call and call until he gets a hold of us. If he can’t reach me, he’ll call my wife. If she doesn’t pick up, he will call me, then her, then me, then her again. And if he still can’t reach us, he will wait a few hours then call us again, even if we don’t call back.

When he finally reaches us, he will ask to see us. There’s no shame or guilt in his tone; he’s not upset that we didn’t pick up or call him back. He seems genuinely happy to talk to us. And while my wife and I are deliberating on when to see him, I will look at my wife and she will look at me, while Uncle Rick is still on the phone–waiting. He’s not pestering us. He’s not shrinking or embarrassed that we are taking our time. He quietly waits.

And then when we eventually say, “Yes, it would be great to see you!” he’s delighted. Even though he had to wait minutes for us to figure out the timing, he didn’t interpret it as us not wanting to see him. He gives us the benefit of the doubt.

When he shows up, he blesses us. He loves on us with his words, big smiles, and kind gestures. He brings gifts for our kids; he wishes us well.

And that whole series of events from calling to showing up hasn’t just happened once, it’s happened multiple times, in one form or another, since my wife and I married.

See, Rick’s a pitbull of love. He doesn’t take no for an answer. He’s not deterred by our indecision, upset by our uncertainty, troubled when we don’t call back. He just keeps coming.

He doesn’t think, “Oh, these people have disrespected me by not calling me back or not picking up or making me wait.” No. He just keeps on loving.

And I love him for it. I can’t help but respect him for it. I admire him and try to imitate him. He inspires me. I’m far from being like him, but I’m trying.

I hope he inspires you, too.

In a world that is broken relationally, we need that type of behavior. We need people who fight for each other, take the initiative, reach out, and give generously. We need more generosity. We need more Uncle Ricks.

What would this world look like if people were more resolute, resilient, resolved, tenacious, unwavering for others? What would we as a people be like if we loved each other through the awkwardness, the pauses, the silence? 

We should all be more like Uncle Rick.

Let’s try today.


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A Way Towards Prosperity and Peace

Worrying is such a waste of time.

Your mind is consumed with all of the things you can’t control: the future, the pandemic, your kids.

You’re not doing anything productive, moving the needle in any positive way. You’re just wallowing in the unknown.

Instead focus your thoughts on the present, what you can do right now. Do the things that matter, that can make a difference.

Do your work the best you can. Learn something to better yourself a little bit everyday. Stay vigilant and care for your health. Teach your children, love them.

For example, if you blog and want to become a successful blogger, stop worrying about how you’re going to get there. Start writing a post that will change someone’s perspective, improve their day, make them laugh.

Focus on today, the things you can control. If you pray, pray. And let the future sort itself out.

And you’ll likely be surprised by what the tomorrow will bring. You might even become rich.

If anything, you’ll have more peace.


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Transform Your Life With Better Expectations

To avoid disappointment don’t lower your expectations; lengthen them.

No one wants to be disappointed. And to prevent it some of us think it’s better to lower our expectations or, worse, kill them completely.

But, that doesn’t work.

Lowering your expectations is like giving up and it’s almost practically impossible to do. If you expect less, you may accomplish less. Also, we always expect others, ourselves, the world to be a certain way.

The problem isn’t that we have expectation but how we have them.

Our expectations aren’t too high.

They’re too short.

If you would have known me in my twenties I was a hot mess. I had higher expectations for myself, but failed to meet them, often. But in my forties I’m still a mess but far less messed up. But it took decades to grow and meet more of my expectations.

It takes years to get better, reach our goals, improve.

See, when you lengthen your expectations, spread them out, it changes everything.

Doing that will save you from disappointment and give you the perspective to reach higher than you ever thought you could.

It will help you live richly.

You might even exceed your expectations.


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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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Be More Unrealistic

“Let’s be realistic,” is a dream killing phrase, and I hate it. Don’t be realistic. Be foolish.

Do that thing everyone says don’t do. Try that crazy idea that everyone says will fail. Go to that place everyone tells you not to go to.

Failure is better than regret. With the former you learn. With the latter you only wallow.

In a “realistic” world we wouldn’t have personal computers, iPhones, Google, the internet, beautiful art, music, all of the things created by innovators, artists, and those unrealistic dreamers that we all love so much.

In this world where everything seems like it’s going to fall apart at any moment, where it’s unsafe to go out—dream. Create a new world inside of your mind.

Dream big. Dream small. Whatever you do cast your thoughts into a pool of possibilities and wade in it, bathe, swim, play. Submerge yourself in it. Emerge baptized and new.

And when you arise, attempt that “unrealistic” thing you dreamt. Try it. Make it.

You’ll likely fail, but keep at it, learning with each failure.

And who knows you may fly, create the next big thing, realize your dreams.

But whatever happens, you can be sure of this.

You won’t be the same.

You’ll be better.

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Mistakes Are One of the Best Things You Can Make

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is making no mistake at all.

Learning new skills, trying new things, growth, solving problems all involve some sort of failing.

So don’t be afraid to make mistakes; be afraid of never making anything.

See, to create, to get better at a craft, you start by making crap. At first what you make will sound wrong, look bad, feel off.

But that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. No.

You’re just in process. And making mistakes is a part of that.

But as you proceed, you’ll get better, you’ll learn, you’ll progress.

And if you continue, you’ll find with each miss, occasionally you’ll hit the mark. Until one day you never fail to hit it.

Mistakes don’t make you a failure. They make you succeed.

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Feel Connected

Be the first to initiate, text, call, zoom.

Just because you’re in isolation doesn’t mean you need to be isolated.

You can be connected, connecting, loved, loving.

Reach out to your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors. Ask them how they’re doing. Wish them well.

And the loneliness you feel will somehow feel far less lonely.

You’ll feel rich, blessed. So will they.

That’s what initiating does.

You’ll connect.


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Three Ways to Improve Your Life, Even Now

You can improve your life, even in this pandemic.

I’m not saying life’s ok. It’s not. We’ve lost much.

Even with all of that, you can continue to grow, learn, rise. Here are three ways. 

 

Work Better

We can all work, even if you’ve lost a job.

Unemployment isn’t the end of the world. I know. I’ve been fired before. I had to shift, adjust, hustle. That might be you today. 

If so, it’s a perfect time to experiment, try new things, publish a post on Medium. Learn how to make a living online.

Never has there been more opportunity to make money online than there is now. Google up “Make money online”. And you’ll find plenty of ideas. Then try one.

Even if you fail. You will have succeeded in learning something new.

And maybe, just maybe, it will put you on a direction that you never imagined going. It will transform your life. 

 

Connect Deeper

And, yes, everyone is talking about reconnecting with old friends. Just yesterday, I reconnected with one I haven’t talked to in over a decade. And it’s true: It is great. If you haven’t, you should.

But why not try healing deeper wounds, deepening existing relationships through having hard conversations. 

This is hard. Conflict is painful.

But when it’s done well, it often yields a depth of relationship and healing many don’t get to experience because we avoid these types of situations.

Start by asking that person a question about the topic you’re wanting to discuss. Ask them their side of the story. Get them to open up and don’t interrupt them: Just let them share. When they’re done wait to see if they’ll ask you a question.

If they don’t, ask them if they want to hear your side of the story. And see where it goes. You may be surprised.

You may experience a greater wave of intimacy that will revolutionize the way you relate to others for the rest of your life. 

 

Eat Richer

Lastly, Why not eat better?

All of us are buying more groceries than ever. So instead of getting chips or other processed foods, get a great, healthy and delicious recipe. Then create it.

Not only will the process of making it be fun but feasting on it will make you feel just as good as your tastebuds do. You’ll feel like royalty. You’ll feel rich.

If you’re looking for recipes, my family loves Cookbooks by Danielle Walker (affiliate). They’re magical—really. Every bite feels like a coronation. 

Just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t make each day an opportunity to get better, experience more, go deeper.

You can.

Try today.

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Grow today

Just because a pandemic is driving us all crazy doesn’t mean you can’t grow today.

Try something new: Learn a new language, an unfamiliar musical instrument, paint a painting, write poetry, code, cook a strange dish, blog. Anything. 

Yes, it will make you feel like you have a dunce hat on, unsure of yourself, a beginner.

Beginning is awful. You’re almost always terrible.

And sucking sucks.

But starting is valuable. You might feel like an idiot, but it’s one of the smartest things you can do. 

You’ll make connections you never made before, discover new ideas, see life afresh.

Focusing on that novelty will occupy your mind helping you de-stress (one thing we all need these days). 

If you keep at it, eventually you get joy out of what you’re learning. It adds to your life, your skills, your work, the world.

It will make you better than you were before.

That’s worth it.

You’re worth it.


Want coaching?

I’m only taking on a limited number of people, like 3. But if you’re interested, contact me and let’s set up a time for a video call.

Whether it’s in business, career, relationships, life, I’m here for you.

The first thirty minute session is free.

If you want to proceed after that, I will provide pricing.

I hope to connect with you and reach new heights together.


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Unlearn yourself

You’re not stuck; you just haven’t learned to unlearn yourself.

That phrase, “unlearn yourself,” is powerful because it unlocks the potential we all have within us. And it reframes the stories we tell ourselves that hold us back.

Our stories define us. And those definitions often trap us. They’re a cage of assumptions and ideas that confine and hinder us from improving our lives, living better.

Years ago, I used to have chronic pain, which I believed was the reason I was terribly out of shape. And I thought that I really couldn’t do much about it because I went to countless doctors but still agonized.

That was my story. That’s what I told myself. I was trapped.

Then I started mall walking with my wife. And I might have been out of breath the first few times, as grandmas lapped me. (Seriously.) But somehow I felt better physically after I went, so I kept at it.

Eventually, that led to me start running regularly, which set my lungs on fire, but also made me feel good, somehow.

And after years of incremental changes and improvements to my workouts and diet, I became healthy and fit. More than that, the pain dissipated.

After all of that, I realized how wrong I was about my body, my health, my pain, my story—me.

There was a cage around me that I never even realized was there. It was framed in a story that I wove about myself until it held me captive.

Then, I unlearned myself.

And everything changed. I changed.

What about you?

What do you believe about yourself that isn’t right or is entirely wrong?

It’s hard to see sometimes. Start by doing this.

Take stock when you say, “I can’t do that,” not about anything immoral, but those things you want to do or should do but believe you can’t.

What are those things, areas, goals, practices? Start there.

Unlearn yourself.

And you’ll learn how powerful you really are, unlocking the potential you never knew you had.


Want coaching?

I’m only taking on a limited number of people, like 3. But if you’re interested, contact me and let’s set up a time for a video call.

Whether it’s in business, career, relationships, life, I’m here for you.

The first thirty minute session is free.

If you want to proceed after that, I will provide pricing.

I hope to connect with you and reach new heights together.


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