Commitment Is It’s Own Reward

Especially when you have reached the end of it

Thirty days of writing a blog post series ends with the topic of commitment. I am truly humbled to make it to the finish line. There were a lot of obstacles such as weekends, Thanksgiving break, not feeling well, and mental blocks on what to write about. On a couple of occasions, I had this nagging voice saying “you gave it your best shot, so what if you miss a day.” I am glad that I didn’t listen to that advice.

I am very committed to living a life that takes care of my family.

They say it takes 30 days to form a habit. I am not looking to write a blog post every day as that habit, but I am looking to be consistently writing going forward. I couldn’t have made it through without the commitment of others helping me out. My wife was instrumental in coming along side in another 30 day commitment that was the catalyst for my writing. I got an outline of what I wanted to write about from John Maxwell’s living intentional journey. Without that I surely would have struggled mightily. Also, there was encouragement from my family, friends, and peers, which is who I have written these posts for.

Kindness Shouldn’t Be Seasonal

Find ways to be kind each day

This is the season I like best, as it tends to bring out the best in everyone. Little random acts of kindness are being done everywhere and by everyone, and I don’t think it is an accident. Why would this time of year be any different? It is because we intentionally recognize thankfulness and have a giving heart toward the holidays.

My daughter was kind enough to share Dippin Dots with her brother on a great zoo outing.

Every day is full of opportunities for you to make a difference in others, even if it seems small. Yesterday, I opened a door for a lady with a box of books and helped a couple find hooks for their Christmas tree. They returned smiles and said thank you. However, the value I got out of it far outweighed the effort.  I am not saying the only reason to be kind is so that you will get a benefit, but it just naturally happens.

Don’t put kindness in a box for most of the year.

Define Success in Everything

Celebrate when you have defined success.  First shot at taking pictures of fireworks, which was a satisfactory outcome!

Over the last two months I have been working on an initiative to bring prioritization and clarity across an organization. I wish I could say I had success defined for this endeavor. Sadly, I didn’t crystalize what that would look like. However, all is not lost and it is never too late to take the step back and write down what success will look like.

The most successful people I have been around are clear on the end outcomes. They envisioned what success looks like and focused intently on the journey to get to the outcome. Distractions were put aside, the noise was muffled, and momentum toward the goal escalated.

Trust and a Haircut

The customer service of a barber

This morning my son and I tried out a barbershop in the neighborhood. From the barber pole outside the door to the old time radio show playing in the background, it truly was authentic. While getting our haircuts, the barber greeted one of his customer’s by name and asked how his Thanksgiving was. Customer service was a top priority.

An authentic barber pole and everything. Complete with customer service.

When it came time to pay for the haircut, I got out my wallet and started to hand him my debit card. He kindly stated that they don’t accept cards and were a cash only shop. I didn’t have any money on me so I told him I would need to run to the ATM. He smiled, handed me his business card and told me just to bring in the money next time I visited. He trusted me to do the right thing and I did. Five minutes later, I had cash in hand and a good tip to boot. In addition he just got two new customers.

Always Be Thankful

Enter each day with a heart action of gratefulness

Today for many people in the US will be about spending time with family, friends, and loved ones. It will be time of food, festivities, and football. It will be about love, gratitude and thankfulness. Traditions are being formed and we actually have a holiday that calls out being thankful.

It is not uncommon to see turkeys in Red Lodge, Montana. This was actually taken on Thanksgiving day a couple of years ago.

Today may have special significance, but all throughout our days we have so much to be thankful for. True thankfulness is a heart action, it evolves from your Spirit and manifests in forms of a smile, gratitude, encouragement, and an amazing attitude.

How I have a thankful attitude

  • It starts with thanking God each and every morning that I am breathing. His mercies are new every day.
  • I Focus on the positive. There is no better way than to tally up all the good things that are happening and being thankful for them
  • I help others. By giving of myself, I find that I receive such a blessing from their smiles and uplifted countenance. I like to do this in abundance.
  • When I feel it is hard to be thankful, I take a step back to think about all sides of a situation and am thankful for the opposite point of view.
  • I reflect on my current situation. It is never the worst it can be. I am thankful for that.

This Thanksgiving, I want to say thanks to everyone who makes me the person I am today.

  • I am especially grateful that my family is intentional about loving me and investing their time to make our family awesome.
  • I am thankful for those I work with, as they are molding me to be the co-worker and leader that is pleasing to God.
  • I am blessed to know friends who spread thanksgiving freely.
  • I am calling out my wife in particular, who I am eternally thankful for being part of my life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Write, Write, and Then Write Some More

The value will be there when you look back

It is never to young to start writing. Capturing a memory and ideas is priceless.

As the years add up, the ability to remember has diminished. I didn’t think I needed to writing anything down. For me, the ability to retain knowledge, recall facts of a conversation, or remember tidbits of trivia are quickly becoming memories themselves. I used to scoff at the argument that memory fades and items become harder to remember. Now maybe I am just a little bit wiser and realize that I am having to change my processes to get information the way I need it.

“If you have a thought but don’t write it down, by the next morning it may be gone forever – Richard Branson

Narrate Your Story With Choices

Who else can be the best author?

Red Lodge, Montana Boarding House. I always wonder how my great-grandparents lived and what choices they made. It was quite a story.

It was the fourth meeting in as many days and we were still no closer to a solution. In the RACI acrostic, I am the C for consultant. The project was already off the rails, the deadline was coming up. I saw all the signs of the preparatory blame game. There seemed to be no movement or inertia from the development team.

It was time for me to speak out and everyone is listening.

Procrastination Is The Antidote

Procrastination. This word embodies many parts of how I conduct my day. Getting started on actual work is hard for me. However, when it is something I believe is valuable, I jump into it with vigor and resolve as long as I can see the end of it. Otherwise, I become apathetic to the very thought of engagement. When I procrastinate on the premium, that is where the problem occurs.

Understand what is important. My wife and children enjoying a day of kite flying at Ocean Shores.

However, procrastination is a great antidote for removing away the non-essential. By putting off or disregarding the unimportant, one can actually get a healthier balance in life and spend the precious resource of time more wisely. In Stephen Covey’s four quadrants, procrastination can occur effectively in 2 out of the 4 areas. Quadrant 1 should never have any procrastination, as it is the “urgent and important” quadrant. You should be swarming items that fall in this bucket to get them knocked out quickly. Where procrastination will really hurt is in the “not urgent but important” quadrant 2.

Move Toward Your Dream

Small steps matter

Ready? Set? Go!

To get to finish, you first need to start! More importantly, keep going!

I look at each day that I get up as a leg in a race that goes on and on. Hopefully each day ends in the dial being moved towards my dream. Some days I make great progress and I feel like I am running on air, some days it is more like pulling myself out of the mud. Then there are the days where I stand still. These are the days that I regret the most.

You see, I regret the days where I am a bump on a log because I have wasted time that I will never get back. The changes that I could have made are pushed out or have become unreachable because the moment has passed. These are the days of oppression and depression, not obsession and passion.

Network Traits I Am Building

Core characteristics that build success in others

The railways remind me of one of the most intricate networks that built our country. There is a lot we can learn from the planning that went into it.

My network is personal. I intentionally look for the right people to succeed with me. They are people of integrity, high value, and share in the passions of my heart. The work ahead is embraced with perseverance by these leaders of many and servants of all. Grace and mercy is shared freely every day with others who don’t deserve it. It is with great humbleness that I look for my betters, that I engage with scholars, and that I labor with the journeymen who share my dream.

Are you one of these people?