Power outlets at one time were one of the most popular wall fixtures in my house. My kid loved to take the little safety cover out of the socket. He would show it to me. He would give it to me. He would hold onto it while he walked around the house. Then he would try to put it back in the socket.

We told him in every way shape and form that this is a forbidden toy. Yet he persists to play with them. Until we ignored it.

He was never interested in the socket. He was never interested in the socket cover. He was always interested in us engaging with him.

The entire time, this was about our attention.

We are not perfect parents by any measure. But we do give our kid quite a bit of attention. We out number him. It is easy to give him a pretty decent dose of attention.

And yet, for whatever reason, he decides sometimes, he needs extra attention.

He goes to the socket.

Our ‘Spidey Senses’ go off.

And we are on it like mustard on a hotdog. And the more we “ignore” it, the more he stopped it all together. And he will get a book for us to read or bring a toy for us to play with together.


He never wanted the outlet.

He wanted attention.

And in life, how can I be the exact same. Sometimes I get fired up over things that are not that big of a deal. Not because I actually am fired up, but because I know it will do the same goal. (Not proud of these moments even as they become less and less frequent.)

The essence of these actions are equal though, they are not about the outlet cover or the issue at hand. They are about getting a need filled through an alternative means. These needs are essential and they do need to filling. There are healthy ways of filling these needs. There are unhealthy ways of filling these needs. I am still figuring out how to fill my needs in a healthy way. My kid is also figuring out the same thing.

He is so my kid sometimes.

What needs do you fill in an unhealthy way? How can you work to fill your needs in a healthy way? Who can help you catch yourself when you are resorting to unhealthy methods? Who are you helping to catch themselves? Who is helping you process how to better fill your needs in a healthy way?

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Developing Hunger

I am an easygoing and laid back person. When appropriate, I have a sense of urgency. I generally try to be intentional and use good judgement for when I have urgency or high standards. More often than not, this is a feature of my personality not a bug.

This becomes a bug when I cannot drive others to get tasks done and the tasks have no timeframe. It becomes a bug when I bring up things that are important to me. It is a bug when I think something needs to be addressed and there is no looming deadline.

My selfdefense mechanism thus far has been apathy. When I bring up an issue that is important to me, when it is not received and used, I shrug and let it go. I can only do so much. When I bring up an issue I care so much about, I have to work hard to let myself not get hurt when others don't care about it.

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I have to develop a hunger in others for the meat of the issue. I have to develop a devouring hunger in them to satiate the need before they die of starvation. Developing a hunger in others takes time. But long term, I will be more satisfied because I will be adding value to others and the group as a whole.

Developing a hunger in others to resolve an issue will help me be more fulfilled in my role, position, and relationship.

How do you find value in your role? When have you found the most value from what you do? When have you provided the most value to others? How do you seek out opportunities to add value to other people?

BONUS: How do you discern between urgent moments and non-urgent moments? How do you work to develop a sense of urgency in others when they normally would not be urgent? Do others think you are always urgent or never urgent? How can you better develop a healthy sense of urgency in yourself?

Default Settings

When you open Microsoft Word, the default font is probably Calibri. For better or for worse, it is what you probably end up using whether you like it or not or until you change it when you are done working on your document.

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Calibri may not even be the best font for what you are doing. Maybe you are trying to make a statement piece with a few words to communicate a central idea and what you really need is a heavy weighted font to really emphasize what you are trying to say.

Potentially you are trying to write a long for piece and you need something with good spacing and is easy on the eyes but is not too heavy.

Or potentially, you want to write in a plain jane and you want your font to have look and feel.

Any way you look at it, you still never get there because Microsoft chose Calibri as your font and you have not changed it.

Likewise, when you get up in the morning, you are stuck with the default breakfast options because that is what you buy when you go to the store. You have been trying to eat healthy, but you keep eating the same cereal because it is what you know you are not sure what other options are actually healthy.

You have been trying to read more, but that new year’s resolution really did not stick. You stick with the default of turning on Netflix after dinner and watching your show some more.

You meant to fix that leaky faucet, but you are not quite sure how and the weekends keep filling up with family and friends and anything else, it would be a shame to spend all day inside working on a faucet when the world is full of everything else.

No matter the thing, no matter the excuse, your default is easier.

It is easier to keep doing what you have been doing than it is to do what you want to do. But, now is the time to save yourself and make progress on your one goal or project. One thing for you to make progress on. One thing for you to improve one.

What is your one thing? Who is going to help you stay on track? How are you going to overcome your default?

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Stay on Target

You have seen your organization state their goals. You you have seen your organization act on their actual goals. Hopefully the two are aligned.

Spending your time on your organization’s goals will always net a positive. Your role has stated goals. Spending your time on your role’s stated goals will always net a positive.

In your personal life, spending your time on your simple goals will net a positive. So that when you achieve the measured result, you can celebrate. As you execute the actions needed to attain your goal, you can check off the associated boxes. Once more, we can celebrate our completion especially when we hit our goal in the allotted time. And nothing feels better than hitting a goal that is relevant to you, your family, and your personal life.

What goals do you have for your life? Are they simple, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time specific? (Yes, I tweaked SMART goals to fit some of my priorities.) When was the last time you set, tweaked, or took action on your goals?

How about failure? Do you know what it would like to fail at your goals? Do you know what it would feel like to fail a your goals? When will you assess these decisions so you do not accidentally set yourself on the path to failure?

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Name Time

Giving your money a name or a category is nothing new. Dave Ramsey even says it is essential for budgeting. You give your money a name before you spend it so it ends up where it needs to go.

Ideally, you would prevent yourself from spending money frivolously. But there are tools like YNAB [You Need A Budget] or Mint that will automate the process helping you retroactively finding out where your money through classifications.

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But still, why stop there? What about time?

Our time is worth more than money. We have a limited number of years, months, days, and hours. Why do we only dictate the purpose of our money. We can earn more money. We only get so much time.

We cannot invent more time. We cannot rewind the clock.

How can we create categories for our time. Fill our calendars with intentional blocks of time dedicated to what we care about. Instead of letting our days be wasted by people who want to constantly steal away our time for pop up meetings and unplanned non-emergent meetings.

Where are you spending your time? How are you keeping track of your time? When you look back on what you have done this last year, month, or week, did you do what is most important to you?

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Hitting The Mark

Where is your destination? What are your goals? How do you measure progress? How do you get there?

I recently experienced a situation where I thought I was spinning my wheels barely making any progress on what I was doing. I was trying to improve the quality of product but I felt like I was ultimately failing.

Turns out, I was not only doing a good job but out performing the widely accepted metrics of the industry.

I had no metrics of my own. I was just firing my work off into the ether and it felt like everything I was doing was barely more than a success.

Where is your destination? What are your goals? How do you measure progress? How do you get there?

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I have survived. 2015 is drawing to a close. I made it past the Christmas mayhem, without as much mayhem and a little bit more peace and joy I think, and now I am riding into 2016 without a hitch. 

I will ring in the new year with friends and hopefully in a little better spirits than these past few years. Generally, my new years celebration means I am being woken up by my wife on the couch for the last ten seconds of the ball dropping to drink my drink, get up off the couch, get in the car, and make the long cold drive home. Apparently, midnight comes too late for me and grumpy comes a little too early for me. 

This year I am still holding true to my ‘Make No Resolutions’ policy. Not because I think Resolutions are bad, but because I have goals already. I am working toward goals, some of which date back to 2014. I do not think I need new goals on top of my old goals to muddy up the target I am trying to hit.

What I love about my goals is I have friends helping me achieve them. I have people who know me and love me helping me get farther down the path of the goals I have set for myself and I do not need the harking of a new year to remind me to set my goals. I need to continue to work forward. I need to continue to grind up against my friends and family as we work forward, encourage each other, sharpen each other, and propel each other forward.

Who is helping you achieve your goals? Who is holding you accountable for your goals? Who are you seeking out that has achieved your goals before?

Propelled by friends,



I am a pretty simple person. I do not have a lot of lofty life goals and idealistic priorities in my life. I do not have much of a bucket list and I most certainly do not have a bunch of crazy dreams I am trying to achieve. As a matter of fact, if anything, I have too few goals and achievements to strive towards.

I have been on a lot of cool adventures though. Not necessarily stuff out of the ordinary, quite simply put, things important to me. Things like going to Ireland and going to Israel. Two life goals or bucket list items I have checked off my list. I have been to Norway, Belgium, France, Germany, and Iceland (though only the airport for a few hours.) I have been to most of the states in the United States of America including Hawaii. I did a road trip for three weeks with four of my best friends. Generally, I never really dreamed I needed to go all these places but I have. And I am so thankful to have gotten to have done these things. 

Much of what I have done has not been because of me. I have done what I have done because of the people around me. 

People like my wife, my friends, and my family. 

I have been where I have been and seen what I have seen because of the people in my life who want to share their goals and adventures with me. I have what I have not because I am something extra special deserving of these fun travels. I have been blessed to go these places because of the people in my life who love me enough to take me along as they do these things. I have been where I have been because I am plugged into community. 

Now, I am sure I will still be able to do some really cool stuff over the next rest of my life. I am sure much of that will continue to be because of community. However, I must also make sure I am blessing people too. I must make sure I am bringing people along who might not have the chance or blessing people as I have been blessed. I must make sure I am inciting adventures and bringing people along with me and expect nothing in return.

Who are you bringing along on your adventures?



The Square Root of All Evil

Goal setting is a universally good thing. Everyone I know wants to set goals. They want to be moving forward. I have goals. I want to be moving forward. I want to be accomplishing my goals. For me, my goals are my ways of becoming a better person. I will be better at being me because I accomplish goals. 

My goals need direction, purpose and reason. My goals need to solve a problem. As a matter of fact, since I have started making my goals solutions to problems, I have been able to sustain moving forward. I love solving problems and therefore I am able to sustain this repetition. However, I do not do a great job at identifying my problem areas intentionally. I walk into my solutions based on intuition of where I have been at or how I am feeling, not based on my own actual calculated observations of what is going on.

Not using a calculated information means I can start solving the wrong problem. I start treating symptoms, not the disease. I try to put bandaids on hemorrhaging and tunicates on cancer. In order to set better goals, I have to actually observe, record, and discuss. In order to solve problems, I need other people’s perspectives in addition to my own.

How do you set goals? What problems do your goals solve? Are you solving symptoms?

Solving for I,


Measuring Up

When I was young, a mentor of mine took me out for a trip to Burger King. Nothing special there. Your usual run-of-the-mill, “flame broiled”, “have it your way” sort of place. However, we had a very unusual conversation. The conversation was about measuring up. It was about comparisons and expectations. Comparisons people make of me. Comparisons where other people would measure me and decide to deny or accept me based on how they thought I measured up to their sticks. 

I am beginning to realize I do this now. I measure other people. I say they should measure to metric 1, 2, and 3. Not because I have the golden ruler; simply, because I have developed what I think successful people do in my mind and I want everyone to succeed and therefore they need my metrics. 

I try to maintain a broad understanding of what it takes to be successful. However, that does not change the reality of me measuring people on a very imperfect ruler. My spacing is uneven, the stick curves, and it often fluctuates between Imperial Units and International Units

Who am I to be developing any sort of measuring stick for success?

I can clearly communicate expectations and direction for someone. I can develop a clear idea of who I want to be and what I want to do to succeed. However, it is not my job to develop a measuring stick to use to for others to in-errantly obey. It is my job to communicate to others a clear expectation for given situations (i.e. do not touch the stove, it is hot and will burn you most of the time.) It is my job to otherwise help others succeed in the areas they want to succeed in. 

Where are you developing measuring sticks? Where should you encouraging, not measuring?



Waiting Game

Where do my own ambitions end and trusting others begin? Fine line for me. Right now, I too strongly want to move forward and roll over some people. I want to grab the bull by the horns and probably get myself in quite a bit of trouble to get where I want. 

I just see how many other people do exactly that and have little to no repercussions. I do not understand how I can make the same moves they would make with the same motives and be so much farther behind. This only adds credence to the conceptualization of everyone’s personalities being incredibly diverse. My proof here comes from the observation of people who naturally steam roll others do not mean to. These people aren’t malicious and they care deeply for others, usually. However, they do tend to just run people over for the accomplishment of their own goals. 

I’m stuck in a struggle where I want to move forward with my goals. I do not see a way to do that without running some people over. It has become a bit more difficult for me to be patient and wait. I have plenty to do in the waiting. I just long to move forward as well. 

I am right in waiting. I will continue to wait. I can see the areas in my life where I didn’t wait, what I have done to myself and what I have done to others. I simply have a hard time waiting when I decide on the next course of action.

How do you do with patience?