The Truth

My daughter, Margo, came into the kitchen where my wife and I were talking.  The look on her face was a clear indicator that something had happened.  She explained that her twin sister, Josie, had crashed her bike.  Before we had time to respond, Josie gingerly walked into the kitchen carrying her helmet.  She had road rash head to knee.  Her cheekbone, lip, and nose all had a visible injury.  My wife quickly took charge with the antiseptic spray and shower to wash the wounds.

Altering Reality

Margo and I remained in the kitchen.  I asked her what had occurred and she began to explain.  Josie was on the sidewalk, heading down our steep neighborhood hill.  Her speed exceeded her ability.  She lost control, hit the curb, and flew off of her bike head first.  Margo had attempted to immediately come to retrieve us but Josie asked her not to do so.  She had a plan.  Turns out, she had not been wearing her helmet.  If...

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Speak the Truth

As parents, we expect the truth from our children.  As a spouse, we expect the truth from our partner.  If we are part of an organization, we expect the truth from our peers or management.  When things happen that are not fully explained, doubt creeps in.  Trust begins to break down.  The more time that passes, the more difficult it becomes to fully trust again.

We expect the truth from every person unless we think it will be unpleasant.  We say we want the truth and become angry when it does not meet our expectations.  At times, there are few things more painful than accepting reality.  We hear the truth and explode with anger or tears.  What we put into the world is what we get back!  If you want the truth, you must regulate your response.  This does not mean that when your child admits to stealing or smoking, you passively accept their actions.  It is wise, however, to celebrate the truth.  The truth is rooted in...

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First Words

Parents celebrate a child’s first words.  There is anticipation for the words that follow.  Contrast a child’s first words with the first words of an average, everyday conversation.  It is highly likely you have never considered how you begin a conversation.  Do you open a conversation with a derogatory statement or a positive statement?

Here are a few ways people initiate conversation:

 

Negative Nellie – “This place has the worst service.”

Our first words set the tone for the remainder of the conversation.  Why do so many of us begin a conversation with a negative tone?  Negativity sells.  Ever wonder why news headlines have a negative tone?  The media understands the psychology of people and we are far more likely to pay attention to a negative headline versus a positive one.  Negativity sells and we instinctively know it, so we tend to initiate conversations with negativity to increase our chances of...

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Parental Vision

Each morning, I take a few minutes to write a paragraph about someone or something I am grateful for in my life.  Recently, I wrote about how grateful I am to be a father.  I asked myself how I could be a better father and what my children should expect of me.  It occurred to me that I had not been intentional about the values and qualities of character I most desired to develop in my children.  So I started writing and came up with 11 values and qualities that resonated with me.  My reason for sharing these qualities with you is in hopes of inspiring you to take the time to write down the qualities of character you most hope to inspire in your children.  The next level is to intentionally role model those qualities every day for your children.

Unusual Kindness

I want my daughters to have a big heart and a strong desire to help others.  The essence of kindness is generosity toward others.  I want their kindness to shine through in every action...

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I'm Taking My Ball - Leadership and Parenting

Leadership and parenting are nearly one and the same.

Let’s take a look:

Tough Decisions

All decisions have consequences, but tough decisions have consequences that impact lives beyond our own. Tough decisions involve others and likely will not be popular because they will require the near-term pain of change. Parents might decide to pull their child out of their current school and put them into a different learning environment. The reasons could be for academics or peer shifts. The easy answer is the status quo. No change. As a parent who wants to lead, the decision to change will be difficult. As a leader, the decision must be made to give the child their best chance for their future.

As a business example, let’s say there is a company division that has been underperforming. This division is no longer part of the core business and efforts to get it on track have not worked out. The division employs 50 people whose families are relying on the salaries and it has been a...

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Energy

All that exists is energy.  The heart of every atom is energy.  Everything is made up of atoms.  One hydrogen atom contains enough energy to level entire cities.  Think Hiroshima.  Energy in physics, is defined as the capacity to do work.  Despite the fact that energy is in all things, it can seem illusive.  You come home exhausted from a long day of work and collapse on the couch.  Suddenly, an emergency arises that requires your immediate attention and without hesitation you leap into action.  In reflection, the energy was always there but you were unaware of how to tap into the additional capacity.  Some humans can run 100 miles without stopping.  How?  You could run 100 miles but choose not to, and that is okay.  I could run 100 miles but choose not to do so.  We don’t lack capacity to do extraordinary things.  We lack an understanding of how energy works to power all aspects of our lives....

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The Concept of Happiness

The amount of information available to us online or in the bookstores discussing the topic of happiness and the pursuit thereof is overwhelming.  Despite the abundance of content available to us on the subject, our society as a whole continually struggles to discover its “Happiness”.   What is happiness?  According to Webster’s some apt synonyms are pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, well-being, enjoyment, and many more.  Where does happiness come from?  It is a state of being.  Here is the struggle for most of us – we pursue happiness as though it is an object of our desire to be received upon completion of the next task.  When we get this or after we achieve that, then we will be happy.  This is what media and marketing desires of us.  Never be content or satisfied with what you have but continually stress & strive for what you don’t have because that will make you happy.  We are constantly...

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Fear

What do you want?  What is preventing you from pursuing what you want?  These are two very potent questions that if asked regularly can mean the difference between a life well-lived or an average life.  My hope is that every person reading this article desires more out of life than to just get by.  We are responsible for our lives.  We are responsible for our happiness.  We are responsible for our success and our failure.  The news media, government, educational system, and many other social networks would like for us all to believe we are helpless victims.  They use the “everyone is a victim” strategy to keep us watching and their advertisers paying.  I do not blame them because it works.

Someone told me several years ago that this life was mine to own and this meant I made up the rules.  If I was not happy with an aspect of my life, I needed to change the rules and not wait for the rules to change.  This concept...

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The Hamster Wheel of Life

During the last six months, I have been orchestrating a shift in my business strategy and focus.  I keep asking myself – Why?  Why would I change?  Why should I change?  Why do I need more?  Why am I so obsessed with growth?  Sometimes I just do not have an answer for why.  I guess that is okay.  Do you ask yourself why regularly?  Such a simple question can trigger a profound shift in our perspective.  Why do we have to do it this way?  Why am I going to work?  Why do we teach our kids the way we teach them?

THWL

The more often we ask “Why” the better are our chances of avoiding “The Hamster Wheel of Life” (THWL).  Maybe you are not familiar with THWL.  Here is a typical day on THWL – Get up after hitting snooze multiple times, rush to get the kids ready for school and ourselves ready for work (this is not without teeth gnashing and maybe some yelling), work all day in a job...

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What is Your Plan? – Part 3

We have determined what we want our lives to represent, identified our core values, articulated a vision statement, and affirmed our mission. Let's continue on to discovering our purpose and setting goals!

Step five – What is your purpose?  It is at about this point where we all sigh and say it all runs together!  Think of the major components of the planning process this way:  your vision (imagination) is the target or the house on the hill; the mission (action) is what you do to bring the vision to reality, and the purpose (motivation) is why you do what you do!  The purpose is more of an emotional connection to mission and vision.  We are building (action) the house (vision) for a (motivation) safe place to raise and love our family.  The purpose is why we serve and often the inspiration for getting us out of bed every morning.  When we lose sight of our purpose, we tend to flounder in a fog of dissatisfaction and seek pleasure through...

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