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The Black Eyed Peas Are Still Right - "Where is the Love?"

Love pic

I watched a news story recently about a huge performance being cancelled at a local university because there was a white nationalist rally scheduled to be held there the same day.  I immediately had feelings of anger, frustration and contempt.  Parents and students talked of all the hard work and preparation that went in to staging the event.  You could see how disappointed they were.  On one hand I was upset because I felt like the university was caving to the bigots and their hateful message.  I also understand the main concern for the university was safety, so it’s not unreasonable to make the call they did.  At the end of the news segment, the main feeling I had was sadness. 

How to Confront the Three "R"s They Didn't Teach in School

3Rs logo

When you see the phrase” the three Rs”, you may have a couple of things that come to mind.  Back in the day it was an educational phrase that referred to the “reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic” we learned in school.  More recently it’s been used to describe how we can help our environment when we “reduce, reuse, and recycle.”  Lately, I’ve been using it differently in some of the talks I’ve given.  If you’ve seen any of my stuff, you know I often write and talk about our tendency to become so comfortable in life, that it might hold us back from really living.  As a general rule, we don’t like to be uncomfortable.  In fact, we spend a lot of time, effort, and money trying to figure out how to not be uncomfortable.  It feels so much better in our gut when things are comfortable.   It’s when things become too comfortable that we start to coast through life and drive ourselves into a rut we didn’t even know was there.

Push Your Comfort Zone Boundaries By Saying Yes More

Yes man pic for ppt

As many of you know, I spend quite a bit of time talking and writing about being suspicious of the comfort in our lives and making sure it doesn’t hold us back from – yep, you guessed it – reaching, growing and doing.  We start to “settle in” to life and before we know it, we’re in a rut doing the exact same things, day after day, year after year.  We blame it on the demands of modern-day life, but deep down inside, we know we’re supposed to be feeling more…and doing more.

Battling Fear At 14,500 Ft. 

Fear

“C’mon Dad, it will be fun!”  My oldest daughter Bailey kept saying that to me, but I couldn’t get past the feeling I was going to throw up.  Two summers ago I was about to turn fifty, and wanted to do something I had never done before.  Bailey thought that skydiving would be the perfect activity for me – she had done it the summer before and loved it – plus she wanted to go again.  I can assure you of all the things I was thinking about doing, jumping out of an airplane never came close to making the list.  As I age, I seem to have developed a growing fear of heights.  The mere thought of doing it made me break out in a sweat.  I was genuinely afraid.

Faith Lessons From My Water Heater

Spirit

 A few weeks ago I heard a scream from the other side of the house, so I ran to see what was happening. It was my youngest daughter Anna in the shower and we had run out of hot water.  She clearly wasn’t prepared for the water to turn that cold, that fast.  I assumed the pilot light had gone out on the gas water heater, so I went into our garage to investigate.  My assumption was correct, so I started the process of re-lighting the pilot and trying not to blow up the house. 

The 2 Most Important Words When Serving Others

Service

I worked at a busy golf facility for 26 years.  Golf, food and beverage, events, lodging and retail were involved, so customer service and building relationships were always focal points for us.  Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about that word service, and what it means.  From a customer’s perspective, I think there is a set of expectations – and how they are met – that will determine if they thought they were served well.  How expectations are met, not met, or exceeded, greatly influences their experience.  As a leader in the organization, I knew we weren’t going to get it exactly right every time, but I did insist that everyone was engaging, attentive, and showed they genuinely cared about our customers’ needs.  The words care and need are the most important pieces of serving in my opinion.  Most employees in customer service businesses probably meet the minimum expectations of their customers, but when they exhibit true concern about the needs of their clientele, then service is taken to the next level. 

I Don't Know How Much I Know, But I Know How Much I Believe

Believe

I love movies.  I’m one of those people that can get some kind of entertainment value out of just about any movie – no matter how bad it may be.  I’m not sure exactly why, but whenever any of the Matrix movies are on television, I stop changing the channels and watch.  If you’ve seen the movies you know what I’m talking about, but if not, they’re a trilogy of movies that came out from 1999 – 2003.  They have some loosely Christian-based themes throughout all the action, violence, and awesome CGI.  The main character is played by Keanu Reeves and he sacrifices himself to save humankind.  At the end of the third installment, there is a prophet-character named Oracle that sits on a park bench looking at a beautiful sunrise, signifying a new beginning.  She wears a content smile knowing what Neo (Reeves’ character) has done for everyone.  One of her assistants comes up to her and says “Did you always know” that everything was going to be ok?  She looks up at him and says “Oh no, I didn’t know … but I believed.”

"I've Been To A Town"or How Jeremiah Johnson Explains Everything

Jeremiah pic

I frequently use movie quotes or scenes to provide a backdrop or framework for the things I write about.  My favorite movie of all time is a Robert Redford film called Jeremiah Johnson.  It’s interesting that it’s my favorite, because I was only seven years old when it came out.  I can’t say it was my favorite movie as a kid, but my parents loved the movie, so I saw it many times over the years, and came to appreciate it more each time I saw it.

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