I’m talking to you

Yeah, you. If you are reading this post right now, then you have been brought to this moment through your choices and mine. Out of 7 billion people in the world, you and I have made it to right here, right now…for a reason. That reason will be one or more of the following three things:

  1. For you to be encouraged by bumping into some truth that you already know but needed affirmation that someone out there shares your belief
  2. For you to be encouraged by learning a truth that you needed to know
  3. For me to be encouraged by you showing up in whatever way you are intended

I believe that, through this post, I will serve many. I hope that I will have the opportunity to connect with each of you to learn how I served you. The third one is fulfilled just by you reading this and I hope to also connect with you.

This morning, I watched this video by John Maxwell. This is a daily practice. I watch “Minute with Maxwell” every day because I want to learn from the most influential teacher of leadership principles in the world. In this video, he asks the question, “What is the most valuable piece of advice you have ever received and who was it from?”

I pondered, and here is my answer. Just like John, my advice, or lesson is probably more accurate, comes from my dad. When you are overwhelmed, stop and review everything you know. Stay with me here. The state of being overwhelmed is such that we begin questioning everything. We doubt. We are unsure. We wonder if anything we ever knew was right. So when I say, “Review everything you know,” that list is significantly shorter during overwhelm than it would be otherwise. So this is not such a large task as it might sound.

Depending on the degree of overwhelm that you are experiencing, you will start at different places. I have been SO overwhelmed at times that I had to start with, “I know that I am alive.” Other times it wasn’t so bad and I can begin with what I know about a particular situation as opposed to an existential list. Either way, it works. So let me share with you some things that I know and maybe this can be a list that you use when you are overwhelmed.  In no particular order:

  • There is an intelligent designer (I call him God) and he designed you for a purpose. According to that design;
    • There are things that you love to do (probably a short list)
    • There are things that you are good at doing (probably a longer list than you realize)
    • There are people in this world that you care about deeply (very short list – if not, you are being too specific)
    • Those people have a need that you can meet (same as previous)
    • The purpose for which you were designed can be found where the preceding four things intersect
  • You have thoughts. Day in and day out, those thoughts shape who you are. This is a fact and true for every human. You are what you do repeatedly, and this includes thinking!
    • If your ever-present thoughts are shaping who you are, it stands to reason that if you choose which thoughts you have, you can choose who you are shaping yourself to become.
  • Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Some people use it productively and wisely. Some people don’t. I assure you that successful people are more intentional about how they spend their 24 hours than unsuccessful people are.
    • Since you have the same 24 hours as the Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerbergs of the world, you can choose to make the most of every hour in the pursuit of your goals.
  • The food that you put in your body affects the size, shape, and well-being of your body and how you feel physically.
    • You eat every day. You have to. Every food choice you make is either going to improve how you look and feel or diminish how you look and feel. If you’re unhappy with your weight or your health or both, change your food choices
  • Exercise improves your health, stamina, endurance, and mental acuity.
    • If any of those things are not where you want them to be, exercise
  • Truth must be reckoned with
    • If you encounter something that is fundamentally true, you must either adopt it and modify your life accordingly or reject it outright and modify your life accordingly.
  • You endorse your own behavior. Everywhere you go, everything you do, you are an example to others. Especially if you are a parent.
    • Since you are always being an example, you have the opportunity of ensuring that you are a good one.
  • Kindness always feels better than unkindness; both for the giver and the receiver.
  • Gratitude alone can change your entire life for the better.
  • You will always wish that you would have started that thing when you first thought of it a month ago, six months ago, a year ago. Just start it.
  • No one is perfect.
    • When you don’t follow through on something, don’t give up. Just pick up where you left off.
    • Failing is not found in the falling down. It is found in the not getting back up
  • When it comes to personal growth, doing something poorly is better than doing nothing at all.
  • Your brain is wired to notice and pick up on things that you have deemed important.
    • This seems simple but has enormous implications. When you repeat things to yourself over and over, your brain thinks they’re important and starts noticing and picking up on things that align with those thoughts…no matter what they are. Sometimes your brain will even misinterpret things that it’s perceiving to cause it to align with what you’ve deemed important.
    • This goes back to the thoughts you are having every day. Are they good? Are they helpful?
  • Very few successes ever taught important lessons. The lessons come from the unsuccessful. The nuances of success can only be understood and appreciated after they have been discovered through trial and error. If you succeed on your first try, there’s no way to be sure why or whether it is repeatable.
  • You can’t export what you don’t own
    • Things need to happen IN you before they can happen THROUGH you
  • We, as humans, are more alike than we are different
    • Our similarities bring us together and create connection and community.
    • Our differences provide the opportunity to serve one another in wonderful and unique ways

The common thread through most of these truths is awareness and intentionality. You have to increase your awareness of yourself, your thoughts, your choices, your actions,  your reactions, and your inactions SO THAT you can become more intentional about them. Don’t fall asleep at the wheel of life only to wake up and realize that you missed out. Worst case scenario when you fall asleep at the wheel is lasting and irreparable damage and loss of life. Best case scenario, you arrive at your destination but you completely missed the journey. It’s a big gamble. We’ve all done some sleeping. I know I have. But it’s never too late to wake up and be intentional. You can do it. I believe in you!

Which of the 3 reasons brought you here today? I hope you will connect with me so we can celebrate the accomplishment of connecting 2 out of 7 billion people for a particular reason. That’s big. That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing this moment with me.

I Love Humanity

I care desperately about people. Young and old. Men and women. Rich and Poor. Long dead to not yet born and everything in between. Any color, any nationality, any religion. All people. I care about humanity. I want humanity to grow and be grown, to nurture and be nurtured, to build up, to love, become kinder, gentler, more capable, and more connected. I want humanity to understand that it was designed for a purpose and to cooperate with that purpose. The purpose of humanity is to engage in mutually edifying relationships. This is the scope of my life’s work and it is scary. How can I possibly make a dent in that?

I am not gifted in such a way that I can serve all of humanity on my own. Each of us was designed to love and be good at a particular thing. We were each design to care about and meet the needs of a particular set of people using that beloved skill. The intersection of these four things is your purpose. We can’t be all things to all people. So again, how can I possibly make a dent in improving humanity?

I am designed in such a way that my purpose is to help others find their purpose. The best way for me to impact humanity is to help as many people as I possibly can to find and live their purpose because here’s the cool thing. We are all designed and wired with the need for fulfillment and true fulfillment comes from serving others. Imagine the impact on the world if every single human was serving others from their purpose and experiencing that deep fulfillment inherent in such a life. Have you ever met someone living their purpose? They are inspiring. They are invariably serving other people. And they are fulfilled and joyful. Picture that person in your mind. Remember how you felt with them. Now imagine if everyone was living like that…

So, I know that in order to impact humanity, I have to serve as many individuals as I can so they can, in turn, serve other people. I want to create a pandemic of purpose that floods the world with fulfillment, joy, and service.

I am not sure how I’m going to do it. I live in a small town in a small state but I have the world at my fingertips. I will serve where I can. I will partner with like-minded people and organizations. I will never stop learning new things about how to empower and unleash human purpose. I will pursue my purpose tirelessly because by doing so, I WILL IMPACT HUMANITY!

Are you in?

Conceptual Generations

I previously wrote about the generations of yourself. The concept that as you grow and mature in life, you become a new model or generation of who you are was paralleled to that of an iPhone. The important take away from that is that every now and then, you need to release a new version because you have maximized your previous capability with updates and improvements. In order to have room for more, you need a new version.

Today, I am writing about conceptual generations. This is another generational notion that is not likely on your radar as a meaning when you hear the word. The idea is that if you want an idea or concept to live beyond your own origination, you will need to create 5 generations of learner/teachers of that idea.

Here’s how it works. First you come up with a brilliant idea that you want to share with the world. Do you have the means to present your idea to the entire world? Do you have the capacity? With social media and YouTube and such, it may be physically possible, but still not likely. So you spend the rest of you life teaching people about your idea. What happens when you die? You’re gone, a bunch of people have learned some of your idea, but few or none have the whole picture. How do you ensure that your idea outlives your ability to teach it to others?

You are Generation 1 and you need to teach others (Gen 2). For the idea to live on, Gen 2 needs to teach Gen 3. The problem is that if Gen 2 teaches Gen 3 without first learning how to teach Gen 3, you end up with clarity issues (like a copy of a copy). So, Gen 1 needs to teach Gen 2 the idea (i1) AND how to teach the idea (i2) to Gen 3. Now we get to a point where Gen 3 needs to teach Gen 4. The problem is the same as before. Gen 3 needs to learn how to teach the idea. This means the Gen 1 needs to teach Gen 2 (i1), (i2), AND (i3). (i3) is how to teach someone to teach someone else. So now Gen 1 is teaching Gen 2 how to teach Gen 3 to teach Gen 4. That’s the pattern and it needs to go for one more generation to become sustainable beyond the Gen 1 originator. This can get pretty confusing to discuss as is better communicated with a diagram.

Conceptual Generations

So here you can see that Gen 2 is learning a lot and being equipped to equip. I hope this makes sense.

Generations of You

When I say “generational,” I’m probably using it in a way that you aren’t thinking of. This is a BIG word with BIG implications. I don’t mean that in a condescending way. There are many facets to this word and I want to explore every single one of them. Not necessarily in this post, but in my lifetime. Yes, it could take me that long to fully unpack “generations” or “generational.”

I saw a great quote from George Washington Carver recently that goes like this,


“No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.”


I have two distinct and legitimate reasons for passing through this life. First, to unpack, explore, define, and share the “generational mindset.” Second, it to use that to help everyone that I can to figure out their distinct and legitimate reason for passing through this life. Those reasons are designed into us to serve humanity. The sooner and more effectively each us can discover what that is and begin adding value to humankind, the bigger our impact.

I am going to start unpacking the generational mindset in an individual way. Let’s sat for a moment that you are an iPhone. What generation iPhone would you be? Are you a first generation iPhone that is totally outdated living as reminder of what has been achieved in the past? Or are you the latest, greatest iPhone X that is the embodiment of continual progress and stretch goals? You see, each of us has various stages in our lives where the old model or generation of us needed to turn into the next big thing. We can experience updates and improvements to our current generation of self, but now and again the updates aren’t enough and we need a new generation of self that can hold the growth that is to come.

When we get stuck in the past or are afraid to grow, we’re like that first gen iPhone. Amazing innovation at one point in time but no longer suited for the level of capability that is possible today. Perhaps you are feeling stuck. There are many things that keep us stuck. Our brains are wired for survival. That doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but it can be because sometimes, to our brain, survival looks like, “conserve all energy, avoid all change, do the bare minimum to stay alive because we need to be ready to run from danger.” Survival mindset and thriving mindset are not the same thing and our primitive survival brain is a “do the minimum” type of brain.

Take some time today think about what generational model of yourself you are right now. Are you the latest and greatest, ready for a new set of updates, maybe working out a few bug? Or have you reached a point where your next generation self is ready to be released to the public? Growth is the only way to stay relevant.