Category Archives: Blogging

Transparent thoughts from a rookie blogger.

Where Dreams Come to Happen: Success Stories from the Start Experiment

More than just a bunch of quirky, world changers but quirky nonetheless.

More than just a bunch of quirky, world changers but quirky nonetheless.

30 Days ago I joined a movement that I’m pretty sure is going to get this world’s attention eventually. It all started with an email sent by best selling author, Jon Acuff, that simply said, “Adventurers Wanted.” That’s it. There was a form to fill in.

I have an odd affection for vague adventures, and I respect Jon, so I just went ahead and drank the kool-aid.

This online, Facebook group is called ‘The Start Experiment’ and is based on Jon’s best selling book, START. All participants are asked to identify a risk.  My risk for the first 24 days was to create a blueprint for a program that would eradicate childhood obesity in my county 1 family at a time.  I completed it.

My new 24 day risk is to implement the program I created and begin training to get on the cover of The Challenge Magazine. So far, so good!

All this may sound pretty insignificant until you realize that there are nearly 3,500 other starters in the group of varying ages, demographics & interests!

Here’s the thing…We are making a ‘ding in the universe’ and I wanted to share just a few examples of the Awesomeness that happened in just the first 24 days:

Read the rest of this entry

Stuck? Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself & Read This!

Image

5 Simple Steps to Get Unstuck

20 Days ago I embarked on a 24 day challenge called the Start Experiment.  I set a goal:

My risk: Identify a child in my area who is struggling with obesity and is willing to take action towards better health.  I will also identify a personal trainer & a nutritionist who are willing to walk alongside this child (family) for 90 days.  Pretty simple.

Each day at 5am I’ve been getting an email from Jon Acuff with a very brief & doable task to help me in getting my risk accomplished.  I realized this morning, however, that I’ve taken my eyes off of my risk and had my gaze shifted towards getting each daily assignment finished instead.  Have you ever done that?

I had sacrificed the important on the altar of the urgent.

Here’s a quick exercise I encourage you to do if you feel like you’re not making progress toward whatever your goal is.

1.Write your goal down

2. Break it down into segments

3. Set a deadline

4. Make it Public

5. Take 1 Deliberate step EVERY day:

A rule of my life is to never challenge others with what I’m not willing to do myself.  Here is my Plan with only 4 days left:

 

1.WRITE YOUR GOAL DOWN:

-Help a child struggling with childhood obesity over the next 90 days.

2. BREAK IT DOWN INTO SEGMENTS-

– Speak to the personal trainer

-Contact the child/family I’ve selected

-Set up a first meeting with me, the nutritionist, the personal trainer & the family of the child.

3. SET A DEADLINE:

-Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

4. MAKE IT PUBLIC:

-Um…thanks for reading my blog LOL

5. TAKE 1 DELIBERATE STEP EVERY DAY:

-Call a few personal trainers to see if & how they are willing to participate.

Friends, don’t beat yourself up 1 minute longer.  I encourage you to take deliberate action towards making your dream a reality today by applying the 5 steps above.

Together, we will change the world!!!

What’s your risk?  Share it below and go public today!!

My Top 3 Fears and How I Punch Them in the Face

MyTop3FearsWhen I was a kid I always feared rejection.

Whenever I was accepted, I feared losing it.

Fear is a Liar.

When I was a young man, I always feared being unloved.

When I finally had someone’s hand to hold I feared they’d pull it away.

Fear is a Thief.

As a married man with 6 children, I fear I am not being enough for them.

When my bride assures me that I am enough I dismiss her words and dwell instead on what I know I could be if I just tried harder.

Fear says you’re not enough.

I’d love to be able to wrap this post up with a nice, little bow of reconciliation about how I conquered fear once and for all, but that wouldn’t be honest. I think it’s always gonna’ be there in some way.  38 years and counting so far…

I think of this question often: Without fear, what kind of plot would there be in my story anyway? It certainly wouldn’t be a book worth reading!

I’ve found a bit of relief in these words:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

I’m pretty certain that the best I can do today is to decide to be brave once more.

To show courage when fear whispers and take just one more shaky step forward.

And in so doing,  punch Fear full in the face!

Where is fear telling you not to go?

What’s 1 step you can take toward that place today?

Do it!

*This post was inspired by Jon Acuff’s book, START!  If you haven’t read it yet, click the link and get a copy like, NOW!  It is that good!

Why Keep a Journal by Jim Rohn

ImageToday I was challenged to begin keeping a journal.  I recalled this powerful teaching by one of my all-time favorite mentors, Mr. Jim Rohn.  If you’re serious about becoming successful ,whatever that may mean for you, then journaling is a must!  Soak in this powerful teaching from Mr. Rohn himself.

Why Keep A Journal?
by Jim Rohn

If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy , powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual—don’t trust your memory—keep a journal. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down.

I used to take notes on pieces of paper and torn-off corners and backs of old envelopes. I wrote ideas on restaurant placemats. On long sheets, narrow sheets and little sheets and pieces of paper thrown in a drawer. Then I found out that the best way to organize those ideas is to keep a journal. I’ve been keeping these journals since the age of twenty-five. The discipline makes up a valuable part of my learning, and the journals are a valuable part of my library.

I am a buyer of blank books. Kids find it interesting that I would buy a blank book. They say, “Twenty-six dollars for a blank book! Why would you pay that?” The reason I pay twenty-six dollars is to challenge myself to find something worth twenty-six dollars to put in there. All my journals are private, but if you ever got a hold of one of them, you wouldn’t have to look very far to discover it is worth more than twenty-six dollars.

I must admit if you got a glimpse of my journals, you’d have to say that I am a serious student. I’m not just committed to my craft; I’m committed to life , committed to learning new concepts and skills. I want to see what I can do with seed, soil, sunshine and rain to turn them into the building blocks of a productive life.

Keeping a journal is so important. I call it one of the three treasures to leave behind for the next generation. In fact, future generations will find these three treasures far more valuable than your furniture.

The first treasure is your pictures… Take a lot of pictures. Don’t be lazy in capturing the event. How long does it take to capture the event? A fraction of a second. How long does it take to miss the event? A fraction of a second. So don’t miss the pictures. When you’re gone, they’ll keep the memories alive.

The second treasure is your library… This is the library that taught you, that instructed you, that helped you defend your ideals. It helped you develop a philosophy.. It helped you become wealthy , powerful, healthy, sophisticated, and unique. It may have helped you conquer some disease. It may have helped you conquer poverty. It may have caused you to walk away from the ghetto. Your library, the books that instructed you, fed your mind and fed your soul, is one of the greatest gifts you can leave behind.

The third treasure is your journals… All the ideas you picked up, the information that you meticulously gathered. And of the three, journal writing is one of the greatest indications that you’re a serious student. Taking pictures, that is pretty easy. Buying a book at a bookstore, that’s pretty easy. However, it is a little more challenging to be a student of your own life , your own future, your own destiny. Take the time to keep notes and to keep a journal. You’ll be so glad you did. What a treasure to leave behind when you go. What a treasure to enjoy today!

To Your Success,

Jim Rohn

© 2006 by Jim Rohn International. All Rights Reserved.

If You Can’t Post Anything Nice.. – How to Avoid & Resolve Conflict on Social Media

ImageAdmittedly, I know more about Facebook than I should.  I could wrap it around something noble but honestly, I’m just sort of addicted to the whole thing.  I love to interact with people and play connect-the-dots with relationships in an effort to make this world a bit more Awesome!

I’ve noticed several trends regarding Facebook statuses lately and they’re not helping you. I’m writing this post in an attempt to help some folks out. While there are many breeds of toxic updates I’ve chosen to address 2 of the most prevalent.

Let me first start out by saying that your Facebook persona is more powerful than you probably realize.  It casts either a light or a shadow upon your audience about who you are and what you stand for. If you’ve made it this far in the post then you are probably open to even caring about this so let’s proceed.

Unhealthy Facebook Statuses:

-Posting a status that is derogatory about someone directly.  You tag them, you’re angry, you feel better (for now).

-Posting a status that is angry in tone & vague as to who it’s intended for.  This person is actually hoping that a specific person sees it or that someone makes sure he/she does.

Why These Posts are Toxic:

I’ve had several conversations with people about this topic.  I’ve heard many give me the justification that it’s important to ‘be real’ on Facebook.  It’s interesting to me that the defense of ‘being real’ is only given to justify negativity.

Here’s why these posts are toxic.

The problem with social media is that it gives every voice & opinion equal weight into YOUR life. By airing out your problems to the world you are opening yourself up to a barrage of negativity wrapped in a cloak of concern.

While Facebook may not be ‘real life’ I can assure you it will find it’s way into yours…sooner or later.  I say later because by choosing to air out your rant you cannot control who among your friends thinks it was intended for them.  Perceived confrontation is more damaging than literal confrontation because one has time to fester while the other is over & done with. Like I said, not scientific but true nonetheless.

The Antidote:

Instead of deciding to air out your anger & frustration to the world I encourage you to pick up that smartphone of yours and ‘phone a friend.’  I’m totally aware that this is old school but I’m am determined to bring it back and can accomplish it with your help! You may choose to contact the person you are upset at or call someone who you respect and admire to give you advice on how to best proceed with this conflict.  Opening yourself up to the advice of those who don’t have your best interests at heart is toxic.  Keep your drama off Facebook!

Letters on a screen lack emotion. You know it’s true.  How many times have you misinterpreted what someone meant?  How did that make you feel once you found out the truth of the matter that you misread their emotion?

Relationships are too valuable. 

Don’t put yours at risk because you forgot an emoticon! :/

Social media is a beautiful and powerful thing but it cannot replace the authentic interaction of two souls.  There is a valuable substance contained in the human voice that Facebook & Twitter simply can’t compete with.  Here’s my Challenge to you:

Take the Facebook Challenge:

Identify 1 friend or follower on social media who you feel at a distance from because of something that happened on Facebook, Twitter etc.  It’s really hard for me to explain what I mean by this but, chances are, you know what I’m talking about.  This next part is the real challenge.

Call them just to say, Hi.  Simply to catch up.  They may not even know that you perceive a conflict so don’t mention it.  Whether this call ends awkwardly or with exuberant tears of reconciliation from years of neglect doesn’t matter.  You are not picking up the phone because you have an agenda but, rather, because you have a friend! 

I give you permission to be scared about taking this first step but I encourage you to take it anyway. If you do not value the relationship enough to make a phone call or the other person refuses to speak with you then I encourage you to ‘unfriend’ or block them asap.  Drama has a way of distracting you on your pursuit of awesome and ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!

Please let me know what I missed & how your challenge went in the comments below.

From a Blogger to Both of My Readers

Image

My daughter and I in Times Square enjoying a random guy just destroying our moment.

Somebody called me a blogger today. I  don’t know quite what this label comes with but I’m not certain it matters much. I’m new to this blogging thing although I’m no stranger to writing.  For the most part I’ve spent the last 3 years honing my craft on Facebook and have been pretty much crushing it.  1-3 sentence blogs are easier than having a website that folks show up to.  My Facebook friends are pretty much stuck with me but if you hate my blog once chances are you won’t be back.

I didn’t start my blog to make money.  I’m not even sure I knew that was possible when I started.  I’m not above monetizing my blog (I just learned that term.)  I’m afraid this might accidentally start feeling like work so I’ll avoid that temptation for a while until I know more.

In the meantime, I’m really just trying to figure out what to write about next.  I have this dream of being published one day but I don’t know how all that happens.  I learned a few things yesterday, though.

I crave for others to like my words.  For their tone to inspire you to respond in some way that does not involve being repulsed.

I still can’t understand what makes people get to the bottom of my blog.  It thrills me that you’re reading my thoughts, passions and ideas.  I seek to serve you, the reader, while releasing what’s been going on in my head all this time. True Confession:  I’ve been wanting to write a book.

Yesterday I spoke with my friend, Grant, and I asked him a question that had been rolling in my mind for a while, “Who am I to write a book?” His response to me was life-changing and I’ll unpack it in another post because it has me feeling a bit raw still.

I’m now rolling over another question in my head: “Rob, who are you NOT to write a book?”

It’s amazing what speaking to the right person will do to a dream.  Throw your dream out there friends…it matters!

At the Edge of Starting

ImageI’ve joined a secret society of folks seeking whatever their own flavor of awesome may be.  This all started when I answered an email that referred to ‘Taking on a Challenge’ which was sent by my friend, Jon Acuff. I say friend because he follows me on Twitter & I actually met him once. He wrote some words in a book I was holding. Since his name was on the cover I think he felt entitled. I digress.

I find myself on the edge of starting and I don’t even know why I’m excited.  It’s not like I wasn’t already headed somewhere.  This month is already geared to be one of the greatest our home-based business has ever experienced.  So why am I so jazzed right now?

I think I’m excited because over 2000 other people responded to that same email.  We’re all jockeying around in the Starting gate waiting for the doors to bust wide open. We’ll be separated in groups of 24 and partnered with 1 other Starter to begin a journey on our distinct road to Awesome.

Details would be great right now but I sorta’ like this nervous energy.  A pilgrimage is about to begun from the land of Mediocrity towards the valley of Trying on our way to the mountaintop of Awesome and I am ready.

My plan is not to really mention this  experiment while I’m traveling these next few weeks.  I’ve been advised to put my bullhorn down by Jon & just go out and DO Awesome instead of talking about doing it.

We stand ready at the edge of Starting.

May Average be left on the shore

Our sails billow forward with Awesome

Toward a Challenge for those who want more!

If you haven’t read Jon’s book, START , yet I fully recommend you do. It’s THAT Good!

The Morning Hour

Image

There is that secret hour

Before the children stir

My books lay, still, beside me

Their message still a blur

The coffee still too hot to sip

The night’s still hanging on

Before Morning takes it’s rightful place

with the rising of the dawn.

I treasure most this tranquil time

with sleep still in my eyes

As God whispers a soliloquy

Breathed from his lips to mine

“So the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground, breathed life into his lungs, and the man became a living being.”

Genesis 2:7

What My Voices Tell Me and How I Found Hope in a Lisp

What do Your Voices Tell You?My desire is to be transparent with this blog & this is one of the more raw posts I’ve published.  I struggle with voices of fear & doubt and they’re trying to sabotage my dreams.  The loudest of these voices pretty much repeats the same 3 words:

‘You’re Not enough.”

The quitter in me has a way of convincing me that others are doing great things but I am destined for mediocrity;  that the many imperfections I have are what is holding me back from being a published author, a speaker or a 5 Star Ambassador with Visalus. Simply put, my voices try to convince me that successful people are that way because of a natural gift, a particular skill set I can’t develop or just plain luck. I’ve a feeling I may not be alone in this.

Oddly enough, I find great comfort in Jon Acuff’s lisp. Jon is actually my favorite author and someone I admire very much. It’s a strange thing to fall in like with a lisp, I know, but it’s also the truth.  He’s not perfect & I love that about him. I’ve followed his ascension to stardom for years but never actually heard him speak until meeting him at a book signing a few months ago for his new book, START.

My biggest fear now is for Jon to actually read this & suddenly realize he may have a lisp.  Sorta like the time I intercepted a note from one of my students and found out I had a bald spot  :/ I started shaving my head the next day.  I find great delight in the nuances of others that make them unique and move them South of Vanilla.  (Now I just ticked off the vanilla lovers!)

The point is, while some may discover the imperfections of people and see less, I see them as a reminder that success is reserved for those who keep hustling.  I am compelled to silence that voice within me that whispers, “You’re not enough”, and simply respond,

“Oh no, I’m MORE than enough.”

I’m curious, what do your voices tell you?  Comment below and check out Jon Acuff’s project NoMoreVoices.com to contribute to the conversation already going on there.

NOTE: If you just thought to yourself, “I don’t hear voices in my head! He’s crazy!” Then welcome to the voice in your head.

The Writer’s Struggle or Why I Avoid Arguments

Be Inspired. Be inspiring.Writing, for me, is a lot like having an argument.

A much needed healthy, argument.

I’d much prefer to simply solve a problem than talk about it & get all messy with the stickiness of feelings.

Even right now, I have this conflicting-deepness in the pit of my stomach. My senses are urging me to back out of writing this…to refill my coffee…to post a quote somewhere…to pray…do laundry…or………….

I’ve decided to write because, even though I loathe the pressure I feel when my keys are rat-a-tat-tatting on my keyboard, I’ve discovered the relief of resolution after each paragraph I pen.

I had a blogging friend ask me the other day what I wanted ‘the customer’ to do when they visited my blog, and I don’t think I’m ready for any sort of customer just yet. Maybe one day I’ll learn all about monetizing my blog, but right now I’m just searching for you.

My hope in blogging is that you, the reader, is out there. That you find value & meaning in these words.

Every now & again I get followed by someone whose blog has a heartbeat to it. Their words & content have an authenticity & a distinct rhythm to the patterns of a life actually being lived. I like to follow those folks.

Anyone else like me out there? I’d love to read & comment on your blog if you have one.