Nourish is a simple yet powerful word. To promote the growth of anything is vital and rewarding. But it takes time to grow anything.
Teachers in elementary school gave my classmates and I tiny trees for Arbor Day. After taking my little tree home I planted it and quickly forgot about it. I didn't take time to nourish my Pine Tree. I thought it would grow quickly without any effort. Of course my tree never thrived.
This same lack of nourishment abounds in many families. Daily, prospective nurturing is missing in many marriages. With some parents, it's missing with child-rearing. It's missing with savings and debt-reduction. A nourishment mindset is lacking in investing if our purpose is quick, no effort results with an unproven investor. Quick fixes or abandonment often attempt to fill the void left by a lack of nourishment.
Divorce, bankruptcies, excessive credit card debt, lotteries, and payday-loans are often the manifestations of neglected nourishment.
The good news is that most families have a mature tree (i.e. income, marriage, children)-- they simply need to nourish their tree to help it thrive. We don't need to create a new tree, we simply need to nourish it. Watering and sunlight will revive most trees. And unconditional love and time together will heal most marriages. Most financial situations rejuvenate with a budget and a little self-discipline. Most children thrive with freedom and the guidance of correct principles.
It's an attractive idea to plant new trees (e.g. get a new spouse, trade your children, or find a new job), but it is far easier and more rewarding to nourish our current trees.
(Photo courtesy Victor Grigas)
An overweight person may focus on toning calf muscles or she may focus on toning biceps. But for best results ab toning typically makes the greatest visual impact.
Same goes for Chess. You can choose to move one of several pieces, but what is the best one to move next? What move will offer the greatest return on investment (ROI)?
With hundreds of frugal choices to choose from, which choice offers the best ROI for you?
(Photo courtesy Alan Light)
Marriage is symmetrical. Husbands need a complimentary wife. Wives need a complementary husband. Marriage partners are not identical, but complimentary.
An impetuous spouse needs a cautious spouse to prevent overspending.
Analytical spouses need emotional spouses to add variety to their marriage.
Symmetry isn't sameness--it's better. Symmetry is the ultimate form of teamwork. It's celebrating the differences in spouses because their differences make us better.
(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)
Posted at 08:42 PM | Permalink
| | |
Charles Schulz was legendary, funny and inspirational.
One little known fact is that he kept about 6-8 weeks ahead of the publication schedule.
What would happen to your relationships if you were prepared, really prepared weeks and months before "showtime?"
Have you rehearsed your schedule and significant events with your spouse?
Do you prepare/plan/organize with your partner weekly and daily?
Many couples simply appear at Carnegie Hall without having practiced together.
Then when things go wrong, they lament.
It makes life smoother.
(Photo courtesy Neelix)
About eleven years ago I was given the opportunity to lead a group of approximately 500 neighbors.
I was new in the area and I knew very few people.
During the first few months of my assignment, I felt scrutinized and anxious.
Everyone seemed to know me, but I recognized very few people.
Oftentimes I would eat, shop and play 10-15 minutes away from my neighborhood so I wouldn't need to interact with local, un-familar people.
My incognito disguise was a hat (pulled down) and dark sun-glasses.
Then one day I was eating at Applebee's with my wife when a man and his wife approached us.
I had no clue who they were, but they knew us. And they were so happy and nice to us. They were from our neighborhood.
It wasn't long after that, I decided to forget about me. I began to focus on my neighbors and their needs.
I dropped my disguise and embraced the new situation.
Yet, even now I have to remember my life (words, actions, behavior) is not a selfish, incognito pursuit.
Life is about selflessly lifting others. It's about windows, not mirrors. It's looking outward, not inward.
It's about removing the hat and glasses.
The phone call last week was unexpected.
Years ago, I tried to help a friend with a difficult choice. But it appeared that he (and me) had failed.
Or so I thought.
Sure, everything didn't work out the way either of us wanted, but he didn't permanently fail.
And in fact the phone call helped me see that he was progressing well. He invited me to his wedding.
His (long-ago) mishap reminded me of George Washington during the Revolutionary War (defeat after defeat in many battles, but win the war with mercy, work and luck).
And then yesterday another friend who failed (don't we all?) wrote to tell me about his progress. He too is getting married (re-maried actually).
Getting knocked off our feet is a regular occurrence for most of us.
Showtime is when we stand up again and begin more intelligently.
(Photo courtesy George Bellows)
*I was finishing a call in seat 22 on a flight from Jacksonville to Dallas when a lady tried to squeeze in next to me.
Her Michael Kors bag bumped me as she took the middle seat. I sat looking out the window glued to my phone.
Rather quickly her jovial, boisterous personality caught my attention.
After finishing my call, we talked about fitness, family and faith. After three hours of talking I told her that this blog post would be for her.
She wants to stay married and live happily ever after, but marriage has turned into a nightmare of abuse and disrespect.
She is considering divorce.
I told her this life is for joy and happiness and marriage is meant to last forever.
She told me that she believes couples who pray together stay together.
As we talked, I thought of my Mom's and Dad's advice about tough times.
My mom teaches the importance of holding on when you come to the end of your rope.
My Dad teaches "the sun often shines brightest after a dark storm."
I don't know how her story will end, but I hope she will study, think, pray and then do what is right.
(*The first version of this was published by me a few years ago)
My friend Harold died in 2013. I have written about him a few times.
He passed away within 18 months of his cancer diagnosis.
I literally watched him lose over thirty pounds and shrink five inches in twelve months.
He always asked me how I was doing and if there was anything he could do for me.
He worked hard and smart. And he never bragged about his career choice (physician).
His life looked like this:
His hard work helped him retire early. Then he began to help people to a greater extent by donating several hours of his time each week.
When he died, many people wrote and spoke of his impact and legacy.
Harold did so much to help others, but he didn't prepare his wife for life without him.
His wife had never been involved much with finances.
So when he passed away she felt helpless as she navigated a new world of money management.
Health problems ravish everyone at some point. And early death can happen to anyone.
Are you preparing yourself and your spouse for a health crisis? Or maybe even an early death?
Melissa loves to enter drawings.
A few weeks ago she put my business card in a drawing for a free (25$ value) Frozen yogurt cake.
We won and it will be one of our Easter gifts to our children.
Enter many, win a few.
Oh, and at a recent home show she won a garage door opener ($350 value).
Marriages built on convenience and ease rarely last.
Contrastingly, committed couples often stay happily married.
Convenient or commitment?
When Björn Borg was a young tennis player he once had a fit after losing a match.
His outburst prompted his mom to confiscate his racket for a month.*
He determined (committed to himself) to never allow his temper to control him again.
He later became the best rated player in the world while never losing his cool.
A less emotionally committed person was John McEnroe.
Throwing rackets, yelling and verbally bullying line-judges evidenced his lack of commitment to emotional mastery.
Commitment, a determination to do the right thing and to control emotions, was the watchword for Borg (and apparently his mother too).
Is your relationship predicated on ease or commitment?
(Photo courtesy Anefo)
(*HT Ted R. Callister)
Posted at 04:34 PM | Permalink
| | |
When conversation turns crucial, what do you do?
Fight, attacking the person you love?
Fight, attacking the problem instead of your partner?
Flee, leaving the person you love?
Have you tried flow?
Flow is moving/adjusting with your problems.
It's like a surfer who stays on top of undulating waves.
(Oftentimes) we don't need fight or fight.
Don't leave the ocean. Don't curse the waves.
Get in the Ocean. Embrace the waves. Self-adjust.
Like a surfer.
(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)
About eight years ago I took a costly, time-intensive class to help me pass a very difficult financial test.
I had failed the test once and needed the license to keep my newly acquired Allstate office.
So when I took a class from a very wise man, I was ready to learn.
During one of the many breaks our instructor explained why breaks are nescesry in the learning process.
He explained humans are like a shipping box.
Before and after inserting an item to be shipped, it's necessary to use bubble wrap to cushion the package, or the item will break.
Without cushioning an item can become too hot, too cold or break from too much pressure.
Similarly, we shouldn't be crammed with too much. We need space to expand and maintain a moderate temperature.
Life is full of marathons and sprints. The key is to stop often. Don't just keep running.
Occasionally walk. Stop frequently. Run occasionally.
I took his advice and passed the test.
Years later I still try to find time to rest, to "cushion" what I ship.
My favorite ways to rest from too much are:
What's your bubble wrap? Are you trying to pop it?*
(*Did you know they now make un-poppable bubble wrap?)
Posted at 02:50 PM | Permalink
| | |
A year ago Melissa and I learned about a Solar panel company.
We met with a few salespersons about getting some panels installed, read some reviews and then decided to wait a few months.
We eventually studied more about the company and even reviewed a few other companies.
Then we decided to accept their offer of a $1,000 end-of-year-sign-up bonus.
Nearly 365 days of dabbling, deliberation and finally a decision.
Now it's done.
Do and then deliberate. That's called buyer's remorse.
Dabble, Dabble, and dabble some more. That's called indecision.
Never do. That's called dreaming.
Bargains are found by dabbling, deliberating, deciding and doing.
I recently had a very tough, almost depressing, budgeting session.
A lady met with me to get a hold on her finances, but she seemed more interested in excuses than making and keeping money.
At one point I suggested a used car might be good for her since her housing is currently 100% of her budget, her income is low and she recently declared bankruptcy.
Her reply? "It is used."
Her car is a 2013 model. And she pays about $350 per month.
I explained that used (to me) means about 10 years old and with no loan--especially since she just declared bankruptcy a few months ago.
She countered, "My bankruptcy lawyer told me it would be a good idea to buy the car to improve my credit."
This lady is not only broke, but she is mentally poor. She accepts unproven, false theories from the uninformed.
I explained that she is the only one who can change her financial fate.
I was 17 when I attended a youth conference near Ephraim, Utah.
The Dream Team was playing that Summer and for some reason I chose to be in a canyon with several other friends instead of watching hoops.
During the youth conference we each had an opportunity to conquer "the Eagle's Nest."
The Eagle's Nest was a platform perhaps 15 feet off the ground from which a person was supposed to horizontally jump off and simultaneously grab a rod....without letting go.
Out of perhaps 120 youth, only 3-4 accomplished the feat.
I studied the successful ones. And the failed attempts. I prayed, planned and visualized succeeding.
Finally I did it. I dared. I jumped. I held-on.
And the wind beneath my wings carried me.
The victory wasn't mine alone.
Later in life I would jump into an MBA, a new blog, and into learning crazy languages or trying to help people.
Now, where's the next Eagle's Nest?
It's time to dare (and jump) again!
(Photo courtesy Vtornet)
*I was about 12 years old and looking for money when a friend of mine asked me to help him load and put up hay in Palmyra, New York. I didn't know the hay fields would reach 90-100 degrees.
And I certainly didn't expect the haymow to exceed 110 degrees. But it did. And with New York humidity, I felt like I had discovered Hades.
Gratefully my friend, who worked along side me, would occasionally suggest a refreshing drink from an old hand pump well.
He taught me how to prime the pump (use some water and pump the handle several times) so the well would give us cool, refreshing water.
Saving money is a lot like priming a pump.
Prime a pump with water, and much more water comes out.
Save a little money and the result is much more money.
But saving should be regular just like priming a pump demands consistency.
Why does saving money produce more money?
1. Security. Money stored away gives incredible confidence and peace. Confident and peaceful people make better financial (and relational) decisions.
2. Good deals. Bargains happen with cash. Many cash-rich businesses acquire other businesses for pennies on the dollar because they had money on hand (retained earnings).
It's hard for a seller to resist the lure of a wad of cash. Often they will reduce the price by 25%-50% if they see cash.
Regrettably some people prime the savings pump for a few days or weeks but don't pump long enough to see any true results.
Start saving now even if it is only a few dollars.
Then enjoy a refreshing glass of water in your hot financial haymow.
(Photo courtesy Jud McCranie)
*Original post was entitled Priming The Pump from 2012 archives)
(One time I feinted with heat exhaustion in the hay mow and had to be taken home for the day)
M. Scott Peck in his classic book The Road Less Traveled taught a powerful concept, "...life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived."
Mechanics fix things. Detectives discover mysteries.
A mechanic controls things, thereby obtaining a perfect outcome.
But relationships involve people who can't (and shouldn't) be controlled.
Detectives explore, allow for chance and volition and eventually find an outcome.
Detectives work with people. Mechanics work with things.
Top Gear or Scooby-Doo?
Cooter or Nancy Drew?
The Fonz or Sherlock?
B. A. Baracus or The Hardy Boys?
Too often I have tried to fix people and events to get my desired outcome.
Detectives discover an outcome, they don't try to go about 'fixin' everything and everyone.
Be a mechanic, fix your problems. And be a detective, exploring, discovering life with those you love.
Creators like Einstein are fascinating.
Doers like Churchill seem magnificent.
So for most of my life, when I (erroneously) thought of patience as passively waiting, I cringed with distain.
I wanted to do it now. I wanted progress now!
Then I learned that patience is working while waiting. Patience is a process. Patience is not knowing the ending but enjoying the journey and the uncertainty.
Patience is recognizing that termination points, style and substance are up to God, and I'm not Him.
A wise person once said*, "Patience is a purifying process."
I say patience is a purifying process, not a terrifying process.
Patience is fundamental to great relationships and living abundantly.
(*see Continue In Patience)
(Photo courtesy John Morgan )
Posted at 02:01 PM | Permalink
| | |
It was then, I realized I was impatient, selfish, and a poor provider. I needed to become much better.
Thankfully there are many wonderful parents who showed me and my wife how to be excellent.
Excellent parents go on dates with their children. Wonderful parents play with her children.
Impactful parents love their children and listen to their children.
Long-lasting parents ask questions and talk with her children.
They work alongside their children and worship with their children.
Successful parents invest time and money, prayers, effort, emotions and everything they possibly have into being a better person.
Legacy leaving parents establish a better relationship with their spouse and thereby bless their children.
Raise your example, then raise your children.
Reinvention and innovation are two words rarely associated with family.
Automobile manufacturers often talked of innovation in the 1980's as they sought to compete with Honda and Toyota.
And business thought leaders such as Clayton Christensen talk of disruptive innovation.
In family the tendency is to push others to change. Parents often push children to become smarter, stronger, and more emotionally adept.
But how often do we focus on creating a brand-new self? How often do we innovate?
Pushing ones-self to be better and do new things, becoming a new person, is what life is about.
The more we become, the more we can give.
A former factory worker, recently took up cooking, piano playing and computers!
He is innovating and reinventing in his late 60's.
Do you need to become a new person? Learn a new skill?
(Photo courtesy Megapixie)
Those who pursue an ideal (ideal=growing, not flawless) marriage often feel like they are pushing against a boulder. No progress, just exertion.
But perhaps most important is what we become in the process of pursuing the ideal marriage, not whether we are progressing (or even obtaining).
Muscles of patience, kindness, gentleness, persuasion, and level-headedness become massive under the strenuous work required to achieve a lasting, legacy-rich marriage.
But it's worth it. Ask Melissa.
Tomorrow Melissa and I celebrate 18 years of marriage. And who we've become in 18 years or marriage is far better than where we began!
(Photo courtesy localfitness.com)
A few days ago I was struggling with a massive tension headache.
My neck felt tight and I felt miserable.
I have had many tension headaches and have tried multiple remedies (massage, Tiger Balm, Aspirin, weight training, diet, naps, aerobics)
After Melissa rubbed my neck, it felt better.
Yet it still was stiff.
And then my sister-in-law taught me about a 'reset'.
She explained that my neck simply needed a 'reset' back to its natural form.
She showed me a three-part massage technique lasting 54 seconds.
That got me thinking about using 'resets' in a few areas.
Time away from social media
Immersion into sacred, divine writings
Communication with our Heavenly Father
Regular time as a family to play, work and laugh
Frequent planning meetings to anticipate challenges and implement dream
What's giving you a 'headache'?
What can you do this week to 'reset' a struggling area in your life?
(Photo courtesy Shanghai killer whale)
Posted at 05:45 PM | Permalink
| | |
Well we don't really have a new baby, but our new-to-us Toyota Sequoia is here!
And Melissa loves it. And I love it too, especially because we paid 1/4 of what it would cost new.
Over seven months ago Melissa and I began to discuss replacing our vehicle as we needed to replace our Honda Odyssey (227,000 miles and a slipping transmission).
We looked at Honda Pilots, Toyota Highlanders, GMC Yukons, and a few other larger SUVs.
We checked Edmonds, Consumer Reports and we talked with several friends and relatives to discover what would be best for our family.
We discovered core values for Melissa (roominess, heated seats) and core values for Ryan (fast, 4x4, sun-roof).
Then when we bought it, we rejoiced in having made a united, allied decision.
(Photo courtesy Wikipedia-our Sequoia is a little older, but similar color and design)
Meteorologists are famously wrong.
Often their predictions are far from accurate.
Nevertheless they continue to attempt to control the weather.
We can learn much from weathermen attempting to control the temperature.
26 year-old Cam Newton became agitated and heated after losing the Super Bowl.
He failed to control his temperature.
A 39 year-old, Peyton Manning (with 4 Super Bowl appearances and 2 wins) seems to be the master of cool emotions.
And Kobe Bryant admitted he was too "hot" when he first entered the NBA.
Now nearly 20 years later, Kobe says the Spurs (think Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Popovich with their stoic demeanor) taught him to be "cool" and calm.
Now more than ever we need to choose cool and collected.
My first blush with massive turbulence was on an airplane flying over Orlando.
The plane dropped so fast that a stewardess dropped a beverage on a sleeping man. She had accidentally spilt his drink.
He abruptly woke up and yelled at her until he figured out what happened.
Recently Melissa taught me that OPS or Optimal Penetration Speed is the perfect speed at which turbulence is minimized.
It's like Goldilocks-speed, not too fast and not too slow.
OPS is vital for...
Varying your speed is what OPS is about. It's choosing the right speed for the airflow and pressure to work with and not against a plane.
Fast. Slow. Pause. Go.
Adjust your speed so turbulence becomes a boon, not a burden.
(Photo courtesy Chris Olsen)
Posted at 05:36 PM | Permalink
| | |
A friend fixed his wife's car. It took him eight hours, but prevented them from spending several hundred dollars at the repair shop.
The best part is, he expressed his love by investing time into her concerns.
Is this conversation crucial?
Did I choose convenience or commitment when I get married?
Am I willing to work on myself to ensure a better relationship?
Do I need more money or more control of my money?
Does my money tell me what to do or do I tell my money where to go?
Is my marriage like a microwave or a crockpot?
How many date nights should a thriving couple have?
What are my top priorities?
Are children more important than my spouse?
Who do I need to become to be trusted?
Do I regularly practice forgiveness?
Do I lack time? Or do I need to prioritize?
What is the opposite of go?
It could be stop. Or maybe pause.
Jordan paused basketball when he took up baseball.
He came back and won three championships.
The Titanic refused to pause when every other ship in the Atlantic paused for the night.
Then at midnight it was forced to pause forever.
Wise parents pause when their children misbehave.
Excellent spouses pause to learn more about a partners' needs/wants.
Posted at 05:23 PM | Permalink
| | |
I first learned about Urban Meyer when he led the University of Utah to a perfect football season in 2004. He later coached Florida State and Ohio to National Championships.
So when he published a book a few months back, I was excited to learn about his remarkable leadership skills.
It's one thing to be a winner with one organization, but to take three separate teams to championships and undefeated seasons in your first few years is legendary.
In his book, Above The Line, Coach Meyer teaches several excellent truths.
One such truth is his formula for responsibility: ERO.
We often don't control events nor outcomes, but we certainly control our response.
Meyer explained that one of his back-up quarterbacks became a true leader the moment he proactively took blame for a bad decision.
I have been following Afford Anything, a personal finance blog, for about two years.
And yesterday I read this post that resonated with me.
Complex cost-saving measures (optimizing) saps life; Simplification allows room for relationships.
I like how Paula focuses on using energy to enjoy time, money and life.
Cheap people tend to cling to pennies; frugal people cling to others.
(Photo courtesy Nikostrat)
Posted at 05:15 PM | Permalink
| | |
A couple years ago I had one of the longest days of my life.
I love to get things done and I like to go fast.
So when I went (reluctantly) on an eight hour hike that turned into a 12 hour hike, I felt miserable.
A friend recently contrasted my experience with one of his own.
He too went hiking.
But when a Moose blocked his path, he simply took pictures of the moose while he patiently waited and enjoyed the journey.
Enjoying the journey. That's one of the keys in marriage too.
Meandering is a must in marriage because marriage is a process not an event. And the process is meant to be enjoyed.
Two guys (let's call them Curly and Moe) complained about "stupid rich people" shopping at thrift stores.
Another man I've known for a year (let's call him Lincoln) interrupted them and suggested maybe the rich people were rich because they shopped for bargains at thrift stores.
Curly and Moe thought about that, but then decided rich people should buy retail.
Curly and Moe have no assets other than vehicles. No home, no savings. They make little and spend much (lunches, soda, vehicles, clothes, etc)
Lincoln has a net worth upwards of $200,000 and is very frugal. His household earns more than 3x the national average and yet he loves deals, bargains and people more than appearances.
As I shopped for books at the thrift store yesterday I overheard two people talking.
An experienced employee was "training" a novice employee. He often told the novice employee about himself, while neglecting to ask her questions or to listen to her.
As I searched for books for about 10 to 15 minutes, I couldn't help but notice that the experienced employee dominated the conversation, talking incessantly.
I reflected back to times when I was a new employee. How I yearned to ask questions, to be heard because it was so scary.
Later as I told my son the story of the talkative, experienced employee, I reflected back to stories that my dad told me about Bugs Bunny and his big ears.
As a child, my Dad wowed me with creative stories about Bugs Bunny outsmarting birds and even Elmer Fudd.
Invariably Dad would tell stories with big-earned rabbits and often he drew us children pictures of big-eared rabbits.
So yesterday I thought about how this guy could've had big ears.
He could've heard.
He could've listened.
He could've helped a scared employee.
What about you? Do you dominate the conversation in your relationships?
Or do you have big Bugs Bunny ears?
Video games are more fun when the designers allow for multidirectional movement (non-linear), teamwork, and multiple Mulligans.
Do you remember the original Super Mario Brothers from 1985? You could go forward, but not back to previous screens. The game was linear: A-->B-->C or World 1, stage 1-->World 1, stage 2.
Either Mario or Luigi could try to save Princess Toadstool from Bowser but they couldn't work together synchronously.
And, without using cheats, the number of do-overs was severely limited by how many tokens you could accumulate.
The newer version of Super Mario Bros allows for multidirectional movement, teamwork and so many do-overs that my ten-year-old can master most worlds and stages.
Thankfully life offers the opportunity to go in any direction and work with multiple people to defeat the bad guys (debt, bondage, low income, poor communication, mistrust).
And of course life offers daily and even immediate do-overs just like the new Super Mario Bros.
Posted at 05:12 PM | Permalink
| | |
One couple started a business out of their home.
Rent was $0.
Another couple started a business in a prime retail location.
Rent was $3,700.
Which one do you think went out of business?
Dream big. Spend little. Thrive. Repeat.
(Image courtesy John Hill)
Posted at 05:43 PM | Permalink
| | |
A man told me he was trying to become perfect for his wife.
No one can become "mistake-free" in a growing marriage.
Growing marriages need experimentation; and experimenters make mistakes.
Perfection has two diametrically opposed meanings.
Enduring marriages are composed of mistake-ridden people who seek to complete each other by offering unconditional love.
Thriving marriages are composed of two growing individuals who are willing to make mistakes.
Growing, learning marrieds make plenty of mistakes.
Choose growth, not mistake-free.
Choose to be like a child.
Columbus persistently pioneered.
He lobbied rulers in Portugal, Italy, England and Spain for years before his offer was accepted by Spain.
Some say he was motivated by fame. Others claim he was money motivated. And others say it was God that guided him (Columbus journaled his feelings, testifying of Divine guidance).
Years ago I unkowingly emulated Columbus when I interviewed for my first post-college job.
When one company didn't seem interested in my ability, I contacted their competition.
The first company quickly offered me a well-paying job.
Over the years I've found the joy of persistently pioneering: discovering new vistas by tenacity.
Or if I want a good deal on clothes, I check Amazon, eBay, a local mall and maybe even local classifieds.
If my children need/want to learn new skills?
We look at swimming, martial arts, dance, soccer, basketball, baseball, Parkour, Lego League or debate.
Dogged. Determined. Variety-seeking.
Yep, my wife and I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens over the weekend. The dark and light metaphors coupled with powerful illustrations of "the force" caused me to ponder.
It reminded me of this blog-post from a few years ago:
Use the force. No, use persuasion. It's a common falsehood that forcing people to change will cause them to change.
The force in Star Wars is a power to influence either for good or bad. The negative force is called coercion. The positive force is persuasion.
Persuasion is the most effective power in helping people change.
Coercion (Negative force) increases pain and agitation in relationships and is manifested by...
hiding/ withholding significant information
historical trolling (fishing for evidences of past mistakes)
nagging, nagging, nagging, nagging, nagging, nagging, nagging (yes, it's that annoying)
Persuasion (Positive force) enhances teamwork and unity and has the following traits:
listening to understand
Most want to work harmoniously with family, but often use coercion instead of persuasion.
Want your spouse to help you more?
A husband prefers watching sports to budgeting. What can be done? You could lecture him about watching too much TV or about needing to clean more. Or you could choose to enjoy (not tolerate) a few sporting games every week with him. Eventually he might be interested in budgeting with you or at least be more open to discussing family matters as he sees your more interested in his life than in nagging and pushing change.
May the good force (persuasion) be with you!
(Photo courtesy Greg Skidmore)
Posted at 07:12 AM | Permalink
| | |
My sisters spent much of of their formative years teaching me.
Their spoiled, little, obstinate brother had a long way to go.
But my wife has proven faithful to the task of helping me grow and develop.
Her grit has been tangible and effective.
Gritty people are tenacious and courageous.
They persevere, endure, and are determined.
And they show fortitude and are hardy.
Gritty persons have high morals and strong character.
Grit is often the separator between a mere convenient marriage, and a covenant marriage (where promises are made to community, each other, parents, posterity and even with God.)
Marrieds who happily live ever after, use grit to last.
Gritty marrieds cling to commitments; not convenience.
What will you do when your marriage gets hard? Will you be gritty enough?
So I quickly devised a plan to make friends: buy Girbaud jeans.
My thinking was simple. The $65 designer Girbaud jeans would make me look cool and friends would flock to me.
So my amazing Mom bought me three pairs at $65 apiece!!!
It didn't work.
The jeans were a mask. I needed to become someone of substance not merely look good on the outside.I did make many friends over my three years at Hillcrest High, but it wasn't because of the jeans.
I became interested in others. I asked many girls on dates. I tried to treat everyone with respect. I got involved in FBLA.
I became a good friend instead of merely trusting in cool clothes.
It turns out that substance is better than a mask.
Who you are is better than what you have or even what you do.
Posted at 09:47 PM | Permalink
| | |
Les Schwab and Discount Tire are located Across the street in Lindon, Utah.
I needed to get my tires properly inflated (the 30 degree days siphoned air from my tires).
A lady at Les Schwab begrudgingly agreed to inflate my tires ( I didn't buy my tires from them, so there was no perceived monetary benefit for them to help me). Then when I visited the store they told me to wait 45-60 minutes.
I felt like an inconvenience.
I left and went across the street to Discount Tire.
Discount Tire took 5 minutes and didn't even ask if I bought the tires from them.
One business sells tires. Transactional.
Do business with companies that treat you like a person.
We need more Santa's and less Scrooge's.
People matter. And money (and joy) comes to those who treat people like they matter.
Guess where I will buy new tires?
An older friend of mine had a heart attack. As the paramedics rushed to him, I watched him struggle in pain.
"Slow down" is the thought I had then, and multiple times since (usually when other friends struggle with health problems).
The blog-post below reminds me to slow down.
Although vision and communication played critical roles in the rapid demise of the Titanic and life boat shortages exasperated the catastrophe, speed seems to be the instigator behind the tragedy.
The Titanic was averaging about 21 knots (24 mph; 39 km/h) for most of the journey including the last day of the journey even after icebergs had been spotted.
Captain Smith knew it was wise to slow down, but he didn't. Others even predicted the location and cause of the accident 15 years before.
Some speculate that the Bruce Ismay wanted more publicity for his company, White Star Line, so he strongly encouraged Captain Smith to reach New York in record time.
Both knew of the danger, but decided it was worth the risk.
They chose to disregard sound advice from crew to slow down and instead sped up in order to gain personal recognition.
The same is true for us now: The consequences may not be life or death, but the icebergs of potential financial ruin are everywhere.
Nowadays the icebergs of potential financial ruin are everywhere.
Individual credit card debt is skyrocketing and personal savings are plummeting.
Will we slow down to see the icebergs of overspending? Will we heed the warnings to save for a rainy day?
We often speed up when we are pursuing something, or sometimes forget to slow down when warning signs appear because a deal looks amazing, and promises to get us rich quickly.
Or we fail to look at risks involved with additional debt.
Notice the icebergs and then slow down, evaluate the risk, and if necessary, stop what you're doing.
Posted at 03:04 PM | Permalink
| | |
My son asked Melissa and I how to use a BOSU ball as we pumped-up a new blue half-ball.
I explained that the blue -side up is the only way to use it.
Then Melissa clarified: my son could use either side for exercises.
My way was limited. Her way was expansive.
And now I know BOSU stands for "BOth Sides Up.
Couples get expansive views by discovering multiple perspectives.
Posted at 05:22 PM | Permalink
| | |
There are so many good things to do in December: shop for others; listen to Christmas music; watch Christmas movies.
And yet the missing ingredient is often the same missing ingredient as couples on the verge of divorce: Spiritual Dearth.
It's possible (and probable) to exercise, learn, and help others while forgetting to feed inner-divinity.
When January 1 arrives, how Spiritually strong will you be?
Will December serve as a springboard for your Spirituality?
Posted at 03:50 PM | Permalink
| | |