Day 1,072 – Thankful for Rivers of Information

At our recent Express Employment Professionals Leadership Academy retreat we had a concept thrown our way.  In order to grow into our vision we must continue to stay focused on gathering, processing, and sharing the right information on a regular basis.  The process basically focuses on what topics we should be staying informed about, utilizing tools to harvest and process related information, and then sharing it with others.  The name of this is Rivers of Information.


As I build my “river” I found several resources that I’d never heard of and several that I enjoyed but never quite made time for.  After loading them into a nifty app (Inoreader) I get approximately 50 short summaries of news articles shot my way day.  When I have a moment of down time I reach for my phone, open the app, and then quickly scan the articles.  If one’s not of interest I swipe left and don’t see it again.  If it is interesting and I want more info I swipe down and get to read the full article.  If it’s worth saving I can email it from the app.  If it’s something I want to save I can transfer it right to EverNote.  Pretty awesome!  Throw in a folder of a few daily emails I receive and I’m finding myself processing more information than ever.

Some of the info and news are focused on what’s going on in the economy and in the workforce while there’s also much focused on self improvement and stoicism.  And that’s what leads me to today’s blog topic.

Over the past few days it’s really hit me just how much differently I’m processing information and living my life based on what I’m taking in each day.  If I’m focused on goofing off and games I feel happy, but when I’m sticking to a diet of business information and self improvement I am more confident and more joyful.  Over the past few days I’ve found the concepts presented are floating into my head more and more often and I’m more cognizant of the choices I’m making with my time and focus.  Thanks to the rivers of information I’ve started a habit that’s keeping me more focused on what I should be focused on and more joyful as a result.  How awesome is that?


PS:  Below are some of my favorite rivers.  If you have other ideas that I should check out I’d appreciate you shooting them my way.  Thanks!!!



Day 1,070 – Thankful for a Travel Tradition, the Scratching of the Map

Once we got home this afternoon we hit the jets and focused on getting everything done and ready for the week. Becky and I were just saying that while it was exhausting it is a good exhausting. I’ve also caught myself getting a little giddy and excited to go back to work. How fortunate to have such a wonderful work family that I get excited to see them!

To wrap up the night’s activity before we all take a little chill time before bed we had to do what is kind of becoming a cool family travel tradition. We take the National Park map off the wall, remove it from the frame, and scratch off the parks we’ve hit. Tonight we not only scratched off the Grand Canyon, but we also added a marker for Indiana Sand Dunes.

In the surface it seems like a pretty simple and unexceptional thing, but both the boys and Becky get so pumped up to do it that it puts a huge smile on my face. How awesome to see them get so excited to track our progress towards our goal. I also love how it usually starts a discussion about where to go next.

I’m thankful for a wonderful trip, great experiences with my family, safe travels, and for being home. The map is a little extra icing on the cake tonight.


Day 1,069 – Thankful for Vacation Planning on Vacation

Today we left the Grand Canyon to start making our drive back to Vegas. While on the drive back Becky and I started to plan out some future vacations and adventures. A few years ago we’d agreed to always have at least one more vacation planned before the current one came to an end.

Today we mapped out well over two dozen places we’d like to check off. I’m so thankful for taking the time to do that. It reminded us of which we’re most important to us and was a pretty awesome way to bond. Travel is a huge part of what makes us “us.” Taking time to think through and talk about what we’d like to experience was fantastic.

I’m also thankful for the way it helped re-center my focus on what I appreciate doing most. There are many times when I more or less go with the flow, this planning helped remind me of how I really need to be intentional in my actions to help me accomplish what I want.


Day 1,068 – Thankful for a Different Perspective of Patience & a Line of Ancient Wisdom

Day 1,068 – Thankful for a Different  Perspective of Patience & a Line of Ancient Wisdom

The majority of today was spent hiking in and around the south rim of the Grand Canyon. As we walked it was difficult to take in the true scope of how large and beautiful the canyon is. As I looked across the expanse I struggled to realize that the other rim was almost 20 miles away. In one look I was able to see well over 400 square miles (and that’s being conservative!). How ridiculous is that??? As we went from view point to view point we were able to see a couple of the same landmarks (the Bright Angel Trail and the Watch Tower).

While I struggled with the scope of the size of the canyon something else entirely hit me with on line. “The river was the was the saw which cut the mountain in two.” Shortly afterwards I read another sign that described the 5 million years through which the Colorado River has been wrong in its way through the stone to carve the canyon. Five million years!!!

I was immediately humbled as I thought about the things I’ve struggled to do with consistency in my life. Heck, I’ve only been blogging for almost 4 years; a far cry from five million years! In watching the rapids of the Colorado River I was reminded of the power of patience. The wide and expansive canyons reminded me of the power of persistence over time. There are so many wonderful things that can be accomplished if I remember to stay patient and keep focused on them. I’m so thankful for that lesson from nature today.

The other thing I’m thankful for is a line from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I’ve been slowly re-reading the book for the third or fourth time and a line has really stuck with me over the past couple of days.

When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you’ll seek sympathy rather than outrage or anger. Your sense of good and evil may be the same as theirs, or near it, in which case you have to excuse them. Or your sense of good and evil may differ from theirs. In which case they’re misguided and deserve your compassion. Is that so hard?

With this nugget in mind I’ve found myself pausing to ask myself why someone would be acting the way they were as opposed to immediately getting frustrated. In many cases it’s already caused me to pause and have a better understanding of the situation as opposed to getting angry and wasting emotional energy from the issue. Yet again I’m struck by the power of pausing to take the time needed to attempt to see the world through someone else’s eyes.


Day 1,067 – Thankful for a Very Becky Birthday

Day 1,067 – Thankful for a Very Becky Birthday

Today has been about the most Becky birthday we could ever have celebrated as a family. With it being kind of a big number one it was especially cool to have checked so many of her favorite things off the list.

First things first – we were sure to have a meal of ice cream, found a beautiful lake to sit beside (in the desert), we did a science related field trip to the Glen Canyon Dam, and there was even a math lesson in the car in between!

The real icing on the cake was hitting the Lower and Upper Antelope Canyons and the Grand Canyon (National Park #29 for us – only 32 to go!). To be able to spend time with her exploring such natural beauty was awesome.

Of all the awesomely Becky things we did today there was a moment that I’ll never forget for as long as I live. The look on her face and the emotion she showed when she first lay eyes on the Grand Canyon is something I will remember forever. In that one moment there are so many reasons I love her so dearly.

Thanks for sharing your special day with the boys and I today! Love you!!!


Day 1,066 – Thankful for a Day Full of Dam Jokes

While there are some days when I get a little deep and philosophical there are others when I can’t help but go totally surface level. Today was totally the latter.

The boys wanted to see the Hoover Dam so we headed there this morning before heading to Page, AZ. On the drive the jokes started to flow. Where’s the dam road? Do they sell dam souvenirs at the dam gift shop? Are we going to take the dam tour? Where’s the dam visitor center?

Even the nice lady working at the visitor center scanned Gavin’s ticket and said, “Enjoy your dam day.”

We saw some pretty awesome stuff, had a great time together, and enjoyed a wonderful day. When all is said and done I’d be surprised if we don’t all remember it as a pretty fine dam day! 😁