Day 1,883 – Thankful for Remembering to Listen

Two wonderful reasons to remember to listen today, both for very different reasons.

The first was remembering to listen rather than react. My mind quickly races to an answer, long before a question is asked. If I react too quickly I miss hearing the correct question and answer incorrectly. Pause, listen, think, and then respond if necessary. Too often I’ve responded when response was needed. Today reminded me of the power of listening completely and then responding in due time. Remember to listen rather than react.

The second was remembering to listen closely and attentively in the stillness. The voice can be heard anytime, but I must find stillness to hear it. Create space, eliminate noise, and listen with more than my ears. In that space if I listen closely with my soul I will hear the call. Remember to listen closely in the stillness.

Two simple lessons, both profound. Remember to listen, the reward is so much greater than talking and responding.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,883 – Thankful for Remembering to Listen

Two wonderful reasons to remember to listen today, both for very different reasons.

The first was remembering to listen rather than react. My mind quickly races to an answer, long before a question is asked. If I react too quickly I miss hearing the correct question and answer incorrectly. Pause, listen, think, and then respond if necessary. Too often I’ve responded when response was needed. Today reminded me of the power of listening completely and then responding in due time. Remember to listen rather than react.

The second was remembering to listen closely and attentively in the stillness. The voice can be heard anytime, but I must find stillness to hear it. Create space, eliminate noise, and listen with more than my ears. In that space if I listen closely with my soul I will hear the call. Remember to listen closely in the stillness.

Two simple lessons, both profound. Remember to listen, the reward is so much greater than talking and responding.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,878 – Thankful for Opportunities to Exercise My Stoic Practice

It is one thing to read, study, and visualize doing something. It is wholly another to actually do that same thing. While training is all well and good it is easy to think I know how I will respond. Today I had an opportunity to reality test how much my practice has helped.

When something unexpected happens I have a choice to make. All that practice paid off as the muscle memory went right into action and I responded in the way I wanted rather than reacting as I would have. In this scenario it made all the difference.

I was offered an opportunity to exercise my stoic practice today. In some ways I found success and in other ways I found opportunities for improvement. Pausing to think was great, not foreseeing and thinking through the possibility of the change was not so great. The opportunity to learn through real life exercise was priceless and will continue to help me grow and close the gap.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,876 – Thankful for Dominic’s Courage to Do Anything

Dominic is starting to work on his Eagle Scout project. The potential project includes creating a dog park in our neighborhood. The first step before he can even put his proposal together is to ask all the nearby home owners if they would be okay with that.

No worries, Dominic just put on his Scout uniform, grabbed his notepad, and started knocking on doors. How wild is that? Even better, he doesn’t know who more than half the people are! Dominic is basically going out and doing cold calls voluntarily in support of a good cause.

That simple action makes me so proud. It’s be so easy to take the easy way out and find a different project, use a over, or some other form of communication. Nope, he’s grabbing the bull by the horns and has received some tremendous feedback already.

One more reason I’m proud of Dominic, he understands that some of the best things in life lay well beyond the point of discomfort. Never give in to fear when courage is the right answer.

Super proud of you dude! Love you bud!

Thanks!!!

Day 1,873 – Thankful for Walking Meditation and Stillness in the Woods

Rather than boarding a flight to an ocean beach I was wandering the woods in the snow. Quite the contrast, right? I was exactly where I should be.

Becky and I spent most of our morning at Pike’s Peak outside of MacGregor, Iowa. Due to the cold weather and snowfall we were amongst the few in the entire park. Once we were more than 100 yards from the observation area we never saw another soul.

I drew in breaths of fresh autumn air through my nose and concentrated on soaking in each exquisite little detail of the sights and sensations around me. The bright red leaves and even more scarlet berries of one type of plant. The drops of water resting on the waxy underside of oak leaves. Each little “brick” in the elaborate lattice work of the limestone rock outcroppings. The sensation of the cool winter-ish breeze and snow rushing against my face and tickling the hairs of my beard. The lighting of the woods shifting and transforming as the sun danced amongst the clouds. The music of Becky’s voice as we shared our joys of the wilderness. Each step. Each breath. Each individual second. Pure magic, pure joy.

Our morning was spent in a walking meditation in the stillness of the woods. Exactly where I was called to be in those moments.

If this were my last day I would go peacefully, full of joy, fully satisfied, and with a heart full of love. Today I have lived.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,872 – Thankful for Inspiration from the Insight of Incredible Teammates and Re-Reading an All Time Favorite

I am so grateful to be surrounded by so many incredible teammates. Not a day goes by in which I’m not thankful for the plethora of strengths they gift to our teams. Their hard work, high energy, and proactive action within our values is impressive. The momentum they’re building is a force to be reckoned with.

Today a few of us paused reality for a handful of hours. Select the office, went to a quiet place, and spent time discussing the future. We shared ideas for potential challenges and their corresponding opportunities. My teammates sharing fantastic insight into how we can continue to grow through the next year – both in business and as a team. The ideas they shared were awesome and the way they worked together to help position the team in a place to really utilize their unique talents was impressive. My mind has been racing with possibilities since we started our conversation.

My incredible teammates inspired me to dream even bigger dreams for next year. Their passion, energy, and awesomeness will no doubt propel us to a wildly successful future.

After spending a lot of quiet time processing so much of our conversation I fire up an audiobook for the rest of my drive home. It’s been a little while since I fired up one of my all time favorite and most impactful books so I figured it was a perfect time to load it up. For the however many-eth time The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday is reminding me of the importance of my perceptions, my actions, and my will. For reals, this is one of the most insightful and useful books you will ever read.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,868 – Thankful for Taking Advantage of the Unseasonably Warm November Weather

Wow!!! How awesome is this weather??? Comfortably hiking in a t-shirt and shorts at the end of the first week of November? This is amazing!

Throughout the day we’ve been working on maximizing our time outside. As I blog I’m sitting on our deck and enjoying the smells of fall leaves. Earlier we took the dogs for a walk in the sun. Lunch was grilled and eaten outside. We hit Perrot State Park to enjoy the perfect hiking weather. This has been AMAZING!!!

One of my biggest goals this year was to maximize my time spent outdoors. Unseasonably warm weather like this makes it all the easier to follow through on that goal.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,865 – Thankful for Being Rewarded for Rolling With It and Taking My Advice

Yesterday was a day focused on nonstop Zoom calls. I’m still amazed that I didn’t have teleconferencing nightmares last night!

Today was lined up very differently with a focus on a couple of face to face meetings in different markets. Out the door and on my way to Eau Claire before 5:30am, it was an early start. At the office my email pinged and I received a notification that the meeting I had left early for would be much more heavily attended via Zoom. I smiled to myself, rolled with it, and jumped on via Zoom instead. A little after 9:30 I received a text from my afternoon appointment. Due to the COVID news from OSHA he asked to re-schedule. I completely understood and we are meeting next week instead. No worries, that’s life sometimes.

In the span of a few hours my day had been completely changed. Rather than getting hung up on how it was supposed to have gone I went with the tide. I think of it kind of like my minimalist running shoes. When my foot strike lands directly on a rock I don’t tense up, that would hurt big time. Instead I let my foot continue its course but I relax and let me foot wrap itself around the rock. This simple move removes any pain and discomfort and allows me to keep my stride. Today I followed that lead and wrapped myself around the day rather than try to force my will upon the day.

I also caught myself getting frustrated with a very different challenge while I was driving up this morning. Fortunately my brain knew what I needed and out of nowhere a thought appeared… “how can I be grateful for this?” This is one of the two questions I focus on often in my book. I chuckled to myself and then flipped my mindset. Within minutes I was scripting out ideas for my next book! I got so pumped up that I had to pull over to jot down notes to myself to make sure they were saved. It was awesome and one of the most rewarding productive bursts I’ve had in a long time.

So what were the results of rolling with it and taking my own advice? One of the most wildly productive days I’ve had! The results spoke for themselves as I made significant progress towards a handful of goals. The day left me with a strong sense of accomplishment on a few different levels towards my purpose.

Life doesn’t always follow the trajectory I want it to. If I remember to roll with what happens, go with it rather than against it, and listen to my own advice from past experience I can easily adapt and thrive. Days like this are neither good nor bad, they are an opportunity for me to live into my best self. Today I was successful.

Thanks!

Day 1,864 – Thankful for a Gratitude Inversion on an Eight Zooms Day

Today was an inversion day for me. Often the gratitude I share is direct and straightforward. _________ happened and I’m am thankful for it. Fairly easy formula, right? Today I paused and thought about it from a different perspective and took some of my own advice from my upcoming book (making serious headway – only a little bit to go before I share more on that one 😉) and following that lesson made all the difference.

Pretty sure this was how I looked by the end 😉

My workday included a total of EIGHT Zoom meetings. Yup, eight of them. Almost six hours of video conferencing. By the end my brain was wore out and I couldn’t bear to look at a screen. By the end I was asking myself why on Earth I would schedule a day like that.

That’s when it hit me. I paused and asked myself, “How can I be thankful for this?”

The answer was obvious. Today, through the power of Zoom and videoconferencing, I was able to be in four different cities in one day with no drive time. Rather than scheduling a handful of days utilizing more time due to driving I was able to get everything done in one day. That’s truly amazing! Thanks to this technology I was able to find a way to create more usable time.

The results of all of the conversations were profoundly inspiring and motivating on many different levels. I was able to live closer into my purpose as a result of each conversation. Had I met only in person I would not have had the same sense of completion nor the opportunity to see how many different conversations molded together. My day was better as a result of having all those conversations in one day.

What’s interesting is that my day tomorrow will be a polar opposite. I have two important meetings, both in person, and I will travel a total of three and a half hours for the two hours of conversation. For both the opportunity to meet in person will make all the difference.

Days like today remind me to pause in the middle of frustration to actively seek out a reason to be thankful. The eight Zooms today led to remarkable progress – much more positive than a minor case of Zoom exhaustion.

Thanks!!!