Category

Leadership

Creating Community

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Have you ever felt worn out? Exhausted? Overwhelmed? Rundown? Out of place?

I know I have, on numerous occasions. Is it fun? No. Is it depleting? Yes. Does it feel like you need help but are too scared to say anything to anyone? Absolutely.

However, when going through a situation like this, keyword here is ‘through’ – meaning passing by, not residing, just visiting, temporary, not permanent – it is imperative that you do not let it become who you are.  Better yet, it is essential that you refuse to go at this battle alone.  Easier said than done, I know.

Not too long ago I was in a situation that I was struggling with. I didn’t know what to do, where to go, who to turn to, and the most terrifying thing was I didn’t want anyone to know what I was going through.  I didn’t want to let anyone close enough to my situation to allow them to even help me work through it. I was caught in the struggle bus and I was ghost riding that whip. How many of you can relate? You don’t want people to know that part of your life, you’re embarrassed what people may think, you are scared to confront the issues you are currently facing and as a result you bury them deeper inside.  Let me share with you a little secret that has changed my life and countless others that I have shared this with… “what you are too insecure to confront, you are too scared to overcome.”

This statement is truer than most would give it credit. It packs a huge punch that most aren’t willing to step in the ring with. However, for those who do, it is quite rewarding.  I can speak personally as this was the answer to my struggles.  Notice that is a plural word, struggle(s).  We all have obstacles that come and try and derail us from leading our best life, but remember, most are just too insecure to confront them.  For those of you who are ready, here’s how.

How do I work through my struggles?

Community.

Community? Yes, community.  The place where people care about you more than you know.  The place that it is filled with love and acceptance.  The place where you can come as you are, not what you are not.  The place that builds you up, not breaks you down.  I am talking about THAT kind of community. When you experience real, honest, genuine, inviting, invigorating community, it will change your life.  It did mine!

Here is the deal. If you are reading this right now, it may not exactly be about what you are missing out on joining, it may be about what you are missing out on creating.

I am reminded of a saying that compares three different types of people.  The first kind of person makes things happen, the second person watches things happen and the third person wonders what just happened. Three mentalities, three belief systems, three outlooks, but only one that requires action.

Action requires purpose.

Community is created with action. The process of making it happen, putting forth effort, building, contending, nurturing, feeding, watering, exercising, practicing, living out what others view as a good idea or a scary ambition. Nonetheless, those that make things happen are the movers and shakers of creating community.  They are the ones who see more in others and make it their goal to pull it out them, so they can see it in themselves. That’s community with a purpose.

My friend and mentor, John Maxwell, always says, “The greatest investment you can ever make is in yourself.” If we fail to invest in ourselves, how are we, as a people, going to be able to lead and effectively impact the lives of the people around us in our community. Simply put, we won’t.  But I believe, just as you are reading this right now, that is not you. You are willing to dive in. To make things happen. To bring forth action. To support people by doing life together. To help people overcome obstacles. To live a life that truly impacts others by building community.

Reach out. Raise up. Community starts with you. 

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I would love to hear from you. If this blog has impacted you in any way or stirred up any thoughts, please feel free to like, comment or share below!

P.S. I am in final stages of publishing my first eBook, 3 Simple Steps to Lead a Life You Love. **be on the lookout, coming soon**

Initiative

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Words have power. I grew up understanding that your words form your world and that what you speak you will become. I believe all of these statements to be completely true!  With that being said I also believe, with everything in me… we have not because we ask not.

Have you ever wanted something but didn’t want to ask for it?

When I was 7 years old, I lived in Montana. I was always active, playing outside and getting dirty. At this time of my life, I was pumped about BMX bikes. There was a track near our house that my family would go to and watch these kids, of all ages, fly through this amazing course.  Something that always stood out to me was at the start of the race they always played the national anthem. One day I thought to myself, and then said it out loud to my mom, “I want to do that.” My mom looked at me and smiled and said, “I know honey, that’s why we are here, let’s go get your bike out of the car.” I turned back around and said, “No mom, I want to sing the national anthem at the beginning of one of these races.” For those of you who know my mom, her response won’t surprise you too much.  She said, “Okay, let’s go ask them in the booth.” Pause for a moment and let me acknowledge exactly what you’re thinking, yeah it just got real, yes, my mom was fully committed for me to follow through to my ask and I instantly starting sweating in the moment. So, what happened next?

We went to the booth and I asked if I could sing the national anthem at an upcoming race, and to my surprise, they said, “Wow, no one has ever come and asked us to sing the national anthem, our answer is yes.” They also saw my bike and asked when my race was, I told them next week and they followed up that with requesting I sing next week before my first BMX race.  Very boldly I said, “I would love to.” Flash forward a week and the day had finally arrived.  I stood tall, well as tall as a normal 7-year-old is and sang my little heart out for the National Anthem before I immediately sprinted down the stadium stairs to get to the starting line of my first BMX race.  I would like to add, for the record, that I was the only one who had a regular bicycle in a whole starting line full of lightweight, aerodynamic BMX race bikes. Nonetheless, I gave it my all, I had fun, and believe it or not, I came in 1st place. On that day I was awarded a trophy bigger than I was at the time. A trophy which I still have to this day.

You may be thinking right about now, cool story but what’s the point? The point is that I wanted something.  Sure, this is a small feat compared to other things I could want, but regardless of the want, it all started with a question. A question that was actually followed through on and asked. I have found that most people don’t actually ask due to being paralyzed by fear or comfortability. After all, if you really think about it, the worst thing that could happen is they say no.  (Which really isn’t any different than your current position, so you wouldn’t be losing much, but potentially gaining something).

In order to do something you’ve never done, to achieve something you’ve always wanted, you have to be willing to ask something you’ve never asked.

This separates those who have and have not. The common mentality to sit back and let things happen needs to change. In order to learn, in order to build, in order to grow, in order to excel, we have to be willing to ask questions that may scare and challenge us, but also allow us to grow. After all, growth doesn’t happen all of sudden, it takes hard work and dedication to grow in the area you desire most. The ability to prompt growth starts with a question.

Questions are resolutions to problems. They open doors to possibilities and unlock potential.  The key to unlocking those doors lies in your willingness to ask. 

Today, I want to leave you with you 3 powerful things to remember before you ask.

Arrive – Show up ready and expectant, don’t let fear paralyze you anymore.
Stand Strong – Be bold, what’s the worst that could happen, nothing. (my pointy exactly)
Know – Be confident, you can do it. If you really want it, go after it.

The percentage of people that don’t have what they really want is a direct result of them being too afraid to ask for it.  It may not always work, but some of the time is better than nothing at all.

___________________________

Self-Assessment
What do you want to ask?
Who is it that you have to ask?
When can you ask them?

Remember, you only have not because you ask not.

Now go do it!
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I would love to hear from you. If this blog has impacted you in any way or stirred up any thoughts, please feel free to like, share or comment below.

Integrity

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What if your dream, your success, could be achieved and sustainable faster than you thought possible? All you had to do was compromise a couple times, cut a few corners, and get that much closer to accomplishing it.  Would you do it? Honestly? The thought, don’t get me wrong, sounds very enticing, and sadly a lot of people take this option, every day.  But let me clarify one thing…Short cuts usually end up resulting in setbacks — physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Your integrity is consistent with your character.

Integrity is who you are, it is what you are about, your character in the highs and lows. In the trying and triumphant moments. It is what you stand for when the going is good and bad.  It is who you are in the light and the shadows. When you are in public or private. Your integrity is your reputation. It will continuously be tested and tried throughout your life. Only you have the choice to control it or be controlled by it. To stand up and contend for what is right or succumb to quick gain.

Tried and true beats quick and easy any day of the week. 

In our personal and professional lives, we will be given countless opportunities to succeed, but it will come at a cost.  The thought of getting ahead but the chance of cutting a corner to what you know is good, right and true.  The thought that no one will find out. The opportunity to advance your career. Sadly, a lot of people end up taking this route and end up leading a life they achieved by manipulation of the process.

No matter what has happened in the past, you control your future.

Cutting corners may appear easy but has lasting repercussions. Not to mention the potential to breed insecurity, emotional instability and steal your happiness and joy.  Simply put, it will come at a cost.  A cost that most people aren’t fully aware of until it happens.

Value integrity and it will lead you far. 

The harder you work, the better you will become.  This applies to anything in life.  The more you workout, the stronger your muscles will be. The more you study, the smarter you will be.  The better questions you ask, the more knowledge you will acquire.  The greater you want to achieve, the more you will have to be willing to work for it.

Nothing comes as a result of doing nothing. 

If you want success, work hard. If you want a happy family, work hard. If you want wealth, work hard. If you want a raise, work hard. If you want to become financially free, work hard. Whatever it is you desire, work hard.

Above all, work hard every day at keeping your integrity strong. It will take you to places that you desired to be and allow you to remain in spaces you never knew where possible.

“For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with Integrity will remain in it.” Proverbs 2:21

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If this blog has impacted you in any way or stirred up any thoughts, please feel free to share or comment below. I would love to hear from you. Let’s Chat.

Belief System

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Live out of your B.S.

Your Belief System, of course. Belief System, the real BS. If you don’t have a strong belief system, or don’t agree with the one you are surrounded by, do something about it.

If you don’t like it, change it. 

Countless times I have been with people and directly hear or overhear ridiculous self-sabotage. Things like, “I can’t do this.  I am not good at this. I will never get this job. I will never find a husband or wife.  I will never have a life outside of work.  I will never have fun.  I will never be able to sleep.”  The list goes on and on.

It is remarkable how many people are speaking life into their biggest problems. The worst part is that countless individuals fall into this category.  If you’re honest with yourself, you probably have done this at least once in your lifetime.  I know I sure have, on numerous occasions.  But I made a choice and so can you, right now by saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life, filled with a new positive outlook.”

What you believe to be true about yourself is what will be lived out by yourself.  
What you believe to be true will consume you. 

Believe you are strong, you will be strong.
Believe you are weak, you will be weak.
Believe in the positive, you will live with a positive attitude.
Believe in the negative, you will live with a negative attitude.
Simple.

Your belief system dictates your direction. 

The further you desire to go, the more resilient you will have to become.  There is a saying that it is lonely at the top.  I would beg to differ, I believe when leaders are leading with a proper belief system, it doesn’t have to be lonely.  The top should be populated with leaders that believe the best in others, which cultivates a thriving culture.

Believe for everything and you will fall for anything.
Believe for something and you will fight for it.

Don’t let your BS rule you, rule your BS.

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I believe in you more than I can express.  I have found that the best way to overcome problems is to voice them out loud.

If this blog has impacted you in any way or stirred up any thoughts, I would love to hear from you.  Feel free to reach out anytime with questions, comments, or challenges. Let’s Chat.

Awareness

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It was my senior year of high school and this night I would never forget.

Have you ever had such a long day, by the time you got home in the afternoon you wanted to just pass out? Same here. So that’s exactly what I did. I got home at 4pm and fell asleep around 4:30pm and slept all the way till 6:30. Am or pm?! Good question.  I woke up in a panicked state because my first class was at 7am and I knew I was going to be late.  I rushed to the shower and got dressed the fastest I ever have in my life.  As I am running towards the front door, I see my dad looking at me from the living room, yelling, “What are you doing?” I told him I was running late to a class that I couldn’t be late for.  He responded, “Devin, it’s 6:30pm. Dinner is almost ready.”

[ Insert unaware face of me looking like an idiot ]

My head kind of hurt as I looked dumbfounded across the house, WHAT?? I looked back again at my watch and sure enough it was the same day.  I slept so hard that I was convinced it was the next morning.   I know, I know, how stupid.  On the other hand, I was pumped dinner was almost ready and I still had a whole night of sleep ahead.

The reality of this situation, whether you can relate or not, plays a lot bigger role in our life than we may think.  I’m talking about the sense the awareness.  Sure, the example above may not have happened to you.  But in that moment, it was as real as ever to me that it was 6:30am, even though it was really 6:30pm.  Have you ever found yourself somewhere, doing something, and realized, “how did I get here?” or “why am I doing this?”

When we least expect it, we can become the least aware.

I am curious to know how many things pass by me on a daily basis that I am unaware of.  The older lady walking down the street with the widest smile on display as a reminder that happiness is real.  The spritely barista as they craft your coffee with care. The struggling coworker that could use some assistance in accomplishing a project.  There are so many things happening around you, at all times. Can you see it?  Are you intentionally aware?

The more aware we become, the greater impact we will be able to make in our lives and those around us. It is true that practice doesn’t always make perfect, but intentional actions do lead to intentional results.

Awareness is a skill that needs to be intentionally practiced. 

After all, the most successful people are those who strive to make the people around them better.  One of their secret ingredients is awareness.

Success is a result of repetition, intentionality, and awareness to drive performance.  Both for you and those around you.

How aware are you?

In View of You

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How do you see yourself?

As the person you are? The person you are not? Or the person you want to be?

While none of these are necessarily wrong, there is a healthier way.

It was just a couple weeks ago that my fiancé and I were leaving a conference that we had attended.  As I am driving down the street, we notice a car in the wrong lane.  It was a left turn lane but going in the opposite direction.  There were barricades on both sides and oncoming traffic coming straight at them.  We had to do a double take and make sure we were seeing this correctly.  What a ridiculously awkward and frightful situation to be in! Then it hit me…

Have I ever done something that I thought was right and left me looking totally out of place? Or better yet, made me feel bad for what I thought was right in the moment?

The answer is yes, 100%, on numerous occasions.  I have found that at times, I can be very fixed on my own agenda that I put myself in a box that prohibits me to be fully open and present to others.  If you’re honest with yourself, you probably have too.  Maybe more than you would like to admit. But don’t worry, that’s not a bad thing, if responded to in the right way.

Knowing something is the first step to growing.

I recently read a great book called Leadership and Self-Deception —> Getting Out of The Box by The Arbinger Institute.

I would like to briefly share my findings as I believe they are crucial in how we live and lead, both personally and professionally.

As people, we fall in one of two categories: In the Box or Out of the Box.  A lot of the times, we actually jump back and forth between them.  Here is a quick glimpse of what they look like:

In the Box
Is a space where you are confined to yourself.  It is a place you view people as objects. It is a space that is full of being critical, nasty, harsh, and demanding.  It’s full of self-betrayal, selfishness and unwillingness to be open to change or improvements.

Out of the Box
Is a space full of opportunity open to the masses. It is a place you view people as people. It is a space that is full of love, compassion, grace, equality, and joy.  It’s full of self-improvement, self-awareness and a willingness to be open to change and growth.

Where would you say you reside the most?

I would like to say I live fully out of the box, but at times my actions show otherwise.  As much as you don’t want to admit it, yours may too.

This isn’t a bad thing, the good thing is recognizing it and limiting it from happening.

For instance, just a couple weeks ago I was going into an elevator.  As the doors began to close I saw someone running and lunging a hand to save the door from shutting.  I just stood there as the door closed and I took a solitary ride to my 5th floor destination.  As it happened, I thought, “that’s not me, that’s not my heart.”  But I have come to realize that being in the box creates selfishness, while being out of the box creates self-awareness, for both you and others.  Sure I was in a hurry, but it would of been very easy for me to sacrifice an extra 30 seconds to help a person.  Which, might I add, I have done hundreds of times in the past, but not on this day.  I was deep in the box.

It’s okay, our natural tendency is to be in the box.

We all have a choice.  To stay in or out.  I choose to try my best to live out of the box, to love and value all people, all the time.  Which takes intentionality and a commitment to be better inside to make people around you better on the outside.

Effectiveness is less about what you do and more about how you do it.

Over the next 7 days I challenge you to assess where you reside most.  Are you always concerned of your own agenda, limiting you to life in the box? Or will you choose to understand how to live effectively out of the box, and add healthy value to others?

The choice is yours.

For a greater understanding and depth to this concept, you can purchase the book yourself by clicking here.

I can assure you that this book is worth the read. It will change your approach and effectiveness in all areas of life.

Lead with greater influence, today and every day!

___________________________

 
I would love to hear from you.  Feel free to reach out anytime with questions, comments, or challenges. Let’s Chat.

*Digging the content and encouragement? Know someone who would? Feel free to like, comment, share.

The Wait Is Over

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Every season carries its own set of challenges. Some bigger and some smaller, yet all real nonetheless.  The last thing we ever like to do, in any area of our life, is wait.  The immediate weight of waiting brings frustration, discouragement, and the feeling of defeat.   The reality is that waiting can actually be a good thing, if harnessed in the right way.

Waiting can make or break you.

There is a story about a group of people, a tribe, that was in a race for their life.  They were trying to outrun an army of people that was much bigger and stronger than they were.  All of a sudden, they found themselves at the banks of a large body of water, with no escape on the horizon, all they could do was wait.  However, in the waiting, an allied force came running to invade their situation and provide an escape.  This group of people had a decision to make, to stay and die, or trust in the unknown path ahead of them and run confidently forward. ‘Talk about trailblazers.’

This group of people ran full speed ahead.  They chose the potential for life.  The enemy forces almost caught up and continued to pursue them.  Then the story gets really good!  The red sea was parted, and the group ran across the bottom of the sea with walls of water raised to their right and left.  As they made it safely to the other side, the enemy forces where close behind on the same path in the sea.  All of sudden, the water collapsed on them and in an instant, the water swallowed them up, like a smoldering candlewick.

This story is found in the bible, where the Israelites are escaping from the Egyptians and God made a way, where there was no way.  Let me be very clear, victory was first established in the waiting, through faith, trust and obedience.

Whatever it is you are waiting on, don’t quit.  Whatever it is that your believing for, don’t quit.  Whatever it is that you need, don’t quit.

The difference between victory and defeat is found in the waiting.

In Isaiah 43:18 God says, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun.”

The word about means on the verge of, or, in the vicinity of.  How amazing?!

While you are waiting, God is working on your behalf.  All it takes is faith, trust and obedience.  Easier said than done, but I challenge you to rest in it.  It’s already begun, look, it’s happening.

Don’t mistake waiting for weakness.

Strength is the ability to push past the pain, to push past the challenges.  To outlast your situation.  To see victory fulfilled.  It’s all found in the waiting moments of life.

Hillsong United said it best in their latest Holiday album “Seasons” when they said, “If you’re not done working, God I’m not done waiting.”

That’s my prayer for you and yours, in every season.

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I would love to hear from you.  Feel free to reach out anytime with questions, comments, or challenges. Let’s Chat.

*Digging the content and encouragement? Know someone who would? Feel free to like, comment, share.

Look Up

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I was 6 years old and got a dirt bike for my birthday.

The excitement was at an all-time high! I will never forget my first ride.  I asked so many questions to ensure I would not fall.  I remember watching the front tire so closely just to make sure I didn’t hit anything.  However, we all know that if you look forward but directly down, you can easily miss what’s coming at you in the distance. This was me.

I was so committed to not hit anything that I didn’t give myself enough reaction time to accurately see obstacles coming ahead of me, that where approaching very fast.  Which led to me riding straight into a fallen tree trunk and flying over the handlebars.  Thankfully I had all my protective gear on, but nonetheless, I learned a valuable lesson that day.  In life and in business, in order to avoid problems in front of us, we need to look up.

Looking down will never allow you to stay up.

As humans, we were not created to constantly look down. If that was the case, our eyes would have been under our chin as opposed to centered on the front of our face.  Can someone say Look Up?!

It is proven that our focus dictates a lot of our emotional state.  Whether happy or sad, dreadful or excited.  Looking down has a negative connotation to looking up.  Looking up allows you to take in everything and gives you the opportunity to put it in its right place. It has the ability to lift your mood, elevate your spirit, and gives you a greater sense of what’s on the horizon.

Looking up will lift you up.

Let’s be real, life happens all around us, every second of every day, very quickly.  The more time we spend looking down gives us more time to count all the things we are not happy with.  It breeds criticalness and resentment, with regret following close behind.  Looking up will begin to lift you up if you let it.  The ability to filter through your situation and see a good thing going on will propel you forward with a greater expectation of good things to come.

Looking up will allow you to live life with greater expectation and excitement for tomorrow.

The choice is always up to us.  We can choose to look down and pose the chance of missing what’s in front of us.  Or we can choose to look up and refuse to miss what’s ahead of us.
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LOOK UP.
Even when your down.
LOOK UP.

You may just be surprised what you will find.  
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You’re not in this alone.  Feel free to reach out anytime with questions, comments, or challenges. Let’s Chat.

*Digging the content and encouragement? Know someone who would? Feel free to like, comment, share.

Begin

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5 letters.

Who knew that 5 letters have the capacity to carry a ton of excitement, fear, anxiety, growth, uncertainty, joy, failure and success – just to only name a few.

Let me put it this way. The time is now.  Your dream is on the line. The chance of living a life you love and doing it with the people you care for and value most, is yours, if you want it.

What’s stopping you?

The reason most people fail to begin is they make excuses why they can’t start.

I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the office, I don’t have a computer, I don’t have a car, I don’t have, I don’t have, I don’t have… and the list goes on.

Lists are easily created, but the time it took you to write why you couldn’t start, you could have started by now.  I’m sorry that I’m not sorry for being brutally honest with you.  The opportunity for you to live and lead a life you love is at hand.  I’m here to inform you, regardless of your current situation, you can always begin to work towards your dream.

Slow progress is better than no progress.

Over the next 7 days, I challenge you to write out a list of risks and rewards for working towards your dream.  If your list of rewards outweighs the risks (not in numerical count, but in satisfaction and quality of life), be bold and BEGIN.

Achieving success has never been easy, for anyone – it comes down to how bad you want it.  

Believe.
Be Bold.
Be Brave.
BEGIN. 

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You’re not in this alone.  Feel free to reach out anytime with questions, comments, or challenges. Let’s Chat.

*Digging the content and encouragement? Know someone who would? Feel free to share with them.