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The “What Do You Do” Complex and Society’s Identity Snitch

Who are you? What do you do?

What do you do for a living?
Is that who you are?

Maybe there’s two bones left on the table that need to be picked clean today. I’m on it.

In my business networking I get asked two questions way more than all the others.

  1. How tall are you? (This is almost always the first question, usually with necked craned and mouth wide open).
  2. Really wow… What to do you?

For someone who is really clear about who they are and that who they are is not what they do, that second question is a head scratcher.

How do you answer it?

“Um, I do web shenanigans… you know, like marketing and stuff. I make the phone ring and the cash register sing!” That doesn’t communicate what I really do.

What I really mean is… “I use my talents and gifts to guide sincere people who want to achieve their own personal greatness to permanently change their lives by finding out who they really are at a level they never thought possibly and supplying them with the inspiration, tools and direction they need in order to become that person.”

In our society, we’re really slick as a weasel at associating what we do with who we are. It’s a chronic personal blasphemy that few people give a second thought to… and that needs to change.
Try this. Ask yourself point blank, out loud.

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The Truth About the Fear of Failure and You

Ain't Scared of Spiders

I ain’t skirrd

The dread Fear of Failure can strike at any age. And it does.

The rumor is that everyone has it. Can’t escape it. We’re all stuck because of its paralyzing effect. It’s an ever-present ogre hiding in the dark corners of your life waiting to dash your dreams to pieces should you even think about chasing them.

Eh, kinda. It’s no where near as powerful as you think it is, when you look at the guts of it. Shall we?

Try on a comment like this:

“So, yeah… uh, I was doing that thing we talked about and then all of a sudden this other thing happened. I never saw it coming. I was so sure we were going to win. I thought we had this locked up! This freaking sucks! I’m sorry, man. I’m sorry I failed you. This is so embarrassing. Probably would have been better if we hadn’t even tried it. We never would have won anyways.”

The source of fear in this example is easy to see if you know what you’re looking for.

What’s so damning about that comment? The answer has nothing to do with actual failure. You were not born with the fear of failure. [click to continue…]


Daddy’s Baby Girl: A Stork-Style Christmas Story

my baby girl

Here’s daddy’s girl… All big now.

It’s true, UPS, Fedex, USPS, DHL don’t deliver much of anything on Christmas, but I know who does…

This is the story of Lydia Rae.

For the birth of our little baby girl to have much effect on you, the reader, it’s important to understand that kid #1 has hitherto been a mama’s boy.

Warren is completely attached to his mother, almost as if they’re the same person. It’s adorable, funny, and annoying all at the same time.

Just a few scenes to extrapolate this…

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He Likes To Make An Entrance: A Thanksgiving Miracle

Bless his little heart. Apparently the little dude likes to make an entrance, even if it’s just seconds before his entrance would have been an exit.

Till this day, nobody can explain why he wasn’t stillborn.

This is how Warren joined our family.

He’s a miracle baby, but if he ever pulls shenanigans like this again, he’s grounded for a month.

As I write this, it’s no coincidence that it’s Thanksgiving Day. And I have so much to be thankful for.

Just past midnight on Monday, November 23, 2009.

12:27 AM

The clock hit midnight too quickly. Exhaustion set in 3.8 seconds later, but it took us 27 more minutes for heads to hit pillows.

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The Thicken-ized Plot: Her Side of the Engagement Story In Her Own Words

[If you missed it, you can Read the full story here.]

I think I keep putting off writing my side of the story because Seth’s writing is SOO good. I don’t know about you, but KINDA intimidating.

Just a little bit of insight before I start into my side of the ‘it’.

Seth hates cliché. I knew that. Earlier that week and weeks prior he randomly would say to me, “So how bout we just get engaged 1 day before and surprise everyone? Or we could do it a week before…” [click to continue…]


Embarrassing Epic Engagement Experience

UPDATE: This is my most popular post yet so far. We’ve had so much fun reading your comments! If you haven’t commented, don’t be shy… My wife’s side of the story is here

In most situations, you only get one shot at it. And that one shot will be remembered for a lifetime––and not just by you either. If done right, it will entirely, maybe even permanently, melt the hearts of everyone that hears how it all went down. Fittingly, tears of felicitous joy should be shed as the shear romantic beauty of it soaks into one’s soul. Then, your own fond memories of how it went down for you and yours cascade through your own sense of presentness, stirring even more emotion. This ‘it’ is no small matter.. It’s once. It’s emotion. It’s commitment. It’s love. And it will never be forgotten. It’s a precise point in time. A pinpoint in time that is preparatory to the melding of an eternity past with an eternity future. (How’s that for an intro with literary-ness).

What the heck am I talking about? So… if the dude gots his head on straight, ‘it’ means a whole heck of a stinking lot.. it’s like one of the most masculine (but romantic) duties that you can dutifully fulfill in this typically unromantic life. You do it with your own kinda style and with careful, precise, and planned measures.

Forget the wordy intro. I’m freaking engaged and stuff to the coolest woman on earth. And I’m about to tell you how it went down. This is not a short story. It was not an easy thing. Neither was it a quick and easy thing.. as you will see. It took a full 8 hours to go down.

In hindsight, though, the hilarity is quite singular. Since I can’t possibly recount the chronicles of last night in person, I figured I’d do the next most gentlemanly thing and write them (took me 8+ hours). Post them. And you’ve received the link. [click to continue…]


Silence is Loud: 20 Things You Say When You Say Nothing At All

What do you say when you have nothing to say? What are you saying when you say nothing at all?

If I had nothing to say, I prolly wouldn’t say anything. At least nothing would come out of my mouth. Its just up to you to decide what it is I mean by the silence.

Having nothing to say, or just saying nothing, doesn’t mean that you have nothing to say, necessarily. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Your loud silence speaks a library full of possibilities, you just don’t get to control what it is that people are assuming you are saying through the silence. Silence can be very ‘potent’.

By saying nothing at all, you leave your audience in a most awkward quandary for each is left to divine what the heck it is you mean by your ‘stinking’ silence.

Call me crazy, but I just ain’t a good diviner sometimes.

Silence could mean pretty much anything. Here’s a few ideas. Silence could meant that.. [click to continue…]


The One-Size-Fix-All Blender of Life

Life is like a blender AND maybe like a box of chocolates too, but for this post, more like a blender please. Yes, I’m serious. Yes, I’m serious.

Electric blenders are mysteriously cool and supremely advantageous and somewhat necessary in order to live a convenient life full of convenience and smoothies. (My sister has one of them Vitamix deals that are just really unreal).

With a blender, almost unlike any other machine known to mankind, random unkempt stuff that seems like it shouldn’t go together, just does somehow.. in a smooth kind of way. [click to continue…]


Lift the Heads that Hang Down

Today is April 6th, a special day with special meaning for me. I believe in Christ and know that he lives. I want to be like him. I wish to share a recent experience that brought me closer to Christ with the idea that maybe it might be for some substance or meaning to you, even if you don’t believe in Christ.

A couple weeks ago I was in Indiana on business. The week went by quickly as almost every minute of every day and half the night was demanded of us. Late Thursday we were driving through South Bend on I-80 in route to Chicago to catch a red-eye out of O’Hare the next morning. We stopped for some refreshment at the fabled Taco Bell just off Michigan Avenue.

We were both aching for food as we hadn’t had time to eat anything since an early lunch, it was nearly midnight. Just minutes after we received our food, and having the window still rolled down, we were approached by a homeless man.

I have had some experience with the homeless—and I haven’t been as brotherly kind as I ought to have been. I have given of my substance and have left them wanting. I’ve struggled in the past to decide which is appropriate. Do they really need the money? Are they professional beggars? What will they do with the money? Are they really homeless? This one experience helped clarify my confusion. I will leave you to decide for yourself, given the impact, for whatever its worth, of this story. [click to continue…]


Doing Your Best: A Translation for Perfectionists

How would the outcome of the American Revolution have been affected had George Washington sulked, pouted, and licked his wounds after he and his army were ousted from New York City in one of the largest battles of the American Revolution—the Battle of Brooklyn? Hmm.. Instead, in hindsight, that battle became a turning point…

Though it was the Colony’s first encounter with a newly reinforced and refreshed opposition, Washington’s expectations were never sullied. And though he always demanded his troops’ best, he was not a perfectionist because he understood what his best was—having had extensive wartime experience—and how his best differed from the best of his troops.

At the same time, he did what most perfectionists can’t. [click to continue…]