Monthly Archives: June 2016

Day 278 – Thankful for Jim Valvano’s Speech

Today I’m thankful for Jim Valvano’s speech.

This speech was in my head this morning as I was driving to work when I realized that I had already done two of the three things he says we should do every single day before 7:45 this morning and sure enough, I found a spot for the third shortly thereafter.

Jim Valvano gave this speech as he was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 1993 Espy’s.  Less than two months later he passed away from the cancer he was battling.  Even though he was in unbelievably rough shape the night of the speech he was able to muster his strength and courage to share his incredible insight.  The insight that I’m assuming that you only truly understand when death is looming.  The advice and thought he shared have brought many happy days to my life and I’m very thankful for it.

If you’ve heard it before you already know how amazing it was and will want to click here to watch it again.  If you haven’t heard it before, prepare for one of the best investments of ten minutes you’ll make today by clicking here.

Here’s the direct YouTube link: 


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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 277 – Thankful for the Impact of This Blog on Living My Values

Today I am thankful for the impact of this blog on living my values.

Over the past nine months I’ve touched on this a bit, but this morning was a wonderful example of why this needed to be a post in of itself.  By being thankful every day I’m finding myself living to my values more than ever.  To be very clear, I’m not perfect and have made many mistakes – this isn’t a post about how awesome I may or may not think I am.  What I’m thankful for is that this blog makes me more aware of the present, my surroundings, and my actions.

I slept like crap last night.  A horrible nightmare raged on in my brain most of the night until it got so bad I decided to wake myself up from it (there’s a future thing I’m thankful for – the ability to exert some level of control over my dreams).  After a while I finally fell back asleep…  And was awakened by Becky seemingly the moment I finally drifted off.  She wanted to know if I wanted to go for a run.  It was 4:45.  I wanted to sleep so I said no.  She offered to do her sit ups first (her 3x per week 15+ minute ab session usually comes after her run) so I could get up and get ready.  I again said no.

Then in a split second my mind started racing.  “Dude, you always want more one on one time with your wife, here’s your chance.”  “Yo Tubby, trying to lose weight, right?  How’s this help you there?”  “Hey Slacker, you remember you just signed up for a half marathon and are hiking up Long’s Peak, right?”  And that’s when the voice in my head threw the haymaker…  “Hey Dumbass, you realize that this is an opportunity to do many of the things you love and appreciate?  Odds are there is going to be a contender for what you’re thankful for today.  GET UP!!!”

So I did…  And it was awesome.  

I appreciated Becky willing to sacrifice her routine for me.  I appreciated her running slower so we would stay together.  I appreciated the feel of the perfect cool running weather.  I appreciated the run towards the sunrise on the way home.  I appreciated the stiffness in my legs slowly loosening up as the first mile was run.  I appreciated Becky carrying the dog poop ūüí©.  I appreciated the feel of my heart rate going up and the sweat of exercise.  I appreciated taking action towards my goals.  I appreciated the sense of accomplishment.  I appreciated my grit.  I appreciated Becky’s motivation.  I appreciated being able to tell the boys I went for a run.  I appreciated the opportunity to share the story in hopes that it motivates someone to wake up early to fight for their goals, the same way that their posts do for me.  I appreciate the little voice in my head speaking up and getting me in gear.

All of these things to be thankful for spawned from my rigor to being thankful for something every day.  In finding my values in what I am thankful for each day I continue to look for more ways I see those values played out, by others and in my own actions.  In knowing that I need to watch for them I know must be present to see the opportunities.  I watch for ways to do something that will lead me to something I’m thankful for.  And so on… and so on…

Writing this blog has been an incredible tool for me to be present and appreciate my life, all while having a huge impact on helping me live more to my values.


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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 276 – Thankful for Opportunities to Stretch Dominic’s Math Brain

Today I’m thankful for opportunities to stretch Dominic’s math brain.

There’s a pretty cool opportunity that Dominic has been offered through the school district that is allowing him to jump ahead quite a ways in math.  For he enjoys it and wants to keep on this track he would be able to earn quite a bit of college credit while in high school.  Needless to say, as his dad I’m super proud of him and will support whatever path he takes, but that’s not what I’m thankful for today.

There are so many learning lessons for him in this situation, and not just the math.  He’ll be with kids 2+ years older than him and he’ll need to learn to deal with them.  He’ll likely have to work harder to understand the new concepts, they probably won’t come as quickly as before and he’ll have to push, fight, and struggle to be successful.  He’s learning about designing making, in even deciding whether or not to accelerate his math we talked about the concepts of knowing your timelines, focusing on best and worst case scenarios, and slicing the decision into smaller pieces as opposed to using an all or nothing approach.  The math will be great for him to learn, but I’m even more pumped for the life skills and grit that he’ll be getting along the way.

The big thing I’m thankful for is that he has this opportunity.  When I was in school I still remember how blessed I was to be in the QUEST program which helped push me and let me learn more at the pace I wanted.  Thinking that he has this type of option only way bigger is fantastic!  This is one of the reasons we love living in this area.  It’s just small enough to still feel like a small town (we can’t go anywhere without seeing people we know) and yet it is big enough to have all of the opportunities we could want for our boys (like this math class).  


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Posted by on June 29, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 275 – Thankful for a Morning Run with Becky

Today I’m thankful for a morning run with Becky.

Gavin was too tired to ride and rolled back over when Becky tried to wake him up for his bike ride this morning so I got to go with the absolute best Plan B I could ever hope for… A pre-sunrise run with Becky!

There’s really not much that needs to be said for today’s blog.  I love Becky.  I love running early in the morning.  I love doing fun things before sunrise.  I love spending time with Becky.  I love spending time with Becky while having fun running before sunrise!

I’m thankful for having an awesome start to my morning!  


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Posted by on June 28, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 274 – Thankful for a New Bike and Future Adventures with My Best-est Buddy

Today I’m thankful for a new bike and future adventures with my best-est buddy.

While Becky and I were at Walmart for some household stuff we accidentally meandered towards the toy section.  As I saw the bikes it just seemed right to take a look to see if thy had any small ones with gears.  Seeing as we’ve been biking a few mornings each week I decided it’d be worth the investment to get him a better bike so we could go on longer and longer rides together in the morning.  Having gears will make it possible for he two of us to go much further in the same amount of time.  So next thing we know we have a bike loaded in our cart to take home to surprise the little bugger with.

Today I’m thankful for his new bike and our new adventures for several reasons.  I’m thankful that we can afford to splurge for something like this without much hesitation.  I’m thankful that he loves exercise and that this helps support that passion.  Seeing as Gavin’s received a lot of hand me downs it’s nice to get him something that is just his.  I love that this will encourage him to keep going on early morning bike rides with me and that means ongoing one on one time with him.  His huge smile, no matter just how toothless it currently may be, when he saw it and rode it for the first time was awesome to see.  I’m thankful that this bike will help make sure my best-est buddy and I keep making some pretty cool memories.


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Posted by on June 26, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 273 – Thankful for Dominic Coming Home From Boy Scout Camp

Today I’m thankful for Dominic coming home from Boy Scout camp.

Yup, I missed the bugger!  Of course I’m thankful to have him back, but there’s a little more to it than that.

Listening to him talk about camp has been a blast.  Hearing about all of his adventures and success in earning merit badges shows just how excited he was to be there.  His absolute exhaustion shows just how much fun he had while he was there.  Sounds like it was quite the epic experience for him.  As a dad I’m thankful that he had a ton of fun and everything went well for him.

As a former scout it brought back a ton of memories for me.  My first time at Camp Tesomas.  Earning merit badges.  The Olympics and Indiana Jones themes of camp.  Being “tapped” for the Order of the Arrow.  Stories about sparks rising from the fire during my first campfire there.  Many positive memories came back to me as I listened to Dominic talk and it was hard for me to stay present with him while they kept flashing back as he’d mention different things.

I’m glad Dominic’s home from camp, I’m glad he had an excellent time, and I’m very thankful for the memories he re-kindled in my brain.


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Posted by on June 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 272 – Thankful for Two Epic Customer Service Experiences

Today I am thankful for two epic customer service experiences.

I’ve had two pretty awesome customer service experiences that have been pretty amazing over the past couple of days. ¬†There’s a lot of excellent customer service out there, but these two really stuck out for me. ¬†They were so good that they’ve been stuck in my head all day and I’ve been trying to figure out how to emulate them in my business.

The first one was yesterday at Kwik Trip.


I stopped in for gas and decided to get a refill of Karuba Gold coffee. ¬†When I had filled my mug I turned toward the line and groaned. ¬†There were approximately 6 people in front of me in line and only one cashier. ¬†In her defense there was no one in line when I walked in, but all of us in the store decided to check out at the same time. ¬†Initially I felt sorry for her and was dreading how long I was going to wait. ¬†Typically Kwik Trip is awesome at opening up other registers, but I didn’t see anyone else nearby. ¬†Then the coolest thing happened… ¬†April, the lone cashier (and as I found out later, the Team Leader) smiled even bigger and started running two registers at once. ¬†She was in a great mood and bounced back and forth between conversations. ¬†It was amazing, no one felt as if she were not paying enough attention to them and she cut through the line like a hot knife through butter. ¬†In less than 2 minutes she was getting me squared up with my coffee. ¬†I mentioned how impressed I was with her efficiency and attitude, and she smiled a little bit bigger (if that was possible?) and told me “it’s not my first rodeo.” ¬†A little more quick conversation and then she was on to the next person. ¬†Here she could have been frustrated, overwhelmed, apathetic, or just melted under pressure, but instead she seemed to thrive on it. ¬†It was like watching a master at work in their craft. ¬†It was so good that I went out of my way to go out for my cup of coffee again this morning, and sure enough there she was with a smile and helping people out. ¬†I love seeing awesome customer service focused people like that, what an inspiration for the day!

My other awesome customer experience was with Best Buy.



All three people who helped me out were great, but what really stuck out was the speed of problem resolution. ¬†I dropped something on my iPhone and shattered the screen. ¬†Around 5:15pm last night I was at Best Buy utilizing the Geek Squad protection plan I had, and this morning at 11:15am I had a brand new iPhone in my hands! ¬†Holy crap! ¬†In about 18 hours a phone went from California to Minneapolis to Winona and in my hands. ¬†How awesome is that? ¬†Problem with something that you use constantly? ¬†No worries, we’ll have you covered in less than 24 hours. ¬†They totally blew away my expectations and I greatly appreciate it.

In both cases the person or organization completely exceeded my expectations. ¬†So much so that they’ve helped me raise my own expectations of the level of customer service I should provide. ¬†I am very thankful for both of these awesome customer service experiences!


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Posted by on June 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 271 – Thankful for Taking Time to Focus on the Important, Not Just the Urgent

Today I’m thankful for taking time to focus on the important, not just the urgent.

Ahh…  The suction of the daily whirlwind.  Everyday there seems to be so many urgent things that can take over my day, and they often stand to get in the way of the important things that must be done but they don’t always feel urgent.  

I’ve been looking forward to my work day today for quite a while.  It was open and focused almost exclusively on working on the business instead of in it.  To get things rolling in the right direction I woke up early and snuck out for a run (& probably should’ve told Becky, she was a little freaked out when I wasn’t anywhere to be found at 4:30am).  Got home, went for a short bike ride with Gavin and then headed up to work way early.

Most of the work day was focused on some of the important stuff that never quite has the time normally.  Networking with other offices and with other businesses.  Coaching a team member.  Working on a long term plan for a client that would be a huge increase for one office.  Setting up training and prepping for planning meetings next week.  Focusing on several projects that need to get done but haven’t seemed quite urgent enough to get done earlier.

The really cool thing that I’m thankful for was the sense of accomplishment after getting several of these projects done.  While they weren’t urgent I could still feel them looming on the horizon and sense them pressing down on my shoulders.  Having them complete is a great sense of relief and I know I’ll sleep better tonight.

I’m very thankful for focusing on the important and not just the urgent today!


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Posted by on June 24, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 270 – Thankful for Being Prepared (& for My Tide To Go Stain Remover)

Day 270 – Thankful for Being Prepared (& for My Tide To Go Stain Remover)

Today I’m thankful for…  OH CRAP!!!  I spilled my coffe while driving!!!

Today I’m thankful for being prepared (& for my Tide To Go stain remover).

This morning could’ve been an epic disaster as I neared Arcadia on my way to to Eau Claire.  I hit a bump while drinking my coffee and immediately feared for the worst.  The coffee that had almost made it to my lips was now making itself to home on the front of my clean white shirt.  

Fortunately some great coaching, years of messy eating (my dad always said that if I really liked a girl that I should never eat in front of her!) and my preparedness saved the day and thwarted the coffee invasion on my shirt.

Without hesitation I grabbed a couple of paper towels, put one inside my shirt and held the other to the outside of my shirt, and pulled over at the next road.  After dabbing off as much as I could I grabbed my trusted friend from out of the console:

After a couple of minutes of frantic scrubbing (and maybe a handful of prayers) the coffee was gone.  Another 10 minutes or so later my shirt was dry and good as new!  

(Now if there were only a way to eliminate seatbelt wrinkles during the middle of the day… ūüėČ)

This morning could’ve been an absolute disaster, there’s not much worse than rolling in to work with a huge coffee stain on my shirt.  I’m thankful that I was prepared with the tools I needed.  While it’s never fun, I’m glad that I’ve learned from my food spill crisis management encounters of the past.  Lastly, to whoever invented the Tide To Go stick, thank you for saving the day!!!


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Posted by on June 22, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 269 – Thankful for Rules That Don’t Apply When Becky Isn’t Home

Today I’m thankful for rules that don’t apply when Becky isn’t home.

Everyone would agree that our house is happier and a better place when Becky’s home.  That being said, when mom’s away the boys (including dad) will play!  That has already been the case for Gavin and I while Becky is out of town for work.

Here are some of the rules that no longer apply when Becky’s not home:

1) Standard parking in the garage – no Becky means more space for me to use in the garage.

2) Desserts in moderation – nothing says Becky’s not home like a monster sized dessert (half a cherry pie).

3) Standard bed times – 9-ish has got to be pretty close to 8, right?

4) Normal breakfast foods only – or maybe leftover cherry pie?  It has fruit, right?  What better way to wash it down is there than Mountain Dew before 6:45am?

So while we are more healthy and happier when Becky’s home I appreciate these short periods of time when normal rules don’t apply.  Some my favorites memories of each of my parents came from times when it was just one of them with us.  I’m happy to occasionally have the opportunity to make some of those memories with the boys.  That being said, I can’t wait for Becky to get home and go back to our normal and fun rules.


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Posted by on June 21, 2016 in Uncategorized