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The secret of If

The secret of If

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What’s your mood right now? On a scale of 1-10 how are you feeling in this moment? Ok, good. Don’t forget your number.

If I succeed in my goal for this blog then you are going to feel great when you finish reading it! Read that last sentence again. I’ll wait here.

Good. Chances are you already feel better than you did when you started reading. And it’s all because of the ‘if’ at the beginning of the sentence. How would you feel right now if I would have started the blog with this sentence instead . . . “if I fail in my goal for this blog then you are going to feel terrible when you finish reading it.” It seems like a minor difference but I assure you that it’s quite significant.

‘If’ is one of the most powerful words we have yet it’s power is transparent. You see, every ‘if’ holds a secret and here it is – most of the time we get what we expect to get. When I start a sentence with ‘if’ then what comes next is of monumental importance. Imagine the Wright brothers saying “if we get this plane in the air then we will most likely die in a ball of flames trying to come down.” Instead, they said “if we get this plane in the air then coming down will figure itself out.” The first sentence would have ensured that they would never become the fathers of flight.

Famous psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger noted that “attitudes are more important than facts”. You don’t have to be a famous psychiatrist to know the truth of that statement. Take a minute to think through some of your greatest personal triumphs and most miserable stumbles and recall the attitudes that preceded those moments. You too will reach the same conclusion as Dr. Menninger. I found that when I start my day with the attitude “this is going to be a rough day” I am seldom wrong. Surely the best part about assuming the worst for yourself is that you always get to be right.

If he shows up late . . .
If I mess it up again . . .
If you don’t know what you’re doing. . .
If I can’t figure this out . . .

But thankfully “if” cuts both ways.

If we can figure this out . .
If I will continue to endure . . .
If things go well . . .
If I keep pursuing my goal . . .

In ‘The Power of Positive Thinking,’ Norman Vincent Peale tells us “We are beginning to comprehend a basic truth that has been previously neglected, that our physical condition is determined very largely by our emotional condition, and our emotional life is profoundly regulated by our thought life.”

If “if statements” are emotional precursors of our life’s circumstances then I’m choosing the positive side of “if” as my default mode.

I hope you will do the same.

Now, create a positive ‘if statement’ for the rest of your day and say it out loud. Go for it.

Feel better?

3 Reasons Why You Need to be Confused

3 Reasons Why You Need to be Confused

A mentor of mine once said to me that “confusion is extremely important.”. Which I really like because of how often I find myself confused. It’s true though. You see, there are really only four types of people when it comes to understanding something, understanding anything actually. There are those who understand, those who don’t, those who are confused and those who have stopped trying.

So here we go, three reasons why confusion is actually a good thing:

First off, confusion means that you are trying to grow, trying to become something more than you are right now. So if you’re confused today I say bravo. Earlier this week I was in Las Vegas for business. That place has an undeniable energy. Yet, it’s a bit sad. We saw people crying, passed out, angry, strung out, and much more. Trying to escape who you are leads to bad things and is an awful way to live. Becoming is far preferable to escaping, but it’s hard work. It requires discipline, faith and yes, confusion. The bible tells us that heaven has big plans for us if we are willing to follow even when we’re confused. That’s faith.

Second, confusion leads to discovery (if we don’t give up). Galatians 6 encourages us to keep at it so that we don’t miss out on the reward. When we arrive at a moment where we just don’t understand what’s going on it’s not time to press the “flip out” button. Instead, think of confusion as a reminder to yourself that you are on the verge of understanding if you stick it out. Frustration leads to anger and eventually quitting. Failure is just an experiment that let’s us discover a new way not to do it.

Third, confusion puts us in a position to ask for help and that’s actually a very powerful place to be. What happens when someone asks for your help? You feel empowered, needed, valuable. As John Maxwell says leadership is influence and what better way to gain influence with others than to help them feel needed and valued by asking for help? The only reason you have to sweat it out yourself is just so you can revel in the pride of not needing anyone. But all pride does is keeps us confused for longer than necessary. Humility is the fuel for enlightenment.

So, do something this week that will force you into confusion. It means that good stuff is headed your way!

Yours in confusion, Travis

Shopping for Jesus

Shopping for Jesus

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A forward thinking research firm called Saatchi & Saatchi X conducts studies about how people shop and why they buy things. Here is an excerpt from some of their recent findings:

“We recently conducted a study to understand the emotional benefits that drive and influence shopping behavior. Those benefits, we found, include the satisfaction of deep needs for self-creation, mastery, security and connection. Shoppers today want to explore and think about how products can improve their lives. They do reconnaissance to gain the insights they need, and they’re driven to bond with others and enrich relationships as they learn. They are motivated by a desire to take charge of their own identities and the well-being of their families and homes.”

Be Human

Be Human

Cycling is a passion of mine. I love it. Time spent on my Cannondale Synapse Carbon is always worth it.

But it hasn’t always been this way.

I started small. It wasn’t long ago that 10 miles seemed like an eternity and I was happy to average about 11mph. It also wasn’t that easy to get into the sport because the people who were good at it didn’t really make it accessible to others. You see, if you walk into a really nice bike shop and don’t already know what a rear derailleur is and why you need one on your bike then you have a 1 in 2 chance of getting treated like you’re stupid, worthless and generally not a “good match” for cycling. If you can’t ride 70 miles at 18mph then you really shouldn’t join “our ride.” It’s sad too because the people who have the most to offer to someone new to the sport are often the people least likely to offer it.