“The best way out is through.”- Robert Frost
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”- Winston Churchill
Two really great quotes about grinding it out. I’ve been catching some Crossfit classes again lately, and both of those speak to the mentality you need to make it through some of the workouts. My mentality a lot of times is to just keep moving. Do one more rep. Much of the same can be said about life. When it gets tough, put your head down, say a little prayer, and take another step. If you feel like everybody is out to get you, it’s harder to hit a moving target. Get better this week! You’ll look back next Monday and be thankful you did.
I got a couple of e-mails from Chain Mover buddies this week with content ideas, which is exactly what I was hoping Chain Movers would turn into. Joe sent me a great site with parenting advice, and Jimmy sent me a short devotional he was pumped to read last week. If you see something that spoke to you or you took to heart, pass it along!
Here’s the devotional Jimmy sent over to me. I related to it almost immediately. Growing up, I always had this drive for my life to play out like a movie and to try and be that All-American stereotypical golden boy. Too much Dawson’s Creek, Varsity Blues, MTV, and Fast & Furious I guess. It was easy for me to see these “role models” and have tangible goals that I knew when I hit them. Now… it’s much harder to do. Not many movies made about early 30s dad trying to love on his wife, raise 2 kids, make all their dreams come true, make his come true, and save a little for retirement. The article from Radical Mentoring points me in the right direction, and I hope it does you, too.
I’ve been addicted to a podcast lately called, “The Teacher’s Pet.” It’s a true story about the sudden disappearance of a loving mother of 2 in 1982. She’s never turned back up, and all the evidence points squarely at the husband. See, not a lot of happy stories about good role model fathers haha. The accents in the podcast are awesome. If I could wake up tomorrow with an accent, I’d choose to sound like an Aussie, which is where the story takes place. A journalist took an interest in the story several years ago, and he’s done a lot of the leg work that the police have failed to do in an attempt at raising awareness about the crime to hopefully spur the police into action due to public pressure. The whole thing wreaks of corruption and cover-up as well. I’m on the final episode, so I won’t throw out any spoilers. It’s made my commute go quickly the last couple of weeks.
Search for it however you listen to podcasts. I know it’s different for Apple and Android devices.
Everybody loves a little sweet treat. The trick is to not overly indulge and not to do it on a regular basis. Katie tries to have healthier sweet snacks around the house to curb our cravings. Trail mix is an easy, solid go-to, but she makes these chocolate zucchini muffins that you’d never know were a “healthy” snack. They’re absolutely delicious. I crush’em. Katie has to remind me to share with the kids. The link she gave me for the recipe is for loaf bread, but she makes the mix and usually makes muffins out of it. The zucchini sounds weird, but you won’t notice it at all. We use her Juice Plus plant-based protein powder in them, but like the link says, you can use any whey protein you like. I feel like an idiot because I haven’t ever tried them with peanut butter like in the picture, but I certainly will now. Eat them as a breakfast food that’ll stick with you for a while with the protein, or you can enjoy them as a dessert. You can thank us later. The recipe is so good that Katie makes the kids’ birthday cakes out of it. Below is Sully getting ready to chow down on hers.
Have an awesome week! Shoot me links to good stuff you find. Thanks!
I may be crazy for writing this, but I’m going to try and relate the Holy Trinity to your Facebook profile.
Passive income is real wealth to me. You don’t have to work for it! Big salaries or wages are great, but you have to show up to work to keep collecting that paycheck. Here are 8 passive income streams explained and ranked by the Financial Samurai.
Don’t take this as like “Dad trying to live vicariously through his kid.” I would prefer my kids to be musicians, artists, IT people, doctors, lawyers, etc above being an athlete, but I also know that in our society and with our family’s love of sports that they’ll probably try sports at some point in their lives. We have tons of educational toys and games, but how can you help them become more athletic? Here are age appropriate little games to help your child start to develop motor skills. Being an athletic musician never hurt anyone 😉 Added bonus: they’ll burn more energy and sleep better.
We went the Nashville for the last few days thanks to the awesome company I work for, ALFA Insurance. They offer sales incentive trips every year, so it was a free trip to Nashville. The best kind of trip. We messed up and told Briggs that we were going to the zoo while on our trip. Well, he thought we were going directly to the zoo. We walk into our hotel room, which was really nice (thanks ALFA), and he goes, “Um, where the animals at, Dad?” Ha! He thought the hotel WAS the zoo.
Pro Tip: Don’t tell them you’re going somewhere cool until the actual day you’re going. We went to the zoo the last day and got asked about it every day.
I hope you and your family had an awesome 4th! We spent it at the beach with Katie’s parents, her brother, and his wife. They’ve only been married 2 months, but needless to say, they’ll be waiting many years to have children after the chaos that was my crew at the beach and having been stuck in the house with us all week. Sully decided she liked to randomly let out these insanely high-pitched screams. You would have thought Briggs was pulling her fingernails off by the sound, but she was just flexing the golden pipes. Who knows…she may end up being the song-bird of our generation with a voice falling somewhere between Fergie and Jesus. Let’s do it, baby girl. Dad needs a retirement plan.
My favorite verse of all-time is Joshua 1:9. Little bit of a long story behind it, but I wore #19 in high school because of it. “Be strong and courageous for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.” Love it. I found another one this week that’s coming in a close second because it just kind of rewords 1:9, but I think what it adds is vitally important for the world we live in today.
It’s 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be strong. Be courageous. And do everything with love.”
Little history…the book of Joshua was written in the 7th century BC. Paul likely wrote 1 Corinthians between 53-57 AD. Similar message 750+ years later, and here we are almost another 2,000 years later still needing to be reminded. What an awesome, divine book the Bible is that its relevance never fails. Our faith is being attacked from so many fronts, and it’s a no-frills, no beating around the bush reminder to guard your heart, know what you believe, be strong, and don’t forget to love on people. Not just your family, but people you encounter on your journey through life.
This RV camper thing is real. Katie and I have developed a borderline obsession. We’ve never been camping together. I don’t know that Katie ever has. I know the kids haven’t. Get this, we’re not only debating buying a camper, but we’re thinking about buying one and renovating it. I think it’s important to have hobbies, and I don’t have one other than working out, which is such a meathead thing to say. I was kicking around woodworking, but why not get it way over my head and renovate travel trailers? Let’s get weird. But not like “I only have 9 fingers ‘cause I lost one in a trailer reno” weird.
I got less than 1 workout in over our little vacay. I walked about a mile with Briggs on my shoulders, which had both my arms numb and worked up a major sweat. I can’t count it as a workout though because we were walking back from the Marble Slab ice cream shop.
Needless to say, gotta get back on the wagon. I did so tonight by doing this workout. Super quick. Pretty tough. Broke the rust off, and hit my whole body. Takes 2 dumbbells. I used 25s and they were perfect for me. Give it a shot to burn off a couple nachos, sausages, pizza, ice cream, chips, and PB&Js. C’mon, am I the only one that ate all of the above this week?
We all hate meetings. Can I get an Amen? But, some, not all, are important to being productive in our businesses and to keep everyone on the same page. I can’t remember if my boss is on Chain Movers or not, but he even jokes about it now. About 6 or 7 years ago, we had a meeting that legitimately lasted 6 hours. I feel like at that point you have to call it a conference. It was crazy. We had more speakers from our home office in Montgomery than I can remember, and of course he had to let them all talk because they came all that way. It was awful. My father-in-law, who spoke at the meeting, said that he didn’t need a haircut when he got there, but he did when he left.
Anyway, here’s a step-by-step guide from an article titled: “Meetings That Don’t Suck: Things We Wish Everyone Knew About Hosting Meetings.”
I don’t host a lot of meetings, but I totally understand that it’s not easy. The more people in attendance, the harder it is. Step #1 from the guide, “Invite the right people: Keep the guest list small. Only invite the people who really need to be a part of the decision making process, or have a stake in the discussion because they will be affected by it.”
Check it out. Maybe it’ll save you from having someone fall asleep in your meeting. Yes, it happened at our “conference.” Guy is kind of a repeat offender though. Boss gave him the “Rip Van Winkle” superlative at the end of the year. Good sports all around.
Hope you guys have an awesome week. Heads up! We’re on the back half of the year, and if you’re like me, you’re already a week behind. It’s 2nd and 12. Keep your chains moving.
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“Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
— William Faulkner
Don’t focus on the noise of society. Look within yourself and be better today than you were yesterday.
I’m sure most of you have seen Chris Pratt’s recent acceptance speech from the MTV Awards. It made its rounds on social media this week. I saw several people I respect share it, so I knew it had to be good. I took the 4 minutes to listen to it and actually got chill bumps. If you haven’t seen it, watch it here.
Chris crafted the speech to perfection. He mixed in some very strong points about faith, grace, and salvation with humor, and the part I loved the most was the reaction from the crowd. They were cheering his points, which I honestly didn’t expect. When he hit the first faith-based point, I was worried for him. I thought the boos were going to rain down, and I thought MTV might cut the feed. It happens more often than we realize. I saw in some of the comments that they may have edited him using the name of Jesus out. My fear probably speaks more to my heart and lack of faith in society right now than it should. I hope we’re on the verge of a revival.
The speech itself was ballsy for lack of a better term. Chris Pratt is one of the biggest movie stars in the world right now, and we all know about Hollywood’s track record with believers. It doesn’t take much to end up on a black list. In the face of that, Chris used his platform to make an impact for the Kingdom. We’re all called to do that. Luke 12:48 is the verse that goes, “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” You may not be rich & famous, but you’ve been blessed. I know I’ve been blessed more than I deserve. Maybe you own business and have some employees. Maybe you manage a team of people. Maybe you’re a coach. Maybe not, but chances are that you have a family or group of friends in your life that you hold a major influence with. Use that influence. It doesn’t have to be a hellfire and brimstone sermon that you throw in their face, but you know the audience like Chris Pratt knew his audience. He mixed in some pretty silly points to make sure people would be listening when the major points came around. Plant the seed in somebody’s heart in a way only you could do. Let them ask questions when the time comes. It doesn’t even have to be anything verbal. Live a life that people notice is different in a good way. You’ve been given the influence. Use it to spread the Gospel.
Little different this week for fitness. I’ve learned over the last few years through Katie that what your body looks like and how it feels has so much more to do with food than how much or how hard you workout. I’d probably go as far to say that nutrition is 70% of the battle. That being said, Katie had the idea to share her recipe for peanut butter protein balls this week, which we absolutely love. Their Briggs’ favorite snack. If you follow Katie on Instagram, you’ve seen Briggs request one on numerous occasions. I like to take them to work with me. When you get hungry at 10:15 and you start looking for something to snack on, these are great and easier than mixing a protein shake at the office.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
1 cup all natural peanut butter
½ cup raw honey
1 serving vanilla protein powder
1 ½ cups Kodiak Power Cakes mix (The best pancake mix on the market. You won’t get hungry 15 minutes after eating pancakes if you use this stuff. It actually fills you up because it’s packed with protein.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of sea salt
30 dark chocolate chips
Mix peanut butter, honey, protein powder, Kodiak mix, vanilla and salt together in a large bowl (Katie uses her Kitchenaid mixer). Stir in chocolate chips last. Using a cookie scoop, scoop into balls (She just uses her hands to take a chunk and roll it into balls. Store in the fridge or freezer.
They firm up a little bit and hold their round shape.
“The Gig Economy.” Ever heard of it? Katie and I were on our way home from Athens this weekend and I used that term. She hadn’t ever heard of it, which is kind of funny since she’s “employed” in the Gig Economy. So what is it? It’s being credited to millennials who were struggling to find jobs during the recession. I graduated from UGA in May of 2009. The absolute worst time to graduate. The stat I remember hearing was that there was 1 job available per 75 college graduates at the time. There were hiring freezes, layoffs, businesses going bankrupt. It was rough. You remember I’m sure. What to do when you can’t find a job? Many millennials found ways to be independent contractors for businesses to work short-term contracts, or gigs. They built experience and hopefully have been able to land full-time employment by now if they wanted. A lot of people didn’t want it though. They enjoyed the freedom and independence of being their own boss and have continued to do it “full-time”. Many gigs are internet based and can be done remotely. Think Uber, Lyft, and even AirBnb. Work when or where you want to or don’t; it’s up to you. Here’s an article from Forbes to further explain.
Katie had a great point about company loyalty though. Right before the economic downturn, outsourcing jobs overseas was all the rage. Companies did it to boost the bottom line with cheap labor. It spoke to a deeper issue in that companies didn’t value their employees very much. The gig economy comes on the heels of that as well and gives people opportunities to either build their own business on the side while working in a job or for a company they may not necessarily love. They may love their job and it gives them extra income. They may be trying to change jobs and need to get a little experience in a field before making a career change to not have to start out totally entry level. Being your own boss has a huge amount of perks, but the freedom to live your life has to rate number one. If you can make a living and have the ability to eat lunch with your kids at school whenever you want or to travel full time, etc, why wouldn’t you do it? People want to have a full life, and it’s often hard to do that strapped to a desk 40+ hours a week.
Like I said, it’s all the rage right now. What’s your side-hustle? I really want to know. Let me know if you work on something on the side. Katie does really well selling Juice Plus, which is dehydrated fruits and vegetables in pill form. We don’t get enough in our regular diets, so it’s a great supplement. She’s been doing it for 5+ years now. I’m actually an adjunct professor through a university right now. I’m helping to build courses for an insurance associates degree program. The university is primarily online, so I can “teach” classes in my free time and make a little extra money. It’s not much right now, but I’m taking a long-term view with it. If you don’t have a side-hustle, why not?
I mentioned we were coming back from Athens this weekend. We went to a wedding for some friends of ours. I love Athens. It obviously holds a lot of great memories for me being the home of my alma mater, but it’s just a really neat, eclectic town. After the wedding, I had a chance to go out on the town with some friends, and man…I’m old. Age 31 might as well be 55 in a college town. Almost none of my old haunts are still open. They all go by new names, and the most obvious sign that I am rapidly approaching being “middle-aged” is that the music nowadays is terrible. I don’t know what these kids hear in it. We had a blast and made some memories though, which is all you can ever ask for.
Yesterday was my daughter, Sully Grace’s, actual birthday even though we had her party last weekend. I tried to reflect on the last year during the drive back home to be with the kids. It all goes way too quickly. To think I likely only have 17 years left with her in the house kind of broke my heart and motivated me to try and make every day count.
I hope you make all 7 days this week count starting with today. You can win them all unless you win the first, so go win today.
Happy belated Father’s Day to all the dads! I’m so thankful to have a great dad, and I realize now how important it is to have that strong, positive role model in a child’s life. The struggle’s real, but I’m trying to be that for my kids day-in and day-out. I know it’s hard sometimes, but it’s so worth it. Remember to be present. Not just there, but be an active participant. These phases will go way too quickly. Everybody with kids older than ours says that…like literally everyone. It’s gotta be true.
Our preacher had a great point yesterday regarding family resemblance, and he was talking about his kids. He said that not only does his daughter look like him physically, but she even acts like him because they’re together all the time. They have a great family and do all sorts of stuff together so she’s picked up some of his mannerisms and personality. We’re all like that. Sure our DNA is what determines what we look like, and chances are you’re going to have a few physical traits from each parent. My little boy, Briggs, is built just like me, and he looks just like Katie’s side of the family. It’s obvious. Your kids will also inherit a few of your personality traits, but the vast majority of their personality will be garnered from the time spent with you. Obviously, you only want to pass down the best version of yourself. You want your kids to get all the good qualities you possess, but they’re going to embarrass you and repeat that dirty word in public. Their likely to be patient if you are. Strong-willed if you are. Kind, short-tempered, humble, prideful, witty, out-going or shy. They’ll be a similar version of you because they’re around you.
As I’m sitting in the service, it hit me. The pastor had probably hammered the point home like 4 times already, but hey…I’ve taken a lot of shots to the head. God’s our father, right? The Bible says we’re created in His own image. I mean, He literally created DNA. But there’s DNA in everyone. I want God’s personality traits. I want to be like him. I want to hang out with dear old “Dad.” If I do, if I seek that relationship, I’ll be more like our Father. I’m not saying I want to BE God, but I definitely want to be like him. I want to be compassionate, merciful, faithful, strong, loving, and kind. In doing so, hopefully I’ll be able to pass those traits along to my children in the time I get to spend with them. Maybe they’ll see and feel the Lord working in my heart on a daily basis and want to know what that’s all about. That’s what our job as parents is. We’re here to love and lead our children to the Lord, and the most effective way to do that is to be as close to the Lord as you can get. Be intentional in building that relationship with your Heavenly Father. As your relationship with your children grows closer and closer, they’ll be grower closer to the Lord because He’ll be standing right there next to you every step of the way.
I made a solid attempt to get a quick metcon in this week. I had almost counted the day as a “rest day” since I it ended up being like 8:45pm and I hadn’t worked out. I wanted to make a little progress physically though, so I grabbed my jump rope and headed for the driveway. Here’s what I did:
20 double-unders- Do 40 single-unders if you aren’t comfortable doing double-unders or don’t have the right rope
20 Lunges (10 each leg)
That’s it! The double-unders kept my heart rate up and burning calories while the lunges gave me a nice hip stretch, and the sit-ups worked on the core that I all too often neglect. Give it a shot. It took maybe 10 minutes.
E-mail…man, I send and receive a freaking ton of e-mails. I know you do too. It’s just the world we live in. How many e-mails do you send or get that start, “Hi So and So, I hope you’re doing well”? Way too many, and I’m guilty as charged. The article below points out how weak of an intro that is, and I have to agree. No client has ever been like, “Oh, they really care about me because they hope I’m doing well.” It’s really just a waste of time. If they’re a prospective customer, you want to get right to the point or give them something they’ve never seen before; something different. The author suggests something like, “Mike, hello from rainy Seattle.” Sounds a little weird, but it makes you seem more real because, well, you are.
The author points out that college writing classes never taught us how to write e-mails that people actually want to read. Essays? Yes, but nobody’s reading that if you’re trying to sell something. Check out the article for the other 3 tips and for the links he provides.
Funny story. My baby girl, Sully, turns one on the 24th, and we had her little birthday party this weekend. It was great to see all the family, and major props to Katie for all the work she put into pulling it off. We had it at this little splash pad park in a rural part of the county. We rented the pavilion, but the splash pad is obviously still open to the public. It was brutally hot and humid Saturday. Like 94 degrees, so it was slammed. We said hey to the guests, they got something to eat, and the kids headed to play in the water. About 15 minutes later, we finally got the birthday girl lathered up with sunscreen, and I’m headed toward the pad only to see everyone headed back to the pavilion.
We had a party pooper. Some kid literally dropped a giant deuce in the middle of the splash pad, which circulates the water back around and shoots it out of the jets and fountains. Phenomenal. We were scrambling around trying to dry everyone off. I was hoping it wasn’t Briggs; it wasn’t. But, now we’re putting it together that the kids had all been sprayed with what could potentially be E. coli water. People are grabbing hand sanitizer and wiping the kids’ hands off. I look up, and Katie’s dad, Grandpa name = “Big D,” is using an entire bottle of hand sanitizer to bathe Briggs. Front, back, legs, arms, hands, face, and uses it as shampoo and gives him a mohawk…I’m laughing so hard, and I go, “Is that even safe?” Big D goes, “Well, what’s it gonna hurt? Would you rather him be covered in crap water?” Great point.
Make it an awesome week. Get a little bit better every day. Keep the chains moving.
Up and at’em, baby! Hope you had an awesome weekend. Get ready for an awesome week.
Although I bleed red & black and part of my heart and soul lives in Athens, I have a huge respect for people in other programs that seem to be doing things the right way. For instance, Tim Tebow. Hated him when he was at Florida, but I absolutely love him and everything he stands for now. Another one those guys is Dabo Swinney. If the Tigers are teeing it up with the Dawgs, make no mistake where my allegiances lie, but I have a ton of respect for how he runs his program and his outlook on life. He always seems like he’s having fun, and that’s rare in big time coaching. Think Belichick. Think Saban. Doesn’t look like they’re having a blast. Dabo’s also very open about his faith, which is the cause for the large amount for respect I have for him. God gives you a platform. Use it, and I appreciate him for doing so. In this quick read article, the author quotes Dabo’s response to if he feels sorry for coaches that seem miserable with their profession even if they’re winning. He said, “Yeah, I do, because I think life is so short. It’s just the blink of an eye, and we’re gone,” Swinney said. “When people put winning up top, they become miserable. Even when they win, it’s a relief. We’re never gonna be like that here. We’re always gonna have fun.” I love that perspective. Do I want to win and be successful? Absolutely, but what good is it if you’re miserable inside and miserable to your loved ones on your way to the “top?” I’m a big believer in synergy, and if you, your family, and your team are having fun and enjoy being around each other, then I think everyone achieves more. Dabo has the joy of the Lord in his heart, and he lets it shine through. Let that joy shine through in your life and see what positive changes come your way.
There’s a couple other great quotes form Dabo in the article. Take a look.
I made it to Crossfit on Saturday for the first time since maybe October, and I paid for it. I absolutely neglect my cardio at home in leu of everyone’s favorite, bench press and curls, far too often. I walked in the gym and, of course, there’s burpees and running in the work out. Side cramp ensued on the first lap. Struggle was real. With that, I have made a vow to myself to build more cardio in. I know not everyone has a gym membership or a ton of equipment at home, so I like to find bodyweight workouts for you. This one here is a burner. Not traditional “cardio” per se, but it’ll get the heart rate up. It’s 10 moves, for 10 reps, for 10 minutes. The trainer, Funk Roberts (gotta love a dude named Funk), does a great job of mixing the exercises up for abs, upper body, and lower body to keep you moving the whole time and not completely burning out a body part to where you’d need to stop. I’m all about super-setting exercises and this is the ultimate super “duper” set. Why take 30 minutes for a workout when you can get the same results in 10? Feel the burn!
7 Personal Finance Goals for Your 30s
Snagged this one from the Art of Manliness website, which is phenomenal. I feel like I did a decent job making it out of my 20s without any huge financial setbacks, but I definitely have more responsibilities (aka wife and kids) and more to lose (my business and other small assets) in my 30s. I’ve always said that I’d be fine living in an old Airstream down by the river. Katie…not so much. I’m going to hit you with a little coach speak, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” These goals are great benchmarks to shoot for, and the author gives a ton of links and examples in his article to further explain. I’ll list the 7 goals, but do yourself (and your family) a favor and read the explanations.
Six months of income in your emergency fund
Pay off all non-mortgage related debt
Increase retirement savings to at least 15% of your income
Get your estate planning in order
Consider term life insurance
Start a 529 plan for your kids
Get an accountant