Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Always the cowboy
When you’re a kid you have dreams, aspirations and they seem as achievable as devouring your favorite candy bar. It didn’t matter that this was the 1970’s, you were going to grow up to be a cowboy (insert Kid Rock’s Cowboy or Toby Keith’s I should have been a cowboy songs) riding your horse chasing outlaws and those pesky Indians. Perhaps you had dreams of riding around on big red trucks on your way to fight a three alarm fire. Did you dream of being a policeman or something else courageous? As for me, I wanted to be a cowboy as captured in many early photos. Then off to be a race-car driver. I would have made it to the NASCAR circuit I have no doubts. There was that brief stint of wanting to be a wrestler but I was always drawn back to being a cowboy or a race-car driver.

One thing I noticed while pondering the dreams of childhood is there was no fear of the achievement. There was nothing saying, “You can’t” not did any of those seem ridiculous. Imagine a child of the 60’s & 70’s growing up to ride into town on his horse in 2015. It’s a pretty funny picture isn't it but not to a seven year old. Something changes as we get older. We begin to hear those words which put limitations on our dreams and place roadblocks in path of our aspirations. The worst part is we begin to believe what we hear and those roadblocks become insurmountable. The dreams die slowly becoming stories we tell our kids.

Sometimes those dreams die because they just don’t make sense like being a cowboy chasing outlaws. Other times they give way to true dreams of what you want to be when you grow up. I've heard several people tell me they have always dreamed of being a teacher, a policeman or a fireman. Others have told me it wasn't until they became adults before they realized what they wanted to do. For me, I am a mixture of both. I knew I wanted to entertain, I just didn't know how I was going to accomplish this or what form it would look like. One thing I did know was I could not sing or play a guitar. So American Idol and the Voice are safe.

Sometimes you really do have to grow up to realize what you are going to be when you grow up. It’s the resolve of adulthood that allows you withstand the barrage of naysayers saying, “You can’t” and figure out how to get around the roadblocks in your way. Sadly, though many don’t. They succumb to the pressures. Again, for me I think I have figured it out. With years of being in front of different audiences in different situations I have come to the realization that I am both an Entertainer and an Educator. That’s right, you read it correctly (we will discuss this in future blogs).

Childhood dreams didn't see the roadblock nor did they hear the naysayers so they dreamed. As an adult it is our job to silence the naysayers by doing what we have the gifts to do and to walk around the roadblocks standing in our way. This is accomplished simply by pressing on. It isn't easy. Of course, neither was moving that pile of dirt with my Tonka truck, but I moved it. So, I will write more stories designed to make audiences laugh and speeches developed to encourage people. Seminars will be constructed to help people learn how to be communicators and leaders. Perhaps you’re sitting there and reading this saying, “You can’t.”

“LaLaLaLaLa, I can’t hear you.” 

Monday, January 12, 2015


Listening to the birds and watching the squirrels. Florida living. 
There is nothing like waking up early in the morning to experience the stillness of the day. The quiet that permeates throughout the neighborhood. The slowness by which everyone moves seems to be everywhere. As I sit on the back patio of my home here in Florida I am reminded of the coolness of the morning. The threat of rain doesn't even begin to dampen the spirit of the squirrels playing in my yard nor does it silence the singing of the birds in the trees. They each have awaken to the same morning I have, with the same tasks, yet they play and sing.  Kind of like the seven dwarfs from Snow White whistling while they work.

They have work to accomplish much like me. They have nuts to gather and worms to collect. The other day I saw a hawk flying with a large clump of Spanish moss in her beak to add to the family nest. A pretty cool sight to say the least. Soon she will be laying eggs, protecting them from the elements and then off to find food once her babies enter the world. Yet they sing. They play. How can this be? How can they do this when there is work to be done? Responsibilities to be taken care off? I think there instincts keep it all in perspective so they have a song.

Jesus, himself, mentions this when discussing worry. He says, “Do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; not for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 7:25-26 NASB). So they sing and play.

Have you ever noticed how much happier you are on vacation? There are no worries, no boss breathing down your neck and there is a song in your heart. OK, maybe not the song part, but you are generally happier, right? Why is that? Simple, you aren't worrying, you are living. You have a weight lifted. Life can be pretty heavy at times with schedules to keep at work and often times at home. There is many a morning I look at my “to do list” and just feel overwhelmed. Too many times my “To Do List” becomes my “Things I want to do but didn't list” and it tends to get longer. But I think for first time in my life I have actually “looked at the birds.” I have seen that responsibilities and work needs to get done but it isn't all there is. There is singing and playing to be had.
So as I continue to watch the squirrels and listen to the birds, life comes into a better perspective. There is still much to do on my list of what needs accomplished this week but why should I worry about it. As I take each one on it will get accomplished and I will celebrate with playing or singing (don’t worry there is no one around for me to torture with my lack of ability).

As I enter 2015 I will look at the birds and the squirrels. Perhaps you would like to join me.