Sunday, March 20, 2016

The "Real" Story of Life!

Ever since I wrote Life Pioneers and ended it with the analogy of life being a painting I've wanted to carryout the idea.  I've talked to a few artists about the idea but it never went anywhere.  Then I was asked to speak at Q Commons and I prayed about what I should talk about.  A couple nights later I woke up with an answer.  A vivid picture of what I needed to do.  So here is my attempt to bring to life the thought I received...

We all start out wanting our lives to work and our dreams to come true.  The world is full of critics, cynics, and those who through around stereotypes.  Sadly, we all must face bullies in our lives, those who want to tear us down.  But remember, it's your master piece to complete and we aren't the only ones who were not treated well. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

What did you do with what I gave you?

“In the parable, the landlord gives one person five talents, the next person two, and the other person just one. The talents referred to in the parable were a lot of money at the time. The first two went out and used the talents to make even more, actually doubling their amounts. The third one was so afraid that he would lose the talent, he buried it. When the landlord returned, he was very pleased with the first two servants, but he chastised the third one for hiding the talent and not doing anything to increase it.

“I believe that this is what God expects from us, during our lives. I believe he has given every one of us everything we need to fulfill our purpose here on earth, but the only way you can truly find your purpose is to go out and put your talents to work, grow and develop them. Nowhere does it say that they just sat and prayed for the talents to increase. The first two went out and did what the third one couldn’t fathom; they put their talents at risk. The third one was paralyzed by fear. What if the risk failed, and they lost what they were given; what would have happened to them, then? But the first two didn’t let this fear stop them. They went out and made good decisions and were rewarded for the risk they took.

“It’s just like the flat earth we talked about, most people limit themselves to stay put out of fear. God gave us all free will and, with it, the chance to choose. He also gave us guidelines for how he wants us to live our lives, but he left it up to us to choose how we live and what relationship we maintain with him. Most people pray for things they want, money, fame, or some relationship, and I’ve always thought God must just shake his head and think, ‘It’s all there for you, just go make it happen.”  (excerpt from Life Pioneers:  The Edge of Possibility!)

Matthew 25: 14 - 30

14 "For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property;

15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more.

17 So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more.

18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money.

19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, `Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.'

21 His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.'

22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, `Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.'

23 His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.'

24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, `Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow;

25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.'

26 But his master answered him, `You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed?

27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.

28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.

29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.'”

As he read through it again, for the first time, he realized the power of the parable and understood that what had driven his Grandpa, throughout his life, was the desire to someday hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” As thought about his Grandpa, the man seemed to grow a little larger.

We hide or bury our talents for many reasons, our personal fears and limitation and those placed on us from others.  Even when you have some level of success people with question your motives and why you continue to pursue improvement.  Most people can't understand that the question cannot be answered until our judgement day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Here's to all the Giants in our lives...

A Giant of a Man

A giant of a man stood before me,

I trembled in fear for I a child of three.

But this Giant seemed different than others I had seen

He wasn’t really scary, not the slightest bit mean.


This Giant a constant, through my childhood,

A calming presence, bringing only good.

A Tenderness in this giant I found,

For a growing sprout, I found solid ground.


A giant of a man stood before me,

Hard work he said you will find is the key.

Two dollars to pile wood shaped like stakes?

I’d have done it for free, for goodness sake.


This Giant worked with me side by side,

To keep up this Giant, Oh how I tried.

But his energy level it never decreased,

The man never slowed down, he worked like a beast.


A Giant of a man stood before me,

But I am now a man of thirteen, surely he must see.

I put out my hand, for my strength I would show.

His grip buckled my knees; how could it be so?


This Giant showed me many a skill,

 And I the young pupil wanted my fill.

I thought Giant’s educations were limited so,

And yet how he made my knowledge of the world grow


I returned from college to visit the giant,

In respect I came, there was no defiance.

Where is the giant, his presence I ask? 

And out came my Grandpa, age was his mask.


A Giant of a man stood before me,

Elderly, yes, but his presence still dwarfed me.

This giant of a man, never afraid of the day,

Work must be done; it’s the only way.


Where is the Giant, his advice I now seek?

A man I have become of a child so meek.

Stature decreased and time has slowed his pace,

With a Giant of a man I now stand face to face.


A Giant of a man, once stood before me,

I welcome the giant, but how can it be?

The giants now my size in stature you see.

But in my mind a giant he will always be.


The call I received that the Giant is gone,

It cannot be true, you must be wrong.

No, it is true, even Giants must go

Even out of giants the life force must flow.


How I loved the Giant, but the words were not there,

God, please tell him I loved him; it just wasn’t fair.

I didn’t tell him in person, and sorry am I,

Alone with my thoughts, and the tears that I cry.


Grandpa, I’ll miss you, how can this be?

The family I’ve raised you won’t get to see.

In strength and honor I grow your family tree,

For a giant of a man once stood before me. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Your Life! Are you creating a Masterpiece?

He thought about the conversations he would have many years from now with his grandson and staying focused on creating a life worth sharing.  As he got out his painting supplies he thought about how life is a painting and we all hope to create a masterpiece someday that will hang in the memories of others but unlike the blank canvas that we was looking at we aren’t the ones who start the painting.  We don’t get to pick the canvas we want to use or the initial strokes of paint.  We don’t choose our parents and thus the environment we are raised in.  Life is definitely not paint by numbers set. There is not instruction on which color to put where, but then again there are no paint by number paintings hanging in museums.  You won’t find any paint by number paintings that are revered as masterpieces. We receive a product that is the accumulation of the good and bad of others.  Some people want to help us create our masterpiece and carefully guide us to learning how to complete the work, encouraging us to make bolder strokes, teaching us how to blend colors and have a vision of what we can accomplish. While others carelessly throw paint around; some even damage the canvas and the frame.  There is pain and heart ache represented as cuts, tears or burns to our canvas.  And yet regardless of the shape of the painting when we become aware of it, it becomes our responsibility to complete the work. 

 Sadly, he thought, so many people give up and live with the painting they have been given and resign themselves to the state it is in and never seek to turn it into a masterpiece.  Or worse allow people to continue to damage their painting.  We have no choice as a child of who are parents were and where we were raised but as we move into adulthood we have complete control over who we allow to access our developing masterpiece.  Our beliefs become our destiny and if we give up believing in ourselves and the possibilities that exist we give up on our masterpiece and yet so many people surround themselves with people who have also given up on their masterpiece.  Their world becomes small and flat and their masterpiece goes unfinished.

Yet others acknowledge the state of the painting and then decide what they need to do to begin to turn it into a masterpiece, day by day they make a few new strokes, begin to repair the broken frame, the tears, cuts and burns and move closer to the end result.  They learn new techniques and work toward mastery.  They seek out others who can help them work on their masterpiece; coaches, supporters, instructors and mentors.  They accept responsibility for completing the work and who they allow access to their developing work of art.  They befriend and collaborate with others who are working to develop their own masterpiece and encourage them.   They see all of the possibilities hidden in the developing work.  They realize that you can’t create a masterpiece overnight.   It will take years of effort but that the journey will be worth it and someday their children and grandchildren will marvel at the masterpiece that was created.  Then they will be ready to coach and guide them to developing their own masterpiece.
 He thought about the future and the conversations he would have with his grandson and having a better answer to ‘what did you do with what I gave you?’  But, there is still a lot of painting to be done to complete his life master piece.

The conclusion from my book "Life Pioneers:  The Edge of Possibility!"  check it out on or on Amazon. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Life Pioneer-Lessons from Columbus

It's finally happened!  I've finally launched a web page about my passion of being a Life Pioneer.  It all started a couple of years ago with writing my first book.  While I continue to be involved and see patients at TERRIO Physical Therapy, I want to also pursue helping others to become Life Pioneers and seek out the life they have always wanted!  So check out to learn more or to purchase any of my books. 

While writing the book, I came to identify with Christopher Columbus.  The more I learn of his story the more value I see.  One of his early trips ended in a ship wreck yet he continued to pursue his dream.  A lesson for all those chasing dreams, there will be a few wrecks/failures.  What I find interesting is that he finally convinced the King of Spain to payroll his mission.  Defying conventional wisdom of the times he went with the theory that the world was a sphere but he had it around 63% of the actual size.  So actually if he hadn't hit unexpectedly we would have run out of provisions.  Lesson 2:  Sometimes what you run into is unexpected but beneficial.  Had he run out of provisions then the story would have ended there.  But, he stumbled onto something he didn't expect and it actually not only saved him, it made him rich.  The King of Spain granted him title and riches for the discovery.  A true success story for a pioneer!  Well almost!  After establishing a settlement in the new world Columbus returned to Spain leaving the settlement under the supervision of his brothers.  They completely failed leading to natives burning down the settlement. Lesson 3:  be very careful who you trust with your success.  Upon his return he enslaved the local inhabitants to force them to rebuild everything.  He decided to keep the slaves to continue to build the new land.  The problem was the King of Spain was against slavery so when he learned of what Columbus was doing he had him brought back in chains.  Columbus was stripped of all title and wealth.  A true rags to riches back to rags story.  A true entrepreneur he convinced the King to let him make one more trip to make things right.  He was granted some of his previous wealth but never fully recovered. 

The story of Columbus and his brothers encompasses the lament of the visionary/pioneer (entrepreneur if you like).  You take a risk and if you are successful you need to eventually rely on others but who do you trust.  If you are wrong it can destroy your dreams, if you are right it can take you to new heights.  While there are a lot of books and opinions it remains a difficulty thing to navigate.  I believe the answer lies in what visionaries like the least...Structure.  While the visionary/pioneer thrives in the growth mindset, free to make changes on the fly and exploring all possibilities, in reality very few people have that skill set.  There will always be confusion and friction unless the visionary realizes that they see the world differently and need to set up or have someone set up the structure to keep the settlement going so they are free to continue to explore.