As I write this, my wife is celebrating her birthday and my oldest daughter is getting very close to hers. I am proud to have both of them in my life and thankful that they are the ages that they are.
I think that too many people focus on wanting to be younger or being scared of being older. They worry that others will know their true age or they joke that they are 29 and holding. I have chosen to see this aging thing from a different light. I like to look at each year as another opportunity to put something amazing in the record books. Not that I will be calling on Guinness Book of World Records, but I do want to get all that I can out of each year.
A few of the lessons that I have learned in the last year are…
1. Struggle makes the victories sweeter. When we have faced challenges and then find success, the success is so much more appreciated.
2. Embrace every moment. We are getting older and each new year brings a new way to enjoy life. No matter your age, find the beauty in existence itself.
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. When we can laugh at the things that happen, we find joy in the present. If we don’t worry about what others think, then we are free to be ourselves.
So, with one more successful year in the books for my wife and soon to be one more in the books for my oldest, I am grateful for the chance to spend another day with each of them!
To Your Success!
It has been my experience that the world’s most miserable people are the ones who are continuously focused on a knock in their motor. They wake up everyday and think, “I wonder what will be wrong with me today.” I had watched a movie a while back about this guy who always thought something was wrong with himself. He had a son that he didn’t know about until the boy was about 8 years old, who had the same negative focus. When the man was talking to the boy about diseases, he mentioned hypochondria, which is the belief that you are sick even when you are not. The boy slowly turned his head to the man and said, “Oh man, I have that one too!”
None of us is going to live forever on this earth. The key, though, is to actually live while you are alive. Sickness happens, focus on getting well. Accidents happen, focus on overcoming. No matter what it is that you face, there is a choice in the middle of it. You can choose to keep your focus on the real and imagined negatives, or you can focus on the real and imagined good.
I think about what it must have been like for people like Anne Frank, who couldn’t go outside and she knew that the Nazi’s were trying to find everyone like her and kill them. She still woke up every day and focused on the joy of being alive instead of the knocks of fear. Some of her joy may have been imagined, but much of the fear and dread we have today is definitely imagined.
Focus on the good that you have in your life today!
To Your Success,
One of the truths that I have kept in mind for the last 10 or so years is that I am not the things that I own. I am not my vehicle, or my house, or my clothes. I am not my job or even my business. I may have those things and use them to let others know who I am, but they aren’t me.
When we begin looking at who we really are, we can see that we are what we believe more than what we do or have. Your beliefs about family and friends and faith and who you are at your core, those are the beliefs that make you who you are. It is your beliefs that sustain you.
If you were to lose all of your possessions, you would still have who you are. It is you that is of true value, the you that is at the core. You could lose all of your stuff and still have you. So, I challenge you to define what it is that you really believe. Once you know for sure what you believe, keep hold of that. Everything else, you could lose and still be alright.
To Your Success,
My wife absolutely hates to be lost in a place that she doesn’t know! Anybody else share her sentiment? The funny thing about my wife is that every time that we moved to a new town, she would go get lost on purpose so that she had to learn the streets to find her way home! She even still finds new routes by getting lost on purpose just to see if there is some new store or hidden treasure that she didn’t know about before that. What makes me laugh at her is how much she loves to do that, but boy, if she is in another city, and she can’t find her way to where she is going, there is definitely no joy there.
How many of us forget to look for that new and unexpected treasure when we aren’t quite where we intend to be? What about the time that you missed the interstate and ended up seeing the coolest little town ever? What about the time you went to the restaurant on the other side of town and just ordered the chef’s special? What about the time that you just went with the flow? If you haven’t done those things, then you have your challenge for the day. Go create an adventure by taking some wrong turns. Life offers so many pathways to opportunity and growth and joy, but we have to be willing to get lost in the adventure.
To Your Success!
I don’t remember a time that my mother yelled at me. I know that there are lots of people out there that had tense childhoods of getting in trouble from their moms, possibly well-deserved, but I just didn’t. A lot of the memories that I have of my mother are what give me inspiration to try to be sweet, kind, and loving as I parent my own kids. There are several specific things that I remember fondly. She did each of these so often that I couldn't keep up with the love she showed.
Sing a little song – My mom used to sing me my favorite praise song over and over and over again. I would imagine she got tired of singing it to me, but if she did, I never knew.
Tickle My Back – My mom would regularly tickle my back to help me fall asleep while she was singing to me. I, like any other kid who was as cool as me, loved it when I had that combination that soothed me and helped me drift off to sleep.
Oh My Aching Back – I didn’t actually have back problems, but I loved it when my mom would rub my back to wake me up. She was sweet and used a loving a soft voice to welcome in the day.
I know what you are thinking… That’s no mom! That’s a holy deity. I thought the same thing myself for the longest time. J The truth is, my mom demonstrated the joy of service in raising her boys. She took care of us, waited on us, and demonstrated love to us every day. So, I wanted to establish something right here, right now.
My parents often talk about which of them is the sweetest. Mom says it is dad and dad says it is mom. I have had the honor of being raised by the sweetest mom I could ever hope for. Having that example gives me joy. So mom, I know you are reading this, you truly are the sweetest!
I have had the wonderful experience of being told repeatedly that I was “impossible.” This was generally accompanied with a roll of the eyes and a shake of the head. My wife has been telling me this for over 2 decades now. My mom used to tell me this when I was a kid as well. Neither of them was being mean, just for the record, but they were looking at me and wondering how my mind works and why I think the way that I do. I would imagine that you have had a similar experience, at least at some point in your life.
I usually chuckle when I am told this and respond with, “but some day I will be possible.” I think that has been particularly funny to me because of my favorite verse being Philippians 4:13. “All things are possible for those who love the Lord and are called according His purpose.” I started really embracing this verse when I was given the opportunity to vacation at Pampa Regional Medical Center for 23 days in a traction unit. Spending almost a full year recovering from a bad break of my right femur, I wanted to know that I was still possible. I wanted to know that I could still come back to martial arts and could still be athletic.
It is often our struggles that whittle away the parts of our lives that need honing. There are rough edges and beliefs that hold us back from joy and success. It is the purification of struggle that reveals our possibility when we believe in Christ and live into our purpose. This understanding of the verse helped me to overcome the challenges and struggles that seemed impossible and make all things possible for me.
The you that was intended to be, the joyful one, is truly possible. You may be impossible today, but some day, you will be possible, and so will I.
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
One of the things that I have always loved about Marvel movies is the fact that good triumphs over evil. I love the escape from reality and the simultaneous reminder that I am to fight the good fight. When I get the chance to curl up with my family and watch a movie together, it provides me with the opportunity to just “be.”
When I was a kid, I remember my parents telling me several times that they just wanted me to be home for a while. I had wanted to go to my friend’s house to hang out. They didn’t have anything planned and we didn’t really do anything together, but we were around each other. I didn’t understand their need for my presence until I had kids of my own. I know now that it can simply be the mere act of being around each other that provides the safety net that we need to stay connected.
As a parent, I see one of my jobs as being the “Guardian of The Galaxy” for my kids and wife. My job is to try to vanquish the evil that would threaten our happy home. One of those evils is not getting to hang out. I am proud to say that today, the evil of a lack of time together has been vanquished and we live to fight for what is right for one more day!
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
I had the pleasure of working with a great group of leaders today in Florida. We talked about the “why” of their jobs and the “why” of their company and the “why” that drives them. It was absolutely awesome to see and feel the emotion that they had about their work. The stories that they told about how their staff had inspired them, how the people that they serve had been so thankful, and how they felt blessed to do what they do, is what work is supposed to be about.
One gentleman explained to me at break that he sees the world, his world, in thirds. 1/3 of the your life, you will be asleep, so get a good bed. 1/3 of your life you will be at work, so do something that inspires you every day. 1/3 of your life will be with your family and friends, so be the kind of person that lifts others up. I love this explanation of our lives. We find our joy when we discover the why of our existence in each of those three areas.
The sleeping that we do gives us the chance to reset and be ready for the next day. The work that we do gives us the chance to leave a legacy, to change something in this world for the better. Several people talked about how they are in it for the people and the money part takes care of itself. And finally, the family that we raise and the love that we share is our legacy of love.
When you take the time to define why you are doing what you are doing and why it matters to the world, you see the importance that you bring to the table. I just want to encourage you to know that you matter. The work that you do matters. The family that you are a part of matters. And, getting enough rest also matters. J
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
In the Ethiopian highlands, the legend of Khaldi was born. This simple goat herder was watching as his goats consumed a berry from a certain tree and then became spirited. In fact, the animals could hardly sleep after they consumed this berry. The goat herder took the berry back to a monastery where a monk made a drink out of it. This drink allowed him to stay awake for long hours of focused prayer. Soon this drink spread to the Arabian Peninsula where it became truly popularized. Because of this discovery, we have created a culture around the dark elixir. I often refer to it as my artificial inspiration for days that are tough.
Some of the great things about a hot beverage are the fact that it is a time that I can connect with my wife and/or with my daughters. The coffee shop is a place to sit and write. It is a place to meet friends and stay connected. Although it may have started as a drink that inspired focus, it has morphed into a reason to sit and talk. I love coffee for the things that it inspires me to do and reminds me to focus on.
I love coffee because you really never hear of someone getting into a coffee shop fight, like you would hear about a bar fight. People are generally friendly when they are drinking coffee. People are more apt to connect and deepen their relationships at the coffee shops. I find joy in that connection. Coffee isn't the connection itself. Instead, it is simply the reason for the connection.
So I raise my mug of cinnamon toast coffee to you and say, “Let’s connect and visit soon!”
To Your Success,
It isn’t the world that makes us happy or sad. It is our mind that makes us who we are. I have seen people who are truly happy with their lives that have very little and people who are happy with their lives that have a lot. It isn’t the amount that one has that creates their happiness. Instead, it is their gratitude for what they have that creates either happiness or misery. One of the things that each happy person that I have observed has in common is an attitude of gratefulness. Too many people work to be ungrateful for their jobs, for their spouses, for their families, for all of the things that they have surrounding them.
This thought came back to me today as I observed workers in the Oklahoma City Airport. Several in a row seemed to be extremely unhappy in their work. They were agitated by each customer that walked up to their counter. The thing that I observed is that they were ungrateful for a chance to earn money, regardless of the amount it was. Then, I walked down to another shop, one where they sell magazines, overpriced sodas and the like. They guy in there was diligent stocking the store. He greeted me when I walked in and observed as I shopped. Once he noticed me heading toward the register, he hurried over there and checked me out. He seemed thankful for his job. I enjoyed my experience with him and he seemed to enjoy the activity that he was doing.
I would imagine that he made about the same as the folks in the other shops in the airport. I would imagine he was trained about the same as the others as well. The difference was that his attitude made him happy. It wasn’t his job, or his uniform, or the magazine selection in his store. It was him. He was a self-made man. The reality is that the others were also self-made. It’s just that some people make themselves happy while others make themselves unhappy.
What will you choose today? Either way, you will be self-made!
To Your Success,
Jody is a writer, motivational speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He has been the keynote speaker at over 250 events around the world. Jody speaks more than 150 times per year at different programs, and he has given more than 10,000 speeches during his career.