Sunday, January 18, 2015

Top 10 Things I Learned in My 20's

Today is my 30th Birthday. I'm excited, not depressed. My 20's were awesome! My 30's are going to be even better.  As I've looked through pictures and reflected back on the last decade of my life, I couldn't help but think about all that I've learned.

Here's the Top 10 things I've learned and would share with those exiting college or in the midsts of their 20's.

1) You Don't Know Jack
I don't know what it is about your late teens and early 20's that makes you feel like you know "everything," but you don't. Nothing like a launch from graduation into the working world and adulthood to make you realize your parent's actually know something and you don't know much at all.

2) It's OK to Fail, and You Will
Because you don't know everything, your pride will get in the way and you will fail. It's ok Millennial, this is a good thing. Not everyone get's a trophy and you're not invincible. You will fail. Your response when you fail and what you learn from it, will be a greater indicator of your growth more than your results.

3) It Took Your Parent's a Lifetime to Get Where They Are
Job. House. Car. You name it, it took your parent's a lifetime to get where they are and acquire what they have. Breaking News: Most likely, your first house is not going to be the one you grew up in. Your first job is not going to have Director, President, Executive, or in my case Captain in the title. Ask your parent's, "Hey, when you were 25, where were you and what were you doing?" I think you'll be surprised to hear the work they were putting in and the struggles they had.

4) People Are Different Than You
No brainer right?  This is something we all inherently know, but don't know how to flush it out. For me, the introduction to several personality profiles (Myers Briggs, Kolbe, Strengthsfinder) at the age of 23, greatly helped me to know my strengths and how God wired me.  It also helped me to understand others and how to work with them. Probably saved my marriage as well. "Not wrong, just different" is my motto.

5) Most of Your Days are Filled With Work, Choose Wisely
Money is important to life, but not at the expense of your emotional, physical, relational and spiritual well being.  "Find a company you believe in, doing a job you love and the money will take care of itself." - David Salyers (VP of Marketing @ Chick-Fil-A) I was grateful to have found a great company in my 20's, but it took most of the decade to find a role that truly brought me to life. Training/Coaching.

6) Everything Isn't About You
It's true. It's not all about you.  I've found that those who live with a humble confidence while putting others before themselves, find true joy and favor. Leaders who put their people before themselves gain the respect of their team and coincidentally produce better results. I still suck at this one.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility, consider others as better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3

7) Marriage Doesn't "Complete" You
I'm a big fan of marriage. My wife is incredible! It is also really hard. Coming up on 5 years of marriage, i've found that #1, #2, #3, #4 and #6 all apply.  I'm convinced that nothing on this side of heaven will ever "complete" me and marriage definitely doesn't. It sanctifies me. It grows me. It makes me realize how selfish I am, how much I need grace and how much I need Jesus. I am a better man because of marriage and I highly recommend it for that reason, not to feel "complete."

8) Those Who Live Intentional Lives, Avoid a Life of Mediocrity
When it comes to allocation of time, we have 2 choices. Proactive or Reactive.  I've found that those who are proactive with their time get more done, spend more time with their family and
feel more in control. Those who wake up Monday morning with no plan for their day or week, tend to take a constant barrage or Muhammed Ali right hooks called life.  Plan out your time. If you want something to happen, plan for it. Be intentional. I'm getting better at this, but suck at this often.

Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. - Psalm 90:12

9) Learning Doesn't Stop After College
See #1. Don't stop reading, learning, growing.  My last blog post in September of 2011 (cough, cough) was around this issue of pretending like you've arrived vs. acknowledging you don't know it all and have a ways to go. Wet vs. Dry Concrete.  Keep your concrete wet in order to stay moldable and used for growth.

10) Save Your $
It drives me crazy when I read articles about Millennials and the way in which they manage their scrilla. (slang for money) Zoom out and realize that there is more to the here and now. Do you really want to work til your 80? Your habits would indicate that. You have one of the greatest things on your side and it's called Compound Interest. Use it. Save your money and live within your means. See #8.

I've got a long ways to go in many of these areas and am preaching to myself. I'm thankful for those in my life who have made me aware of these principles and who constantly challenge me in these areas.

Here's to another decade of learning and growing!  Bring it 30's!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wet vs. Dry Concrete

You know those people that are so set in their ways and routines that no matter what you say or do, you know what to expect and predict because they've always been that way. Verdict? Hard Concrete.

You know those people that are always learning and growing. They seek to always gain knowledge and experience in order to grow their personal capacity? Verdict? Wet Concrete.

I must confess. The older I get, the more set in my ways and lazy I get. My concrete is getting harder.


Is it because I'm getting older and that's what you do? Is it because I'm content with how I'm growing right now and stretching myself? Why don't I pick up a book more often? Why do I always read the same websites? Why do I watch so much TV? Why don't I expand my capacity more?

Am I going to be THAT person that is so predictable and stuck, that the rest of my life becomes boring and stuck too?

Thankfully, I work for a company that pushes me in this area and cares about my personal development.

What about you? How wet is your concrete? Are you still moldable or stuck?

Monday, June 13, 2011

TEAM over TALENT - The Underdog Effect



Team over Talent; a simple concept that continues to become more and more evident to me. In lieu of the Mavericks victory last night, I was inspired to get back on the blogesphere and share a life principal that's often missed in today's society.

Unless you're a hermit, a sports hater or completely oblivious to the news, you're aware that the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat last night in the NBA finals. It was, once again, another example of how experience, chemistry and leadership trump raw talent. Nobody denies that that the Heat are incredibly talented. As a matter of fact, the Heat was favored in this series and even predicted to sweep by some.
Nobody denies that talent is a fundamental asset for success. It's hard to find and hard to train. But, often it's idolized as the #1 indicator by many in the sport's, business, and educational arenas. Whether it's AAU basketball leagues, Harvard Business school or the NFL combine; talent is valued, idolized and heavily inspected.

I'm seeing a shift in our culture.

Like anything, with enough failed attempts, we start to question our way of thinking. Whether it's Jamarcus Russell, the 2002 U.S.A. Men's Basketball team or Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football, talent doesn't equal results.

I, like others, am seeing a common theme in those who are truly finding results, particularly in the Sports World.


...mixed with talent, turns into results.

Example: 1980 U.S Hockey Team, 03', 04' Patriots, 09' Saints, 04' Red Sox, 06' Boise State or The Mighty Ducks.

We love the underdog because deep down we want to see a team with "less" talent prevail. Deep down, we know there's always someone more talented than us. We equate ourselves to an underdog, knowing that we may not have the "most" talent but can always work on our leadership, integrity, experience, and just then...maybe, just maybe...

...I can achieve what I'm after if I just be patient like Jason Kidd?
...I can achieve what I'm after if I can just put enough time, talent, treasure and innovation into it like Mark Cuban?
...even though I'm one way (7ft tall), maybe I can still be as smooth as Dirk.
...there's a Tyson Chandler out there that's a final piece to my puzzle?

If we see it and acknowledge it, maybe then can we have a shot at the title?

Go Mavs!

* Please disregard all typos and grammatical errors. I made C's in my English classes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The R-Word (retard)

It is time to “Spread the Word to End the Word” and on 31 March 2009 Special Olympics is calling for a national day of awareness for America to stop and think about their use of the R-word. That R-word is not “recession,” but something more hurtful and painful – “retard.”

In High School and College I chose to spend my volunteer time working with people with disabilities. My bike ride across America this summer benefited Push America, a non-profit organization who raises money and awareness for people with disabilities. During my time spent with people with disabilities, my eyes and heart have been open to their world. It's a world of sadness, hurt and frustration but often a world of courage, perseverance and happiness. When I spent time with these awesome people, my initial reaction was that I was doing them a favor. It was never til the end of my first interactions with people with disabilities, that I realized how much more they gave me. I was the one benefiting from their presence.

In college, my fraternity was the leader of all the chapters when it came to involvement with Push America. We raised a lot of money and did a "Push Week" for all the sororities to raise money and awareness. In order for our words to follow our actions, we made sure that we watched how we used the "R-Word."

I came across this recent campaign by the Special Olympics and think it's awesome. Most people throw around the R-word like it's no bid deal without any regard to who could be offended. I used to say it all the time until my eyes were opened to the word and the people it represents.
Please stand with me on March, 31st and everyday to spread awareness on the R-word; an often overused, hurtful slur that has great potential of offend due to the people it represents and the context it's used in. If nothing else, think twice before you use the word! Thanks.
Don't use retard, handicapped, or disable person. These are all politically incorrect. Handicap is an older word that refers to beggars with their "cap in hand." And it's not a disable's a person with disabilities. They are people first and this language is called "people first language."

A great article written by CNN talking about the campaign and President Obama's slip up on The Tonight Show.

Monday, February 23, 2009

GRO CD Release!!! (Capitol-Virgin Records)

The Green River Ordinance Debut Album "Out of My Hands" comes out TODAY FEB. 24th!!!

As many of you know (or maybe you don't), I am really good friends with the lead singer and manager of Green River Ordinance; a band based out of Fort Worth, TX. Starting off as a high school garage band, GRO grew into a major independent band and later signed with the Capitol-Virgin record label. They are an awesome group of guys who are passionate about playing great music.

Check out the new album on I-Tunes!!!! See what you think.


Listen to 4 full songs on

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

And I'm Back In The Game!

After a 6 month absence from blogging...i'm back in the game. I don't feel like I have a lot of profound information or wisdom to share with the cyber world, but, I do have a lot of people or things that I come across and want to share. Who knows...maybe a sense of humor or divine inspiration will come over me and one soul will find it relatively tantilizing.

The real goal of this blog is to connect the people in my life with myself and with each other. For some reason, I know a lot of cool people who do a lot of cool things and I think everyone should know about it.

It truly is a little THIS...a little THAT.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Day 67 August 16th WASHINGTON D.C. ARRIVAL DAY!!!


I can’t believe it’s finally here!!! There wasn’t a day on this trip that I didn’t think about August 16th and what it would be like to ride into our nation's capital. I can’t ever think of a day where I woke up and was so giddy. The sense of accomplishment reigned over the day. We set off on a 40-mile ride into the city. When we got there, we arrived at George Washington University and met up with the North and South Routes. After chilling for an hour or so…it was our time. We were scheduled to arrive at the Capitol at 11:00 so all 3 teams lined up at 10:45. My good friend, Ryan Dixon and I were voted on by our teammates to lead the team to the Capitol. It just so happened that our team also got to lead all teams, which meant that Ryan and I were the first two riders of all 84. It was such an honor and made the arrival that much better. As we left GWU in a double pace line with a police escort, the cheers and hollers started to ring out. As we got closer and closer to the Capitol, the excitement started to build. We turned the corner and headed down the street in front of the capitol lined with 400 proud friends, families, girlfriends and on lookers all cheering for us. I threw my arm up in the air in triumph and couldn’t bring myself to put it down. I felt like Andy Dufresne in the movie Shawshank Redemption when he’s in the rain and holds his arms up in the air. After 67 days, 13 states, 4,000 miles, the joy I was experiencing was like no other I had experienced. To see the look on the people’s faces as we rode by them was incredible. You could see how happy they were to see us and how proud they were of us. When we got to the end of the street with the smiles and tears still on our faces, we got off of our bikes to gather on the west lawn of the capitol for a short presentation. The CEO of Push America, Chad Coltrane, spoke to the crowd as well as the project managers of each team. After some team pictures, it was off to hug our family and friends. I found my parents immediately and gave them huge hugs. Mom wouldn’t let go as the tears started to roll. My wonderful girlfriend Melissa was also there and I gave her a huge hug after not seeing her for the whole 2 months. Some friends and fraternity brothers of mine who live in the D.C. area also came out to see me. I couldn’t believe it was over and I was finally standing on the Capitol lawn. I made sure to get all the pictures possible, as I didn’t want this memory to ever go away. After hoisting my bike over my head to symbolize my triumphant victory crossing the United States, we snapped some more pictures and made our way to our hotel. I said goodbye to mom & dad who had to catch a flight back to Fort Worth for my cousin Sarah’s wedding that night. Melissa and I went back to the hotel where I took apart my bike and packed it up. We checked into our rooms and headed to lunch with my friend Ryan and his family. We enjoyed a nice sit down meal on an outside patio during a beautiful sunny day in D.C. After the meal we headed back to the hotel for some relaxation before the banquet that night. Around 6:30 we headed to the banquet in our hotel where I found out that I would be giving the invocation for the evening. It came as quite a surprise but I was more than glad to do it. I also noticed that there was an insert in the evening’s program that featured a picture and biography of me for being the top fundraiser. It was a great evening and a perfect cap to a wonderful summer. I was recognized as the top fundraiser with an ending total of $16,210 and received a framed jersey. It was truly an honor and I was humbled by the whole night. The biggest highlight is when my good friend Ryan won the Bruce Rodgers award as the best team member on our team. He is such a good guy and it was well deserved. After the banquet, we had one last team meeting before going out and celebrating with family, friends, and the 2 other teams. What a day and what a summer!!!!
I end this blog with heartfelt thanks to the many supporters who made my trip possible and enjoyable. For those who supported my ride with donations and prayers, who visited along the route and who supplied support in Washington. Thankyou and God Bless!!!

“Success is not a place at which one arrives, but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey.” –Alex Noble