Where Hump Days Don’t Exist

I led a team to the slums of Caracas, Venezuela, to deliver much needed supplies, clothing and help repair a school.

The people we encountered were the poorest of the poor, living upon garbage dumps alongside rivers poisoned with raw sewage. Extremely crowded conditions, rampant crime and lack of employment added to the challenge of living day to day. But, they did.

Long days and nights in sweltering heat blurred the calendar.

Working alongside Oscar, a local leader, one morning, I asked, “What day is it?” His response was telling. “New day.” I retorted, “Yes, I know…but, is it Wednesday?”

“No. New day!” Again, “So, it’s Thursday?” (I just needed to know, ugh!) He flashed his toothless smile. “Brent, here, every day is just new day.” 

Since then, I’ve had no Hump Days. And, tomorrow isn’t Thursday, it’s “new day”. 

Live fully in it. Just like Oscar. (140 words)

The “Do-Over” is Your Best Move

It happened, again. I walked into our house after a pretty lousy day and was greeted by my cheery wife who just got home from an apparently really good day. I had a choice to make; allow her to continue in her joy, or bring her down to my level as misery certainly loves company. I chose the latter. No!!!

Hey, can I try that, again?” I asked. She responded with a “That’d be swell” nod and wink. After comically moonwalking out the door, I took a deep breath and reentered. “Hi, gorgeous, it’s good to be home, even better to see you!” She planted a big one on me and we laughed.

Do-overs should occur often with your kids, boss, classroom, parents, spouse, coworkers and friends. It’s what leaders do.

I’m getting better at do-overs, but it sure is humbling. (140 words)

The Secret

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” the Apostle Paul – Philippians 4:12

Ask me what I want for Christmas, and I’ll respond with the same answer I give my wife and my children: “Nothing. I have all I need.” While not very helpful, and likely a tad annoying with Black Friday just days away, it’s absolutely true.

Daily reminder in our kitchen.

My heart’s desire is to be grateful and content in all circumstances. While I fall short more often than I’d like to admit, when contentment is at my core, freedom and generosity rule the day.

When you and I learn and live out the “secret of being content”, grateful at all times, everything looks different:

  • Health concerns are real, but not defeating.
  • Job security/fulfillment doesn’t dictate joy.
  • Financial goals become rightly ordered.
  • The welfare of others trumps our own. Every. Single. Day.

May this Thanksgiving set the tone for a life of contentment, peace and joy. (139 words)

VIDEO CLIP “It’s Just a Foot”: Charlie’s perspective is one I’d like to have and be known for…give it a quick view.

If you don’t see the video player, click HERE to view.

Why “Looking Back” is Trending

While all alone the other night, I had the option of watching football, hockey, the news or any number of my fav cooking shows.

Instead, I watched a cartoon. Why would a 50 year old do such a thing?

Because, I’m tired.

Though I’m a forward thinker and embrace change of all kinds, I sometimes find myself needing something familiar.

I believe it’s a key reason why pictures and memories of “days gone by” are so popular on social media today, including 250 million photos tagged with “ThrowbackThursday” or “tbt” hashtags on Instagram alone.

With so many unknowns in our life (insert Ebola scares, the economy, political landscape, health issues, job security, relationship navigation, etc.), we’ve grown to long for the expected. It requires no thinking, no adjusting, no surprises…just familiarity.

Delight in your future, but make time to relax in your past.

Your mind and heart will thank you for it. Happy Halloween! (140 words)

Is It Just Me? Am I just getting old, or do you notice your mind needing a rest? (I sure hope it’s the latter)

To Try: Establish holiday traditions that give you familiarity and comfort. Browse through your photo albums and take your time telling stories about the pictures with family or friends. Watch an old sitcom from your youth and try explaining to your kids why it was funny back then.

A Star Wasn’t Born

My Hollywood acting debut hit the big screen nearly ten years ago today as Walt Disney’s Mr. 3000 opened up in theaters nationwide.

 Sitting with my wife and boys in that small theater, my heart was pounding. I wondered, “Will people around me recognize that I’m in the film?” “Will this lead to other acting opportunities?” “Will I be able to drink this mega-soda without a poorly timed potty break?”

Nope. Nope. Aaaand, nope.

The director clearly defined my role from day one, “Your job is to allow Bernie Mac to shine. He’s the star. Less of you, more of him. Less of you, more of him.”

Job well done, I guess.  (If you pause the DVR and squint, you’ll see me from time to time. Rats.)

True leadership occurs, not while being IN the spotlight, but by HOLDING the spotlight.

Who are you “leading” today? Shine on, my friends, shine on! (137 words)

EXTRA: I enjoyed my time with Bernie and liked the movie. You can get a glimpse of the story via the trailer. If you don’t see the trailer below, click HERE