Is It Still OK to Be an Idealist?


  I truly wonder sometimes if it’s still worthwhile to be an idealist. Turning on the news and still seeing MESS in things we care about. Struggling to get taken seriously for our visions Being Seen as Naive for our belief Being Underfunded or Underpurchased Caring about those who don’t seem to care about themselves… Idealist n. a person who cherishes or pursues high or noble principles, purposes, goals, etc. Also defined as “a visionary or impractical person.” Visionary I can go with… it’s when it gets to impractical that questions begin. Impractical: not capable of dealing with practical matters; lacking sense, an idealist. Ie. Many, if not most, entrepreneurs, writers, communicators, ministry leaders, missionaries, teachers, social workers, coaches, counselors, inventors, political leaders,  parents…. (Sometimes especially parents! Single parents who care for their kids…. TOTALLY!) There … Continue reading

Three Things to Do During a Detour


What do when you your seemingly well-planned out agenda gets interrupted by a road block and invitation to a detour? Had no clue existed? Had no clue when it ended. Had no control that you ended up there… or at least control you knew of? This was my yesterday morning in Boulder, CO. After an early morning enjoying a ‘strangely all alone” (hmmm…. )  trip up a mountain to enjoy the sunrise and a run along some of the most “postcardesque” vistas imaginable. Time to get back to my planned “to-do’s” (which at this point including finding a place to live in Boulder) “Roads closed Sir.  It’s not going to be open until 3:30 this afternoon.  Didn’t you read the sign when you came up here this morning?” My pulse quickened.  “ Whattt?????   There was … Continue reading

Unforced Rhythms of Grace at Work Radio Interview


Since this spring’s radio interview with Melinda Schmidt on her show Midday Connection, I’ve had numerous listeners contact me to say, “I feel like you were speaking directly to me.” After hearing those words twice yesterday and once more today, I thought I should post for others out there who might also relate to… The belief that draining, purposeless and loathsome work is not the way it’s meant to be. My own journey from being a senior pastor to what I do now. Our work can be a spiritual expression of who we really are You too can find a forward to work with”unforced rhythms of grace” This concept of  “unforced rhythms of grace” can be found in Matthew 11 and is worded that way in the Message Version.  It really is THE way of … Continue reading

Living Into Large


It’s OH so easy to just settle, isn’t it?  When I mentioned the little hairs growing in my ears to Kristen, who was cutting my hair, she said, “Yeah, you get older and things tend to grow and droop, don’t they?” Hmmmm…. Is this just life?  Ear hair and excess sags? Yes and no. So, when I went go to get new workout clothing the other day (my others have paint on them!), I realize: “I no longer need to buy an Extra-Large…. I can fit into a Large!!  Well, almost!” I then realize my summer goal “LIVE INTO LARGE.” Here’s a confession: My body is really an “L.”  Over the past 13 years, I’ve just settled for “XL.”   And every time I go to purchase new clothing, I realize, “This isn’t the real me … Continue reading

4 Times to Doubt Yourself

Dog climbs Everest

Disclaimer: I am often told that my posts are encouraging and inspiring.  This one may be more challenging, at least for some.  Hopefully for good purpose. We are typically told to believe in ourselves.  It’s the mantra of motivational speeches and graduation keynotes.  “You can do it!  JUST believe you can!” Well, sometimes that’s not helpful or good advice.  Kind of like my mom who told me, “Jeff, You can do anything!”  And, just this once, Mom was wrong.  (Though incredibly well-intentioned!) There really are times to doubt yourself.  Doubt, even in faith and self,  can be positive when it leads to authentic truth and ultimately positive action to do something different. When should you doubt yourself?  In other words, when should you question that what you’re doing is not good, helpful, fruitful, productive or … Continue reading

Are You a Problem Solver?


One of the best things we can do for a person is solve their pressing problem. On Friday, I stood  there dumbfounded and caught off guard.  As I drove up the wooded driveway in my parent’s New York state home heading to pick up my son, I confront a huge tree blocking the way. The tree smiles and taunts me almost to say, “Here I am . Now what ya gonna do?” Now what?? The storm has done more than blown up a few waves on the lake, it created a honking obstacle in my plan to pick my son up a few miles away and move about freely. I was: 1. Surprised.  That wasn’t there just a bit ago! 2. Powerless.  No way I can move that thing and there’s no way the car … Continue reading

On Big Decisions Without Losing Sleep

Dog Fell Asleep

For months, Mindy and I sought to make a pretty big life and family decision:Shall we move to Colorado?  And if so, when? Pretty big decision, agree? So, here’s how Jeff has “somehow” learned, (well really not learned!) how to make decisions in all his “education” and “wisdom.” These are the NOT – TO – DO’S. Mull over the decision throughout the day (especially while driving) Talk about it in sound bites with one’s wife … especially after a busy day. Stress about it.  Worry tends to help you think more creatively. and then there’s the best “wisdom.” Consider the decision when you wake up in the middle of the night.  You’re at your best and fully rested at 3:30 AM.  Sleep is overrated and surely the decision will become clear during that time. OK, … Continue reading

My New “Be Happier” Habit


My friend Colin says he has no problem being happy.  ‘I’m just kind of happy go-lucky” he tells me.  Watching Colin at work, play and everything in between,  it shows!  Me: I don’t think I was wired up “happy go lucky” by nature, nurture or something else. I have, at least at times, related more to this guy.  = > I have to work at it intentionally. And yes, becoming more positive and happier isn’t an option for some of us.  (Most of us??)  Clearly, being positive and happy triggers endorphins, emotional intelligence, and productivity without sacrificing peace and perspective. The Bible clearly teaches this. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.” (I Thessalonians 5:16, 17) Yup. And I’m convinced that actively doing things tangibly, physically and actively that make all the … Continue reading

On Relearning Resilience… Again


In my “perfect world,” every door opens, things always grow and good people don’t despair.  “Just think positive and be positive” always works and continues working.  Life “works out.” For some reason, I continue to be surprised that my own perfect world doesn’t exist for me or those I care about.   Some of my own recent reminders….. A typically  positive client walk into my office telling me “I lost my mojo”  He hangs his head with a sense of deep disappointment. A friend struggles with a job they hate and can’t see any option.  I receive news that a friend I lost touch with recently took his own life. The third was clearly the most devastating and it’s been hard to process this or even wonder how I could have stayed in better touch or … Continue reading

Meeting the 6th Deep Desire


Over the past few weeks, I’ve participated in a coaching class where the teacher articulated the 5 deep desires that cause people to take action and hunger for change. 1. Make money. 2. To look better. 3. To feel better. 4. To improve their relationship. 5.  To improve their performance. I love the class and fully agree that these needs and desires matter and clearly motivate action.  Each of the five certainly motivates and builds worldwide industries and in recent years makes coaching a huge growth sector. However, as I was recently explaining these to some friends, I sensed there’s a significant desire missing from the list. It’s one motivates me and many of my friends and doesn’t fit in any one of these categories – but actually impacts all of other categories. It’s this: The desire for meaning and impact. The desire to make our lives count, leave … Continue reading