Living #aSensationalLife

Thinking Small in a Big World

Thinking Small in a Big World
Looking back on your life, have you ever experienced buying a new car, or another item, and immediately after taking possession, you notice what you purchased seems to be everywhere you look? Pretty crazy how that happens isn’t it? Quite simply, you shifted your thinking from “filtering out” to “filtering in,” and I’m interested to see if this article produces a similar result for you. Read More

An Example of Empathetic Customer Service

An Example of Empathetic Customer Service
This past week my wife and I went to our local Kroger grocery store where we’ve been shopping for over a decade. Surprisingly after entering, we found ourselves in the midst of a store RESET. As we looked around, everything seemed foreign except the smiling faces of employees. Normally, we could waltz through the isles and fulfill our list without a second thought, but on this day, our dance had quickly turned into a slow crawl. Read More

5 Words That Can Change Your Life

5 Words That Can Change Your Life
For those who may be unfamiliar with the gentleman in the picture, he’s known around the globe as “The most interesting man in the world,” courtesy of a clever advertising campaign by the Dos Equis Beer Company. In each ad or commercial, an unseen narrator shares an extraordinary accomplishment, or elaborates on a remarkable skill the man possesses, which reinforces the title bestowed upon him. And until recently, it was just an ad to me…but then I discovered 5 incredible words. Read More

What Are You Focusing On?

What Are You Focusing On?
I was recently having lunch with a friend when his phone rang. He answered, and I heard him say, “Sorry honey, you know it’s football season.” He hung up and I asked if everything was okay? “Yeah, my daughter just wanted me to go with her friends and their dads to the mountains.” Since we’ve been close for a long time, I didn’t hold back…”Mountains with her friends, heck no! Football is WAY more important than spending time with your daughter.” Read More

What Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela, and Cheryl Strayed All Have In Common

What Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela, and Cheryl Strayed All Have In Common
Not long ago, I was on a date with my best friend, who also happens to be my wife. We watched the movie WILD and I found myself constantly cheering for Cheryl Strayed (played by Reese Witherspoon) to complete her walk of the Pacific Crest Trail. I did so, because after many years of reflecting on my own journey, I’m positive it’s the act of PERSEVERING that had the greatest impact on the creation of my incredible life.
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The Unearthing of a Life Lesson

The Unearthing of a Life Lesson
Welcome to the time of year when temperatures start dropping, weekends are filled with football, and lovers of lawn work aerate…wait, did I say aerate? Yes, that process of punching holes in the yard, which produces a result that looks as though thousands of geese flew over and strategically bombarded the grass. Fortunately for me, I learned an incredible life lesson while handling that task this week, and hopefully you’ll benefit in some way from what I share. Read More

A Most Remarkable Woman…A Surprise Hero!

A Most Remarkable Woman…A Surprise Hero!
Last week, I was honored to present at a leadership event in Kansas City with Larry Minnix, the outgoing CEO and President of LeadingAge Kansas, Madame Secretary Kari Bruffett, and Senator Vicki Schmidt. Although each of them spoke well and provided value to the audience, it was an unknown woman from the crowd who in my opinion, stole the show and inspired me to be a better person! Read More

#aRepurposedLife…Opportunities are Everywhere and I Can Prove It!

#aRepurposedLife…Opportunities are Everywhere and I Can Prove It!
A year ago my wife and I were at an estate auction and saw a broken, concrete water fountain. When the item came up for sale, we were the only bidders and got it for almost nothing. Flash forward to last week…and I was staring at that fountain, which we now use as a planter in our backyard. As I sat there, I began to wonder, “How many people see themselves as broken and having no value, rather than--- for what they could become? Read More

A Timeless Leadership Lesson

A Timeless Leadership Lesson
Earlier this week, I had lunch with a good friend who is a leader in his industry. He’s a fantastic businessman and we have a great time challenging each other both personally and professionally. After we spent a few minutes catching up I asked, “What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve ever received?” He took a long drink of his tea and responded with an answer that I didn’t expect, but definitely loved. Read More

The Super Hero Test

The Super Hero Test
My guess is there’s a moment in most people’s lives where they audition to become a super hero. Mine came in fourth grade, when I donned a mask and cape, climbed onto a roof, and jumped skyward, only to quickly end up on the grass below. Unfortunately my attempt didn’t end with applause and the Mayor presenting me with a key to the city. In fact, it was filled with intense leg pain and loud laughter from my friends. But, what it wasn’t filled with was regret. Read More

Why You SHOULDN’T “Surround Yourself With Likeminded People”

Why You SHOULDN’T “Surround Yourself With Likeminded People”
I hear it everywhere I go. It’s said as often as “think outside the box,” “stay in your lane,” or the crowd favorite, “it is what it is.” But what if I told you the reason I’m living the life of my dreams, is because I discount this popular phrase? What if I told you that I ignore the gurus and experts who say I should "surround myself with likeminded people?" Would you think I’m nuts? Read More

Is Your Growth Being Stunted?

Is Your Growth Being Stunted?
We recently moved back to our home in Georgia and noticed the trees had grown so big, they were causing the other plants to struggle. As my wife and I were finishing our plan to get things looking good again, I received a message from a longtime friend. With a great deal of frustration, she shared that she’s been withering away in her current position. Now, you can say what you want, but to me this was another instance of the world conspiring to educate, and fortunately I’ve learned to listen. Read More

Top Five Pieces Of Advice

Top Five Pieces Of Advice
Some people look forward to “hump day,” others smile when they hear TGIF, but for me it's my monthly mentorship breakfast that gets me fired up. There’s no agenda, no hierarchy, just mentors and mentees hanging out and sharing a meal. Often, the discussion goes off the beaten path as one idea becomes the catalyst for something new and innovative. But today, the topic stayed on a simple route, which produced a list of easy to understand pieces of advice that can help anyone live a better life. Read More

Alligator Tears Courtesy Of A Waiter

Alligator Tears Courtesy Of A Waiter
In 1993, ESPN presented Coach Jim Valvano with the Arthur Ashe Award. During the acceptance speech, he said (and I’m paraphrasing) that everyday you should laugh, spend some time in thought, and have your emotions moved to tears. Since I heard that speech I’ve followed his advice, although the “moved to tears” portion usually doesn’t happen in the middle of a crowded restaurant. Read More

The Key To Building #aSensationalLife

The Key To Building #aSensationalLife
I’ve been traveling the globe for a long time, and have seen many of the ancient sites. But oddly enough, it was only recently that I made a connection between the building of a sensational life and all of the fantastic places I'd visited. Whether it’s the Pyramids, the ruins of Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, Edinburgh Castle, the Coliseum in Rome, or the Acropolis in Greece, structures of importance have bases that stand the test of time. Read More

Mastering This Skill Will Change Your Life

Mastering This Skill Will Change Your Life
Does the following scenario sound familiar? One minute your life is on cruise control headed in what seems to be the perfect direction, and the next the wheels fall off leaving you totally overwhelmed. Well, don’t be too hard on yourself, because you aren’t alone. Fortunately, there’s a skill that when acquired, will make those instances seem like they last seconds instead of weeks. The solution is found in the ability to quickly narrow your gaze and FOCUS ON ONE THING. Read More

This ONE Lesson Generated Millions Of Dollars!

This ONE Lesson Generated Millions Of Dollars!
It’s probably safe to say that at one time or another, everyone has been in a situation where they received great advice, and also witnessed that specific advice put into action. I love those powerful moments, and more often than not I’m forever changed by the experience. One of the most memorable examples of this happening in my life occurred about a decade ago, and I've continued to use the lesson regularly. Read More

Do One New Thing Everyday!

Do One New Thing Everyday!
I was speaking at an event recently and during the question and answer portion of the evening, someone asked me, “How long did it take you to become so calm and confident, it’s like nothing we ask rattles you?” Looking back, my ability to remain relaxed, even under fire is a direct result of the advice I’m suggesting and received myself several decades ago. Because I am constantly attempting new things, I find comfort in uncomfortable situations. By regularly challenging myself, I’m always und Read More

See Things For MORE Than They Appear!

See Things For MORE Than They Appear!
Recently, my family and I were in Amsterdam, and the hotel we stayed in had a remarkable display of artwork. The collection included items from the Dutch masters Rembrandt, Hals, and Claesz. But to be truthful, what caught my attention were the few drawings sprinkled about by someone whom I discovered during my teenage years. The artist’s name is M.C. Escher, and thanks to his work, I learned an extremely valuable lesson that to this day, continues to support me in every aspect of my life. Read More

Priceless Leadership Lessons

Priceless Leadership Lessons
One of my favorite poems of all time is by Robert Frost. The title is, The Road Not Taken, and I especially love the last three lines, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --- I took the one less traveled, and that has made all the difference.” A number of years ago, I watched as those words came to life, and that experience taught me several priceless leadership lessons. Read More
Duane Cummings