Lifesummit: Trails less Traveled

Trails less traveled.

The way is narrow. The way is steep.
The way is hard. But the way is good.
Your load is light.
Joy in simplicity. Peace in surroundings.
The air. The earth.
Clear water trickling to your thirsty soul.

Here we measure life in steps, not miles per hour.

Stop and look. Stop and feel. Stop to see.
Stop to speak, to a fellow passerby.
Share stories of your travels, if only at this crossing.
To move each foot forward, and onward,
and upward, for the Highest of Highs.

Are you ready for this journey?

Lifesummit Re-Launch and Free Book Giveaway

Have you been living from the margins this year, or have you been living marginally? I always strive to practice what I preach, and 2015 has been another year to Discover the Story and Live from the Margins in my own life.

This Thanksgiving, I’m taking another step toward living from the margins by re-launching my website with a new theme, new look, and new content. And here’s what’s in store for you.

First, if you’re not an email subscriber to my blog already, now is a great time to join. I’m hosting a free book giveaway, and two winners will each receive brand new printed copies of two best-sellers that have been instrumental in my own life on the journey of discovering joy and purpose. Lifesummits, if you will.

Lifesummit free book giveawayEach winner will receive the following two books—

I’m confident these books will be exceptional kick-starters in 2016 to get you heading up the path of identifying your God-given talents, gifts, and dreams. And most importantly, doing something about it.

For all of my email subscribers who have been with me prior to this announcement, you’ve already had a sneak peek into what’s coming later this week and over Thanksgiving. If you’re new out here (and I welcome you, by the way!), here’s what you can expect to find when you check back at this November 26th.

A new theme I believe we all aspire to. Shorter posts, typically once a week. Simple, yet thought-provoking topics. Life measured in steps, not miles per hour. Blog Haiku for your soul.

I’d love for you to head into this adventure with me, up and onto the trails less traveled. (Oops! That might be a spoiler alert.:)

Don’t forget to sign-up for my email list and receive your free entry into the book giveaway. Look for the email list sign-up on this page, or you may have been presented already with a pop-up window.

Good things to come!


Prescription for Doing (Life) Part 3 – See Another

Keep the earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

— Mumford & Sons, “Below My Feet

As each small bag passed through my hands to the next volunteer, I thought of each man, woman, and child, in some other country, who will open these packages. They will be happy because it’s one more day they can eat. I am happy because I can help.

barefoot on dirt, grounded, eyes to serve

I was in San Diego at a technology conference, and the host had partnered with Stop Hunger Now to build meal kits. In assembly line fashion, we held open plastic bags, filled them with a combo of rice & soy meal with vitamins, and boxed them for shipment around the world.

But the men, women, and children I saw eating this food were part of my imagination. In reality my eyes only saw bags of dry food passing through my hands, and my ears only heard rice sliding through plastic funnels and volunteers small talking about where they were from and what kind of companies they worked for and what they did for fun.

Certainly they were humbled and excited to give of their time for such a cause. I could see it on their faces. Except for one slightly overweight guy who, trying to be funny, had the audacity to say, “No wonder all those people can stay skinny. All they eat is rice and soy meal!” Nobody laughed.

The Art of Work, Jeff Goins

The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2015)

We all have some understanding of what we’re supposed to do with our lives. We may not realize it or perhaps we lost it, but it’s there, waiting to be uncovered. — Jeff Goins

I wish I’d had this book twenty years ago. It would have saved me more than half that time searching for the answer to the question: What am I here for? What am I supposed to do with my life?

The question has plagued generations. Just look at history. Amidst the confusion of the many flourish the marvels of the few. Why do so few people ever discover what could be the most influential breakthrough of their lives, if not the breakthrough—something that could affect not just this life, but generations to come?

At the end of your days, what will be the mark of your success? And really, how do you define success? Is it possible to find the answers before it’s too late?

Fortunately, the answer is Yes. In The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do, best-selling author Jeff Goins delivers just what the title promises. Through true stories of ordinary men and women choosing extraordinary lives, Goins shows you how they have searched for, found, and are fulfilling their purposes. And within each story, Goins does more than coach you. He walks beside you, sharing actionable wisdom from his own inspiring journey.

Jeff Goins’ perspective is both fresh and relevant for today’s generations. Every page speaks from the heart of an authentic writer who has been there. And you’ll be convinced, not by hypothetical storytelling but through real people, that a path exists for all of us to find what we are meant to do, and who we are meant to be.

Jeff breaks this down into three parts for easy digestion: Preparation, Action, and Completion. The first to wake you up for your breakthrough. The second to discover and commit to your new destination. And the third to spur you on toward mastery and a life fulfilled in legacy. But don’t be fooled. Becoming the person you are called to be will not be easy. And that’s exactly where this book is going to help you.

If this has struck even one spark in you, I encourage you to check it out. You can click here to order The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do from Amazon. (A five star rating at the time of this review.)

For additional ordering options and to learn more about Jeff Goins, his consulting, coaching, seminars and speaking on a variety of subjects ranging from writing and creativity to leadership and influence to social media and online marketing, visit his website at

A Heart in the Margins

After nine and a half years and three billion miles, what image did NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft transmit back to Earth as it approached one of the farthest bodies in our solar system from the sun? A heart.

NASA, pluto, heart

Pluto, actually considered a dwarf nowadays and not an official planet (minor details), is more than an icy rock in space. It will now be known as a first in space exploration and in human history. It has become a gateway of sorts, toward the edge of our solar system and beyond, and is expected to reveal some of the most up close and personal details that we’ve ever seen about this mysterious blur in the night sky. (NASA will release the highly anticipated images later today.)

But that’s not why I love this story. I love what this mission and its spacecraft, appropriately named New Horizons, represents in a time when many ideas and changes are creating divisions, especially among like-minded people.

Prescription for Doing (Life) Part 2 – Something New

Gomez Ramesh invited me to his home for Tandoori Chicken with a side of something resembling creamed spinach. I was a single twenty year-old at the time, serving in the U.S. Air Force in Colorado Springs, and I’d never heard of Tandoori anything, but the red-colored roasted chicken on a bed of grilled onions looked and smelled amazing.

sharing bread, do something new

Gomez motioned me to sit at the dinner table, and his wife, Lily, did the same.

After exchanging pleasantries and watching Gomez and Lily dip flat pieces of bread in a light-green cucumbery sauce—to which I followed suit—I noticed a picture of Jesus on the wall. In my ignorance, I had presumed Gomez and Lily were of another faith, and so I inquired.

I was half correct. Gomez was a Hindu, and Lily, a Catholic.

Prescription for Doing (Life) Part 1 – Something You Enjoy

I had to take a little time off from blogging the past few weeks to make extra time for life. We have to do that sometimes—take time off, from activities we’d like to be doing for those commitments we need to be doing (and those can be one and the same). But that’s not a bad thing. When we’re feeling wound up (or wound down), it’s an invitation. Not to live less, but more.

something you enjoy, upstart crow

I’m writing this from the San Diego International Airport as I’m nearing the end of several strenuous weeks. High school graduation parties. Youth baseball games. College application work for our oldest son. My daughter’s dance recital. A full work schedule including a week of travel. Writing a book. And then some.

Life at digital speed. But the problem is we are not wired to run like computers. This past week in San Diego reminded me of that. It had nothing to do with the location, but it had everything to do with a break in my routine.

Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 2

In my last post, Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 1, I asked the question, “Do you consider your life frontier?” We looked at how your life is confronted with many unfamiliar territories over its course. And although countless people before you may have encountered similar frontiers, these challenges are still unique to you.

Now comes the question, “What do you do with this?” How do you rustle up the courage to step into the unknown and find the gumption to keep going? (If you haven’t read Part 1, I encourage you to read that first.)

Discovering the Pioneer Spirit

Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 1

Frontier. The word itself evokes thoughts of majestic landscapes, high plains prairies, mountain ranges untouched by human presence. Wagon trains heading into the Wild West, modern pioneers exploring the reaches of space and diving the depths of our oceans. We rarely use the word in the lexicon of our own lives—instead we use words like season or journey—but your life today is very much frontier.

frontier, cheyenne frontier

Seasons come and go. Like moving to a new area, changing jobs, switching churches, going from football to basketball season. If our team doesn’t do so well, we say: there’s always next season. We weather through these cycles, and we learn what to expect when the next comes around. And so we become seasoned.

A journey is more a long, steady course over a lifetime. Ups and downs. Wide roads and narrow ones. Easy times and hard ones. A beginning and an end. We are taught to appreciate the journey as much as the destination. Others have gone before us on this road, and we learn from their experiences to improve our own chances at a successful life.

But what of a frontier? Does it sound more risky? Untamed? Ballsy, even?

Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud

Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward (New York: HarperBusiness, 2011)

…for us to ever get to a new level, a new tomorrow, or the next step, something has to end. — Dr. Henry Cloud

Most of us learned how to start things, but few of us ever learned how to end things. Creating endings is not something we like to do. It requires change. Rocking the boat. Maybe even throwing someone (or ourselves) overboard. Ouch.

We delay making the necessary change out of fear. Life feels disrupted as it is. Why should we introduce another problem? And we convince ourselves, If I stop investing my time and resources here, this person is going to be mad at me. Yes, they might be. Or, what if I can’t end this relationship?, when you know it’s unhealthy for you. The weight of the confrontation is too great.

So we stick it out. Hope it will improve. A year goes by. Then another. And another. The only ending we get good at is ending back where we started.

In his book Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward, best-selling author Dr. Henry Cloud explains what is at stake when we refuse to force an ending.

He calls it the pruning moment, “that clarity of enlightenment when we become responsible for making the decision to either own the vision or not” (page 24). To own the vision. Place your stake in what you have believed all along you should be working toward and start moving in that direction, be it improving your current job situation, paving toward a new career, pursuing an idea, discovering your calling, or re-prioritizing your most important relationships. Often, it’s several.

What I love about Dr. Cloud’s book is he doesn’t encourage you to blindly make sacrificial decisions. There may be no such thing as a stupid question, but there are undeniably stupid decisions. This book helps you avoid this mistake by employing wisdom instead.

Every worthy venture, however, requires risk, and Dr. Cloud does not shy away from this paradox. He helps you analyze your situation, choose which buds and branches of opportunities are the best ones to keep, and which should be pruned (even some very good ones).

The result? The best blossoms of who you are and what you have to offer. The richest of relationships. And the savvy for a lifetime of finishing well.

Necessary Endings is not written for business readers alone. Dr. Cloud applies the truth from both a personal and professional point of view. You will no doubt find it applicable to all aspects of your life.

To order or read more about Necessary Endings click here, and to learn more about best-selling author and speaker Dr. Henry Cloud, you can visit his website here.