Who Is The Good Guy In The Karate Kid?

If you grew up in the 80's like I did you are familiar with The Karate Kid. I was bullied in school and it is one of those films that inspired me. I thought I could find a way to stand up to the bullies, win the heart of the girl and be the champion at the end. I, like everyone cheered for Daniel LaRusso because he was the hero and Johnny Lawrence was the villain. But was it true, or was it just the story from Daniel's point of view?The tale of Daniel and Johnny has resurfaced recently. Their resurgence is thanks to a show called Cobra Kai whose first two seasons moved to Netflix, with a third set to air in 2021. The show is outstanding. There are some great nostalgic references to the 80's, but what makes it really great is how you see things from both Daniel and Johnny's perspective. You spend the entire show trying to figure out who the good guy is and who the bad guy is. You see both of them make mistakes, say things they want to take back and make both poor and go…

When Weird Becomes The New Normal

I freely admit the word weird has been used to describe me, many different times in my life. I've been okay with the fact I'm not like everyone else for a very long time.Here is an example. Early in our relationship, my wife and I would be walking in a public place and I would pretend to fall down. For absolutely no reason other than to embarrass her. I did some theater in my life and had an unusual amount of stage combat and stage falling training. I figured the best way to use these skills was in such a way as falling down in a public place. I'm still really surprised some days she never broke up with me.I don't randomly fall in public places anymore, but it persists. My kids understand it. When one of my daughters asks me why I'm being weird before I can answer one of her sisters will say, "That's just how dad is."I always thought part of what I can offer this world is some wit and humor to make even the most boring situations a little more fun. Bu…

What Do Others Feelings Mean To You?

In my last post I talked about controlling your thinking. Very internally focused. However too often we get focused on others. Not only what they are thinking but what they are feeling. When someone doesn't think like we do, we want to change their thinking. We want to tell people not to feel what their are feeling. Neither actually works. You can't control what people think and what they feel.The only thing we can do is understand them and build a relationship with them. If we have a relationship and care about that relationship we will work to understand what they think and how they feel. We see it too often in our world, nobody cares about what someone else feels, and we are surprised when there are tensions stemming from it. Sides are chosen and the war to change the other persons thoughts and feelings begins...and never ends. Not until one side chooses to understand the other. When the choice of peace and unity becomes stronger than the choice of war and division. 

Reduce Stress By Controlling Your Thinking

It is easy to get lost in our thoughts. Dwell on a topic, over-analyze it, and let it consume our thoughts. While there is some respect for focus, dwelling on things we shouldn't can be harmful. The ability to control our thoughts, control what we are thinking about can go a long way to making us happier and more productive.Controlling your thoughts is harder than it seems. The more we tell ourselves to stop thinking about something, it causes us to think about it more. You are focused on what you don't want to think about, and you get caught in a spiral.The only way to break out of it is to find something to take your mind off of things. Find a different task to work on. Take up a hobby that focuses your mind. Pick up a book or watch a movie. All great things to cause you to escape what you were thinking about.When we dwell on an item it causes a level of stress that none of us need. We need to find ways to recognize when we are dwelling on something we don't need to so w…

New School Year, New Challenges, New Opportunities To Adapt

School is starting up for us in Minnesota finally. It is a strange feeling because it is all so new. It has been 6 months since my kids have been in a classroom. Of course it feels strange. Plus the model now looks very different than the survive to the end of the school year we faced in the spring. Teachers have even told us as much.Add into it the complexities of our three kids, in three different buildings, following three completely different models. One is doing a rotation of 2 days in school 4 days at home. Another is doing half of her days in school and half at home. My youngest is going every day but it is a shortened day. They all have contingency plans if there is an outbreak or a mandate to switch to all distance learning. Add in new protocols for cleaning, eating lunch in your classroom, and teachers rotating not the students. My kids are going to have a number of things to adjust to this year, it will be strange and hard at first, but I have no doubt they will do just fin…

How We Disagree Is The Indicator Of Our Ability To Move Forward

I saw a short video recently from Charles Stanley in 1985 (link) that I think is tremendously relevant for today. He talked about how within the organization he was addressing there would be disagreements. From those disagreements, what would show the most as people looked into what transpired at their convention was how they disagreed. In our organizations, schools, cities, workplaces, states, countries and in the world, we are going to have disagreements. How do we treat someone we disagree with? Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't mean they are evil. Just because someone has a different opinion doesn't mean there isn't something you can learn from them. How do you disagree with someone? Is it with yelling, taunting and degrading? Or is it with compassion, empathy and patience? It is impossible to move forward when you are playing tug-of-war. The first start in us pulling in the same direction it all about how we treat those we disagree with.

What Excites You?

I was thinking about the word excited recently and how things can seem unexciting and routine lately. We have our routines, get done the things we need to, but is any of it exciting? Probably not. So what does excite you? What gives you energy? What motivates you? What do you look forward to?
If we don't have something that is exciting, if we are just going through the motions in our same boring routine, aren't we just wasting our lives?
Fear plays a part because the things that excite us are usually the things that require the most courage. The best example of this is when I met my wife. I realized this was a person I wanted to know more, to date and eventually ask to marry me. Of course it was exciting, and definitely scary. Your heart starts racing, palms get sweaty, wondering how she feels. Scared to put yourself out there for fear of being rejected, wanting to do it anyway because there is just something about her. 
Too often we listed to the fear, and we rein ourselves in. …