Gratitude or pride?

At fifty-one years old, I own three businesses, have written three books, played in an award-winning country band, and am blessed with having more “enough-ness” than any man could ask for. Rewind fifteen short years ago, and I was down and out. “Scarce-ness” was the watchword of the year. My wife asked me once, “Don’t you feel proud of all you’ve accomplished, considering where you were back then?” I didn’t really know how I felt until she asked me. But I do now. I can honestly say that I don’t feel as much pride in those accomplishments as I do gratitude. Why? Well it’s certainly not because I’m some morally superior, worldly-wise specimen of humility. It’s just that I’ve been lucky enough to see the truth: That people much smarter, capable and skilled than I have ended up far worse. There is undoubtedly a connection between where one ends up in life and one’s skill, education, and perseverance. But I know that just as often the difference comes down to one or two little choices we make; a little bit of “being in the right place at the right time,” or what appears to be divine intervention that spells the difference between fame and obscurity, skid row and middle class—even life or death.

So in my less enlightened moments, I might engage in a bit of “back patting,” being only human after all. “Look at me! Look at how far I’ve come!” But on most days, at any given moment, you’re likely to find me thinking how grateful I am, how I couldn’t have asked for more and that I certainly have more than I deserve, if there’s really any such thing as “deserving.” Gratitude is pretty cool. It beats pride any old day. In fact, pride is number one on the list of the Seven Deadly Sins! Here is how one website defines it:

Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise.

If that doesn’t say it all…

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Choosing the path with heart: Being ourselves

Many of us fantasize about what we’d do if we could go back to an earlier age, but retain our current memories and knowledge. I think I’d work on some skills, habits, and character traits (after buying a certain list of stocks of course.) One character trait that I really wish I had now is the ability to be myself completely. To be and act 100% from my core personality without worrying about what people think. The term “being yourself” has always sounded a little “fishy” to me; a bit gray and undefined, but I still find myself wishing I could be more of that “kid” that didn’t fit in when he was a youngster. Continue reading

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Lack and Limitation: Our Drug of Choice?

As seekers, we often use the tools of exposing commonalities–common denominators or underlying similaritie–as a means of uncovering the “truth” about “things.” What do A, B and C have in common? What always happens after X,Y, or Z happen? What does this tell us? Continue reading

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‘Honey Do’ list for a man for his marriage

If you’re anything like me, you stop and wonder every so often what your “job” is as a husband and how you’re measuring up at that job. Can I do more? Am I doing too much? Am I becoming too domesticated?? Do I still wear the pants in the family or am I whipped beyond recognition? (Hint: If you think “wearing the pants” is sexist, you’re probably whipped beyond recognition). Being married to a woman is tricky. Just when you think everything’s running on all cylinders, she seems unhappy about something. And being men, we tend to think it’s something we did–or didn’t–do, and need to fix. Again, if you’re “anything like me”, the ONLY way you know the answer to the question “how is my marriage doing?” is by asking your wife! So what follows is a sort of “checklist” of things to do in your marriage or long term relationship so that you know whether you’re doing your job or not. Let’s get started… Continue reading

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Some things a man needs to do before he gets married

Before any man gets hitched, ties the knot and settles down, there are a few things and man should be, do or have before he does so. These “pre requisites”, in various forms, can be found throughout the earliest societies on earth. Continue reading

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Are you a feminized man?

What is feminized behavior in a man? It’s often misunderstood to mean “feminINE” behavior but there’s a distinct difference. I’d define feminized behavior as “any thought, word or action implemented by a man in a style usually displayed only by a woman”. Continue reading

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Law of Attraction F.A.Q.

I had some questions a few months back about the law of attraction and just how it “all worked” – here’s some of that conversation below: Continue reading

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A man’s REAL value to other men.

What purpose do you serve in other men’s lives?

Friendship? Competition? Watch each other’s back? Continue reading

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Are you ready to die

I never really thought much about death…mow own mortality, until my Dad died a few years back.  I’m one those lucky saps who reached middle age without really losing anyone super-close.  My grandmother died a few years before, and she was one of my top 5 favorite people of all time, but it was also sort of expected. Sad but not shocking. 

My Dad died at 59 years old. I received a call from the Cambodian Embassy at 11 PM, awakened from a deep sleep to hear that he’d died earlier that day.  Continue reading

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Let me live a little longer

This post marks a change in the way I plan to write. In the past I’ve focused on “facts” and “content” but there was something that bothered me about these writings. They seemed a bit phony and empty. Some are well written, sure, but there’s something missing. I figured it out finally after writing my last Christmas letter to my clients. My wife always reads these letters and gives me a “pass” if they make her cry, or at least give her a few goosebumps. Continue reading

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Survival Directive

So individuals, organizations, professions, even ideologies such as religions will take on what appears and functions as a “survival directive.” It will do what it needs to do to survive, similar to the traits of a single biological organism. Continue reading

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Using Death as an advisor

As spoken to a little boy who was having a hard time with the idea of death.

So I draw a circle here on this paper and this represents everything known to you; your world. You might think that we all live in the same world but we don’t, really. We just agree on enough “facts” to give us the illusion that we do. Continue reading

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Hold Daddy’s Hand: A Father’s collection of life lessons for his daughter.

Hold Daddy’s Hand
A Father’s collection of life lessons for his daughter.

Welcome: I have written a book. I’m proud of it usually. Sometimes I think it needs alot more work, but all in all…I think I did well. Here’s a synopsis that I’ve edited for this website for you. Continue reading

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Children are … people?

I’ve decided to conduct an experiment. It’s one I’ve really already started, just not consciously. It’s outrageous, outlandish, and might just make me the laughingstock of the PTA and readers of “parenting” magazines worldwide. It’s an experiment called “acting as if my child is just a smaller, less life-experienced adult”. Continue reading

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