JOY

JOY/joi/noun  1.a feeling of great pleasure and happiness

This morning I walk outside at 4am to see a large toad awaiting his buggy breakfast outside the garage door. My friendly dog greets him with a bit wet nose, and leaves him undisturbed. I find joy in that.

 

We head down the driveway into the morning twilight to enjoy the day.  As we start down the road, the invisible spider webs draped across the road stick to my face as a sign that we are the first people to pass down this stretch of God’s great land today. I find joy in that.  

 

The weather is cool and calm 50 something degrees and the oppressive tropical weather of the prior day is gone. This morning’s beautiful weather is another example that those tough moments quickly pass. I find joy in that.

 

The morning is silent, with the exception of many birds signing their morning tunes. More songs than one can count. Baby birds recently started to take flight and sit alongside their mother that spent weeks getting them to that point. I find joy in that.

 

The glowing sunrise is always a special moment to me. Represents a new day. A fresh start. Endless possibilities. And it oftentimes looks amazing on top of it. I find joy in that.

 

I enjoy watching the farm crops from week to week.  From tillage to seeding, the new growth. How they little seeds turn into huge plants. How quickly they grow. How they handle the weather.  The corn shoots up like crazy in this hot weather. I pray for the farmers who live off the land and have to simply hope for the best from mother nature. They do it for the love. It’s a passion. And so much inspiration can be taken from this. I find joy in that.

 

My dog is always along on these walks.So much could be said about a K9. A lab in this case. The seemingly endless smile. A tremendous amount of love. They live to serve us. They care. We all should strive to be more like the dog. Always forgiving. Always full of Energy. Always appears to be looking at the positives. Looking to add value to the lives of others.  I could go on about this. I find joy in that.

 

All of the things described above make the mornings a natural fit for some spiritual time and some words with God. At least some Thank-you’s and some thoughts for those that need it the most. I know we all come from different views on this subject. As for me, I find joy in this.  

 

Lastly, My walk each morning is done with a military surplus backpack from Fleet Farm on my back loaded with 35lbs (and increasing) in an effort to keep my back and legs in shape for the hunting season, and also as a reminder of the sacrifice made by many of our friends and neighbors in the armed forces to give us the independence we celebrate yet often take for granted. I’ve never been there, but I’ve read stories and books, and am forever grateful for those that made this sacrifice. My surplus backpack is labeled with “Glaser” written with a marker. I assume this is the last name of the soldier that once owned it. What was his/her story? I’ll never know, but it represents all the stories.   I find joy in this.

 

The above summarizes the way I find Joy, and put fuel in my tank. I realize this doesn’t work for everyone. Or maybe a similar experience is a short car ride away.  Whatever your joy looks like, find time for it. Someone recently shared with me the book called “Miracle Morning.” It is a short read. Although I have always had a similar routine in the morning, reading this book gave me the extra boost I needed to make these mornings more attainable and impactful. If you aren’t a morning person but you want to be, I suggest looking up this book.  Working closely with a group of friends with similar motivations is also beneficial. My wife thinks I’m nuts that I start getting text messages at 3:45 AM.

 

I also leave you with this challenge: For every seemingly negative moment or experience you face, require yourself to find a positive in the situation. And focus only on that. Sometimes seems crazy, but it’s truly the only way to live a positive lifestyle.  

Baby kept you up all night – Be thankful that you are blessed enough to be able to have a child.

The weather is sweltering and you work outside – be thankful that you get to be outside.

Flat tire on the way to work? Be thankful you get to learn how to change one!

Didn’t get the position you applied for? Be thankful you work for a growing company.

You got a summer cold? Be thankful you don’t have the flu. 🙂

 

Joy doesn’t come without some effort. But with some effort it can come easy. It is all around you. You just have to make the decision to find it.  

Sent to my Steve Herriges.  Incredibly inspirational.  Thank you Steve.

— Peace and Grace, Joel

NEVER EVER DO THIS ONE THING

LIFE IS F*ING HARD.  LIKE super intense stressful hard. IT CAN BREAK YOU.  Suicide.  Drugs.  Alcohol.  Abuse.  Watch the news… My goodness Life IS HARD.

IT CAN FORCE YOU INTO IMPOSSIBLE SITUATIONS.

THERE WILL BE TOUGH DAYS.

THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO HATE YOU.  HATE YOU.

YOU WILL FAIL.

AND TRY.

AND FAIL.

AND TRY.

AND FAIL.

So there is one thing you MUST NEVER DO.  That is this:

Do NOT EVER, ever BEAT YOURSELF UP.

DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF.

Don’t question your worth.

Don’t be disappointed in yourself.

Don’t be frustrated with your goals.

Your body.

Your effort.

Your situation.

Your friends.

Your lot in life.

Anything.

You must always be your biggest fan.  Not arrogant of course, never.. but inwardly… you must believe in YOU!

Constantly repeat this:

“GOD MADE ME LIKE THIS FOR A REASON.  I am grateful.  I will be the best version of myself.  And when I am not even that… I will do better going forward.”

If you beat yourself up, you will then beat up those around you without you even realizing it.

You are LITERALLY punching yourself in the face… and the world is joining you.  How would you ever overcome your inner demons?  THAT IS GONNA HURT IF YOU DO THIS… ESPECIALLY IF YOU DO IT EVERY STINKING DAY!

Being critical of yourself is a scary, stressful place. If you start questioning yourself…  you won’t win EVER the battle in your head.  So don’t start.

 

It’s so easy to “be right” when you let yourself get mad at yourself.  So, easy to confirm the inner demons.  So don’t ever do it.  Ever.

 

Ok.. .maybe I can’t even convince you of this.  So step #2… “the backup plan”…

at least laugh about it….

think about it… you won’t ever be actually the best version of yourself, like this is a winless battle… in less than 100 years…

Remember no matter how hard you try… you are going to end up in a box.  Dead.

ALL OF US WILL BE DEAD.  MOST OF US I HOPE WILL ALL BE IN HEAVEN.  ALL OF THIS WILL BE OVER!  ALL OF IT!  SO LAUGH.   ENJOY ALL OF IT.  EVEN THE SUCKY PARTS.

ANNOUNCE TO YOURSELF…

“I’M ONE SCREWED UP MESS.”  AND SIMPLY LAUGH!

LASTLY…

we are ALL SCREWED UP.  So give yourself a friggin break.

And enjoy the circus my friends!

  1. Realize God made you for a reason.  He’s never made a loser. N E V E R.
  2. Don’t believe the inner demons.  Give yourself a pep talk, not a beat down.
  3. Expect to fail.  Hell, learn to enjoy the failures.
  4. We are all in it together.  Realize we ALL struggle.
  5. If all else fails, Laugh.  Just laugh.  It will all be over for us someday.

Peace and Grace,

Joel

 

BE THE MOVEMENT

TGIM!

Often we live life in a fog don’t we?  Not quite sure the path we are on, but so busy we don’t have time to see it all clearly.

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

― C.S. LewisThe Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses

You see team, WE MUST BE THE MOVEMENT.

We’ve heard often:  Join the movement.   Attach yourself to this cause or that belief.

We wait for someone to step up.  And jump on that wagon.  We like it on facebook.  Or we say I’ll pray for you.  Or yeah, I will follow up on that service request.  Or drop $20 on the online charity ad campaign.   I did  part… did I?  At work we say, yeah I love core values, and wear blue every day.  BUT ARE WE THE MOVEMENT!?

 

This week we will be challenging the Culture Club on Friday.   To BE THE MOVEMENT.    Be the change they want to see.

We don’t want you to simply be part of Drexel’s mission, we want you to BE THE MISSION.   See the difference? You aren’t part of something bigger… you ARE the something bigger.

Don’t have a connection strong enough with your store leader?  Let them know that.  Talk to them, say Hey, you intimidate the crap out of me.   Talk to me like a human dude.

So busy you don’t know where to turn?  Hey, stand up and say, hey someone help me get organized.   A little humility, stand up and say “I don’t know how to get unbusy, but I’m ready to start!”

Maybe you need more training.  Are you waiting for it?  Or are you the mission and grabbing someone and saying IS THERE A BETTER WAY, SHOW ME!?

Are you an enabler?  Always fixing the same mistakes?  Feels good right!  Good to complain but really you enjoy the problems, that way you feel important?  Or are YOU THE MOVEMENT of hey, never again… let’s fix this now with this person so we can finally move on.

I can’t tell you what MOVEMENT to lead.  Each person on our team is different.

Emily Bestul on Friday was super jacked to stay late to finish up sales tax.  I’m dead serious.  Thank GOD for the Emily’s of the world.  Sales tax?  No thanks!  I also know Emily well enough that I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t want my job either… See that IS BEING THE MOVEMENT!

WHAT MOVEMENT DO YOU WANT TO LEAD, TO START, TO LIVE YOUR FULL LIFE?

 

— Joel

Bonus info I read on a blog from jonandjosh.com…

“Like most people, I used to associate busy with important, successful, or influential. It’s politicians, CEOs, or Entrepreneurs that are busy, but that’s really not the case. 

My fresh perspective on busy came when I heard this mysterious C.S. Lewis quote:

“Only lazy people are busy.”

What in the world does that mean? That’s what I was thinking the first time I heard it too. It means, that people who don’t get focused and control of their day will constantly be tossed by the demands of others, moving frantically from task to triviality. They drift like a tired ship at sea, battered by the waves of the urgent.”

HOW TO SAIL IN STORMS

Team,

Let’s say your life is like taking a sailboat across the ocean.

In calm waters, almost any boat, almost any captain, will go far.

When storms hit… you have a decision to make.

DRIFT OR LEAD.

In your life, you are a leader, there are people on your boat, your family, your co-workers, and the teams you lead.

They look to you.  Often when storms hit, the leader shrugs and says “let’s see how this plays out”, and will, because of fear, lack of communication, lack of inspiration, will allow the boat to simply drift with the storm.  They don’t know what to do, so they do nothing.  Inactivity breeds more fear.  Spinning and hitting one wave or another.  Up and down, not going forward, maybe going sideways, but maybe even going backwards.  Not really sure.  Just drifting, up and down, up and down.  Yet the storm rages.    Maybe we will be ok, maybe we will hit a rock.

Hopefully, the winds calm on their own, and we go back going forward.

But sometimes, when we simply drift the boat throws us overboard and we drown or we have a slow leak and slowly you take everyone down with you.  Or in most cases, nothing much happens, we just drift.  Not going forward or back.

But the rare leaders, the best captains, LEAD AND GUIDE with enthusiasm and courage continually during storms.  They might almost seem crazy.  They don’t drift, they YELL FORWARD!  They trust their boat, their team, and themselves.  And with great guidance and help they steer their boat.  It’s the best chance of success in a storm.

Anytime you get ready to confront anything in life, you and your team around you will be filled with “what ifs.”  I believe that is the devil’s work.  It is not reality.   It will drive you crazy though if you allow it.  And those “what ifs” … will make you look at the storm and simply say, let’s pull up anchors, bring in the sails, and just see what happens.  Let’s drift for awhile and freeze in fear.

Or… or the amazing happens.

Team, the below DIRECTLY FROM A NORTHSAILS.COM.

on how to “Sail Through Storms”.  Wow, how life can mirror what we need to do here at Drexel…

“Misery and Danger”

“Although everyone will remember it differently years later, a long, wet, cold sail through a storm can be miserable. As skipper, you need to make the best of it: watch over your crew, offer relief or help to those who need it, and speak a few words of encouragement to all. “This is miserable, but it will end.”

Take the time to marvel at the forces of nature, and at your ability to carry on in the midst of the storm. Few people get to experience the full fury of a storm. It may not be pleasant, but it is memorable.

While misery and discomfort can eventually lead to fatigue, diminished performance, and even danger, do not mistake one for the other. Distinguish in your own mind the difference between misery and danger. Don’t attempt a dangerous harbor entrance to escape misery; that would compromise the safety of the boat and crew, just to avoid a little discomfort.”

DON’T ATTEMPT TO DRIFT.  OR HIDE TO ESCAPE MISERY TO AVOID A LITTLE DISCOMFORT.  LEAD BOLDLY MY FRIENDS!

I BELIEVE IN BEING STRONG WHEN EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE GOING WRONG. – Audrey Hepburn

2 THOUGHTS I CANT GET OUT OF MY HEAD

Team,

As you gather your thoughts I think it is important to constantly pick one or two reminders, mantras if you will that you say all the time to yourself to pump yourself up.  And keep you on task.

These change over time.  You are not the same person when you were 15, or even 3 months ago.  The things in your life around you change too, so you must constantly adapt your mind to your surroundings.

I feel these sayings keep you focused, grounded, motivated, and make for great changes.

I’ve used one recently… good!… discipline equals freedom… control the controllables, influence don’t control, surrender the outcome…and dozens more thru the years.  Sometimes they resurface in my brain, sometimes they don’t.

Currently here are my two.  I almost become obsessed with them as I go through this process in my brain.  Over and over every day I repeat.  I am not saying that is healthy or normal, but it is what I do… and I do think it helps me so maybe it will help you.

It’s one of the reasons to read… to find nuggets like this on your journey.

  1. 1. “It’s easy to confuse a lot of activity with a purposeful life.” – Bob Goff

  2. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the workers to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”  – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

4 OBJECTIVES TO SUCCESS, ANYWHERE

TGIM!

This weekend I was reading a book

“COACHING BASKETBALL SUCCESSFULLY” by Morgan Wooten, one of the most acclaimed high school coaches of all time.

(Hey I need all the help I can get.  Just recently Al Waldschmidt and a few weeks later Craig Johnson coached vs me and both went on to crush my soul by about 30 points… and that was being kind… moving on… )

He has 4 objectives for each team, each year.   These never change.   How true these are for Drexel and life as well.

  1. Play Hard.

  2. Play Smart.

  3. Play Together.

  4. Have Fun.

These week just work on these four.

How a team approaches “the game” makes all the difference in the world.

Give it your all.  Do it wisely.  Work as a team.  Win or lose, no matter the conflict, HAVE FUN.

Sounds like it’s gonna be a great week if we all do that.

 

Peace and Grace,

Joel

 

PRUNING THE CLUTTER

TGIM- TUESDAY!

This past weekend I noticed my shrubs were overgrown.  I thought to myself, uh, they ain’t that bad.  But maybe they need just a little work.  I almost just ignored them, as I’ve done over and over again.   I got to work…   I filled my 55 gallon garbage can 6 times! … the mission was complete.

Wow.

You see it all the time.  An old home on Mainstreet is sold to a new owner.  First thing they do… clean up the bushes.  And wow, what a difference.  The old owner was tied to the past of what the bushes used to look likee, or too “busy” to care, or simply couldn’t see the problem.

The whole time I am thinking.  This is just like life.  Things that we need to eliminate, tasks, people, material goods, waste, junk, clutter… yet walk past every day…and barely notice.

I seriously found 7 baseballs in the clutter.  Perfectly good things, lost in the clutter.  Boy that sure sounds like life sometimes…

Not actual picture of my house…

It was hard work.  The bushes are now SMALLER.  But BETTER.  Less IS more.

What do you have to cut out of your life?

What are you walking past daily… that is growing out of control.

What do we need to let go of?

Are you actually going to prune them?

It won’t be easy.  It will be worth it.

Peace and grace, Joel