Author Archives: tking41

Everyone has a favorite

Think hard.

Who’s your favorite person? I’ve asked myself the same question and have my answer.  I’ll wait while you come up with yours…

(5 mins later)

Is that your final answer?  I wonder why you chose them? Which of their qualities stood out?  The way this person has influenced you has caused them to win a seat of affection in your heart. The peculiar thing about the person you chose is that they are more than likely someone else’s favorite too… for the exact same reasons you listed. Consider the qualities that you admire most about those you are most impacted by.  Mirror those qualities in yourself.  Excel at it! Be intentional about it. You can do it!  You will soon become someone else’s most favored person…  Your circle of influence will grow and your opportunity to affect change will increase.

TL;DR – Become someone’s favorite person by treating others with the same love you’ve been influenced by. You will more than likely become a favorite to many.


Pro-Tip #5

If you’re struggling for the right words to say, your silence might be the most honest thing you can offer.

Be a Yes Man!


Sometimes I wonder how my 2-yr-old finds the will to wake up in the morning. Imagine waking up, minding your own business, reaching to touch those pretty holiday decorations when all of  a sudden, “No!”  Oh, ok.  Well I’ll just stick my hand in this porcelain bowl full of cool water.  That should be refreshi- “No!”  Wha?  Ok, well… these walls look awfully drab.  I should decorate them with the colors of the rainbow using these magic waxy sticks!  That should brighten everyone’s da- “NOOOOO!!!”

I wonder how much it would take to finally break a child’s sense of wonder and curiosity.  What would it take to make him content with all he knows so that he isn’t trying to figure out what happens when you stick a fork in an outlet.  (PLEASE don’t be that kid who puts a glow stick in the microwave. What a ding-a-ling.)  All joking aside, it’s certainly reasonable to create boundaries for our children to live in.  At the same time, giving your children opportunities to hear you say “Yes!” is one of the most empowering things you can do.

I routinely set up situations that allow me to say yes to anything my children ask for.  It doesn’t take much.  Take them out to an empty field on a rainy day.  DAD! Can I climb that hill?  “Yep!”  Puddles! Can we jump in puddles?  “YES.”  Mudballs! Can we throw them at you?  “N..Nnnggh… Nnnn… ugh… yes.” After giving them permission to be who they are, take note of how they respond to life the next day.  They are more content, less irritable, and trust you when you tell them things like, “maybe later.”  This practice isn’t reserved for children but for anyone who looks to you for leadership.  If you’re a manager, have special meetings where people are able to share ideas and make a concerted effort to not shut them down. If you lead any type of creative group, create moments where people are allowed to step out of the box without being discouraged.  People are willing to follow leaders who aren’t afraid of their people’s mistakes.  A person who practices saying Yes will not lose people the moment they have to say No.

TL;DR –  Create moments that allow you to say Yes.  It inspires those around you to dream and adds weight behind moments when you have to say No.

Pro-Tip #3

Every sixty seconds, 293,000 status updates are posted on Facebook.

The Google +1 button is used more than 5 billion times per day.

If Wikipedia were a book it would be more than two billion pages long.

More than one billion tweets are sent every 48 hours.

Every minute, Tumblr owners publish approximately 27,778 new blog posts.

Five million photos are uploaded to Instagram daily.

If you want to stand out and be a person of influence whether it’s through social media or face-to-face, make a concerted effort to weigh your words carefully.  Rest assured, most of our opinions are already being shared by someone else… what *you* choose to say and how you choose to say it will publicly define who you are.


See, what had happened was…

Simplesteps is centered on building and keeping friendships and influencing people around you for good.  This particular post has been sitting in queue for some time but a timely comment from a friend of mine brought it to my attention this morning:

simple step #5 – Tell them of their good deeds

If a person has ever made a positive impact on you in some way, no matter how small, always make sure to let them know how you were affected by their influence in your life.  It’s even ok to let some time lapse before you tell them… it’s meaningful that you carry the memory.  Again, it’s a simple step, but the residual is immeasurable.  Pulling someone aside to let them know that they’ve helped you will instantly establish a thread of connection that will always be there.  Even the grumpiest of souls love to hear that they’ve helped others, especially when it was inadvertent!  This simple step inspires others to be even more helpful and has the power to unlock strengths that may have otherwise remained dormant.


TL;DR – Let people know when they’ve helped you specifically… it encourages them to be helpers in general.

I know you love me

Things got real the other night during an outing  with a few of my guy friends.  It started off casually enough but before the evening was over we were sitting around a table sharing heartfelt stories and life-lessons.  I’ll admit, it was probably my own estrogen level that tipped the scale. While most of the fellas there would chalk it up to cigar smoke and dusty vents, I’m sure I saw a few eyes glazed over as thoughts were shared.  All kidding aside, I was recalling the memory of my father who passed away on September 1st of 2010.  In all the years that I’d known him, he must have told me that he loved me thousands of times.  That was comforting enough while he was still with me, but on this side of events, what I wouldn’t give to have heard him say at the end, “Son, I know you love me too…”

It wasn’t until after saying goodbye to him for the last time that saying, “I love you” wasn’t enough for me.  I needed to know that he believed it!  To be sure, I was absolutely obnoxious growing up.  I’m quite positive that I gave my father every gray hair he ever had.  I wasn’t prepared to think that somewhere along the way my affection might not have been clearly communicated.  Being caught off-guard and a little surprised by this emotion, I now choose to make it a point to tell my children from time to time, “No matter what happens, always know that I know you love me.”  I let them know how much it encourages me to know they care for me.  They need to know their love for others is effectual and appreciated.

TL;DR – It strengthens others when they know their love is received.

Confession: My kids haven’t been taught to share


To avoid the risk of being pretentious, I’ve categorized this as a confession rather than advice.   Along the lines of my first confession, I’ve always taught my children to understand and value ownership.  I never demand that they share their things with others, even their cute, younger, innocent siblings. My 2-year-old has his own shelf on the bookcase for his collectibles along with his brother and sister.  He knows exactly which ones are his and which ones aren’t.  It’s wonderful watching him look longingly at his brother’s new Captain America figure while resisting the urge to touch or demand it. He certainly has the right to ask to play with it but his brother has the right to say no.

One would think that this has caused each child to hoard and lord over their things but the byproduct of this practice has shown quite the opposite for our family.  The children aren’t inclined to be selfish but free in their sharing.   After being on the receiving end of someone else’s graciousness, they’ve learned the benefit of sharing so that it comes willingly.  I often urge my children to be generous, but I don’t demand or require it.  Sharing is definitely a virtue and I’ve found success in allowing them to find joy in it so that it becomes an act of kindness and not compulsory.

For those in relationships, however, these practices don’t work.  Just roll with it.


TL;DR – My children have learned to share even though they have permission not to.

Pro-Tip #2

When consoling someone who is grieving, refrain from immediately sharing your silver-lining perspective.  A wounded person rarely needs to hear that their loss makes sense to you.

TL;DR – Grieve with those who grieve

Pro-Tip #1

If you’re going to have a strong opinion on something, make sure it’s one worth fighting for. You may never know the quality of friends you’re passing over in order to remain right.

Sissies and the Men Who Fear Them


These belong to my 2-year-old son.  Why?  Because he loves Disney’s Frozen with reckless abandon.  As soon as I get home from work:  “Can watch Leddy Go, Dad?” I’m sure Disney backmasks subliminal messages into the main song. There’s no other explanation. Yes, my boy loves Elsa and Anna and I support him in his obnoxious obsession.

He plays with girl toys?! Some dads fear this would cause their boys to grow up effeminate. Some refuse to let their sons join ballet or sing in choir because these activities aren’t manly enough… meanwhile the mother, who has an absolute passion for the arts, is robbed of the opportunity of seeing her sons exercising their inherited talents.  The rationale varies, but the most common objection I hear is, “I don’t want my son growing up to be a sissy.”

Please realize that it’s not your child’s interests that measure the man, it’s your child’s heart.  Does my oldest son have an inherent desire to play with Barbies?  Nope.  Would he play with them for his sisters sake?  Yep.  Would he “man-up” and deny that it ever happened?  Absolutely not.  He’s altogether confident in who he isThis boldness is what wins the respect of his peers! He’s a defender who stands up for others and doesn’t distinguish between the outcast and the popular.  He’s learned to appreciate the interests of others and I couldn’t be prouder as a parent.

You can force your sons to play with G.I. Joes, but inwardly they’re pelting the world with frozen snowballs.  Give your kids the freedom to be honest about their interests… otherwise, they become the living embodiment of Conceal – Don’t Feel.  In my estimation, there’s no greater definition of weakness.

TL;DR – Prohibitions that are more about saving face than protecting innocence will inevitably lead to true frailty.

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