Category Archives: General

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.

 

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I want to hear you say it!

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There’s a reason why this image absolutely crushes me. It’s a short exchange between my daughter’s iPod and my iPhone. The twist? I wasn’t a part of this conversation. She texted me and when I didn’t respond in a timely manner she found my phone and responded to herself.

Anyone who knows me realizes that there are no deficits of “I love you’s” between me and my children, but there are moments when they need to hear it at precisely the right time. I went and whispered this in her ear while she was sleeping but what I wouldn’t give to have sent this at 8:01 PM. This was her way of saying that she wanted to hear from ME and I intend to let her know that I’ve heard her loud and clear.

All that being said, If my son ever catches wind of this he’ll start texting himself from my phone with things like, “Hey, more video games!” I’ll need to play this carefully.

TL;DR – Pay attention to the ones you love. Gauge their love tank and make sure to fill it regularly with things that are meaningful to them.


I Name Drop… and You Should Too!

Crystal - Jovi

I asked on Facebook, “How many degrees separate you from someone famous?”  The replies I got back were fascinating! I mean, we all know a guy who knows a guy… but I found out that I was friends with someone who gets her own climatic frame in Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive video… It’s all, “I’ve seen a million faces, and I ROCKED them ALL!” – BOOM, there she is!  How she ever made it through middle-school without an entourage following her wherever she went will forever leave my mind blown.  Other lovely bits included folks who were related to the guy that wrote Human Nature on MJ’s Thriller album, an Alec Balwin plane ride, a friend who was in an undocumented Honda commercial and a couple of private messages about Jay Leno connections (I’m amazed at how many of my friends have met Jay Leno.)

I’m not sure why it’s so exhilarating to find connections with famous people, but perhaps it’s because we all want to feel a part of something greater than ourselves.  What’s even *more* exhilarating is knowing that you’re a part of someone ELSE’S story.  Have you ever met someone and they responded with, “Hey, I’ve heard of YOU!  So and so was telling me about *insert trivial fact here*.”  It’s cathartic.  It’s like that moment in Guardians of the Galaxy:

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I try to make it a practice to name drop all the time.  My only problem is that I don’t know any famous people. I DO, however, know plenty of people who are just as worthy of mention.  Take time to boast about folks that NO ONE is talking about.  Talk about how much it lifted your spirits when Cara left a special note on your car window.  Talk about what a blessing it was when Nick covered your lunch when you were short on cash.  Call them out BY NAME.  It may or may not ever get back to them, but if it does, you’re one step closer to making them feel like they’re a part of something bigger.  There’s  a tapestry being woven… a greater story being told.  We’re all connected in at least a few ways and getting to be a part of that narrative is one of the highest honors I can imagine.

TL;DR – Speak openly of people’s good qualities and call them out by name. It strengthens them and encourages others.


The Loneliest Number

loneliness

All of us know someone who’s alone.  We all have a friend who is conditioned to ask for a table for one whenever they go out to catch lunch.  With the seasons changing, this feeling of isolation can be consuming.  The heart-ache associated with the memory of a parent or loss of a child is crippling.  Some of us wrestle with heroes who have let us down or friends who are no longer in the picture and the whole world seems to be upside down.  If you’re a person who feels like you have it somewhat together, start being intentional about being accessible to the silent and the brokenhearted.  Be present for someone, especially as we turn this corner into the upcoming holiday season.  It’s so easy to have the intention, but the follow-up can be life changing for someone else.  Please… notice someone this week.

If you happen to be the lonely one… the one who needs friendship right now… let someone know.   Don’t hint at it with vague status updates and out-of-the-blue blog sharing.  You might be surprised how many people need a friend like you, too.  Need a friend?  Please comment below.

TL;DR – Be a friend to someone.  You probably need each other just as much.


Creating Something out of Nothing

“Oh, when I was a kid… how magic it seemed!
Oh, please let me sleep, it’s Christmas time.”
– Eddie Vedder

We’re all practicing magicians… every once in a while, we pull a David Copperfield completely by accident.  The ripples are nearly eternal and most of the time we have no idea that we’re etching something into history. Can you imagine how much greater we’d become if we’d realize we could harness and control that power?  If we’d become intentional about it? “You’re a WIZARD, Harry!”

This morning I took my two older children to school.  I let one out, but placed my hand on the chest of the older one.  “No, you stay here, son.”  My daughter smiled as she walked away, knowing what was about to happen. We left and headed to the Blue Plate Café, a diner that my son had never visited before.  What happened next was magic, but the prestige won’t happen for another 20 years.  In a move that cost nearly $17, a moment was created that would cause my son to hold onto a memory that will remain with him forever.  One day, he’ll look back and remember how special he felt on his 12th birthday… how he got singled out, how he’d visited a restaurant with his dad and sat on stools at the bar, how he mattered…  He’ll remember going directly to Books-A-Million afterwards and reading books while all his other friends were sitting at desks in school. One day, when he’s in his 20’s or 30’s, he’ll find himself in a situation needing to know that he matters to someone.  In that moment, he’ll remember his youth and he’ll remember how magical it was for him.  *cue disappearing Keyser Söze limp*

In preparation for an upcoming series that I’m titling, “How Not to Be Lame”, understand that you don’t have to be a dad, you don’t have to have a husband or a girlfriend, you don’t have to have kids, or even close acquaintances to be able to perform simple acts that will ripple for decades! If we’re being honest, all of us cross paths regularly with people who don’t “matter” all that much to us. As cold as it looks written out, it’s the truth.  Go to these people and do something extraordinary.  Do something that will let them know that in that moment, they matter and that they’re doing absolutely nothing to warrant the attention.  Buy lunch for that co-worker that has a hard time making friends because he’s unintentionally obnoxious… leave a thank you card or gift card with kind words for your bartender who’s got kids at home waiting for mommy or daddy to return… give things to people who have absolutely no way of paying you back – ESPECIALLY when you feel the need to hold tightly to everything you own. Some people are so threatened by you that they go out of their way to make your day worse.  Without being patronizing, show them some genuine kindness.  Who KNOWS the details of their backstory?  In most cases, you’ll never be around for the payoff… but the magic… OH, the magic that will occur.  You have the potential to create an anchor point in time… to create a moment that gives people the strength to take one. more. step.

Someone you know needs to feel connected today and it won’t cost you a penny.  You have the opportunity to pull off something extraordinary… to keep the magic going, create something out of nothing, and become a positive influence in the lives of those that cross your path. The satisfaction is rarely immediate, but the return is incalculable.

 

TL;DR – Be intentional about making folks feel like they matter because the payoff is so much greater than the investment.


Too Long; Didn’t Read

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” – William Shakespeare

                                                                         -Brad Bain

 

My buddy shared this proverb with me one time indicating that coherent, intelligent thoughts are best articulated with as few words as possible.  The quickest way to lose my attention is for there to be a (…see more) link at the end of a full page of text. While some ideas take a little longer to flesh out than others, it will always be a priority of mine to be as brief as possible when sharing them.  For those who just can’t be bothered, I’m including a TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) statement at the end of each of my entries – Tweet-sized articles, if you will!

Personal application:  If you notice people drifting off every time you speak to them, it might behoove you to start beginning your conversations with TL;DL statements. Otherwise, you run the risk of “Oh, I’m sorry… Can’t respond. Too long, didn’t listen.”

TL;DR:  My entries will be brief.


In the beginning… nobody cares.


Every new blog always starts with a WELCOME post that lets virtually ZERO readers know of your intentions to regularly update your web-log with new content on a regular basis.  For the sake of brevity, consider this one of THOSE posts.   I’m hoping that through the course of time, at least one of my Fancy Thoughts will stick with someone to make them better at what they do.  At the end of the day, we’re all looking to do the same thing, right?  To succeed at whatever it is we set our hearts on.  Stay tuned for an upcoming post and my very first (well …second) BLOG entry:  How Not To Be Lame.

Thank you to none-percent of the population who are currently reading this.

-Tom


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