Episode 60: The Undisciplined Pursuit of More

Our culture wants more.

More money, more status, more square footage, more horsepower. More.

More is not always bad. Here at 2Words, we are doing everything we can to reach more people with our message, get in front of more students, and impact more people with the 2Words curriculum.

But my friend Brian reminded me of a quote the other day by Jim Collins that says, “The undisciplined pursuit of more is how the mighty fall.”

When our pursuit of more becomes undisciplined, when it becomes more for the sake of more, we lose sight of what is really important.

Our eyes shift off of our core values and pride begins to creep in. We think, “if I just got that promotion, or that house, or that spouse, then I’d be happy.”

It can be easy to look at the season of life you're in and think that it is the only place you will ever be. But you know what’s great about seasons? They change.

So by all means, pursue more. Seek to be better, seek to grow your impact, touch more people, do more good, and be more generous.

Just make sure that your pursuit of more is disciplined. Otherwise you’re just doing more for the sake of more.

Episode 78: My Son Has a Girlfriend

My 5 year old son Harrison told me the other day that he has a girlfriend.

You can imagine my shock and surprise. He’s 5. He’s not supposed to have girlfriends yet.

So I pressed him a bit. I asked him some details about this girl and this is what he said. “She doesn’t be mean. She doesn’t take other people’s snacks. She’s 4 years old. She does everything the teacher says.”

After I pressed him, I realized that I’m an idiot. My son wasn’t telling me he had a girlfriend. He was telling me that he had a friend who was a girl.

What he said and what he meant and what I heard were 3 different things.

This happens in life all the time.

Sometimes we don’t say what we mean. Maybe we’re afraid of what the other person might be thinking. Maybe we don’t like conflict, and so it’s easier to just go along with whatever is happening.  

Sometimes we don’t mean what we say. We say things out of emotion, or anger, or frustration.

Instead of responding, we react.

And sometimes we hear what we want to hear, not what the other person said. We forget that we have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason, and that maybe what we need to do is shut up and listen, not just wait for our turn to talk.

So this week, make sure that you mean what you say, say what you mean, and take the time to listen and understand what is being said.

Episode 132: Energy Vampires

Today we’re talking about vampires.

Not the ones that wear capes and suck blood, but a different kind. Energy vampires.

Everybody has an energy vampire in their life. It’s those people who suck the energy out of the room with their negativity and bad attitudes. They’re so focused on what’s wrong that they drag everybody else down with them.

I recently had a coach reach out and ask what do you do when your best player is an energy vampire? When things are great, they’re amazing. But when things aren’t going well, they’re a nightmare.

What do you do with an energy vampire?

From a 1:1 Level

You’ve got to help them see what they don’t see. If you go simply tell them, they may not believe you or might not get it because they’re defensive. They’re already in a negative headspace.

Rather than coming down on them, come down to where they are. Ask questions like “Tell me about what’s happening? What’s going on with you? How do you feel the energy of the team is? How are your actions impacting the rest of your teammates?”

Show them that though they’re intending to help the team, they’re actually dragging the team down because the way they’re behaving is a direct result of not having the right tools to deal with their frustration. Kicking, cussing, & throwing helmets are the best tools they have.

It’s up to you to help give them better tools.

From a Team level

At some point, you’ve got to speak out and say there are certain things we don’t do. It doesn’t matter if you're the best player or the worst, or a coach or an equipment manager. You show that no person is above the standard. Nobody is exempt from the rules and the code of conduct.

You’ve got to put the tam above the individual

At 2Words, we have the 3X rule. If someone is doing something that upsets you, and you can’t resolve an issue 3 times by saying it to yourself, the 4th time you’ve got to say it to their face.

We all have those energy vampires in our lives. It’s your job as the coach to help give them the tools to quit sucking the energy out of the room.

Episode 131: There's a Rattlesnake in the Dugout

My buddy Coach Russell Lucas told me one of the craziest stories I’d heard in a long time lately.

He was in the middle of a full day of baseball games. They had some crazy weather, some game delays, and he was just filling me in on the day.

To be honest, I was kind of zoning out, when he said the following words: “We had to stop the game because there was a rattlesnake in the dugout.”

Um, what?

Yes. For 4 hours, they had been standing in the dugout with a rattlesnake. One of the players found it, he got everybody out of the dugout, killed it with a bat, disposed of it, then finished the game.

Not how I would’ve handled the situation, but whatever.

What stood out to Coach Lucas was how dangerous the snake was. He was standing there for 4 hours with no idea that a snake that could’ve killed him was lurking right at his feet.

Life is full of evils that we can see. Things that we know are there trying to sabotage our work, our marriages, our jobs, whatever the case may be.

We have to seek those things out and defeat them, because they are seeking us. They are seeking to destroy us unless we destroy them first.

What stood out to coach was how dangerous that snake was, but I was standing there for 4 hours and i had no idea that it was there, but it could’ve killed me.

Be active about protecting your life against the things that will ruin it. Get a partner to walk through life with. 4 eyes are better than 2 when it comes to seeking out the things that can ruin you and protecting against them.

Be on the lookout for the rattlesnakes in the dugout, and get your bats ready for them.

Episode 130: Rep the Brand

I recently heard Coach Braxton from Howard Payne University say something to his football team that really impacted me.

He said to his players, “if you guys make the honor roll, when they call you out, they’re going to identify you by the fact that you’re a football player at Howard Payne. But the same is true if you get arrested tomorrow. Rep your brand well.”

Wherever we go, whether we excel and succeed, or stumble and fall, we are repping a brand. We are repping our family’s brand, our company’s brand, and for a lot of us, our God’s brand.

Rep your brand well.

You’re in control of the brand that is your life. You’re in control of how you rep the brands that you are a part of.

Ask yourself this week, “Have I been an accurate rep of all that my brand stands for?” If you find yourself doing something, or saying something that you hope nobody ever finds out about, then you probably shouldn't be doing it.

If you’re not okay with it being in the light, don’t do it in the darkness.

It’s been said before, but you may be the only Jesus someone ever sees, and the only bible someone ever reads.

Do everything you can to rep your brand well.

Episode 40: SPARTAN!

Last year I ran a Spartan race.

If you’re not familiar with the Spartan race, go google it and you’ll understand just how nuts it is. It’s mud, dirt, obstacles, stairs, ropes, and just all around insanity.

I’d always told myself that it was a goal of mine, but last summer, a buddy of mine and I did it. We ran just over 4 miles, climbed 88 flights of stairs, and made it out alive.

The whole time I was running the race, it was more about defeating myself than defeating the other folks running the race. I knew they’d beat me, but I was determined not to let me beat myself.

After we finished, I was reflecting and came away with one key realization:

We are all capable of so much more than we think that we are.

No matter what it is that we think we can do, we are capable of more, but more times than not it is our own limitations that keep us from growing.

In my training for the race, the most I could run without stopping was 15 minutes, certainly not enough to finish the race.

But as race day approached, I changed my mindset and decided that I wasn’t going to limit myself before I knew what my limits where.

Now I’m looking at training for a half-marathon Spartan race. Because I know that I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for.

And if that is true in athletics, how much more true is it in business? Or in my spirituality? Or my family? Or my relationships?

How many places am I limiting myself before I know my limits?

I would encourage you this week, don’t limit yourself. Push your limits and find out what your true limits actually are. Because you are capable of so much more than you think, and so am I.

Episode 83: You are the Best You the World Has Ever Known

I recently had a friend tell me, “I don’t know how you do what you’re doing.”

I give a ton of speeches, travel a bunch, and he was telling me that he had no idea how I did it all. And my response was pretty simple. I simply said, “Nobody can make my impact but me.”

We all have a part to play in this world. We all have a verse to sing in this song we call life, and nobody can sing your part except for you.

So what is your impact? What is the impact that you need to make today that only you can make? Maybe it’s an impact at home, with your spouse or your kids. Maybe it’s an impact at your job, or with your students, or with the barista at Starbucks.

Whatever it is, it is your role to play.

Just like the apostle Paul talks about in the book of 1 Corinthians, we are all members of one body. We all have a role. Some of us are hands, or feet, or ears, or knees, or elbows. And it can be really easy to say “well I’m not as important as THAT person.”

But how well does a body function without feet? Or without toes? Or without lungs?

I’d encourage you. Wake up today and go do everything within your power to make the impact that you need to make, that only you can make.

It’s easy to look at the world and focus on all of the things that are broken, but I would encourage you to look for the good. Look for the people using their impact to make the world a better place, then go out and do the same.

The world is made better when you are you.

Episode 58: Hour 21

It almost doesn’t matter what you say.

Think about nearly every sports game that you watch. With the exception of a few plays, you don't talk about the individual plays.

You say things like, “the defense was lights out tonight,” or “man it seemed like they completed every single pass.”

You’re telling the story of the game. You are telling the narrative of the game, and the narrative of the game is always greater than the individual plays.

It is the narrative that gets remembered.

Few people can talk about individual plays from the ‘72 Dolphins’ undefeated season. But that is a feat that has yet to be bested.

We have to understand that in sports, and in life, it’s not about what we say with our words, it’s about connecting with the story that is being told with our lives.

The same is true for you. There is something about you and your work that connects to the world on a deep, unseen level, and if you spend all of your time getting the sales pitch, or the process just right, you’ll miss it.

Tell the story of your life, and tell it with passion, and tell it with conviction.

Episode 93: What You Seek is Seeking You

I’ve heard it said before that interesting are those that find the world interesting.

We live in a world of self interest. 20 years ago, the front facing camera on a cell phone didn’t exist. Now we have entire apps dedicated to taking pictures of ourselves.

It’s really easy to get sucked in to the trap of narcissism and self-focus. We are hard wired to think about ourselves.

If you are seeking yourself, if you are only ever focused on you and what’s good for you and what’s best for you, that selfishness is going to find you.

But if you are living a life that is continually focused on others, one that seeks the best for others and seeks to find the interesting things in other people, then those people will in turn seek you out.

I often get asked in locker rooms how I come up with material for podcasts, or the 2Words curriculum.

My answer is simple: I’m not wise because of my age or my education. I’m wise because I look for wisdom everywhere. I seek wisdom out. I’m borderline obsessed with it.

Even if you are not religious in any way, I think the book of Proverbs is one of the best ways to make yourself a better leader, a better coach, and a better person. It’s literally a book of wisdom sayings.

Rest assured, the people in life who have the most answers are usually the people who have asked the most questions. They’re smarter than most people because they ask more from the world.

If all you’re focused on is yourself, all you’re going to get is selfishness.

Live a life focused on finding the best in others, and you’ll find the best for your life as well.

Episode 92: Then What?

What happens once you win?

I spent thirteen years of my life chasing down the dream of bench pressing 500 pounds. When I finally got there, when I finally lived out that dream, the satisfaction lasted about thirty seconds.

Then I wanted to bench press 550 pounds.

Be it in sports, life, your hobbies, or your career, winning can be a greedy mistress, and she always wants more. No matter what we achieve, if our motivation is winning, we will always want more and never be satisfied.

When you watch post game interviews at the Super Bowl, they always ask the players, “What’s next?” and the answers are always the same. They always go something like, “We are gonna take a few days off, then get back in the gym and get ready for next season.”

Winning isn’t enough.

Always chasing the carrot that’s just a little bit out of reach will get you nowhere in life because the carrot will always be there, and you’ll never get it. If the carrot is what drives you, you will spend your life chasing it.

But if we’re not driven by the carrot in front of us, but the purpose inside of us then we don't need the carrot. We’re going to compete because it’s what we love to do.

I would do what i do whether or not i ever got paid for it. Because i love it. In fact, for seven years, I did what I’m doing for free. I spent time in High School locker rooms interacting with coaches and players not because someone was paying me, but because I loved it.

Are you obsessed with the process of your life? Are you obsessed not with winning, but with the process of living life? It doesn’t have to be your work. It could be family, hobby, art, coaching, etc.

I don’t want to live in a “then what” mindset. I want to live every day obsessed with life. Will you join me?