13 posts categorized "Social Media" Feed

Wring every ounce out of your talent and opportunity. Thoughts on the Last Dance Documentary

Recently, my dad and I have been having a phone conversation about the documentary on ESPN regarding Michael Jordan. If you haven't seen it, it's called the last dance. This was the name Phil Jackson gave his plan for the final season together. A little hug, the general manager of the team at the time.

My dad asked what did it matter that Michael Jordan was perhaps the greatest basketball player ever to play.  He wasn't trying to deny Michael's greatness; he was just asking what it meant in the light of the world around us. Winning Blog Post

I do have a warning if you decide to watch the documentary. There are two versions. A TV -14 version and a TV-MA version. As you might imagine, the TV-MA version has quite a bit more colorful language than the TV -14 version.

The show does an excellent job of showing just how hard Jordan worked and how hard he pushed his teammates. One of the questions raised in the show is was Jordan too hard on his teammates. Was he too mean? And then, my dad asked why I thought Jordan didn't see the same success as an owner that he saw as a player.

I'll leave that last question for another day. But, I do want to address the value that I think Jordan and athletes like him can bring to our lives.

I will admit that I am a Jordan fanboy. I remember watching him do things that just seemed impossible. My high school basketball coach and history teacher would come over to our house, and we would all sit in the living room and watch him play. Often, in the playoffs, this was painful for me as a Knicks fan, and yet, I loved to watch him play

I think one of the most amazing things that Jordan teaches us is the importance of wringing every ounce of possibility out of our talents and opportunities. One of the things that he seems to have done was to elevate himself and those around him to put everything into winning. To leave the entirety of their talents in the game. To risk loss by giving everything to win.

So often today, we seem to want the glory without the work. That is probably not a new affliction for humanity.

Jordan did something that we may never see again. Like most successful people, his detractors, and those who hate him. In the documentary, since I heard it. He states, "Winning has a price. Leadership has a price."  He always seemed willing to pay that price.

Jordan, the player, is an example of someone who took every opportunity to get better at his craft. He worked tirelessly to improve his game. One of the controversial things that he did was leave basketball to play baseball.  Because of media constraints, he ended up playing at a level higher than new players would normally begin playing. He started the season with a 15 game hitting streak. Then, he had a long hitless streak. Like many minor-league players, he couldn't hit the breaking ball.

So what did Jordan do? Well, he came to the stadium before anyone else and did batting practice. Then he did normal practice with his teammates. Then he stayed and did more personal batting practice off of a machine that only threw breaking balls. Then he would go to normal practice with his teammates for the game. Then he would do another 90 minutes of personal batting practice.  That was his work ethic.

If watching an athlete perform at the highest level inspires us to have a work ethic like that, then I believe sports are improving society. I think inspiration like that is worthy and noble of our attention.

And, like all heroes, Jordan can be a cautionary tale. His life directly contradicts our desire for all or nothing thinking. He's not all good or all bad. He's human. He has flaws. Some of his greatest strengths throughout his life have also caused some of his most significant heartaches. And that is probably true for many of us.

I, for one, am glad that I lived within the time he played. I loved to watch him play, and I've enjoyed this documentary. I may even re-watch some episodes. Like most older men, I believe that the era of my youth was purer and more enjoyable than today's era. But that is probably for another day.

I do want to ask you a question that I have been pondering regarding my own life since watching this documentary. How much of your talent are you using? How much of your opportunities are you engaging in? What are you doing to develop your mental toughness and your physical ability? Perhaps the greatest gift that Jordan gives us: he allows us to look in the mirror and measure ourselves. To realize that our actual competition is not the other people in our industry. Our actual competition is to be better today than we were yesterday.

Our greatest opportunities will often come with the greatest possibility of failure. May we engage those opportunities with courage. May we welcome all who come as competition and simultaneously want to beat them.

May we elevate ourselves and those around us to greatness. And may we define greatness as the ability to put everything we have into whatever endeavor it is that we're doing.

May we have the self-awareness to know the things that we are good at and the things that we are not good at doing.

May we have the awareness to recognize opportunity when it comes knocking, and in those times when Opportunity finds itself stuck behind a door that does not want to budge may we lower our shoulder and open that door.

May we have the integrity to know that success without hard work is fraudulent.

May we have the audacity to believe that we can always work harder even after we've given our best.

May you, my friend, find success this day.

May you find inspiration.

May you find the courage to do the dreams that scare you.

May you find peace.




Maybe you should walk away from Facebook for a second.

I feel like I've been talking to so many people lately who feel like they have some sort of bad experience on Facebook because they got caught in some sort of argument with another person. Most of the time, I enjoy Facebook and view it as something akin to free TV, and yet I do have some rules to govern my interactions on Facebook.

I believe you could adopt these, your own experiences might improve.

What is the likely outcome?

One of the questions I often ask myself is what is the likely outcome if I interact with this person/post/idea. There are things we see all of the time that we disagree with, and many people just keep strolling on. In my home town, there is a group of people who stand on a street corner with signs yelling something every Wednesday in the summers. Most people drive on by.

But when those same people see something on Facebook, they seem incapable of not engaging. Often, because they focus on the disagreement, not on the fact that the likely outcome is just them being upset or irritated.

Am I wasting my time? Does this take me off task/mission?

Following the likely outcome question, I will ask myself if this interaction will or did take me off task or mission. Did it waste my time?

At one point, this past summer I was engaged with a man and a woman in a group for counselors. The man had just recently found the group and "was trying to wrap his mind around both its existence and its purpose." He then started expounding on what he believed to be true about private practice and the agency work he had found. Most of what he said, I believe, was inaccurate. I asked some clarifying questions. I told him I disagreed. Someone else (the woman who had a previous professional relationship with him) started explaining how I was wrong. All in all, I thought the disagreement was fine. At some point, the guy decided he was uncomfortable with the interaction and stopped.

Not only did I stop, but I also left the group. Why? Because it was a waste of my time. It took me off the task of cutting my grass and yard work for that day. More importantly, it took me off the task of what I wanted to get done with my life. 

Life is so short. I refuse to spend it arguing with people on issues that don't matter for what I want to get done with my life. I know people who have been hired to work where this guy was recruiting for, and they disagreed with him and called me to tell me. But so what? I knew I was right because I could do simple math. I knew that the guy I was disagreeing with wasn't lying, but he wasn't accurate. His own words were, "I'm fairly confident...." 

He really believed (probably still does) what he was saying. Apply the first question here. How likely is that I was going to change his mind? Not very likely. How likely was he to change my mind? Not very likely. 

But that doesn't mean he was lying. It merely means he believed something that I think to not be accurate. There is a difference between inaccurate and lying.

Does this add value to my life? As I was evaluating the interaction, I had to ask myself some questions. Why did it fire me up so much? I think it is because I felt he was spreading information that was going to make my job and life more difficult. I also thought that it takes zero courage but some huptza to make salary claims on a board like that and not have hard cold numbers to back them up.

But that's his choice.

Which brings me to this question. The interaction didn't add value to my life. I learned that someone else in this field values her worth at a higher amount than anyone is actually willing to pay her. Which again, is her choice. Engaging her was a waste of my time that did not add value to my life.

In fact, I came to the conclusion that being in the group didn't add value to my life or help me to add value to other's lives, so I left the group. Which doesn't mean that the group can't bring value to other people, but it doesn't for me; therefore, engaging in it doesn't seem to make sense. 


That's it. That's how many minutes you get in every day. For me, wasting them in arguments on Facebook that doesn't improve or add value to those minutes seems like a complete waste of time to me. So I disengage so that I can spend my time in other places where I find more value.

To be clear, I like the guy in this story. If the opportunity to have lunch with him came up, I'd probably do it. But life is complicated and messy. I realized in this interaction that I have very little time for people who tried private practice and walked away from it, telling me how it works. What I do with that is one hundred percent on me.

I also like Facebook. I will engage in discussions and debates with friends as I am fortunate to have friends from many walks of life. We don't agree on every issue, and typically we are good at navigating those disagreements. A general rule of thumb that I have is that I will not engage with someone virtually who I would not engage with in real life. If the last 2 or 3 interactions have gone poorly, I'll just stay out of it.

Very few minds have ever been changed on Facebook. That's unlikely to change any time soon. Facebook is a great tool to connect with people to see pictures of people's lives, and it can help friends cover many miles.

It's a tool. We have to be wise in how we utilize it.


Author's Note: I wrote this post quite a few months ago. In this current time of quarantine and the previously unexperienced situations around the world, I think the ideas behind it are as salient today as they have ever been.

I'm still not a part of that group, and to be honest, I'm glad. I know people that are and there it remains something that I am not interested in engaging in at the expense of the things that I need/want to get done for my life.


And the woman I was interacting with? She's out of private practice. I share that not to gloat, but to illustrate how I would have been wasting my time if I had continued to go back and forth with her.


One last thought: You don't have to attend every argument that you invited to join. No one makes you fight. You choose every single time.



It's time to move past comparative pain and passions

I admit the world is an interesting place to me. I’m not typically someone who laments life.
I don’t always agree with stuff I hear and I’m often willing to engage it with the person. I joke with my friends about poking the bear.  Interacting with others about how they feel and think is sometimes, like poking a bear. Sometimes, we need to poke another bear or we need our bears poked.

It’s how we grow. Face_male_kodiak_bear

But yesterday I saw something I admit I don’t understand. I was sitting in my office and one of our Sr. Associates who was sitting next to me said, “Oh boy!” Of course, I asked what was up.
“Well, this guy’s newsfeed reads, “An actors death has dominated the newsfeed but how about all of the kids dying in _______.”  

This intrigued me  so I went looking at various places in the beautiful place called the world wide web. Sure enough, there were people lamenting all sorts of causes that weren’t getting as much attention as Robin Williams death.  

On one level I get it.

But on most levels, I think those people just come across as jerks. They’re acting like they have the corner on what should be important to everyone.
This happens a lot in Facebook land.
I get it.

But I don’t. Yes, people are dying in the Middle East, 1 in 5 children in America face hunger, there is rioting and looting in the Mid-West over a possibly race motivated killing. All of this is true.
But here’s the thing: Lamenting Robin Williams death doesn’t negate those truths. It doesn’t diminish them.

It doesn’t impact them at all.  It just makes you look grumpy and mean or worse.

An ancient writer wrote that there is a time and season for everything. I agree with that thought. I don’t think the time to get your personal passion out there is by juxtaposing it against someone else’s tragedy.

You sound like you’re trying to minimize their pain. Sometimes, it sounds like you're trying to invalidate their pain. Arguing with someone about their pain rarely works. When we essentially say, "well, you're in pain but this thing over here is worse and you should care about that..." we set ourselves up as some sort of judge. It's always a sketchy when we're trying to balance out why our cause should be more important than someone else's, especially when they are experiencing a new wound. Scales-295109_640

Be passionate about those other causes. Our world needs that passion. But, to be effective we need it to be done at the appropriate time. We need you to have real, genuine empath for the pain other people are feeling.

To paraphrase another ancient writer, “If you have your great cause, but you don’t have love you have nothing.”

Come down and sit in the pain of the people around you. Allow them to feel their pain. When the time is right, share your passion with them.

Thanks for reading. As always, if you like this post, please feel free to share it via your preferred social media experience.

10 Ways to protect your marriage (Wife style)

My wife recently told me about an article that she didn't really care for too much. You may have seen it running around Facebook. I was bored and put up a status update to that effect. In the comments she gave her list of 10. I'm sharing that list here. Happy Saturday.

1. Always forgive and extend grace.
2. Find times in your day to talk.
3. Never forget why you fell in love
4. Cultivate safety for your spouse which means there is nothing they can say or do to make you love them more or less.
5. Make your spouse your best friend.
6. Take time to play together.
7. Remember that sex is not like the movies;)
8. Touch each other regularly throughout the day like hugs, kisses, grabbing, holding hands ect
9. Get rid of the score and instead have a heart of gratitude. So instead of saying "well I did the dishes last night, why should I say Thsnk you? " just say thank you.
10. Give each other space.
What would your ten be?

5 lessons learned (too late?)

As part of our practice, we get Psychology Today every other month. The latest issue has an article in it that I cannot find online but that I found to be very interesting. According to the author, there are five life lessons we all need to learn and typically don't.

According to Dr. Elizabeth Svoboda we need to learn these five lessons.

  1. The role of radical acceptance:You can't fix the ones you love so focus on fixing yourself. The author takes this to every relationship in our life.
  2. The beuty of benign neglect: It is more harmful to overparent than to underparent.
  3. Opposites don't attract forever: Seek a mate whose values and background echo your own.
  4. Social networks matter: The strength of your friendships is as critical for your health as the lifestyle choices you make.
  5. Lust diminishes but love remains: Being inured with your partner isn't the same as being out of love.

What do you think of this list on the face of it? I realize it is somewhat unfair to ask you to judge an article without reading it, but I can't find it online yet so you'll have to work with me. Thanks. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Shoot a computer, shame your daughter and drag kids around so they can really learn: or other ways to stupidly parent

There is a man named David Hughes who has shared a picture on Facebook that has gone viral. Judging by the comments, it is only going to gain in popularity. I am sure that Mr. Hughes is a nice man, with strong values and this post isn't about him. I simply wanted to give him credit.

Recently there was another viral video that went around facebook. You can watch it at the end of this post. Warning: NSFW language.drugkids.jpg

I hate these types of things. I understand them, but I hate them.

I detest the picture (seen above) because it perpetuates the myth that violence is the only way we can shape our children. This is wrong. It also perpetuates the lie that 20 years ago, or 30 or 40 or however many ago, you were "drug" around there wasn't a drug problem. Kids were all well behaved. They certainly were not like kids today! Champaign fell from the heavens, stars burst into firework displays, flowers burst forth from the ground as everyone walked to church and wholesomeness. The reason for this social Utopia? Well, because we could beat our kids if we needed to do so, of course!

Can I use a good country term for a minute? Hogwash!

We have enough violence for children today. Here are some sobering statistics:


  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
  • More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
  • Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4.
  • It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
  • About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.

All of these numbers are taken from the web-page, childhelp.org.   


  • Five children die everyday in America from abuse
  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy

We have enough violence. We don't need more. We don't need to drag anyone. Does anyone remember the seventies and eighties? We had drug problems then too. We had kids out of control then too. Mostly because society didn't want to do the hard work of actually parenting. Do we need to discipline our kids? Of course. I'm not advocating for some type of free for all, do what you want world.

But, I am advocating for...no I am begging for people to stop glorifying violence and shame as a necessary means of discipline. That's my problem with the video below. He's trying to shame his child into a better way of living. He's throwing a temper tantrum. He's saying, "You hurt me, you shamed me so I'm going to repay your evil with evil of my own and it's OK because I'm the Dad." That's wrong.

Let me be clear, I am not against him shooting up the computer. He's an adult (despite his infant like temper tantrum) and he seems to be more than capable with the gun. I have no problem with that. He owns the computer (I assume) and he can do with it as he sees fit. He can take it from her and set if on fire for all that I care. But, and this is important, he crossed a simple line when he made it into a video so he could shame her. His actions demonstrate that he is more interested in humiliating her than he is in actually teaching her.

Let me also say that I don't know this family but I wonder where he thinks she got her values (remember our children learn the values we live, not the ones we speak). I wonder why he thinks he can't get up and get his own coffee or clean up the mud that he drags into the house. He laments her cursing as he curses throughout the entire post.

What really bugs me about this post is that my friends who claim to be followers of Christ think this is a good idea. They hold this video up as some sort of parenting virtue. When God wrote don't repay evil with evil, He either meant it or he didn't.

Was this girl wrong? Yes. Was he wrong too? Yes. There must be a better way to raise children. He's teaching that it's OK to be disrespectful if you are the one in authority. It's OK to be a jerk if have the power. This is wrong. It goes against the way of Jesus and it goes against effective parenting. Her wrong doesn't make his wrong right.



Bene Brown: Story Teller; Statistics that tell stories

As part of my PhD program I feel I am constantly lost in statistics of some sort. I am constantly looking words I don’t actually understand. For the most part, I hate it.

But I love statistics. I love that statistics tell us stories. I love stories. I first shared this video over a year ago. I shared it here. As I wrote then, one of my favorite quotes is

When you ask people about love, they tell you about breakup.

So often we define something by what it isn't or by the negative of it. Enjoy this video

What happens when I'm stuck with someone who is telling a bad story?

There's a guy. I sort of knew him in college. A few months ago (much to my surprise) he friended me on Facebook. Then came Christmas. We disagreed on a certain expression of our faith. He became very upset. He and a few friends let me know that my eternal destination was somewhere other than heaven. So I unfriended him. Then recently he found me on a mutual friends wall. Rude again. So I ignored him.

Jerks for Jesus. You've met them. Of course, there are also jerks for atheists, Jerks for the Republican party, Jerk for the Democratic party. Jerks for the Progressives. Jerks for the local business people. Jerks for weight loss, jerks for eating. Jerks for young people. Jerks for older people and...well you get the idea.

The world has no shortage of people who are stuck telling a bad story. Often these people are jerks for some cause.

But what happens when the jerk for whatever cause is someone in our life? What happens if it is someone we're close to? How do we manage life when the people around us are telling a bad story? There are a number of things we can do but I think the following list covers most of the ground.

1. Admit it's frustrating. I'm always amazed at how people refuse to admit that other people they know frustrate them. Take my former sort of friend for instance. If you talked to him, he would tell you that he has the most compelling story ever told in the history of the world. And yet he is so angry. His Facebook wall ins't very private so I went and looked at his status updates. He updates fairly regularly throughout the day. I had to go back almost 2 months to find one post about something he was thankful for. Never once did I read about his compelling story.

For me, That. Is. So. Frustrating! You have people in your life that frustrate you. You have people in your life who do things that frustrate you. It's OK to admit it. Without admitting it, you may never be able to deal with it.

2. If possible talk to them about it. If it's possible, talk to them about it. If you have someone in your life who is using their words and their bad story to drag you down, you need to talk to them. You need to plan how you're going to talk to them. What is the goal of your talk time? What do you want to happen when that time is done. Deal with the issue, not the person. Talk about how you're frustrated or hurt. Use words like, "I feel" or "I think." Who knows? They might hear you. You might be able to restore the relationship.

3. If you can't talk to them, stop seeing them or at least limit your time with them. We are affected by the people we choose to be around. If someone is constantly telling a bad story, that plot line is going to rub off on you. You don't have to be friends with everyone. You don't have to spend copious amounts of time with someone who is bringing you down. Part of telling a good story is making difficult decisions. If you are going to commit to telling a good story with your life, you may have to stop talking to some people who don't share the same passion. You may have to limit your contact with people you really care about, or who are related to you.

Life is short. We get one chance at this story. It will be written before we know it. Snap your fingers and you'll be preparing to die. You're life will have been lived. Tell a good story. Avoid those people who are telling bad stories. Your story and the story of all of us will be better for it. S

Facebook isn't making us miserable. We make ourselves that way

There's an interesting blog post making the rounds. It's called, "Facebook is making us miserable." Interestingly enough, I found it on facebook. Now, it's on the Harvard Business Review blog, written by a published author who is undoubtedly very smart. This is not an attack on him.

It is a complete disagreement with his post though. Essentially, he posits that the problem is facebook.

I say, that's horsemush.

He actually has a great line. He writes,

In writing Passion & Purpose, I monitored and observed how Facebook was impacting the lives of hundreds of young businesspeople. As I went about my research, it became clear that behind all the liking, commenting, sharing, and posting, there were strong hints of jealousy, anxiety, and, in one case, depression. Said one interviewee about a Facebook friend, "Although he's my best friend, I kind-of despise his updates." Said another "Now, Facebook IS my work day." As I dug deeper, I discovered disturbing by-products of Facebook's rapid ascension — three new, distressing ways in which the social media giant is fundamentally altering our daily sense of well-being in both our personal and work lives.

He goes on to list three disturbing things that Facebook is "creating" in us. They are:

  1. First, it's creating a den of comparison.
  2. Second, it's fragmenting our time.
  3. Last, there's a decline of close relationships.

Do all of these happen on facebook? Sure, probably. Did facebook create any of them? No way. They've been around forever and a day.

The problem isn't facebook. It's us. It's how we choose to interact and react. Nothing makes us jealous of anything. We can control that. A core bedrock of change is the truth that we have to own our own choices. We have to own our own responsibility.

If reading facebook makes you jealous of your best friend, you have a problem. You should actually thank Mark Zuckerburg for creating a tool that revealed a character flaw in you. It's not facebook, it's you. Seriously, when you're done thanking him, call and schedule an appointment with a counselor. I can recommend a great Counseling Agency if you live in the Grand Rapids area.

Now, my disagreement as to the cause aside, I agree with his remedies. If a person can't handle facebook and can't figure out how to change themselves, removing the temptation might be a good choice.

Deleting facebook could be a good choice for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.

Taking away jealousy or being happier probably isn't one of them. Facebook, like adversity doesn't build (or make) character, it simply reveals it.

You can read the HBR post here.