In many ways, truth-telling has gotten me in trouble. In the end, as I look back, it ended up for the good of the person across from me. Truth-telling is not always easy. In many situations, it has the potential of hurting the hearer or creating separation.

In the age we live in we’ve made three major mistakes:

  1. We have made truth a matter of interpretation. In other words, the truth is in the eyes of the beholder
  2. We have allowed our emotions to overrun reason. It seems that reason has been permanently exiled
  3. We are motivated by our fears

I’m making a case for truth-telling because I know the benefits. If the people closest to me had shied away from it, I would be lost in my own delusions. Often we’re very good at deluding ourselves.

I want to be very clear that truth-telling is an art. It involves love, timing and a strong grasp of the situation underpinning the conversation. If the person delivering the truth is ill-equipped or oblivious to this, the truth will be a source of harm. As you can imagine, it’s vital to seek truth from those you trust.

The following are some truths I’ve had to communicate recently:

  • “You’re smart and have a good heart. The mistake you made was allowing him to take advantage of your kindness.”
  • “He won’t give up the drugs because he doesn’t want to. When he wants to be whole, he will make the decision to own his problems.”
  • “I appreciate the desire to make things better. However, having more meetings to discuss what has been discussed to the point of nausea is a waste of everyone’s time.”
  • “I’m so sorry. I know that had to hurt you deeply. What can I do to help you?”
  • “No one owes you anything. You have been given the responsibility for your life. If you don’t like where you’re at, then begin the process of making a change.”

I haven’t perfected the art of truth-telling. I’m better at it than I was ten years ago, and I have a long way to go. It’s clear to me what happens if I fail to attempt truth-telling; I will fail myself and those who count on me.

What Are You Counting On?

What are you counting on? A simple and straightforward question. It reveals more about you and I than meets the mind.

The things we’re counting on reveal our identity.

Maybe you’re counting on someone to make you happy. Maybe your counting on that quarterly bonus. Regardless, these things shape our identity without notice. A subtle defining that happens slowly over time. Identity should be formed by the immovable or at a minimum something we’re willing to stake the risk on.

Here’s a brief list of what I’m counting on:

  1. God’s understanding
  2. My wife’s commitment
  3. My children’s love
  4. Friendship of a few
  5. Solitude

As you can see from my list, there are some things that could fail me. I don’t mind because I’m willing to take the risk. And oh, the heart-break that could ensue just the same. This is living.

Don’t count on what is fleeting and temporal. Marketing often bugs us to the contrary, but that’s just selling something we really don’t need.

Some New Year Advice

By now, you’ve probably seen a thousand articles on new year resolutions. This post is not one of them. I just want to give you some new year advice.

I’ve always believed that you know how to live your life, so my help is designed to come alongside of your journey and inspire.

Here’s my new year advice:

  1. Before you start with all of your resolutions, decide what’s most important to you, then decide what you want
  2. Be very skeptical of the voices who try to tell you that there’s a fast path to getting to where you want to go. Typically, these voices are dressed in celebrity/rock star clothing. Don’t be discouraged, though, the journey is worth the struggle
  3. Focus on being who you really are. For many, this is the toughest nut to crack. Sometimes we all feel the pull to be someone that our boss or potential client wants. We rationalize in our heads that it’s ok to “act” or “stretch.” The truth is you’ll never be able to sustain the show and eventually you will be recognized as a fake
  4. Surround yourself with people who love you and are not afraid of calling you on your BS
  5. Create space for your mind and soul to speak. By the way, everything above is supported by creating space for your mind and soul

If you need any help with the points in my post, reach out through the comments section or by email.

Are You Present for December?

Out in front of you is a window of time. For the sake of my post, December. The most important question, if the Lord allows, is whether you’ll be present.

Are you present for December?

All of your life in 31 days will be found in December. No exceptions, the happy, the sad, the fears, the events, and more. The question remains, are you present for December?

Many of us sprint through the days that create the months. Busy schedules, busy activities and our lives are wrapped in the doing. Tragically, the being part of life is left in the dust. One of my greatest challenges, and opportunities is reminding and teaching my family the art of being. My family is not unlike most when it comes to the struggle of being. In many ways, I play the resounding gong. A bell designed to remind and encourage the behavior of being.

What is being mean, anyway?

I practice being in the following ways:

  1. Doing absolutely nothing in silence. Many refer to this as mindfulness. I often practice this to hear from God
  2. Stopping to look around me and let my 5 senses take over
  3. Listening
  4. Practicing my art
  5. Romancing my memories. “>Central Park comes to my mind right now

If you live in a place where “being” is a strange concept, you should take the risk and try it. Don’t worry, this is not something you do for hours. Think of it as adding salt to flavor. It’s something small that is really big.

Telling Lies


I read once that if you want to get comfortable with telling lies to others, you need to get comfortable with telling lies to yourself.  Kind of chilling when you think about it. I agree with the analogy.

Now, what are these self-lies we tell ourselves?  In my case, during my days in the corporate world, it was performance.  For example, if I hit this number I will get an applause at the weekly staff meeting.  I would sit and find myself perspiring and feeling so much adrenaline at the thought of telling my peers how well my group was doing.  The lie I embraced was that age-old dysfunction of; “if I do this or that, I will be liked/loved.”  Did my peers like/love me because of my great feats?  No, and if some were of the flattering variety, it never lasted very long.

Telling, and believing, self-lies is a dangerous habit.  Like an awful addiction to any opiate.  You can never find the strength to stop. It can cripple you from finding and leading an Epic Life.  One scary part is found in how many people/messages are out there to fuel the habit. It ends when the habit births regret.

In the end, lies are lies, no way around it.

Lying to oneself is not only confined to the individual.  But creeps into the organizational world too.  Take the large corporation that proclaims, via marketing, that it values the client.  Ironically, though, its client service department can’t even return phone calls in a reasonable fashion.  The organization continues to print materials, hold town hall meetings, formats focus groups, but the truth is still the same; valuing a client is more of a fantasy.  And by the way, most loyal clients know this.

So what happens if we start embracing the truth versus the lie?  Here are some outcomes to consider:

  1. We can get down to the business of change-for the better.
  2. We’ll stop blaming the competition, our dads, the economy or some other phantasm for our poor results.
  3. Focus and happiness.
  4. A legacy colored in the brush strokes of love and action.
  5. Freedom!

I’m sure there are more outcomes to list, but the point remains for us to stop the lies.  Our Epic Life/Venture depends on it.