Podcast

Leaning Toward Less

Leaning Toward Less

From 30 feet away a shotgun blast will disperse many dozens of pellets over a broad area. The greater the distance, the wider the spread of pellets.

A rifle on the other hand is a single projectile. It only creates one hole in the target, but it’s able to do it from a much greater distance.

The energy behind a shotgun propels dozens of BB-like projectiles toward the target while the rifle focuses all that energy on a single bullet. Focusing on less is rifle-like. Multi-tasking like a madman is more shotgun-like.

Years ago while working with a client who was easily distracted because everywhere he looked he saw opportunities, I created a diagram to show him the power of focusing on fewer opportunities. Sometime later I created a 1:21-minute video (without sound) to replicate what I did in front of the client that day.

YouTube player

I drew a circle with a dot in the center. That center dot represented the starting point for any business pursuits my client might engage in. The outer circle represented profit or whatever measurement he wanted to use to represent success. And I began by marking an X somewhere on the circle, to represent that goal. A circle is 360 degrees so we’ll assume there are 360 choices or pursuits (even though there are infinite number of them really). So our X represents just one.

I then began to advance one dot at a time from the center dot (the starting point) in a straight line toward the X, the goal. I put 3 dots in a line and told my client that each dot represented a step toward achieving success in that direction.

Then I drew a new X on a different part of the circle to represent a new opportunity – a new pursuit. And I put three dots in the direction of that X, telling my client that represented steps taken to achieve success toward that different goal.

I did it with a third X on yet a different part of the circle. Again, I put 3 dots toward that goal, representing different activities put toward this third goal.

Suppose there are 10 dots between the center starting point and anywhere on the circle. The dots represent the actions necessary to reach the outer circle or success. By now I’ve put 9 dots on the diagram, but they’re divided by 3 different pursuits so none of them is even a third the way toward achieving success.

I explained to him that if his attention had been more narrowly focused on a single objective then he’d be 9 steps toward success. That meant, he’d be just one step away from achieving the goal, albeit a single goal. But instead, he was about one-third the way toward achieving success in 3 different areas. Which meant he wasn’t even close to success at any of them. His history showed that he hardly ever reached the outer circle. With anything. When he did manage to achieve it, he struggled the sustain it…or improve it because something else grabbed his attention.

Over time, it was pretty clear to him what he most struggled with — he mistook motion for action. As long as he was running around with his hair on fire he felt like he was driven, and ambitious. But he was wrong. Clarity was elusive for him. He didn’t see it. Until he finally could see it. His lack of success had very little to do with much else other than his focused attention to it for long enough periods to make it a reality. He was busy traveling short distances in many directions, but the goals were all longer distances away. Short trips to the store do not a vacation trip make.

That’s the power of less. It’s the power of embracing or leaning into less – not more.

Throughout our time together he discovered that he had a fundamental idea that had never proven true in his life. Throw more stuff on the wall and something is bound to stick. Bet on more numbers and surely one of your numbers will win. Do enough things and something is bound to succeed. But it never did. Because he struggled to maintain enough focus fully exploit any opportunity. He couldn’t discriminate between opportunities.

That may not represent your life, but it represents many of us who suffer distraction and a lack of understanding of how powerfully freeing limitations are. The power of less is the power of being more discriminating. It’s the power of placing greater importance on some things so you can push other things further away – things that you don’t value as highly.

My client didn’t calculate the importance. He never stopped to think through how and where he invested himself. He incorrectly judged every opportunity as equal, but that’s never the case.

Too Many Choices Is Too Restrictive

Here’s a link to an article about white paint. In the article, a person claims there are over 900 shades of white paint. Nine hundred! I wonder how long designers and customers spend trying to wrestle to the ground which shade of white they should use. So many choices require a lot of time. And anxiety.

What if you had to choose among 5? Do you suppose the decision would be easier? Do you think you’d be sorely disappointed because you could only pick one from among 5 as opposed to finding one among 900 or more?

Over 99% of us would be just as happy with one of the 5. Happier if you consider the agonizing required to select among 900 plus!

More isn’t always better. It’s often paralyzing.

Are more meetings better?

More phone calls?

More emails?

More events on your calendar?

More furniture?

More toys?

More electronics?

More clothes?

More friends?

More events to attend?

More vacations? Well, okay…maybe more of that is always good.

There Is No Secret

People are fooled by the whole formula or secret mentality. They diligently search for (and invest in) a template they can follow to get the result they want – wrongly thinking that if could just precisely follow the path of a successful person, then we’d be successful, too. But there are too many variables they fail to consider.

We’ve already talked about how time is a big factor. Things take time. There’s also timing. When things happen matters. There’s also a third major differentiator. Talent.

My son was talking with me the other day about business. He has his own small business. I’m very proud of him because he’s worked like a madman to launch, build and grow his business. Some years ago, before he started it, I was cheering him on because I knew he had the stuff to succeed. But it was a big and scary move leaving one career behind to start a brand new one. Especially when you’ve got a family. But I was 100% confident he’d succeed. I was right. #FatherKnowsBest 😉

Well, he’s not at all like me in some very important ways – ways that I knew would serve him well. He’s overtly extroverted. He doesn’t overthink. He has no reservations about asking. Those skills I knew would be instrumental in helping him become a successful small business owner.

Well, during our conversation the other day we happened to start talking about how one size doesn’t fit all, and that people can do – or attempt to do – the exact same thing, but it doesn’t mean they’ll end up in the same place. I remarked, “Talent is the BIG differentiator.” He commented that he had coached somebody to do exactly what he did in building his business. He said, “And they did everything I told them. I mean, everything. And they gained some traction, but things didn’t really stick.” Being his dad, it was easy for me to remark, “Cause they’re not YOU. The difference is YOU.”

Now he and I both know – and so do you – that you can’t go around spouting off how great you are, even if it’s true. Well, we can’t. Some folks can. 😀

Here we are at the start of football training camps in the NFL and the college programs are in full swing, too. Teams are ramping up. Rosters are being set. Game plans formulated. Many of these teams are implementing the same schemes or strategies. Coaches are frequently coaching the same techniques. But on Saturday or Sunday, when the games are played one team is going to win and one will lose based mostly on the talent on the field. Talent makes the difference and we don’t often enough want to give talent due credit because we can’t do much about it. So we focus on things like hard work, effort, focus, and things we can more easily control.

I bring all this up because it directly relates to our topic of leaning toward less. And it can include less ambition. Hang with me. I’m not talking about giving up or accepting mediocrity. I’m talking about ambition in the sense of wanting to be more than your talent will allow. Michael Jordan, for whatever reason, left the NBA to become a minor league baseball player. Talent coupled with age wouldn’t allow him to succeed in baseball. And he was never going to achieve in baseball what he did in basketball. No amount of effort was going to make Mike a major league baseball star, or even a suitable utility player in the majors. He simply wasn’t good enough.

I know your mama told you that you could grow up to be anything you wanted, but she loves you. The world doesn’t love you that much. 😀

She lied. Not knowingly perhaps. Or intentionally, but she did lie to you. You can’t be anything you want. The key is to find that magical intersection between what you most want to pursue and your natural talent. Spend your time there. That’s the point of less being more when it comes to ambition.

Limiting ourselves is hard. And often it’s counterintuitive. Mostly, we tend to think that throw it all against the wall and something is bound to stick. But that’s exhausting, especially after we’ve thrown stuff and thrown stuff on the wall and NOTHING seems to ever stick. Shotguns are being used for the work of a rifle. Scattered effort and attention versus more precisely targeted effort.

_________________

YouTube player

 

When I began to think about the power of less providing me with more…I also was thinking of how the power of letting go, gave me opportunities to hang onto something else. Something more valuable. More profitable. Initially, I was going to make two separate episodes, but these ideas are too congruent to ignore. They belong together.

We’d like to have less furniture. We don’t use all the furniture we have…and mostly, we have some of it to fill the space. That now seems like a foolish choice.

I think of the things I love to use. The things I do use. I’ve talked before about a favorite cup, a favorite fork, and a favorite bowl. One of each. Not many from which to choose.

Letting go of stuff can be challenging until you begin. I know. Because we avoided it for years. Wish we would have embraced it years ago, but no matter – we got around to it. And when we started, it gained momentum quickly.

There’s stuff and then there’s furniture, which is also stuff, but bigger! “But the room will look so empty,” says the naysayer. To which I’d say, “What’s wrong with that? There’s something refreshing about empty space.”

Let’s start with The Yellow Studio (currently). For years, I’ve had four large, floor-to-ceiling bookcases. I’ve also had four small bookcases (that fold up). I’ve got a two-drawer lateral file with a six-block cube storage unit that has three cloth drawers. There’s been a 62″ tall four-sided CD carousel in one corner. A single-drawer file cart, on casters. Another computer stand with a retractable keyboard tray, also on rollers. The biggest piece of furniture is a 6-foot-long conference table that I use as a broadcast table – my main workspace. And of course, there are chairs – my own Herman Miller Mirra and at least one other chair.

Wanna know what I’m keeping for The Yellow Studio version 3.0?

Maybe the simple, one-drawer filing cabinet which has a top and one other shelf right below it. It measures 16″ x 22″ x 19″ and has high utility.

And I’m not sure about it. But I’m leaning toward keeping that.

That’s it.

The Yellow Studio version 3.0 will likely center around a new desk – adjustable for sitting or standing. A desk that will accommodate multiple monitors and all the podcasting stuff. A desk that will be well wired (with solid cable management – which means the wires will be well hidden). And a desk on heavy-duty casters so it could easily be moved around. And a comfortable chair or stool (I may opt for a higher sitting position). And this little single-drawer file cart I’ve just described (because it would likely fit nicely under the desk, lowered or raised.

That’s the subtraction of a lot of furniture. And that’s letting go, which feels awesome.

As I look around I see other furniture that we N-E-V-E-R use. It’s ornamental. And I don’t even enjoy that aspect of it.

Months ago I began writing down what my ideal outcome would be furniture-wise. Keep in mind, I’ve got a wife and I’m far more interested in her achieving her ideal outcome – because I honestly don’t care *that* much. I’ve already purged about 85% of all my possessions so if I never achieve anything more than this, I’ve won. Already.

But…my ideal outcome when it comes to letting go of furniture would mean in our bedroom we have our bed and small nightstands on each side. A bench at the foot of the bed is nice (we’ve got one now) for sitting down when you put your shoes on. Otherwise, perhaps one small bookcase – like one of the folding ones I’m keeping ’cause they’re high utility and well made. Otherwise, I’d love to have storage inside the closet for things like underwear and socks. I don’t need a chest of drawers or a dresser.

The thought of all that wall space – and access to the baseboards (for vacuuming) – is pretty thrilling. Just thinking about that environment calms me.

When I was just a little boy I had to put away my toys and stuff before I could go to bed. Yep, I was that kid! 😉

I could never go to bed until I had cleaned my room. There’s something to it – at least for me.

I won’t take you through every room in our house for my exercise in my ideal outcome. But I can tell you that we don’t want as much space as we currently have. And the space we do have, we don’t want to be cluttered with stuff. There’s one big important distinction I need to offer between my wife and me. She’s a talented and gifted seamstress. She loves to sew. She has spent years learning and practicing her craft. She has spent time and money assembling her ideal outcome as it relates to this activity she loves so much. Fabric. Equipment. Furniture suitable for the craft. There are lots of parts and pieces necessary for the practice of her art and craft. So this isn’t a competition or contest. Nor is it a comparison. She loves what she loves and I love her.

During the purging she’s made a statement a few times, “I should sell that,” and I’m retorting, “No, you shouldn’t.”

This isn’t about getting rid of things just to get rid of things. Letting go isn’t about letting go of things you love. It’s about letting go of things that are more of a burden than anything else. Her sewing supplies aren’t a burden. They’re a valuable resource. And she needs space because this work she enjoys – and is so good at – requires it.

So don’t go thinking I’m being more accommodating than I truly am. I’m driven to make her happy, but this is a lesson in how two completely different people, into two completely different things, can approach simplification in their own ways. And we respect each other enough to realize that our approaches will be different.

When you watch one of these HGTV shows where the couple is going to decide the kind of countertops or flooring they want…do you cringe like I do when the husband has some serious disagreement with the wife over the veins in the granite or something? Maybe it’s just me, but I always watch these shows and think, “Dude, what do you care? Let her have what she wants.” I mean, she’s not wanting a purple countertop with gold leaf trim. I’d object to something like that, but I didn’t marry a girl who would pick something like that. So what do I care? She’s not going to dictate what kind of desk is the focal point for The Yellow Studio version 3.0. And I’m not going to dictate her sewing space – other than to make sure she doesn’t let go of something she might regret – just because she sees me getting rid of so much stuff.

Major Point: I’m getting rid of stuff that I never use, don’t want, and don’t need.

Another Major, Musical Point: Midnight Pilot deserves success. I can’t let go of wanting them to achieve their musical dreams. I hope they’re able to persist before they let go! Shout out to Grant, Kyle, Kris, and Dustin.

YouTube player

Let’s mix and mingle these contrasting ideas of letting go and hanging on.

Flipping the script on the power of letting go is the power of hanging on – the power of holding on for dear life. But there’s an important fact that we all have to face. We own it. The circumstances of our life – the things we choose to hang onto and the things we choose to let go – those are ALL on us.

Owning the outcomes of our life doesn’t mean we’re to blame. It doesn’t mean everything is our fault. It simply means we’re going to accept responsibility for it, which mostly means we’re going to own figuring out, “Now what?”

This is the hardest thing for us. To stop making excuses. To face the reality that we’re responsible for our own lives. That we’re not merely victims of others, circumstances or fate. That in spite of awful things that happen to us, we have choices in how we’ll respond. That we can free ourselves if we’ll find the courage to unburden ourselves from our excuse-making.

We’d all be better if we slowed down blaming others and if we’d face our reality – it’s our life, and we can choose what we’ll think, do and say.

_________________

I can illustrate my own lessons in all this notion of less is more, letting go, hanging on, and however else you’d like to think of these things. Consider this craft of podcasting.

On June 1, 2021, I started a new podcast that was more nichey than anything I’d ever done. It was about a specific place in Arkansas. A small place population-wise. About 16,000 people. According to the 2020 US Census, 75% of the incorporated places in America have fewer than 5,000 people. No matter, by any standard 16 thousand people isn’t a big place. Geographically the place covers 26,000 acres so it’s quite a land mass. But you get the drift – any podcast about a place like this – unless it’s a famous vacation destination or something else worthy of putting it on the map – a place like this won’t be a blockbuster podcast garnering millions of listens.

I started the podcast as a visitor who wanted to know more about this place because I fell in love with it after stumbling onto it while looking for some respite – someplace to get away. Well, the podcast quickly gained traction by gaining listeners, viewers, and attention. More quickly than any podcast I had ever produced – and by June 2021 I had been podcasting for over 20 years. Now that we’re beyond one year old we’re continuing to gain momentum and I’m confident that we’re going to keep working to improve our little show and it’s going to become even more valuable to our audience. That’s the goal.

By narrowing the focus on one specific place and the places that surround it, we found a fast audience. By excluding other areas and communities, we’ve found a successful home with our audience. We’re not trying to be all things to all people. We’re intentionally limiting ourselves to this specific place and things associated with this place. Whenever we slide unintentionally a bit outside that, our audience tunes out. When we lean hard into who we are and what we’ve set out to do, we grow. Funny how that work. Of course, talent is our limitation! We’re working on it, as much as we can. 😀

My years of business experience taught me the power of narrowing a focus – and serving a narrow market. Less is more. I spent almost my entire career serving the higher-end, luxury sector. By excluding other sectors, it made those marketing efforts pay off more. By narrowly defining who and what we are, we’re more able to find people who identify with us and more people willing to say, “Here I am, you’re talking to me!”

“Variety is the spice of life.”

Is it really? Just because it’s trite doesn’t make it true. And besides, define variety. Is two variety? Or three? Or 43? How much or how many are required before we can call it variety?

We’re talking about making choices on what we want to include and what we want to exclude…so we’re choosing from a variety of options. This isn’t about losing our freedom, but rather about expanding our freedom. It’s about liberating ourselves from lesser things for more important things. That’s why I uttered that phrase when I was a teenager working for a tyrant in a stereo store. “If everything is important, then nothing is important.” It was true when he berated us how everything mattered equally and it’s still true today. If we refuse to be selective then we’re necessarily saying that nothing has priority. And we know how ridiculous that is. And now untrue that is.

“I’m sorry, I just didn’t have time.” We’ve all used that excuse. But it’s a lie. We all had time to do it. We just didn’t want to. The reasons can vary. Maybe we didn’t care about it. Maybe we really didn’t want to do it, but we didn’t want to tell the person that. Maybe we had so many other things that were more important to us. No matter the reason…it was NOT a lack of time. It was, most certainly, a lack of interest. We didn’t have enough “want to” to do it.

This is how setting limits is liberating. Freeing.

It seems like it might be restrictive, but it’s not. I can attest firsthand now that I’ve purged about 90% of everything I own. It feels like I’ve thrown off shackles that weighed me down. I feel lighter. Freer. More flexible. And I have no desire to go back. I can tell you that I’ve truly repented. I have no plans to go back to that way of life ever again. Because this is much better than that. It’s an improvement and I’m willing to continue to pursue this feeling for the rest of my life.

Leaning toward less forced me to prioritize. It made me more closely examine things.

When I was operating retail businesses I regularly would put inventory on trial for its life. That is, I’d make each item stand on its own merits. Maybe that item served a unique purpose, but it had to serve that purpose successfully or I’d be happy to replace it. I was completely agnostic toward any SKU (stock-keeping unit). I didn’t get romantic or sentimental about it. The item succeeded in fulfilling a purpose or it didn’t. Numbers don’t lie.

In a similar fashion, I took that approach with my own leaning toward less. I put possessions in trial for their life. And it didn’t involve all the data crunching required of retail inventory. It was much more visceral. I’d hold an item or look at an item and within 10 seconds I knew it was either TOSS or KEEP. Toss meant donate it, sell it or trash it. Keep meant I’m hanging onto it.

Now that the work is pretty much complete, I can tell you with absolute certainty – I value the remaining items more than I ever have. My feelings are fuller. Freer. I have less on which to focus and so it’s easy to continue to judge these things and their role in my life. My possessions fit into one or more of a few buckets. They’re high utility. They’re sentimental (priceless). They’re enjoyable. In all three cases, they enhance my life. They don’t burden it down – which is how I was feeling pre-purge.

When we learn to set limits we learn to leverage them better. But we never figure that out if we’re constantly saying YES to everything. Including possessions. Including pursuits.

I had a wealthy friend who would take one big trip after another. No, we weren’t running mates or anything, but we had a friendly relationship. He’d take some big trip to Ireland or Spain or Australia. He’d be gone for 10 days and experience things that money will buy. Within a week of being back home, he’d start talking about the next trip. Planning would begin. Within 6 weeks he’d be off again…living the high life. I used to watch this and be exhausted. And I wasn’t making any of these trips. The mere thought of thinking of them exhausted me. But he was like a kitten with a ball of yarn. And a new ball of yarn would roll across the floor. Off he’d go chasing that one. Then another ball enters the room. And off he goes in that direction.

He was accumulating lots of experiences. It could be argued that the experiences were so vast and so frequent, that nothing was terribly unique about any of them. Even for me, they began to blur together. I have no idea what they like for him, but something was missing. Something was leaving him empty. Until he took a new trip. Then another. And another. Never mind the thousands – hundreds of thousands of dollars required. I’d often silently wonder, “For what? To say you did it?” I never really knew why…other than he had the money to do it, so he did. His money wasn’t limitless, but it kinda sorta was. Enough anyway.

I didn’t have the resources for such choices. So I made very different decisions. But he could have, too. His life. His money. He could – and did – whatever he wanted. I respect it, even if I don’t understand it.

Life without limits might seem liberating but I often think of the mega-wealthy and how trapped they really are. And I’m not playing sour grapes. I’ve known enough mega-wealthy folks (people with over $100 million; that’s my own view) to know how demanding life is. The social schedule is daunting. The requests are neverending. Everybody has a request or a demand. The fear and paranoia run deep. Deservedly so. Every single one of them has more than one story of being duped or taken advantage of. The paranoia grows. Relationships are questioned. The importance of decisions is magnified. A whole lot more to lose. I’d like to be wealthy, just not mega-wealthy. 😉 I’d like limitations to my wealth — I just don’t want them quite as limiting as they currently are.

What if you don’t want to simplify? What if you don’t want to lean toward less? What if you enjoy chaos and the hectic life of spinning as many plates as possible?

I grew up watching guys like Erich Brenn on variety shows, like The Ed Sullivan Show. Google him. E-R-I-C-H — B-R-E-N-N.

YouTube player

Erich was THE MAN when it came to spinning plates. Watch the videos and you’ll likely be fascinated, but you’ll also probably feel like me – exhausted. Not to mention you’ll wonder, “Why?” When you’re literally spinning plates, it’s entertaining…for a while.

The people unwilling to set limits on their pursuits and activities are plate spinners. Which is great, if that’s what you want to do. But there is one enormous downside to these people. A universal truth about such people.

They impose on everybody else in their life. 

I’ve never found an exception. Not one.

Plate spinners demand – knowingly or not – that everybody around them conform to their way of life. Pushing back won’t help. At least I’ve not found any form of pushing back that helps.

They’re not bad people, but their choices wind up being – I think, mostly unintentionally disrespectful of everybody in their wake. You either go with it, build a bridge and get over it – or you’ll fume until you blow up the relationship. I know because I’ve taken both routes are various times in my life.

I’ve talked with a few close friends bent this way. I’m convinced they’re unaware of the negative impact of their behavior. I’m equally convinced they have no clue how to go about altering it. So far, I’ve yet to encounter anybody who really wanted to change. I’ve only seen it in one person who confessed that deep down he felt like his life would be dramatically better professionally and personally if he wasn’t so scattered. But all the others openly talk about how much they love jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof. It provides something they feel they need. I believe them.

But I also believe there has to be a better way – some way where we can lean into who we are while being more mindful of how our behavior might negatively impact others. Maybe it’s the thought of leaning less into who we are – and how we naturally roll – so we can be MORE mindful of how we may be influencing others (or frustrating others). For example, I’m a fixer. I can naturally see how good something is and in my mind, it’s not being critical, but I immediately lean into what can be done to improve it. Fix it. Make it better. But experience has taught me that some people – no matter how much I explain it – see it as “never being satisfied” or critical. Now, I try to adjust if I sense a person is bent that way. I usually refrain from making any suggestions about improvement and instead, I’ll try to spark curiosity in the conversation to aim for an ideal outcome. Sometimes it’s a game of “what if?” where we talk about what our very best outcome might look like…which often leads to a conversation of “how could we make that happen?” Some people – truth is, most people – are happier with that conversation than with tweaking or fixing something. So I’ve adjusted my approach without giving up how I’m naturally wired – or the things I’m naturally good at.

Leaning into less gave me the inspiration and desire to lean into being MORE mindful of how others react to me. Whether you’re a plate spinner who hops around frenetically or a sober-minded person who easily sees the potential for improvement or something completely different – this isn’t about changing you. Or urging you to change how you’re naturally wired. It’s about helping you think about how you impact and influence others.

The bottom line is our collective needs to lean toward less about us and more about others.

That sounds so altruistic, but it’s practical. And we benefit.

Think about the person you love the most. For me, it’s my wife.

She’s nothing like me in some very important ways. She’s a lot like me in some other very important ways. But in those ways where we’re very different, it’d be easy for me to lean into myself and resent her for not being more like me. Or for not understanding and surrendering to how I roll. I was guilty of that in the early years of our marriage. Sometimes, it still happens when I stop paying attention as I should.

When I think more about her and her preferences – her natural tendencies – then I’m able to adjust my thoughts and my actions. I don’t stop being me. I don’t surrender my natural talents and characteristics. But I happily – after I stop and really think about it 😉 – lean MORE into doing what will be most helpful. I don’t always succeed, but like you, I’m still a work in progress.

Leaning into less of something affords us opportunities to lean into more of other things. In the case of my marriage, I can – and have a strong desire to – lean more into my wife’s happiness. It’s not about surrendering my happiness. It’s more about finding my own happiness in hers. And I can tell you that it’s something I’ve learned over time. Today, it’s genuine. And real.

The path to more is less.

It’s a matter of focus on which one is which. We can think about what might deserve less before we can do much about what might deserve more. Or we can reverse it, and think about what deserves more so we can then examine what deserves less.

As I am wont to do, I’ve buried the lead. The real point of all this is our delusion that NOTHING has to give. That’s how we get swamped. It’s why our closets are exploding. And why so many of us are spending almost $50 billion on self-storage. Experts expect that number to soar to almost $65 billion by 2026. About 38% of Americans used self-storage last year. The average customer spent $90 a month. And – are you sitting down? – according to storage industry stats, the average self-storage facility has a 92% occupancy. That means, all these storage places you see, they’re mostly fully booked.

We’re so special we can have it all. We don’t have to sacrifice anything. We can take every phone call. Return every text or email. Chase every entrepreneurial endeavor. Pursue every possible romantic relationship. Yes, we can have our cake and eat it, too.

So we try.

Every shiny object, every ball of yarn that enters our field of vision gets our attention. Every phone buzz or ding gets our attention.

According to a Duke University study, it takes 23 minutes for us to regain our focus after an interruption. Twenty Three Minutes!

You’re in a zone enjoying the flow…doing whatever it is you’re doing. A text pops up on your phone. You immediately check it. That means you stop doing whatever you were doing. Flow is gone. The zone disappears. Regardless of the subject of the text, you’re now thinking of something else, likely related to that text. Maybe you text back. Maybe there’s a link in the text…so you click on that. We have all done it. We all mostly DO IT. Every single day. Many times every day.

Oblivious at the price we’re paying. Because we don’t think we’re paying any price. Rather, we just assume that’s how life happens these days. Besides, everybody is doing it. So it clearly is working for them – we’ll make it work for us. But what if it’s not working for anybody? What if we’re all following each other falsely believing this is how it has to be?

Today, I’m encouraging us to stop long enough to question what we’re doing. To ask ourselves if it’s really working well for us. And if not, why don’t we more closely examine how we operate and improve it?

Let me tell you why this is an important topic for me right now – and why I hit the record button. It’s been a longstanding challenge for me. But I first read the book, FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in 1990. He defines flow as an effortless, zen- state of concentration in which you no longer perceive time, allowing you to fully express your skill level all the while remaining calm, focused, and oftentimes creating a feeling of happiness. Much has been added to his work. Lots of other books and content have been produced showing us that focused, intentional effort is highly profitable. But most of our days are full of something much different. Rather than any zen-like pursuit, most of us look like squirrels darting around at every sight and sound that startles us.

Some months ago I came face-to-face for the umpteenth time with a person who loves to spin plates. He’d consistently call me on the phone, and begin the conversation only to be interrupted by a text message or another phone call – often within the first 30 seconds. “Oh, I need to (fill in the blank on whatever it was he needed to do that was obviously more important than talking to me). Let me call you back.” Most of the time he’d then just hang up, off in pursuit of that interruption.

Who am I to judge priorities for somebody else? I have no way of knowing if the interruption was urgent or casual.

What I did know is that he selected a time to call me. I didn’t call him. There’s likely a reason or purpose for him calling me at that particular time. But the interruption suddenly – and always – became more important. After it happened a few dozen times I began to wonder if every interruption was more important than whatever else was on his mind or agenda. It didn’t have anything to do with me. Not at first.

I started connecting dots that he’s likely foregoing whatever is on his own agenda at any given moment to pursue whatever interruptions come his way. Months of watching him forced my conclusion. It was only then that I began to realize how disrespectful it is. And as an old retail animal – a guy who ran retailing companies for years – I likened it to the person standing in the store at the counter waiting to be served, or to pay – taking a backseat to a random phone call. Stupid. Ridiculous. Something I never tolerated as a business leader. The person who has gone to the trouble to come see us in person is more deserving than the phone call. So for me, as a businessman, it wasn’t about abandoning one of them, but it was about how to give them both superior service while recognizing that the person right in front of us is always THE most important person. I spent hours talking with staff about “being present.” We’ve all likely been served by the easily distracted salesperson or clerk. Makes you feel really important, huh?

It doesn’t all matter equally. It can’t.

It’s not all equally important. Else, there are no priorities in life.

Some things must matter less so others can matter more. Some people must matter less and get less of our time because others matter more, and deserve more.

Some pursuits must matter less because others matter more.

Maybe it’s time to get in deeper touch with what we want more so we can start leaning into what deserves less.

Randy Cantrell

P.S. It’s not lost on me that this may be more episode than a normal one. 😉

Goodbye To The Yellow Studio Version 2.0

Goodbye To The Yellow Studio Version 2.0

The first real studio tour I did Inside The Yellow Studio was more than a decade in. It was 2015. At that point, I’d been laying down audio tracks online for years. Then when you guys helped me get the new (at the time) Rode Rodecaster Pro in 2019, I did a new tour. Click here to see and listen to that.

I won’t rehash history because you can go back and dive as deeply as you’d like. Or not all at.

The broadcast workflow has always been how I’ve rolled. That is, I prepare in advance, then I hit RECORD, and mostly, I’m done. It’s finished. My editing is pre-recording editing. It’s a broadcast workflow because that’s how live broadcasts work. There are no do-overs. It’s out and done. Foibles and all.

That workflow was the genesis of The Yellow Studio version 1.0. It consisted of a sizable rack of gear, which I loved. It wasn’t cheap, but my sound was consistently great – whether I was on a Skype call or recording an audio or video. Because all the sound was produced in real-time through all the hardware I had. Software is a much cheaper route to go, but you have to incorporate a recording workflow, not a broadcast one. That means, you record, then you process the file and fool with things after-the-fact. No thanks!

In 2019 the Rodecaster Pro ushered in The Yellow Studio Version 2.0. I ditched the full rack of equipment, replacing every bit of it with one device – the Rode Rodecaster Pro. It was a big shift – and improvement in the signal chain. Not just because the Rodecaster Pro is such a great device, but because all the cabling changed and became very straightforward. Now I was able to use shorter run XLR cables directly from the microphones to the Rode. No more going into the vocal strip (mic preamps), then into another processor, then into an interface…gone was the spaghetti of wires Inside The Yellow Studio. It was wonderful and the studio became so much nicer for me! Thanks to many of you who contributed money to help me buy the Rode!

The Yellow Studio is soon going to go away. Well, more accurately, Version 2.0 is going away. Not because of the new Rodecaster Pro 2, which I hope to get soon, but because I’m physically moving. Yep, moving! Lord willing, Rhonda and I will be finding some new digs where I’ll have to erect The Yellow Studio Version 3.0. I can’t yet tell you the details because I don’t know them, but I’ll figure it out.

Lord willing, The Yellow Studio Version 3.0 will include the new Rode Rodecaster Pro 2, but we’ll see how it goes. Otherwise, I have no other hardware changes planned. At some point, I’ll migrate to an Apple laptop and give up the 27″ Apple iMac (circa 2017). I’ll keep a big monitor, but I’m going to shift to greater mobility so a laptop will be vital.

Some Things That Will Be Different In Version 3.0

No books. Okay, fewer books. So few they won’t likely matter.

The Yellow Studio Versions 1.0 and 2.0 had eight (8) bookcases full of books. And knick-knacks. Oh, the knick-knacks will remain! 😉 Let it never be said I didn’t have my priorities straight.

About 4 of those bookcases were filled with religious or “church” books. Bible commentaries and other books that I’ve spent my life collecting. And reading and studying. In my now “not so famous” document, When I Die…I had always written down that my son would get the entire library. Well, in my efforts to purge about 80% of my personal possessions, I asked him if he wanted them now. I only had 2 requests: a) make sure our immediate family, including the grandkids, have access to them and b) that includes me! He agreed so he’ll be getting about half of the books. The other half of the library consists of secular books, mostly business and biographies. I plan to keep about 3 shelves of those and donate all the rest!

My life hasn’t had this few books since I was a teenager. But I don’t mind. It’s quite liberating actually. I’ve already worked through the emotions and depression about it. 😉

No CD rack.

My collection of more than 3,000 CDs isn’t going away, but gone are all the jewel boxes. That saved a bunch of space. Now, I’ll insert the Cds and their inserted paperwork into binders (yep, it’ll take over 8 of those big 400-capacity binders, but it’s still far less space than keeping them the way I did in Versions 1.0 and 2.0). I’ve already ripped most of them onto an external hard drive, and backed up that onto another external hard drive. But like the books – which were always within eyesight – they’ll be out of sight now!

Those are the biggest changes The newest iteration of The Yellow Studio will be cleaner, neater and more pristine. That’s a good thing.

Some Things That Will Remain The Same

Ballard Street. Herman. The Ballard Street prints will remain, along with all the Ballard Street and Herman cartoon books.

The 2 Don Knots signed photographs – with Don wearing his Barney Fife deputy uniform.

Talent. 😉

Actually, I’m hoping to elevate that Inside The Yellow Studio Version 3.0. Time will tell. Mostly, you’ll be able to tell if I’m able to pull that off. Or not. Talent is the limitation here – and always has been. But let it never be said I let little things prevent me from trying.

I won’t bore you with the details of the effort, but I will tell you that all kidding aside – I’m quite serious about improving. One of my greatest frustrations is being tethered to people who lack the desire or discipline to take growth seriously. I don’t mind a lack of talent because I’ve lived with that my entire life, but I do mind a lack of desire, effort, and preparation. Age is making it worse, too because I have to work harder and harder as I get older. And the returns seem marginal, but the alternative is depressing. Complacency. Apathy. Sameness.

Purpose

Simon Sinek didn’t invent the question, “Why?” He’s plenty smart. And clever, but humans have been wrestling with the question since being expelled from the Garden sometime after Creation. But admittedly, that’s the big picture of purpose that answers, “Why am I here? Why are any of us here?” According to Isaiah 43:1–7, we were created for God’s glory.

But there are countless other purposes – much smaller ones – along the way. For this conversation, we’re talking about the purpose of the podcasts produced inside The Yellow Studio -my purpose is to create meaningful content that’s valuable to YOU.

I can answer it with a single word. Mostly.

Legacy

I don’t mean some haughty endeavor thinking what I have to say is so important others should hang onto every word. Rather, it’s about passing it on. It’s about sharing, being open, vulnerable and honest. It’s about sharing experiences, insights, failures, successes and whatever stories of truth I’m able to share so others might benefit. I leave it to the individual listener to figure out if and how the content can benefit them. My aim is to help you do that. Only you can determine if my aim is true.

I’m not sure what will become of The Yellow Studio Version 2.0, but it now falls into the hands of new ownership. I suspect it’ll become what it once was many years ago – another bedroom. Or office space. But I really don’t know. And without being hateful, I can honestly say, I don’t care what happens because the room I dubbed The Yellow Studio was part of my experience, my life, and now my past. It belongs to me and by extension, all of you.

What began as a room with walls painted yellow morphed into a way of thinking, a way of crafting stories, a way of communicating. The Yellow Studio is uniquely my invention. It began with Version 1.0, then became Version 2.0. Not many versions for such a long time – over 20 years. So it’s time me and The Yellow Studio go through another reinvention. A metamorphosis.

I sat here inside The Yellow Studio for more hours than perhaps any other room in my life. Wee hour mornings spent with headphones on and tunes playing. Writing. Jotting down ideas. Intently listening to lyrics. Always looking for a spark, a point of ignition for the inspiration necessary to carry ideas forward by sharing them. To say goodbye isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. And it’d be very hard if The Yellow Studio were coming to an end, but it’s not. Only the current version is ending…so a new version can be born.

A better title for today’s show would have been, “Saying Goodbye To The Yellow Studio Version 2.0 So I Can Say Hello To The Yellow Studio Version 3.0.” But that show will have to wait for another day ’cause I haven’t yet created Version 3.0. When I do, I’ll be sure to share. Expect to be mildly surprised.

Randy Cantrell

P.S. Happy Birthday to Cale, a man who has become like a second son. He turns 41 today and is quite the dad to the two oldest grandsons. They’re the 3 amigos in every way. And I’d be hard-pressed to be more proud. FYI, he’s the one in the beard and glasses. 😉

3 amigos

People Love Hearing How Right They Are

People Love Hearing How Right They Are

It’s a line from the TV series, The Americans. In season 3, episode 3 FBI agent Stan Beeman is asked about his past undercover work where he infiltrated a white supremacist group. The colleague asks him how he was able to succeed in that assignment. Stan tells him you just keep on telling them what they want to hear, over and over and over again. Then he utters the great line, “People love hearing how right they are.”

Years of coaching people -mostly high performers ’cause they’re the ones most focused on getting better – have shown me how true it is. I’ve had a few non-high performers who resisted the process of coaching because they mostly wanted to hear how good they already are. Well, they thought they did until I challenged them to look more closely in the mirror and stop making excuses.

When we hear how right we are, we can avoid thinking about how wrong we might be. So I get it. The urge to constantly feel good about ourselves is real. It sure beats feeling bad about ourselves. But that’s the trouble with modern culture – the assumption that it feels bad to realize we can do (or be) better! It’s a lie though and most of us likely know it because we’ve felt tremendous pride in growing and improving ourselves.

Not Everybody Finds Value In Being Challenged – No Matter How Much Care Is Displayed

In 2007 a book was published that provided one of the biggest challenges to me – Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning. I loved that book because it challenged many things for me. It was invigorating. Immediately I started viewing business – the business I was operating – through a different lens. My curiosity soared, which is saying something because I was already driven by questions.

My experience with that book helped me better understand what had – up to that point – been a lifelong pursuit of seeking challenges. Challenges to my assumptions. Challenges to my perspectives. Challenges to what I had already learned.

It had begun from years of studying with older men about the Bible. Working hard to derive whatever wisdom could be passed on. Asking questions. Looking for areas where I could grow and improve. Turns out there weren’t any areas where I couldn’t grow or improve. 😉

In my 20s I developed a habit that was foreign to the industry where I worked. The business plan. I wasn’t involved in the startup world. I was mostly involved in more turnaround work – taking an existing enterprise from one level of success to a higher level. I began to write detailed, in-depth business plans to answer questions I’d ask about the organization I was involved in. I’d spend hours digging for the truth – looking for facts and evidence from which to draw conclusions.

3M was a premier company at the time. Not that they’re not today, but I knew some employees of 3M and it was clear their company was on the bleeding edge of innovation and fact-finding. These were the days of Jack Welch’s General Electric, and I became a big fan. Those two enormous companies – 3M and GE – were very instrumental in my quest to challenge myself.

This was my professional life in the early 80s.

By 1982 I was beginning to gain some insight into how others viewed being challenged. I was forming my own leadership philosophy – and my own business viewpoints on how to best build, organize and grow an organization. The more people I hired the more apparent it became that the ideal candidate for my style of leadership were people who most enjoyed being caringly challenged. Heavy on the descriptor, caringly. Which in my mind didn’t mean soft-pedaling, but meant you had to have the other person’s best interest at heart.

I learned the hard way that sometimes it didn’t matter how much I cared. The other person sometimes had no interest in being challenged. I sought answers to find out why. Sometimes it seemed the other person simply had little or no experience with the sensation. Sometimes I could explain. Sometimes I couldn’t. I realized I had years of experience, from my earliest memory, of older folks challenging me. It dawned on me that I never felt picked on, competed with or anything else negative. These old folks wanted me to be better. I was thankful they were willing to invest time and effort into me but truthfully – I was driving the bus. I was seeking them out at every turn. And they were always willing, but it was me making the first move. Always.

At some point during a lunch with an older mentor, I learned their perspective – one previously unknown to me. After more questions and a lot more listening, he offered me a piece of encouragement that was delivered more like a statement. I was in my 20s. He was in his 80s. “You’re one of the most strategic thinkers I’ve encountered. Your willingness to question yourself and others is rare. You’re way ahead of the game because you seek answers and you’re willing to listen. Old guys enjoy passing it on to young guys who crave the wisdom.”

There it was – he was expressing what I was finding out in my hiring and leadership. He was craving people willing to be challenged. I was being that guy for him. At least I was one guy like that for him.

Through the years in my professional and personal life I learned more and more about how many people in my life weren’t concerned with learning or being challenged. Most simply wanted to be told they were doing great. I’ve spent decades attempting to crack that code – whatever code it may be that can unlock a person’s desire to see in themselves something better. It’s not an indictment on how well they’re currently doing. It’s more about reaching for something even better!

That’s why my wife has told me for decades, “You expect too much. I’m not sure they (whomever we might be talking about) can do any better!”

Such ideas were foreign to me. What do you mean they can’t do better? How is that even possible? Can’t we all grow and improve?

There’ve been times when I questioned it, but not for long. I always revert back to my default point of view, we can all grow and improve. But I’ve learned that not everybody is interested. Even more, I’ve learned that I don’t have the skills or ability to convert the uninterested into the interested. It seems to me that people either crave the challenge or they don’t.

The Closed Mind

For years I fixated (and attempted to figure out) why people didn’t crave what I was craving. The person with a closed mind couldn’t have been that way always…else they wouldn’t have learned anything. So at what point did they decide, they’d had enough learning…enough growth? Years of pondering haven’t provided me with any answers. Mostly, I concluded that people seemed to feel threatened. Instead of hearing about growth and improvement, they chose to hear “I’m not good enough.” It was perspective and it couldn’t be more different than how I saw the world. Or myself in it.

It’s not about being a contrarian. For me, it’s about not yet having reached the pinnacle. Ever. There are always new heights. Unrealized potential. Even if only incremental.

Over time I’ve been convinced by people closest to me – namely, my wife – that I may see in people what they’ll never see in themselves. But I don’t know how to unsee it. I don’t know how to resign myself to the fact that somebody half my age who thinks they have all the answers can find quantum leap growth if they’d only ask some questions and seek some answers. That if they’d venture into the land of pursuing wisdom – trying to figure things out – that there are a few older guys who might be thrilled to help them.

I’m slow to resign myself to the fact that many people – may be most people – just love being told how right they already are. And to be left alone in their self-esteem.

Time, Perspective & Learning How Wrong I Was

So I’m purging possessions in pursuit of a more modest lifestyle. Not that I’ve ever embraced an extravagant lifestyle, but I’m following my urge for a much simpler, plainer life. During this purge, I’ve come across mounds of paperwork. Letters. Notes. Documents of all sorts. I’ve managed to throw away well over 90% of it, but in kinda/sorta going through it, some documents have reminded me of past events where I wish I’d have made different choices and taken different actions.

For the past few days, I’ve thought about my regrets sparked by going through all these documents and I had an epiphany. After all, I am just a man in search of an epiphany.

Now that some time has passed and I’m no longer the same person I once was – hopefully, I’m better – I can look back and realize a few simple things resulted in my wrong decisions. One is pride. It’s always enemy #1. Two is failing to be true to my convictions. In almost every case that was sparked by the first one, pride. Pride will cause compromise. It will help you do things you might not otherwise do. Those two things sum up the overwhelming majority of regrets I have about my own behavior.

There are many things I’d do differently now that I’m older. And wiser. But when you’re 20, you don’t have the perspective or wisdom of an old man. You don’t have it when you’re 40 either. 😉

Life is a learning journey and I’ve learned a lot. It could easily be argued that had I not made those mistakes I wouldn’t be who I am today. Some would say that would be an improvement. (smile) But the journey of our life helps forge us into who we are – and who we’re becoming.

I’ve been wrong about so many things along the way, but I’ve learned. I am not who I once was. It’s not a Jekyll and Hyde kind of change, but it’s more of morphing into an improved (I hope) version of myself. I’m a better old man than I was a young man. I would hope to grow better still.

Mostly, I’ve learned to let go of pride…the kind best described as ego. The pride I’m hanging onto is the pride of wanting to do better. The desire to improve and forge new ground in accomplishment. The pride of knowing I’m giving good effort toward accomplishment. The pride of getting better. But ego is melting away, which wasn’t easy as a younger man. Young men are filled with ego. Some old men, too. But life has a way of showing you who’s boss and there’s a resignation that accompanies growing older. A resolve. It’s a good thing. If you’re older, and you learn it. I am. And I have.

Growth Doesn’t Happen Because You’re Already Right

Growth happens because you don’t yet know, but you learn. Or you haven’t yet figured it out, but you’re working on it. Or because you learn you’re wrong, which prompts you to learn what’s right. Or at least…more right.

Storms. Challenges. Being shown you’re wrong. Correction. This is the stuff of personal growth.

I don’t know your journey. I only know my own. My past, like yours, is in the books. It’s done. Over. Correct and fix what you can. Let the rest of it go. But leverage it for study, research, and figuring out the present and the future.

Today belongs to us. We can lean into hearing how right we are or we can lean toward wisdom and welcome the challenges that question whether we’re right or not. Those people and moments where we’re compelled to stop and think. And wonder, “Do I have this right?” More importantly, moments where we can display our dedication to figuring out whether or not we’ve got it right – and making real-time adjustments to our choices and actions.

Proverbs 26:12 “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

Thankful To Teachers, Mentors & Old Heads

The highlights of my own growth and improvement resulted from hours and years spent with people willing and able to help me. People dedicated to my growth.

I now know that my pursuit of these people resulted in extraordinary outcomes that otherwise would have never happened. I sought out older, wiser men. I confessed my wondering. I asked questions. I shut up and listened. I learned. Taking it all in.

It started when I was a pre-teen and persisted until I began to lose these men to death. There were half a dozen or so who towered above the others. All were a decade, or two, or three ahead of me. Without them, I’m not who I am. My growth is largely due to their influence and instruction. And their caring challenges for me to step up and get better. My failures are all my own.

They’re all gone now. The original guys.

But I’ve sought out a few new ones along the way. Sadly, none can replace the guys who journeyed so many years with me. But I figure it’s how life goes. Old chapters give way to new ones. Yet to be written. So I’m busy writing…and hope to encourage you to keep writing your story, too. Let’s make it better. Always better.

Randy Cantrell

God protected me

How Many Cigarettes A Day Is Your Loneliness?

How Many Cigarettes A Day Is Your Loneliness?

Psychology Today says this about loneliness…

Loneliness is the state of distress or discomfort that results when one perceives a gap between one’s desires for social connection and actual experiences of it.

First off, I’m not a psychologist. I’m a lifelong student in human behavior and psychology, but that hardly makes me an expert. But I notice things. I notice people. I notice my own behavior. I’m in good touch with my feelings, even though I don’t always love how I’m feeling – or know how to go about altering them as quickly as I’d like.

Like now.

Did you know that according to one BYU researcher, extreme social isolation can have the same negative impact on health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day? If that’s extreme isolation, then I wonder what moderate isolation – or moderate loneliness – produces. The equivalent of smoking how many cigarettes a day? Do you suppose we could equate our degree of loneliness – feeling isolated – with a specific number of cigarettes smoked in a day? Curious minds would like to know.

The research makes a distinction between isolation and loneliness. Isolation is objective. Loneliness is subjective. You can measure isolation. It’s hard to gauge the subjective feeling of being lonely. No matter, most of us just know whether or not we’re lonely.

ZingInstruments.com has a list of the top 20 songs about loneliness. See if you agree with their list. I’ve not researched it enough to argue with it.

‘Only The Lonely (Know the Way I Feel)’ By Roy Orbison
‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’ by Bob Dylan
‘So Lonely’ by The Police
‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie
‘Lonely Boy’ by The Black Keys
‘Lonely’ by Tom Waits
‘Eleanor Rigby’ by The Beatles
‘Pictures of You’ by The Cure
‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ by Hank Williams
‘Tired Of Being Alone’ by Al Green
‘Lonely Avenue’ by Ray Charles
‘The Loner’ by Neil Young
‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ by Elvis Presley
‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ by Green Day
‘How to Fight Loneliness’ by Wilco
‘Cactus’ by The Pixies
‘I Wish You Lonely’ by Morrissey
‘Lonely Girl’ by Weezer
‘Lonely People’ by America
‘Solitary Man’ by Neil Diamond

YouTube player

 

There are lots of songs, poems,  and stories about loneliness. Because it’s such a universal sensation. More chronic for some than others.

I’ve examined my own loneliness for as long as I can remember. Even though I’m an introvert I’m not anti-social. I’ve never been extremely isolated. I’ve never really been isolated. Even during the shut-down days of the pandemic, I was with my wife. I jokingly say of my introversion and need to get away at times, “I’m just looking for a big rock to crawl under.” That’s much less about loneliness and more about my personal need to be left alone.

Sidebar, your honor. I wish some people had a greater capacity for observation and soft skills. See if you can relate to this. Think of people in your life who have little to no awareness of how others are wired. They go about their business treating everybody identically the same, as much as possible. That person who is extroverted or wants to be the most popular person around, works the crowd like a politician and then often – in my life – declares how we need more social interaction. But their constant intrusion in my life, which I politely (okay, sometimes not so much) grin and bear, saps my strength unlike anything else. Trust me, I know how to give off a vibe that even a blind person could sense. But these poor folks don’t seem to pick up on it. I’ve watched it closely all my life and my conclusion hasn’t changed. They’re not watching for it. In me, or anybody else. Watch them closely. Those folks who work a room. Appearing to befriend all comers. Notice something if you will. It’s not about the people they greet. Or interact with. It’s about them. They don’t notice the effect they have on you because they’re not thinking about you. They’re in it for themselves.

Let’s talk about noticing. Or not. And about our own loneliness.

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Randy Cantrell

P.S. Happy 7th Birthday to Road Rash Roy, grandson #4 – grandchild #5. Otherwise known as “End of the Line” in grandkids. 😉 He and I are planning to strike this pose today sans the mud. And helmet.

Road-Rash-Roy

Turning Life Upside Down Is Good, When One Side Is Done

Turning Life Upside Down Is Good, When One Side Is Done

Our soon-to-be 42-year-old son created this book when he was in grade school

Someday. Too often we declare we’ll do things “someday.” Well, somebody is here. The little boy who wrote this book is now a grown man, husband, father of 3, and business owner.

Let’s talk about turning life upside down intentionally because we know that one side of life – our existing life – is done!

Randy Cantrell

Scroll to Top