Archives For Empowering You!

Our Blog Entries of Inspiration and Motivation on various topics that will support you in moving your life forward!

lessons learned, riverLessons Learned On the River

I once was a white water raft guide on the Arkansas River. Out of the hundreds of trips I did down the river there are only a few that stand out in my mind. This is one of those trips.  (And no the above photo is not the trip I am writing about.)

It was only a few weeks after I gotten out of training. I was scheduled on an all day raft trip with a senior guide. We had 10 customers, 2 boats and a beautiful day to raft 20 miles of river.

The crew in my raft consisted of two young girls (maybe 12-13 yrs old) and their mothers. Once we started out I realized they couldn’t paddle to save their lives. I would steer us in the direction to go, only to have them not be able to get us where we needed to be. I had steering but no engine.

We pinballed off rocks, spun circles off of rocks and practiced getting unstuck from rocks. If there was a rock in the river we seemed to be magnetically drawn to it. Everything I tried to do and even comments I made, seemed only to make things worse.

We hit one rock so hard that one of the young girls fell out of the boat. In a state of panic, she swam to a small island in the middle of the river. As the day had gone, we were unable to get over to the island before we were past it. The senior guide rescued the girl and was the hero of the day. At the end of the long painful trip, my customers tipped the senior guide twice as much as they did me.

After the trip, I remember complaining about it to some of the other guides. I kept blaming it all on the customer’s inability to paddle. Truthfully, I was embarrassed as the trip had exposed my weaknesses.

As I finished ranting about the day, another guide, Pete, asked me what I had learned from the trip. I was stunned. I had no idea what to say. I think he then asked me what I did right on the rafting trip; however, I couldn’t take in anymore information. My train of thought had been derailed by his first question. What do you mean, what did I learn from it? I thought. As my whole demeanor changed, Pete went on to explain. It is the mistakes we make and challenges that we face on the river that make us a good guide. If every trip was problem free our skills as a guide would hardly improve, if any at all.

I would have totally missed the lessons that existed in learning from my mistakes if it had not been for Pete.  However, in order to learn from my mistakes there was something I had to do first; Stop blaming others and own my mistakes.

That rocky trip down the river became one of the best training trips I ever had. It taught me how to teach others to paddle and how to work together. I learned techniques to use the currents of the river to assist me in guiding the boat and I became very good at reading the water which allowed me to spot rocks under the surface of the water long before I got to them.

Thank you Pete, (wherever you are these days) for showing me that there are nuggets of knowledge that can be capitalized on from making mistakes.

Our experiences shape our life anytime we are willing to listen and be open to them.  The lessons learned on the river I will never forget.



Check out “Empowering You” for all of our blog entries!

Visit us on FaceBook for more resources!

Galleries on FaceBook full of inspiration – share with a friend!



How do you define Success? Four ways to get Fired Up!

Have you ever thought about how our definition of success changes over time?

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

An example would be the difference between a six year old hoping to ride his bike by himself, a 17 year old passing his finals to graduate high school and a 22 year old landing his first “real” job out of college. The differences are obvious and each of these things hopefully get celebrated.

Later in life these “successes” may get missed, in fact, even ignored. No,no, I’m not talking about milestones like marriage, births, graduations. I’m talking about earning a certain amount of money, hiking a certain trail, running 5 miles, etc.

I find that we easily reset to the next goal, sometimes just before we reach what we are after. I can remember running 5 miles and thinking it wasn’t good enough. Then I wanted to run 7 miles. Just a few weeks before, 5 miles seemed like a gigantic accomplishment

Here are four ways to RADICALLY FIRE UP your life and start creating in life what you really want!  Don’t get me wrong. It is great, even necessary, that we push ourselves to the next big goal to move our life forward. You probably know me well enough to know that’s what I am all about. I’m just asking you not to gloss over your accomplishments – use them.

1. DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOU TODAY! Allow yourself to journal on what is important to you today! Sit down and start writing, no punctuation, no rules. Just write. See what you come up with.

2. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS! Don’t skip this step! In fact, over do this step. Studies have shown over and over that people who write down their goals accomplish much more than people who don’t . And make sure you have a time frame for completion too!

  • Bonus tip one: Don’t type them, WRITE them. You will be more connected to them and you might even be surprised what you write. So WRITE them down.
  • Bonus tip two: Want to be in overdrive? Write them down Every Morning and Every Evening! Watch how you become super focused and power through them.
  • Bonus tip three: If it is written down, it’s hard to ignore that you accomplished it.

3. CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS! Savoring the moment, celebrating the victory and patting yourself on the back are great ways to enjoy the accomplishment of completing a goal. The added benefit is, you can use that celebration to propel you to the next goal that you set

Because you wrote it down first, you didn’t reset the goal and miss the celebration! You made a goal, accomplished the goal, celebrated the accomplishment and now you are onto the next great goal for your life!

4. HERE’S HELP WHEN YOU ARE STRUGGLING! Maybe you set big goals and don’t accomplish them or give up? Is that you? And when you read things about goal setting you always think it works for other people but not you. Well, that simply isn’t the truth.

Here’s a tip that works for me EVERY TIME.
Set smaller goals that will get accomplished easier.
Then use the MOMENTUM of accomplishing the easier tasks to move up steadily to those bigger accomplishment.

Here’s an example.
You want to clean out the garage. You have had the goal for a few weeks and nothing seems to be happening. PERFECT. . . let’s tear this down.

  • Sweep the garage and replace burned out lights.
  • Take on that big shelf in the back of the garage.
  • Clean up the work bench so it is functional again.
  • Up in the rafters now, let’s get rid of three boxes from up there.

Hopefully you get the picture. Maybe you do one of those each weekend, or one a day or all in one day. Whatever works for you, when you start marking off those goals and celebrating them, you will be done before you know it.

What is Success to you today?   (related post on Success!)

What goal will you write down to move you toward that?



Visit us on FB for more resources!

Galleries on FB full of inspiration – share with a friend!

OR alternatively, Galleries you can download here!

5 Simple Rules for a Happy Life:

1.  Don’t be overly emotional.

          = Have Faith.

2.  Don’t ever give up.

          = Keep Going

3.  Don’t make things complicated.

          = Keep it Simple.

4.  Don’t take things too seriously.

          = Laugh at Problems. 

5.  Don’t be a grown up.

          = Stay as youthful as a kid. 

Author Unknown

The 3 Key Principles That Guarantee Success

How bad do you want your goals and dreams?  When you fail to achieve one, do you know where Key Principles That Guarantee Success, principles, successyou went wrong?  Can the keys to success really be as simple as only 3 principles?

Let’s apply the principles to this true story about 2 Australians and the goal they achieved.

In August of 1992, Glenn Singleman, Nic Feteris and their team climbed and camped in the mountains  for 3 weeks.  I’m not talking about car camping in nice warm weather.  This was a treacherous and technical adventure as they made their way to the top of Great Trango Tower in the Karakorum, Pakistan.   The summit of this Great Tower is 20,608 ft  (6,286m ).  Their destination was a ledge on the north west face.

On top of all the normal gear for a 3 week mountaineering trip they also hauled in camera equipment.  Why?  Because their goal was to set a world record base jump and that is just what they did.

Here are the 3 key principles that guaranteed success for them (and they will for you as well).

1.   They were clear on what they wanted and took action. So many people don’t have clarity on what it is they want to achieve. If you don’t know what your aiming at you’ll never hit it. A lack of clarity leads to procrastination instead of taking action. How clear are you on what you want?

2.   They were passionate about it. Obviously, they would never have gone through the planning and overcoming all the physical obstacles without having a burning desire to achieve it. That first cold night in the tent would have had them packing. Is your desire for your dreams and goals strong enough that you will never give up until you have them?

3.   They had an Unshakeable Belief that they could do this. This is where so many of us fail. We let self doubt and past history tell us what we are capable of and get beaten by our own mental obstacles. Do you KNOW that you can and WILL achieve what it is you desire?

Here is the video taken of their world record base jump.   I’m amazed at how they even got to the ledge they jumped from, let alone the base jump itself.  Incredible!

Make a decision today to follow ‘The 3 Key Principles That Guarantee Success’ and watch your dreams become reality.

Join us for more fun on Facebook (and LIKE our page)

Priority, priorities, main thing,

How to Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing

Around Mother’s Day my oldest son, Tommo, was asked what things his Mother did. He replied with ‘she is on the computer’. The sad thing about this is, my wife Cherry, is hardly ever on the computer compared to me. Either way, the feedback back is, we are not keeping the main thing, the main thing.

The question I have been asking is, based on what I want to create in my life, what are my priorities? And, are these the areas that are getting the most attention? Based on the feed back from my kids, I think I have gotten things a bit out of balance.

‘Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.’

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Here’s a list I have come up with to help myself and others, ‘Keep the main thing, the main thing’.

  • Be clear on your priorities. Define them and consciously decide to make them top of your to-do-list. This means committing to it and taking action.
  • Take a look at where you are spending the majority of your time. Does this match up with what you have determined to be important?
  • Have reminders of your priorities. Leave your exercise shoes in an obvoius place. Have pictures around reminding you what to give time to. Maybe a family photo on your computer desktop could serve as a way of saying ‘Am I spending more time with the computer than my family?’ (The photo with this blog is the one that is on my desktop.)
  • Turn off the TV. Unplug from your media devices. I’m not saying these things are bad. It’s a simple question of what is getting the most time, your priorities or other distractions. (Like: TV, Facebook, cell phone, games…etc) Unless these are your priorities!
  • Schedule the priorities into your calendar and be firm about these appointments.  (For a great story regarding this see, The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Beers.

What are some additional ways that you use to prioritize?  Please share them in the comments below.


Join us for more fun on Facebook (and LIKE our page)


Four Ways to Enjoy your Daily Adventures!

After three adventures to Brazil in three months, I have been learning a lot about putting myself outside my comfort zone – in fact I would say I am flat out living there.

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

Restaurant - Figueira Rubaiyat

First, English is not spoken much in Brazil ( why should it be after all ? ). I am normally with bilingual folks, however when I’m on my own, life gets very interesting!

One night in a hotel restaurant, we paid for a burger with one waitress who apparently left right afterward. Trying to explain we had already paid after the staff change was not so easy. Google translate came to the rescue, however I might have been writing this from a Brazlian Jail! So patience and ingenuity saved the day. I know, I can hear some of you saying “of course he used google!”

Not so fast! Data is 20 USD per MEGABYTE without a plan. And you know there is no wifi in a taxi cab?!? So a short trip that should have cost 7 bucks ended up costing 23 USD. And the exchange got heated even though we couldn’t understand each other. Had a great opportunity to shift out of frustration quickly so I could enjoy the company and tour of Embu das Artes for the rest of the day!

And finally, breakthrough! You know the feeling when you are working hard and don’t seem to see any results? Right! Me too! This

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

Embu das Artes - Sao Paulo, Brazil

project has really challenged me, then suddenly, early last week, phase 1 was complete and phase 5 was no longer necessary. For a moment I thought, WOW! How lucky are we! And then I realized, it was our hard work that got us to the place we could even realize the accomplishment, and it was God’s favor raining on us that showed us the outcome! One other special moment was lunch at the first picture above, check out Figueira Rubaiyat.

As I look back at the last three months here is the bottom line of what I have learned:

1. Start with Gratitude and live every day from there.

2. Be easily amazed! Expect the unexpected and look at the world through the eyes of a child! Everything is interesting and exciting from there!

3. Have fun with all that happens! Go with the flow and enjoy the moment. It will soon be gone.

4. Take care of yourself! Work hard and play hard. And listen to your body! Get plenty of rest, eat right and exercise!

So, what’s up with all of you fine people? What great adventures have you been up to? What are you learning?

Before I Was a Mom

Shane —  May 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

Kids, love

Before I was a Mom –
I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mom –
I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom –
I had never been puked on – Pooped on – Spit on – Chewed on, or Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and My thoughts. I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom –
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests…or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom –
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom –
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom –
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known The warmth, The joy, The love, The heartache, The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

~Author Unknown