How do you know if you love someone? Because you spend time and money and work towards their happiness. Melissa and I discovered The Adventure Challenge: Couples Edition which helps us to invest time and money into our relationship. There's also the family edition of The Adventure Challenge which is very fun too.
Do you remember what Cinderella said at the end of the most recent Cinderella movie? I forgive you. Those words and probably even more importantly that belief is one of the most critical things in marriage. Do you remember how Scotty Pippen responded to the criticism of his migrane game? Did he retaliate or seek revenge or blame? Nope! What's the secret behind the responses of Cinderella and Scottie Pippen? Did you know that Josh Waitskin, the inspiration behind The Search For Bobby Fisher, also had a similar method?
What is something your spouse would really, really love?
-It's hard to stay angry long with someone for whom you're praying.
-Sequoia: unlike many trees, they reach out and interlock their roots with the Sequoias around them.
-make a commitment to daily let go of unrealistic expectations and become your spouse's greatest encourager.
Dreams: Imagineer at Disney World. In the World Book.
Humility: Randy's dad's Bronze Star for valor. 50 years and no mention of it.
Does a car matter? Arguing about a double charge?
Brick walls & Tenacity. His wife and Brown University.
The Arbinger Institute packed The Anatomy of Peace with transformative tips. Below are my notes.
When hearts are at war we can’t see clearly. How we disagree is more important than if we disagree. Don’t horribleize others. Justification: Do you need enemies more than you need peace? Create a out-of-the box safe place for others by not blaming others. Care enough about others to be curious. Judging happens when we care more about our self than others. If continuous correction isn’t fixing the problem, then more correction won’t work. Fix your way of being instead. Invite not incite change. Invite cooperation. Strengthen the relationship if your teaching doesn't seem to work.
A phenomenal book called Fierce Conversations offers several insights. For instance option Q might be better than my current three options. And where there is anger there is fear, so replace fear with faith. How we enter conversation is how we emerge from them. Learn how to deliver the message without the load. Life is curly. Confront means to search for truth. Multiple truths exist for each problem. Become a crucible: a strong, resilient vessel in which profound change can take place.
1. His Needs, Her Needs
2. The 5 Love Languages
3. Intended For Pleasure
4. Crucial Conversations
5. The Last Lecture
6. The Love Dare
7. Rock Solid Relationships
8. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life
9. Purity and Passion
10. Anatomy of Peace
12. Dealing With Differences In Marriage
13. Parenting The QBQ Way
15. The Family You've Always Wanted
16. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families
17. Boundaries In Marriage
My son and I enjoy looking at Ferraris, Maseratis and Porsches. Occasionally the showroom contains an Aston Martin or a Rolls-Royce too.
This last time we visited the showroom we noticed that most of the cars had ceramic brakes.
The ceramic brakes were noticeable on each high-end vehicle with vibrant colors like canary yellow and fire engine red.
When we arrived home my son began his research on ceramic brakes. He discovered ceramic brakes are a great option instead of metal brakes or organic brakes because ceramic brakes help high-end vehicles stop quickly. Furthermore he learned that ceramic brakes don't heat up as much as metal brakes or organic brakes. And they leave less residue.
What about cost? They cost quite a bit more the metallic brakes or organic brakes.
Ceramic brakes are a great marriage metaphor.
Marriage demands a high cost to ensure that we won't heat up with anger not leave contentious debris or residue and will be able to stop our erroneous behavior quickly.
I think of several people who are the ceramic brakes in their relationship. They remain calm, help stop high speed, erratic behavior and ensure smooth marriage.
What did a rib injury teach me over the last couple weeks? I learned to stop, pause, reverse, and listen more. I put aside my own agenda, planning, and even my workouts. I found out what it means to have three Saturdays in a row. Sometimes we go fastest when we stand still. Or as my wife and Stephen R. Covey often have said "to go fast we must go slow."
One of the most important things in life is faith. Faith in God faith in yourself and faith in others. But Faith doesn't make everything easy, just easier. Faith is not a direct path but rather faith is like a pinball machine. We're bounced all around we go up and down and sometimes we hit the jackpot and sometimes we fail. But ultimately we win as we trust in a higher power. And as Thomas S. Minson once said, "The future is as bright as your faith."
Dan, a blogger, taught me about a Formula One Psychologist who taught a team to see problems, say the problem and to fix them. Additionally it's important to see others goodness thank them for who they are and to continuously be gracious with them.
What if we did both? What if we had the courage to tell our teams and families where we can do better to accept correction and also be constantly finding the good and others and telling them about it?
The Dutch Masters, the Impressionists the Realists and many more used a great idea to be able to revise their work and save money. They painted many paintings on the same canvas. they painted layer upon layer upon layer as they sought to get better and better and better. For them it wasn't a matter of if they were going to be perfect at first or even very good at first. they knew that it would take many many lessons and practices before they could create something Worthy of their best talents. But each time they tried to Begin again more intelligently.
Eternal love elevates, embraces, endures, exalts, enriches, eliminates.
Collaborate with don't dominate spouse. Layers of paint. Correcting Errors. Progress creates success. Etenivät not menivät. Incomplete family members should be completely loved.
I was in the back of the group that was trekking for miles and miles a day. The man in front was kicking rocks out of the way to make the path easier for those that followed.
Another friend gratefully noticed the kind gesture and observed that people often remove rocks-- stumbling blocks and obstacles-- for us.
What obstacles and stumbling blocks or rocks are you kicking out of people's lives? What rocks are you eliminating for your spouse? How are you making their life better?
Yet other times we may need better shoes/Moccasins to withstand the rocks. Better shoes are a cheery disposition. A penchant to forgive, casual conversations, deep respect and admiration for each other. Daily work or betterment.
Kick rocks, get better shoes to advance on your trek
Removing obstacles from our friend's path is angelic. And appreciating those who remove obstacles from our path is gracious. And we often need to toughen our feet to withstand the rocks on our pathway.
Stephen R Covey talks about the compass and the watch in the classic book First Things First. I suggest using the compass and the watch analogy or metaphor as an opportunity to remember who we should love first and when we should love. Furthermore the compass and the watch teaches us that direction is more important than speed and that sometimes we should just relax and enjoy the process more so than the result.
Oftentimes all we need is a revision, remodeling, a new version. But occasionally we need to rip out the entire foundation and build a brand new house. In other words sometimes just managing our anger, or trying to listen better or be Kinder is not going to work. We need a new heart not just better heart medication. We need a knee transplant not just a chiropractic adjustment.
Lessons from Frozen, a 95-year-old prophet, and multiple relatives. In today's episode I explore what it means to not be a fixer-upper, to avoid the technician mentality and find the silver lining during storms.
So who's better Johnny lawrence? Or Danielson? In marriage we often think that Johnny Lawrence's style is better or perhaps Danny Larusso's style. But when it comes to parenting or loving each other in marriage it's important that we understand strength and mercy. Splits and squats. Yoga and weights. Male and female. Yin and Yang. Completeness. Unity. Not sameness!
I believe it was Warren Bennis who said it's rare that we prune too much. He was talking about business leaders, but I believe this goes for marriage as well. What should we prune? Maybe start with hobbies, and maybe too much work. But whatever you do don't prune or cut away time with family and with friends. And when in doubt seek input from your spouse about what you can prune so that your marriage tree can thrive!
Yesterday I journaled a thought: I should notice and appreciate angels (those who spread light and lift others) more than demons (those who seem opposed to me and my efforts).
Then I came across my blog post from eight years ago and thought I'd share it again.
As children we are full of dreams and excitement. Everything is fun and positive and we quickly forgive. We play. We love. We dream. We create.
Somewhere in our lives we tend to get a little cynical and less trusting. We become intellectually haughty: superior to optimism, dreams and faith in others. We critique. We don't create. We question progress and doubt ability.
Then as we get older we seem to rediscover our childlike values again. Dreaming becomes delightful. Playing with children or grandchildren brings supernal joy. We see the good in everyone. We encourage others.
The happiest people are those who skip cynicism. They keep their childlike ability to give, love and forgive.
I wonder what would happen if we skipped the middle? What if we skipped cynicism?
Sure would be fun to try.
Less Effective vs More Effective Marriages
Me/mine vs Ours/yours
Lust vs Love.
Force vs Allow
Push vs. Retreat/Relax/Relent
Take vs Give
Action vs Action over time (see Brave Marriage Podcast)
Livefor sex vs Lifelong sex. Destroy vs Create. Now vs Evolve.
Yell vs Learn. Fix vs Empathize.
Spouse is a priority vs Spouse is your top priority.
Frantic vs Still.
Panicked vs Chill. Yell vs Collaborate.
Urges vs Intimacy.
Unchanging vs Iterations. Version 1.0. vs Version 209.
Anarchy vs Order. I've got this vs God's got us. Lecture vs Learn together . Blame vs Take responsibility.
Demand trust vs Be honest and trustworthy.
Escape alone vs Vacation together.
Despair vs Trust.
Argue vs Discuss Tough Issues
Two fathers compared notes on their recent loss of temper.
One man devotedly and dutifully visited Home Depot to buy an electric chainsaw so he could eliminate branches for a childrens party. He evaluated his options and repeatedly returned to the store because he was missing essential ancillary parts. Finally he began to feel immense pressure when the party started and he hadn't completed his task. Ultimately he yelled at his family when his dog and son approached him while sawing down the branch.
The other father was enjoying a family trip to the lake when he learned how difficult it is to back up a small trailer. The trailer zigzagged repeatedly as the father fumed until a teenage employee volunteered to speedily back the trailer up in a straight line.
Solutions to avoid exploding? Remember Billy Joel singing "tell her about it"? Tell your spouse your challenges early on in the difficulty. Get vulnerable so you don't explode/erupt. Tell your partner how you're trying to please them but you keep falling and falling. And don't expect perfect results as you seek to help those you love. Frustration happens when you love someone but cant help them effectively. Thankfully your spouse is much more pleased with your efforts than your results.
A friend was trying to teach some youth. He wanted to impress upon them the importance of loyalty. I let my friend know that these youth and myself had his back. We would be loyal and concerned with his welfare and the responsibility we had.
Who has your spouse's back? Who considers their needs? Wants? Their opinion? What do they value? Do you seek their comfort ahead of yours? Their wishes?
Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages is a classic. As I discussed words of affirmation with a friend I realized that affirmative words are like A1. They're good to help us feel loved but we need to feel loved deeply despite others' positive or negative words. Just like Ruth's Chris filet minion is sufficient without steak sauce. We are amazing and good enough without being told how good we are.
Have you ever seen the movie Father Of The Bride 2? There's a hilarious scene in the movie where Steve Martin is trying to get a Doberman Pincer to retreat. He can't remember the command to get the dog to retreat so he says "release! relent! retreat!" but it doesn't seem to work and the dog ends up chasing him. Some of the most important words in marriage are retreat, relent, release. We're prone to use military metaphors and attack our spouse or sports metaphors to be aggressive. But there's nothing so honorable and noble as to avoid criticism, belittling, caustic remarks, satirical remarks, sarcasm and snarky attacks.
For several years I visited a dentist who had an employee that loved to give praise and encouragement. She constantly told me how good my teeth looked, how white, how straight. She praised everything- genuinely and often. Although I often asked for advice on how to take better care of my teeth or eliminate pain, she praised me without offering ideas for betterment nor education on how to maintain white, straight teeth.
One day I had to use a different dentist office. After taking X Ray's and cleaning my teeth, this dentist and his assistant offered several tips and ideas to improve my teeth. Try an interdental brush, use this toothpaste, avoid acidic food and drinks. There was no praise, but massive education and concern.
Which approach works best in marriage?
Marrieds are benefited by not only discerning challenges and offering hope and solutions but by extending constant encouragement.
Which dentist are you most like? Ready to add another approach to your marriage?
I'm sure you read the book or watch the movie, but do you remember the word slantways? It's how Willy wonka describe the direction of the elevator that him and Charlie and his grandpa we're going to travel in. It's also the best way to describe the solutions that we have in marriage. We don't need to just go up or down we can tried many different approaches. Furthermore the way Charlie is in the movie and in the books is a great template for how we should be in marriage: Kind, humble, grateful, others-focused.
Apparently preventing weeds takes thought, money and time. Our flowerbeds seemed filled with more weeds than flowers.
At first we pulled weeds multiple times each year. And we sprayed weed killer. Those solutions didn't last.
Then Melissa and I collaborated to find impenetrable weed barrier. But experience showed us weeds can penetrate after a few years. So we devised a tactic: lay two layers of weed barrier crossways.
And for good measure we buried the weed barrier with rocks.
Relationship weeds are anything that threatens your family.: pornography, violence, apathy, distractions, diversions, and much more.
What is the one double layer, crossways impenetrable weed barrier best suited to prevent weeds in your relationships? Can you heap rocks ontop of your weeds so they won't
Are you stuck pulling the same weeds?
Some excellent weed barriers are couples counseling, giving, repenting, simplifying, debt elimination, and companion bragging.
Dan did it again. He deepened my understanding. He taught me about curiousity. Last year he taught me about shutting the barn door.
So what if curiosity was a reliable way to be more creative? How would it change the way you approach your relationships?
Is getting curious better than getting frustrated/mad? Which one produces multiple solutions and sustains long term relationships?
To what extent is creativity simply a by-product of curiosity?
Would getting more curious enhance your relationships?
Engrained "solutions" are often merely ineffective traditions. Effective solutions come from seeking/inquiring after several fact based options.
Melissa took me to our small garden to show me the difference between a small plant with a big tomato versus a large plant which will eventually yield many tomatoes.
She explained to me that it's more important to grow large tomato plants so that you get many tomatoes instead of focusing on just growing a large tomato.
Plant focused instead of fruit focused.
Grow the plant and many tomatoes will follow. Focus on the tomato and you might just lose the plant or have a small plant.
It's the system, not the result. The process not the goal. The business, not the service or product.
The relationship, not the obedience/control. The person, not the objective.
Just Mercy and Harriet are what I've been watching. Forming a business partnership with a person of color is what I've done. And I'm seeking to understand what broken systems, incorrect traditions and prejudices need to corrected.
My neighbor's lawn turned from brown to green in a few days. He didn't fertilize it. He has no sprinklers. So how did he get a rich, lucious green lawn?
A soaker hose.
Soaker hoses emit water slowly and constantly. And over time you see the desired result.
Getting involved in your family is like a soaker hose. Consistent, slow effort with rich results. But you often don't see the results during the watering.
Focus is often cited as the key to fulfillment and success. But what if your focus is money first? Or work first? Or family first? Or church first? Stephen R. Covey taught that being too focused on any good thing causes us to ceed power to that value and to unfortunately derive our joy/pain from that value. Real joy and gratitude come from Divine connections.
There are many problems in marriage and by properly identifying the problem, trusting God and working together you can get answers for some. But for many problems we should simply move forward trusting that the Professor and textbooks have helped us become self-reliant thinkers and accomplishers. We don't need to always be told to go. We should think, go and expect excellent results.
Drip, Drip, Drip.
Drop by drop a humidifier changes the environment allowing for better breathing, deeper sleep, a healthier life.
Marriage is like a humidifier.
What are drops in marriage?
Listening to an inner voice, selflless love not self love we not me, respecting more than teasing , mutual goals, gentleness, daily repentance, harmonious daily and weekly planning, enriching dates, worshiping together, forgiveness, saving money, paying off debt, we go not ego, and traveling.
Sure it would be nice to have the results of our efforts immediately and abundantly like a monsoon.
But lasting marriages are built by drips and droplets, dew and even distillation.
But not by monsoons.A humidifier. Not a monsoon.
#humidifernotamonsoon #marriage #love #faith #hope #thrivingtwogether #foreverlove #marriage coach #relationshipcoach #relationshipcounselor #lastingmarriage #enduringlove #togetherwecan #fiercemarriage #remotemarriagecoach #change #better #forever #happy #happiness
Celebrate goodness (Discernment): finding, seeing and expressing good.
Children: nice work on studying each day. I'm not too worried about a C as long as you're challenging yourself. You're a hard worker! I love you're smile! I'm glad to be your parent.
Spouse: I'm excited to see where we're going and what we are becoming!
Finances: we keep getting better using money to create money. It's fun helping others with what we've been given.
Thriving marriages are like long, slow freight trains.
You observe, enjoy and take the long view when watching a long train unlike short, bullet trains that quickly go from origin to destination.
Similarly spouses require patience and appreciation and not microwave fast, forced results.
Worthwhile relationships are like a marathon not a sprint. Hard work, unity, consistency and character matter more than speed, talent and ego.
It's not what's important now? But what matters most forever?
At one period in his life Van Gogh created one new art piece every 36 hours over a decade.
I've visited museums in Paris, Amsterdam, New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, DC to admire Van Gogh's masterpieces.
People admire your marriage masterpiece even though it seems average and ordinary.
The hard, daily, mundane intense labor made him a great artist as he created masterpieces.
He painted 43 selfies. And several versions of Sunflowers as he became and created.
Is building your marriage hard, mundane, pedestrian, intense? Can you see how you are creating a masterpiece? And becoming a masterpiece?
What are you making as you daily create? And who are you becoming?
We know of several of Van Gogh's masterpieces but he had hundreds of lesser works that transformed him from good to great. From a creative student to a legendary artist.
"An open mind is like an open parachute."
Our quality of life and advancement depend on what we know and apply. Applying principles gleaned from others is invigorating. As is learning something new.
We know certain ideas and don't apply them. And that's an application issue.
But what about those ideas we don't know about? That's an ignorance issue.
Can our biggest problems be solved best with better application? Or more knowledge? Maybe both.
A very wise person, who never obtained a college diploma, took memory courses, a math course, spent numerous hours in book stores and libraries and studied foreign languages. He thirsted to know what he didn't know.
Open your parachute. Learn new things. It might be the best way to solve your vexing puzzles.
I once went to rent a movie at Blockbuster while my 13 year old daughter began reading a short book.
The book was Who Moved My Cheese. It was one of my Dad's favorite books and mine too.
When I returned, she had finished the book! And 8 years later she told me the book continues to influence her. Our little speed reader went on to read several books on leadership, attitude, relationships and finances during her early teens.
My wife mentioned the same book a few days ago. Melissa told me the book provides great perspective in these uncertain times and she wished more people knew about it.
In the book one fictional mouse hates, denies and laments change and ultimately fails. And one mouse embraces, prepares for and expects change and finally succeeds.
Who we are becomes revealed as we navigate through turbulent times.
Do we choose to change and better ourself? Or do we become bitter with our circumstances?
It's where we are going to, not what are going through that matters most.
"Take a negative and make a positive" is what Michael Jordan remembered about his dad when learning of his Dad's murder.
Do we thrive during crisis? Or do we complain?
A fruit tree in our yard grew large because of trauma not despite trauma (someone broke the top). And another fruit tree flaundered because of too much shade and ease.
A woman who sorrowed because of family members' suicide taught me "we have faith because of sorrow not in spite of sorrow."
Larry Bird became much better because of Magic Johnson not despite of Magic. And likewise Magic had to get better to beat Larry.
Zen teaches us to lean in and EMBRACE negatives.
Ready to embrace the struggle before and during not just after?
False dichotomies in marriage abound.
Such as: Either your spouse is right or you are.
There's a right way to parent and a wrong way.
Either you fall in love or you don't.
You're getting better or getting worse.
How about loving unity and interdependent solutions involving conjunctions?
You're both right. Each difficulty has multiple solutuions which are found through loving, varied, interdependent prospectives.
There's good, better and best ways (plural) to parent.
Falling in love is based on attraction and is a good start. And staying and growing in love is based on helping and giving to your spouse.
Marriage involves hours/days/weeks/years of progressing and failing. Sometimes the up is down and the down is up. It's not all down or up.
Bo Jackson thought he didn't need to choose baseball or football. He chose both. He saw the genius of and not the tyranny of or.*
And is the word that best describes a solitionust mentality. Conjunctions are the tools of companions who work together, interdependent people who collaborate for unprecedented results.
Or is the word for defeatists and independents, soloists who have melody but no harmonic symphony.
Maybe some good conjunction questions.
How we can raise intelligent children AND help them be independent?
How can we have family fun AND have a clean house?
How can earn alot of money AND help many people?
How can we accept each other AND expect better from ourselves?
Taipua is a transformational Finnish* word. It means to change one's opinion, to bend or to curve.
It's the opposite of our dog who's obedient only when she gets treats. It's the opposite of pig headed, unable to look up and wallowing in dirty, muddy circumstances.
M. Scott Peck in The Road Less Traveled boldly asserts life is hard but once we know it's hard it ceases to be hard.
Why? Because accepting hardships allows us to change ourselves to meet and beat difficulties. We choose to admit we are weak, fallible. And thus ultimately because we admit and improve our weakness (instead of blaming our situation/spouse/cat) we become strong.
A presidental candidate was derided as a flip-flopper because he is mature and malable enough to change his mind.
My wife, Melissa, used a taipua approach when getting us 3x faster internet with a 10% discount.
Are we willing to change and bend?
*I love Finland and especially the Finnish people. I lived there for two years and study the language nearly everyday.
One of the authors of The Power of Stillness said something powerful in a recent podcast about being mindful.
He said we should be interuptable-so at peace that nothing disturbs us. We should welcome interruptions because we value people and relationships above transactions and functions.
Being not merely doing. But doing matters too.
I hate being interrupted. But now with traditions, formalities and routines interrupted and stopped including work, school, and extracurricular activities I'm learning to be interuptable.
With plenty of time, I find it easy to listen. To trust in timing. To have meaningful discussions.
I'm enjoying talking with family for hours and days and weeks. Eating meals together. Playing together. Working together.
Bring on the interuptions. They help me focus on important people.
A friend pointed out a feature in my Prius: An engine brake.
I told him I'd used it only a few times because I thought it was only for decelerating on large hills.
He explained the engine brake is to slow the car without using brakes (thus preserving the regular brakes) and to recharge the hybrid battery. Net result? Less cost replacing brakes and less cost for fuel.
He told me he frequently uses an engine brake on his Prius which helps him get better MPG.
I've been following his advice and I'm spending less money filling my car up. And my brakes should last longer.
My car's engine brake is like meekness.
Meekness is a term that means to be restrained/disciplined/guided by the Spirit.
Rarely did I use my engine brake for four years. By being restrained I could've gained.
Being guided/disciplined through the Spirit is different than no discipline or mere self- discipline.
Meekness seems to be one of the most difficult virtues to understand and perhaps one of the most important for ambitious people to apply.
#marriage #love #faith #hope #thrivingtwogether #foreverlove #marriage coach #relationshipcoach #relationshipcounselor #lastingmarriage #enduringlove #togetherwecan #fiercemarriage #remotemarriagecoach #change #better #forever #happy #happiness #meekness
#marriage #love #faith #hope #thrivingtwogether #foreverlove #marriage coach #relationshipcoach #relationshipcounselor #lastingmarriage #enduringlove #togetherwecan #fiercemarriage #remotemarriagecoach #change #better #forever #happy #happiness
A wife was running warm and so she turned on a fan to keep her cool while she slept. The next night she noticed a blanket had been removed from her bed by her husband. Now instead of two thick blankets, she had one. And she noticed how she no longer felt too warm.
Remove the blanket, don't turn on the fan seems like a good metaphor too. Focus on things that really matter, things that move the needle.
-Intimacy is one vital component in a thriving marriage but sex/biology isn't the ONLY element in marriage. Money, communication, trust, respect, children, and many other elements make up marriage.
-Faith in God, emotions and facts are powerful antidotes to fear. Anger and fear inspire for a while but love inspires forever.
-Unified spouses make better decisions than a "l do me" approach.
-Eating food (natural, from a tree/ground/animal) not manufactured (from a box/factory). Exercising regularly and eating for nutrients not dieting and counting calories.
-Living within a budget, finding resourceful inexpensive solutions and preparing for emergencies instead of using credit card debt to "afford" a solution/want/need.
Remove the blanket. Don't turn on the fan.
Both solutions work, but one works long term and costs less money and time.
Hey would you be so kind as to listen to an episode (or more), subscribe, rate, and or review my podcasts? ThrivingTwogether is on Apple, Google, Stitcher and Sporify. And frugal2free and TravelingTwogether are on Apple and Google. Thanks!
Here's the podcast or https://anchor.fm/thriving-twogether
#blanketnotthefan #marriage #love #faith #hope #thrivingtwogether #foreverlove #marriage coach #relationshipcoach #relationshipcounselor #lastingmarriage #enduringlove #togetherwecan #fiercemarriage #remotemarriagecoach #change #better #forever #happy #happiness
Like a horse coming home from a long trot we're tempted to run into the barn door, to finish quickly and to lose all discipline. It's imperative that we don't finish quickly but that we enjoy the process that we connect with others and that we don't lose sight of the discipline that has brought us here.
Dan Cullum shared a post in November about the Barn Door effect. It resonated and impacted me so much that it's improved my decision making and caused me to reflect on it again and again.
Horses rush to enter a barn door with little restraint despite having been very disciplined before seeing the barn door.
In relationships we should be disciplined especially when we are in a hurry.
Slow down. Resolve small mistakes while they are small. Invest in discussions when it feels like there is no time to talk. Slowly worship. Take time to reflect, change your mind and pivot.
In essence: Shut the barn door. Or at least pay it no heed.
#marriage #love #faith #hope #thrivingtwogether #foreverlove #marriage coach #relationshipcoach #relationshipcounselor #lastingmarriage #enduringlove #togetherwecan #fiercemarriage #remotemarriagecoach #change #better #forever #happy #happiness
A wife proudly wears a hockey jersey because her husband loves hockey. The number and name on her jersey are those of her husband's favorite player.
She understands recreational companionship. Enjoying fun, relaxing experiences together.
Recreational companionship doesn't always mean liking the same things as your spouse. Yet maybe at least be genuinely interested in what your spouse likes.
A bodybuilder told me he once liked to lift for ego. Now he lifts for flexibility and balance. He wanted to be big like Arnold. Now he's trying to be like Gumby.
A yelling child needs an adaptive parent, one who might listen/crack a joke/cry. No need for a forceful power struggle.
An overspending spouse needs less forceful, paternal/maternal lectures and ultimatums. They need more of a flexible approach. Maybe ideas on how to buy their needs/wants with cash. Or praise for their frugal efforts.
In all areas of our lives we can choose to power through it or we can choose flexible approaches that seem yoga-like but offer a more balanced and effective approach.
It's hard to win when you give up. Others can't really feel your love unless it's truly unfailing and persevering. And it's extremely difficult to pay off debt if you don't persevere. In today's episode learn some stories about perseverance and get encouragement on how you can persevere through many difficulties.
With the passing of Clayton Christensen and Kobe Bryant many people expressed being broken and needing to do anything and everything now to enjoy the moment because it may not last. Life does last forever and we do only live once. We live once and forever. It's important to have hope even while we mourn for those that we've loved.
Recently I read two ESPN articles that helped me understand landing well and falling softly. How do those relate to marriage? Well there's many ways to prepare yourself for the inevitable falls and challenges. And there's many people to surround yourself with. What can you do socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually? Listen on.
Every so often you meet a couple that absolutely inspires you. I found such a couple. They sacrifice and work for each other. They work together, play together and raise their family together. And during a family difficulty lasting a year, they loved more deeply.
God is involved in our lives but he doesn’t interfere. He’s very involved. He sends all kinds of opportunities and blessings into our lives whether we see them or not. For instance he may give us the courage to listen more effectively or love ourselves or to love others or to forgive or forget. He may help us get better and improve, giving us strength beyond our own. But he doesn’t Insert himself. He doesn’t force his way into our lives he simply is a good father, one who helps, encourages, strengthens and heals but He’s not one to manipulate, force, or coerce.
What’s your style?
Just because someone told you that you need to sleep in a separate Room because your spouse snores doesn't make it so. I know several people (acquaintances, friends and relatives) who sleep in separate rooms because of snoring. What f you could find a way to overcome snoring through better health habits or through technology through training or any other way? Would it be worth it to discover and find solutions so that you can be together?
Ten people took a shuttle to Delta's Terminal 2 in Salt Lake City . Yet one man departed early at Terminal 1 for Delta.
A person commented aloud "Terminal 1 is closer to some Delta Gates than Terminal 2." I verified and discovered that terminal 1 is often closer to my departure gates and has shorter TSA Precheck lines.
How did I not know this? Maybe I forgot that the opposite of a good idea is often a good idea.*
Learn from others. Especially those who walk in different directions, teach things difficult to hear/understand, vote differently, sin differently or look differently from yourself.
HT Rory Sutherland
1. Sequence or when you ask for spousal input (this should before you decide and before you give your thoughts) indicates deep signs of love: honor and respect.
2. Value your partner's ideas by listening and implementing them often. Rarely (if ever) sell your ideas to your spouse. Rather seek their input.
3. Choose if and when to talk about short comings. Perhaps avoid times of hunger or fatigue when discussing difficult topics.
On a trip to New York City I saw a sister-in-law often solicit her husband's opinions. She's a strong woman not overly dependent on her husband nor a lone wolf working independently of others. Rather she is one who works interdependently with her husband.
She also considered how much it would mean to her husband to be at his special performance in NYC. So she planned months in advance to be in attendance while coordinating children's schedules.
And I saw this sister-in-law's husband consider her. He delighted in getting tickets to Phantom Of The Opera for her because it was on her bucket list. How did he know? Because he loves her and knows her.
He also never complained or became disgruntled when his wife admired art at the Met for six hours! He's not an art aficionado. She is.
I have read a blog daily for 13 years. Those hundreds of hours of teaching have had an impact on my marketing, business and life in general. What if you spent just a few minutes every day for 13 years on your marriage? What kind of changes would you experience? What things do you need to do daily to help make long term changes?
Invariably in marriage there are things that need to be trimmed or eliminated, things that need to be completely cut back. What habits hamper you? Additionally what are you consistently doing to fireproof your marriage.
Praying for your spouse is awesome! Melissa prayed for me the other day in a huge miracle happened. How often are you praying for your spouse? And how often is your spouse praying for you? One of the ways we can become more antifragile, more bendable like bamboo, is by receiving the power that comes from divinity through prayer. Antifragile people don't don't just survive but they thrive. They thrive as a result of stress, shock, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, and failures. They thrive because they're humbled and receive more divine power in their humility.
What could possibly matter more than listening? What could matter more than communicating so clearly that you're not only understood but you're not misunderstood? Being trustworthy and trusting others is the very foundation upon which to build so that we're not only communicative but connected.
Do you have that friend in your life that is always a treat to be around? Someone who is so concerned about you and so happy to be with you? Maybe he/she a is an excellent cheerleader? Or an excellent conversationalist? Tony is that type of guy in my life. Tony is cheerful, a cheerleader, and a great conversationalist. He's a delight to be around for anyone that knows him. By becoming more like Tony we will be better spouses and parents and better friends.
Just a few days ago a sister-in-law reminded me of the importance of inspiring not requiring. It led me to think of other truisms like we should make request not demands. We shouldn't tell nor yell and we should certainly teach more than we preach. Kindness doesn't kill, but it most certainly exalts and lifts.
In order become the best version of ourselves we need to transform. And for others to change and become better and become their best selves they need to change. So what are some key virtues that help people to change?
It was a night like any other. Then our guest pulled out his flip-phone. My family was in awe! Here in 2019 was a father using a flip phone! We began to grill him, why was he using a flip phone when everyone else seemed to have a smartphone? He went on to explain that although he has the Internet at work and his wife has a smart phone, he didn't want to distract and take away time from his 3 girls. He wanted to spend time with his daughters and wife undistracted!
In a Finlandia Sauns the temperature can vary nearly a 100ﾟ from the very bottom to the very top. Just like your marriage there are times when it's very hot and difficult and times when it's very enjoyable. Should you get out? Should you stay in? Should you pare back some of your extracurricular activities and enjoy the heat?
2 different counselors over a period of many years told my wife and I the same advice, take 10 minutes a night to truly talk with each other. This talking isn't about managerial responsibilities or about child rearing but rather it's a way to connect, to be truly intimate. To see into your souls.
It's often in intense battles and challenges that we see unity and great love. So over the years during a few different triathlons I've seen my family come together over and over again. And I've seen others selflessly sacrifice in order to unify their family and bless others.
Have you ever wondered why your life seems a little incomplete in certain areas? Does it feel like you and your companion need to grow closer together but you don't know how? In this episode I share what two of my best friends and mentors have taught me over the years about growth, development, and improvement. No longer grow apart, grow together by focusing on these 4 key areas daily.
When a very expensive home is in danger of catching fire, Chubb, a well known insurance company will often send a private fire prevention team to creare an impenetrable perimeter around their insured homes.
Chubb knows it's difficult to stop a fire. So they spend tens of thousands of dollars
and employ private teams of firemen to ensure their insured homes worth millions don't burn down.
How can we create a (positive) marriage fire?
1. By focusing on the good in your spouse and in yourself, the flames of good deeds and solid character multiply as if gasoline is poured on a raging inferno. And thst inferno warms your heart and brightens your face.
2. Daily we have the privilege of changing our mindsets, attitudes and habits much like putting another log on s bonfire.
We can fan the flames of love, happiness, peace, and unity until warm fire burns forever.
Tip: record the good your spouse does or things you like about them in a diary/journal/notebook. Or think of what you like about him/her as you fall asleep.
Melissa accepted me from day one. At 129 pounds. With braces. And just a fewest years removed from a MacGyver worthy mullet. And she expected I'd get better with time and effort. Love is a combination of acceptance and expectations, boundaries and grace.
A marriage matures and endures as one or both spouses become susceptible to growth.
Impervious individuals resist responsibility.
Susceptible spouses bounce ideas off of one another, solicit feedback and continually take accountability.
Impervious marrieds resist change like steel against flint.
A couple saved two thousand dollars in home remodeling by bouncing ideas off of each other.
They were open to new ideas and concepts, thinking a great idea would come by being susceptible to other's ideas.
Are you becoming susceptible (porous) or impervious?
Recently on a trip I found myself in a Barnes and Noble. And I picked up a book called The Mamba Mentality by Kobe Bryant. Several parts of the book were intriguing, but one part in particular I needed to re-read a couple times.
Kobe Bryant, five time NBA champion, mentioned that his legs were very weak in his first season in the NBA. At one point he air-balled multiple shots against the Utah Jazz in the Playoffs. So he decided to take up tap dancing to strengthen his legs and improve his timing.
The result? He had one of the most successful and long careers in NBA history.
What are your weak legs? What are your air balls? What I like about Kobe in this situation as he saw his weakness and then he learned how to improve it and then he took action. It takes a humble person to see their weaknesses and then go to work to make them strengths.
And where did Kobe find the time? What about the embarrassment? Couldn’t he have just chosen an easier, less effective approach?
The best put in the work.
Are you ready to work for a better marriage?
Are you ready to tap dance your way into a better marriage?
What is empathy? I’ve been studying that a lot lately. It’s the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy is a byproduct of those who love selflessly. When you love profoundly, then you will yearn and learn to know how to help them.
I used to think that empathy was basically like a shock absorber. You know, when people are struggling and having some challenges you simply listen and make sure there’s not so much pressure. You lessen the bumps and the challenges and difficulties so a person doesn’t have to absorb all the challenges alone. But I’ve discovered is more than occasionally helping a loved one. Empathy means we’re so concerned about others thoughts feelings and emotions that we take a vested interest in their lives. Empathy means we’re thinking of others often not just occasionally nor just superficially.
I found that it’s all too easy in my life to live an emphatic life instead of an empathetic life. I used to live life with exclamation points instead of question marks. I was more concerned about me and less about others.
What are the consequences of not having empathy? Well you don’t know what your spouse really needs because you haven’t really listened to their heart. So you’re guessing. You’re looking at their needs through your own eyes not theirs. Perhaps most importantly is your spouse is going to have to suffer alone because you’re not willing to alleviate some of the burden by listening and being empathetic.
Empathetic people create longer term relationships because they truly connect with others. Empathetic people are focused on helping others.
Empathetic people have richer lives because they have rich relationships.
My wife taught me the importance of learning from others and learning from history so as to learn what I don’t know that others know and improving on weaknesses that others nor myself know about. The Johari Window and Anne of Green Gables offer insights into happier marriages.
Love is like a water well. Focus intently and go deep. Let no diversions or distractions detract from your one love. And remember love is more than duty. It involves cherishing, sacrificing, and eliminating.
It’s time to have more resiliency, to embrace difficult situations and losses as lessons learned. Perfection isn’t needed in marriage or any relationship. Let’s get real, vulnerable. I’d like to share some of my worst losses to help you know what winners know: losing is needful!
During a visit to a small town I observed several people riding tandem bikes up and down mountains and throughout the town.
I don't see that very often where I live so that caused me to think a little bit.
Riding a tandem bike is the ultimate metaphor for being interdependent. Two people come together to unitedly move forward.
A couple must work together (interdependently) on a tandem bike.
Working against each other (independently) causes stagnation.
Interdependence not independence is vital for happiness and progression.
Work with each other. Understand each other. Move forward together. Learn to work together. Learn to seek your spouses interest and their well-being. Hold them in high regard.
Two together make a tandem bike progress. And a marriage.
A couple are trying to avoid divorce, but they have no compelling vision. They are burdened down "managing" a family. And they take no time to create a compelling future.
Expanding perspective by 5% causes effectiveness to double.
Looking through your spouse's eyes (seeking to understand before being understood*) is a great way to expand perspective.
Expanding our vision causes us to overcome the inertia of proximity to our problems. Oftentimes the closeness of our problems causes us to feel overwhelmed and dejected.
Looking at our problems with a Seuratesque perspective causes hope to soar. Standing back a little to view art is a lot like life. We see the big beautiful picture by simply expanding our vision. Similarly, looking too closely at a piece of art causes catatonic confusion.
Don't get overwhelmed by clinging too tightly to the present. Find hope in creating a combined, compelling 220px-Contacteye future.
What is your ideal image for your family?
How could you expand your mutual vision?
(*HT to Stephen R. Covey)
Character drives tenacious people to cling to covenants over convenience. Grit is often the separator between divorce and ecstasy. In this episode I share a personal example of the grittiest person I know, my wife.
The ability to choose and choosing wisely matter more than circumstances. It’s imperative to be more of a thermostat than a thermometer. Life has horrible moments, but we determine what those situations mean. We should remember Phil Connors in Groundhog Day. Become a better, transformed person daily so you can lift everyone you meet.
Each of us struggles with pain, addiction, fear, missteps, and disappointment. What is the key to getting better? Yet. Yet is a word imbued with hope and promise. It’s a word that inspires us to work while we wait and trust in a miracle.
Ever feel like you have a troubled marriage? A difficult child? This episode contains the best advice I’ve ever received to connect with the difficult. It’s all about attention. What do you pay attention to?