The alarm went off at 4:45 am. I got out of bed, took a quick shower and got my things together to catch my 5:45 flight home. Fortunately, my hotel was right by the airport so I would be there in plenty of time.
The night before I had gone online and saw that the flight wasn’t very full. I changed seats to be in the bulkhead because all six seats were open. Yes! I’d be able to put up the armrests, put my ipod on and sleep until I got to Chicago undisturbed.
It was about 5:20 as they began boarding the plane. I am always one of the last ones to board because planes are very uncomfortable and I wait as long as I can to get on. Then I heard them.
One of the unexpected outcomes of doing what I do as a speaker is having people share their stories with me. If I had taken the time to process through what I do, likely I would have been able to figure out this might happen.
It is an incredibly humbling experience to have others share their accounts of things that have happened in their lives. Often, these are deeply painful stories that have been brought to the surface when they hear me speak. Often, these stories have been buried and purposely held below the surface in an attempt to drown them away.
I recently had someone recommend a website to me about living fearlessly. I couldn’t remember the site but thought I would google it and see what I could find. There were 1,650,000 results attached to the phrase “living fearlessly.”
While I am sure that many of these results have only a semantic difference with what I talk about in being courageous I believe there is a vastly different message sent in telling people to live fearlessly.
I put off taking this class as long as I could. Kinesiology. Just the title scared me and I had heard the professor was brilliant and a tough grader. I never was very good in the sciences and this class and professor lived up to the reputation.
Each week I worked as hard on this class as any class I had ever taken just to keep pace and keep my head above water.
It was about midway through the semester. The professor was always asking questions and calling on random students to answer them. I lived in fear every session. It was not uncommon for him to have to ask two or three students before he got the correct answer.
It wasn’t how I’d planned to end my Sunday evening.
My wife and I had had a good weekend visiting her dad. The three hour plus drive home was beautiful as we enjoyed the fall colors and the changing of seasons in northern Minnesota.
When I was a young boy, I loved to grab my fishing pole and walk down to the lake at the edge of downtown and fish. This wasn’t worm and bobber fishing for panfish but casting with a daredevil to try and catch a big northern pike.
One evening I was sure I had hooked the biggest fish in the lake. Several other people who were fishing even stopped to watch as I tried to real the fish in with my old, cheap Zebco rod and reel. After several minutes of fight I got it to the shoreline. At ten years of age this was the biggest fish I had ever caught. In my nine or ten year old mind it had to be a five or six pound northern.
She pulled up in her soccer mom van like a woman on a mission!
My wife was working until noon, which left me in charge. We had a couple of friends who had added some of their once highly valued items to be sold with ours. One of those ladies, Marsha (all names have been changed to protect the innocent), was there to help me until my wife got home.
I hope you had the opportunity to listen to Episode 14 of Bob Stromberg’s podcast Mastering the Craft of Creativity.
It was an honor to be Bob’s featured guest, talking about fear and courage and the role those two emotions play in our lives every day.
If you’re at all like me, you have people in your life that you admire from afar. You hope that someday you’ll have the opportunity to meet them, let them know how much you appreciate what they do, and how they have impacted your life.
For me, one of those people is Bob Stromberg. His website describes him as a comedian, speaker, and master of creativity. Words that I would add to that description are, genuine, thoughtful, and subtly deep. Bob has an incredible ability to make you laugh and, in just a whisper, tug at your heart.
Bob first came to my attention through my daughters quite a few years ago. He had been one of the speakers at a church youth conference they had attended and they couldn’t say enough good things about him. Knowing my passion for humor and laughter they said, “Dad, you would love this guy!”
Once I was hired by a national fast food chain to appear in a commercial advertising the roll out of a brand new biiiiiiiig, thiiiiiiick, juuuuuuicy burger. I was pretty excited by this opportunity. Free food, make some cash, be on tv. What could go wrong?
One thing I hadn’t thought of in answering the newspaper ad for the role was that I am a burger purist. I like my burgers with some cheese, bacon, mushrooms and maybe a little barbecue sauce. I do not like burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, mayo or anything that you see in the picture above.