When in Doubt, Flee! NOT!

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.

Mastering the Craft of Courage

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!”

Fast Food Burgers, Losing a Job and Life!

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?

Hamburger pic

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.

More Like One Out of a Million!

The headline is the response of Mary Swanson to Lloyd Christmas in the movie Dumb and Dumber when Lloyd asks her what the chances are of them ending up together as a couple.

If you haven’t seen the movie you would guess that Lloyd would be greatly disappointed at Mary’s response to his question. Lloyd is about as dorky and unsophisticated as they come. In his mind, however, he is the exact opposite. Mary, on the other hand, is the epitome of the ideal woman; beautiful, intelligent, wealthy, refined. Her response was her best effort to let Lloyd down easy.

You can check out this one-minute video on Youtube to take in the scene here.

Most of us, if given the chance of one in a million, would give up, walk away, or accept defeat. Not Lloyd. Where most of us would see insurmountable odds Lloyd saw possibility.

“So, you’re telling me there’s a chance,” Lloyd shouts with utter triumph and enthusiasm.

Recently, I’ve had two separate conversations with people struggling to see the world as Lloyd sees it. Both are highly accomplished, intelligent, and talented people. Both have dreams of wanting something more, something different. In each case, those dreams will make a big difference for many others. These dreams aren’t about the dreamers but about those they can help.

When I speak and coach I talk about the “Theory of the Crack” to individuals, companies and organizations. This concept was taught to me by the great people at Top 20 Training. This is a belief that allows us to see opportunity and possibility where most people see none. Lloyd understood the theory of the crack. He saw that one in million as an opening, a crack that gave him hope.

In my own life I used to say to myself that I could never be a speaker and a coach. That was something other “special” people did. Learning about the theory of the crack was a huge “aha” moment for me in changing my mindset and thinking more like Lloyd. Now, I’m doing it and am incredibly blessed to do what I love!

The crack incorporates the word “maybe” into our language and thought process. At one time, my thought process was very definitive as I would say to myself, “I could never make a living as a speaker and a coach.” Simply inserting the word “maybe” in front of that very absolute statement opens the door into Lloyd’s world. “Maybe I can’t” becomes “maybe I can” and there is hope.

It takes courage to think like Lloyd. It takes courage to see the one in a million.

Look closely at the picture that accompanies this post. You see a stalk of corn growing out of cement in the middle of a road. I took this picture. It is real. It is the theory of the crack. One would never think corn can grow in the middle of a road. Maybe corn can never grow in the middle of a road, but maybe it can. All it needs to do is find a crack. This seed found a crack and grew where one would never think it could happen.

Don’t think you can write that book? Maybe you can’t but…maybe you can!

Too old to go back to school? Maybe you are but…maybe you aren’t!

Don’t think you’re smart enough to start and run your own business? Maybe you aren’t but…maybe you are!

Do you have the courage to think like Lloyd?

Do you have the courage to see one in a million as a crack that gives you hope?

Are you looking for a speaker for an upcoming event? I’d love to help you and your team become more like Lloyd! Please send me an e-mail to dave@cultivatecourage.com and let’s talk.

Ephesians 3:20


Thank You, But I’ll Take the Stairs

Over the last couple of years I have had the opportunity to speak to all kinds of groups ranging from students to CEOs. The main topics I speak on are fear, courage, and change and how they affect us every day.

Early in my presentation I talk about how we have reserved the word courage for people like soldiers, policemen, firemen and the like. Those folks live in a world that requires them to be courageous all the time.  Yet, we all have the opportunity to work through our fears and be courageous in every day events. Author Christopher Paolini states, “Without fear there cannot be courage.”

The Shape of Things to Come!

Creating or doing anything mechanically or with tools has always been more than a challenge for me. Over the years I have learned to do a few simple things but no one ever calls me to help with projects requiring these skills.

In the ninth grade I had to take shop class. I’m not even sure if they have this class in schools anymore. I believe its more formal name is, or was, Industrial Arts. Our grade for this class required us to build a piece of furniture. Our teacher provided us with some ideas and options. There were some in the class that were highly skilled and chose to make things like rocking chairs or hutches. The simplest thing to make was a rectangular coffee table, so, that is what I chose.