There’s a theme that I’ve heard in many talks and have read in many books that has presented itself in real life to me time and time again. It’s the theme of Broke Uncle Joe. We all have a Broke Uncle Joe. You may call him by another name, but you have one for sure. So who is Broke Uncle Joe?
None of us are perfect. Subconsciously knowing that we aren’t perfect we tend to seek advice from family, friends, co-workers, and others. We do it before making small decisions and even more frequently in larger ones. Some people may even do it because they care what people think of them. Here’s the problem in seeking advice from certain people… you have to be cautious not to take poor advice from people who have good intentions.
Your family members aren’t intentionally going to give you poor advice. They’re going to tell you what they think is best for you even if they have no clue about the subject matter that is involved in the decision. As well-intentioned as their advice may be, if they don’t have knowledge of the subject matter then it may just be poor advice.
So here is where Broke Uncle Joe comes into play…
Let’s say you are thinking about starting a new business. You go tell your Broke Uncle Joe what you’re thinking and he tells you not to do it. In fact, he warns you not to do it. He tells you that it’s a bad idea and that you’d be better off saving your money or spending it on something else. Here’s the thing about Uncle Joe though, he broke. He’s been an employee his entire life and knows nothing about starting a business. He’s resolved to the mindset of work til retirement instead of working for it. He lives paycheck to paycheck and depends on his employer to put food on his table.
So, why should you go to your Broke Uncle Joe and ask him his opinion? You shouldn’t, yet people do it ALL THE TIME except it’s not their uncle. It’s their friends. It’s their co-workers. It’s some of their family members. That’s their Uncle Joe.
Let’s say you are having marital problems. Would you think it’s wise to seek marital advice from a friend who is single or has been divorced multiple times? It doesn’t matter how many people you talk to who are similarly situated. Thomas Carlyle said it perfectly, “I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”
Wouldn’t it make much more sense to seek advice from someone who has what you want? If you’re having marital issues, wouldn’t it be wise to seek counsel from someone who has a thriving marriage? If you want to be a millionaire, wouldn’t it make sense to ask millionaires how they became so wealthy instead of asking your Broke Uncle Joe who isn’t?
So keep this all in mind when you seek advice from well-intentioned people.
“Your thoughts become your words; your words become your actions; your actions determine your outcome.”
If your thoughts determine your outcome then it would reason that to control your outcome you first must control how you generate your thoughts. What goes in is always what will come out. Our thoughts are generated by what we fill our mind with day to day.
Ever hear the concept that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with? Jim Rohn said it and it’ll be just as true when he said it as it will be long after you’re gone. It relates to the law of averages, which is the theory that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes. This doesn’t just apply to the average of your friends, but to EVERYTHING you choose to surround yourself with.
If you hang around negative unsuccessful people then you too will become negative and unsuccessful. Your income will be the average of their income. So wouldn’t it make sense that if you start hanging out with successful people and millionaires that you too will become successful and have a better chance of becoming a millionaire?
This works the same way with other areas of your life. If you engage in negativity through social media (very easy to do with political or media outlets) then you’ll have a negative mindset. If you “follow” negative pages and filth then that’s what will come out of your mouth and what will consume your thoughts. Your thoughts will become the average of the things you surround yourself and allow in your mind.
“What we tolerate we give permission to exist.”
Just as you fuel your body with food, fuel your mind with positive thoughts. Turn off the news. Unfollow negative and media Facebook and Twitter accounts. Instead follow positive Facebook accounts, listen to motivating podcasts, read books on success and personal growth, and surround yourself with people more successful than you. Iron sharpens iron.
If you have already begun applying some of those actions, I would love your podcast and book suggestions. I’m always looking to grow my repertoire.
“Whatever it takes is not the same as never quit.”
Countless motivational posters, videos, and speeches preach to people to “never quit.” You should “never quit” on your dreams. You should “never quit” on your goals. You should “never quit” on anything you want in life. Although it is important that you never quit, it doesn’t ensure that you’ll have monumental success and achieve greatness. It also doesn’t guarantee that you’ll achieve your goals and dreams. You can coast through life and never quit on your goals by doing the bare-minimum to achieve them and you just may possibly reach them especially if your goals are small.
Think about this example: Let’s say you are a door-to-door salesman selling vacuum cleaners (yes, people did that back in the day). You have a dream of being a millionaire because you want to be able to give more money to worthy causes, have no debt, own your house and cars out-right, have time and financial freedom, etc. Let’s also say that you have a resolution to “never quit.” You could “never quit” selling vacuums by going to one new house each month, knock on the door, and tell someone about your vacuum and technically you haven’t quit. You could do that once a year and still technically you wouldn’t have quit. So do you think you’d ever be a millionaire and achieve great success with just a “never quit” attitude? Probably not.
If you would like to reach your goals fast, achieve great success – more success than you could ever dream of achieving, then it’ll take more than a never quit mentality. It’ll take a “whatever it takes” mentality. When you have that mentality the light switch is flipped and then all of a sudden you go into overdrive. The goals you have are surpassed faster than you could’ve imaged and you’re now being forced to set new goals that you never dreamed of having. Your entire life changes.
Do WHATEVER IT TAKES. Having a never quit mentality isn’t enough.
“Average people compare themselves to others; successful people compare themselves to their potential.”
Something I’ve noticed over the last several years is that so many people count themselves out of something or tell themselves they can’t do something because they compare themselves to somebody else. People give up on their dreams because of it, which is a pretty depressing thought. I know people who know what they want and know how to get it, but they will tell themselves they can’t do it because they look at the success of some other person and will say something like, “I can’t be successful like them because I’m not as talented as they are” or any number of reasons. They compare themselves to someone else and count themselves out because they don’t believe they’ll be as good at what they want to do as someone else is. They rid themselves of joy and the success they could have in life.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Here’s a perfect example from a personal experience. At the time I was introduced to AdvoCare I was about as lean as I had ever been and didn’t really have any weight to lose. I saw a lot of people having success in AdvoCare and I noticed that nearly all of them lost a considerable amount of weight. So I told myself, “I’ll never be successful in this business because I don’t have a great weight loss story.” I began to count myself out before I even started. I compared myself to others and chalked their success up to some incredible weight loss story. Luckily I broke out of that mindset and decided not to allow comparison to steal my joy. I did what I wanted to do and now I have been able to retire from the practice of law at the age of 35, both my wife and I are work from home parents, we have eliminated six figures of debt, and we have complete time freedom to do what we want and when we want.
So if you want something in life, put your blinders on. Don’t look to your left or right. Focus on the end goal and achieve it. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing.
I know this sounds pretty gloomy, but your life is ending. That’s one thing we all know for sure. Death is inescapable. It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately… not necessarily death, but rather the time we have here on earth between conception and the day we breath our last breath. So I’ve been thinking about life actually and the limited time we spend living it. Time is precious, no doubt, and we never know when ours is going to end. We get one chance at life to do whatever we are going to do and with every passing moment we will never get that time back again. Unless you’re Dr. Strange or Superman, you can’t rewind time and have a do-over.
Knowing that my time is limited, I started thinking about how I’ve spent my 35 years on earth so far. I also asked myself, “If I die today, would I be able to look back at my life and be truly satisfied with how I spent my years here?” Right now the answer would be “no” and it may always be no, but that’s what will keep me striving for greatness.
I would love for everyone to be able to answer these questions for themselves:
If I die today, would I be able to look back at my life and be truly satisfied with how I spent my years here?
If the answer to the above question is “yes,” then WHY is it “yes?”
If the answer to the above question is “no,” then what can you do to live a life that you’d be satisfied with?
What kind of legacy to you want to leave?
Do you want to be remembered as a world-class spouse who became an example to other married couples, which strengthen the Sacrament of Marriage?
Do you want to be remembered as a world-class parent who sets the bar for other parents strive to hit?
Tell me if this doesn’t sober you up: Do you want your mark on this earth to be gravestone and some cloudy memories of you, which will die with the people you experienced those memories with?
“You can‘t leave footprints in the sands of time if you‘re sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?”
The question is, what are you going to do with the time you’re given and with the rest of the sand in the hour glass. This is the BEST video that I have found which stresses this point. Take 5 minutes out of your day to watch it:
“You have greatness within you. You are designed for greatness, but you are not predestined for greatness. That’s a choice.”
Everyone has greatness within them, but they have to choose to realize it. It’s easy to get caught up in the way of the world and to go with the flow. Being comfortable in your daily routine is easy. Most of us don’t love it, but it’s hard to break out of that comfort zone most of the time, but out of the comfort zone is where you’ll realize your greatness and find success. Becoming great doesn’t just happen. It’s a choice. One of the most influential quotes on greatness I’ve ever heard was by Pope Benedict XVI:
“The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”
How profound is that!? Don’t conform to the ways of the world just to be comfortable only to draw near to the end of your life and realize your potential. Start today! Drink a Spark, break out of your comfort zone, and own this day! “You don’t have to be great to start; but you have to start to be great!”
A little over a week ago I began reading a book that has been sitting on my bookshelf for several months and I wish I would’ve opened it up and began reading it earlier. It’s called “Joseph’s Way – A Call To Fatherly Greatness.” In addition to discovering how to become a better father and husband I have been learning a lot about the Scriptures. Here is an example of what I learned in today’s reading:
Today’s reading is about the “Listening Heart of Abraham.” In learning how to listen in silence during prayer with the Lord, I have also learned how the Patriarchs did the same. In Genesis 15 Abraham fears that he will die childless and that the servant of his house, Eliezer of Damascus, will be his heir.
2 But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what can you give me, if I die childless and have only a servant of my household, Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant of my household will be my heir.”
God responds by telling him that Eliezer will not be his heir, but Abraham’s own offspring will be his heir. Then God tests Abraham’s faith. He takes him outside and has him “Look up at the sky and count the stars” if he can and tells him “Just so, He added, will your descendants be.”
At this point I, and I’m sure the majority of other Scripture readers imagine Abraham walking outside at night looking up and seeing the stars, BUT that’s not what happened.
As today’s reading explains, “Later in the same account, the Scripture discloses that the Lord had actually commanded Abraham to count the stars while it was daylight, which rendered the stars imperceptible. Though Abram could see, he was blind to what existed in the heavens, and yet he gave his assent of faith, believing not in what was seen but what was unseen.”
I had never realized this before so I quickly flipped to Genesis 15 to see where it said Abraham looked up at the stars in the daylight and there it was plain as day. Genesis 15:12 reads “As the sun was about to set,” making it clear that it was daylight when God told Abraham to count the stars. God is asking Abraham to have faith in not what is seen, but what is unseen.
The reading goes on to say “seeing with his own eyes that he had no offspring, Abram relied upon his eyes of faith, believing in the promise of what was unseen instead of what was seen, and because of this God reckoned it to him as righteousness, for ‘what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.'” (2 Corinthians 4:18) “Because of his faith Abraham became the father of many nations, for in view of the promise of God, he did not waver through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, being fully aware that whatever God has promised He is able to perform.”
I look forward to reading each day’s reading. It’s such an incredible book and I recommend it to every father and husband out there.
It’s been a very long time since I have written you and before I tell you why this will be a better Thanksgiving, I have to update you on all your milestones. I have been keeping myself busy so that you can have an even better Thanksgiving this year than you did last year. The last time I wrote you was just after your first Christmas and A LOT has changed since then. Sorry it has been so long. You’ve been RUNNING everywhere and have picked up a ton of words such as shoes (“ishes” as you like to call them), Jesus, Momma, Papa, Nana, bar, ball, bottle, cookie, cheese, chicken, brother (“bruba”), no, woof, puppy, and many more. You also know where your hair, eyes, nose, toes, ears, mouth, belly button, and hands are! You are so smart!!!
You’ve been climbing on EVERYTHING and love being around your brother. In fact, you can’t even walk by him without hugging him and kissing him on the head. It’s one of the sweetest things we’ve ever seen. He smiles more for you than he does for anyone and yesterday he just made his first real laugh. He’s super happy in general, but by far the happiest when he’s around you.
So let me tell you why this Thanksgiving will be different. A few years ago, before you were even born, I knew that I wanted to give your mom the opportunity to be home with you all the time. I knew that before I even knew your mom. So I removed all excuses and went to work so that when I met your mom she could have that opportunity. I was able to make that happen in a short amount of time and I thought that if I could accomplish that goal then all would be good; however, after you were born something changed. I still wanted your mom home with you, but that wasn’t going to be good enough for my little girl. You deserved much more than to just have your mom home with you.
Every day as I would leave to go to my job I would kiss you goodbye probably 50 times and you would smile. Then when you could stand up you would stand in the window of the door crying and screaming “Daddy!” every day as I left. It broke my heart to leave you every day. There were many mornings when I had to fight back tears backing out of the driveway and some mornings when I lost that fight. Then throughout the day I would watch you grow up through pictures or videos that your mom would send me while I was at work and it would tear me up even more. I would have the hour after I got home from work to spend with you and the majority of that was feeding you, bathing you, and then putting you to bed. It wasn’t enough for you and it wasn’t enough for me.
Then when your brother was born I took 12 weeks off of work and it hit me. Why not just always be home with your mom and the two of you? After talking it over with your mom we have decided that we would both be home to raise you and your brother and that is why this Thanksgiving will be better than the last. So instead of just enjoying the holiday weekend and then going back to a job on Monday only to see you cry in the doorway, I will wake up Monday to get you out of bed, hug you, kiss you, feed you breakfast, take you to the park or even chase you around the house because I can. I no longer have anyone telling me that I have to come into work from 8:00 to 5:00. I no longer have to ask off for vacation to take you to fun trips around the country. I have fired the boss and given up the 40 hour work week so that now we can always be on vacation my little love! We no longer live life on someone else’s terms. We live life on our own terms. Happy Thanksgiving Sweetheart!
I love you,
When I share an incredible opportunity with people the most common objection I hear is, “I don’t have time.” I said the same thing when someone introduced the same opportunity to me 3 1/2 years ago. At that point in my life I was working 18 hours a day (4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.). I “didn’t have time” for anything else. The truth is, you’ll never “find” time to do anything, but you can always “make” time for things that matter. People make time to watch their favorite t.v. shows, they make time to go out with friends, they make time to go get a few drinks, they make time to fool around on social media for hours throughout the day, etc. There are 24 hours in the day. You’re sleeping only 6-8 of them. Make the time to do things that matter. If I didn’t make time to do things that mattered 3 1/2 years ago then our family would be burdened with daycare costs, hardly ever get to see our child, we would have an unreal amount of debt, and be living with financial stress month after month. I know that life sounds familiar to the majority of Americans and may even be considered “normal” by today’s standards. Instead, my wife has the opportunity to raise our child, we’ve eliminated over $170,000 of debt, and we don’t stress when the bills come around every month or when we have a “surprise cost” when something breaks. Our goal is to make the “normal” type of life a rarity or non-existent for as many people as possible. #thankyouadvocare #whowantstobenormal #maketime