One Thing Missing


I want you to write down 1 thing in your life, that if it was gone you would not miss it.

Got it? Good…now get rid of it.

Why hang onto something in your life it provides no value to you. Some grab things just to have things. We hoard stuff just to hoard stuff. When we have too much of that stuff, whether emotional, tangible, physical or whatever, we become smothered. We lose our focus. Then we look to hoard more stuff to figure out what we are missing.

Maybe we are missing…missing stuff. That could make sense. Bear with me for just a minute.

I heard a great quote that said, “Is the glass half empty or half full? Neither, the glass is too big for the life that you have.” Wow if that doesn’t hit you between the eyes. Are you choosing a glass that is too big and then work your tail off to fill it?

I went through an exercise years ago where I had to write down the 10 most important things in my life. The first few items on the list were written with ease. I added my kids, my health, financial security, my faith etc. As the list got closer to 10 I was having more difficulty determining if that item was really that important to me.

Once I had my list complete, the speaker asked me and the rest of the class to cross of 2 items. He stated, “life just threw you a curveball and wiped out 2 items on your list”. That wasn’t so tough. He continued asking us to cross stuff off until we only had a few items to choose from. Then, with only 3 items on my list he asked us to pick just one. At the time I thought that was really tough.

I had to choose between my kids, my health and my faith. I pondered each item carefully and selected my kids. I was making the conscience decision to forgo everything else in my life to make sure that my kids were cared for, safe, healthy, and happy. Seems like an easy decision until you look at the rest of the list.

Items on my list I had to cross off included: my home, my health, my mom, dad, brother and sister, my financial health, my pets, my career and a couple other not so important items.

Now when you look back at the one item that you are willing to give up, is it really that important? Can you live without it? Would your life better or worse if that item was missing?

Give it up, unclutter your life and see how much happier you become by making small changes.

Do I Matter?


Be honest with yourself, there are days you wonder why you push so hard? Why do you knock yourself out day after long, busy day. There must be some illustrious prize waiting for you, other than a paycheck.

So does what you do matter? Are you following the rhythm of your heart? At the end of the day do you feel like what you did made a difference to somebody else or to the world?

What does it mean to matter? Why is it important to matter? What if I didn’t matter? Would anybody notice?

These are not easy questions to answer. It is up to each one of us to look inside ourselves and understand what is important to us. For what makes me matter, might be different than what makes you matter.

I, just like a lot of us, struggle wondering if I’m doing what I am meant to do. I know what work drives my passion and makes me feel like I have purpose. What do I do to follow that dream and pursue that passion? How do I make my life have meaning and purpose?

Asking questions about who we are, where we are going and what makes our life important, are good questions to ask ourselves on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean that we don’t understand who we are and where we are going, what it does do is it helps to solidify our vision for who we are meant to be.

This past week has been a rough week on myself, my family and my extended family. We all learned that one of my aunt’s is near the end of her life. We also received the devastating news of a car accident that took the life of a young member of our extended family. These events create questions without answers many times. For me it gives me the opportunity to really analyze my purpose on this earth.

So when I asked the question do I matter, I’m wondering if what I do has a positive impact on the people that are in my life. I may never know the answer to that question. It also reminds me that I need to follow my purpose in life and not someone else’s purpose.

So when you sit back and ask yourself, do I matter? Take time to appreciate that you do matter and that what you do does have purpose and meaning to others. As you listen to that inner voice reminding you of who you are and what you are supposed to be doing, I want you to trust it . Trust that inner voice.

Now go out there and make a positive impact on those that are in your life.

He Saved My Life


In all honesty I never really thought much about it. As far as I knew he was well. And then I got an email from Dad letting me know he had passed on Christmas Day. The man that saved my life was gone.

I met him on July 2, 1987. It wasn’t my best day but I remember what he told me. He was very professional, compassionate and concerned.

He said “Dean you have 1 of 3 things that might be wrong with you.”

I was now more concerned that I thought I might be.

He went on to say; “One, you have something wrong with your spleen and we can take that out. You will be fine after a short recovery. Two, you have some rare blood disease that we have to do a lot more research on before we know what we are dealing with. Third, you have leukemia.”

That was it. Those were my options. I looked at the man who would give me the 2nd most devastating news in my life and said, “Doc, I think I have option 3, leukemia.”

Saying it out loud didn’t make me feel any better, it made me feel worse and even more scared. Here I was sitting across from a man, a doctor and a caring person that I was about to put all my trust in. My life really depended on his skill, knowledge and commitment to his practice.

Over the next few years I went through some really low points and then hope poked it’s head around the corner and smiled at me. I knew I would be ok.

Today as I think about the passing of this man, the man that poured himself into my care, giving me a chance to live, I feel a gaping hole. I have told him thank you in the past, but I don’t think I was ready for him to go. Even though his health was failing and his mind wasn’t as sharp, there was a sense of security knowing he was still around. I mean he did save my life.

As I think about the years since I was treated, I wonder, have I had this type of impact on others? Have I used the gift of life to make a difference? I’m not sure yet, but my life story hasn’t been finished. What I am thinking, is that it is time to step it up and make the impact on others that my doctor made on me.

Where in your life has someone given you a second chance? Have you used it to help others? Have you used to impact the world around you in a positive way?

Take 30 minutes this week and think about your life and the people that have influenced you. What will you do tomorrow to pay that influence forward and help someone else? Make it happen and make someone better because you are in their life.