[New Post] “The Seven T’s of an amazing marriage ( Part 2 of 7 )



Welcome to part two of seven in our blog series titled: “The Seven T’s of an Amazing Marriage”.

In part one I shared the first T:

1. Tune (Listening)

I discussed how “Tune” is all about perspective and communication. Tuning in to each other is not only learning how to communicate…but understanding how each other communicates.
Perspective is allowing yourself to see the conversation, decisions being made, arguments being raised, or any other situation from the other persons perspective.

Our second T to an amazing marriage is:

2. Truthfulness

You cannot have an amazing marriage if you are not completely honest with one another. When you are not open and honest with your spouse you close the door to being vulnerable.

Trusting people, at it’s core is hoping that based on their track record, this person
is going to continue to be trustworthy and behave in a consistent manner with what they have modeled to up to this point. – Dr. Henry Cloud
Trust continues to grow in a marriage as two people model trustworthy behavior.
We continue to trust because we are willing to accept the risk, not because it’s safe or certain. When we model consistent trustful behavior, our marriage will continue to get stronger and stronger. In order to model trust worthy behavior, we have to be willing to be vulnerable.
At it’s core, trust has to do with allowing yourself to be vulnerable to another person.  I love the way Patrick Lencioni describes this:
Vulnerability-based trust is based on the simple and practical idea that people who aren’t afraid to admit the truth about themselves are not going to engage in the kind of anti-trust behavior that wastes everyone’s time and energy and works against establishing real trust.
When we refuse to live out a marriage of vulnerability based trust, we model the opposite: “Anti-trust behavior”. Again, Lencioni gives a great list of what anti-trust looks like:
Anti-trust behavior is when:
  1. We conceal our weaknesses and mistakes from our spouse.
  2. We hesitate to ask for help or ask for constructive feedback.
  3. We jump to conclusions about the intentions and aptitudes of our spouse without attempting to clarify them
  4. We waste time and energy managing our behaviors to keep themselves guarded.
  5. We hold grudges
  6. We refuse to forgive
In marriage, it’s not 50% / 50%. It’s 100% / 100%. We have to model the behavior we expect in our marriage and trust is foundational to having a strong, healthy marriage.
Question: In what ways can you model vulnerability based trust in your marriage? Leave me a comment on my Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. I would love to hear from you.

[New Post] The Seven T’s of a Great Marriage (Post 1 of 7 )



Do you want to have an amazing marriage? It’s going to take work.

You have to be willing to give 100%. Marriage is not 50% / 50%.  You have to be all in.

Jennifer and I have been married for almost 19 years. Over the course of 19 years of marriage we have learned what we call the “Seven T’s to an Amazing Marriage”

Through trial and error, arguments, tears and misunderstanding, what remained constant through our marriage was our commitment to never stay where we were as a couple. We understand that an amazing marriage means always moving forward and working on our marriage.

After 19 years of marriage, we know that we have to consistently apply the tools we’ve learned each and every day. The seven T’s are tools based on trust, healthy communication, love, respect and intimacy.

The seven T’s will be a seven part blog series. In each post I will expand on one of the seven T’s.

So let’s jump in to the first tool in the “Seven T’s to an amazing marriage:

The first T is:
1. Tune (Listening)

Tune is all about perspective and communication. Tuning in to each other is not only learning how to communicate…but understanding how each other communicates.
Perspective is allowing yourself to see the conversation, decisions being made, arguments being raised, or any other situation from the other persons perspective.

In order to do this you have to understand that there is always a second conversation going on when you communicate with your spouse.

The second conversation comes through in body language and tone but rarely in actual words.

For example, if your spouse is continually upset with you for not picking up your jeans and always lets you hear about it…what are they trying to communicate to you?

I’ll give you a hint…it has nothing to do with your jeans on the floor.
Your spouse is trying to communicate that you are doing something that disrespects them or makes them feel unimportant.

Something as small as jeans on the floor can show your spouse that you do not respect them. When you do something as small as pick up your jeans, you are modeling to your spouse that you see things from their perspective and that you love and respect them.

You are Tuning in to their felt needs and are now able understand them from their perspective and communicate to through words and in action.

In order to tune in to your marriage be willing to:

  1. Listen with your heart and not only your head
  2. Look for the second conversation that is going on
  3. Look for ways to model respect

Question: In what ways do you tune in to your spouse? Leave me a comment on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn



[New Post] The memory of an elephant “My system for remembering almost everything”

I  was discussing productivity with a friend the other day and he said “ KC, how do you stay on top of everything? It seems like you never forget anything! You have the memory of an elephant!”  I laughed ( way too loud) and explained to him that I actually forget things all the time. My secret was in my system.
Everything starts with having the right tools to capture your thought, idea, or reminder the moment you have it. Our brain is not designed to try to remember everything we have to get done. When we attempt to use our brain, it constantly reminds us that we need to get EVERYTHING done right away. There is no distinction of time. Thus, we feel overwhelmed about everything we have to do. When we have a system to capture, clarify, sort and organize our ideas, tasks, and projects, we become more relaxed, less stressed, having a rhythm and flow to our work.
My system is made up of apps on my iPhone and my daily review.
My capturing system consists of: 
  1. Staying on top of appointments
    1. I use my Apple IOS Calendar
      1.  I place the appointment on the specific day and set a reminder within in the app so I will be notified of where I need to be. I usually set a one hour reminder that alerts me an hour before the appointment. I review my calendar the night before to prepare for the next day.
  2. Staying on top of Tasks / Projects
    1. I use Nozbe
      1. I use the Nozbe app to capture everything I need to get done. Nozbe is a task / project management app that allows me to capture, clarify, and schedule projects and tasks.  I review my task  / projects list daily.
  3. Staying on top of groceries
    1. I use the “Buy me a pie!” app
    2. I absolutely love this app.  Here’s how I use it:
      1. Every time I run out of something, I simply open the app and add it to the list. If I pour the last drop of milk, it goes in the app. Running low on deodorant? Yep, it goes in the app. When it’s time for me to head to the store, I have everything right there at the tip of may fingers.  Another great feature is the app is colored coded so it bunches the like items together. No more zig-zagging back and forth around the store!
  4. Working on projects
    1. I use Evernote
      1. I set up project notebooks that allow me to categorize and organize anything I am working on. Evernote syncs with your phone, tablet, and computer. You can write free from distraction, collect information, find what you need, and present your ideas all in one place.
  5. Cloud storage for files
    1. I use Dropbox
      1. Dropbox is safe, secure, and I can access my files on any device.
  6. Capturing everything I missed at the end of the day
    1. My amazing wife is always there to help!
      1. My wife loves to read. Every evening she reads her book on the Kindle app on her iPhone.  As I am drifting off to sleep, I remember something that I need to write down. Instead of getting out of bed, I ask my wife to text me what it is I need to remember since she is right next to me, phone in hand.

Are you feeling overwhelmed trying to stay on top of everything you have to remember? The key to your productivity is in your system.

Question: What apps do you use to remember almost everything? Leave me a comment on my Facebook, Twitter, or LindedIn. I would love to hear from you!

[New Post] Reflection


Golden mirror on a dark wall

Instead of reading a blog post today, take ten minutes to reflect on the following questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. Where do I want my life to go?
  3. How am I going to get there?

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.

Margaret J. Wheatley

Let me know your thoughts on my Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. I would love to hear from you!




How to be less stressed by shortening your shoe laces.

How to be-3
Have you ever had a knot in your shoe lace that was so tight you thought you would never get it untied? If they were untied, were you always tripping over them?
I had laces like that as a kid.
My mom would have me double knot them so I wouldn’t trip.  The problem was, the double knots would become so tight I couldn’t untie them. 
If I would of just purchased shorter laces I wouldn’t of had this problem.
Life can feel this way at times.
Our lives are so stressful. We feel like everything is wadded up in a tangled mess unable to sort things out.  
Like the shoelaces, we believe the goal is to pick at the tight spots hoping that somewhere, somehow, something will give and life will loosen up. 
We fail to realize that the problem is not the tight knots but the excess string.
What would of happened if I had shorter laces as a kid?
I wouldn’t of had to manage the excess. 
What if you cut the excess out of your life?
The only reason to have to double knot is to keep you from tripping over the excess. 
What trips us up and stresses us out in is trying to manage the excess that gets in the way of whats we really want to be spending our time on. 
Do feel like your life is double knotted? Where is the excess that you need to shorten?
You can shorten the laces of your life by asking:
  1. What superficial tasks am I trying to manage that get in the way of what I really want to be doing?
  2. How will getting rid of the excess help to not trip and feel less stressed? 
After answering these questions, take action. Cut the excess out of your life. You will have greater focus and clarity. 
Shorten the laces of your life today. Cut the excess.
Question: What are you going to cut out of your schedule to help you shorten the laces of life? Leave me a comment on my Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. I could love to hear from you! 

[New Post] Optimist? Pessimist? Realist.

Optimist _ Pessimist_(1)
How do you view life?
Are you the optimist that sees the glass half full? Are you the pessimist that sees the glass half empty? Maybe it’s time to be a realist and see the glass for what it is…a half a glass of liquid.
        The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. – William Arthur Ward
A realist is able to “ adjust the sails” no matter what life brings. 
Are an optimist? Are you waiting around for the wind to change direction in your life?
Are you a pessimist? Are you complaining about the wind you are currently navigating your life through?
What would happen if you adjusted your sails? What would happen if you looked at your life and owned it? Where could your life go if you owned your past, owned your present reality and owned your excuses?
Here’s an interesting observation about optimists and pessimists, they both make excuses and shift blame for the direction of their life.
Become a realist today and own your life.
Hey optimist…stop waiting for your ship to come in and get to work.
Hey pessimist…stop complaining because you feel like your ship came and went.
Life is hard. Chasing your dreams takes work and life NEVER works out the way you plan.
A realist understands that life is constantly changing. We should plan for the worst and hope for the best.
This is where the best part of being a realist comes in. Realists have learned to enjoy the journey of life.
If you are an optimist, you are always focused on the future and what’s coming.
If you’re a pessimist, you’re always focused on the your past mistakes and sure that your future plans will fail.
But when you are a realist, you have learned to be content in all situations, enjoying the journey no matter what life brings.
Notice I said content not complacent.  Being content doesn’t mean seeing difficult situations through rose colored glasses or making excuses for why your life didn’t go as planned. Being content is having a peace and joy about life that transcends your outside circumstances.
The realist chooses to make the most of life regardless of their outside circumstances.
I say outside circumstance because the realist understands they can’t control the wind, but they do have control over the sail. They choose their attitude and understand their emotions.
Realists own where they are in life, making the most of today and consistently plotting, planning and navigating through life’s rough or calm waters.
The realist is all for being positive. But their choice to be positive has to do with having a holistic view of life. They live each day making the most of it.
The realist enjoys the journey and are not caught up in the destination alone.
How can you become a realist?
  1. Throw away your rose colored glasses
  2. Stop making excuses for your life and own it.
  3. Learn to adjust your plans as the winds of life change
  4. Get to work.
  5. Learn to enjoy today while charting the course of your future.

Today is your day to move forward and face everything that life throws at you. It’s time to get rid of the rose colored glasses
and shake off the negative. It’s time to be a realist.

Questions: Do you see yourself as an optimist, pessimist or a realist? Leave me a comment on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. I would love to hear your thoughts!

[New Post] How to gain independence from insecurity



Do you lack confidence? What keeps you from moving forward? Do you second guess yourself and question your abilities? Have you ever asked why?
You might be under the rule of insecurity.
Merriam Webster dictionary defines insecurity as:  not confident about yourself or your ability to do things well.
That definition is interesting because it focuses on external circumstances.
Where are you getting your worth from?  Does it come from your career? Your possessions? Who you know? How you look? What others say about you?
Do you notice a common theme? Each of these have to do with external circumstances.
Insecurity takes over when we attempt to get our worth from the wrong things.
Now, we can’t go around having a “screw it” mentality living however we want. No!  We should work to perform our job with excellence and treat others as we want to be treated. The key is ensuring that our worth and value is not wrapped up in our external circumstance that are outside of our control.
If your worth is wrapped up in how others respond to you or perceive you, you will never feel good enough or have enough. Insecurity will continue to rule over your life.
Our value has to come from something greater than what we do or how others respond to us.
It’s time to gain independence from your insecurity.
Gain your independence from insecurity by: 
  • Not comparing your life to someones social media profile 
    • Occasionally you find people that post EVERYTHING online. It doesn’t matter if it’s good, bad or insane, they post it. Most of the time though, people post the best side of their life. They want to share the good things happening in their life. If we consistently look at all the great things happening in peoples lives on social media, we can quickly forget that that is not reality. Everyone has good and bad things happening in their life. Nobody has a perfect life no matter who you are.
  • Not looking at your past mistakes
    • We shouldn’t ignore our past. We need to look at what we went through and the decisions we made and ask: “What can I learn from this and How can I move forward”. When we use our past mistakes to bring about change, we succeed. It’s when we allow our past to define us and cripple us that we stay in bondage to those insecurities
  • Not allowing other peoples opinion to control your actions 
    • You can’t please everyone. You will always come up against people that don’t like you and want you to fail. There is a huge different between getting feedback from someone you trust and listening to negative feedback.
  • Ignore the negative voices in your head. 
    •  Our insecurities are the lies we tell ourselves regarding the skewed perceptions we have about our eternal circumstances. Our mind says things like: “You’re never going to be good enough”, Why put in for that promotion, there is no way they will give it to you.”, You’re never going to lose weight.”  and the lies go on and on. Life is full of wins and losses, advancement and setback. Your worth can’t come from whether or not you are having a good day or a bad day. When we allow negative thinking to control us, we become like Mark Twain who said:  “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” Don’t allow negative thinking to keep you from living your best life and doing great work.
  • Discover what God says about you. 
    • My worth and value come from knowing what God thinks of me. Regardless of my  external circumstances, regardless of what others might say about me, my worth and value come from knowing that God loves me, is for me and not against me, will never leave, and through God all things are possible. This is the one thing that give me the greatest confidence when I am attacked by insecurity. Value comes from what someone is willing to pay for something. God gave his life for me. He was willing to give everything to have  relationship with me.  I can alway go back to the fact that regardless of what is happening on the outside, on the inside I can know how much I am valued by God.
Here is an exercise you can do to help conquer insecurity: 
    • Write down all the ways you feel insecure.
    • Place a check next to each on that is determined by external circumstance. ( Conditional on how others respond or perceive you )
    • Ask: How are these insecurities influencing my current behavior?
    • Write down three things you can do today to change this behavior.
    • Discover what God says about you.

In what ways have you gained your independence from insecurity? Leave a comment on  my Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn