Feeling fresh

Detail your car and now you appreciate it more.

Give yourself a haircut and some new clothes, you feel like a million bucks.

It’s amazing when we clean up something, we are more likely to take care of it.

People naturally gravitate towards cleanliness and order.

As the stakes raise

The west is on fire.

Reacting to this tragedy has had a terrible cost in suffering, loss of life and dollars.

We are now living with the consequences of decisions made 40 years ago.

And now, the window continues to close, we must act.

The cost of making decisions back then were much lower. There was time to change the course. Today, we don’t have that kind of luxury.

It is much more difficult to pass something like the Green New Deal. Partisan politics are the worst they’ve ever been.

Here’s the thing…

We take less risks as the stakes are raised because the cost of making a mistake is much higher.

Ironically, that may be why we’re stuck. Over and over again, we’ve taken the safe, predictable road. A posture of, “Not my problem.”

Take risks early. The cost of failure early on is much cheaper at the beginning.

The cost of being wrong is too high now.

The social dilemma

All of us are aware of the divide that is growing between Democrats and Republicans.

It should be no surprise to discover that the partisan gap for political values is the widest it has been in 20 years.

The only it seems for many is to sound a little louder, take a little bit more of an extreme view.

To make it worst, we look at the other side and wonder how can someone be so blind. (I mean look at my news feed, it’s obvious what is going on here.)

The thing is, they are not seeing what you are seeing. That is by design. To show people what they want to keep them engaged.

The fact is, fake news travels six times faster than the truth. Until we pick an axiom the discourse won’t have an opportunity to catch up.

Happiness advantage

What can we say about 2020?

This has been a year for the books and it continues to wear on each of us. Some worst than others.

The thing is…

We all want to be happy. Yet, many of us are not. Even in the safest, richest world we could ever imagine, we have more unhappy people than ever. And yes, circumstances have made it even more difficult to be optimistic about tomorrow.

Yet, happiness can’t be bought or controlled. It won with status or by gaining power over others. It isn’t smooth sailing.

The pursuit of happiness isn’t about trying to control the outside forces and make them work in your favor but rather how how we interpret them.

It is a condition that we can cultivate. A posture we can adopt. When we can win the inner battle, control the narrative then we will improve our quality of life.

Peace follows. And I can’t think of way to bring more happiness than that.

Which commitment?

24 hours per day.

That’s all you got.

And you are already committing six to eight to sleeping.

And then you have a mortgage, bills, putting food on the table…

So you have to commit another eight to working at a job.

Not leaving much room to make other commitments.

Like art and community and connection…

There are only so many commitments one can make.

Choose wisely.

If you are saying yes to this what are you saying no to?

Three things to consider about the journey

  1. Accepting that life is hard.

We know this. Which is why it is so unique for someone to purposely throw themselves into an even more difficult position. Rare indeed. It is also the path of a warrior.

2. The work is a process.

It never ends. One step in front of the next. It’s about developing a posture that, “People like us can do hard stuff like this.”

3. What you bring to showtime are the same qualities you have cultivated during your practice runs.

When we take things serious, serious results can occur. None of it matters unless we show up.


At the end of the nineteenth century, London had a huge problem. They didn’t know where to put all the manure from the horses they had. The place had become so unlivable that their citizens were completely panicking.

Little did they know that right around the corner, a car was being produced that would solve their immediate problem. (Eventually, creating a new one with dirty air.)

The problem wasn’t the manure. The problem was they had a hard time imagining a world that didn’t exist yet.

It turns out, the same is true today. What stands in the way of the question, “What could be?” is that we rely too much on the information on hand.

Yes, the collection of knowledge is growing exponentially. Every day. Yet, there is still more information waiting to be discovered. What we don’t know far outweighs what we do know.

Suicide Prevention Month

It’s important to remember that suicide prevention isn’t just posting the hotline number. Still an important step to get the information out there, for sure. But…

Suicide prevention is providing health care.

Suicide prevention is providing mental health services.

Suicide prevention is also providing food, education, recreation opportunities, support groups, jobs with dignity…

The number one cause of death for teens in Utah is suicide. There is a lot of work to do here folks.

There is a system error when the answer to prevent suicide is to check in on your friends.

Sport and adventure

There is a clear line here.

If you are sport climbing at your local crag, you are not wondering if you are going to make it down this alive.

If you were to climb the K2 in the middle of winter, life is in the balance.

You can do things for sport that can require a large demonstration of athleticism. But it may not be an adventure.

An adventure may mean hiking out in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service and now the weather is coming in.

One problem we have in our culture today is our lack of adventure. We don’t throw ourselves into circumstances like this regularly anymore. Our world has become very tame.

And yet, COVID-19 has thrown everyone in for a loop. There might be room for an adventure if you are looking for it.

(Of course, I am not just talking about climbing. You can also write a book or start a new career, learn a new skill…lots of room here.)

Note: The internet and Google have taken much of the adventure out of things.


As Fall Classes begin, I hope our students remember:

You have more power than you can imagine, act accordingly.

One bad chapter doesn’t mean the story is over.

Every passing moment is a chance to turn it all around.

Live a life others may emulate.

Be missed when you are gone.

Fail, fail again, fail better.

Be grateful and generous.