Are you thirsty?

800 million.

That is how many people live without access to clean water today. Another billion on top of that don’t have adequate sanitation.

Everyone who is reading this has access to clean water. But, I think many of us still wake up thirsty.

We wake up with a different kind of thirst because we are not being the person we were born to be. We are living below our potential. We know we could be doing something different or better.

We have more power than we can imagine. We could do better in building a life that others might emulate. We can do better distributing our resources.

One difference at a time.

Today is the day

We all spend way too much time trying to put all of our ducks in a row before we will act. A better use of our time is to decide what are we going to do with that duck? The one you have.

Anyone who watches an hour of television a day has just demonstrated they have an hour of their time they could use to help someone who needs to be helped or make something that needs to be made.

We live in the safest, richest, most prosperous country in human history with clean water, education, health care, access to technology, recreation…and still some of us are waiting. Waiting for a time that will never come before they will start.

We don’t need more resources. We just need to decide. Decide what it is we are going to do, what change we are going to make.

Not many of us get to do what someone like Bill Gates does on an everyday basis. That’s fine. We don’t need a billion dollars, but could you donate a hundred? How about ten? Better yet, could you start a movement? Is there something you see that could be better?

So. Stand up. Stand out. It’s not like it is going to get done unless you do something about it. Don’t wait for excuses to run dry, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. It is up to us to decide what kind of culture we are going to build. It is up to us to decide what kind of world we are going to live in and leave behind.

It will be easy to leave it for someone else to do. That is the point. If everyone did their best work and made their best contribution, how much better of a world would this be?

You can start today. We need you. Desperately.

More important than starting

Starting a project is an important skill to develop. I do believe it is a skill, not a talent. Since I have never met a baby that was born motivated.

But, more importantly than starting a project, is learning how to finish.

When we finish projects and overcome the Resistance, we get more comfortable at trying bigger projects.

Overtime, as the work scales, we finish projects that make a bigger impact, that make a bigger difference.

Until one day, you become what others coin as an “overnight success.”

Of course, we know that isn’t true. It was consistency. It was the thousand failures you finished before anyone started noticing.

Drip by drip by drip.

Decision making

When people learn to make decisions, eventually they learn to make better decisions.

The best leaders, the one’s we are proud to follow, are the ones that learn to embrace the failures of their team during this process. They don’t demand compliance but instead enroll the people around them.

Asking people to be more compliant doesn’t lead to innovation or inspiration, which inhibits growth.

When you train people to ask what to do next, why are we surprised when they ask for a manual with step-by-step instruction on how to do something that has never been done before?

About loss

There is nothing we can own in this life.

Everything is borrowed, including our most treasured relationships.

It is a fact of life, we weren’t supposed to keep each other in this state forever.

Yet, by holding onto our faith, I still believe there are some things we can do to enable the impossible.

Because, if you believe in God (and I do), death is not the final destination. It isn’t where things end but where they begin.

A journey made by everyone who has come before us and for everyone who will come after.

20 observations about money

  1. Money doesn’t equal value, worth or approval.
  2. Money is a currency and a method of exchange.
  3. Others don’t have to lose in order for you to win.
  4. You don’t need to keep score with what you have compared to others.
  5. Money amplifies character.
  6. The never-ending wheel of accumulation is actually never-ending.
  7. Debt grows. Savings grow slower.
  8. When you pay for something, you are done. Fair and square. Even Steven.
  9. Money drives people apart while gifts bring us closer together.
  10. It’s not going to make you happy.
  11. The more you have the less you want, the less you have the more you want.
  12. There are no short cuts. Everyone is already on one. (What’s left are long cuts.)
  13. Those who save more have more.
  14. No one will care more about your money than you do.
  15. Debt predates money.
  16. Most lotto winners end up with the exact same money as they did before.
  17. In 1970, money was physical. In 1971, it became digital.
  18. You can’t take it with you.
  19. Money is a tool: Bricks can be thrown through a window or used to build a school.
  20. The most important thing to understand about money is that it is a story.