10 Things You Didn’t Know About Exceptionally Creative People

I recently completed Dr. Keith Sawyer’s book, Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the subject or curious about how to enhance their own creativity. (Visit his blog at keithsawyer.wordpress.com) In Zig Zag, Dr. Sawyer outlines a variety of exercises and tactics to help you along the creative process. He also provides valuable insight into the nature of the creative process itself. In his book, I learned some surprising things that exceptionally creative people all have in common. Below I have listed 10 things that you (probably) didn’t know about exceptionally creative people.

exceptional creators

  1. Exceptional creators sleep more hours than the average person. (Harvard researcher Jeffrey Ellenbogen found that after sleep, people are 33% more creative!)
  2. Researchers have found that people who have lived in more than one country (multinationals, biculturals, immigrants ect.) are more creative.
  3. Exceptional creators aren’t born that way. Creativity is close to 80% learned and acquired (according to Hal Gregerson, a professor at INSEAD Business School).
  4. Successful creators are curious by nature. They ask questions and listen closely to the answers, even when the information has no obvious relationship to what they’re working on at the moment. In other words, exceptional creators are experts at “connecting the dots”.
  5. Exceptional creators are masters of the discipline of play, the ability to imagine and envision possible worlds and alternate realities.
  6. Most exceptional creators are working on multiple projects at a time. (They’re using these various areas of focus to make even more connections and thus advance their work!)
  7. Creative people are exceptionally self-aware. They are constantly reflecting on what they’re doing at any given moment and they’re constantly listening to themselves.
  8. Creative people work harder than most other people, usually at researching and acquiring new information. Paradoxically, they also take more time off.
  9. About 25% of the world’s most exceptional creators engaged in the creation of elaborate imaginary worlds as children. (So think twice next time you want to make fun of someone’s “imaginary friend”! 😉
  10. Exceptional creators make a conscious effort to introduce change into their lives, or to put themselves in situations in which they’re more likely to experience the unexpected.

My Top 10 Relationship Principles

I think it’s extremely important to have guiding principles in various areas of your life. Such principles keep you grounded and help you to see the bigger picture when it’s so much easier to get caught up in the small stuff. I decided to share with you my top 10 relationship principles. You can read them below. These relationship principles simply serve as grounding reference points in my day to day life. Also, one should note, they aren’t specific to romantic relationships. I try to implement these principles in all of my interactions, across a variety of relationships.

What are your relationship principles? Let me know in the comments section below!

  1. Be honest and direct in your communication. You’ll be amazed at how many problems you can avoid by being direct and honest in your communication.
  2. Show vulnerability. Don’t try to be perfect; it’s isolating.
  3. Be clear about what you need and ask for what you want. People aren’t mind readers, so don’t expect them to be.
  4. Be grateful. Appreciate how this person adds to your life. What if she/he were to disappear tomorrow?
  5. Remember that what the other person thinks, feels, and does isn’t any of your business. Your business is what you think, feel, and do as it pertains to him/her. 
  6. If there’s an elephant in the room, point it out. The sooner, the better.
  7. Keep your humor. Life’s not that serious.
  8. Listen more, talk less. Other people are our greatest teachers when we allow them to be. We weren’t given two ears and one mouth for nothing!
  9. Prioritize the relationship needs over your own. Don’t forget that there are three parties to every relationship. You, the other person, and the relationship itself!
  10. BE PRESENT! Probably the most important one of all. How can you experience the joy of true connection if your mind, body, and/or spirit is elsewhere?

10 Daily Challenges That Will Enhance Your Life

If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’re brave. You saw “challenges” in the headline of this post yet still you chose to read it. Perhaps, like me, you enjoy a challenge. In which case, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to discover a list I wrote specifically for you of 10 daily challenges that will surely enhance your life!

1. Try to make at least one person’s day, every day.
2. Smile.
3. Exercise.
4. Floss.
5. Carve out time for family and friends.
6. Journal.
7. Carve out time for you to be alone and quiet.
8. Make a great memory and don’t tell anyone about it.
9. Treat every encounter you have as if it is the most important thing you have going on that day.
10. Do something that scares you, or at least pushes you beyond your comfort zone.

Be sure to follow up in the comments section and let me know how these challenges are serving to enhance your life!

5 Things I learned From Losing My Best Friend

beauty girl cry

Three years ago on this day, and for months after, I wanted to die. I had just lost the man I’d been in love with for four years in a tragic accident. He was also my best friend. When I say I wanted to die, it’s strange because it makes it sound as if I was suicidal. But I was never suicidal. It’s hard to describe the feeling and might be one of those things you can’t understand unless you’ve been there, but at the time, my future looked so black, I couldn’t imagine life without him. Besides, I wanted so desperately to see him and was convinced he was on the other side. I only hoped to die, so that we could be together again. It was the last sort of logic that I had left at the time.

Now here I am, three years later, and my perspective is quite the contrary. It’s hard to believe that today marks three years. Three years of pain, longing, and questions but also of healing, growth and indescribable grace. I question whether we can fully comprehend the sweetness of life without first experiencing its bitterness.

Today, as I miss my best friend like always, I realize not only was it an incredibly sweet gift to do life with him, but the lessons I’ve learned since that loss remain invaluable. Here I share with you 5 things I learned from losing my best friend.

  1. There is nothing more important in life than your relationships. As Max Lucado so tactfully puts it, “When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?” We are called to love others. It is our mission. Our reason for being on Earth. And not just to love them halfheartedly either, when it’s convenient to us, for example. But to love them wholeheartedly, at all times, through all situations, no matter their actions or behaviors. This might seem like a daunting task but it’s this sort of love, relentless and all encompassing, that people most need to see. It is the kind that we need to be most intentional about giving. Develop relationships filled with love like this, and you will know what it means to live.
  2. The best things in life aren’t things. They can’t be touched, or even captured. To try is fleeting. They flutter around like butterflies, here one minute gone the next. An ever-elusive bunch. And when we grasp for them, we miss. But this is what we have hearts for. Our hearts get it. Our hearts know that the best things can’t be described with words. They must be felt. Our hearts know that the best things aren’t tangible…that these things aren’t meant to be captured or even understood; only appreciated.
  3. There are angels on earth. And they exist in your close friends and family. People are placed in your life for a reason. They’re strategically chosen and uniquely capable of holding you just how you need to be held at any given moment in time. We’re all just taking turns on this journey called life, so give love to others while you can. Before you know it, your time will come and you’ll need someone, too. It is then, that you’ll find your angels.
  4. Pain can be a good thing. The good thing about pain is that it breaks down the walls of your ego and forces you into the present – enhancing your awareness of and appreciation for all of the people in your life. When you experience deep suffering, you become comfortable with it. This allows you to empathize with others in ways you wouldn’t have been able to before. It causes you not to run from future sufferings, but to sit with them. Most importantly, it allows you to grow. The best lessons are often found when we are facing unanticipated change and loss. In those moments of vulnerability, longing, and desperation, we learn who we really are and what we are capable of. Pain is not a bad thing.
  5. Life goes on. You don’t think it will and you certainly can’t imagine it doing so, but it does. Whether you take part in it or not, life continues to go on all around you. Time waits for no one. The good news is, even if you’re deep in grief or simply feeling stuck, eventually you, too, will go on. There’s a hole inside of you from the loss and that hole never really seals back up. But that is the beautiful part. You learn to live with the gap, to embrace it. It becomes a part of you. It allows your light to shine through.

Why Nice Guys (and Girls) Really Do Finish Last

Have you ever wondered why you’re always the first to apologize after an argument, even when you know you’ve done nothing wrong? Are you baffled by the fact that the manipulative guy who sits next to you at work got the promotion when you didn’t, even though you know you deserved it? Why are you the one who was always bullied at school? Why have you once again allowed your “friend” to borrow money knowing darn well they will never pay you back? I think we have all, at some point or another, asked ourselves these questions. The fact is, in our rapidly changing world, nice guys (and girls) really do finish last.

It’s been a hard realization for me to come to. The world isn’t a nice place. Sure, it’s lovely and certainly, it can be romantic, but nice? Hardly. As a self-proclaimed nice girl in my mid twenties, I’m just now learning to face this difficult reality and I sincerely believe it’s one of the most important truths we have to face coming into adulthood.

I’ve spent much of my life living out traditional values such as, work hard and be rewarded; be honest and loyal; be patient, caring, and giving; good things come to those who wait; trust in human nature and the goodness of your fellow man; give people the benefit of the doubt. Sure, these are all ways that the world should work, if everyone had a clear moral compass. But the fact is, many people do not, and this number is increasing daily.

Perhaps you’ve been like me, living with rose-colored glasses that are distorting your view of what’s really happening around you and to you. It’s time we take our blinders off. Without vigilant awareness of our surroundings, we will get mugged (metaphorically or literally). And so, we must be realists. Kind realists.

  1. Life is a game: be a player or get played. Whether it’s life experiences, mental illness, drugs, greed, or a score of other reasons, there are people in this world who operate from a place of exploitiveness. And you will undoubtedly cross paths with many of them. In fact, chances are, there are people in your life right now who will hurt you if you let them. The key is watching out for people like this. Don’t take everyone for face value. Search for what drives the people in your life. And surround yourself with those who share your moral compass.
  1. Competition at work, in relationships, and even in families is inevitable, so you better get your game face on. So much of life is a competition. We may wish that it wasn’t, but it is. If you step back and look at it, it’s clear. You’ve competed for your mate, your job, your friends, and social position. And now, you must fight to protect those things. Like it or not, we must continually and boldly confront our world head on, even the ugly and nasty sides of it.
  1. People are looking out for their own interests. And you should be too. Do you know what the most glorious word in the human language is to anyone alive today? According to relationship and life skills expert, Dale Carnegie, it’s their own name. People like themselves. And as a whole, humanity is selfish. While some people are wondering why life isn’t fair, others are seizing the moment. They’re not timid. They’re bold enough to step up and ask for what they want. And they ask again and again until they get it. The point is, if you don’t look out for your own best interests, who will?
  1. You train people how to treat you. In other words, people will treat you how you let them. In relationships, and life, you have to hold your own. You can do this while still being as sweet as a peach. Just remember, inside every peach there is a strong pit. And there is no way to hold your own while simultaneously accepting rude behavior. For example, there is no need to explain the obvious when someone is disrespectful towards you. In the words of Sherry Argov, “Truly powerful people don’t explain why they want respect. They simply don’t engage anyone who doesn’t give it to them.”
  1. Doing unto others as you wish they would do unto you doesn’t always get you what you want, need, or deserve. Again, this relates to seeing the world as it is and realizing that not everyone is as nice as you. Let’s replace the old adage with, “Do unto others, after they have proven they are worthy.”
  1. Only in a fairytale world does love conquer all. It’s a good story to tell, and it’s how we all wish the world was, but it is not the world we live in. A more accurate and relevant depiction might be, “Love conquers you, when you give all.”
  1. We are all taught to “love thy neighbor,” but perhaps, you ought to love yourself first. Then your neighbor will be much happier living beside you. You are no use to anyone unless you first help yourself. So remember this the next time you find yourself bending over backwards to meet others’ needs while neglecting your own.
  1. It is better to give and receive. Ever notice how nice people seem to give, give, and give yet they get nothing in return? This is because nice people invest in others, even when others aren’t investing in them. The result? They feel depleted, used, drained, and exhausted.

There are all kinds of people in this world, ranging from the sheltered and naïve, to the savvy and street smart. I want you to be the latter. And power begins by having a crystal clear view of how this world really works, while acknowledging that the world rewards action. We need to learn the actions that will help us to get what we want out of life and then, protect it.

Does this mean that you have to be a jerk in order to survive and thrive in our world? Of course not. But it does mean that you have to be selective with your time, energy, and kindness. The fault is not with you, nice folks, but with the world. To create the loving, respectful life that you desire, you have to know the rules of the game, and play by them. So let’s learn from the jerks without emulating them. They say, “All is well that ends well.” But reality is, all is well for those who cover their ends well. Happy playing!

10 Ways That Happy Couples Argue Differently

Every couple argues. The difference between a happy couple and an unhappy couple is the way in which they argue. In fact, according to Relationship Expert John Gottman, the single strongest predictor of whether or not a relationship will succeed or fail lies in the way the couple deals with conflict (Gottman, John Mordechai, and Nan Silver. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. New York: Crown, 1999 Print). Thus, in order to grow and be successful in our relationships, we must adopt healthy coping strategies for the difficulties that exist in them. Compatibility is not always key, but dealing with incompatibility is. Here I list 10 ways that happy couples argue differently.

  1. Commit to dealing with the problem. Often it can be easiest to run from conflict, especially if you’re a conflict avoidant person. But remember, this isn’t about you or whether or not you feel like dealing with the problem. It’s about what your relationship needs; so put those needs ahead of your own. Both partners must be fully committed to tackling their problems because running from conflict, won’t make it go away.
  2. Attack the problem, not the person. You have to remember that your partner is on your team. Always support one another, even when you don’t see eye to eye. Don’t take your frustrations out on the other person. Keep your focus on the problem and attack it together. When it comes to relationships and being right, always choose your relationship over being right.
  3. Practice intentional listening. Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Even if you don’t understand where they are coming from, you can still respect it. Intentional listening means devoting your entire self towards the other. Turning your body towards them, looking them in the eyes, turning off the TV, and putting away your phone. These are all characteristics of intentional listening, which will ease the defensive barriers between you. It demonstrates that you actually want to hear what your partner has to say and breeds the sort of supportive environment that’s necessary for conflict resolution.
  4. Encourage honesty and transparency in communication. You can’t bite your partner’s head off for voicing their opinion and then expect them to continue to be honest with you about their feelings. Both verbally and behaviorally, encourage them to be honest and transparent with you. You do this by making them feel safe, with your words and actions. By letting them know, I will love you anyway.
  5. Get all of the facts. Nothing can be more damaging than jumping to conclusions without first getting all of the facts. Don’t waste your time or energy attacking the wrong problem. And before you go searching for a solution, make sure a problem actually exists. Check and double-check your facts.
  6. List all of the options. Approach your relationship problem just as you would one at work – objectively. Make a list of what your options are. This helps to keep emotions in check, personal bias out of the equation, and keeps your focus centered on the solution. While it might feel a bit silly, it’s never harmful to form a list of your options. It helps to clarify that the two of you are on the same page and demonstrates your commitment to finding a solution.
  7. Choose the best solution together. As you begin to decide on a solution, remember that you’re a team. Tackle this problem together; the two of you vs. it. Prioritize your relationship over being right and strategically choose a solution that benefits you both.
  8. Look for the positives. It can be easy in an argument to start focusing on the negative. Choose instead to look for positives. What can you learn from this situation? How can you grow from this conflict? In every challenge, there’s an opportunity. Find it.
  9. Let the other person save face. Even if you are right and your partner is dead wrong, you only destroy ego by causing another to lose face. You have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. After all, what matters most is not what you think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Always preserve the dignity of others. In an argument, always let the other person save face.
  10. Never withhold love. No matter how bad things get, never withhold love from your partner. Of course, you can tell them how you feel and express yourself, but make sure your love underlies it all. Love is the single most powerful change agent on the planet. So if you want to make some changes in your relationship, you’d be wise to never withhold it.

Why New Year’s Eve is Just Entirely Too Much Pressure

Maybe it’s just me but the holidays are a stressful time, with New Year’s Eve being perhaps the worst of all. It all starts with Halloween, the momentum builds as we approach the holiday season and things seem to rapidly progress from there. I’m usually so caught up with Thanksgiving and Christmas that I almost forget entirely about New Year’s Eve, leaving me to scramble for plans at the last minute. Personally, I find there to be entirely too much pressure surrounding the night for it to be even the least bit enjoyable.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good gathering and excuse to celebrate. It’s just that when it comes to New Year’s Eve, the whole thing seems overrated. Expectations are so unreasonably high that they can’t possibly be met. This year, I’ve finally pinpointed exactly why I feel stressed on New Year’s Eve. I decided to share this list, in case there are others who share my sentiments about the holiday. I hope you know that you are not alone. Here are 10 reasons why New Year’s Eve is just entirely too much pressure.

  1. You’re forced to face the fact that you didn’t fulfill 90% of last year’s resolutions. The year is coming to a close, fast. Where did the time go? Wasn’t it just last January that you were making a list of all the ways you’d better your life and self in the coming year? Yes, it was just last January. And guess what? It’s about to be January again. The plain truth is that the older we get, the faster time flies. New Year’s Eve calls for our reflection on an entire year’s worth of successes and failures in one day. It’s all too much to process at once and frankly, it doesn’t seem healthy.

  1. You have to choose what party to attend. Choosing what party to attend on New Year’s Eve is the first of many anxiety-invoking decisions. There are far too many options. And no matter what you do, it won’t be good enough. There is always the chance that you missed out on something better. Trying to decide where you want to spend the last night of the year can really be a source of undue stress. And sadly, you do kind of have to make a decision, since packed cabs and lines outside the door make changing locations mid-party less than ideal.

  1. You have to choose who you want to spend it with. Aside from having to choose where you want to spend New Year’s Eve, you also have to choose with whom you want to spend New Year’s Eve. The two decisions are often heavily weighed against each other, since it’s not always where but who you’re with that counts. Still, when you have a lot of friends and they’re all going to different parties, you have to deal with the stress of choosing which crowd to go with, subliminally sending the message of who you care for most. Can’t we all just go to the same place?

  1. What you will wear. Choosing an outfit for New Year’s Eve is undoubtedly more stressful than it needs to be. Inevitably, you have packed on a couple pounds through all the recent holiday celebrations and feasts. Your favorite party dress just doesn’t fit right. Your girlfriends ask you all day long what you’re going to wear. You’re supposed to be festive, sparkling, and sweet. The perfect blend of sultry and class. Not to mention the weather this time of year in most places is awful. How are you supposed to achieve such perfection with your wardrobe, when it’s 28 degrees outside? Besides, if we’re being honest, we all end up in cheap party hats and beads by the end of the night, anyway.

  1. Your “go-to” spots are always packed. Say you’re not having much fun at the party you choose and you decide you’d like to go to your favorite local bar instead. You always have a good time there. Well, guess what? On New Year’s Eve, you can’t get in! Suddenly, it’s almost unrecognizable. Your local hangout resembles nothing short of a New Jersey Nightclub. It’s packed to the wall and the security (when did they get security?!) is telling you it’s, “One in, one out.” You want nothing more than to enjoy a good beer at your place of comfort. But when your “go-to” spot is jam-packed full of strangers, there’s nothing comfortable about it at all.

  1. People ask you about your resolutions. As if it’s not bad enough that you’ve been confronting last year’s shortcomings all day by yourself, you’re expected to tell people about your new resolutions all night. Those of us who are honest want to scream back, “I don’t know! I haven’t even followed through on my ones from last year!!” Or, for the more self-aware crowd, perhaps something along the lines of, “I want to be more accepting of myself, so I’m not making any.” We’re already facing the fact that we didn’t meet our own expectations. Do we really have to have other people rub it in our face all night?

  1. Social media. Adding to the pressure of New Year’s Eve, perhaps more now than ever before, is social media. At the click of a button, you can see pictures of all the fabulous parties your friends are attending, the tropical islands they’re visiting, and how much cuter their outfit is. Not to mention the pressure you feel to take your own pictures and show off how much fun you’re having, too. You wouldn’t want anyone to think you’re home alone on New Year’s, right?!? The irony is that you can’t be present in the moment and on social media at the same time. So those people posting pictures probably aren’t having as much fun as they would like you to think. And if you want to have more fun, you should probably put your phone away. Just remember, nothing is what it seems. And that’s especially the case when it comes to social media.

  1. The countdown. If you luck out and are having a blast wherever you end up on New Year’s Eve (as you should be!), there’s always the inevitable countdown pressure. It’s easy to lose track of time on the last night of the year because time flies when you’re having fun. But leave it to our culture to intertwine fun with pressure. Just as you’re beginning to loosen up and finally enjoy yourself, there’s still the relentless, nagging pressure of the countdown. I mean, what if you’re in the bathroom when it happens?! What if you’re in the middle of pouring a drink? What if you miss it? Honestly, the very thought of a crowd loudly counting backwards from 10-1 is enough to put me in the bathroom, if I wasn’t there already.

  1. The midnight kiss. The pressure of kissing someone at midnight on New Year’s Eve is perhaps the worst pressure of all. It’s bad enough for couples as they scramble to find each other at the last minute for a sloppy, public kiss. But for single people, it’s an utter nightmare. What if you don’t like any one at the party? Are you a lonely outcast if you don’t ring in the New Year in your lover’s arms? Of course not! But society would have you think so. The stigma surrounding this infamous New Year’s kiss is simply outrageous. Personally, I’d rather ring in the New Year in the arms of someone I know and trust (me), then waste some meaningless kiss on a boy I’ll never hear from again.

  1. The inevitable New Year’s Day hangover. All of this hype and stress over a night of drinking that only leads to an awful next day hangover. Why?! I can’t understand the logic. Who wants to spend the first day of 2015 feeling ill in bed? We set all these goals and promise to make the next year better for ourselves. But how in the world are we expected to feel motivated if we begin the New Year with a massive hangover? Talk about getting off to a bad start.

I think we all need to chill out about New Year’s Eve. The world won’t end if you have a bad night. Your year won’t be miserable just because you choose to stay at home. You aren’t doomed to a life of loneliness if you skip the midnight kiss. In fact, for most of us, New Year’s Eve, will have no impact whatsoever on our upcoming year. So why do we give it so much power? I think we should treat New Year’s Eve just like any other night, because it is. Maybe then we’ll actually be able to enjoy the last day of the year, for once.

10 Things All Dads Should Know

Okay, so maybe the title is misleading. This post is for dads and that title assumes that 1. You love your kids. 2. You have a relationship with your kids. 3. You support and care for your kids. Now don’t get on your high horse claiming you support and care for your kids, when reality is you spend no time with them. These days, people seem to think that if a man provides his family with food and shelter (and doesn’t hurt them), then he’s a good dad. Possums provide their children with food and shelter! Is that really the bar we’ve set for fatherhood?! Do better, dads.

There is a saying, “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” A father can be someone who shares DNA with a child yet takes no responsibility in that child’s growth and development. But the term Dad displays a sense of familiarity and affection. A dad is someone who actively participates in the child’s growth. This list is 10 things that all dads should know. Okay, now that we have that straight…

 1. We love you for who you are, not what you do. This applies from the time we meet you until the time we say goodbye. We love you. And it’s not because you have a great career, drive a cool car, or can do 100 push-ups. You don’t have to impress us. Our love for you is inherent in you being our dad.

2. We’d rather spend quality time with you any day then receive money or gifts. Again, you are what matter most to us. Not your money or your ability to give to us, though we always appreciate that, too. But truly, there is nothing that can replace quality time with your dad. Even if it’s only five minutes, or a walk to get the mail with you- we cherish every second.

3. We follow your actions, not your words. You can tell us all day what’s wrong and what’s right, do this, not that. But at the end of the day, it’s your behavior that we watch, listen to, and repeat. The most effective teaching happens when you explain to us what we are already observing in your life.

4. How you treat our mom, defines for us how we want to be treated. John Wooden is famous for saying, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” It’s true. We watch you interact with her and we learn what a loving relationship looks like, whether you are a good example of one or not. For daughters especially, we learn how we are to be treated by men in our future while watching how you treat our mom. Love our mother well, and we won’t settle for anything less in our own lives.

5. We compare all men to you. Yes, even future husbands. We look at potential dates and see how they measure up to you. You set the standard. Remember this as we grow up. Your life ought to be a reflection of the kind of man you want us to one day marry. No pressure though.

6. We need you. That’s right. Even when we’re “all grown up” (is anyone ever really all grown up?) the need for dad never fades. Your advice, love, protection, guidance… The list goes on and on. Never forget how much you are needed.

7. We love your approval. You are our hero, remember? There’s nothing like having the one you look up to most shine approval and appreciation down upon you. You might as well be showering us with gold. Be generous in your praise with us, as we so often are with you. It gives us confidence, so we can go out into the world and be great. Believing in us is the greatest gift you can offer.

8. We think you’re a good singer, dancer, and the funniest comedian we know. If you ever are looking for a career change, don’t ask us for counsel. We’ll have loads of encouragement but likely won’t have an answer. You’re just too good at too many things. The options are limitless…

9. We think you know all and believe everything you say. You could tell us that Big Foot lives in the bushes behind your house and that you’re friends with him…and we’d believe it. Simply because it came from your mouth. You’re a walking dictionary, history book, encyclopedia, and life manual all built into one. How you acquired all this knowledge, we’ll never know. And chances are, we won’t ask either.

10. We can’t live with you forever. Perhaps the hardest part of being a dad is that you eventually have to let your children go. But to do so gracefully, is the accomplishment of a lifetime. Some parents hold on to their kids so tight that they forget the very purpose of parenting is to let them go. You are given kids so that you can prepare them for their mission. Think of us like parachutes that you’ve spent your life packing. After all, what is the purpose of a parachute, if not to one day let it fly?

10 Things I Wish I Knew Sooner

10 Things I Wish I Knew Sooner.

12 Things I Learned From My Dog

Self Improvement Sunday

12 Things I Learned From My Dog

 1. Be loyal.

2. People have to earn your trust.

3. Rest and play are important daily practices.

4. There is nothing quite as thrilling as the wind in your face.

5. Always run to greet your loved ones.

6. Be direct with others. Let them know if they’ve invaded your territory.

7. Become a master at forgiveness.

8. Find joy in the simplicity of a long walk.

9. When you’re happy, show it. Jump around. Wag your entire body.

10. It’s easy to be a good listener. Just be silent, sit close, and gently nuzzle the one who is talking.

11. If what you’re looking for is buried deep, keep digging until you find it.

12. Find the sunshine and rest in it.