What I’m Doing Different This Valentine’s Day

Based on the reader’s survey I did last month, I now know that about 80% of my readers are male.  For those of you with daughters, I expect you will relate to this post.

Me and my baby girl

Me and my baby girl

My wife and I were married in 2000 – by far one of my best decisions.  I have the kind of marriage that has continuously exceeded my expectations.  She challenges me to be a better man.  She loves me.  She completely rocks.  I am blessed.

For whatever reason, we’ve never really engaged in Valentine’s Day.  I commented earlier tonight that every day is Valentine’s Day being married to her.  She promptly rolled her eyes and faked throwing up in her mouth.

But now I have a little girl.  I am going to take her on a date for Valentine’s Day because I want her to know four truths.

  1. Her daddy loves her.  I tell her all the time, but I want to create memories with her.  I want her to be able to look back and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I love her.
  2. Her daddy thinks she is beautiful.  I’ve heard debate about this.  I’ve heard that it isn’t good to let your kids think they are beautiful.  I think that is straight from the pit and smells like smoke (as my buddy says).  I think a little girl longs to know that her daddy is captivated by her.  My little girl is beautiful.  I tell her all the time.  My favorite time of day is how she screams “daddy” and runs to give me a hug every time I come home – love it!  She will never wonder if her daddy thinks she’s beautiful.
  3. Her daddy wants to spend time with her.  I naturally do more things with my boys.  Tonight I took them to a local college basketball game.  I left her at home with her mother.  I can’t bear the thought that she could look back and wish we spent more time together.  I’m going to tell her with my words that I love her.  I’m going to tell her with my time as well.
  4. Her daddy will guard her heart.  I want to be a safe place for my little girl to confide in me.  I want her to know that I am going to protect and look out for her.  I want her to know she can trust me with her heart.  One day, some young man is going to come and ask me for the responsibility of holding her heart.  Until then, I want her to know that job is mine.  I take it seriously.  [And Clint from her preschool class – let this be a warning to you, little man!]

7D795C2D-559D-495B-BE7E-EAC96B06F311So this Valentine’s Day, we are going to go on a date.  I’m going to let her see how she puts a sparkle in my eyes.  We are going to laugh.  We are going eat sushi (at least I will).  We will probably go see a movie.  I am going to try to make her feel like the queen of the world.

Question: So what are your plans this Valentine’s Day? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Why Your New Years Resolutions Fail – These 3 Reasons

For years, I’ve set New Year’s resolutions.  For years, I’ve been frustrated by them.  Regardless of when in the year you are reading this post, I challenge you to change the way you think about these resolutions.

photo courtesy of iStock.com

photo courtesy of iStock.com

My parents taught me to set goals when I was a kid.  I’ve written out my goals in various categories most years since.  I set goals in these categories:  spiritual, personal development, relational/family, health, career, and social.  Every year at about this time, those resolutions have gone by the wayside.

Last week, I launched my first ever reader survey. The purpose is to understand my readers better so I can provide better content for you. If you haven’t already, please take 5 minutes to fill out the survey. It is super easy.

I read a book last month that I highly recommend.  It is called The One Thing by Gary Keller.  Awesome.  He blew up some of the wrong thinking I had about setting goals.  I want to distill that information for you.

Myths of Setting Resolutions

Multi-tasking – My wife claims to be great at this.  I agree by the way.  Most women that I know, in fact, are much better at multi-tasking than I am.  However, multi-tasking doesn’t actually exist.  Scientific studies now prove that you can’t multi-task.  You just interrupt yourself – bouncing back and forth between tasks.

Some of us bounce back and forth quicker – some more efficiently.  Studies now prove that should you focus your entire energy on one task at a time, you will do them all better and faster.  I realize that my wife is now thinking that is a luxury she doesn’t have.

If you can, focus on one task or goal at a time.  I have been failing at my New Year’s resolutions due to multi-tasking.  I try to change too much about my lifestyle at the same time.

Habit Forming – I’ve heard for years that it takes 21 times to form a habit.  You’ve probably heard the same thing.  That is a lie.  Studies now show that it takes about 66 days.  This means most of us only focus on forming a new habit – or building a new goal into our lives – for 1/3 of the time it takes.

No wonder this has been a frustration for me.

Priorities?? – What are your priorities?  Do you know what the definition of priority means?  It means the main thing – the first thing.  Do you realize you can’t have more than one first thing?  You can’t have two first place finishers.  It is impossible.

It is only in the last couple decades that the word “priority” has had the pluraliztion “priorities.”  We have watered down the meaning of the word from the first thing to an important thing.  But no longer for me.  A priority is just one thing.

So here is my method for this year and beyond:

  • I have chosen the 6 habits (resolutions) that I want to build into my life this year.
  • One at a time, for two months (66 days), I am focusing all my energy on just one thing.
  • After the first habit is built into my life, I move on to the next most important one.

Imagine the impact this could have over the span of years.  Think of the productivity and greatness you could achieve.

So how do you know which one to start with?  Ask this question.  Which of these habits will make it easier or unnecessary to accomplish the others?

Question: If you get 6 habits to build into your life in a year, I’d like to know what you would choose. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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How do You Compare to These 20 Habits of the Wealthy?

One of my favorite movies of all time is Dead Poets Society.  My guess is that you have seen it, but if not, it is inspiring.  It contains some of the best quotes of all time.  My favorite is contained in this clip – see if you can pick it out.

“Sucking the marrow out of life!”  This line taken from a Thoreau poem describes a way of thinking.  A way of living life.

But it is just a quote.  To live like this – to maximize your potential – takes intentionality.  It takes discipline.  It takes developing habits that will produce the desired outcome – abundant life.

My mentor emailed me recently a link to a Dave Ramsey blog post.  In that post, Dave sites 20 habits found in wealthy people.  I have included this list below.  As you read this list, I want you to ask yourself a couple of questions.

  1. How do you stack up to this list?
  2. How many of these describe you?
  3. How does this actually make you feel?
  4. How could living life this way help you “suck the marrow out of life?”

20 Habits that Describe the Wealthy – from richhabitsinstitute.com

1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor.

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% of poor.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% of poor.

8. 80% of wealthy make Happy Birthday calls vs. 11% of poor.

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor.

11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% of poor.  (This is the one that is most interesting to me.)

12. 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16% of poor.

13. 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% of poor.

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of poor.

15. 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor.

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% of poor.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% of poor.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% of poor.

19. 86% of wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor.

This list inspires me.  It reminds me of what I know I should be doing.  It encourages me to do better.

I shared this list for another reason beyond to encourage you to weigh your habits against these.  When Dave Ramsey posted this list, there was an explosion of reaction.  As a result of both the positive and negative reaction he received, he edited his post to include his commentary.  I challenge you to read what he has communicated there – click here to do so.

Question: So how do you stack up to this list? As we finish the last days of this year, what would you most like to change about your habits for 2014? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

How The Power of Words Can Set the Course of Your Life

Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  That is the biggest lie ever told.  Words have tremendous power.

Angry business woman pointing her finger and screaming

When I was in the 6th grade, I earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  I was determined to be the Karate Kid.  By the way, do you remember the little guy who was the smallest kid in your class.  That was me.

I had yet to learn anything about physics, however.  I did not know that regardless of unfounded arrogance, the big guy wins 9 times out of 10.  I started running my mouth to a 10th grader stuck in a 7th grader’s body.

What happened next was over in 15 seconds.  The 7th grader tried to throw me into my locker.  I bounced off the locker next to mine right back at him.  He hit me twice, and I laid on the ground looking up at him while everyone in the hall encircled us.  All of this happened because I couldn’t control my tongue.  Words have power – for good or for bad.

My dad had me write the 3rd chapter of the book of James 10 times.  I think I still have some of it memorized.  That chapter details the immense power of tongue.  This chapter calls the tongue a fire – a restless evil full of deadly poison.

You have heard the saying, “You will eat your words.”  That phrase stems from the book of Proverbs – chapter 18.  Verse 20 and 21 say this,

From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.  The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Words have the power of life and death.  The way you use them will have a profound impact on the climate of your life.

5 Suggestions for Using Your Words Wisely

  1. Words can define the culture and tone of your family, business, etc. – Do you affirm the behavior that you want to see more of?  Do you praise your kids?  Does your wife know how beautiful she is to you?  Or do you criticize and tear down?  The words you use will absolutely set the tone of your business or family.  Don’t be the guy who complains all the time and wonders why his company has a negative culture.
  2. Gossip is a cancer – Gossip ruins culture.  It is a sign of cowardice.  It disrespects everyone involved.  Don’t allow it – period.
  3. Beware of joking and teasing – This is a sensitive subject for me as I have wounded many people by what I believed was innocent teasing.  Teasing destroys trust and breaks down communication.  It can strike at the insecurities of a person’s heart.  I grew up pretending like teasing didn’t bother me.  It did.  As a result, I kept everyone at a distance.  This wound impacted my relationship with my friends, my parents, and even my marriage.  It is something I’ve had to work through.  Be very careful with innocent teasing.
  4. Be intentional with your words – Some of us are naturally very thoughtful with our words.  Some of us are not.  I encourage you to understand the truth that King Solomon wrote about in the proverb above.  Words have the power of life and death.  Think about the good you can do with your words.  If you don’t, your words will control you.  And you will reap what you sow.  Use your words to bless and encourage.  Speak the truth in love.
  5. Silence – This is my challenge to you.  Build times of silence into your day.  We are bombarded with so much noise all day long that it is difficult to think.  A friend of mine said this morning, “The person who doesn’t know how to be silent doesn’t know who to speak.”  Those in my life that give life with their words are thoughtful.  They have these times in their day when they are silent.  Try it.

Question: How can you improve the life of someone you love with your words today? How can the power of your words change your company’s culture and effectiveness? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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How to Give a Real Apology in 6 Steps

If you are breathing, then you are going to blow it sometime soon.  I did this big time last week.  At the risk of writing my most transparent post to date, here is the story.

forgiveness

I was on a video conference call with 2 of my co-workers and two IT guys from a vendor my company loves.  They do incredible work for us.  They constantly exceed our expectations.  (If you guys are reading this, we love you!)

I threw them a curve ball at the beginning of the meeting.  I let them know that one of our key team members would be late to the call, and I changed the agenda.  From that point, the call did not follow my expectations.

I had entered the call in a state of frustration already.  As the flow of the call was not following my mental agenda, I became more frustrated.  I pulled up a chat box with one of my co-workers.  I typed, “These guys are ticking me off.”

I was sharing my screen with the entire call!

Our vendors gave an audible reaction to what I typed.  I was mortified and embarrassed.  As is often the case with me, they paid for my inability to effectively deal with my frustration – that was caused by something else.  It had nothing to do with them.

I knew I would be apologizing to them and trying to make it right.  I attempted to do so immediately after the call.

The Apology

An apology has two purposes.  The first is to show remorse and contrition.  The second is to rebuild trust where you have caused hurt and pain.  To reconcile a relationship.

America is terrible at apologizing.  Think about Jason Giambi apologizing in 2005 for PED use.  Except he didn’t.  Ryan Braun did an OK job of it 18 months after he emphatically lied to the world.  Too little too late.  Anthony Weiner did a really nice job on his first apology.  However, it was insincere and his behavior continued.

So here is how my dad taught me how to apologize.

6 Steps To Giving a Real Apology

  1. Say You are Sorry – This is where you need to start.  Demonstrate your remorse first thing.
  2. Take responsibility – Pride is your enemy here.  It is impossible to give a real and genuine apology without humbling yourself.  You cannot make excuses.  You cannot blame shift.  These invalidate the apology.  There is no other posture that works than that of humility.
  3. Name it – Actually say what you did.  This is so difficult.  Naming your behavior makes it very real.  If you are going to skip a step, this is the one you will do.  To name what you did shows that you are empathizing with the other person.
  4. Ask for Forgiveness – Most people stop before this.  You say you are sorry and then assume that you are forgiven.  Explicitly ask for their forgiveness.  This demonstrates that you realize that they have a choice in forgiving you.  Sometimes, they will.  Sometimes, they won’t.
  5. Make Restitution – This won’t always apply, but there may be something you need to do to make right the situation.  Ask them what you can do.  Then do it.
  6. Commit to do better – Your apology must be validated, over time, by your changed behavior.  An apology should end with a commitment to not do that again.  However, if you behavior doesn’t change, your apology will be shown to be a bunch of hollow words.

Question: What do you think you should do when someone does not accept your apology? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Download PDF of The 6 Steps

How to Deliver Bad News – The Post I Wish I Had Read a Year Ago

If you have never had to deliver bad news, you will.  There are good ways and bad ways to deliver this news.  I have proven over time that I am good at the bad ways.  More than anything, I’m writing this post to myself.

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

I fired my first team member.  I asked a friend if he was having an affair.  I told a friend that a decision didn’t go his way.  All of this in the last 18 months.  My default style – and I blame the Marine Corps for this – is very direct.  It is blunt.  I like to tell them the headline right up front.  Then I explain.

This does not tend to go well.  They hear the bad news, and then don’t hear anything else I say.  Looking back, I’m better at blind-siding people than giving them the best opportunity to receive the news well and with grace.

In the most recent case, my pastor was with me.  His comment to me when we were done – “You weren’t awesome.”  Frankly, I want to be awesome at this.  I want the words gentle, sensitive, and empathetic to apply as much as firm, decisive, and fair.  So that got me hunting.  I have researched some best practices and distilled them for you in the list that follows.

9 Next Practices in Delivering Bad News

  • In person – This should be a no-brainer, but if you are conflict-averse, it will be very difficult.  Delivering bad news is very emotional and your non-verbal communication has a huge impact.  Not over the phone.  Definitely not by email.  Do it in person.
  • ASAP – Bad news is not like wine.  It does not get better with age.  We too often stall, delay, or hesitate because it is hard.  Deliver bad news as soon as appropriate.
  • Sandwich – You may have heard of the sandwich method.  I’ve heard this taught numerous different times.  I’ve even coached my wife on how to use it.  But I have failed to use it.  The sandwich method is Positive – Negative – Positive.  In other words, you sandwich the bad news between positive statements or good news.  This is what I should have done in the case where my pastor remarked “not awesome.”
  • Decisive – Being decisive is hugely important when delivering bad news.  The one receiving the news needs to know that the decision has been made – period.  That may sound harsh, but it is not.  The alternative is to allow for wiggle room.  Wiggle room gives false hope, and that is truly harsh.  When it is time to deliver the news, look the person in the eye and give a straight-forward and decisive delivery.
  • Empathy – Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and feel what they are feeling.  I almost completely lack this skill.  Would that CVS had a pill for this.  I would buy it.  This was the advice given me by one of my confidants.  Try to anticipate how the other person will feel.
  • Surprise – Rather, don’t surprise.  I do this to people too often.  I don’t want them to know ahead of time that there could be bad news, so I surprise them.  This is mean.  Give people a head’s up about what’s coming.  It allows them to prepare themselves emotionally.  It can take shock out of their reaction.  Warning them is compassionate.
  • Truthful and Concrete – This is the part that I’m good at.  Don’t beat around the bush.  Tell them why.  Give them the truth.  But give it to them with as much love as possible.  I’ve heard the quote:  “Truth without Love is brutality.  Love without Truth is sentimentality.”  I think it applies here.  Speak the truth in love.
  • Silver Lining – I hesitated putting this one on the list because it could sound like spin.  However, there is almost always a silver lining.  I think it can be positive to point it out.  If not for them to consider when their emotions come back down to earth.
  • Dignity and Respect – Should you do the first 8 on the list, the result should be that the person hearing the bad news will feel treated with dignity and respect.  That is your goal.  A goal that I have repeatedly failed at.

Question: What have you found to be the best way to deliver bad news? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

How to Teach Your Kids the Power of Adding Value

I live on a golf course.  If you push it right off the 7th tee, I get to keep your golf ball.  My family spends a good amount of time playing in the back yard.  I’m very thankful that none of us have been hit yet.

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

Earlier in the summer, I was in the back yard playing pitch and catch with my boys.  Suddenly, a shiny Titleist Pro V1 came flying into the yard.  My 7 year-old ran to grab it.  Then he took it up to the course and sold it back to the owner.  He provided a small service to this man and added value to his life.  He made $2.  I was one proud dad.  My wife was mortified.

Now imagine a 7 year-old toe-head with a huge smile doing a victory dance.  It was awesome.

That episode got me thinking about how my dad taught me how to work when I was a kid.  I mowed his empty lots.  I dug ditches.  I worked at his carwash.  He gave me jobs instead of money, and I am grateful for that.

I’m sure I will do the same with my boys.  However, I want to teach them how to create tremendous value and be paid for it.  I want them to catch the entrepreneur bug at an early age.  If they can learn self-discipline as well, they should never lack.  Or at least they won’t be a burden to the taxpayer.

So here is what we did to start their first business.

Inventory

We went to my neighbor who has lived on this street for years.  He has thousands of golf balls that he’s collected over the years.  I took my 7 year old with me and we offered to buy some of his golf balls in bulk.  I was going to play the role of the bank and finance their startup.  They could pay me back from their cashflow.

Somewhat unfortunately, my neighbor is so fond of my son, he just gave him about 150 golf balls.  I really wanted them to learn about cost of goods sold, but my neighbor would not take our money.

Preparation

These are used golf balls.  Many are in great shape.  Many had head-butted cart paths and trees.  Many were just dirty.  So we grabbed a bucket, dumped all the balls in there, and filled it up with water.  Even my 4 year-old baby girl got in on the action to play with the water hose.

We then cleaned and dried them off.  I had the opportunity to discuss quality control with them and the importance of creating an excellent product.

Sorting

If you are a golfer, you know there is a big difference between some balls and others.  We then sorted all the balls into three groups.  Group A was the Pro V1 and its equal.  Group B was filled with the NXT type.  Group C were the ones you would hit into a corn field and not go looking for them.

Packaging

When we had our groups sorted, we packed our product.  Each bag contained 5 golf balls – 0ne from Group A and two from both B and C.

Our thinking was if the A ball could be around $5 out of the box, then we would sell the group of 5 for $5.

Sales Pitch

I then taught my boys the sales pitch.  When a golfer tees off and lands close to our yard, the run and grab a bag of their product.  They then locate the golfers ball for them.  “Sir, we have the best deal in town!  Buy a Pro V-1 for $5 and get four balls for free!”  It is a sight to see.

I want my boys to learn how to create value for others and generate income, and they are getting a taste.  It was a joy to see the light in their eyes when they made their first sale.  I love it when we are throwing in the back yard, and they drop their gloves and run to get their “inventory” to sell to a customer.  I hope that it will start a drive in their bellies.

So here’s to Will and Ben – business owners!

Question: How did you learn to sell? What other ways can you think of to equip the next generation? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Hug a Neck this Memorial Day

I come from a legacy of men who have served.  I don’t take that lightly this Memorial Day.  My grandfathers were both in World War II.  My father was in the Army towards the end of the Vietnam Conflict.  One of my brother’s is currently a Marine Corps pilot of a CH-53 deployed in Afghanistan.  His wife, along with the rest of us, eagerly await his return.

My dad and my granddad pinning my brother during his commissioning.

My dad and my granddad pinning my brother during his commissioning.

I want to share a little about my grandfathers.

My dad’s dad was a metallurgical engineer and served in the Army.  During the war, he got to do two really incredible things, in my humble opinion.  The first was to travel to Russia to study their tanks.  The second was to be one of the first men to work in the Pentagon – when it was just a line!  Only the first wing had been built at that point.  He retired a Lt. Col.

My granddad with my son and my siblings.

My granddad with my son and my siblings.

My mom’s dad was a Morse Code operator for the Army.  When I was in high school, his unit’s exploits were declassified.  What he did was amazing.  His unit was responsible for diverting Nazi attention from the D-Day invasion.

They used cardboard tanks and mis-information to cause Germany to believe the invasion would be at another location.  I remember my granddad, in one of the few times he shared with me about the war, telling me how his unit would sew different patches on their uniforms every night.  The hope was that Nazi Germany would believe they were a force much bigger than they were.

Their efforts worked.  As D-Day dawned, a significant portion of the German force was diverted away from Normandy.  My granddad, however, was transferred at the last-minute to Omaha Beach.  He was one of the heroes that broke the German hold that day and turned the tide of the war.

More recently, a fellow Kentucky Marine distinguished himself in Afghanistan and won the Congressional Medal of Honor.  His acts of bravery have characterized our fighting men and women for generations.  Here is the Medal of Honor citation of Sergeant Dakota Meyer.

Citation: Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner’s position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point-blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer’s daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy’s attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Fortunately, my grandfathers and Sergeant Meyer lived.  Many others throughout the years have not.  These fearless men and women laid down their lives for our way of life.  Their sacrifices allow me to live a life of safety and freedom.  They allow me to worship without fear.  They allow me to work hard and provide for my family.  They allow me to spend a Sunday afternoon, as I did yesterday, playing basketball with my boys in the driveway.

My brother and I shaking the hand of my grandfather.

My brother and I shaking the hand of my grandfather.

I am indebted to all those who have served, and so are you.  So on this memorial day, spend some time counting your blessings.  Then go find someone who has or is serving and hug their neck.  We act like the honor of serving is thanks enough, but we really appreciate it.

I also challenge you to share in the comments section below who you are remembering this day.  Let’s not take for granted all that was given for us to live the lives we now enjoy.