2016 Dan:

So I popped onto my all-to-often neglected website and looked thru my drafted posts, this one was one of few that was actually fully written out, and I don’t know why I wouldn’t have published it sooner.

The biggest way to improve is to be in the game. I have a soft spot for overly cheesy sports analogies, and last week one really stuck out to me:

The only way to hit a homerun is by first swinging for the fences. If you miss, you miss hard, but you’re still swinging.

Also worth noting: I resisted the urge to edit/delete anything below.

Consider a game.

With a game, are you more concerned with winning, or not losing.

There are two ways to not lose.
You can either win — you’ve risked losing in that case.
Or you can simply not play the game… I don’t think ties exist in a game.

But how do you actually benefit from a game?
What outcome allows you to benefit?
Playing the game.
Watching the game doesn’t give you the same learning experience.
It’s safe, you don’t lose. But you also don’t stand to gain anything.

I’ve been a spectator for many things.
Michigan football is one of my favorite past times, I will watch every second of michigan football. But does watching it make me any better of a player? It might make me more aware of a player, but it doesn’t make me any better at playing, throwing, juking.

You can learn the intricacies of things by watching, but the most important skills of actually playing: the actual athleticism, isn’t something you can learn by watching.
You have to do it.
You have to attempt to win.

Here’s the thing, if you’re looking at a game as a learning experience, even losing offers more than losing.
What’s the problem with losing? You don’t get the benefit of winning? Well, you can only win by playing the game.

Lets evaluate what you’re doing. is there more value to you through winning, or is there more value to you by not losing.

There are days I’d rather not lose than win.
I’ll be hanging out with friends, and they’re about to start a game. I’ll politely bow out saying i’d rather watch. it’s hard to argue with it. What do you get with winning? Personal satisfaction/ but also, you’ve gained the skills to the game, the more you play, the better you get.

Any loser of a game will be better equipped to beat the spectators.

It’s my goal to learn the art of not not winning.

Not winning is both doing nothing and losing.

It’s my role not to do either.

It’s all about seizing it.

How does that happen?



Facing rejection.


facing fears.

But ultimately, you’re owning up to what could happen. You’re facing the fact that it will happen. You’ve entered the game. It’s either win or lose. You’re not a spectator.

How do we get more people into the game.

FIrst you have to define what the game is.

It’s time to go all in.

put your eggs in the basket.

But look at the bright side, if you’re looking for self development, you’ve got this.

I’m right along side you. ready to enter the game.

actually. the game has started.

lets do this!

How do we get into the game.

“We can start a business:
I’m doing that right now with five espressos.
Do I know anything about client acquisition? Nope. But I know a lot about wowing people. And this is going to be a creative way of doing it.
Do I know much about web design? well. … Nope. But man. I know a lot more about it than some people. It’s my job to help those people.


It’s not about being the best out there.
It’s about being the best to the people that know us.
That’s what success is all about. Find ways to help people. To teach people, to be accessible and help people achieve their goals.

That’s what five espressos is all about. It’s about waking up a part of you that was sleeping. It’s about waking up a part of you that you haven’t explored. It’s about realizing an energy you didn’t know was there.

So that’s what it takes.
this life is all about taking what you know, and putting it out there, you have an audience, and it’s time to learn more about it.

You can teach things to your audience, people beyond you don’t need to care. you aren’t speaking to them,
Do millionaires care much about personal finance blogs, or things worrying about getting out of debt? nope.
Do pro web designers hang around noob forums?

Do pro football players work out with high schoolers?

No, you speak to people at your level,
Maybe even a bit below.

people that will challenge you. to keep ahead, and motivate you by you motivating them.
So huge. this can work.

the life wheel: do you have a bumpy ride?

A few months back, a friend was telling me about the experiences he was having with hiring a coach, and with my curiosity with growth and personal development, I’m sure I asked too many questions about the process.

He said that the process really helped him dial in with the things that he finds most important, and how to organize life in such a way to have more of those experiences.

One of the exercises he completed during one of the early sessions was the Life Wheel.


Considering these 10 categories, answer the following questions

  1. Friends & Family
  2. Personal Growth and Development
  3. Spirituality
  4. Finances
  5. Career / Business
  6. Romance / Significant Other
  7. Fun & Recreation
  8. Giving
  9. Health & Fitness
  10. Personal Environment

What does success look like in this category?

Where do you rate yourself on each of this category (1-10, where 10 is stupendously most satisfied)

If each of these numbers were to make a different spoke in a wheel, how smooth is your ride?

This is what a sample life wheel can look like:


Interesting huh?

I’m not sure i’m ready to share what my wheel looks like at this point, but I don’t think that negates how this can help. After sitting with this exercise for a while, it struck me that i need the *most* work to do in romantic relationships, in giving, and in fun/recreation.

What would it take to smooth out your ride?




John 15 talks about the vines and branches, it’s a passage that i’ve been sitting with for a while, and i’m not really the type to sit and meditate on scripture. I’m a lover of analogies, so this is right up my alley.

4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

I’m a strong believer in goal setting and pushing to actually achieve those goals, but are we really missing the point? Branches bear fruit by staying connected to the source, not by venturing off and striving as hard as they can —regardless of that high achieving branches good intentions.

This morning in church I had shared with the congregation a story that occurred a couple months ago leading up to the True Pursuit, Inc.Weekend at Timber Wolf Lake – A Young Life Camp. I was feeling pretty restless about life, training for an event that I knew I just needed to finish but wasn’t really excited about finishing.

I met up with a friend the morning before leaving on the retreat, and he asked me what I was hoping to get out of the weekend. I answered that I was really hoping to hear something from God, as I had felt pretty disconnected: I didn’t feel like I was hearing anything from the spiritual camps in those preceding months.  I really wanted to get some clarity on my life direction, how to move forward, and what way to take my business activities.

All good things right? My strengths finder test has me high in Futuristic thinking, so being forward thinking is kinda my thing.

So I get up to the weekend, and there’s a couple training runs I needed to complete- a 5 miler on thursday and then a 10-14 miler on saturday.

That thursday afternoon, as other men started arriving for the weekend, I found myself in the bunk room reluctantly lacing up my running shoes. Ready to embark on 5 miles.

Mile 1 started like all mile ones for me: a list of complaints from all over. Ow, what happened to my back? What’s wrong with my toe? Hmmm, my knee kinda hurts. What do you mean i’ve only gone half a mile?

After mile one it’s usually smooth sailing, and this run was no different.
As I approached the half way point of the run, my thoughts were likely fixated on business to do lists and other aspirations, and I was suddenly attacked by a rush of calmness. And there was a voice that was saying “You’ve come so far, You’ve come so far” the voice repeated itself several times.

The voice was saying: dan. chill out. things are good now, you’ve come far, and you’ll go far, and you know what? I’ll be there with you. It’s not you alone.

So back to the vine and the branches. It’s easy to think we need to do all of these great things in order to live productive lives, but in reality, its a little easier.

Our job is to remain in him. That’s it.
Remain in him and we will bear much fruit.