It’s Out Of Your Hands – Todd

tumblr_m7s231hw8e1qi23k0o1_1280Yesterday, I had medical tests done as part of my health schedule.  I’m not a huge fan of going to clinics, but I know that it is necessary for keeping the body that God gave me running smoothly. 

As they were poking me and trying to find my veins that tend to run away from needles, I kept thinking how ‘out of control’ I felt.  I had to trust that the training and experience of the nurse and doctor, coupled with the Spirit’s guidance, would be enough to accomplish what needed to be done. 

“It’s out of my hands” was what rumbled through my noggin. 

How much of life do you try to control?  All — Part — None? 

Truthfully, you come alive when you have a sense of progress and control, but realistically, there are times when you should simply trust. 

Its difficult to do when you lying on a stark white clinic bed or fumbling through a relational breakdown.  But it is in these exact moments when faith operates the strongest.  It is these exact times when reason gives way to hope and stubbornness steps aside to let peace shine. 

What are you trying to control that God is asking you to release?  Maybe he’s whispering, “It’s out of your hands, but it’s always in mine.”

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.”  Ps. 56:3


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035 HELP! I’m Stuck In A Dead End Job! [Podcast] – Todd

deadend jobThere are two feelings you need in order for you to feel fulfilled at work and in life.  Today I talk about them and also share an update from our recently created private Facebook group.

On This Episode:

In order for you to feel alive and have a sense of purpose and meaning in your work and life, you have to have both

  1. a sense of progress and
  2. a sense of control.

‘Progress’ takes on different forms but it basically means the feeling of moving ahead or the accomplishment of a goal.  If you begin a work task from small to large, upon completion, there is a sense of movement in what you do.

This is ‘results-oriented’ encouragement where you achieve a task you’ve set out to do.

Adm. McRaven explains at a University of Texas, Austin commencement speech That as a Navy Seal, they were required to make their bed to perfection every morning.  Why is it the best way to start off your day? He said that it shows progress.  You’ve told yourself that you can accomplish something.

‘Control’ is just what it sounds like only on the positive side.  When I do career coaching, in the assessment phase where we are evaluating a person’s current situation, I often ask, “What part of your job/life do you feel like you have control?”  Even if the person can identify one thing it’s a starting point. For example: I have control over the decorations in my cubicle or I have control over what I do on Saturday afternoon.

Why is this important?  Because without a sense of control in even a small area of your life, your brain and emotions get a little wacky.  Emotionally, you feel stressed and chaotic and most of the time, you end up making a stupid decision.

You need a sense of control to steady yourself before you decide to leave or quite your job and you need a sense of progress in order to feel like your life has purpose.  That’s why the phrase ‘stuck in a dead end job’ is so appropriate.  ‘Stuck’ means you don’t have control and ‘dead end’ means you can’t go anywhere.

Resources From This Episode

  • – 180K audio book, right at your fingers
  • Career Coaching – If you need some clarity on your career and life, I can help.
  • Adm. McRaven explains at a University of Texas, Austin commencement speech why making your bed everyday may be the best way to start off your day
  • – great resources for finding work you love.


2 Keys to Feeling Fulfilled


Many years ago, our family journeyed into the great outdoors in a part of the country called The Boundary Waters.  Pristine lakes and virtually untouched landscapes refuel the souls of those who venture in.

As our family was hauling our gear, my youngest daughter – 5 at the time – lagged behind the rest of us which didn’t sit well with her.  Finally, she stopped, dropped the little bag she was carrying and yelled out, “Stop!  I want to be the leader!”

The feelings from my little girl illustrates the frustrations that many people experience in their lives.  They are in a job or life-situation that has robbed them of two critical elements needed for fulfillment.  These two basic needs that scripture, studies in Psychology and long-lived personal development books talk about are the keys to people’s sense purpose in life:

  1. The feeling of progress.
  2. The feeling of control.

The feeling of progress is simply that sense that a person’s life is moving forward in some area.  In World War II, interrogation camp officials would incessantly send a message to the prisoners that this was all there was, that there was no more and that their lives meant nothing.  No progress.  No meaning.  No movement.  As a result, many of prisoners would readily give information about the U.S. operations thinking that they had no hope anyway.  For survival, some of the prisoners would find something that they could work on to show progress.  Many make origami out of the cigarette wrappers on the cell floors.  Others would scratch out pictures on their floors but would only add one piece per day as to prolong the finished product, giving them something toward which to look forward.

The feeling of control is the sense that I am the master of something in my life.  The problem becomes when we try to control parts of life that are out of control.  Realistically, you can only control 3 things:

  1. Your thoughts,
  2. What you hold as images in your mind,
  3. Your reactions to events in and around you.

Notice that ‘emotions’ are not on that list.  You cannot control your emotions, but you can control how you handle the emotions that pop up.

Hope this helps!

What do you think? Comment below



Feeling Small – Lessons from the Lake

I was at a cabin, working on my next book project when outside, I heard what sounded to me like thunder.  I thought that was strange since it wasn’t in the forecast.

I continued working but soon, I heard it again.  The sound thundered loudly to a point that it shook the windows of the cabin. So I went outside and looked around and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  It was clear.

As I looked across the lake, I watched a flock of birds suddenly fly off of the ice followed by the thunder sound.  I couldn’t figure it out.  Then, it happened again.  It was then that I realized the thundering sound was the cracking of the ice that happens as the temperature changed.  It expands and contracts which causes the “thunder.”  Right at my feet, the ice-thundering erupted and spread across the entire lake.  The ground on which I stood shook and I felt very powerless and very small.

It reminded me of when God had a conversation with Job.  Job was questioning God about his life and why he was experiencing loss and struggle.   God responds to Job and says, “Job, were you there when I sent the foundations of the world in place?  Were you there when I started the cosmos or when I created the very environments in which you walk?”  At that moment, I felt like Job.

Sometimes I think too big of myself.  Sometimes I want to completely control my life and that I have the power to do so.  But then I realize that ultimately, power and strength comes only from God.

The Bible says that the earth is the Lords everything in it.  He created the sky.  He created the mountains.  He created the ice that operates on the surface of the lake and causes the ground to shake.

The next time I try to control everything in my life, I’ll remember the lesson of the lake.



What To Do When Your Lights Go Out

Superbowl 47.  Stellar performances.  Great come backs. Manly squabbles on the field.  And yes, even a “lights out” moment that changes the energy of play.  During those 34 minutes, the coaches on both sides instructed their teams to do four things while they waited in half darkness.  What the coaches told them applies you personally and if you’re leading a team.

Superbowl 2013

  1. Accept that you’re not always control – The opposing coaches (who happen to be brothers) were frantically trying to get information about what was going on but knew that there was nothing they could do to change the situation.  They accepted the reality that sometimes stuff happens but to keep their focus where it needs to be.
  2. Keep your mind straight – Much of life is mental.  The coaches told their players to keep focused on what they were there to do – win the Big Game!  Coach Jim Harbaugh was overheard going from player to player saying, “Keep your mind straight!”  His players knew what that meant and they did whatever they needed to protect their thoughts from wandering off mission.
  3. Keep moving – Both sides of the field had players laying on the turf, stretching, squatting and jogging to keep limber.  The worst thing for any team in the middle of darkness is to let laziness and status quo slip in.
  4. Stay together – They were in groups as they waiting.  Talking.  Processing.  Looking over past plays.  But each team stayed together as they huddled under a half lit dome.  They kept encouraging each other by repeating the above three actions: Accept that you’re not always in control, Keep your mind straight, Keep moving.

That is what good coaching and leadership is about.  That is what teams do.  That is what makes for success in the midst of darkness.